Everton’s long-established top-club status is too often ignored by the local and national media. One national football writer remarked a couple of months ago that the story waiting to be written this season was the truth behind EFC’s abject underachievement in 2014-15. He was amazed no-one had done it. Instead it seems Everton will be patronised, condescended to, or at best afforded a perfunctory review. Any criticism of the manager, for instance, will be batted away with the uninterested and unthinking line ‘Who else is there anyway?

Chris Bascombe, writing in the Daily Telegraph, recently dismissed the Moyes years as ‘pragmatic drudgery’. It’s an epithet that demeans a team that regularly finished in the top five or six of the Premier League and contained the talents of Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini, Baines, Gravesen, Yakubu and Lescott, among others. (To be fair to Bascombe, he did show some understanding of his subject in this article: Roberto Martinez faces crunch time in his Everton project.)

If Everton are typically overlooked by the nationals, even worse is our treatment by the Liverpool Echo. A local paper should be promoting its local teams. Not the Echo with Everton, though. Hard to think we are talking about one of the leading clubs in the country, and one of the city’s most renowned institutions. While we should be thankful for the efforts of David Prentice and Greg O’Keeffe, it still beggars belief that James Pearce, the Echo’s chief LFC writer, is permitted to make degrading comments about EFC when things don’t go to plan in a derby.

Unfortunately, the snide, disregarding approach of James Pearce et al merely reflects the treatment of Evertonians in a city where we are becoming increasingly marginalised. When you live here, it’s hard to escape the sense that we’re being irretrievably outnumbered. The belittling of Everton is almost engrained among the Red majority – in a city that is as much ours as it is theirs.

The lost tribe of Everton

I worry that there’s a generation out there to whom fellow Reds are ‘sound’ while Evertonians are nothing more than ‘bitter’ or geeky oddballs, massively eclipsed, numerically, in their own classrooms. ‘Bitter’ because that’s the label their Liverpudian fathers apply; and the youngsters repeat it without knowing any of the back story, for example, the Heysel tragedy and its repercussions for our team.

If Everton’s constituency is somewhat reduced nowadays, before the 1970s the Blues were the big noise on Merseyside – that’s in the words of the Observer’s Paul Wilson. Even Kopite journalist Brian Reade recalls a 50/50 split during his De La Salle schooldays in the ‘70s. And when you consider that in nine of Bill Shankly’s 15 seasons in charge Everton had the bigger attendances, it underlines just how many of today’s Liverpudlians are actually the sons and grandsons of Evertonians.

Everton's triumphant homecoming after winning the 1966 FA Cup

Sadly for us, the city’s immigrant population will also more likely gravitate towards LFC given the Reds’ bigger name and more recent success. Moreover, these newcomers to the area will have less exposure to EFC than ought to be the case in what should be a proudly two-club city. Home and Away - Everton vs Liverpool (Milk Cup FInal 1984 )

This is the consequence of the Blues’ gradually shrinking fanbase on Merseyside, and also because the Everton name carries less weight and lustre in the media at large. (Maybe it’s also the club’s fault for not having more Everton merchandise in shops outside the official EFC stores.) The club need to get into inner-city classrooms, in particular, where there will be a larger percentage of immigrant pupils, and re-educate Merseyside’s youth about EFC and our standing in the English game. They should be distributing Everton shirts; basically anything that could work in our favour in the battle for hearts and minds.

The case for a city centre stadium

Presently, EFC, Liverpool City Council, Everton in the Community and Liverpool Mutual Homes are investigating the potential of a regeneration project at Walton Hall Park that would include a new Everton stadium. As ever with the club’s current administrators, we’ll watch this space… with little anticipation of an end product.

However, I believe that what Everton require more than anything is a city centre stadium to put them back in the heart of the city. With Liverpool increasingly a place of tourists, such a ground would increase the club’s visibility to tourists as well as to any ‘floating voters’ – particularly new residents. It would reinforce EFC’s relevance in the city.

Liverpool city centre is more vibrant than I can recall it ever being, and a city centre stadium would renew Everton’s credibility on the street. To have an Everton stadium as part of the Liverpool skyline would be a massive coup. Imagine the plans for the Bestway site coming to fruition and an EFC citadel standing within a goal kick’s distance of the Tower Restaurant or Liver Building. It would re-establish EFC as the important institution which history and tradition still say Everton are.

A city centre stadium for Everton would also give the club something that LFC don’t have – and won’t have because they are committed to Anfield. It would be a PR victory for EFC. Picture the town being turned Blue on a matchday by tens of thousands of Toffees. It would be a huge affirmation for the Everton family. It would also make our team a superb away day for visiting supporters.

In my opinion, a 40,000-plus stadium in the city centre or beside the river would be worth more to Everton than a 50,000 stadium in Walton Hall Park, because of the increased prominence the former would bring to the club – instantly rebooting our status, relevance, importance and visibility. It could jet-propel Everton forward, in the same way Champions League qualification would do. It could be as significant a development as winning a trophy. It would be a triumph over the red side, to have Everton represented at the heart of the city. It would make up for the many disappointments and lost opportunities that punctuate the Everton story, especially in the Premier League era. It would be a bright signal of ambition.

For too long Evertonians have seen and heard our club talked down, even from within e.g. the Goodison board’s no-can-do disposition. A city centre stadium would be us reclaiming our turf. Everton have every reason to stand proud in our city: we are the originals, and also the indie team insofar as we are much less of a commercial entity (for better and worse) than the other lot. Let’s act that way. If the universities can afford to put up so many new buildings in town, why not the sixth biggest football club in the land (at the latest independent estimate)? We’re talking about a founder and permanent member of the Premier League, and a near-absolute mainstay of the English football elite since 1888. Evertonians should be proud, not cowed.

Boardroom failure

Sadly, Evertonians have been left as lambs to the slaughter, to some extent, because the club’s guardians have singularly failed to keep EFC moving forward in keeping with their traditional and historical status. When the Park End was completed in 1994, Everton – with a 40,100 capacity – had the third-largest Premier League ground behind Man Utd and Liverpool. See what’s happened at our top-flight counterparts since then – and bear in mind that, subsequent to buying EFC in 1999, Bill Kenwright has presided over no such initiatives …

Chelsea: redeveloped stadium, billionaire investment
Arsenal: new stadium, billionaire(s) on board
Man United: stadium redevelopment, billionaire investment
Man City: new stadium, billionaire investment
Liverpool: stadium redevelopment, billionaire ownership
Spurs: billionaire ownership
Southampton: new stadium, billionaire ownership
Swansea City: new stadium, new investment
West Ham Utd: stadium redevelopment, new stadium
Stoke City: new stadium, billionaire ownership
Crystal Palace: US takeover
Newcastle: stadium redevelopment, billionaire ownership
West Brom:
Sunderland: new stadium, billionaire ownership
Aston Villa: billionaire ownership
Hull City: new stadium, new investment
QPR: new investment
Leicester City: new stadium, new investment

These developments totally undermine the naysayers who accept the tired line about Everton not being an attractive proposition for a takeover. Among the stock responses, the pessimists will reiterate the two-club argument – which can be countered with Man City … or the ‘old stadium as deterrent’ argument – Palace, anyone? Deserving of a particularly reproachful finger-wagging are those who cite ‘transport infrastructure’ as a possible handicap to any centrally-located new EFC ground: don’t all roads and rail lines lead to town anyway, which after all is the hub of the entire Liverpolitan region.

Consider Wolves and their recent investment in a new £18 million stand and club museum. Or how, while Everton fail to do anything over two decades, four former Man Utd players are able to spearhead the building of a new £20 million hotel outside Old Trafford. It is because, for the Everton directors, our motto reads only: Nil Satis – (doing) nothing is enough. The glacial movement at boardroom level also explains why Bill Kenwright and company won’t be bothered to replace Roberto Martinez this summer despite the Spaniard’s rank bad management of his squad this season. Our directors prefer ‘atrophy’ (look it up) to a trophy.

The same lazy thinking applies to the assertion ‘who do you get instead?’ of Martinez, a notion that both completely devalues Everton and overlooks the guaranteed long line of applicants for one of the foremost jobs in English football. It’s bad enough when a Liverpool-supporting journalist trots out such a fatuous banality (they wouldn’t have said the same when Roy Hodgson was at Anfield); but when Evertonians do likewise, it emphasises how depressed and unimaginative they have become. To underscore the point, look at Aston Villa and Tim Sherwood; Southampton and Ronald Koeman; or Swansea and Garry Monk, for those that veto an internal appointment.

The no-can-do attitude has cascaded from boardroom to fanbase, perhaps serving to reinforce a certain inferiority complex among some Evertonians. It has totally flattened expectations for some, if not many – the supporters having had no other option than to endure the status quo – but the result has been that fans no longer make the necessary demands of the club’s administrators. Our board has invested nothing into EFC in 15 years, which is an anomaly in Premier League football, yet they will expect to walk away with a profit when they do eventually sell up despite having overseen what, in effect, has been a shrinking of the Everton brand.

When you look back 30 years you see an EFC side who were ahead of their time in their style of play; what’s more, they were playing at the best club ground in the country. Sheffield Wednesday 0-5 Everton FA Cup Round 3 3rd Replay 1987-88 . To me, that generation still set the standard – which is why Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines ARE Everton players, and Antolin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone are not. Not only do the latter two lack the talent, they are also short on heart, desire and application.

For all that, though, it is precisely because the Blues have achieved so consistently through the decades – and have been a perennial thread in the fabric of English top-flight football – that one national newspaper recently rated EFC as the sixth biggest club in England, and that’s after 20 years without silverware. Sportsmail's study finally settles football's great debate.

That tells you how significant a player Everton have been on the UK soccer scene since 1888. It also gives the lie to the media cliché that EFC overachieve whenever they come anywhere near the top six of the Premier League. Because, the fact of the matter is that our overall consistency of performance in both league and cup rivals that of Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. It is also worth noting that the Blues would have been assured of at least fourth spot, if not higher, if a similar study had been carried out in 1992.

Finally these bare facts are a measure of Everton’s size as a club:
• Everton hosted a World Cup semi-final in 1966, having staged Brazil and Pele’s group matches
• Between 1888 and 1992 only Liverpool finished in the English league’s top four more times than Everton – 33 to EFC’s 31, with Man Utd next on 27
• Everton have appeared in more FA Cup semi-finals than Liverpool, that statistic being 24-23 in the Blues’ favour
• Everton drew bigger crowds than Liverpool in nine of Bill Shankly’s 15 seasons in charge
• Only Tottenham, Aston Villa and Liverpool have supplied more players to the England team than Everton
• In 1985 Everton were the first English side to be honoured as world team of the year by FIFA, winning the club equivalent of the Ballon d’Or. That’s how good we were.

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Reader Comments (113)

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Rick Tarleton
2 Posted 15/04/2015 at 07:30:29
I think, Patrick, youÂ’ve articulated very cogently exactly how I feel about the current situation. I feel as an Evertonian who saw them in the old Second Division (once the famous 8-4 win over Plymouth) and who has been supporting them for over 60 years, that the current Board are appalling.

Kenwright enjoys playing the part of club saviour and being the central figure in the DirectorsÂ’ Box, but in reality he is a posturing buffoon. The Board have a similar mentality to Ashley at Newcastle, they are happy with mediocrity and are desperate not to sell and desperate not to make any capital investment.

The result is we have an outdated stadium and with every season we slip further and further behind the big six clubs. I fear unless something happens soon, weÂ’ll drift behind more and more of the Premier League clubs.

The present manager is not the answer to anything, but nor was Moyes. However, the real problem lies with Kenwright and his cohort.

Tony Draper
3 Posted 15/04/2015 at 08:31:18
Patrick, that is a tremendous piece of factual writing.

We deserve the unimaginative, inoffensive and predictable pap that we are served up. We say that our owners have done nothing since our glory days of the 80s. We fans have done nothing, so thatÂ’s precisely what we deserve.

We have become the "Pipe and Slippers" of the top flight.

Terence Leong
4 Posted 15/04/2015 at 07:55:48
Hi Patrick, thanks for this.

I hope that many of you with a keen interest (and with the rich data that youÂ’ve collected) find some way to interest the media (journalists / sports channels etc), to cover the stuff that we have.

That will help to put Everton in more peopleÂ’s consciousness. Of course, it will also highlight the sad plight of mis-management over the years that led us to have our competitive advantage whittle away...

But for all you know, that can generate some more interest to get buyers/ investors out there!

Tony I'Anson
5 Posted 15/04/2015 at 11:16:56
Patrick, a fine piece of work. Have you thought about a career in journalism?
John Gee
6 Posted 15/04/2015 at 11:03:14
Very interesting read Patrick. And very depressing.

With all the money flooding into football, itÂ’s a travesty that the last significant investment Goodison saw was by agent Johnson. Your informative list of other clubs highlights, sharply, that itÂ’s time for Kenwright to go. HeÂ’s had an easy ride for far too long.

BTW, a little reported directive has instructed politicians to stop using the word "expenses" instead they should use the phrase "operating costs".

Kenwright out.

Dick Fearon
7 Posted 15/04/2015 at 11:12:39
Congratulations, Patrick, I have not seen such a concise coverage of our sad situation. I have often mused about the same things yet I am unable to put it down on paper as good as you.

It may be that Bill and his puppet masters are as you say, treading water until a big pay off. Sometimes it seems they are deliberately keeping us in a subservient position.

From the spectators aspect it is the difference between wishful thinking in the nicest possible way and real ambition that accepts only what it says on our motto.

Colin Glassar
8 Posted 15/04/2015 at 11:24:34
Brilliant piece of writing Patrick (apart from the unnecessary digs at Martinez, and in all honesty, OFM).

IÂ’ve been saying for ages now that we wonÂ’t progress while we have this bunch of mediocre, incompetent bullshitters running the club. TheyÂ’ve instilled a loser mentality in the club which seeps down to all levels including the fans. They accept top 6 and an appearance, occasionally, in the Europa League as success but a club of our standing should be demanding more... but, under Billy Liar and his cronies, we are slowly but surely going backwards. Kenwright out!!!

Patrick Murphy
9 Posted 15/04/2015 at 11:20:03
We as supporters have a great deal to answer for in allowing the other lot to be perceived as THE club on Merseyside. We sat back and watched as every actor, comedian and singer confirmed their allegiance to the dark side whilst belittling our beloved Blues and unfortunately with the advent of colour TV, the platform was there for them to inform millions about our shortcomings and by default highlight their good points.

Alf Garnett provided a platform for that Scouse red supporting character played by Cherie BlairÂ’s father and in the 60s the other lot were seen as the hip new kid on the block whilst Everton were the establishment club similar to Arsenal and therefore were not as popular with the media as clubs such as Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United.

But having said all of that it is the lack of success on the pitch for a sustained period that puts Everton at the back of the queue when it comes to attracting new fans and in the modern day era the lack of Champions League football has had an even more detrimental effect.

The only good Liverpudlian is a Â’blueÂ’ Liverpudlian either because that Liverpudlian is an Evertonian or because Everton have done better than the dark side.

Phil Gardner
10 Posted 15/04/2015 at 11:45:26
Great article. Bascombe is as vile a kopshite as you will ever meet and regularly teased Everton when at the Echo. The Redshite got very lucky when they took took the cityÂ’s name. A name known around the world not (as the clownÂ’s over the park would have you believe) because of their European achievements in the 70s and 80s, but because it was in ten foot letters on the back of many merchant vessels that scoured the globe.

WeÂ’ll never ever begin to move forward as a club until this cosy little Old Boys Club with the charlatan Kenwright at the fore is run out of the club, and IÂ’m afraid that won't happen until weÂ’re relegated.

Clive Rogers
11 Posted 15/04/2015 at 12:52:45
Kenwright is quite prepared to see Everton as a Championship club rather than make way. This excellent article highlights his failure.
Kevin Tully
12 Posted 15/04/2015 at 13:05:29
Certain concerned Evertonians tried to point out the direction that the club were travelling under the current ownership.

They were routinely shouted down and told they were damaging our reputation. Meanwhile, the shadow directors and the American carpet bagger are laughing all the way to the bank, without investing a penny. Earl's original ٦m stake is probably valued at around 㿊m. There are no plans to sell unless an offer they canÂ’t refuse is made. There are plans in place for a new stadium (If you call pointing at a park and saying "I want that one." )

Winston Williamson
13 Posted 15/04/2015 at 12:59:40
Can we not have a ToffeeWeb poll to establish the numbers of who actually wants Kenwright and the board gone? Then post the result to the club and Kenwright and tell him to do one at the earliest opportunity?
Colin Glassar
14 Posted 15/04/2015 at 14:39:31
Good idea, Winston, it would also be good to do one in conjunction with the other major Everton forums. I donÂ’t know if that would be possible but it would certainly lend more weight and might even sneak into the mediaÂ’s attention.
Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 15/04/2015 at 15:07:38
This is totally depressing. Thinking about how little investment has been made on the stadium, it is a sad indictment of the board over the years. Considering just the last few years, and the huge sums of cash from the TV deals and we havenÂ’t exactly been paying out for big transfers, and yet what has improved at the ground? A few tellies on the wall and a stupid mural.

Also, what do locals think of possibly losing their green space? That area isnÂ’t exactly awash with parkland! It would be amazing if we moved to a city centre site, we really would benefit from it.

While I donÂ’t want an oligarch or a Sheikh owning our club, I do despair at the amateurs currently at the helm. We are going nowhere fast, and need a fan-based take-over, which would generate money and put the club into the hands of people who really care.

These guys (the Board) are obviously enjoying their toy, and the kudos of what being involved brings. ItÂ’s a fucking trainset to some of them, and they will be getting expenses etc. They know that one day they will cash-in, as the global nature of being in the Premier League will only grow the value of their investment unless an unforseen war or calamity occurs.....

Michael Kenrick
16 Posted 15/04/2015 at 15:54:24
I know IÂ’m pissing against the wind here, Eddie, but we are told often that the Directors take nothing from the club.

Now either they are lying – in collusion with their chartered accountants who submit annual statements (under penalty of law) showing no such thing – or these claims made by certain fans who perhaps should know better (Colin Glassar recently made a more sweeping claim about the Sky money going offshore) have no substance whatsoever.

Which one are we going with here, for future reference?

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 15/04/2015 at 16:13:41
Not only me Michael. A few others have also mentioned (in the recent past) offshore accounts in the Cayman and BV islands belonging to certain people linked to the club.

I donÂ’t know if our directors take out money or not, what is clear is that they certainly donÂ’t seem to invest a penny.

Jay Wood
18 Posted 15/04/2015 at 16:20:52
Kudos, Patrick. This was a great read, resonating with so many of my own thoughts about our great club.

Your article cross-references nicely with a couple of other recent articles on TW – Paul Kennedy’s Why Can't We Have a Buyer? Link

And Mark EllisÂ’ 20 Long Years And Counting Link

All three articles make a common point: since the inception of the PL, whereas other, much lesser clubs, have attracted serious investment and rebuilt or relocated their stadiums, Everton and Goodison Park have stagnated, fossilised in time.

Your detailed list of the current PL clubs in this regard is damning of past and current custodians of EFC in the PL era. We have been constant members of the PL and the cash cow that represents since its formation.

And yet in the same time, the likes of the seriously disadvantaged Swansea and Southampton have hauled themselves from the lower tiers of English football, re-housed themselves in a modern stadium and have excellent academies and recruitment policies that, arguably, put Everton to shame and established themselves in the upper reaches of the league, winning trophies to boot!

How has this come to pass?

You speak of how a city centre stadium could transform the club. That boat sailed with the collapse of the KingÂ’s Dock project.

And Â’how many of today's Liverpudlians are actually the sons and grandsons of Evertonians.Â’ It hurts to read that, but it may well be true.

You suggest Â’the club needs to get into inner-city classrooms to re-educate Merseyside's youth about EFC and our standing in the English game, anything that could work in our favour in the battle for hearts and minds.Â’

There is some irony in that comment because, arguably, the award winning and much vaunted and copied Everton In The Community do just that and is HUGELY respected, both within and beyond the city.

It bewilders me how imaginative and pro-active the club is via its EITC projects, yet seemingly fails to reproduce the same vibrancy and energy in the commercial arm of the club.

In Mark Ellis 20 Long Years And Counting article he says he Â’senses supporters are genuinely starting to question the role of the Chairman and his Board of Directors.Â’ Sadly, I see no evidence of this. The Blue Union attempted to galvanize the fan base, but in truth it never gained wide or popular support. If anything, it rallied support for BK, perversely, even though, as you wrote Patrick, Â’our board has invested nothing into EFC in 15 years, which is an anomaly in Premier League football... overseeing, in effect, a shrinking of the Everton brand.Â’

To that, I can tie the following quote from Bill, at the time he bought out Johnson in 1999, 16 long years ago:

Â’Acquiring Peter JohnsonÂ’s shares is only the first step to restoring a great club to where it belongs, to where it should be. If you are going to run a successful football club, you need two qualities: you need to be realistic and you need a plan. IÂ’m realistic and I have a plan.Â’

16 years on, seriously, do any one of us have an idea of what BKÂ’s plan is?

Maybe, just maybe, as Tony Draper (#3) and Kevin Tully (#12) comment, we as fans in our meek acceptance and coercion of the board and their practices have got exactly what we deserve.

Tom Dodds
19 Posted 15/04/2015 at 16:29:58
Jay#18.Spot on.
Your last small paragraph is one of those little or small things. That says... EVERYTHING.

Peter Foy
20 Posted 15/04/2015 at 16:52:19
When we eventually end up with a new stadium somewhere, can anyone tell me what is going to happen to Goodison Park?

It seems Elstone is willing to sell it off to fit in with his big stadium project, with no consideration of the events that have unfolded there since 1878.

Paul Tran
21 Posted 15/04/2015 at 17:33:20
A great, factual read. While we are being run by people willing to neither sell nor invest, we will drift around the fringes, with the hope of the odd bit of cup excitement.
Andy Crooks
22 Posted 15/04/2015 at 18:50:17
Thanks Patrick, for great work. Winston and Colin, I would urge you to sign the petition that already exists asking Kenwright to go. Just put "petition to remove Bill Kenwright" into Google and put your name to it. He is a needy fraud and this is a good way to let him know that he is held in utter contempt by many Evertonians.
Michael Kenrick
23 Posted 15/04/2015 at 19:01:15
Andy, IÂ’m not sure Blue Bill is getting the message about being "held in utter contempt by many Evertonians"...

Would that be the staunch Evertonians who marched in support of Blue Union — to much derision from fellow but not like-minded fans?

Or would that be the countless thousands who applauded his appearance on the big screens at Goodison?

You could understand him being just a tad confused...

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 15/04/2015 at 18:51:00
The Blue Union told it how it was. From when Kenwright took over the running of the club to a couple of years ago, there was a vast negative difference but people (Everton fans) didnÂ’t want to know.

I’ve argued with fellow Blues about Kenwright and his running of the club, the usual response is "he’s one of Us". There is no way he is anything like me or any Evertonian I know or have ever met, he is a complete and utter phoney but he gets away with it – and will continue to until he snuffs it.

Rick Tarleton
25 Posted 15/04/2015 at 19:51:52
IÂ’ve been writing about Bill Kenwright for over ten years on this site, many in the fullness of time are no longer archived, but the basic point remains true. He is not interested in either selling the club or being the man to lead Everton forward.

He simply wants to be "Boys Pen Bill", an actor playing the part of a football club chairman.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 15/04/2015 at 19:59:41
Will do Andy. Rick you are so right, the guy is a complete phoney. Crocodile tears and all.
Winston Williamson
27 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:00:52
Andy 22 - already signed the petition.

However, IÂ’d imagine ToffeeWeb reaches more people who will take the time to vote... that said IÂ’ve been asking every blue I know to sign that bloody petition.

Steve Woods
28 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:11:27
Can someone please point me toward where
I can sign the petition, thanks.
Rick Tarleton
29 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:13:34
Thanks, Andy, I’ve signed the petition. My feeling is that most supporters see him as one of us, but he isn’t he’s one of 'me' – an ego-driven prat.

PatrickÂ’s article is so good, because he constructs the problems and the role of the Board in those problems. This article needs an even wider audience, that only 27 responses have come through is a sign of either ignorance or indifference and ToffeeWeb is the one site where constructive criticism is aired.

Helen Mallon
30 Posted 15/04/2015 at 19:31:17
There are only 270 odd people who have signed that petition. We need a proper ToffeeWeb one please.
Joe McMahon
31 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:23:02
Patrick, what a superb but sadly true account of the last 30 odd years. Goodison Park has the worst facilities than any other ground in the Premier League (Even Burnley have two better stands and corporate facilities). Not to mention several shiny new stadiums in the Championship.

Kenwright alone has held this club back, Kings Dock would have changed everything, but nope, nil, and zilch. 20 years since the last FA Cup win, will we win anything again? The only FA the Kenwright decades will bring will be sweet FA. The man is a charlatan at best and at worst heÂ’s a parasite.

Darren Hind
32 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:13:25
Unfortunately, Michael's spot on, Blue Bill knows he has enemies, but he seeÂ’s them as a minority. who couldn't possibly understand the difficulties of running a football club.

A large percentage of fans are simply not interested in what goes on behind the scenes. They have their own problems and simply want to escape by meeting the mates for a few beers and a few laughs then walking up to the match.

No Harm in that on the face of it – thats the way it always used to be. If people like Colin Fitz hadn't rang the bell, their numbers would be even greater.

These people are good Evertonians, they love their club, but if they don't want to look at the unpleasant stuff behind the scenes you have to respect their wishes.

WeÂ’re stuck with the Bastard.

Bill Griffiths
33 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:35:06
Tried googling as indicated above but nothing showing?
Andy Crooks
34 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:20:59
Michael # 21, a very fair point. I have a scouser pal who gets to more games than me and he will not hear a bad word about Kenwright. When I try to explain my animosity, his eyes glaze over and he tells me we are lucky to have a true fan as chairman.

IÂ’ve thought a bit about this and this is what I,Â’ve come up with:

Bill deals in broad stroke emotion. No detail but plenty of fine and tear-stained words. He makes connections, he lives the dream and it is like one of us living the dream. He canÂ’t stand scrutiny and factual examination. So he creates a narrative and asks us to buy into it. It is tempting to do so given that a large section of the media have. Look how he managed to turn some Evertonians against the stalwarts of the he Blue Union.

He is a consummate luvvy who is a natural at this game. I actually think that he believes that his saying something makes it so. He tells us what we want to hear and such people are almost impossible to deal with and confront.

Fifty million signatures would hurt him but he would process the information and put a martyr-like spin on it. Still, signing petition alerts others that all is not well and I like WinstonÂ’s notion of ToffeeWeb doing something.

This does not make ToffeeWeb anti-Kenwright because those who support him can put their views up here with the rest of us. I have never read a factual defence of him and would ask anyone capable of providing one to do so.

Jay Woods
35 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:30:56
Great, great article, the best I think IÂ’ve ever read on TW - well done.

While the original problem might be that the club failed to capitalise on the strength of its mid 1980s side due to the post-Heysel injustice, the current problem is undeniably the wrong board in charge. That situation was perpetuated by the masses who idiotically applauded BK at a time when the fans should have presented a united voice in opposition to his regime. The clapping told him to carry on, weÂ’re happy with the status quo, youÂ’re doing a good job. So in a very real sense, the broader Evertonian fanbase deserves precisely what itÂ’s getting: stagnation.

Stephen Brown
36 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:30:48
Great read Patrick. I canÂ’t see a petition gaining enough support sadly as many people are in the Â’be careful what you wish forÂ’ camp!

An article like this really hits home about insignificant our club has become in the premier league stage. I Think we are more likely to join Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds rather than Man City.
I live in South Wales and nobody here really recognises Everton as a big club. I was talking about history of the club and Everton being the 4th most successful club of all time. A few of my mates questioned this ? And made comments like a bit like Preston ?!
We need to invest in the team to at least be challenging for cups etc otherwise we will not engage any new younger fans!

IÂ’m afraid out only hope is for UKIP to win the election and deport all foreign owners!!

Andy Crooks
37 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:40:01
It us renting(kindle) should read it is tempting.
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:23:58
Do I have to be a member to sign this petition? IÂ’ve tried several times but to no avail.
Andy Crooks
39 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:48:08
Colin, put change .org petition for bill kenwright to relinquish control of Everton Into google. I would urge all concerned Evertonians to do so.
Helen Mallon
40 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:50:59
it does work Colin I have just signed keep trying mate.
Colin Glassar
41 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:52:09
IÂ’ve done all that Andy but when I hit the Â’submitÂ’ button nothing happens. IÂ’ll keep on trying as I want this man out.
Kevin Tully
42 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:44:48
The article references the other mob across the park, but can you imagine their support putting up with the shambles of a board that are in charge at Everton? They would have hounded them out years ago, as soon as it became apparent they were unsuitable custodians.

The difference with us is, we laugh at every takeover rumour, we shrug our shoulders when lies are exposed, and as Darren says above, the majority arenÂ’t really interested what is happening behind the scenes. Renting our new training ground off the Council after selling Bellefield? Go right ahead, you wonÂ’t hear a peep out of any Blues.

The board of Everton F.C. couldnÂ’t have chosen a more placid fanbase than ours if they had tried. ThatÂ’s not in any way a criticism, itÂ’s a fact. We have been doped up on mediocrity after a relegation scare in the 90Â’s. We accepted survival was the height of our ambition, and the board have gladly seized that Â’ambition.Â’

Colin Glassar
43 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:56:18
Done!! Kenwright out!!
Helen Mallon
44 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:58:30
You are all correct in all your views, but it can change. Lots on here myself included go to games and thatÂ’s where the fans should be venting there disgust at the board with signs and banners and plenty of shouting.
Peter Laing
45 Posted 15/04/2015 at 20:47:09
Blue Union turned up the heat on Kenwright and co but having attended the two marches and a couple of meetings in the Casa I can definitely say that we were very much in the minority. Everton under Kenwright has been a litanous tale of apathy and the vast majority of EvertonianÂ’s have idly stood by and watched as our great Club has be turned into an also ran. No trophy for now over 20 years and very little hope on the horizon of Everton being seriously in a position to compete for silverware.
Rick Tarleton
46 Posted 15/04/2015 at 21:16:51
Whether itÂ’ll do any good IÂ’ve put the petition on Facebook and hope one or two others will so we can share it.
John Gee
47 Posted 15/04/2015 at 21:35:57
ItÂ’s a dirty phrase in this country because itÂ’s the only thing that works and weÂ’re discouraged from ever going down that route but if you want change there is only ever one way... DIRECT ACTION.

I was suspicious of the blue union from the start, and while I agree mostly with what they say, my suspicion was well founded. As soon as we got a few wins they effectively gave up. Right now theyÂ’re a busted flush. Comparing them to the organisation across the park is doing them a service they donÂ’t deserve.

Banners, marches, media presence at theLink least. But direct action is the only way that anyone will take notice. Power to the people.

Peter Mills
48 Posted 15/04/2015 at 21:31:29
I was uncomfortable about the Blue Union protest march, but decided to go to one of the meetings at the Casa and was pleasantly surprised, it was just full of passionate Blues, none of whom seemed monstrous.

I wonder if phlegmatism and a sense of resignation is in our DNA? In my time supporting Everton I, like many others, have had to watch our neighbours win the FA Cup for the first time in their history, witness them winning European Cups, suffered the various refereeing injustices, the consequences of Heysel, and so on and so on. But what of my Grandad, who saw his team of champions in 1914 unable to defend their title, as did my Dad in 1939? We have had to accept so much, perhaps we are simply used to it. And perhaps people within the Club play on that?

Andy Crooks
49 Posted 15/04/2015 at 21:46:19
John, I donÂ’t live in Liverpool but I admire the efforts of the Blue Union. I donÂ’t know what their strategy is but it would seem to me that the timing of protest is vital and I think they are being astute.
Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 15/04/2015 at 21:51:08
John (47) why were you suspicious of the Blue Union if you agreed, mostly with what they say?.
Keith Harrison
51 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:00:27
Hello, I just signed the petition, "bill kenwright: Petition for Bill Kenwright to relinquish ownership of Everton." I think this is important. Will you sign it too? HereÂ’s the link: http://www.change.org/p/bill-kenwright-petition-for-bill-kenwright-to-relinquish-ownership-of-Everton Thanks, Keith
Patrick Murphy
52 Posted 15/04/2015 at 21:50:08
Peter - I think that you are right, there is a little bit of cÂ’est la vie in our DNA everything is just water off a duckÂ’s back, the passionÂ’s is there but Evertonians unlike most like-minded groups donÂ’t really do mass protests and on the whole are suspicious of anything resembling organised events. I donÂ’t have an answer as to why that is the case but it does set us apart from most clubs.

Anyone who was at the Wimbledon game in 1994 will know how partisan we are as fans and I suppose it is only in a real crisis that Evertonians will rise up and demand change when things are going very badly wrong on or off the pitch. The situation as it is now and has been for some time doesnÂ’t really threaten the existence of the club or in truth our position in the top flight.

Many fans will be happy to go with the flow while some are unhappy that we are unable to compete at the top end of the table, at the moment it would seem that the majority are content to stick with what we have.

John Gee
53 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:03:52
Just to clarify...

I wasnÂ’t suspicious of the blue union because of their motives or anything like that. I mean that they seemed destined to fizzle out. They seemed to me like a copycat organisation with no power, direction or plan. At worse a bunch of people who wanted a spotlight, at best a group who didnÂ’t have enough courage to follow through.

IÂ’m not against them. From the ashes a phoenix and all that. But if they want fellow blues to take them seriously then they have to do more. But consider me a floating voter watching with interest and hope they can achieve a place in our history.Link

Paul Hewitt
54 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:07:49
The 3 teams that will be relegated this season have all had big investment.
Not done them any good though
Patrick Murphy
55 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:14:09
Paul - If the three clubs who are relegated are QPR, Burnley and Leicester none of them are what might be called super powers of English Football admittedly Burnley have had their fair share of honours but like the other two have been in the lower divisions for much of the last forty years, Everton are different from that perspective and the fan base of Everton is still a very big one although not in comparison to some other Premier League clubs.

I would argue that if money had have been invested in Everton during the mid to late 2000s the club may have had a better than even chance of forcing their way through that glass ceiling, of course there is no guarantee that any investment will reap rewards but there is a certainty that no investment will reap very little or in fact nothing.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:14:24
Fair enough John, but the way I saw it was if they couldnÂ’t get more people interested when they were stinking the place out ( the team that is ) there wasnÂ’t a lot going to change their minds when they started picking up. The Blue Union are still there and I hope we havenÂ’t heard the last of them.
Trevor Peers
57 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:07:57
I signed the petition last week out of utter frustration. It will only have any meaning if it hits 30000 or more names .
Maybe then the press will take an interest. ItÂ’s a gesture that might snowball into something worthwhile. What else can those of us who are totally disillusioned with this board and BK do ?
John Gee
58 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:30:18
IÂ’d take my opinions with a pinch of salt though. Evidently, I canÂ’t manage to post a comment without posting an unintended link. I just pray to god that my mum isnÂ’t reading this and my links have nothing to do with my Internet search history!

IÂ’m in my thirties but you never stop worrying!

Dick Fearon
59 Posted 15/04/2015 at 22:11:53
I am not tarring all fans with the same brush yet there is no truth in the much vaunted suggestion that Evertonians are smarter than your average fan.
We have stood idly by while our club is systematically being stripped of its dignity hopes and dreams.
Kenwright has proved to be a liar when saying no one is buying football clubs these days.
He also heaps praise on his boardroom mates who apart from buying shares have not invested a penny of their vast fortunes.
Where were these so called great friends of Everton when Kings Dock was allowed to fall over.
Why are we faced with a new set of regulatory complications plus resident objections at WHP when Stanley Park is ready to go.
Surely it doesnÂ’t mean another of Bills glorious failures is in the offing.
If he really had the clubs welfare at heart he would have got rid of a certain bloke months ago.
The clubs motto should be changed to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.

Colin Glassar
60 Posted 15/04/2015 at 23:19:23
Can someone keep us updated with how many signatures this petition is getting?
Patrick Murphy
61 Posted 15/04/2015 at 23:29:54
The Newcastle United fans are supposed to be staging a boycott of their match with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday as the club had 㿎M in their bank account at the end of the last financial year.

Newcastle fanzine editor Mark Jensen told the BBC "A lot of fans would ask why was a significant portion of that money not spent on team strengthening?"

Patrick Murphy
62 Posted 15/04/2015 at 23:35:51
I was going to advocate dissatisfied fans wear a Blue Ribbon because itÂ’s original symbolic meaning was "high quality" but then I read that "the blue ribbon is internationally used to spread awareness of chronic fatigue syndrome" among many other uses. So IÂ’m not sure if it would be apt or not.
Michael Kenrick
63 Posted 16/04/2015 at 07:51:43
Andy (#34), great post, and some unusual insight beyond the obvious, looking into the personality behind this man and trying to grasp what really drives him, with the hope that we could figure out what might make him stop and think...

(Sorry I’m late getting to stuff – I had to do me bloody taxes. Haven’t read the rest of the thread yet...)

I remember being very surprised when Peter Johnson responded to fan pressure... although it might or have been simply coincidence, and it was already time for him to sell up and move back to Birkenhead.

IÂ’m sure youÂ’re on the right track; thereÂ’s something different about him that seems to make him immune. A lot of very clever Everton minds (unfortunately lacking sufficient readies) have I believe made a run at it.

It’s a classic case of status quo (time for a song!) – nothing is going to change... until it does. But we have no idea when that will be. I think that must be driving a few people mad!

Brian Harrison
64 Posted 16/04/2015 at 11:17:09
I, like many, think the biggest error was not securing the Kings Dock as our new ground, and I am sure that we would have had interest if that had happened. The proposed new stadium is dependent on someone else stumping up the money, so another turn-off for a potential buyer. Also with the FFP then even a billionaire can't invest as Man City owners did originally.

Then we could end up with a Mike Ashley or a Vincent Tan or even worse the Venkeys. Maybe that's why BK is after concrete guarantees about the validity, not over a new owner's ability to buy the club, but what investment they are prepared to put on over say a 5-year period.

Kevin Tully
65 Posted 16/04/2015 at 11:30:36
After 20 years without a pot and no sign of any progress, it’s stats such as this which make you realise how far behind we have fallen: "Reds boss would become just the second Liverpool manager to finish their first three seasons trophyless in over 50 years – should he miss out on this season’s FA Cup."
Patrick Murphy
66 Posted 16/04/2015 at 11:48:56
Brian (#64),

Would a new stadium – if built and paid for by new owners – count in the Financial Fair Play rules? If it does, then we’ll never see a new stadium; if it doesn’t, would that perversely make us more attractive?

Patrick Murphy
67 Posted 16/04/2015 at 11:54:05
Kevin, I was trying to forget that the other lot still have an opportunity to put a trophy on the sideboard this season.

On the subject of managers, IÂ’m wondering if Klopp will end up at Bayern Munich and that Pep Guardiola becomes the new boss at Man City?

Colin Glassar
68 Posted 16/04/2015 at 11:55:15
Patrick, I donÂ’t think a new stadium has anything to do with FFP. ItÂ’s to do more with transfers + wages against income.
Mike Childs
69 Posted 16/04/2015 at 12:04:52
Excellent article and posts. My history of the club comes from you guys and gals. I do know one of the teams I have followed all my life over here is the NFL NY Giants and the fans took to protesting by standing outside the stadium and burning their tickets. Within a few years, a new stadium was built and a few later their first Super Bowl win.

Off to sign the petition because for me it makes no sense to back a board that doesnÂ’t invest in their club after record setting TV deals. I think the board has been getting a free pass from a lot because of the great charity work of the EITC.

Mike Childs
70 Posted 16/04/2015 at 12:18:47
Petition signed and shared on Facebook.
Colin Glassar
71 Posted 16/04/2015 at 12:29:58
Only 288 signatures so far.
Matt Traynor
72 Posted 16/04/2015 at 12:28:20
Investment into the stadium doesnÂ’t count in FFP under whatÂ’s called "allowable expenditure". Those shiesters across the park buried over 𧴜m in "allowable expenditure" on the failed Stanley Park project – yeah, the one that never saw a brick laid.

Brian (#64) – as BK proved with his "man in a bedsit" story, he’ll sell to anyone if they meet the asking price. He, or rather his backers, don’t give a flying fuck who they sell to as long as they make bank.

Brian Harrison
73 Posted 16/04/2015 at 14:16:45
Patrick (#66),

As Matt stated, the FFP rules do not include a new ground or training facilities, but it is based on income. When you think what Man Utd get for sponsorship of their training kit, it just shows the massive the gap between the very top clubs and us. Even if we got the richest man in the world to buy us, breaking into the top 4 investment wise would take us at least 10 years and maybe even longer than that.

So, if fans are thinking we can get a rich owner who could transform us to being what we were under Sir John Moores, then they are whistling in the wind unfortunately.

Patrick Murphy
74 Posted 16/04/2015 at 14:36:07
Cheers, Brian - It looks like the shop has closed for business and weÂ’ll have to make do with what we have.

Patrick Murphy
75 Posted 16/04/2015 at 15:07:32
George Culkin writing about Newcastle United in his blog says:

"Stability is fine when it is the byproduct of competence. When it becomes the goal itself, corrosion sets in. If cups are not a priority, what is? Why would footballers commit to a club which seems content to exist in mid-table, never over-reaching? For two seasons in succession, Newcastle have effectively boarded the doors in January, either selling their best player or delaying the appointment of a permanent manager. What message does that deliver?"

There are a few similarities about what he writes about the Bar-codes and what has / is happening at Goodison. Fortunately Everton still have close ties with the community whereas those ties in the North East appeared to have been strained or severed.

Nevertheless it is worth reading the whole piece to show that football is beginning to forget what it is there for.

George Caulkin

Eric Myles
76 Posted 16/04/2015 at 15:11:00
Brian (#73), unless the owners bend the FFP rules and make huge sponsorship deals with companies they own – like Man City and our neighbours have done.
Rick Tarleton
77 Posted 16/04/2015 at 19:41:25
Patrick MurphyÂ’s point is valid and what I alluded to when I compared Kenwright with Ashley. I donÂ’t mind too much, IÂ’m lying, but I could live with being what we are, if I felt the Board was doing its best to improve us. They arenÂ’t and thatÂ’s what gets my goat.

For John Moores in my era, it was easier, but think Man City ten years ago and itÂ’s still possible and I believe Everton are still a hugely more attractive proposition than West Brom etc.

John Keating
78 Posted 16/04/2015 at 19:58:22
Excellent article Patrick. The title in itself is not only spot on but also intimates on another reason of our demise.

Growing up in Everton in the 50s was a good time to be a Blue in regards to support. As a kid, I thought the area and streets outside of the triangle of Everton Brow, Netherfield Road and Great Homer Street was a foreign land. There was no need to go outside that triangle, shops, ale houses, a picture house who needed anything else.

That area was by far staunch Blue and on match days you either walked along Netherfield Road or Gt Homer Steet to the ground. As you walked along so you picked up thousands more coming from the Scottie Road area or Kensington. Families had lived in the same streets for generations.

On Sunday at early mass the priests would comment on the poor attendance, not because they were all non believers, but because they were all pissed from the night before either celebrating a win or drowning their sorrows! Either way, the wives were told to make sure they turned up for late mass.

When the new towns like Kirkby and Skem were built, the biggest loser – in a way – was Everton, the area. The people and families were decanted out to the new areas. Don’t get me wrong, socially it was better. No more slums with only outside bogs; no more 6 in a room being bit all night by the bed bugs and keeping warm under all the coats on the beds. When the people left, so did the spirit.

Thousands who decanted out still made the game but many many didnÂ’t. Getting the bus into town rather than walking to the match was without doubt a put-off and definitely diluted the fervour of the support.

As the RS got success in the 60Â’s and 70Â’s so they got an "outsider" following that lasts to this day. Look at the town the morning the RS are at home, full of folk from God knows where, accents from all over the UK and abroad.

Just maintaining our level of support in itself is an achievement, whether this can be maintained in the next generation I donÂ’t know. I just hope the Lost Tribe Of Everton is not lost forever.

Colin Glassar
79 Posted 16/04/2015 at 21:59:43
Brilliant post, John. I remember sleeping under those overcoats in the winter!!
Patrick Murphy
80 Posted 16/04/2015 at 22:04:15
If the Echo’s figures are to be believed, they say that some 48,000 people voted on their "who to keep – who to sell" ballot so there are still many many Evertonians out there, despite all of our issues in recent decades.

Colin Glassar
81 Posted 16/04/2015 at 22:16:36
The RS claim to have 562,342,137 fans worldwide. I wonder how many we have?
Patrick Murphy
82 Posted 16/04/2015 at 22:19:32
I donÂ’t think weÂ’ll have half a million never mind half a billion, Colin.

My god – one kopite is too many for me... but half a billion – I demand a recount.

Paul Jeronovich
83 Posted 16/04/2015 at 22:15:31
Great article and I do worry about how far we will be left behind in the next couple of years. Liverpool Mutual Homes Chief Executive is a big blue, so is Joe Anderson (allegedly). LetÂ’s hope we get what we deserve.

However, I canÂ’t go along with the list of clubs and the billionaire ownership....... Villa have had nothing spent from LernerÂ’s own pocket, so some Villa fans tell me. Liverpool and Man Utd owners have borrowed against the club. Two takeovers have been stuff of dreams... Chelsea and Man City. Two out of that big list... the rest is a bit of old bollocks for me.

Andy Crooks
84 Posted 17/04/2015 at 00:50:08
I think the wording of the petition is fair but not pragmatic. I suggest the following on ToffeeWeb:

"Bill, we appreciate what you have done for the club and the sacrifices you have made. We feel that investment is needed and urge you to sell. However, the club needs a proper Evertonian as a guardian and we ask that you remain as an honorary Chairman safeguarding the club as you have always done."

Tears, handshakes, martyrdom, Boys Pen, Z-Cars and Bill's blue hand taking care of us as he always has... Job done.

John Keating
85 Posted 17/04/2015 at 06:29:45

Just two points from your great article.

First, I totally agree with your City Centre ground. It would be a fantastic achievement if somehow that could come off.

Second, I just canÂ’t agree with your indirect support of Prentice and OÂ’Keefe at the Echo. These two supposed journalists have for years taken the Clubs "shilling". They have never questioned anything the board have or have not done. They have never put any legitimate/controversial point to either manager or Chairman. AllÂ’s theyÂ’ve done is wolfed down the Club's treble gin-and-tonics and ham sarnies on match days.

Had they done so and been banned, national journals would have taken up the cudgel and the pressure on the Club may well have elicited change.

Richard Reeves
86 Posted 17/04/2015 at 11:50:16
Great article, Patrick; I agree with all of it.

IÂ’ve said the same thing about the stadium. IÂ’ve even convinced myself that I wouldnÂ’t be bothered if it looked like that cow shed we were being coned into before, as long as it sat on the waterfront as close to the Liver Building with a big fuck-off blue Everton sign adding to the skyline. After all, stadiums never keep theyÂ’re original designs and you canÂ’t move it.

On the subject of Kenwright, I said this a couple of years ago but still want him to be held accountable for his actions whilst heÂ’s still alive. I donÂ’t want the true runnings of the club or any major criticisms to come out when heÂ’s six feet under. It always seems to be the way that someone's protecting someone else until they're gone or that someone is allowed to investigate more and then the truth comes out.

Mike Childs
87 Posted 17/04/2015 at 16:51:34
As a newer member I need somebody to explain the meaning behind Boys Pen? Thanks in advance.
Peter Mills
88 Posted 17/04/2015 at 19:14:49
Mike, it was a cage behind the Gwladys Street goal that young men could go into for a reduced entrance fee in order to watch the match.
Dick Fearon
89 Posted 17/04/2015 at 21:31:46
I met lifelong football-going pals in the Boys Pen with whom, for many years later, we would meet enjoy pre- and post-match drinks at the Abbey also to organize our away gametrips. Promotion in 1954 and the 1966 Cup final were particular highlights. From that motley happy passionate bunch of Blues, I am the last survivor and I miss those football mad days.

As boys, we idolized every player, some only fractionally more than others. When the game was not going in our favour you could rely on shrill screams of support from the pen.

Up to 14 years of age, entrance to the pen was 6 pence; from 14 to 16 we were allowed into the general crowd areas for 2 shillings.

Goodison in those days was one of the finest grounds outside Wembley and that was why it was granted a number of World Cup games in 1966. It was undoubtedly a far better option than Anfield. That it is now looked upon as a quaint relic is a condemnation of all those directors since then.

Andy Crooks
90 Posted 18/04/2015 at 00:42:47
Rick, good post. The first time I went to Goodison Park was in the sixties and it seemed the most sophisticated magical place in the world. It still does, but looks kind of the same.
Andy Crooks
91 Posted 18/04/2015 at 00:46:39
Apologies, Dick. The typing is not so good at this hour.
Andy Meighan
92 Posted 17/04/2015 at 19:52:36
Correction, Peter, it was a cage behind the Gwladys Street goal where you could get in for a reduced fee but couldnÂ’t see a bleeding thing... er, well, if you were vertically challenged, like me, you couldnÂ’t.
Dick Fearon
93 Posted 18/04/2015 at 07:13:39
No need for apologies, Andy. Despite my best efforts, my own spelling and grammar is woeful. We can but try, eh?
Eric Myles
94 Posted 18/04/2015 at 08:15:22
Me Mam wouldnÂ’t allow me to go in the Boys Pen as she thought it was full of young hooligans (seems she was right!).

I went in the Goodison Road side, pre new stand, with a beer crate to stand on up against the front wall.

John Keating
95 Posted 18/04/2015 at 09:14:49

I only went in the pen if my dad had spent all his money in the ale houses on the way to the ground ! Mind you he always got us a packet of crisps – with the blue salt packet – and a bottle of sarsaparilla, two if he was really pissed. If he hadn’t spent all his money we went in the ground and he always sat us "on the bar" (barrier).

We only lived by the Friary church at the end of Great Homer Street and I never really understood why we had to leave about 10 oÂ’clock for a 3 pm kick-off and never got home until about 11 at night, well until I found the evil of drink!!
Happy days.

Alan McGuffog
96 Posted 18/04/2015 at 09:16:07
The BoyÂ’s Pen! Dear God, IÂ’ve been in therapy for over 60 years coming to terms with that place. If Dante had described it in the Divine Comedy, he would have been ridiculed for being over the top.

It would have stood one in good stead if unfortunate enough to find oneself in a Colombian prison. Avoid eye contact. Avoid giving the impression you had any cash left after paying the 6d entrance fee. Avoid anyone wanting a light. Avoid standing next to anyone who gushed on about Dave Hickson and professed an interest in the stage!

Steve Carse
97 Posted 18/04/2015 at 09:17:02
If anything the article understates just how big we were so our demise is actually somewhat greater than indicated. Likewise GP was not just one of the best stadiums outside of Wembley, but THE best, and by some distance.

Our fanbase has reduced. Amazing given the rebirth of football since the inception of the PL. So much so that while we think our present day attendances in the mid 30,000s are good, it has to be put in the context of a club like West Ham getting similar when in days gone by theyÂ’d have typically been pulling crowds of 10 - 20,000 less even when they were doing well.

IÂ’m not much concerned about the international market. YouÂ’ll make inroads into that only if you get success. No, IÂ’m more concerned about the local support base. LetÂ’s not kid ourselves, the Blue:Red split is now perhaps around 40:60. That sounds close, but in fact it means there are 50% more Reds. I know the fluke in Istanbul has been a massive factor in creating this gap but the Club has done itself no favours with its unbelievably poor commercial efforts and, excepting the relatively recent opening of Everton 2, its virtually total removal of its visual exposure in the city.

By the way, as for highlighting our existence to overseas visitors, how about making a start by putting a large structure of the Everton crest flat on the roof of Finch Farm – FF is under or very close to the flight path of the majority of planes coming in to JLA. Let’s also put up billboards at a couple of sites in the city and alongside the escalators at the city centre rail stations. Can we go even further - would we be permitted to throw the crest into the night skies using laser projection from GP?

But irrespective of much of this, FFS lets scrap the crazy Kitbag deal asap so that visitors and locals have the necessary retail exposure and access to EFC merchandise.

Colin Glassar
98 Posted 18/04/2015 at 10:24:34
Richard (#86), are you suggesting a Nuremberg war crimes type trial?

"Big Bill, you are charged with crimes against football and Everton Football Club in particular. How do you plead?"

"Innocent, m’lord. Ever since I stood in the Boys Pen, all I’ve ever wanted was to own EFC and say to my fellow ex-penners – Who’s calling me a fat bastard now, fuckers?"

WeÂ’ll never get rid of him while heÂ’s alive!

Mike Childs
99 Posted 18/04/2015 at 13:24:12
Thanks guys, it does sound like it must have been a magical place to grow up with.
Richard Reeves
100 Posted 18/04/2015 at 21:11:49
Colin (#98), He would somehow walk away (probably with a tear in his eye).

A start would be some good critical pieces from the media pointing out the facts and not getting into sentimentality about good intentions. A club our size has been financially poor for far too long and to have a net spend of ٠ mill a year during the Kenwright years is a disgrace.

I think weÂ’ve all had enough of the lies, spin and media bias although I thought the same thing a few years ago when expecting the crowd at Goodison to make their feelings known and look how that went.

Andy Crooks
101 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:01:56
Good post, Steve. If we had 50,000 capacity stadium tomorrow, would we fill it?
Patrick Murphy
102 Posted 18/04/2015 at 22:07:09
Andy the fact we are getting just on 40,000 in a stadium that has many issues with facilities and obstructed views etc, I think we could fill a 50,000-seater on a fairly regular basis. I think we will also keep a pretty high attendance figure at Goodison as people now realise that it won’t be our home for too much longer – well... not much longer anyway.
Steve Carse
103 Posted 19/04/2015 at 02:03:43
Andy (101), yes we would. As Patrick points out, weÂ’re filling the ground now for the majority of games. And evidence from elsewhere indicates that new stadia, for reasons I donÂ’t fully understand, immediately seem to generate 10-20% bigger crowds.
Mark Cooper
104 Posted 19/04/2015 at 08:55:28
I donÂ’t know enough to comment about the financial side of what has gone on at the club over the last 20 years or so (IÂ’m not an accountant) but I donÂ’t hate Kenwright. I believe he is misguided and I do think he should have moved on by now.

His years at the club have taken us dramatically backwards and, as pointed out, it is the damage done to future support (a point I have been making to fellow Evertonians for a few years now) that I find most disturbing.

We could still fill a 50,000 stadium, fill Wembley Way with blue and constantly pack out away ends at the moment, yes, but where are the youngsters coming from to replace us in 10, 20 years time? This I fear will be Kenwright's legacy to the club and something he and we as Evertonians should consider very carefully.

Andrew Clare
105 Posted 19/04/2015 at 09:16:25
Fantastic article, Patrick.

Everton is a great great club that has been left to wallow in no-manÂ’s land by a totally unambitious board. So many of the younger fans have no idea of EvertonÂ’s standing in English football. That goes for the media as well who think that Everton are just another mid-table club.

Until Kenwright and his cronies go, we are well and truly stuffed. The trouble is that, if they donÂ’t go soon, it will be too late.

Dave Abrahams
106 Posted 19/04/2015 at 17:54:41
John Keating, you must have lived near me, I went to The Friary, aka, Netherfield Road RC, great area, great days, especially watching Everton home and away. It was funny when you went to away matches how you always found things before they were lost.

Peter Mills, surely the Boys Pen was under The Upper Bullens Road stand in the corner next to Gwladys St. And IÂ’m sure it was 9 pence (old money) to get in, but it was a long time ago so your memory is maybe better than mine.

Paul Burns
107 Posted 19/04/2015 at 22:09:18
ItÂ’s a waste of time signing that petition, no one takes any notice of those things even if thousands bothered signing.

ONLY direct action will work, not getting season tickets, boycotting matches, shouting the odds at the phony inside the ground. We could start slowly with one of those flags Man Utd had like a ticking clock showing the years since a trophy sliding past. Or a massive one stating "Dave Hickson will be turning in his grave with the state of Everton FC" – facing Kenwright from the Upper Bullens.

Dennis Stevens
108 Posted 19/04/2015 at 23:46:12
I think that petition rather misses the point by focussing on Kenwright, we need a complete clear out of the Boardroom.
Dick Fearon
109 Posted 19/04/2015 at 23:55:49
Alan Mc, 96,

I found the Boys Pen to be a peaceful haven safe from the usual rough and tumble of life in the Dingle.

Dave Ganley
112 Posted 20/04/2015 at 20:45:58
For the past few weeks I have been in a state of apathy regarding the performances of Everton this season. However, after reading your excellent article Patrick, I have awoken from this apathy and now actually care yet again.....IÂ’m not sure whether to love you or loathe you for that
Christopher Kelly
113 Posted 21/04/2015 at 01:40:33
Just signed the petition. I would like to see another trophy lifted in my lifetime. If you would too, sign the petition and share it with concerned fans who care about the club and winning.

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