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Season 2011-12
VIEW FROM THE BLUE

Margin Call on the Everton Gamble

By Lyndon Lloyd   ::  22/08/2011
 129 Comments (Last)

It's taken a while – the best part of a decade, I'd say... and the mobilising power of social media, and two full years without the purchase of a single first-team player – for enough Evertonians to be fed up with what's going on at Goodison to do something meaningful about it and in a manner to turn the heads of enough "Blues on the street".

The Blue Union's headline-grabbing publication of a transcript of most of the pertinent parts of their private meeting with Bill Kenwright this past week may have been ethically questionable and enormously counter-productive to further dialogue with the Goodison administration – that's if they taped the discussions without the Chairman's knowledge; I don't know the full story here – but it threw aside the curtain and revealed more narcissistic, inconsistent, hubristic, even childish sides to avuncular old Blue Bill than many might have believed existed.

Along with a deeply disconcerting impression of a Chairman horribly out of his depth and either too petrified or too consumed by pride to bring himself to relinquish control of his beloved Everton – a view that many with sources close to the Club have been chuntering away about on the pages of ToffeeWeb, the People's Forum, NSNO, and parts of the Bluekipper forum for years now, dismissed as a bitter, BJ BK-hating fringe element – Kenwright's revelations laid bare the scale of the credit crisis engulfing Goodison and the Board's near-total inability to resolve it without taking on more and more debt.

With debts of £44.5m, net liabilities hovering around £95m per the 2010 accounts, Barclays threatening to pull the rug from underneath the Board if they don't start raising cash from players sales, and now, apparently, a fresh £13m loan added to the debt burden, the Club's immediate future hasn't looked so grave since the twin relegation escapes of the 1990s.

In a desperate chase for the elusive Champions League gravy train, the Kenwright Board has multiplied the debt, stripped the Club to the point where the only assets still at its disposal are Goodison Park and the players that make up a squad too small to sustain a consistent challenge across gruelling League and cup campaigns, and saddled the Club with a crippling payroll by raising the wage ceiling to unsustainable levels in recent years.

That's what we all wanted and tacitly supported, though, right? We'd finished in the top four once, done our best to keep up with the Joneses to assemble the best squad in a generation and, as we stood on the threshold of the 2010-11 season, the Champions League looked so achievable we could almost taste it.

But then it all came crashing down with the cold realisation that the team which had surged through the first half of 2010 on a run of title-challenging form didn't have what it took to withstand the burden of massive expectation; that the manager who had done so much to save the Club and restore pride on the Blue side of Merseyside lacked the crucial breadth of coaching skills, adventurous spirit, and ability to adapt, to rescue an appalling start to last season. Come January of this year, our financial situation was so tight that, instead of adding to the team, we had to sell and loan out players to bring in or save badly-needed funds.

In short, it was one big gamble carried out by the Kenwright Board at the behest of an impatient fan-base desperate for the Blues to keep pace with their peers in a Premier League drunk to the gills on BSkyB money and foreign investment. Like a gambler or desperate stock trader (let's not forget, they weren't alone in the Premier League) they took on more and more debt to fund an increasingly risky strategy. Had it paid off, it would have done so handsomely but now they face the big margin call and the inquisition as it all starts to unravel.

How you assess the recklessness or otherwise of that gamble depends very much on your opinion of Bill Kenwright himself; how much you trust his ability to run this great footballing institution – in the absence of any real knowledge of what role Jon Woods, Robert Earl and even Sir Philip Green play in steering the club, that's really where the buck stops... no matter how much the Chairman claims he should or shouldn't know about the minutiae of the annual accounts – and how much you believe what he actually says.

Bill Kenwright's credentials as a Blue-blooded Evertonian cannot be questioned. The man clearly loves the Club with every fibre of his being; he made enormous sacrifices to acquire the Club 11 years ago, appears to have made no money from his directorship, has made many a heart-felt gesture to ordinary fans over the years, and – given his opinion of his importance to Everton – I have little doubt that everything he does is done in what he believes to be the best interests of Everton FC. I don't hate the guy in the least – likewise, I have no personal gripe with Earl, Carter or Woods – I've never met him, and I'm sure if I did we'd get on very well, just as I did when I had a private meeting with Peter Johnson 13 years ago.

Unfortunately, with the exception of the appointment of David Moyes – which his most vehement and harshest critics will say was Walter Smith's parting suggestion anyway – the failures of Kenwright's tenure have superseded the successes. The unforgivable bungling over the deal with NTL was on his watch and the club's debt has spiralled out of control during the past 11 years as its tangible assets have been dumped to service that debt.

Bellefield is gone, the proceeds from the sale of which were touted by former CEO, Keith Wyness, as a key enabling factor in the Club's ill-advised Kirkby proposal but ended up being handed straight to the bank. The new training ground at Finch Farm, admittedly a glowing testament to Everton's tradition of excellence, is now another annual line item lease-back charge on an expense sheet totalling £85m.

The Kings Dock, a pivotal moment in the Club's modern history, is a painful apparition in the rear-view mirror; the Destination Kirkby farce a more immediate reminder of the ineptitude, desperation or self-interest infecting the Everton Board.

While the Kirkby debacle is now water under the bridge, it nonetheless crystallizes the debate over the transparency of the Kenwright Board in ways that the Kings Dock, Rooney controversy, and the Fortress Sports Fund ruse in isolation do not.

Firstly, because of the methods the Board employed in an attempt to railroad the project past the fans with a desperate spin campaign that helped secure a "Yes" vote in the ballot that included scare-mongering about the short-term viability of Goodison Park, blatant mis-representation of the financial benefits to EFC of the new ground, and outright fallacies concerning the financing of the scheme from Everton's side of the bargain.

Secondly, the questions that – while they remain definitively unanswered to this day (in addition to what exactly makes up that large £24m bucket listed as "Other Operating Costs" in the Club's 2010 accounts) despite the continuing efforts of KEIOC and the Blue Union coalition – cast doubt over just whose interests are really driving the Club:

"...the willingness or abilities of the Club's Directors to sell all or some of their interests to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in financial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least the shortfall...this is not an option, as the current Directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club".

Everton's financial statement, as quoted in the Combined Authorities evidence to the Kirkby Inquiry.

  • Was the motive for Everton's involvement in the proposed scheme borne out of an acknowledgement that it was the Club's only chance at securing a new stadium, because more powerful retail and entertainment interests were the driving force, or because the Club would be seen as more saleable asset with a new ground?
  • Why did Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council refuse to reveal the identity of an unnamed silent investor "not previously identified" with the Destination Kirkby proposal until, following pressure by the Information Commissioner's Office under freedom of information statutes, they coughed up an email between KMBC head, Sheena Ramsey, and Robert Earl. As someone who, as a director at Everton FC, had very much been "previously identified" as being involved with DK, was Earl put forward as cover for someone else with deep interests in the retail sector but with no interest in being seen to be an investor in Everton?
  • Why was Kenwright telling shareholders at successive Annual and Emergency General Meetings, and again to supporters via the press, that Everton was for sale when the Destination Kirkby proposal specifically specified in black and white that none of the directors of the Club intended to sell their shares?
  • And why, when pressed for an answer as to the price tag on the club (at the last AGM before the Board terminated them to escape further scrutiny) did Kenwright refuse to answer the question, eventually dismissing the shareholder in question by telling him that he was bored of the question?

Could it be that Everton FC hasn't really ever been for sale, that the distinction between a "24/7" search for 'investment' and a search for a 'buyer' is as important as many have said? If the Club wasn't for sale because that was what was required by the Kirkby exclusivity agreement, why not just say so?

Is the price tag that's been placed on the Club – rumoured at one stage recently to be between £150m and £200m – too high given the size of the debt and the complications of the stadium issue? Or are the terms of any sale so dependent on Kenwright sticking around that it has cut many negotiations for a takeover off at the knees? Bill has said that he'd gladly hand over complete control of the club if he could find a billionaire... but the theme running through the transcript of his chat with the Blue Union betrays a man who believes that Everton can't succeed without him.

It all comes down to what you believe and how much – and, sadly, not since his "absolutely definitely" speech to then Sky Sports reporter, Andy Myers, in the wake of the sale of Rooney to Manchester United, have I personally been able to believe a single word that has come out of Bill's mouth... a feeling that has only been reinforced by ensuing years of mis-information, half-truths and outright deception. "Watch this space!"

There was the galling fallacy that was Russian paper magnate, Boris Zingarovich, his son Anton and his "encyclopaedic football knowledge", followed by the despicable Fortress Sports Fund red herring, accompanied as it was by apparent bald-faced lies fed to supporters about money appearing in Everton's bank account "within 48 hours". Both episodes were part of the successful effort to oust Paul Gregg – rightly or wrongly (we'll never know), the one person on the Board willing to put forward an alternative proposal to salvage the Kings Dock scheme – and concentrate power into Kenwright's hands with the acquiescence of the great silent question mark that is Jon Woods. Fine and dandy if it was to ease out a director whose vision for the Club was a potentially damaging one but, in hindsight, to what end... because Bill knows best for EFC?

And the pattern continued during the Destination Kirkby debacle, where Kenwright allowed Wyness to blatantly mislead the supporters over the terms and benefits to Everton of the scheme, robustly defended it at the outset as the only answer to the stadium conundrum, and then, as the heat escalated from Evertonians who saw through the whole sham (including many people connected to this website), deflected criticism with his "I'm just a fan like you, what do I know about the ins and outs of the proposal?" fakery.

So, when faced with a Chairman I desperately want to believe – and believe me, I would like nothing more than to see him succeed as Everton Chairman and deliver everything he would want for the Club... but I just can't after so many years of broken promises and misleading rhetoric – and an absence of answers, it's rumours and insider whispers, so many of which end up being substantiated by fact down the road, that, when taken as a whole, start to paint a different picture than the one presented by Bill's Board.

Like the well-circulated one where Amanda Staveley, the British financier who is best mates with Sir Philip, did indeed find a billionnaire buyer for Everton FC in 2008 and that the Middle Eastern consortium completed due diligence and were on the brink of a deal before one side, believed to be Kenwright, pulled the plug at the last minute for reasons unknown. That Arab buyer? None other than Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan – the man whose bottomless wallet has propelled Manchester City into the Champions League.

Or the one that holds that Everton were ahead of Aston Villa on Randy Lerner's list, and that he approached the Goodison Board and got nowhere before turning his attentions to Villa Park.

I want to believe that there hasn't been either deliberate obfuscation or just plain ineptitude when it comes to handling these negotiations but a correspondence with an investment broker from September 29, 2008, (which, coming just two weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the height of the global credit crunch, would seem to suggest that there is money out there no matter what the financial climate) doesn't fill you with confidence.

In the exchange, screenshots of which that were included here originally have been removed due to legal considerations, the sender describes how initially positive talks with Bill Kenwright and Robert Elstone stumbled when they insisted on a Non-Disclosure document that "tied me up in legal knots" but also would have required the disclosure of the investment firm's Middle Eastern clients.

As the sender went on to say, "My clients from the Middle East (in common with everyone else I know there) do not sign deeds of Non Disclosure before seeing any information eg., an Information Memorandum." They left the negotiations with the impression that either a sale was not the Everton Board's intention, there was another "mates deal" in the background or the inexperience of the Club's lawyers "in the commercial space" were hampering their forward progress.

The exchange concluded with: "I’ll let you know in due course whether I am able to work around these barriers to doing a deal."

Clearly, the deal broker in question was never able to work around those barriers because Everton remains untouched and – with no publicly acknowledged interest in buying the club – the Chairman would have you believe, unwanted. Of course, even without the proof of the above emails, I wouldn't believe for one second that there have been no serious approaches from viable buyers over the past few years. Nor am I naïve or desperate enough to suggest that Kenwright should have accepted any of them if they weren't right for Everton – I'm as petrified as the next Evertonian of the club being sold to the wrong person – but I have yet to be shaken from the belief that Bill, or the Board in general, are either holding out for too much money or just plain don't want to sell.

And if Bill's first priority is EFC, why – as the club's financial woes deepen and the dangers that Moyes may not be able to adequately replace ageing members of his squad to keep the Club in the top flight in the coming years – have the current custodians not at least entertained the prospect of a rights issue? Answer: because it would dilute the value of their shares... and, even if Kenwright could stomach that, it's unlikely Mr Earl would be able to – particularly, as I suspect, he only came on board because of the possibilities presented by Destination Kirkby.

Lots of questions... very few answers... but Bill is running out of wiggle room now – and his proclamations that Everton are not a selling club will surely need to be adjusted, and soon. If we aren't, we should be.

With the 2011-12 campaign already off to a rocky start, the Champions League dream is over, replaced by growing fears that the stasis currently gripping the Club foreshadows Everton's inevitable decline. In just 12 months, the Blues' prospects have changed dramatically: from being a side highly favoured to seriously challenge the top four in 2010-11, to being one whose medium-term survival in England's top tier must now be in question if no significant investment is made in the club.

It's time to cut our cloth according to our needs, meet the "margin call" and safeguard Everton's future. There is no room now for bravado over keeping our best players. If Arsenal will pony up £15m for Phil Jagielka and someone will offer north of £20m for Marouane Fellaini, then you have to sell them before another year on their contracts cuts their value. I love them both but no player is indispensable at this point; the debt burden is the more pressing issue and there is no room for stubbornness, particularly if the Club's very ability to continue trading is under threat.

Reduce the debt and attempt to rebuild on a more economical footing. At the very least, if they're serious about selling the club, it would make Everton a more attractive proposition to potential buyers without crippling the first team. Realistically, it's all about tough choices and making some wholesale changes from top to bottom... but, while there is no appetite to do that at Boardroom level, the good ship Everton is sailing headlong towards the iceberg.

I am genuinely fearful for what the next few years hold for Everton if these drastic changes are not made. As CEO Robert Elstone admitted last year, we cannot continue in this vein for much longer... but where is the tipping point and will the Board know when we reach it? You see, Mr Prentice, an awful lot more than Steven Pienaar has changed in the last 12 months...


Update

[reposted in this thread for comments]

I have to admit that I'm a bit taken aback by the reaction to this piece... as if the majority of it, including the various rumours and conjecture, wasn't already kicking around the Web on various Everton websites and forums and has been for a while now. Much of it lay behind the Blue Union's line of questioning last week.

Rumours are just that... rumours and it would be dangerous to take too much stock in them. The story about Sheikh Mansour approaching Everton before Manchester City has been circulating for a few months now and was raised again by a shareholder on the BBC Five Live's 606 programme last night suggesting it was fact, but I can make no claim as to its veracity nor to the one about Randy Lerner.

Nor would it be prudent to hold up the two emails cited in the article as some sort of smoking gun – they're not proof of anything on their own, just one side of the story from someone who may or may not have had an agenda of their own. I included them not as something to point to and say, "See! Here's definitive proof!" but as one more facet to the narrative I was trying to establish in making sense of all this.

The Board may well have had very good reasons for not wanting to sell Everton FC when the pressure was building on them to do so. After reading the transcript of his discussions with the Blue Union, I can imagine that it was Bill Kenwright's fierce ambition to bring the glory days back to Goodison, that he be at the helm when David Moyes lifted his first trophy as the Blues' boss. And until a year ago, that was still a tangible dream and we were all along for the ride, demanding big-money signings and high salaries to keep our best players.

Likewise, if they couldn't counsel a sale while Destination Kirkby was still alive because they were bound by the terms of the proposal then it's clear why they might have thrown obstacles in front of any negotiations with potential buyers.

But as we're squeezed into the thin end of the wedge, with our borrowing capacity frozen and Bill Kenwright at a loss as to why the club can't be sold, we Blues, desperately worried about the current predicament, just want to know the reasons why none of this was explained at the time and to get some of the answers that the Blue Union went in search of but didn't get.

With the exception of the Club's shareholders, we're not entitled to answers by any means but if Bill wants to count on the support of the supporters in what is shaping up to be a very challenging time, he may need to start filling in some gaps, particularly if some forced sales of our best players are required in the coming months.

No one should be under any illusions that running a Premier League club without the millions at the disposal of clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City is anything but a massive challenge and that the cost of doing business in those treacherous waters often entails questionable practices and keeping the fans in the dark.

But Everton needs the support of its fans right now, it needs them engaged and on board with the vision and the plan for avoiding the looming crisis and they can't do that if they don't feel like the Board is being open with them. That is all we ask at the end of the day.

Reader Comments

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Lee Smith
1   Posted 22/08/2011 at 01:25:32

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"BJ-hating fringe element"....?! Did we have other things on our mind whilst typing this Lyndon?! Top article.
Brendan O'Doherty
2   Posted 22/08/2011 at 01:34:20

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What an absolutely fantastic, well written and well balanced article. Superb stuff Lyndon.

The e-mails......well, the words "the most unrealistic and uncommercial approach to a deal I have come across in 30 years" says it all.
Colin Fitzpatrick
3   Posted 22/08/2011 at 01:38:09

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Lyndon, a brilliant read which serves as a timely and powerful reminder, to Evertonians everywhere, of what the real crisis is facing the club. It?s painfully clear the current board are unable to address the commercial difficulties that have blighted and hampered the club for years.

For me the recent revelations confirm that the sale of the club cannot and must not be left in the hands of individuals who, not for the first time, have led the club perilously close to financial meltdown which has, of late, manifested itself through a complete lack of financial support for the manager.

For me, only the appointment of professionals specifically tasked with marketing and completing the sale of the club will prevent yet another disastrous chapter being written in Everton?s history.
Andy Peers
4   Posted 22/08/2011 at 02:30:59

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This is just like Liverpool last season, Henry bought them for their debt which was being called in by the bank. They had been overvalued by their owners and fell victim of their own greed.

Everton are in the same boat. They are a failing business were their only hope to survive is for someone to come in and purchase their debt and then own the club.
I know their are shareholders that feel they should get something back for their investment, but their investment has turned out to be a bad one and bad ones, will not ony get you no return, they also could lose the capital invested. This is the case with EFC so the board need to suck it up and sell the club at the 45 million debt and let this club move forward. QPR just sold for 35 million, so there are buyers out there.

After Saturday QPR look like a better deal. Somebody mentioned that Everton were valued at between 150-200 million, where did that figure come from for a failing business?

The ideal buyer would be someone to purchase for 45 million add about 30 million in transfer kitty and get us into Europe. Phase 2 would be to look for a stadium site and fund half and finance half (maybe through partnership). I believe total investment would be about 250 million over a period of 5 years. We don,t need instant success but rather a slow rise to the top with good money and team managment.

An owner with good business sense would make our club a household name, not only in England but world wide. I have lived in California since 1985 and until three years ago nobody had ever heard of Man City (or Everton either) but somehow they are a name you hear on media and sports discussions with Chelsea, Man. Utd etc.

After last week, with everything that has come out, it is obvious that our board and shareholders have not had the clubs best interest at heart, no matter what Kenwright says. So let Everton be sold for the right price and make us supporters not hate you enough to start adding to your death threats (just kidding in case anyone gets offended)
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
5   Posted 22/08/2011 at 02:53:03

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So... you sly devil... that's what you've been beavering away on while I held the fort over the great Summer of Inactivity???

A fantastic piece indeed, Lyndon, slaying once and for all, numerous of the persistent falsehoods that bedevil rational discussion of the Everton conundrum.

For Evertonians who can see beyond any questionable ethics in the revelation of Bill Kenwright's true nature, thanks to superb efforts of the Blue Union guys, and who crave a better understanding of where we are truly located in this mad, mad world, I think you have performed a tremendous service in collating many ? perhaps all of the loose threads and snippets that abound in our recent history, bundling them into a coherent and incontrovertible indictment of Bill Kenwright's duplicitous regime.

If only all Evertonians could read this with an open mind and understand in exacting detail everything you are saying. Then perhaps they would rise up as one ad demand the change that is obviously needed if we are to move forward out of this Slough of Dispond.
Mark Wilson
6   Posted 22/08/2011 at 02:55:23

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Lyndon, a breathtakingly good article, quite brilliant in it's approach and simple common sense, if a terribly hard read for us BK apologists. I feel a growing sense of shame at those nasty spats with JQ and Colm etc on Toffeenet where I enjoyed most of my ten years of posting as RustyMan. It looks like being a club man through and through all my life has left me legless, one armed and blind, not a pretty sight but there you go. I have a sense though, that there remains a wee bit more to the current mess and despite the dire circumstances we now face, wonder if those "sale rumours" have any substance?

Regardless, I was wrong and other strident souls were spot on. Credit to them if as in your case they did their campaigning without spitting on BK.

BUT on behalf of many sheep like apologists I say this, being apparently "right" is less than half the battle, what now for us all, what now for our beloved club? Forget why it has gone so terribly wrong. How is the dream to be salvaged? I think DM is saint and sinner here, he really is. I respect his backing of BK in such a dramatic return of the loyalty he's been shown. But can he wheel and deal as you suggest and sell three big assets in Jags, Felli and Mikel, raise £45m and if allowed to keep half rebuild with a better balanced side that recognises there is attack as well as defence and packed midfield?

Sad times indeed and though now the second love in my life EFC blood still runs in my chubby veins and for all of us this is a grim situation.

Jamie Crowley
7   Posted 22/08/2011 at 02:47:51

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Lyndon -

Absolutely outstanding article.

I couldn't agree more with your final analysis - sell and clear the debt. As I stated in another thread the debt is simply unsustainable for a Club our size.

It is, without question, in the best long-term interest of Everton Football Club to sell assets (players) and clear the debt.

The alternative is a recurring cycle of 7th place finishes with no additional revenue streams.

Or administration.

Every supporter should understand this IMO. It pains me, as a man who's only in his meager 6th year of support for this great Club, that lifetime Blues, born and bred in Liverpool, have to live through this sickening dark time.

I have great, great confidence knowing a few craddle-born Blues here in the States and my experience on this website, that those great life-long fans will buckle up, do what is necessary, and support the Club through what I believe needs to occur: a very rough patch and time via a sell-off of certain assets which will put us on financial firm ground.

If this is done (clearing the debt by selling) Everton can regain it's footing and under proper stewardship propel forward.

If we continue down the current path, there is only one end - financial ruin which will surely result in relegation. And if the current Board follows that path and makes it almost impossible to follow my beloved Blues via the great miracle of TV and the internet - yes, that bastardized form of support - I will be inconsolably crushed.

45 million in revolving debt, with a 13 million band-aid put on a gapping knife wound! Ain't gonna work.

Time for the Board, Manager, and all in control at Everton to do what is necessary - no matter how uncomfortable the short term may be.
Jamie Sweet
8   Posted 22/08/2011 at 03:12:09

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A very compelling, enlightening, yet thoroughly depressing read thanks Lyndon!

At the end of the day, we could probably sell Jags, Fellaini and Baines and raise 50m to keep the wolves from the door.

But the fact that we still find ourselves in a position where we need to continue to strip the club of our greatest assets and make our threadbare squad even weaker is an absolute disgrace.

Bill has had his train set for way too long now. He is so far out of his depth it isn't funny, and surely if he loved the club as much as he says he does, he would do the right thing and walk away.

Like you Lyndon, I can't say I hate the man, but if our beloved football club falls as a result of his utter incompetance, then I certainly will never forgive him.
Eric Myles
9   Posted 22/08/2011 at 03:23:46

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Unfortunately the debt isn't just the current £45 million owed to the bank but the net liabilities (money the Club owes, or will owe, or needs to pay in the future) of £95 million plus £13 million just taken out.
And paying off the bank just means that they will be happy to extend us more credit to go back into increased debt once again.
Martin Mason
10   Posted 22/08/2011 at 03:48:16

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Good article Lyndon, very informative and I agree with your conclusion that like households and governments we need to clear debt to survive.
Jay Harris
11   Posted 22/08/2011 at 04:04:45

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Lyndon
my compliments on an extremely well written and balanced piece that some of us extremist BK doubters would have been much more agrressive on but nevertheless it should now be obvious to everyone that Kewright is totally out of his depth and must be driven out of EFC ASAP.
Jamie Crowley
12   Posted 22/08/2011 at 04:10:47

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Eric -
You're correct. But the additional 50 mil has to be long term secured debt, which is probably very manageable. it's the 45 million short term debt (at most likely outrageous interest rates) along with the recent addition of 13 million on top of that which is the issue.

The 50 million has to be various liabilities on the books which are financed over a very long time span that are easily paid and managed and do not hurt the viability or health of the institution.

I have to assume it is that. If it's not we're simply screwed.

If we clear the revolving short term debt and then re-borrow short term it can be done prudently. It's very apparent there's been nothing prudent or conservative about our borrowing the last 7 to 8 years.

You probably know much more than I about this....

Another solution is to drastically reduce the 23 million in "other expenses" or whatever bullshit heading the accountant has for those mystery expenditures. But what that is? Who the hell knows.

It's a train wreck at best.

If we sold and negated the 45+13, or at least substantially cut into it, we might even show annual profits assuming we don't inflate the wage bill or go on a transfer window bender.

Could be wrong. Assumptions based upon very little frank information.

But one thing's for certain - we have to begin debt reduction now.
David Barks
13   Posted 22/08/2011 at 04:17:21

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Great piece of writing there. I know I sound like a broken record with this but this is exactly the type of tone and message that is needed. I'm extremely worried for the immediate future. I've been saying we should sell the likes of Jagielka if the right offer came, in order to reduce some debt and bring in a couple of decent, cheaper, up and coming players. Of course I didn't know at the time that all the money would go to the debt.

But here's the thing. If those emails were involving the potential buyers of Man City, I don't know if I can get over that. I've watched both of City's matches on TV this year and am so envious that I can hardly stand it. Their players are amazing and those supporters are just having the time of their lives. To think that there was the possibility of that being us right now is just too much.

I was upset with the revelation, or allegation, whichever you want to call it, that the People's Union reps taped the meeting. I loved reading through that transcript before the allegations were made. I found it to be incredibly informative and in some cases shocking. I couldn't believe that it was actually that bad, that he was really that egotistical. I was worried that the taping of the meeting would take away from what was revealed and the message and facts revealed would be lost. But it seems it has not. The media are still talking about our finances or lack there of and the club has quieted down about the taping, probably due to a lot of pressure. So well done.

Watching Kenwright's face at the end of the QPR game I saw a look in his eyes of a man who might just have realized the jig is up. He looked like he might know deep down that he is beaten. There is no return for him from this point on. Too much damage has been done and too much has been revealed. I still don't think he is the evil that others call him. Incompetent, prideful, absolutely. The thing that really scares me though is that, yes, Liverpool's debt was being called in and they were forced to sell the club for lower than they wanted. But they were an attractive purchase, with a massive international following. Everton are not an attractive purchase right now, and that could be disastrous. Although, on the other hand, what buyer wouldn't want to come into a club where the supporters had turned so vehemently against the previous management, and therefore be treated like a savior. I hope for that scenario.
Anto Byrne
14   Posted 22/08/2011 at 03:51:20

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We have a very stubborn manager who wont wheel and deal in the transfer market. We got fuck all for Piannar when it was evident he wanted to leave. Moyes has an undoubted ability to get player in aka Lescott Jagielka et-al for bargain prices. Jags should have gone to arsenal and we then have Duffy to come in and learn his trade. Fellaini can go we did not miss him when he was injured for the last 12 games or so. Its a business yes and we can buy and sell players, preferably the ageing ones 28-29-30. Cahill is 31 and well past his best at this level and he does not fit well in this team. He is slow, lacks vision and is a good old fashioned ankle tapper. He was woeful on saturday but then again they were all well below par.
Lyndon Lloyd
15   Posted 22/08/2011 at 06:14:34

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Thanks for the comments, all.

This was not easy to write and while some, like Jay intimated above, might have penned it with a bit more anger and invective, I saw no point in sticking the boot in any more than necessary. I freely admit to having genuine pangs of sympathy for Bill when I saw the images of him at the end of the QPR game.

I've had this stuff kicking around my head for months but I'll be honest, it was really the publication of the Blue Union transcript and the volume of dirty laundry that was aired in that one episode that moved me to put it all down in one piece.

I hate that it's come down to Blues being pitted against Blues but the future of Everton is on the line and the fans either need answers or evidence of a plan to address the debt issues.
Jarrod Prosser
16   Posted 22/08/2011 at 07:15:49

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Lyndon, as always you are the voice of reason on this site. Well considered article that took as much emotion as humanly possible out, and substituted in facts & considered opinion.
Alan Clarke
17   Posted 22/08/2011 at 07:22:47

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One thing BK's supporters have always said in his defence is that "at least we're not like Leeds os Portsmouth". Would one of those supporters care to explain why we're not?

As Lyndon has clearly shown, the club have borrowed far too much money, to the point where we either sell players or face administration. Kenwright has gambled too much so how is he different to Ridsdale or Gaydemark? What an absolute mess. We have not been prudently run like many members of the press have had us believe.

On a side note, Kenrick wrote me a shirty email not long ago saying I'd taken one comment too far by suggesting BK wasn't much of an Evertonian because he was looking to cash in on Everton. I'd said he should be willing to sell for £1 if he was a true Evertonian. I'd based this on the fact that BK had saddled the club with so much debt. Perhaps an email of apology is coming my way or I hope Kenrick has sent the same shirty email to Lyndon and the Blue Union.
Art Jones
18   Posted 22/08/2011 at 07:14:22

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An excellent article Lyndon, it highlights the problems we are facing and need addressing sooner rather than later. I've never been an advocate of selling our better players to raise money to keep the banks at bay but it really is looking increasingly like we may have to do this before the money men force us down this path and we'll never get the player's true value.

If this is the path we are going to have to follow then surely this should have been done early summer, giving Moyes more time to possibly add a couple of stop gaps and integrate them into the team before the season had started.

I was at Goodison on Saturday and I will be back on Wednesday and at Blackburn next weekend. In 40+ years of going to see our team I've never been so confused. We've got a very good squad of players, a great manager, possibly one of the best young prospects in English football, again, yet I'm horribly worried for our future.

Lyndon Lloyd
19   Posted 22/08/2011 at 08:09:18

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Anto, the point about Moyes may be another layer I neglected to touch on. If DM really does wear the trousers he suggests he does at Goodison these days, Kenwright might have been hamstrung by his unwavering support of the manager as he (DM) refused to accept decent bids for the likes of Yakubu last summer that might have significantly eased our financial woes.
Gavin Ramejkis
20   Posted 22/08/2011 at 07:49:30

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An outstanding piece of work Lyndon, I'd like to add one small thing and that if anyone thinks any of us get any gratification from told you so moments we just want what's best for the club's continuing survival. As I and many others have said time after time, we are clearly lacking a cohesive chairman and board capable of running a business successfully.

As far as my stance on BK goes it hasn't changed since he played blues off against each other and used his colours to deflect from his lies which I simply can't and won't forgive. He created the divide and conquer of DK and before that he lost us the KD, his time was up some time ago he needs to go before the club does.
Richard Dodd
21   Posted 22/08/2011 at 08:39:08

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Let me add my praise to Lyndon for a majestic tome that covers so many of the facets of the present crisis position.I`m never confident that the veracity of so called genuine private e-mails can be relied upon,but that apart,he sets out the background to the club`s position in a way that the local press should have been doing for years.
In spite of this,I continue to believe that the enforced removal of BK would not be in the best interests of the Club-or its supporters-for it is essential that there should be an ordered takeover by new -and monied-owners.
Or is it all to late for that to happen?
Tom Hughes
22   Posted 22/08/2011 at 08:52:21

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Lyndon,
An excellent piece that deserves a wider and fuller airing. It would be interesting to hear the ''powers that be'' counter ANY of the issues raised let alone tackle the whole littany of lies, deceptions, mistakes and incompetence in its entirety. The attempted character assassination of the Blue Union, again with no attempt made to respond to ANY of the pertinent points raised demonstrates the complete lack of substance in any argument in support of this regime. Be prepared for accusations of scurilous use of private e-mails or some other weak attempt at distraction. At the very least they are impotence and incompetence personified.
Jim Lloyd
23   Posted 22/08/2011 at 08:50:18

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Lyndon, Thank you for writing such a fine, explanatory piece. As others have said, it is outstanding and I just hope the Echo would publish it (Fat chance of that, I suppose!)
Could you clarify the background regarding the emails that you included? Sorry for asking aqnd bering a bit thick here but if these emails are in the public domain, are they from a respected business person to a financially viable party who were interested in buying our club?. That's how I read it and, if true, it shows that Kenwright and co are either total incompetents or, as I believe, they want to keep control of our club.
God help our club if thisd is the case.
Richard Tarleton
24   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:23:45

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Well Done, Lyndon. The delusion that lies at the heart of the problem that Bill and only Bill can be at the helm of Everton, is unfortunately unlikely to be solved. The key question is how do we manage to make this fantasist see that he is the problem and not the answer.
Daniel Hollingworth
25   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:31:44

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A fantastic read, I doff my cap to you.

I am 24, and in all my lifetime of following Everton. I have never been more worried than I am now. I have survived Wimbledon 94, Coventry 98 and P.Johnson. Yet this is without a doubt this is most worrying time of my Everton supporting life. I dread to think I could be watching the championship in the 2013/2014 season.
Stephen Kenny
26   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:30:15

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Lyndon,

IMO a piece that if seen by the wider Everton community would almost certainly 'turn the tide' a lot quicker.

A piece even the TW flat earth society cant deny.
Eugene Ruane
27   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:36:30

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Jesus, those two letters are beyond embarrassing.

This weekend I heard some supporters moaning about the Blue Union (something about 'dirty washing') and then I heard Moyes moaning about underhand tactics.

Well sorry but fuck them and fuck him!

Those letters are the ONLY really important issue.

Imo, they should be on the front of the Echo tonight and then stapled to Moyes forehead (remember this - we were all here before Moyes and we'll still be here when he's the manager of Celtic or..whoever).

Remember Moyes is an EMPLOYEE of Everton, NOT (like you!) a supporter.

We are fucking desperate and some supporters have felt desperate enough to force the issue.

I have no idea if they have gone about it the 'right way' and to be honest, I couldn't give a shite.

They did something as oppose to NOTHING.

Did they 'achieve' anything REAL?

Maybe, maybe not.

But I'm 100% CERTAIN than just doing more nothing GUARANTEES...more nothing.

Also to those (including Moyes) talking about BU's 'scruples', you must be fucking joking.

A fantastic and important piece by the way.

(yes I know I'm the voice of loud, lacking narrative impatience, but we are what we are )


Jim Lloyd
28   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:51:59

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Well said Eugene!!
Is it possible to get the piece published (If Lyndon agrees obviously) I'll be happy to put money in to get some leaflets printed.
I just get a horrible feeling that this club is going up shit creek at flank speed.
Moyes should bwe ashamed of himself, he's calling fans disrespectful...my feckin arse!
Jim Lloyd
29   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:57:58

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Richard, just read your post. "It is essential that there should be an ordered take-over by new and monied owners" Tht is just what is NOT going to happen while Kenwright is our Chairman. Did you not read those emails, do you not remember "Fortress Sports and Kings Dock?" The man is a charlatan.
Gareth Humphreys
30   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:07:31

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Superb Lyndon.

I've had an email from the club today stating that the new funding is simply forward Factoring and most clubs do it!
We are on the brink here and I have no idea how we are going to get out of it with Mr Kenwright pulling the strings.
Shaun Laycock
31   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:59:43

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Lyndon
Awesome article.....punchy and to the point. IMO it will be a watershed season for us. We are perched on the brink of a dark and deep precipice. The facts that the Board have fought so hard to keep under wraps have finally been 'outed' and they are under increasing scrutiny. Something will have to give.
As for Moyes....he will have to step up to the plate this season. After the horror show agains't QPR, he may have to shape up or ship out as we won't stand for any nonsense this season - as evidenced by the reaction to his subs on Saturday.
The Club is stale. It needs a major overhaul or as the FA would say - a root and branch investigation on policy and provision blah blah blah.....
Chad Schofield
32   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:53:10

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I'd just like to join the many others on here Lyndon and congratulate you on a brilliant piece. It's incredibly difficult not to get wrapped up in emotion when being pushed for "evidence" of queuing potential buyers/investors. Your article demonstrates the difficulty of of uncovering such evidence... especially when even faced with hard and fast documentation there are those who still try to either dismiss it or choose to simply ignore it.

I was saddened but not surprised at some of the vitriol aimed at The Blue Union. It has however seemingly opened up some journalists eyes to the fact that the media-friendly true blue fluffy chairman of the self-proclaimed Peoples' Club is less Wizard of Oz and more the love child of Idi Armin and Walter Mitty.

I'm clearly not alone in thinking that Bill in his attempts to cling to power has been damaging the very thing that he wastes no time in telling the world he loves. Much of that has come about thanks to contributors to this site, including of course Michael and Lyndon. So thank you.
Trevor Mackie
33   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:17:09

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Whilst appreciating the collation of events and balanced perspective I have to ask how long have you had these e-mails?

Dated sept 2008 they are the equivalent of "the smoking gun" and nail Kenwright and Elstone.

A precis version with the e-mails attached should be sent to the sports editor of every news outlet - I would suggest via the Blue Union to reinforce their credentials.
Chris Matheson
34   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:02:18

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What an astonishing piece of writing. What a masterpiece of forensic analysis. Your previous piece on Destination Kirkby stands long in my memory even now, and this article will, too. But those emails...oh god!

In a sense, the article poses as many questions as it answers, but these are the questions that we need answering, and we can't get the answers unless we ask the right questions.

I am at a loss to understand why, with all the evidence, BK retains the support he does amonsgst Evertonians. I have yet to see a piece in his favour that holds any water, that stands up to scrutiny.
Tommy Coleman
35   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:19:12

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I agree with the conclusion, the top priority of the club must be to remove the debt and maintain premiership survival. A fine balancing act. It must come above any cup wins or qualifying for Europe.
Whether Moyes will want to adopt this approach I doubt very much, he must have known the situation himself for quite some time. They first need to admit that we are now a selling club, as we have been for a few years anyway.
Andy Parsons
36   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:30:42

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Sad to say that there are still far, far too many Evertonians for whom the words "I'm an Evertonian" are enough for them to put unconditional trust in Kenwright. In their eyes, he is beyond question and reproach.

It was his careful use of the word "investment" over many years that led me to believe that what Kenwright wanted was somebody to come along, drip feed massive amounts of cash into the club but expect no return and with Kenwright staying in charge. More lately he has actually referenced the word "sale" but I'm still not convinced. It is and always will be inconceivable that despite the excuses that people find - our stadium, our location, etc. - nobody has been interested in purchasing us. After repeated top 6 finishes and a brief flirtation with the Champions League, the protestations from EFC that nobody of any virtue or trust has expressed an interest is a big, fat lie as far as I'm concerned.
James McGlone
37   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:50:55

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That is the best article I have read anywhere relating to Everton's off-field problems.

Excellent (and depressing) read.
Liam Reilly
38   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:15:55

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Agree that the finances are in dire straits at present, but won't selling our best players to remove the short term debt only reignite Bk's ability to borrow more from the banks to reinvest in players?

We'll then have deja vu in a couple of seasons with an inferior squad.
Derek Turnbull
39   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:38:26

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I do fear relegation in the coming seasons, and to to be honest I would struggle to feel sympathy, I'd feel a sort of 'serves you right feeling' if we did.


A reason for the 'serves you right' feeling is that I'm sick of the arrogance from the Everton admin/board and the contempt of the way you're spoken to when you email/speak to them.

They have really created an us and them vibe around Goodison.


Robbie Shields
40   Posted 22/08/2011 at 11:00:02

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An exceptional piece Lyndon, truly outstanding. I have a few points I'd like to make....

Firstly, I've met BK a couple of times, he is a lovely man and as dyed in the wool blue as anyone. But like us all he has his failings, and his failings have been huge, they could well spell the end of Everton as we know it. However, If it all goes belly up then BK will have lost far more than anyone of us, we all need to remember that.

Secondly, I'd like to thank Blue Union for their bravery in publishing the content of their meeting with BK, there is no doubt they knew they would get a lot of stick for doing what they did, even from fellow blues. What they did had to be done, I have learnt through personal experience that the people who don't want anything recorded are always the ones trying to hide something, and the first to deny saying anything unless confronted with undeniable evidence. Without Blue Union nothing would change until it was too late, indeed it might already be too late. I really fear we may be relegated this year, and the problem is not entirely all BK's fault, in DM's own words, he decides who stays and who goes, no one else (Sounds like another egomaniac to me actually!). It is Moyes who has spent the borrowed money and produced what we saw on Saturday.

And finally, we need Trust Everton to get up and running ASAP, if the worse comes to the worse and we go into administration then we'll need every penny we can get to help buy the club back off the administrators. This could be a blessing in disguise, Evertonians may own Everton afterall.
Phil Bellis
41   Posted 22/08/2011 at 09:10:08

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Lyndon, many thanks, you led the reader steadily although painfully through the morass
Please sent it to the alleged journalists on the Red Echo, Post, Radios City and Merseyside - I'd like to think it would enlighten and shame them
Sitting, stunned and angry, in the Lower Gwladys on Sat, the silence, groans apart, spoke volumes
Some fans who last year were defending Bill as "one of us" have pointedly and vocally changed their stance - there is a definite split in the support now, and it's no longer us arl arses versus the younger, post-Sky "we were worse under Walter" Evertonians
"Mr" John will be turning in his grave at what has happened to our club
Allan Hounsgaard
42   Posted 22/08/2011 at 11:13:36

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#38 Robbie Shields "However, If it all goes belly up then BK will have lost far more than anyone of us, we all need to remember that."
What a stupid remark. How can his possible loses even compare to what we as supporters stand to lose collectively. We are talking thousands of lives that live and breathe Everton. So sorry if I don't cry for him Argentina !!

Dave Wilson
43   Posted 22/08/2011 at 11:15:20

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Remarkable Article Lyndon.

Agree with those wanting it given greater exposure, every blue is entitled to read it
Michael Lynch
44   Posted 22/08/2011 at 11:23:38

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Brilliant Lyndon. You and Colin Fitzpatrick should join forces with the Blue Union. Fantastic writers the pair of you. Im pretty sure a few fence sitters will now be in our garden after that. Even Mr Dodd must be waivering. I am struggling to come to terms with the revelation about Sheik Monsour trying to purchase the club only for Kenwright to turn him away. What a bombshell!
Simon Magner
45   Posted 22/08/2011 at 11:33:04

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Lyndon, a truly eye opening and provocative piece.

It has become increasingly evident that the future of this Football Club lies in the hands of the fans, no one else. The board of directors can not be trusted any longer as being the custodians of this great institution, something they themselves described themselves as. Hopefully the tide is beginning to turn with regards to Everton's future, and it is up to us to make sure it is for the better.
Kunal Desai
46   Posted 22/08/2011 at 11:33:04

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Brilliant piece! This is the final nail in BK's coffin. It would appear we could have been 'Man city'. I'm gobsmacked if that could and should have been the case. Was this deal being brokered around the same time Moyes held off on his contract extension?? Perhaps he was about to walk if he didn't accept the deal and therefore demanded a kings ransom to stay on as manager.Hmmmm the conspiracies??
Steve Dow
47   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:02:57

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Absolutely outstanding article.

Can we work on getting this published in the newspapers or as a leaflet?
Daniel A Johnson
48   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:07:40

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This article is a call to arms,

As fans we gotta do something......before Bungle Bill and Dour Dave send us into the championship.
Lori Fekete
49   Posted 22/08/2011 at 10:44:51

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A week ago I knew we were in a shit state financially, but never truly believed the club were knocking back creditable buyers.

That was before reading the Blue union meeting transcript, where it was obvious to all that BK is deluded, 'no one call sell Everton better than me'.
ANYONE can sell Everton better than you Bill! Given ten years I could sell Tel Aviv FC to a Palestinian.

Now after reading Lynton's great article, it now looks as if we missed out on the lot that have lifted City on to the world stage. If this is true, then it even dwarfs the Kings Dock fiasco as another great Everton missed opportunity.
I would love to know more details on the validity of the emails, Can this be done?

I'm not expecting a multi-billionaire to come in a do a City, but we should at least have the same spending power if Stoke, Sunderland Etc.

I was always a big defender of Moyes, but not after listening to him attack the Blue Union. He'll be well advised not to polarise this argument between Kenwright and well meaning fans, because there will only be one winner.
Kevin Tully
50   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:07:13

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I actually felt sick after reading those e-mails. The Liverpool Echo should hang their heads in shame, they looked into all H & G's business interests on behalf of the R.S. but let B.K. destroy E.F.C. from the inside.

To all those supporters who have cried " where are these phantom buyers, they would go public, " you have your answers.

Truly breathtaking. Thank you Lyndon.
Gavin Ramejkis
51   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:29:26

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Just out of interest given the unsubstantiated attack on the BU on the "claimed" tape incident has anyone from the club been in touch with Lyndon or Michael with threats about publishing the letters?

I'd be very keen to know as if not then this surely must be the call to widen the audience and get this to the national press.
Dave Randles
52   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:27:33

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That's brilliant Lyndon! Perfectly coherent and will surely serve as the catalyst for the next phase of our history to begin. That may be a painful journey, but I, like others feel that it's very probable we will need to go through that pain to improve the club's position. All we can do is hope that it's a short and sharp pain.

I wholeheartedly agree that this needs publicising to a wider 'audience' and have started by emailing the link to David Prentice in the (high) hope he may see the need to use it for a piece of his own. (That's what he normally does isn't it!?)

Andy Parsons
53   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:31:23

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@#46 I wish people wouldn't bring Moyes into it. Who knows what Moyes knows, doesn't know, has been lied to about, has conspired with... none of us know. All we do know is we've had some bloody good seasons under Moyes and we'd struggle in our position to get anyone better.

@#48 Exactly why I wrote to the editor of the Echo this morning and said the same. The investigations have been left to the fans to do.... shameful.

Johnny Warburton
54   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:10:43

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Lyndon a great piece of writing. It illustrates just how much more powerful the pen is than the sword when it's in the right hands. I have supported Everton for 51 years but to be honest I have never got involved in the back room issues surrounding the club. I would however like you to confirm 2 things which you have stated.

1. You state that Evertons net liabilities are £ 95 million. In net liabilities I assume this is after taking off the fixed asssets and current assets for that year. Is that correct? YES or NO

2. Are you stating that Sheikh Mansour undertook due diligence with regard to Everton or that it was a rumour? YES or NO

If you can confirm these two facts, they alone are enough to make me take a far deeper interest in my club. Thanks, Lyndon.

Gavin Ramejkis
55   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:54:11

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Andy the trouble with DM is that as per BK he does know what's going on and claimed he told BK not to publish an item and his latest rants in the broadsheets about the BU basically align him to BK and the board. Some battle lines are clearly being drawn up and the previously claims of a dignified silence of a principled man are being broken; if you are part of the problem the solution should include your removal too.
David Edwards
56   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:57:58

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Superb! Best article I've read on TW over recent years - well done Lyndon for your analytical and balanced approach! This article needs to get as wide a circulation as possible, so the media at large can get a true view of our predicament.
Bob Skelton
57   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:54:25

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Ah well Lyndon, your article sums up the what we have all suspected about our inept Chairman and his Board. Do you think that it will have any effect whatsoever on the way that they operate?? I don't.... I believe that the only group who will find Everton FC a buyer will be the Administrators and that will happen pretty soon the way we are going.....

One game in and already totally Pissed Off....
Eugene Ruane
58   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:58:25

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Andy (51), regarding matters OFF the pitch, I would normally agree with you, but Moyes brought HIMSELF into it with his comments re the BU.

I certainly don't say he SHOULDN'T have, or he's not 'entitled' - of course he is.

But if he does, surely we're entitled to pass comment on his comment.

The issue being discussed is the running of/future of Everton FC and his 'bloody good seasons', in this instance, are imo completely irrelevant.
Andrew Laird
59   Posted 22/08/2011 at 13:02:27

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An excellent piece Lyndon, eloquent and accessible to all, you put so called journalists to shame.

Surely this should be published/ copied/ distributed as the more people "in the know" can only be a good thing for Everton FC and its future. (Providing, of course, this met with your approval).

IF those emails are genuine, the lunatics have most certainly taken over the asylum.
Seamus Murphy
60   Posted 22/08/2011 at 13:02:58

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Well done Lyndon on an excellent article.

Like a couple of others have mentioned above - if the Echo refuse to do their own investigative journalism could we not buy space from them and publish this article? I would gladly contribute as would others I'm sure. You have a Tofeeweb account don't you, could you make a call for fans to contribute to a fund to have this published?

Andy #54 - Moyes has waded into this with two feet when he spoke about it in his pre match comments. What I don't get is why some people are more upset about the alleged taping of the interview rather than the shocking content of it.
Steven Pendleton
61   Posted 22/08/2011 at 13:13:58

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Absolutely cracking article. This article needs to reach the masses to help them get their heads out of their asses and start seeing this man for who he is.

Clearly Kenwright has his own business interests at heart first and the love of the club second. For all those Evertonians that use the argument that he's one of us to defend him, WAKE UP before it's too late if it isn't already.

Great read.
John Ford
62   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:35:06

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Interesting well informed, and thoughtful.

One point. Was what Kenwright did really a gamble? The outcome is certainly a financial brick wall but this is surely down to subsequent poor financial management and the failure to attract a buyer or investor? In this regard your two emails are damning in the extreme.

The risk you highlight in reality is a club spending no more than a club of Evertons size should. There wasnt a huge amount of cash generated and with proper management and an openess in dealing with potential investors since, we wouldnt have reached this point.

Your article clearly shows Kenwright to have severely restricted our operating environment to the point where new owners or investors have no incentive to get involved. His comments about the Liverpool sale being a 'payment of debt' rather than a takeover is further evidence of his narrowing of options.
Colin Fitzpatrick
63   Posted 22/08/2011 at 13:22:03

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I know I?ve already congratulated Lyndon, on what could turn out to be the seminal work on the Kenwright dark age, but I?ll do it again as I have nothing but admiration for him for so diligently exposing the information that the article contains.

I?m also full of admiration for the three guys from the Blue Union who pulled off the coup that finally shed light on what?s really been going on.

After reading Lyndon?s piece and reading all the comments I?d advise you to watch this in the full knowledge of the recent event that took place in the BVI.

http://www.skysports.com/skysportsnews/story/0,28679,19494_7108932,00.html

Dave Brierley
64   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:47:56

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A sobering article Lyndon which made me, as an Evertonian of more than fifty years, very very sad. I suppose I am one of the fence-sitters mentioned above as I've always wanted to believe that BK was more fool than knave but your skillfully crafted article pretty well dispels this myth.
The club, very obviously has little future if he's allowed to continue.
Ged Alexander
65   Posted 22/08/2011 at 13:28:02

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For the record, Bill stays as chairman - we don;t progress. So, you know where I stand. But these conspiracy-theory articles are doing more harm than good.

The club wanted a cheap stadium because it was not able to afford an expensive one and the Tesco-deal was the best option.

There is no Philip Green story - he's a big shot who wants to have his hand in popular pies (kate Moss etc) and Bill'ls his mate...

Robert Earl fancied a punt and could afford one...

EFC said to the inquiry what they wanted to hear to get the deal through...

Nothing more complicated than that.

The real issue is that Bill wont stand down. He lacks shrewdness, strategy and planning - he wants to be loved by everyone and wants to to be the star of the show. His seat is directly opposite the cameras - not a coincidence.

The board needs to attract someone/some group to take over the debt and walk away from their investment in shares - direct criticism as much as we like but let's keep it focussed. Our argument should be - walk way from the money you lost and things will start to get better.

No, Lyndon, this is a not a good article - it misses an open goal because it is factually flawed and silly.

Colin, the BVI story is bogus - that one address is home to thousands of businesses and the cost of the forward-loan is the going rate - you try borrowing 13mn at 5% - it aint going to happen.
Jamie Carroll
66   Posted 22/08/2011 at 13:47:57

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One name not yet mentioned is Derek Hatton... now if he is Bill's friend, what will Derek really think when the curtain comes down on Bill? The fat lady has been sent a telegram.
Johnny Warburton
67   Posted 22/08/2011 at 13:51:52

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Ged (63) agree with your conclusion; unfortunately it's difficult to walk away when the bank has a charge against your house for the debt.
Peter Laing
68   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:40:47

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Thankyou Lyndon for such an enlightened read. What more can I say, such a sobering time to be an Evertonian.
Colin Fitzpatrick
69   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:01:11

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The evidence is there for all to see; I?ll swear on oath that I had a lengthy meeting with former director Paul Gregg. In front of a witness he told me that he was paid for his shares by Philip Green.

KEIOC has long since held emails from Paul Gregg to Philip Green and between Paul Gregg and the lawyer of a prospective owner of Everton.

Keith Wyness has been walking around telling people he was sacked by Philip Green due to concerns he has raised over what him and Bill were doing.

Weren?t you attempting to say this loan was from proactive the other day? It?s for a loan secured against revenue beyond this season, something UEFA frown upon. It's not from a bank, it's from an unknown source hiding behind the protective veil of the secrecy offered by well known tax avoidance havens. Link that with Paul Greggs statement and no wonder investigative TV programmes are now showing an interest in what has been uncovered.

The evidence is becoming overwhelming but you prefer to keep your head firmly in the sand; it?s like somebody telling you today is Monday and you and say it isn?t, people show you a calendar and you still say it isn?t, they show you a newspaper and you still refuse to believe, they show you a diary and you still say today isn?t Monday. Somebody then asks what day you think it is and you don?t know but you can?t believe it?s Monday, but at least you?re happy; you don?t know what fuckin? day it is but in your world it?s a lovely day. Here?s a quid, get yourself some sweets.

Colin Fitzpatrick
70   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:09:53

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The above is to Ged by the way, I'm in a rush and typed in quickly!
Jim Lloyd
71   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:05:43

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"factually flawed and silly"??? what is factually flawed or silly in that article? Dan, I've also supported the club for many years and all I can see is if this man doesn't go, our club could fold.
Eugene Ruane
72   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:11:42

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Wipes coffee and snot from computer screen.

(first proper laugh of the day - cheers Colin)
Jim Lloyd
73   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:13:30

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Colin...brilliant. Have you done an article about the things you've mentioned above. If not, I hope to God you do. It would add to Lyndon's excellent post and put pressure where it foirmly belongs, on that bunch of shysters who currently run our club. It might even get the echo embarrassed enough to start some real journalism. Oho, now I'm living on another planet!
Chad Schofield
74   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:14:30

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Ged,

Sorry got to call you on the "factually flawed and silly" comment too. So you're suggesting that the BVI story is completely fictitious? The board has had ample time to "attract someone/some group to take over the debt" without the somewhat ludicrous suggestion of doing so by walking "away from their investment in shares".

I've never borrowed anywhere near £13M... so I'm not in a position to suppose what kind of interest is put on such a loan - I'd hazard a guess though that you're unlikely to have borrowed such a sum either. Certainly though the silliest thing I have read on here is your link between Kate Moss and pies!

I hope that someone does take interest and thoroughly investigate this - because the short term damage it is causing our club is considerably better than the asset-sale, debt escalation and (possibly) gross negligence that has been silently carrying on.
Gavin Ramejkis
75   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:19:42

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Colin, bravo mate, nail on the head
Michael Evans
76   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:08:32

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Lyndon - May I join the many others who have praised a quite brilliant piece of writing which captures the present state of the Club which being vitriolic/mawkish about the prominent figures in the drama that is now unfolding.

I also strongly agree with those that feel that this should be printed in/quoted from by the media.

I find it very sad that those that fear for the Club are pilloried by fellow supporters and the more quality information available out there the better.

Andy Parsons
77   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:25:32

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@63 You say "the Tesco-deal was the best option" - how do you know that? You're taking the clubs word that it was. Then you say "There is no Philip Green story"... again, how do you know? You can't criticise the article as flawed and make ridiculous comments as you did.
Johnny Warburton
78   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:34:19

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Lyndon is there any chance of getting answers to my 2 simple questions (52). I'm finding it hard to distinguish fact from hearsay. I appreciate you may be busy. If so just let me know when and if I can expect one. From a concerned supporter.
Matteo Rosingana
79   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:49:42

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Colin Fitz: "I?m also full of admiration for the three guys from the blue union who pulled off the coup that finally shed light on what?s really been going on. "

Absolutely, but I feel that very little has yet been revealed, either because of BK's diversion techniques or the performance of his life in playing the fool. I think that this is just the beginning of the unraveling.
Jim Lloyd
80   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:58:15

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#77 Give the man a chance will you. He can't be answering every individuaL (i WAS DAFT ENOUGH TO DO THE SAME BY THE WAY!) IF (oops!) if you wait, likwe I will then we'll find out soon enough. If , as you say,you've spent years not bothering your arse with what's been happening to our club, the a few more days wont harm you.
Johnny Warburton
81   Posted 22/08/2011 at 15:03:11

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Sorry Lyndon should have read (53)
Paul Columb
82   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:59:45

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Good piece and follow up commentary from Colin, but somewhat preaching to the choir if limited in publication to toffeeweb. Now that prentice has seemingly burned all bridges to goodison maybe he'd consider journalism as a career and run with this. In all seriousness, this needs to get out in the local media before anyone beyond would consider it news worthy.
Patrick Bateman
83   Posted 22/08/2011 at 12:55:21

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This fantastic yet sobering article must surely be the final nail in Kenwright's coffin. It needs to reach as wide an audience as possible through the likes of twitter, direct e-mails to journalists, leaflets, anything.
Ciarán McGlone
84   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:13:12

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I'll add to the applause.

Great article, Lyndon, irrespective of what the 'flat-earth' society above continue to say...

We now have some genuine momentum in unmasking our very own pantomine villian.

One sobering thought ? imagine how much deeper we could've been in the shit, had the ill-advised Kirkby plan got the green light.

We'd have been contracted to provide a £78million shortfall on top of our current woes... and then there would also be the problem of the mysterious £50million cross subsidy. (For 'enabling fund' read 'another fucking fairytale'...) But yet we still have the logically challenged suggesting that Kirkby would've avoided our curent problems.

No it wouldn't. It'd have made them exponentially worse.
Danny Jones
85   Posted 22/08/2011 at 15:16:07

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This obviously a well writen and comprehensive article by Lyndon, and all those who where on the fence will surely be swayed after reading it.

However I think it's worth pointing out that these emails are dated 29/9/08 and Man City present owners bought the club on the 1/9/08 so this link with them must surely be incorrect.
Michael Lynch
86   Posted 22/08/2011 at 15:38:27

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Danny, the e-mails are not connected with the city owners. They are a seperate case.
Graham Atherton
87   Posted 22/08/2011 at 15:32:47

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If these emails are genuine this is some of the most damning evidence I have read against Kenwright.

I have given him the benefit of the doubt, argued for his perspective in the belief that the status quo in the top 10 of the premiership is a lot better than a revolution that sees us relegated - which is possible if the natural conclusion now follows. I hated the days of fighting going down, welcomed Kenwrights stability and love for the club, allowed for putting every single penny into the first team squad - even money we don't have - as keeping us up there might bring better times.

Those times are now a distant possibility, partly because the financial gulf brought about by those with limitless funding (unfairly) & high global profiles and partly because no buyer was ever found with more money.

So now I ask - when Kenwright seems to be at his weakest in terms of popular support - where is the buyer? The club is there for the taking now more than ever.

If these documents are genuine why have we not seen them before? Why all the hints and subterfuge? You have had this evidence for a long time and yet preferred to use far weaker arguements & smears to chip away at Kenwright for years. Perhaps there are flaws in your arguments so that you had to wait until the time was right? It is incredibly frustrating that you have waited this long to come clean.

Regardless, assuming your evidence is strong, let the revolution begin and let us hope our magnificent manager can keep us out of the Championship.
Adam Bennett
88   Posted 22/08/2011 at 16:00:18

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This really needs to get out to the press, local and national.

One way could be someone ?tweeting? (whatever that means!) the link to a load of journalists and see if any of them read it and/or take it forward themselves?

Colin (68) I was intrigued by your sentence ??.and no wonder investigative TV programmes are now showing an interest in what has been uncovered?. Does that mean you have heard from somewhere that a Panorama, Dispatches etc? type programme are looking at doing a story?
Danny Jones
89   Posted 22/08/2011 at 15:54:04

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Michael how do you figure that out? There is a paragraph about the City owners and then a bit about Lerner,then the emails. In the email it talks about a prospective buyer from the middle east, are we being told that Kenwright has turned away two different groups from the middle east then?

Michael Kelly
90   Posted 22/08/2011 at 15:48:29

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The type of article Prentice should be doing, the web of deceit and lies gets bigger by the week. Piece by piece, everything is starting to come together.

The main players, BK, RE AND DM, have all played their part. Kenwright for mortgaging the club to death; Elstone for rebuking the fans to dare ask any probing questions; and Moyes for taking the pay rise and toeing the party line, with regards to promise of additions in previous seasons.

It fucking stinks and now they've been rumbled the bullshit is still flowing! Players wheeled out to cast soundbites... "100% effort, good squad etc.." treating the paying public like fools. Nothing short of a disgrace. Off with their heads!

Andy Parsons
91   Posted 22/08/2011 at 15:59:00

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Seems rather odd that the BBC IPlayer is Showing the recording of 606 as unavailable when it was there earlier today. You don't think....
Eric Myles
92   Posted 22/08/2011 at 16:31:48

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Jamie #12, the other 50 (+13) million isn't just long term secured debt, it will also include monies still owed on player purchses (Heitinga, Fellaini, Bily?)
And what if the long term 'secured' debt can't be repaid? say because it's secured against future gate receipt and season ticket sales are down. They the debt is onlypartially paid and gets carried over (if not called in) and grows again.
And if not carried over then we have to rob Peter to pay Paul, and isn't that how we got into this mess in the first place??
Ged Alexander
93   Posted 22/08/2011 at 16:31:00

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The problem (Colin) is this: the emails Lyndon has posted are genuine I am sure of that: but we have all seen bogus middle-men saying they can get a deal done (Fortress, the 'Americans', the dodgy geezer in the Manchester flat...it's easy isn't it? You turn up to the lamentable Keith Harris or the ultra-gullible Bill Kenwright and say 'I know someone who will buy your club' and you get a hearing and an exchange of emails.

But think this through - Robert Earl bought 26% of the club because he wanted to make money - he is no Evertonian and doesn't even go to the games...why would he try to stop a sale or not be pushing for a sale.

Secondly, we are dangerously close to being a financial basket case - Bill MUST wnt to sell as his money is in danger of going down the drain. The motivation to sell is big.

But we can't sell...so you might say (as I have done) 'No, they really don't want to sell.' But the evidence is against that assertion.

Now, to the loan from James Grant - James Grant took over a Paul Stretford-free Proactive Management. It now offers services to sports groups including 'financial consultation and arrangements'. No money-lender operates from a tax-hell f he can work from a tax-haven - like the British Virgin Islands.

Next point: why would any business borrow at a rate more expensive than the alternative? You suggest it is to enrich Robert Earl who happens to have a company registered at the same address as James Grant. But that would become clear to all shareholders (who would object) and why would you imagine this was not going to be found out when it is freely available information?

You are adding 2 and 2 and getting 5.

To Philip Green: Paul Gregg has an axe to grind hence stirred the pot and - guess what - so did Bully Wyness....

I happen to passionately hate Philip Green and everything he stands for...tax avoidance, excessive use of wealth - he's a conscience-free zone. But there is only one way I think he would get financially involved in Everton....in order to buy a bargain in a fire-sale and then sell it. No maybe that is his game sticking around in Bill's gang...but if that was his plan; he would want it to be asa viable as it could be and a future out of the Premiership would not make it a viable purchase even in a fire sale. There is no logic to constantly going on about Philip sodding Green.

What we have to do is to get our argument together in a way which the rank and file Blues 'get' and drop these silly and, yes, flawed conspiracy theories.

We need to get Bill out by solid, factual arguments - you will note the BBC link to last night's phone-in has been removed - that's because the only defence to Libel is Truth - and the phone allegations were so untrue the BBC has marched it off the internet before it gets sued and loses.

Sorry for the rant - but we all know the Board is ineffectual and dysfunctional...we must spread the word to garner support from a mass group of Evertonians who are not stupid...fact-based, evidence-based, logical arguments will work - not nonsense.
Ged Alexander
94   Posted 22/08/2011 at 16:47:57

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Andy (93) it's down because it was nonsense.
Ged Alexander
95   Posted 22/08/2011 at 16:50:20

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Johnny (67): Bill gets paid a million a year - he has paid off the mortgage on his house (he spent £30 mn on a movie two years ago called Cherie which bombed - has has no personal money problems.)

The club can't borrow money from banks - it is they who want their money back.

But a business borrowing against future income is a busted flush.
Ged Alexander
96   Posted 22/08/2011 at 16:52:47

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Michael (92) Prentice can't run such an article because it is journalistically unsound...I am now officially cross - I cannot take this Board; it is rubbish. And the only way to get rid of them is to get our facts right!
Anthony Jones
97   Posted 22/08/2011 at 16:48:17

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This is the most balanced and insightful article I have read on here.

Thanks Lyndon.

I agree that it's hard not to feel some sympathy for Kenwright. It seems almost impossible to be a Chairman and a fan at top clubs since they became ultra commercial.

The Blue Union transcript still uncovers him as a deluded egotistical buffoon, however. I find it very hard to stomach that he hasn't been more open with the fans.

Then again, it is the fans that demand success, and for Kenwright to facilitate success he had no choice but to gamble.
Gavin Ramejkis
98   Posted 22/08/2011 at 17:28:34

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Ged, James Grant trades under his own name and always has done, where did you get the information he owns and controls Vibrac?
Johnny Warburton
99   Posted 22/08/2011 at 17:54:27

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Ged, you seem to me a reasonable bright guy. Can you answer my question (54). What are Everton's Total Net assets :1. Lyndon states that Evertons net liabilities are £ 95 million. In net liabilities I assume this is after taking off the fixed asssets and current assets for that year. Is that correct? YES or NO



I
Gavin Ramejkis
100   Posted 22/08/2011 at 17:46:59

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Andy #93 theres no explanation to the missing 606 iplayer show as it should be available for 7 days from transmission, obviously someone has launched their dummy
Gavin Ramejkis
101   Posted 22/08/2011 at 18:07:56

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This is already getting punted to journos all over Twitter well done guys you know who you are keep it going
Gavin Ramejkis
102   Posted 22/08/2011 at 18:23:33

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Johnny as no one else has responded to your question

Everton Total Assets = £64,733,000
Everton Total Liabilities = £94,547,000
Giving Net Assets of -£24,774,000 yes minus £24m

this was at July 2011 and doesn't take into account the £13m loan so liabilities would increase accordingly giving a new Net Asset of -£37,774,000 yes thats minus £37m
Edward Boyd
103   Posted 22/08/2011 at 18:57:21

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Great article.

Lyndon Lloyd, Colin Fitz and Micheal Kenrick ? all great writers and with the courage of the BU guys, banding together, you could bring this shabby board to its knees. Colin, post these e-mails on the KEIOC site as it seems dormant at the moment.
Ged Alexander
104   Posted 22/08/2011 at 19:11:08

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Johnny (101) I can't answer your question, sorry, but Gavin seems to have nailed it.

Gavin, do some googling and you'll find James Grant in the mix.

Truly, there is nothing conspiratorial or financially unusual about the loan being chatted about by us - BUT there is no sound business that future-borrows.

It really is dangerous. It assumes we stay in the Premiership, that we do so at a position in the table we budget for (EFC usually budget for 7th) and that we can cover our existing debt repayments by hitting our financial targets.

It is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous and confirms that our Chairman is gambling rather than planning our future.

Ged Alexander
105   Posted 22/08/2011 at 19:16:25

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Now merry Bues, I am off home...one thing I totally agree with Lyndon about: we have to support the team. They may be mega-wealthy, spoilt footballers, but they are wearing our shirts and we want them to stay in the Prem. Please, Lord, give us a couple of back-t-back wins so we can all relax!!
Gavin Ramejkis
106   Posted 22/08/2011 at 19:21:12

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Ged I cant find any links for James Grant and Vibrac, as Vibrac is BVI registered there's no chance of getting any director info, if James Grant is involved via BVI then why tout his finance through his named website?
Johnny Warburton
107   Posted 22/08/2011 at 19:33:19

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Gavin many thanks. £24 million is a lot less than the £95 million Lyndon alluded to. I not saying its good just not the horrible nightmare I thought Lyndon's article portrayed. I am not familiar with Football accounting but I think players are "off the balance sheet" (i.e can not appear as assets on the balance sheet) Does anyone know if this is the case?
Gavin Ramejkis
108   Posted 22/08/2011 at 20:42:25

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Johnny you're a bit confused we owe £95m + £13m, all of the assets the club owns are worth just under £65m meaning if we had to pay every penny back tomorrow by cashing in every last bean the club owned we'd be short by £37m
Ged Alexander
109   Posted 22/08/2011 at 20:41:26

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Gavin, 108, take this on trust ... he's in there. I can't send the link I found; it's tricky. However, and despite your insult above which I found amusing, email me direct and I can tell you more.

Johnny Warburton
110   Posted 22/08/2011 at 20:45:02

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Thanks Gavin. I do understand that. I assumed they have the £13 million in the bank which "at the moment" balances the loan/debt. Once that cash have been absorbed (not spent on assets) you are of course right. Once again thanks for the help
Ged Alexander
111   Posted 22/08/2011 at 20:58:16

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Johnny, one word of caution - you can move figures around on a balance sheet quite easily...I suspect the figures are worse than we think.
Gavin Ramejkis
112   Posted 22/08/2011 at 20:58:15

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Ged no idea where you got the "insult" from as I cant see one, and also no idea what your email addy is, I'm keen to see the info for myself as thats the basis I always work to and then decide for myself.
Ged Alexander
113   Posted 22/08/2011 at 21:02:26

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Gavin, sorry, it wasn't you...get me at golden_vision@live.co.uk
Alan Newton
114   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:19:31

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An excellent piece indeed Lyndon and, as many have said, very well balanced. When the passion & emotion is coursing through the veins, it's difficult to remain level headed and not get carried away.

Anyway, with eleven years and counting of broken promise after broken promise, we are at a very critical point in the future of Everton FC.... it's time for action. It's apparent to all that only a miracle will save this Board from going down in Everton history as villains. Whilst some out there would like to blame BK, I think the majority would much rather see him succeed. Maybe it's time we took matters into our own hands.... there has to be something we can do! I'm sure many feel as helpless as I do in the current situation, but we need some vision.

There are a lot of very talented & intelligent Evertonians out there, many who are actually well respected business men, who could no doubt run the football club as a business and thus much better than the current Board. However, that's not where I'm heading with this. We need a task force of Evertonians, level headed Evertonians, who can forge a plan, a plan to assist the Board if need be, provide some ideas. What our Board doesn't seem to recognise & understand is the power of the collective. Collaboration has been proven in many business case studies to provide meaningful, successful and cost effective answers to complicated problems. We have such a complicated problem, and only by being constructive and having open dialogue, can we actually achieve something.

I suppose the only questions that remain are;
A) Does the Everton Board have the desire to look for positive solutions and have open dialogue with such a group?
B) Can we, as a collective group of Evertonians, formulate such a task force with the appropriate skills & level headedness to make a positive contribution and evoke positive change?
Paul Columb
115   Posted 22/08/2011 at 14:59:45

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Good piece and follow up commentary from Colin, but somewhat preaching to the choir if limited in publication to Toffeeweb. Now that Prentice has seemingly burned all bridges to Goodison maybe he'd consider journalism as a career and run with this. In all seriousness, this needs to get out in the local media before anyone beyond would consider it news worthy.
Ged Alexander
116   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:48:48

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But, Alan, Blue Union has closed the door on dialogue with the board - well, Bill anyway. How could our CEO let it happen?
Ian Pilkington
117   Posted 22/08/2011 at 22:40:22

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Lyndon,

Simply adding my thanks for an outstanding article. The disastrous Kenwright regime has been fully exposed by Toffeeweb and Blue Union and must surely be approaching its denouement. We can only live in hope that the now inevitable sale of the club can be carried out swiftly to a reputable and wealthy buyer.
Brendan McLaughlin
118   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:10:48

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Paul Columb #116 & also #83
Alzheimers???
Jamie Crowley
119   Posted 22/08/2011 at 23:17:46

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Eric and Gavin -

Thank you both for clarifying the assets and liabilities. I own a small business so I can easily comprehend the basic ledger, but what it all entails and the details I'm out of my depth.

But both of you responded with what I believe is the worst possible answer from an Everton perspective. No percentage of the liabilities sound as if they are long term. That is an extremely serious situation and one I'm now very fearful of. It would bring me to a conclusion that we really are in a dire financial position - much more so than the occasional "we're skint" thread. Some may say we've know that all along, but I'd argue that we really didn't know the overall picture until the BU report / recordings.

I look at it this way, and pls advise if I am wrong. Drop the zeros and simplify: If my little company in the USA has 640K in assets, but I'm carrying 935K in liabilites....

I'd be out of business tomorrow, and no lending scheme could get me out of that hole.

I do understand that we're comparing a tiny family run business with a Club that is part of the largest sports conglomerate on Earth, but the basics still must apply.

This is seriously scary stuff if I'm making the proper assumptions. This is really, really bad.

Curiously with your financial backgrounds and definite better understanding of this larger playing field I'd have to ask: what on Earth could be the exit strategy? Is there anyway out for BK?

It seems he's created a quickly sinking ship and he simply has to sell to get out. Am I right? How can this continue?

Any bank in my world would have shut my ass up, padlocks on the doors and all, by now.

Please if you can spare a moment try to explain to me any possible strategy that could exist to right the ship.

My basic, small world understanding of debt to income ratio, ledgers, loan to value, etc. have me scratching my head as to how Everton are still in business. You can't loan against 2020 gate receipts!
Jay Woods
120   Posted 22/08/2011 at 18:39:15

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Sensational article, which should be featured in the national sports media.

There is a global economic storm coming the like of which humanity has never endured. In advance of that, the banks (along with nation states, rich people, corporations, et al) are desperate to consolidate what they hold and divest themselves of everything toxic. That means EFC is under enormous pressure to pay up. And unlike our neighbours in red, we can't even offer the banks the comfort of a global fanbase of merchandise-buying bandwagon jumpers.

So, the club simply must sell its assets until all these horrific debts are settled. It may mean we go down; so be it if it's our only route to survival. Sometimes the medicine has to almost kill the patient in the process of healing.
Eric Myles
121   Posted 23/08/2011 at 01:57:27

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Ged #94 "Next point: why would any business borrow at a rate more expensive than the alternative?"

Because there is no alternative, the bank won't loan any more, they want their money back. So now the only alternative is the sharks who want their 'juice' as Tony Soprano would say.

So what is this 13 million going to be used for? 'Other Operating Expenses' for the coming year? Paying off the bank? Paying players salaries?
Jan Kowsky
122   Posted 23/08/2011 at 02:59:22

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A balanced, understated, forensic article.

Mickey Blue Eyes please take note.

Less is more.
Anto Byrne
123   Posted 23/08/2011 at 04:30:04

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David Moyes has one priority and that is to keep EFC in the premiership and for that he is paid a tidy sum. I am sure DM will take over at Celtic once he has put a nice nest egg away.
Colin Fitzpatrick
124   Posted 23/08/2011 at 07:56:28

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Ged # various

I can?t quite put my finger on it but there?s something strange about your posts, they?re all over the place like madman?s shite. You?ve gone on and on and on about what? I have no idea. Look at post #94 directed at me. You?re going on about ?bogus middle men? but then you believe those emails LL has posted are true; what are you going on about fella?

Then there?s your convenient assertion that Paul Gregg and Keith Wyness have an axe to grind so they ?stirred the pot?; to be honest, I think you?re on some kind of pot. Both are telling the same story ? Green has a role in Everton, Bill Kenwright openly admits it.

I?m also confused about your Earl observation; notwithstanding the fact that I haven?t mentioned him, you?re attributing comments to me I simply haven?t made, but, now that you?ve brought up the subject of Robert Earl, for me, and probably the rest on here, he?s the biggest example of a nominee director you?re ever likely to find. The previous owner of ?his? shares says somebody else paid him and he?s sat on the board for three years doing an impression of Nick Clegg.

Next is this strange James Grant association with VIBRAC Corp; I can?t say you?re wrong of course but what exactly are you claiming is their association here. I?m familiar with what they do, I?m, once again, confused by what you?re claiming, are you suggesting that James Grant are in the business of lending money through offshore accounts? Are you suggesting James Grant is VIBRAC. Also, I think you?ve said it in another post, you?re being critical of Everton borrowing from future revenue; they?ve done it for years and have borrowed two years in advance for at least the last two, the first being from Investec. Like I said I have no idea what your point is about anything. Put the info up about JG if you can.

Your claim, again bizarrely aimed at me when I haven?t said anything of the sort, that the call to 5live has been removed because the claims were untrue; why is that directed at me? I haven?t made those claims nor have I jumped on the bandwagon of we?ve borrowed £13m?


I can't prove it of course but I think this little statement of yours hints at why you're posts are so prolific in this thread, "What we have to do is to get our argument together in a way which the rank and file Blues 'get' and drop these silly and, yes, flawed conspiracy theories."
Alan Newton
125   Posted 23/08/2011 at 09:14:42

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@ Jamie Crowley 120 - The one big difference, certainly as far as the banks are concerned, is in regards to the shape of the business and the top line (income). Despite all the doom & gloom, we have a very healthy income, which most businessmen would agree is a good starting point.

A CEO coming into a business that operated as a 'normal' business with a debt & liability issue may be quite buoyed by the fact there is a healthy income line, as the straight forward answer is often to look within the business to reduce cost & create efficiencies that were not there before, thus increasing profit, which - in turn - can be used to service the debt . The trouble with football though is that there are many more 'fixed costs', which cannot be so readily & easily reduced, at least not without some major wholesale changes, such as selling valuable assets i.e. Fellaini, Arteta, Jagielka

I think a key factor in keeping EFC going is outlined by the term 'servicing the debt'. The bank are making good money out of EFC, season in and season out (Was it £4M in interest payments last year?). That will continue to be the case as long as EFC can service the debt. I know of a company in the UK who are up to their eyeballs in debt, paying £20M+ in interest to the banks every year, but as they are servicing the debt, the banks are happy. If the banks wanted all their money back now, the business would simply be wound up, as the means are simply not available to make that gesture and allow the business to continue operating.

The same factors would apply with a small business, but due to the lower figures, the banks may consider the net gain from annual interest could be lower than simply asking for all their money back and investing it elsewhere. It's sometimes a case of being too big to fail. But, by the same token, no one should ever get drawn into that trap...... Lehman Brothers being a prime example of that type of thinking.

David Israel
126   Posted 23/08/2011 at 13:25:35

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Thanks for a very good, all-encompassing, dispassionate piece, Lyndon!
Ged Alexander
127   Posted 23/08/2011 at 21:28:42

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Colin at 125...yours is not a clear mind. Best.
Colin Fitzpatrick
128   Posted 23/08/2011 at 22:03:05

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Ged, I'm clear about one thing, I'm clear that I think you're full of it. Prove me wrong, post the link to the site that explains James Grant provided the loan for Everton through Vibrac as you have claimed but have been unable to provide despite quite a lot of posts from Gavin requesting that you do. Post it now and I'll retract that you're full of shite.
Michael Winstanley
129   Posted 25/08/2011 at 00:18:24

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Great article Lyndon.

Thanks to everyone for every point made.
A great read.

Sell the players to clear the debt and start again. The only other alternantive I can see is if we qualify for Champions League football...so we must be realistic and sell the players.

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