Poor Business = Poor Football

Mike Fisher 03/10/2017  49 Comments  [Jump to last]

As a life-long Everton fan, I have not written an article here for sometime. Firstly, because I genuinely felt we have made progress in the last 18 months. A new primary investor in Mr Moshiri, a top manager in Koeman, and progress on the new ground.

In the summer, we were quick out of the blocks in the transfer market with what seemed like some pretty positive acquisitions at first glance and the return of the prodigal son in Wayne Rooney. I know fans love new names, new heroes, and the club spending big. I didn't hear too much negativity until we failed to land a replacement for Lukaku or an additional centre-half to support our ageing rearguard and support some of the youngsters in Keane and Holgate.

As fans we are always hopeful, see answers in odd places like Niasse suddenly being the new forward to end our lack of goals or playing a more positive system with width, pace, and power. We watch it wither and crumble on home turf to Burnley and we demand answers, action, and an explanation? What we get is frankly disappointing and very concerning!

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Let's look at this purely from a business perspective. I have many years of experience in managing business, supporting poor businesses, and helping them find solutions. I am not a hugely successful entrepreneur like Mr Moshiri or a leader in my field like Mr Kenwright, which is why I ask the question how can they allow Everton to do such poor business?

Business starts with a vision, a strategy, and short term tactical initiatives to get you moving. Last season we finished in seventh place, which was a vast improvement. One built on the performances of the team, key players like Coleman and of course Lukaku who got the goals. As Coleman is injured and Lukaku wanted to further his ambition at a bigger club, any business would see replacing their key assets as crucial to future success. What ever the excuses not replacing Lukaku is bad business and Martina for Coleman, be it short term, is simply not good enough.

How many Number 10s do you need? Probably 2 or maybe 3 with an upcoming youngster. How many can you play at one time? As many as you like if you want an unbalanced team, but probably just the one if you want balance and structure to your team. So what have we been witnessing and why?

In business you work with your core strengths and build your business slowly. Change is part of that process, but it needs to be slowly introduced. That enables you to see if the change is good or bad. Too much change creates too many factors both positive and negative for identification of exactly where the problems are. Koeman has his fingers crossed, making changes without any real rationale, and hoping for a winning formula. Simply put he has lost the plot or so it seems. He has changed too much and lost the core strength of the team.

When business gets tough and you try to address quickly finding the root cause of the problem is your first step. I think we know what they are, but there are probably several so time to address them one at a time. That means having a settled team so that they don't look like a bunch of strangers thrown together and are given time to get to know each other. Koeman is paid the big money to do this so if he can't, find someone who can! It might not be pretty, but it needs to be effective.

It does not really matter what Koeman says about fear in the team, lack of confidence, or players letting him down. He is paid to manage, to take responsibility, and be accountable for what his team delivers. If it is, as suggested, a lack of creativity then it his responsibility for not putting a team out that is creative. If we can't score goals then what was all the transfer focus on Number 10s all about. Surely a Number 9 and not Sigurdsson that should have been the main focus?

Blame lies in many areas and it needs someone to pull it together fast. To have plans in place for January and build for the future. Our brand has been damaged, devalued, and our customers left with an inferior product that nobody wants to buy. Where is the vision that we sell to the players we would like to come and play for us if we are not seen as a brand for the future.

Business is about confidence and we have none that I can see. We have highly paid individuals making school boy howlers on the pitch. An owner who sees defeat in a competitive market as acceptable apart from when we lose to a team put together on all the things we don't have for a fraction of the cost. A manager who is stubborn, deflecting blame, and still not yet smelling the coffee. He needs to learn, adapt, find humility in his actions and use some of the talent he clearly has. He also needs to learn that saying nothing speaks volumes when you are talking nonsense and blaming everybody else.

To all concerned: please start living up to the high expectations of your loyal fans and stop the nonsense before it is too late.

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Reader Comments (49)

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Barry Williams
1 Posted 03/10/2017 at 19:07:30
Mike, a lot of what you say makes utter sense and I, like many others, felt optimistic with the early transfer dealings. I still felt optimistic after the transfer window had shut and we got a few results. The team looked disjointed, but we were winning the games we were meant to win and also drew at a difficult venue.

The following games brought everything into sharper focus and thus every aspect of the club was examined, including the recruitment, which now appears lopsided with similar style players, or players that need time to adjust.

This got me looking at the players we had loaned out, particularly the defenders. We could definitely do with Galloway back for example. He'd cover both the left centre back and left back position, plus could operate in a 3-man defence.

I think Martina has been hung out to dry somewhat as he has had no support in-front of him and has been exposed by tactics in many matches. He certainly hasn't been the worst player. Business wise, he wasn't a bad buy in my opinion.

However, I think that the business side of things that you correctly focused on wouldn't be up for discussion if Koeman was doing a better job, which I think he should be doing even with a lopsided nature of the squad.

Firstly, the loaning of 3 young centre-backs has left us short of cover there. We have a number of wide players that are fit and ready to play, but never do. We have players way out of form that seem undroppable and we have the shoehorning of players in unfamiliar positions.

Sandro should be given some game time with another supporting centre-forward when necessary, Klaassen brought into a team in the last 30/cup competitions without the danger of running into other midfielders because of the congestion of the team selection in this area.

These areas have been covered enough though, most of us agree on what the problems are and a lot of us are worried that Koeman may not be able to get us on the right track.

That brings it onto the question stick or bust with Koeman, If stick, how long for, if bust, who do we replace them with?

From both a football and business point of view we need a manager in charge in January that cannot only attract players, but also use them. If not, we will see a lot of the decent work done behind the scenes business wise slowly ebb away.

Andy Walker
2 Posted 03/10/2017 at 19:32:58
Other than Rooney, I didn't see any class bought over the summer. Lots of meaningless hyperbole though about unproven players, particularly Ramirez who the TW 'experts' wanted us to believe was a steal. WTF.

The holy trinity of shite, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Klaassen. We could add a few more but I couldn't use the emotive word 'trinity'.

Bring back Davey. Maybe this time we can learn to cope with his gingerness (not so much a problem now but an understandable football issue), his dournesss and the fact that he only used to win games 1-0. Remember many used to say 'be careful what you wish for' – perhaps we now know what this means.

Barry Williams
3 Posted 03/10/2017 at 19:42:09
Andy Walker - 2

Personally I cannot be so dismissive of any of the players bought until I have seen them played in their proper positions over a period of time.

Schneiderlin needs to be dropped, no doubt. When he returns maybe we need a better system to play him in, one without loads of other midfielders cramming up the space in-front of him.

Sigurdsson has hardly played in his correct position and as for Klaassen, he needs time to adapt as does Sandro. Players do not become bad overnight. New players in a new team without a discernible system equals what we are witnessing at the moment.

The main issues for me are that players don't seem to know where they are playing and certain older players are being ridiculously overplayed. Some of the mistakes by the players have been basic and amateurish, but if we were playing players in the positions they are meant to play, then I reckon things wouldn't be anywhere near as bad. Just my opinion.

Eddie Dunn
4 Posted 03/10/2017 at 19:49:32
Mike, by all means criticise the business side of things from a business perspective, but I really don't see the point of trying to interpret footballing matters using the business analogy.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 03/10/2017 at 20:33:29
Our only real hope is if Usmanov comes in and invests some serious money (like Chelsea and Man City owners did) into the club.

Playing catch-up on B Grade players ain’t going to cut the mustard. We need top players on top money (sadly) and a top stadium. If not, then I may as well top myself off as we will never break into the top 4 cartel.

Dermot Byrne
6 Posted 03/10/2017 at 20:41:02
Cannot wait, Colin. A three-team league. Fucking works, the Premier League, eh? What would be the point... or enjoyment?
Jerome Shields
7 Posted 03/10/2017 at 21:25:42
Mike, I think you have hit the nail on the head. Koeman needed to look at the weaknesses first.

The priority should have been are aging back line which had gave problems for the previous two seasons, which he failed to address. Williams just was more of the same and also found himself having to play with them. He tried to pack the midfield and managed to do away with wingers in the process.

His management of existing players meant he lost the confidence of Barkley and I think Lukaku also. Deulofeu and Niasse: he did his best to finish their careers, lucky they where determined to maintain their value showing great character.

His earlier signings in midfield where able to play well with Barkley and Barry. Once they where gone, problems arose. The Summer transfer window was a disaster. The signing of players to replace Barkley and Barry resulted in players who weren't of the same caliber, IT hasn't worked out.

The attempts to replace Lukaku was totally out the window. No way was Rooney or Giroud going do it. I believe Giroud smelled a rat and Rooney jumped at the chance to maintain his wages and actually believed he could continue his lack of commitment to his profession at a new club.

No way should he have been brought into a Club with top 4 ambitions. Koeman management of the young home grown players has been erratic and probably confusing for them.

All this and woeful team selection and tactics prove that Koeman was never fit to manage Everton. The fact that someone is paid £6 million a year, doesn't mean he is capable of doing the job. With all recruitment the problem lies with the recruiter.In Koeman's case it is the Everton Board. That's where the bad business starts.

Andy Crooks
8 Posted 03/10/2017 at 21:32:03
Mike, an interesting article. Football, though, is like no other business.. The customers are emotional. You don't build your business slowly. We have emotional, not financial investors. There is no analogy.
Ste Traverse
9 Posted 03/10/2017 at 23:40:23
I can't believe we've got some fool clamoring for Moyes to come back. Things are bad, but are they REALLY that bad?

The guy is finished. The fact no-one will now touch him speaks volumes.

Three failures on the spin including a very recent relegation. Yeah, that's just the man this club desperately needs isn't it?

Don Alexander
10 Posted 04/10/2017 at 00:41:20
I'm bewildered by those of us who seem outraged by Moshiri's so-called lack of investment, disappointed as I really am by the abject failure to sign the centre-forward even Stevie Wonder could see we needed.

Moshiri's wealth is less than that of half the owners in the Premier League but, in my opinion, he deserves our applause for his input to date. That said, he didn't get rich by squandering money and the sacking of Koeman will definitely will be squandering money in his mind I suggest, and never mind the loss of face he'd also have to endure having gone to such lengths to sign him in the first place.

Still, ever hopeful despite the pain maybe results will improve in what remains of 2017? Hmm.


Stu Gore
11 Posted 04/10/2017 at 00:47:59
Usmanov may be bought out at the Arse for £525m. Bring your billions here, mate, and tuck in with Moshiri. It isn't right now but it will be.
Derek Thomas
12 Posted 04/10/2017 at 02:48:57
Many fair points, Mike, but some of the like-for-like comparisons draw a long bow.

Over the years I've seen shit hot businessmen who've made fortunes by using most of the business practices you mention and probably some of the more shady ones you didn't.

They then get into their local Club (or 'A Club') and for some reason fail to see it's not the same type of financial, production, manufacturing etc. 'old-style' business they made their dosh in.

It's a completely one-off, glamorous, chimeric, hybrid, emotional, mirage of a business, that has only two set rules, plus a host of ever changing Rumsfeldian things we think we know at the moment.

The 1st Fixed Rule?... easy, that's Results.

The 2nd Fixed Rule is; Results = Money. Note; Money does not = Results, we've seen too many times it doesn't. You can't, as in a business, put in raw materials and Investment at one end and get product / return at the other.

Football is an ever changing thing, what worked 24-18 months ago, who was an ace player 24-18 months ago, means nothing now. There are many ever changing ways to get it right. There are also quite a few ways to get it wrong too, but these don't seem to change as much... if at all.

What we need, and all the winners had it or they wouldn't be winners, is some nouse, experience and the flexibility to either dodge, side step, avoid the wrong things. Nobody can win forever, there is no magic formula. Kendall Mk I, II & III. perfectly illustrates that.

Winners come in all shapes and sizes, they can have short shelf-lives; Ranieri, Bob Stokoe... even Martinez and Wigan in the cup. Or long shelf-lives Busby, Catterick, Shankly, Revie, Clough, Paisley, Ferguson Mouriho etc.

They all got lucky and for longish periods, stayed lucky. Along the line, they were able to zig-zag around the problems like down hill skiers...in the end they all end up zigging when they should've zagged.

Moshiri is a beginner at this footy lark, he did it all by the book; hire the best you can. He went on the 'Rep'... all good in theory.

His due diligence does seem to be wanting though, easy to be wise after the event. But Koeman, however good he was On Field, seems to be Off Field, the sort that goes through life pushing doors marked Pull. He seems to be a perpetual zigger when he should zag.

He fails to come up to Napoleon's 1st requirement – is he lucky? No he isn't. Add that to stubborn and Inflexible, then delve more deeply into his record.

Rambled on a bit there in a low grade rant sort of way, so short version: Taxi.

Vince Furnier
13 Posted 04/10/2017 at 13:24:40
Nice Napoleon maxim, Derek. Here's another one:

"The crowd which follows me with admiration, would run with the same eagerness were I marching to the Guillotine."

Paul Holmes
14 Posted 04/10/2017 at 14:35:58
What posters on here have failed to grasp is that, since Moshiri has come on board, behind the first-team scene a revolution is taking place called Everton's Academy!

Posters are right: average players signed for big money for the first team,average manager for the first team, but the future looks very bright indeed once this academy plan comes to fruition.

Behind the scenes, Everton have been buying other clubs' star youngsters with a view to the future, so Moshiri is no fool when you look at the bigger picture; he has a plan but it will take time.

Michael Kenrick
16 Posted 04/10/2017 at 15:36:10
Interesting point, Paul... but 'revolution' might just be a little hyperbolic, don't you think?

From Andrew Pettinger through George Green to John Stones and Ademola Lookman, the strategy of stealing them away from other clubs when raw and young and dazzling, to bring them through the Everton Way, has had very mixed results, which is only to be expected.

The current crop look so good in the U23s because of the way Unsworth has them playing. But that step up to the first team looks as fraught with risk of failure as t'was ever; Davies, Kenny, and even Calvert-Lewin have all faltered a little on the big stage. I'd love to believe that was a further sign of Koeman's mis-management but the Big Picture says that very very few of them will actually make the grade.

But a fantastic reason in my mind to make Unsworth the Head Coach tomorrow.

Neil Carter
17 Posted 04/10/2017 at 16:06:57
Mike,

An excellent article.

I think we currently lack vision as a club because I believe the ownership transition is yet to be completed.

I suspect, but have no firm evidence, that the Moshiri share purchase was always the start of a complete change of ownership with Usmanov eventually becoming the main owner. I believe that Bill Kenwright has Everton's long term interest at heart and has wanted to do his best to ensure handing over in the best interests of the club as a fan himself.

One thing is certain. As with Chelsea we will likely not recognise the modern Everton once this change of ownership takes full effect. Not only will Goodison Park be gone but with it I hope our desire to hang on to the past. Don't get me wrong – we have a proud history I have watched most of the last 50 years of it. As a member of a Walton-born family who have been at Everton from the start, I will shed a tear when we leave Goodison as much as anyone. But football has changed and we must move forward too or we will die. We need the large investment of Usmanov to compete with our competitors in this business again.

Time to stop singing of our history and to start to see future dreams become a reality. Here's to becoming the Mersey Multi-Millionaires!!!!

William Cartwright
18 Posted 04/10/2017 at 16:40:56
The discussions prompted by this topic and the many, many others bouncing around at the moment are generally consistent. The consensus view being that we are where we are as a result of woeful mis-management by Koeman certainly, very ably aided and abetted by Kenwright and Walsh in their respective duties.

Where does that leave us? I'm not sure. If I had the answers I wouldn't be typing out my frustrations I would be getting paid squillions to do what Koeman should be doing. Here's the thing:-

ABSOLUTE FACT: THE MANAGER IS FAR AND AWAY THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT IN ANY FOOTBALL CLUB.

Historically the really great managers, Shankly, Kendall, Clough, Revie, Fergy, (Ranieri?) have all used their skills and personality to win things. The relationship with money will always be in the equation but it is NOT always the primary driver. However, as money is becoming more flush and elitist, especially as 'winning' gets more reward, its impact is increasing exponentially.

What is so disappointing at present is the sheer awfulness of Koeman's managerial performance. I don't need to repeat again and again the examples of his dereliction of duty other than to say there is a consistent theme of 'personality issues' surrounding him which will always be contaminating his decision-making process. He has to change (very unlikely) as his arrogance won't let him, therefore he has to go (sooner or later).

I would rather it was sooner, and we appoint Unsworth on a proper contract with an agreed time frame and performance target priorities such as :

1st – league position, Europe, cups, Under-23s etc.
2nd – A defined pool of players,
3rd – Clear job descriptions of the other key players, Assistant Manager / Fitness Coach / Recruitment Director etc, and
4th – Clarity of what is happening behind the scenes such as the stadium, and where the ground rules lie for proper balanced 'business behavior' by the various participants.

Perhaps Moshiri has the intention for something like this in mind? Who knows, but from a business perspective and also from a footballing perspective, Koeman has been a disaster of a manager and the Club need to acknowledge it, not necessarily publicly, and reach a solution. Perhaps not Unsy but another (supposed) tried and tested manager in mind?

My gut opinion is Unsy would be a short- to mid-term option with the real potential to be the long term solution if all the management structures were in their proper place. He fills me with confidence every time I watch the Under-23s play or hear his comments on their performance. His off the field initiatives are spectacularly successful too. I believe he deserves his chance.

Paul Holmes
19 Posted 04/10/2017 at 19:11:15
Everton had 5 players that won the U20 World Cup this year (Tom Davies had a rest so it should have been 6). We have signed top prospects from Newcastle, QPR and other clubs (some foreign). We have sent a lot of lads out on loan to get experience, the Forest fans are raving about Dowell and say he is too good for their team!

Combined with a few older players, we may end up with a mix similar to Man Utd when they had Beckham (was on loan at Preston), Giggs, Scholes, Butt, and the two Nevilles!

I'ts the more experienced players that might let the side down, but we live in hope for the future.

Paul Holmes
21 Posted 04/10/2017 at 19:19:55
William Cartwright, football is a game of opinions so I must say imo your statement is wrong about managers being the most important component in any football club.

Pep Guardiola said in an interview with Gary Lineker that its the quality of the players that is the most important thing at any club. He said if Messi played for any premier league team he would make any manager look good!

So there you have it from the so-called best manager in club football: players, not managers, is the secret.

Martin Mason
22 Posted 04/10/2017 at 19:25:05
William @18

Correct but that was when they were managers and had responsibility for buying, selling, contracts and coaching. People like Koeman now aren't "managers" but are Head Coaches and that is all they do.

When it comes to buying they can state a requirement, perhaps make a recommendation, have a look at some offerings, etc., but the identification and evaluations are done by the Director of Football and the negotiation and contracts done by the representative of the board.

Koeman didn't sell Lukaku and he didn't not find a replacement although he failed to persuade him to stay; he didn't buy 3 number 10's but he accepted what he was offered. As Coach though he is responsible for the tripe that the team produces every game and will continue to do so unless he can turn this around with coaching. If he can't then the Board must do their job by replacing him.

So, the absolute responsibility on how we play in the medium to longer term comes from the very top which is Kenwright plus Moshiri's rep (who manage the big picture on behalf of Moshiri) and Elstone who runs the operation of the club on a day to day basis. I believe that he answers to Kenwright. I believe that Moshiri will take over the reins from Kenwright when he feels that he has the right degree of expertise in running the club and Kenwright will fade away.

Running the club, like any business, is a big team effort and only in the short term can any single element like Koeman be held wholly to blame. We have a new owner, new management team, new coach and a lot of new players so we're effectively creating a new club. Is it realistic to expect this to work in one and a half seasons? No, it is ridiculous to expect this although it could happen purely by luck.

Will sacking Koeman work? Not a chance, he is a part of the problem but the problem is far deeper than that and the solution has to come from the top. The head coach is a key player in any set up although not the key that opens all locks. Pochettino for example is a perfect continental style head coach who knows what he wants in terms of players and tactics and has a good board who complement his skills. Critically I don't believe that Spurs have a Director of Football in the Walsh position and that may be a key thing. Perhaps a Director of Football is a shit concept that takes too much responsibility from the Coach/Manager.

How did Southampton do well with or without Koeman? Because they are a well managed club not because Koeman is or isn't a good coach. Spurs are a well run club, Liverpool aren't; we have the chance to be but that is all. Do I think that Koeman can become a good Coach and manager of men? Not in a million years, he is a Neanderthal and the sooner Everton get rid of him the happier I will be

Don Alexander
23 Posted 04/10/2017 at 19:57:43
Nobody knows anything about the appointment of Koeman beyond what was announced re the now perilous project, this season at least.

I expect Koeman's opinions of players he inherited was shared by Moshiri. I expect Moshiri to have intimated where the resources would be found to recruit via player sales (Lukaku in particular). Koeman was never shy in telling the world he wanted better pressing, productivity and, specifically, another centre-back, left-back and centre-forward to join the players he kept and signed. Someone royally fucked up those absolutely vital parts of the team before the window closed.

The fact that Koeman buggered off to play golf on the same day that Moshiri announced "big news" on the last day of that window tells me the culprit isn't Koeman. Instead he has to try to fashion success with glaring inadequacies in several areas of the pitch before we even take injuries into account. He and everyone else can see it plainly but few, if any, managers could get success having been knee-capped by their own hierarchy before the season really begins.

And no I don't feel sorry for him, Moshiri, the board or any of the pussies trouping out in our believed shirt every week. I feel sorry for the fans, and especially those who pay for the "privilege" of watching ineptitude become manifest on the pitch.

Dominic Brady
24 Posted 04/10/2017 at 20:44:15
In terms of the successful business model which is being discussed two further factors spring to mind. If I was Moshiri and was delegating the management of Everton Football Club, I would expect him to believe that Koeman would have the man management skills necessary to lead, motivate, and inspire his management team as well as his playing team.

You would expect the management team to collectively analyse critically the performances and make suggestions for improvement. They may perhaps, point out that more pace is needed or several Number 10s in the team doesn't work.

We don't know what goes on in these meetings. Either our coaches like Dunc and even brother Erwin are making suggestions for change or are too frightened to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

In business, leaders still need to be team players and those that aren't will fail. Secondly, in business customer service is a vital element for success. An organisation that consistently treats its customers as fools (us the supporters the season ticket holders, the families that by shirts and so on) is ultimately doomed.

An organisation that talks to its customers through second rate Sky sports newsreaders and consistently fails to deliver the product promised is doomed. The business we love is now in jeopardy. It is now more important than whether Koeman goes today or in four games time.

Mike Allen
25 Posted 04/10/2017 at 22:20:34
No disrespect to foreign coaches but that is what they are – coaches, good or bad. Clubs like Everton need club managers like Moyes, Pulis or Dyche that we would hope would be in for the long term. The continental approach of changing every two or three years is not for clubs like Everton.

Okay the football may not be Barca or Real flamboyant style but it is honest and competitive with something that the fans can relate to 70% of the game played in our half with weak feeble laboured passing is not for me.

Let's have a go with Unsworth – give him three years; he will need at least a season to get rid of the dead wood.

Pete Clarke
26 Posted 04/10/2017 at 23:09:01
I personally still think the root of our problems is BK hanging around. We are all Evertonians on here and dream of big things but this guy is haunting us with constant failure. Why he is still on the board is bad business by Moshiri.

On the management side it is plain to see that Koeman is not a good player manager or tactician and even if he steadies the ship he will be off at first chance so why persist?

We have been trying for years to find the right manager and I feel we need to once again take a gamble, be it Unsy who is doing a terrific job or Eddie Howe who has brought A tiny club like Bourmouth through the divisions with virtually the same squad and nice football too.

Any appointment is a gamble no matter who we get but obviously this short term appointment of Koeman has failed. Confidence needs to be restored and a calm voice from within like Joe Royle and Unsworth may do it but we can't let this roll on any longer.

Jack Convery
27 Posted 04/10/2017 at 23:44:28
The Club is divided into 2 camps – Pro Kenwright and the rest. A divided club goes nowhere only backwards and down, hence our direction of travel. I am convinced the older players, ie, Baines, Jagielka & Mirallas are backing Kenwright and therefore the dressing room is divided.

The fact Ross stayed told me he believes the moves to undermine Koeman will lead to his sacking and he will then sign a new contract. Time will tell but, at the present time, we ain't going anywhere fast. The sooner Moshiri sorts it out, the better as we won't get anything vs Brighton.

Chris Jones [Burton]
28 Posted 04/10/2017 at 23:47:55
Love him or hate him, Kenwright loves Everton. He may be a misguided fool (I offer no opinion), but I sincerely believe he has our best interests at heart. He doesn't want to be the man who sold us out to a middle eastern Sheikdom or some shister from the far east.

I read with interest that Usmanov is talking publicly about selling his Arsenal shares. I wonder where he will go next? I wonder what Kenwright thinks?

At the end of the day, it's Kenwright who is in the box seat, not us, cut him some slack, I think he cares as much as we do. I think in retrospect (50 years from now) he'll be seen in a much better light than he is currently.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/04/alisher-usmanov-arsenal-shares-stan-kroenke

Geoff Lambert
29 Posted 05/10/2017 at 00:07:33
Usmanov states he will not sell his shares in Arsenal..

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/arsenal-news-stan-kroenke-alisher-usmanov-owner-stake-shares-bid-a7983196.html

David Barks
30 Posted 05/10/2017 at 00:24:01
Geoff,

He clearly says he's not in talks to sell to Kroenke. He doesn't want to hand over the club to that man. He clearly says at the end of the paragraph below that he would sell to someone who shares his vision.

“I would like to assure supporters that I am open to various future scenarios: a constructive partnership with the majority shareholder, the purchase of his stake either alone or in a consortium, or if a party appears who shares my and undoubtedly the majority of fans’ vision for the club, I could consider the question of selling my stake.”

Jay Harris
31 Posted 05/10/2017 at 03:24:39
Chris (#28),

Did he have the best interests of the club in mind when he turned down Paul Gregg's offer to fund King's Dock as long as Bill stood down as chairman?

Or when he told blatant lies about Kirkby to get us into a cowshed?

Or when he sold Rooney when he couldn't get the investment he assured us he had

(The now infamous "the cheque will be in the bank in the morning").

Did he have the club's best interests at heart when he brought Earle and Green on board to rape the club's finances?

It is no coincidence for me that the longest unsuccessful era in the club's history has been overseen by "Blue Bill", a second-rate actor.

William Cartwright
32 Posted 05/10/2017 at 04:05:14
Martin, thanks for the insights. I agree and appreciate the wider view. My comments were made as a response to the 'Business Article' and having lived overseas for too many years I am a little out of touch with the detail machinations of the back of house scenery at Everton.

We have avoided catastrophe this far (eg, Leeds, Forest et al) which highlights both the precariousness and promise (eg, Bournemouth) of the general footy business in the UK. Interestingly, if you look at the aspiring new kids on the block, their managers (I believe) all are the key players, relatively young and you are probably right, they do have good business structures around them.

Silva at Watford, Pocchetino at Spuds, Dyche at Burnley and Howe at Bournemouth are all good examples of excellent, young team / man managers. Makes our recent history look rather sad...

Martin Mason
33 Posted 05/10/2017 at 09:14:10
Jay Harris@31

He turned down the offer because it meant ceding ownership of the club to Gregg via a reverse mortgage after being promised a straight finance deal. IMO, he was correct in doing so.

As it happened, the £30MM was only a small fraction of what was needed to do the development. KD was an impossible dream for Everton, it was never going to happen.

What were the blatant lies he told to get us into Kirkby?

Can you please advise what raping of the club that Earle and Green did. How much did they take out of the club and can you please provide references that I can read to get up to speed with exactly what happened?

Regardless of what he said about Rooney or more likely what you incorrectly believe he said, the sale of Rooney was essential for the survival of the club at the time and perfect business sense.

John Raftery
34 Posted 05/10/2017 at 09:28:11
The article is spot on. The summer spending madness and the manager's complete failure to establish any kind of consistency in his team selection, formation and tactics have compounded the difficulties which always faced us in this, the first season after Lukaku's departure.
We now need steady hands on the tiller and that, for me, means appointing Unsworth with Joe Royle as an experienced mentor. They won't solve all our problems but they will arrest our decline and make the best of the admittedly limited talent available.
Paul Kelly
35 Posted 05/10/2017 at 09:41:48
Martin, " What were the blatant lies he told us to get into Kirkby"?

"In December 2007, on live television prior to Everton’s UEFA Cup fixture with Zenit St Petersberg, Bill Kenwright claimed that Goodison Park “would not soon not pass safety tests” in a cheap and disgraceful effort to gain support for a controversial stadium move outside of the Liverpool city boundary to nearby Kirkby despite a significant 41 per cent of Evertonians having voted against the move."

Hope that helps.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/everton-fans-view-after-years-6250933.amp

Martin Mason
36 Posted 05/10/2017 at 09:55:39
Paul, "would not pass safety tests" is a condition that only applies to that moment in time and can be solved by spending the money necessary to upgrade the ground so it would pass the checks. How I would interpret that is that part of the economic justification for a stadium move is the money that had to be spent to upgrade the ground to pass safety tests.

Blatant lies? Not really, the club and a majority of fans supported the move and it is perfectly normal for those pushing anything to highlight any benefits. Blatant lies only if you have an anti-Kenwright agenda?

I'll read the link, many thanks.

Martin Mason
38 Posted 05/10/2017 at 10:14:35
Thanks Paul. An "opinion" piece from the mirror I'm afraid which spins a lot of this around a couple of weak facts and more than one myth (the major one being KD). It was also fair fan comment at the time but I think that getting Moshiri to buy into the club rather than the many others who were after investment trumps that big time. Why is this very positive achievement never brought up in discussions about Kenwright?

Jack@27, there is also the camp that is neither pro nor anti Kenwright who just keep an open mind. I'm very much in that camp. I just believe that he must be defended against the fallacies that are often quoted against him.

Paul Kelly
39 Posted 05/10/2017 at 10:18:26
Any time mate, reading that link and the last posts you wrote reminds me of Lionel Hutz out of the Simpsons "there's the truth and the truth".

Check it out on YouTube, quite funny.

Carl Taylor
40 Posted 05/10/2017 at 10:44:08
I refer anyone, who can be bothered looking back over previous articles, to an article I penned at the time we had signed Rooney and were still harrassing Swansea over Sigurdsson, about momentum and the feel good factor. I felt we had started to lose both at this point and many disagreed.

When we signed the likes of Klassen, Ramirez, Pickford and Keane the feel good factor was based on breaking previous trends of summer transfer windows and a little blind faith in the recruitment team. The signing of Rooney split opinions about a glorious home coming or a retirement home for another United reject. This is when the momentum started to turn for me, particularly as Lukaku went the other way at the same time. So feel good, turned to doubt very quickly for me, being a long in the tooth Blue who has seen false dawns before.

The drawn out Sigurdsson saga wreaked of transfer window's past and as the transfer window closed, that stench became unpalatable. A blind man could see what we lacked, a striker, 2 defenders and pace anywhere in the team. Yet those in charge, and I most definitely include Koeman in that (You can't tell me that Klassen and Sigurdsson aren't 'his' players, along with Martina), did nothing about this.

At the same time, the football had started for real and all the concerns that the majority held, came to fruition. No pace, no goal threat, no pressing game, no defensive stability (Williams FFS) and zero width.

So yes, very poor business has lead to poor football. However, the lack of imagination and flexibility in the management of the team has kept our downward momentum rolling and gathering pace.

Can we turn the tide as quickly as we did from positive to negative in the summer? If we stick with the management team we have, who are at least partly to blame for the current situation, then I don't see how. The next 2 weeks are crucial for me; take action to halt the slump and we have a chance of saving the season (yes, the season needs saving already); or leave things as they are and watch the rolling stone that is tied round our collective necks gather pace at an alarming rate.

Please take action Everton, or the future looks bleak.

Martin Mason
41 Posted 05/10/2017 at 10:50:17
Paul, that's the truth.

Just out of interest for anybody. Was it not true at the time about the safety certificate?

Dennis Stevens
42 Posted 05/10/2017 at 11:00:01
Martin, it was indeed "a majority" of fans rather than THE majority of fans.
Geoff Lambert
43 Posted 05/10/2017 at 11:00:41
David #30
Do you think Kroenke will sell up in the foreseeable future?

Quote me if I am wrong but Kroenke has stated that he is there for the long term. which means Usmanov will not be selling his shares any time soon.

Martin Mason
44 Posted 05/10/2017 at 11:08:37
Correct Dennis, as the 41% was a minority rather than THE minority. Every fan was free to vote and only a simple minority was needed. Not a good enough system for such a ground move perhaps but at least a vote was offered.

Looking back of course the move would have been a disaster but due process was followed and it was correctly rejected. In many ways it was a brave move to get a new ground on the back of a commercial development but history now.

Brian Harrison
45 Posted 05/10/2017 at 11:10:27
I would love to know if our club has changed since the introduction of Steve Walsh as DOF. I know many European clubs were the DOF and or the chairman buys the players and the coach just coaches. I mean surely to buy 3 number 10s shows the muddled thinking that seems to be going on inside the club. Trying to introduce 6/7 new players into the team all at once has never worked, so why did anyone at Goodison think they would be able to break that mold. I know Koeman has worked at other clubs with a DOF, but I don't know how much influence he had over the buying policy.

I guess the lack of a top striker was because they believed Giroud was in the bag, now whether he was the right man anyway I have my doubts. But in football nothing is certain till they sign on the dotted line. But the truth is with Lukaku, Valencia,Kone all going and Barkley refusing to sign a new contract, to only have 1 striker lined up to replace the 4 we were losing was always going to cause problems. Even had they signed Giroud what if he had picked up a hamstring in the first game and out for 6 weeks, we would be left with exactly what we have now which shows how flawed the idea of replacing 4 strikers with 1 was a nonsense.

Koeman was asked a week ago was he planning who he wanted in the Jan transfer window and his reply was I leave that to Steve Walsh. So does that mean he has no imput to who we might buy in Jan. Or did he think he wouldnt be around for the Jan window. What a complete mess, I would suggest that Moshiri get on a plane from Monaco where he lives and sorts the mess out. Because Jan maybe the most important transfer window we have had in years.

Dennis Stevens
46 Posted 05/10/2017 at 11:22:46
Tbh Martin, I don't think that the vote that was offered was anywhere good enough. The issue was pretty well sold as: move or die - there is no alternative!

It seems to me that in extricating himself from the True Blue Holdings / Kings Dock situation, Kenwright rather jumped out of the frying pan into the fire - but I suppose that's the simple reality of his situation of just not having the funds to go it alone. I do think he's now got the Club into a much better position in terms of ownership than it's been since the demise of John Moores, but it's been a long road to get there.

The OP makes some valid points re the inability of clubs to achieve or maintain success if they are not well run as a business. The Board really provide the foundation for the manager. I can think of no better example of how to get this spectacularly wrong, decade after decade, than the massively under-achieving Newcastle United.

Laurie Hartley
47 Posted 05/10/2017 at 11:27:34
William # 18 - you missed out:

Bill Nicholson
Matt Busby
Harry Catterick (who beat them both regularly)
And perhaps my favourite non Everton manager Bobby Robson.

Two very different personality types. Nicholson & Catterick were alike as were Busby and Robson. But they all had one thing in common - they knew what a winning team looked like.

We need one of them types.

Martin Mason
48 Posted 05/10/2017 at 11:30:43
Dennis, I agree with you on the vote and very much on the importance of good management right from the top. It may be that we just don't have it.
Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 05/10/2017 at 12:18:14
Paul@39, there's the truth, then there's "THE DUKE".

The Simpson's is funny, but the part the duke plays in midnight run, is absolutely fantastic, and you will need all day, if you want to start a debate with Martin!

Tell lies Martin? Not when you have got the fat controller to tell them for you! Thank god for the blue union I say.

Tony Hill
50 Posted 05/10/2017 at 12:29:19
Yes, we have not been well-organised for a long time. If Moshiri is not a prelude to Usmanov, and there is no evidence at all that he is, then I fear we have big trouble because we continue to stumble along showing no serious intent or coherence.

Regardless of one's view of Kenwright, I was always concerned that his continuing involvement after Moshiri's arrival was likely to lead to confusion. That has been further complicated by the arrival of Walsh as another layer of "management". As a final difficulty, with Koeman (again regardless of his skills or lack of them), we have a main coach who is not someone simply prepared to toe the line.

It is a classic case of too many cooks.

Ian Hollingworth
51 Posted 05/10/2017 at 12:37:58
BBC Sport says Usmanov will not sell to Kroenke but may sell to another investor.
Christ do we need this to be all joined up.
David McMullen
52 Posted 06/10/2017 at 13:10:20
Neil (17) agree with your point feels like Moshiri is just a sidekick (if it's not too disrespectful to a multi billionaire who has ploughed money in to us).. But sadly Usmanov is behind Arsenal. At least we have USM Finch Farm which could be him dipping his toe in to Everton and his statement in the last day or so seemed to leave it open for someone to buy his Arsenal share.

I'm disappointed with Koeman so far. He's mirroring Martinez when he went clueless. The clamour for Martinez to go went from a small amount to almost the entire fan base by April 2016. If only the club had got rid of him before the derby!

Koeman sort you team out or go!

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