[Season Diary]

May 2003

If it happened and it was Everton-related, it's right here in the comprehensive Season Diary.
Items are in reverse chronological order (more recent first). 

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 May 2003

News Headlines & Features

Another chance to invest in EFC
28 May - Since advertising Everton Shares for sale last week, we have learnt that there are two or three more shares available for private sale, but at a significantly lower price.  These shares are being offered for £1,475 each, which represents a substantial saving and shows the relatively wide range in current valuation.  If you are interested in becoming a shareholder for this more reasonable outlay, use our feeback page via the above link to send a message to The Editor — and include your e.mail address. (For those who have applied already, your details have been passed on to the new seller.)

Shareholders Association AGM
27 May - The forthcoming AGM of the Everton Shareholders Association next Monday promises to be an interesting one, with the Development Proposals put forward by the Reform Group slated for discussion.  This notice includes details of the AGM, and information about how you can join the Shareholders Association (if you are a shareholder).

Are you an Everton Shareholder?
26 May - This week, we are putting the focus on ownership of Everton Shares in the run-up to an important meeting of the Everton Shareholders Association next Monday.  ESA is the oldest group of its kind in the world, but is still open to change and growth.  A group of shareholders are proposing some reforms that would enhance the role of the association and give more meaning to ownership of shares in the Club.  The linked article provides an introduction to the Reform Group's manifesto.

Now you see him...
24 May - Reading the latest contribution from Everton commentor, Scrote, you could not help believing that Paul Gregg is not the kind of Director Everton fans want (as if the choice was up to them anyway!).  But the ToffeeWeb Viewpoint is that Everton fans should never forget the vital role Paul Gregg played in enabling Bill Kenwright to gain control of the Club from Peter Johnson.  Perhaps the emotional fallout over Kings Dock would not have happened without a stadium ownership requirement that eventually proved to be unattainable.

A Message of Thanks
22 May - Kevin Campbell, Everton's Team Captain and top scorer for the 2002/03 season, has dropped us a line at ToffeeWeb Towers with the following message: "Please pass on a message of thanks from me to all Everton supporters this season on behalf of the whole team. We really do value your contribution." It's probably a good time as well for us to thank him, the team and the Moyessiah for restoring the pride to the Royal Blue jersey and for their stellar efforts in securing our best finish in seven years. So, thanks lads!

A new idea for Goodison Park
22 May - Peter Fearon thinks there is another option for a new Everton stadium that has not been considered yet, but would be very workable.  Read his ideas on what could be done to take more advantage of the land Everton currently own at Goodison Park.

The Supercar Stadium
20 May - We have some early reaction to yesterday's news about possible plans for a new Everton Stadium near Stanley Park. A new subscriber in our Fans Comment section, who goes by the name of Scrote, looks on the scheme with a jaundiced eye in the wake of the Kings Dock collapse. 

Beam me up, Scotty!
19 May - Everton are in talks with developers and urban regeneration expert David Taylor with a view to building a new 60,000 all-seater stadium on the banks of the Mersey at the Central Docks in the north of Liverpool. Taylor's proposal, which started out as Liverpool's fallback plan, is a "mixed-use scheme, including residential, leisure, pubs and bars and a dedicated train station on the nearby Northern Line close to the listed Stanley Dock warehouse." Let's just hope that ridiculous-looking spaceship design isn't part of the plan and that they go for something more, well, befitting Everton FC... like the original Kings Dock artist's impressions!

Show Him The Money
19 May - Neil Wolstenholme is usually as sober as a judge when it comes to money...  but he clearer sees the need for firm financial investment in future team-building by the Everton Board to sustain the Moyes Miracle.  And the time for this is now.  Support for David Moyes in the transfer market will be vital if a very damaging second-season slump is to be avoided.  Neil maintains it is up to us fans to press the Board and let them know our high expectations at every opportunity.

Taking the Michael
16 May - Recent pronouncements from Michael Dunford that clearly back-track over ground we thought had already been sorted regarding the status of Joseph Yobo has got Mr Kavanagh a bit upset.  He is not alone in wanting to see some of the Premiership prize money given to the man who earnt it: David Moyes.  However, as Neil Wolstenholme will explain next in his revealing financial analysis, it just isn't going to be that simple...

Looking to advance
16 May - The season is over and the pundits are creeping out of the woodwork to give their opinions on where the Everton manager needs to make changes in order for him to continue to make progress with his team of "no-stars". Gemmill and Gravesen seem to head the list of deadwood that needs to be prunned so as to allow some promising young growth to flourish.

So near and yet so far
13 May - Well, it was a wonderful ride filled with moments to cherish — Rooney's wonder goals, last-gasp victories, flirtations with the Champions League — but after sitting safely in the top six for six months, Everton missed out on European qualification at the death thanks largely to a collapse in form just when it mattered. Lyndon Lloyd takes a disappointed but optimistic look at Season 2002/03 and tries to make sense of why it all went wrong.

12 May - Daniel Kemp sums up the feeling of failure brought on by Everton's disasterous end-of-season form that saw us lose 4 out of the last 5 games and slip out of Europe at the final insurmountable hurdle.  Is the Intertoto Cup the answer?  Well, it might have been, Daniel, but the time to get our name in the hat is long since gone.  Other than that, Daniel finds many positives to underline at the end of Act 1 of the Moyes Miracle.

A bridge too far
11 May - Everton's relinquishment of their European dream is complete following defeat to Manchester United at Goodison and Blackburn's emphatic 4-0 destruction of pathetic Spurs at White Hart Lane. Kevin Campbell capitalised on a Roy Carroll error to score his 50th goal for Everton and make it 1-0 after 8 mins but United responded as expected and David Beckham scored an unstoppable direct free kick just before half time. In the second half, United hit the post for the third time and Rooney missed a sitter from 2 yards and then sprinted clear but pulled his shot wide with just Carroll to beat. Then, van Nistlerooy went to ground, Mike Riley awarded a penalty and it was curtains for our UEFA Cup chances. The silver lining? We finished 7th and Liverpool miss out on the Champions League.

Rodrigo Released
11 May - David Moyes has confirmed that he won't be taking up a £3m option to sign Juliano Rodrigo permanently, despite his continuing recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury. Citing the fact that Rodrigo's injury hasn't yet healed, the Toffees' manager feels his limited funds will be needed elsewhere as he seeks to bolster his squad for next season. The Brazilian made just a handful of substitute appearances before tearing his ligaments in training back in September.

Mission Impossible
8 May - As Everton gear up for the most important match of the season, it's hard to ignore the horrible fact that with Blackburn visiting a poor Tottenham side, the Blues will probably have to do something they haven't done for eight years in order to qualify for Europe: beat Manchester United. With the opportunity to introduce Chadwick or Osman long gone, David Moyes is likely to stick with the same tired line-up, but the supreme irony is that the player who could be the decisive factor in our season is the one man who has played no part in getting the Blues to their current league position in the first place... Duncan Ferguson!

The Yobo Scenario
7 May - The situation regarding Joseph Yobo's status seems as confusing as ever, with the Club and the player apparently under differing perceptions of their contractual relationship with each other, especially regarding the length of their respective commitments.  Nick Armitage is a little worried about this nonsense, and the obvious negative effect it has had on his playing form for Everton — which has lurched from world-class to not very good.  This summer should see some clarification, but could equally herald the untimely departure of this excellent player.

Building on a Bright Start
6 May - Having worked wonders during his first full season as Everton manager, David Moyes has the daunting task of improving on the enormous progress the club has made so far under his tenure.  Everton fan Shaun Cox describes his hopes the coming summer and next season.

Hope Springs Eternal
5 May - One of the most critical commentators we have at ToffeeWeb is Paul Holmes, who goes by the name of Iconoclast — and for good reason — when he posts (now somewhat irregularly) on Everton internet forums.  Playing his favoured role as Devil's Advocate in his latest submission, Paul is highly critical of the Kings Dock fiasco, which has disappeared amid a wimper of disappointment, and writes some almost positive comments — laced, of course with dire projections of what could go wrong – concerning the new regime of David Moyes.

Fulham 2 - 0 Everton
3 May - Rooney and Campbell started up front, with Yobo and Pembridge in for Weir and Naysmith; Leon Osman on the bench. Carsley hit the post after 3 mins...  Everton pushed hard to gain the advantage, with Rooney well involved, but numerous good free-kick opportunities came to nothing.  Then disaster as Stubbs scored a bizarre own-goal while trying to clear.  Campbell failed to score with a great chance and, just before the break, Richard Wright totally fluffed at a bye-line free-kick that crept in at the near post.  Bye-bye, Uefa Cup?  No, said David Moyes who put Big Dunc on for the second half, and Everton came out fighting... But it was mostly huff and puff with too many chances going begging — along with that place in Europe.

We will finish 7th
2 May - So says Martin Tilly who can't see anything but Blackburn overtaking us on May 11th as Manchester United crush our European dream at Goodison Park on the final day. While Martin makes light of his "negative clairvoyancy" and has both praise for David Moyes and hope for the future, it's curious that with the club on the brink of the manager's crowning achievement thus far, the pessimism that became so ingrained in Blues fans during the dark years of the past decade remains so prominent.

Rodrigol gets Reserves run-out
1 May - Juliano Rodrigo got his first taste of action since returning from injury when he came off the bench in the 65th minute of Everton Reserves' 2-1 defeat to Leeds at the Halton Stadium.  Nick Chadwick started as did while Tobias Linderoth, who put another 45 minutes under his belt in his bid to return to full fitness before the end of the season.  Leon Osman was not included as he will be travelling to the capital with the senior squad.  Craig Garside gave the Blues the lead just before half time but Harpal Singh equalised with Leeds' second penalty of the game, Iain Turner having saved the first in the 5th minute.  Craig Candsell-Sheriff got the winner with 8 minutes to go. Report from Steve Milne.


Snippets & Rumours

Yobo: Eagles Captain
31 May - Joseph Yobo captained the Nigerian Super Eagles to a 3-1 win over Ghana in Abuja.

Newell gets the sack
31 May - Former Everton player Mike Newell has been sacked by Hartlepool; his assistant Kevin Sheedy is likely to leave as well.

Pre-Season friendly arranged
30 May - An Everton XI will play non-League Leigh RMI, owned by Blue season ticket holder Andy Burnham, on July 26th, according to the Bolton Evening News.

Rooney declared fit
30 May - Everton's physio Mike Rathbone has declared Wayne Rooney fit to play for England in next Tuesday's friendly against Serbia and Mentenegro.

A hard act to follow
29 May - David Moyes is working hard to reduce expectations for next season. Who can blame him when he's got little or no money to spend to bolster the team and Everton were the most improved club in the Premiership last season.

Rooney interview fabrication
28 May - Possibly alerted by our highlighting of the Planet Football story, the club have branded the alleged interview Rooney gave to a Spanish newspaper as "utter lies".

Rooney speaks Spanish
27 May - The media clampdown that Everton have imposed on Wayne Rooney all season doesn't extend over borders it seems. Planet Football reports of an interview Rooney has given to the Spanish daily AS speaking of (amongst other things) his selection for the England team. This Google translation maybe the interview in question.

Maybe Moyes enabled his recovery?
27 May - The Sun continues to prove its mindlessness with this stupid piece of nonsense about Wayne Rooney.  You just know what these twats would be saying if, God forbid, The Boy was to suffer burnout...

USA 2 - 0 Wales
26 May - Mark Pembridge played 75 mins of a poor performance from Wales, losing their first ever international against the USA in San Jose, California, and getting himself booked for his troubles.

Moyes confirms Essien interest
26 May - The Official Site is known to play both sides of the transfer speculation game, and to publish transfer links that have little or no substance  This story does not necessarily mean that a bid for the Ghanaian midfielder is imminent; other sources suggest Liverpool are in the hunt...

Ray Wilson honoured
26 May - The Huddersfield Daily Examiner has chosen Ray Wilson as the recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award for this year. Read more about Ray in our Hall of Fame pages.

The end was hard to take
26 May - David Moyes speaks about the pain of missing out on a UEFA Cup place on the last day of the season. "The disappointment hasn't gone away," he says. "That hangs with you all summer, but that's football."

Yobo: signed, sealed, delivered
24 May - Joseph Yobo's status as a permanent member of Everton's current first-team squad was confirmed last night by David Moyes; he has signed a four-year contract.

McLeod: Other clubs interested
24 May - "It's no good for a young lad to play in the reserves because it does your confidence no good", says Kevin McLeod. He then goes on to say, "I have been offered another contract but my agent says there are other clubs interested". Read into that what you will.

Some answers from Wayne
23 May - Wayne Rooney responds to a selection of over 10,000 e-mails received by the Official Everton Website for their Question & Answer session with the young superstar.

Rooney joins England Squad
23 May - Wayne Rooney will join up with the England squad for thefriendly against Serbia and Montenegro on 3 June, even though he is still not match fit.

EFC Shares for sale
23 May - We have received notice of two Everton shares for private sale at £2,000 each. Please use the feedback form if you are interested.

Battling the inevitable
23 May - Given the paucity of Sven Goran Eriksson's attacking options, David Moyes faces the almost impossible task of keeping Wayne Rooney out of the spotlight, especially as he is seen as the answer to the National team's problems.

Yobo deal agreed
22 May - Everton are claiming that Joseph Yobo has reached an agreement with Marseille regarding his severance payment; the Nigerian will now complete his transfer to the Club for a further £3.5M fee "within 24 hours".

Liaoning Badao play hardball
22 May - In what sounds like typical bluster from a Liaoning Badao official, Planet Football are reporting that the Chinese club will not agree to a lower price for the registration of Li Tie... so why are negotiations continuing?

The pleasure, the privilege is mine ...
22 May - Bill Kenwright tells the story of David Moyes turning down a "present" from Everton for securing their Premiership status "so early, so wonderfully" last season. Watch Soccer Stories - Moyesie-side on Granada TV tonight at 11.30pm.

Li Tie in Limbo
21 May - Rumours suggest that David Moyes is unwilling to spend £1M of his limited transfer budget to make Li Tie's loan deal permanent.

A thin wallet?
21 May - The Guardian would have us believe that David Moyes has £4.5M to spend on new players this summer.  This is over and above the £3.5M needed to secure Joseph Yobo's signature on a permanent contract.

Eriksson 0 Moyes 0
20 May - England manager Sven Eriksson is insisting there is no rift between him and David Moyes. This earlier article from the BBC suggests there may be problems ahead.

Patricia Berger?
19 May - Is someone at the Daily Post having a bit of fun, suggesting that Moyes would be interested in Liverpool's Patrik Berger to shore up Everton's midfield?

Moyes 1 Eriksson 0
19 May - In what is termed "an unheard-of occurrence", David Moyes attended Wayne Rooney's knee check-up to determine the latter's fitness for travel to South Africa. He's not going and Moyes is increasingly getting a reputation of 'Fergie Mark 2'.

Rooney keen to face Boks
18 May - Reports are suggesting that Wayne Rooney wants to go against the wishes of David Moyes and play for England against South Africa. The decision on whether his knee injury is bad enough to keep him out of the squad is likely to be made today.

Last English manager to win FA Cup
17 May - Joe Royle: "We had won our Waterloo, as it were, by staying up. We had eight points from 14 games when I took charge, so surviving in the Premiership with 50 points was the biggest feat of all. As a result, we were totally relaxed and I remember saying to the players about two days before the final 'You know, winning the FA Cup wouldn't be a bad way to finish the season'".

Yobo resolution is near
16 May - Everton are confident that Joseph Yobo can reach an agreement with Marseille over the £350k he feels he is owed by the French club, allowing his formal transfer to Everton to be finalized.

Six offered new deals
16 May - Everton are offering new 12-month contracts to six of the current reserves: Kevin McLeod, Leon Osman, Sean O'Hanlon, Stephen Schumacher, Michael Symes, and Alan Moogan.

Everton Energy
15 May - If you live in the Liverpool area, you will be able to by your gas or electricity supplies theough a new "affinity deal" between Everton FC and Atlantic Electric and Gas.

New Official Website
15 May - After some serious problems caused by the hosting company were resolved, the new official Everton Website is now fully operational.  The club and their web designers offer an appolgy on the site to Everton fans for a situation which was completly out of thier hands, that required the site to be reconfigured at the last minute.

Make the Cup Final interesting
15 May - Once again, we're not involved in the world's most famous domestic cup final, but you can still make it more interesting by having a flutter on the big game with ToffeeWeb partner, BlueSq. There are some tasty-looking odds to be found for the daring among you!

14 May - The Guardian's Richard Williams worries about the "terrifying speed with which the FA's marketing men have seized on [David Moyes's] prodigy as the symbol of their future prosperity".

Everton aim to nail down Yobo deal
14 May - Everton officials fly to Marseilles today to hold talks with the French club in order to make Joseph Yobo's transfer permanent. That will entail a final payment of £4m on top of the £1m paid last summer for this season's loan.

Manager of the Year
13 May - It couldn't be anybody else really, could it? He worked on a shoestring budget, inherited a squad with limited ability (bar one uncut diamond) and dragged a team that had a mindset accumulated over a decade of relegation battles into European contention. We give you the Manager of the Year, David Moyes.

Blomqvist a free agent again
12 May - Former Everton winger Jesper Blomqvist has been released by Charlton Athletic. The 29 year-old has been plagued by injuries and made just four appearances for the London side after signing for free last summer.

Update: Eriksson picks Rooney anyway
12 May - Medial knee ligament injury or not, the England manager is determined to have his way and has selected Rooney for the trip to South Africa. "Our doctor is talking to the Everton doctor, but I hope he can travel," the BBC quotes Eriksson as saying.

Player of the Season
12 May - It's all over but now it's time to pick who you thought was the best Everton player in 2002/03 — and there are plenty of candidates! Cast your vote now!

Rooney pulled from England squad
12 May - David Moyes has announced that Wayne Rooney will not be travelling with the England squad to South Africa after all. The 17 year-old apparently damaged knee ligaments in the second half against Manchester United... conveniently enough!

New Official Website...
11 May - After a number of false-starts, some of the club's new-look site is now online, but most of it is... "coming soon".

Keane to Rooney: Be careful
10 May - No, it's not a veiled threat before they meet on the pitch on Sunday. Roy Keane just wants Wayne to be aware of the pitfalls of fame. He says, "Football can be a ruthless business and you have to look after yourself".

'Moyesyside' in focus again
10 May - A good article in The Scotsman placing the spotlight firmly where it belongs while calling Everton "the Premiership’s most intriguing club this season".

McLeod offered new Goodison deal
9 May - In a sign that perhaps the younger players will play a greater role next season, Everton have offered Kevin McLeod a new contract. The winger, currently on loan helping QPR's play-off bid, had a terrific pre-season but failed to figure in David Moyes's plans and is out of contract this summer.

Ferguson charged by FA
9 May - Duncan Ferguson faces more time on the sidelines at the beginning of next season after the FA found him guilty of violent conduct based on video evidence of his elbow on Aston Villa's Joey Gudjohnson last month. He faces a minimum three-match ban.

Reidy gets the nod
9 May - Peter Reid has earnt the chance to manage Leeds United next season as his caretaker role was converted to a permanent position.

Rooney goes to South Africa
9 May - Wayne Rooney will travel with the England squad to South Africa after next weekend's Cup Final; attempts by David Moyes to get the kid a bit of a rest from football failed.

The Bluesaders
9 May - A salute to the diehard Evertonians in the antipodes, and Paul Gilbert, who has set up this new website for fans in Christchurch.

Colm's Corner
9 May - Our raconteur from Arklow, Co Wicklow, is back and in mellow mood as he reflects on Sunday's end-game.

Yobo called up by Nigeria
9 May - Joseph Yobo is one of three English-based Nigerians called up for the African Nations Cup qualifier against Malawi on June 7th.

Reserves thrash Liverpool
8 May - No Juliano Rodrigo but Leon Osman, Tobias Linderoth and Nick Chadwick helped Everton Reserves to a 5-1 demolition of Liverpool's 2nd string at The Halton Stadium.  Symes (2), Chadwick (2) and Garside scored for the Blues while Luzi and Babbel were sent off for the Reds.  Steve Milne was there to revel in the fun.

Of buttercups and pigeons...
8 May - Scared off by construction work on his Formby home, Duncan's homing pigeons have flown back to his old house in Newcastle. Meanwhile, Everton's players reveal the music they play to get "fired up" on match day. Aren't these close season stories?!

Sven's Young Player of the Year
8 May - No prizes for guessing who the England manager is gushing about in glowing terms, it's Wayne Rooney.

Two more Reserves games
8 May - Everton Reserves will have completed a mad finalé of four games inside a week to finish off their season.  Both final games are at home (Halton Stadium, Widness), with the mini-derby kicking off against Liverpool at 7pm on Thursday, finishing with Birmingham City at 12:30pm on Monday. Read Steve Milne's Bradford report.

Nyarko remains a thorn in the side
7 May - With Everton's wage bill at its ceiling, Alex Nyarko's £10,000-a-week contract could hamper David Moyes's summer spending plans. The Ghanaian will be forced to return to Bellefield this summer if he doesn't find a permanent move elsewhere.

Ibrox friendly arranged
7 May - Everton have arranged to play Glasgow Rangers in a pre-season friendly on July 26th. Expect lots of press about Duncan's return to Ibrox, etc.

Grounds for complaint
7 May - This excellent article in The Times offers support for Everton's reluctance to allow Manchester United's title celebrations to hijack what could be an opportunity for celebration of our own at Goodison this weekend.

Player of the Month
7 May - Time to vote in the penultimate PotM of the season. Can Roonaldo retain the crown or can some of the other stars from April take this month's accolade? Vote now.

Rodrigo gets another game
6 May - Juliano Rodrigo took another step on his road to recovery when he came on as a 55th-minute substitute for Everton Reserves in their 3-0 win over Bradford City at Valley Parade. Nick Chadwick (2) and Leon Osman, two players who many fans hope will be involved at Goodison on Sunday, scored the goals... again!

Trophy presentation at Goodison
6 May - Contrary to the link we posted yesterday, the BBC is now reporting that the Premiership trophy will be awarded to Manchester United on Sunday at Goodison Park, about 20-25 minutes after the end of the game, and after Everton's lap of honour.

75 years ago today
5 May - It was on this day in 1928 that William Raplph Dean established an unequaled Football League goalscoring record: 60 goals in a season. Read this detailed profile by Ian MacDonald.

Trophy presentation at Old Trafford
5 May - Manchester United will now be presented with the Premiership trophy in front of their own fans at Old Trafford, avoiding the final-day bust-up that was brewing over saftey concerns at Goodison Park next Sunday.

EVR 70N UK Number Plate
5 May - This, along with MER 53Y and other sports-related number plates, will be up for auction at Crewe Hall in Cheshire on 14th and 15th May.

A lot of fuss about nothing
4 May - A big fuss seems to have developed over the timing for presentation of the Premiership trophy to Manachester United at Goodison Park next Sunday: before or after Everton's lap of honour?

I'd do a 'Brooking' in a shot
2 May - Skillfully avoiding any mention of July 1997 altogether, Andy Gray says that if Aston Villa, Wolves or Everton came knocking with a management position he'd accept without hesitation. Agent Johnson really must have been a turn-off!

Season over for Radz
2 May - Tomasz Radzinski is 'highly unlikely' to figure in either of the last two games of the season after he pulled up in training with discomfort in the groin he injured in March.

Video panel for Ferguson
1 May - The F.A. is set to study a video of the incident of Duncan Ferguson's elbow catching Aston Villa's Joey Gudjonsson in last Saturday's match. If he is charged with 'violent conduct' he could face a three match ban and a big fine.

Eriksson wants Rooney in South Africa
1 May - The England manager claims he hasn't picked the squad to go to South Africa yet, but also said about Wayne Rooney, “Why should he not go to South Africa? If he is picked, he will play. Why not?”