Everton Must Stand Firm Over Precious Stones

Chelsea have played their first card in what will probably a summer-long game over John Stones but if Everton harbour any ambitions of challenging for the top four again, then the club simply has to hold onto him unless Roman Abramovich offers silly money.

Lyndon Lloyd 17/07/2015 97comments  |  Jump to last

And so it has begun... Reports of Chelsea's interest in John Stones that surfaced shortly after the end of last season, easily dismissed at the time as tabloids filling column inches with obvious stories at the onset of the "dog days" of summer, have now morphed into what appears to be a concrete bid from the Premier League title-holders for a player who is arguably Everton's most valuable long-term asset.

That 20m offer has been summarily rejected, of course, but the story won't end there; Roman Abramovich will undoubtedly be back to test the Blues' resolve. The problem with having something that everyone else wants, of course, is that you regularly have to fend off attempts to steal it away. Like a lone leopard protecting its kill from a cackle of circling hyenas, the club will be nervously guarding its asset from those covetous interests... except in this analogy, it's more like an 800lb gorilla weighing up an attack, one that often throws its weight around sufficienty to get what it wants.

In that respect, the end of the transfer window can't come soon enough for Evertonians who see in Stones a future Everton and England captain capable of leading our team for many, many years to come. A gifted, "ball-playing" defender whose composure belies his 21 years, he also seems to have a rare maturity and sense of perspective when it comes to his career. In stark contrast to his England teammate, Raheem Sterling, whose dummy-spitting eventually engineered a big-money move from Liverpool to Manchester City this month, everything Stones says indicates that his feet are planted firmly on the ground and that he is content to grow and develop where he is now, his eyes firmly on the long term rather than short-term attention and riches.

The belief that Stones is unlikely to swap regular first-team football for the bench at Stamford Bridge by forcing his own exit from Goodison Park will comfort Blues fans between now and the end of summer and it shifts the onus on keeping him at Everton to Roberto Martinez, Bill Kenwright's and the Board of Directors.

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There too there is hope, however. If Martinez has demonstrated anything in his blooding of the likes of Stones, Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning it's that he places a high value on youth being the key to the club's medium-term future in the absence of huge transfer budgets to transform the squad. The hierarchy, meanwhile, benefiting from an easing in the imperative to sell on the back of increased broadcast revenues, have successfully dug their heels in over Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman over the past couple of years and kept Martinez's team together.

Memories of Joleon Lescott, Jack Rodwell and, in particular, Wayne Rooney players sold for significant profit, albeit for differering reasons and with varying results live on in the memory, however, and that, combined with Everton's increasing inferiority complex when it comes to the "big five" and their gargantuan budgets, means that news of Chelsea's verifiable interest has been met by many with a foreboding sense of deja vu.

Importantly, Sterling's recent move to the Etihad, City's own acquisition of Eliaquim Mangala, Manchester United's historical expenditure on defenders, and Abramovich's own dealings provide plenty of context for Everton standing firm over Stones's value to the club, not just now but his potential value in the future.

Sterling, a year younger but with few more achievements to point to than John, went for 49m; in Mangala, City paid by most estimations an exorbitant 41m for a player who has often looked lost in the environs of the Premier League; United paid 29m for Rio Ferdinand a decade ago (a bargain in today's market) and 30m for 18-year-old Luke Shaw last year; and, perhaps most pertinently of all, Chelsea sold David Luiz to PSG for a staggering 50m.

As long as Stones wants to stay a Blue and the TV money keeps rolling in, the club have no reason to sell and Martinez's comments only this week in response to interest in James McCarthy another important player whom Everton should do their utmost to keep this summer would back that up. Every player has his price, of course while the risk of a career-ending injury lurks for every professional player, it would short-sighted not consider silly money for any player but Everton should close their ears to anything under 50m.

To an outsider, that may seem ridiculous for a 21-year-old who is still learning his trade but, like John Terry, Chelsea are clearly looking at an investment in a long-term fixture for their club and that should come with a hefty, Luiz-sized premium. They can certainly afford it.

While Martinez continues to operate within a strictly-controlled budget, if Everton harbour any ambitions of challenging for the top four again, then the club simply has to hold onto its best players. The manager's rhetoric reflects that and so have the Board's actions over the past couple of years as they have rebuffed interest in our young stars and rewarded them with new contracts. It's imperative that continues.

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Reader Comments (97)

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Charles Brewer
1 Posted 17/07/2015 at 20:27:01
Sadly, I fear that the most likely outcome is Stones going to Chelsea for around £25-30 million, winding up on the bench for a season or two and never being heard of again (he may play for England, but unlike the women’s team, that’s no route to fame and stardom).

We sold a player recognised as the best of his generation, and soon to be the highest England international goalkeeper, for a couple of million less than a divisive defensive goon, Ferdinand, and the manager appeared to be just as lacking in funds afterwards.

At least when Liverpool sell a decent player, they get a decent return. Everton’s board appears to be rather like the 18th-Century Pacific islanders, dazzled by a few beads and knives worth next to nothing, and hand over whatever is requested without the slightest understanding that they are being taken to the cleaners.

I suspect Stones knows that his career would be much better if he stayed at a successful Everton (not so sure about the one that we saw last year), and might wind up a decent club (Barcelona, Real Madrid, or something in Germany or Italy) with a Gareth Bales-type price tag rather than a soulless grinding machine in West London which will win the increasingly meaningless Premier League once or twice but nothing on a bigger stage.

Last year’s Premiership was about as exciting as semolina - in some ways the year before with Liverpool breaking into the top was refreshing - although I can only say that from the safe distance of a over one season. Next years will be crap too.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 17/07/2015 at 20:33:43
Spot on Lyndon. Forget this sell to build nonsense, we need to build on solid foundations not shifting sand.
Guy Hastings
3 Posted 17/07/2015 at 20:41:20
He's 21 - good for at least 10 years. That's a £3m per year outlay for anyone who buys him now at the proposed rate, an accountant's dream.
If they think he's that good then £100m cash down, thank you. It's what they'll spend on so-what, here this season, gone the next squad players over the next ten years.
Ian McDowell
4 Posted 17/07/2015 at 20:47:54
Lyndon, Colin both spot on. Liverpool and Spurs both sold star players in Bale, Suarez for massive money and spent the lot on a load of rubbish. It doesn’t work. Keep Stones and let's build!
Paul Thompson
5 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:03:55
If we continue on our current middling trajectory and Stones continues to shine, he will go sooner or later. Our best hope is that it will be later. He's got 4 years left on his contract and must know that he may bench warm at Chelsea. I suspect that unless Chelsea get into really silly money - £35m+ - Stones will be wearing our No5 tis season.
James Flynn
6 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:09:58
£50 Million sounds good. Could get us £35 million. And sell.

Ossie’s book showed us how little importance Roberto attaches to defending. As long as that’s so, the giant, gaping problem in the back is Stones.

Let’s hope his reputation as "one for the future" sustains itself thru this next season. Another like his last one won’t do. For us or his selling price.

Paul Kossoff
7 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:14:38
What did Chelsea get for Luiz, one of the most clueless, inept usless players I have ever seen? £50 million was it? Well tell the special one to match that for Stones or fk off.
Jay Woods
8 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:16:26
@ Paul Thompson: "Silly money" would be anything less than £50M, going by the Sterling and Luiz examples cited in the article above, not starting at £35M. The whole subject breaks my heart, of course... I am continually thinking of how we were poised to win the European Cup in the mid 1980s only to have fallen into this state of affairs we find ourselves in today. The injustice of it will never cease to haunt me.
Jay Harris
9 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:32:48
If the player is happy to stay we should not consider selling at any price.

We have to have a statement of intent that we are not going to allow the monied teams to swallow up all the talent and leave the rest of the league making up the numbers.

It is time we said Coleman, Stones, McCarthy and Barkley are not available at any price while they are under contract at EFC.

If we have any ambition at all to challenge at the top we need to maintain our stance.

Neil Thomas
10 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:45:44
It’s okay to keep buying players for the future but, to keep these players when they hit the big time, we need to start buying players for today. If players can see some top quality players signing for EFC, why would they be tempted by the so-called big teams?
Andy Meighan
11 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:53:02
James 6, Ossie's book showed us how much Roberto attaches to defending. Judging by last season he didn’t attach much to attacking either.
Andy Crooks
12 Posted 17/07/2015 at 21:59:59
Stones will earn enough at Everton to be fabulously wealthy. If he goes it will because of the usual wanting to win medals stuff.

It is vital that our talented young players start to believe that it can be done at Everton. If three decent players arrive soon then we might look like a team going places and be less likely to have our good players tempted away.

Alexander O'Brien
13 Posted 17/07/2015 at 22:35:13
Charles Brewer (#1) - I switched off from reading your comment at the "we’ll accept £25-30 million" bit. Ridiculous!
Mark Dunford
14 Posted 17/07/2015 at 22:27:17
A completely derisory offer for the one player who shouldn’t be sold. Stones is an outstanding prospect who, since his arrival, has always been an exemplary representative for the club (unlike say Sterling whose darkside fanfare popbitch pictures at Gerrards' farewell do are excruciating for all concerned - no doubt released by the agent to trigger the month).

I hope this goes same way as Baines and Coleman to Man Utd. You build a team from a position of strength and Stones is the means to provide that. On a par with Ratcliffe at the same age. We went somewhere then!

Chris Wilson
15 Posted 17/07/2015 at 22:23:52
"...it's more like an 800lb gorilla weighing up an attack, one that often throws its weight around sufficienty to get what it wants."

I remember watching a nature film where a man came upon a silver-back gorilla in a jungle clearing. The man stood still, while the gorilla stepped out of the brush and announced his presence with a very menacing posture and vocals. The man continued to stand quietly and calmly while the gorilla crept closer. The animal got louder wailing and screaming, thumping his chest before charging at the man with incredible speed and rage. The man kept his position as the gorilla closed in threatening to crush him, but suddenly at the very last second; the gorilla stopped. He looked at the man who continued to calmly stand his ground. The gorilla then slowly crept away and back into the jungle. The man had called the animal's bluff, and was able to walk away unscathed.

If Chelsea are indeed acting like an 800lb gorilla, then we need to be that man. Just like we were with Baines. Just like we were with Coleman.

Malc Kitchen
16 Posted 17/07/2015 at 22:26:28
Spot on Andy, if we get Shaqiri, Ayew and N’koulou, those 3 would be excellent signings and strengthen the spine of the team. Add Sako on a free from Wolves who scored 15 last season and maybe Ospina or Agosto (keepers), job done

Then watch us fly my fellow TWers!
Colin Grierson
17 Posted 17/07/2015 at 22:11:26
Jay #9
Bang on mate. It's all about ambition. If we allow Stones to go (regardless of the price) then what is the point of us? We need to make a statement of intent. We don't exist to feed the greedy glory buyers. Let's hope the board concurs.
Peter Mills
18 Posted 17/07/2015 at 22:53:43
Admirable sentiments, Lyndon. But if I was in charge at Chelsea I would think "They’re not very smart, we screwed them over the odds for Lukaku. We want Stones, not for next season but the season after. Let’s get him here now, let him see Terry and Cahill play at being tough guy defenders. Then when Terry goes, get another stopper in and Stones will be our 3rd centre back who will look fabulous - Luiz who can defend.

Set the bar low. Offer them £20m. Let them edge you up to the high 20s, with add-ons taking it to a possible £35m. They’ll think they’re in heaven, and we’ll have the steal of the decade".
Mike Manchester
19 Posted 17/07/2015 at 23:07:18
Already an international. Most composed defender around. £75mil... MINIMUM. I honestly think that is a fair valuation. For a club that CAN afford such figures to buy a future England captain.
Thomas Surgenor
20 Posted 17/07/2015 at 23:10:13
Times have changed at Everton. Not so long ago, I wasn’t "that" upset at loosing Rooney. We needed a massive rebuild at the time and the first few million went on Cahill and Arteta.

But times are different. We have a squad capable of things. We don’t need a massive rebuild. We need to add a young gem every season that improves our starting 11, ie, McCarthy 2 years ago; Lukaku last season... Deulofeu this one.

If we continue building on our solid foundations in this way, then there are brighter times ahead.

Stones is a no-go if we ever hope to achieve anything!

Colin Grierson
21 Posted 17/07/2015 at 23:14:24
Please don't suggest a price that is acceptable. Not for sale should mean exactly that. No way Jose!
Peter McHugh
22 Posted 17/07/2015 at 23:42:52
Chris (#15), great analogy but not in the way you intended. Your story sounds like a fairytale -- just as our hope of keeping Stones will be if Chelsea refuse to take No as an answer.
Richard Reeves
23 Posted 17/07/2015 at 23:29:33
Just look at all the responses on these two threads. A lot of people are worrying he could be sold, all because of a lying, egotistical, opportunist skinflint with a reputation of cashing in on important players and sometimes late in the day so money can’t be re-invested.

I’m guilty of the paranoia myself as I’ve said before that I expect a big money sale to generate money for the manager which doesn’t seem to be available at the moment. If he doesn’t want to go, we shouldn’t sell; it’s as simple as that... his value isn’t going to decrease.

Chris Wilson
24 Posted 17/07/2015 at 23:55:45
Thanks for the compliment, Peter McHugh. I understand your sense of impending doom -- our track record with losing players like Lescott and Rooney. Also, we see how Chelsea is now resorting to obvious shout-outs in the press to get Stones’s head turned around.

It wasn’t a fairytale; it was a very real scene with that man, and like him; I really believe we are capable of fending Chelsea off.

What aggravates me is that Chelsea is going to try and pull every dirty trick in the book to get John. Naturally the press will love it because it’s Chelsea/Jose and they’ll be able to get away every tactic regardless of how nefarious they are.

James Flynn
25 Posted 18/07/2015 at 00:30:46
Andy (11) - Ha. True enough.

I think we have to focus on the tried and true; the other guy can't win if he can't score. Team defense.

We have possession of the ball? Attack, attack, attack.

It all starts with defending. And Ossie's book keeps me nervous. What, exactly, is Stones learning?

Ant Dwyer
26 Posted 18/07/2015 at 00:41:42
I came into this pre season very very downhearted by our team's and mostly our manage'rs performance over the season. On top of that, I was even more concerned at what would happen to our team with all these so called big-clubs hovering.

I have to admit I’m starting to think about smiling again. We have seemingly seen interest off from Man Utd for Coleman. We look like we have put the McCarthy talk to bed. We have told Chelsea to whistle over Stonesy. There’s been limited response to any speculation around Ross Barkley and Lukaku.

On top of all the above, we’ve been able to bring the age of the squad down as we needed to do in binning Alcaraz and Distin while bringing in Cleverly and Deulofeu. We've started to see signs of genuine promise from Galloway, Browning and McAleny. Not too shabby seeing as we're not even in August yet.

Next up, I’d like to see us purchase Shaqiri and a few good surprises, and then I think I can genuinely say I can begin the season feeling optimistic once again.

Come on, Blue Boys, make the fans happy, we deserve it.

Eugene Ruane
27 Posted 18/07/2015 at 00:58:34
Really hope we keep this lad. He's smart and he's classy and as he plays more games, he'll get better and better.

If we resist the money and look to our long-term future, it's possible we could have a new Labone (nb: I don't make that comparison lightly).

If he is with us 5 years from now, I can see a confident, calm, canny centre-half, about a stone heavier, bossing his defence.

I should add that given the near-sighted, hopeless amateur clowns who 'run' our club, I see only the beaten, bruised, black and blue figure of a man who has had the shit kicked out of him by a large gorilla.

James Ridley
28 Posted 18/07/2015 at 01:51:28
Right boys!!!!! We are dammed if we do and dammed if we don't!

If it’s not this year it will be next year that we accept a huge bid for our best players be it Stones, Barkley, Lukaku, Coleman etc.... they are all great young players who at some point will want to win things (hopefully at Everton).

Gone are the days of players like Le Tissier who want to stay at a club forever, however successful they are. Stones strikes me as a lovely bloke who won’t push for a deal and is loyal to Everton but there is a breaking point.... we get offered a very good return on our investment or his head eventually gets turned because he’s not winning anything!

The issue therefore falls back on the club!

So far Martinez had said we are not interested in a striker and we are going with youth for example etc... Can’t blame Martinez because, if he was given £100 mill to spend, he would spend it. If you wanted new golf clubs, bike or a laptop and your wife gave you a grand you wouldn’t spend 500 quid and give the rest back. Clearly we have nothing to spend; hence the lack of investment and the Martinez comments.

Hence the bottom line: sell at the best price and reinvest. The problem is... we won’t reinvest... and that is why... as a club... we will stand still or go backwards! We will sell for a good price (Lescott, Fellaini etc.. ) but then go and buy those cheap second-hand golf clubs!!!!!

Ernie Baywood
31 Posted 18/07/2015 at 02:55:05
There's not much doubt in my mind that he's going to win everything there is in the game. Players like him don't come along very often.

And that's why I suspect that keeping him is a battle that we will lose. I just can't see us in that kind of position in the next 5 years.

I'd love us to keep him and challenge at the very top. I just hope that if we do sell him that we finally get a decent fee... this one should really be setting records.

Fran Mitchell
32 Posted 18/07/2015 at 04:34:08
£40M plus £15M in add-ons. No-one in exchange.

Fail to meet the price, he stays. That must be our position. Firmness.

All players have their value, and Stones is replaceable in terms of immediate needs (despite Martinez being less than trustworthy in terms of signing defenders).

The fact he is English pushes his value up 50%.

This is the football world we live in, unfortunately. We must play the game as best we can.

Jason Davenport
33 Posted 18/07/2015 at 05:03:24
If Everton are serious about the future, they will tell Chelsea and everyone else that Stones is NOT FOR SALE at any price. Excellent article Lyndon.
Rahul Sreekumar
34 Posted 18/07/2015 at 06:11:00
We really need to hold on to our best talent from now on.... As someone rightly posted on TW, we’re not developing our talent for future use by other clubs as & when they like.

ENOUGH of this "selling club" bullshit. If we can hold on to most (even I concede that we might invariably lose out on one or two players along the way), and progress along the path of winning, then in about 3-4 years time we won’t have to worry with these discussions.... Existing players would want to stay, new exciting players would want to come to us AND we’d be winning....

Hopes 'n dreams....
Peter McHugh
35 Posted 18/07/2015 at 07:31:39
I hope we don’t sell but I’ve heard all this before time and time again.

It would also be crazy too sell now as we already need another centre back ready to challenge the first 11. Can you imagine how much two centre halves will cost us a month before the new season starts if we only have Jags?

Lyndon has his price spot on -- we’re talking about potentially England’s future captain who currently costs us only £30k per week and has 4 years of his contract left.

For the record, I hope we don’t sell even for £50M plus and Chris I believed the story first time but it was like listening to a fairytale just like it would be if I heard we reject a £50M bid.

Ajay Gopal
36 Posted 18/07/2015 at 07:22:18
Great article, Lyndon. After seeing the antics of Delph and Sterling at Aston Villa and LFC respectively, if Stones were to stay back at the club, it would be huge credit to the owners, Martinez and Stones himself. However, if he and the other 'gems' were to stay, this would be the season that Everton HAVE to win silverware to convince the likes of Stones, Lukaku, Deulofeu, Barkley, McCarthy that they can have glittering careers at Everton. This year, they have to give it their everything to ensure that Everton win something - what they win at Everton will be cherished more than what they win at the 'bigger, monied' clubs that they will inevitably move to at some point in their careers.
Darren Hind
37 Posted 18/07/2015 at 07:42:37
We have 3-4 youngsters who despite their obvious class, have already experienced the lows you need to go through before coming of age as a footballer. The same may well be said of the manager. Much to look forward to this season. I sense the feel good factor slowly returning...

We have to keep Stones. The younger blues absolutely adore him. His sale would have a demoralising effect on the fan-base.

Do not sell this boy.

Jim Bennings
38 Posted 18/07/2015 at 07:52:30
There is also something we need to remember: through any sale of John Stones, do his ex-club Barnsley not get percentage?

I agree, in today's climate £50 million not a penny less.

Why you would want to play for a club as classless as Chelsea with obnoxiously impatient support also is beyond me. I was John Stones I would get my head down try and improve more at Everton then wait for maybe a Barcelona or a Bayern Munich to come knocking in a few years.

Jim Lloyd
40 Posted 18/07/2015 at 08:25:01
Never mind even considering how much he’s worth and who we’d be able to bring in once we flogged him. The club made a statement last season in buying Rom. We’d be making an even bigger statement now, if we sold John Stones. The club would be saying to our young players, to our established players, to our manager, and to us the fans. That message would be clear: "Everton Football Club are not interested in building a team that will challenge for honours."

Gerry Deulofeu came back to this club because (imo) he sees that there is a good young team beginning to take shape, Stones wants to stay for the same reason. We have Garbutt committing himself to our club, when he could so easily have chosen another Premier League side and it looks like the top senior players are content here. So don’t be dreaming about who we could buy with the money if we flogged him. That would be like selling a diamond for a bagful of bling!

Fuck Chelsea right off, with their pathetic view that they can just come along and offer this club less than we paid for Rommy... and that is no disrespect to Rom either. If they offer £50 mill, or any bid, chase them.

Mark Robson
41 Posted 18/07/2015 at 08:46:46
Time for some fun. Just to prove what a huge piss take the £20M offer was, how about testing Chelsea’s resolve with an equally ridiculous offer for Hazard of say £25M! Announce it all to the press and rant on about us needing a number 10 to mould the team etc etc.

It will make more of a statement that Stonesy has 4 years on his contract, is not for sale and that is how derisory EFC made of Chelsea

Raymond Fox
42 Posted 18/07/2015 at 08:56:13
Darren, I agree; tell them to stuff offers they and any other club make for Stones up you know where. The club's esteem will rise all around if we stick to all our young players, this season. Dare I say the owners of the club as well might receive a little rare praise.

You will have to watch what your saying though, because you are almost finding words of praise for our manager!

Jim Lloyd
43 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:07:39
Haha! I think you're offering a bit much for Eden, there Mark.
Jon Ferguson
44 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:11:35
When you are in our position, sometimes the time is right to sell your top players for big money and reinvest. Fellaini is the perfect example, and I probably would have sold Baines that summer (I love him as a player and I’m glad he stayed but we had Oveido and Garbutt behind him).

However, despite a rubbish last season, I’m confident the squad only needs a couple of additions to push for top four and a domestic cup (which must be our aim for the season).

The team needs to be built around McCarthy, Barkley (who I think will break through this year), Lukaku (who I hope has been working on his first touch), and most of all Stones.

I am against any of these players going, full stop, for the next few seasons.

Colin Glassar
45 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:12:23
The media-led psychological onslaught has now begun and will only increase over the next few days. It’s time to stand firm like we did with Bainsey a few seasons ago and tell them, publicly and privately, to piss off and stuff their roubles where the sun don’t shine.

This is now an existential matter. Are we, as a club, to grow and develop or are we to be a mere feeder club for our richer opponents?

To be or not to be, that is the question, Billy Boy. You stood tall over Bainsey (despite Sam Wallace in The Independent going into hysterical breakdown on national TV) so grow a pair and do the same now. The club is at a crossroads. We can keep this squad together and grow or we can start selling our best players, keep your bankers happy and accept small club status for the foreseeable future.

David Chait
46 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:27:07
Time to annouce a new deal for Stones.. Get his salary up and add on 3 years.. 7 year deal.. that is a statement.

This is the most united I have seen Evertonians on a topic for years!

IF Stones pushes to leave then accept a stupid price.. but if he doesnt.. then price is inconsequential and he stays. That would go a long way for me to restore the image and respect we have for our Chairman post Rooney et al.

Gary Carter
48 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:56:23
I’d say £50 million cash, add-ons for appearances for Chelsea and England, winning trophies and a 20% sell-on fee and we will come to the table to start negotiations IF Stones wants to go!

As much as I wouldn’t want him to leave I think that’s realistically as tough as we can be if he wants the move.

Andrew Clare
49 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:36:55
Rolling Stone have just run a cover with Kim Kardashian on. The Guardian commented, "Is this the end of rock ’n roll?" When really it ended 30 or more years ago. The same could be said of us. I will be very sad for our great club if we cave in and sell John Stones to Chelsea but the truth is we haven’t been a force in football for many many years and due to total mismanagement at all levels we have sunk to the level of much lesser clubs.

Having said that, if the board stand firm and refuse any offers some of my faith will be restored. The problem now is whether Stones's head has been turned.

Paul Jeronovich
51 Posted 18/07/2015 at 10:15:11
This is getting ridiculous. Stones should not be sold if our club has one shred of ambition left as not selling sends out a message to Chelsea, Man Utd etc that we are not their bitch.

Unfortunately, every player has their price, We should follow Liverpool’s stance with fees to be fair. Pluck a ridiculous figure out of the air say £60mil and tell them this is the price, not a penny less so until you come back with this offer, the kid has four years left on his deal so go and fuck off.

Bill Farmer
52 Posted 18/07/2015 at 09:51:52
How nonsensical has become the Premier League in its relatively short life! The incursion of sheikhs, oligarchs and American carpetbaggers into our domestic competition has totally corrupted its integrity to the extent that virtually all the talent is sucked up by them even before it has had chance to develop.

Soon, if not already, we shall have a top league in which all bar five or six clubs will be doing no more than making up the numbers with the likes of Everton, Southampton and Villa existing merely as 'preparatory schools' for Sky's 'big' clubs.

A quick look at the Premier League table at the end of its first season (1992-93) shows that Villa, Norwich, Blackburn and QPR occupied positions 2-5 and, of course, Blackburn went to the very top the season after. What hope of that EVER happening again?

So as we worry as to whether the migration of talents such as Stones and McCarthy will see our club 'feeding the beast' in the manner that the Saints and Villains have done this summer, let us spare a plaintive thought for those days when England didn't boast 'the greatest league in the world'. Bah!

Brian Harrison
53 Posted 18/07/2015 at 10:23:30
I like everyone else wants the club to tell Chelsea and the rest that the lad is not for sale at any price. But in reality Stones will want to go to one of these clubs, so all that remains is for us to get the most money we can. With the type of clubs chasing him then I would be looking at £35 million and not a penny less.
I can remember when we could buy any players we wanted but sadly that time has gone. The sad thing is that if a club outside the monied club unearths a gem then that lad will be sold whenever one of these top clubs make their move.
Mark Tanton
54 Posted 18/07/2015 at 10:42:55
Reality check - this is probably the best way to get the number ten we want, and a decent cheaper central defensive replacement. Reality ain't much fun, but at Everton we should be used to it by now. Add him to Rooney, Jeffers, Arteta, Fellaini. Players sold to clubs with more muscle than us.
Andy Riley
55 Posted 18/07/2015 at 11:41:07
I don’t ever want to sell our best players but if John Stones is currently on "only" £30k per week and what may be available at Chelsea, or either of the Manchester clubs is five or six times that, what is the solution?

If he stays, do we have to try to match that or even find some compromise between what he’s on now and what may be available elsewhere? Does that then lead to the rest of the squad wanting parity with what John Stones is on?

Sadly, without the same personalities, this may be a déjà vu of the Lescott situation and we simply have to resign ourselves to him leaving whilst extracting top dollar for him.

Kevin Tully
56 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:09:40
Sky Sports now reporting Chelsea will be making an increased offer for Stones.

Players come and players go in this League. We have the European powerhouses and unfortunately, the rest are of the teams become feeder clubs. We are a big enough club to have been a major force, but our owners and ’be careful what you wish for’ supporters all keep us in our place.

It’s the reason why Everton have sell their players that winds me up. It’s so the millionaires can hold on to their ’asset’ without any investment of their own, or plans to make us competitive. "Club we deserve" our new motto.

Dean Adams
57 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:30:08
Just cos Chelsea want, does not mean that Everton do! Keep John Stones at the club where he has a four-year contract and where he has been happy. Let Sky have their dreams of taking our assets off us, but never let them have them again. We are a big club, despite not winning any trophies for two decades.
Mark Riding
58 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:32:07
Bill (#52). Blackburn started it all! They bought the title.
Bill Farmer
59 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:25:35
Kevin, I don't get your drift. Are you saying that our club's 'owners' have a duty to sacrifice their supposed wealth so that we, mere followers, can have the satisfaction of having an endless stream of new signings being made?

As very much an old timer, my visits to Goodison get less frequent every year although I do subscribe indirectly via Sky. But I don't have too much of a conscience as gate money has become almost inconsequential these days.

Surely, only the billionaires can do as you wish although with the level of income forever going up, the club should, at least, 'wipe its nose.'

Raymond Fox
60 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:25:03
The FFP rules that UEFA brought in don’t seem very effective, do they!

And they're going to ease the rules now, there’s a surprise...

Kevin Tully
61 Posted 18/07/2015 at 12:36:12
Bill, I’m not getting into an argument on whether our board are doing a good job or not. The FACT is, for their full tenure, we are forced to sell our best players to raise funds to refresh the squad, or pay off debt they have ran up. If you don’t agree that’s their business model, or you are happy with that MO then good for you.

ps: Who said we require a billionaire? If you want to build a straw man, please don’t quote me on something I have never posted -- thanks.

Bill Farmer
63 Posted 18/07/2015 at 13:07:46
Kevin. I did not wish to offend you in any way. It was me that opined 'only the billionaires.....', all I was indicating was that I didn't understand how all these signings would be made without one !
Dave Abrahams
64 Posted 18/07/2015 at 13:11:14
Bill Farmer (#52).

Very good post telling it like it is in today’s top league. I, like you think it is a very sad state of affairs, and long gone are the days when it was a very equal league with numerous clubs having a chance of winning a trophy.

I think in the long run it will drive more fans away from football than it attracts, there is little sign of this now with attendances on the increase but it is slowly getting more boring as each season passes.

Kevin Tully
65 Posted 18/07/2015 at 13:17:50
No problem, Bill. We would have been one of those European powerhouses if the Kings Dock opportunity had been grabbed with both hands. That's where is started going downhill for EFC.

Unfortunately, the same people are still in charge - three failed ground moves later and no trophies.

Eugene Ruane
66 Posted 18/07/2015 at 13:49:15
Andy Riley (55) - 'if John Stones is currently on "only" £30,000 per week and what may be available at Chelsea, or either of the Manchester clubs is five or six times that what is the solution?'

That of course is a key question.

Even if the club could/do say 'no!', if his agent can get his wages from £30-35k to £70-100k (and trophies), it makes keeping him even harder (impossible?)

Feels as though ultimately it'll be down to the lad himself and possibly our best/only chance of keeping him is repetition of the line - "You'll spend the next five years on the bench and your England career will be over before it started'

It's funny what happens when you take the name 'Everton' out of the equation, then think 'what would I do?"

If you're/we're honest, we should ask ourselves what we would do in this scenario..

Okay, you're a good young player who plays for your local side who are (for no reason) Brentford.

Villa come in for you and you move there and play for their reserves.

Good performances and injuries to older players see you get into the first team and you play well enough to keep your place.

Things are going well and you're selected for England.

You sign a deal with Villa giving you £30k a week.

Then Chelsea come in, they want you and will pay you £90k a week.

Question, why wouldn't you go?

Sean Randles
67 Posted 18/07/2015 at 14:16:30
We pay him £30k a week; they will pay him £90k a week. I think that will inevitably mean he will go. And you can't blame him. It's not fair but thats' how it is now.

I think the best we can do is offer him a new contract at whatever our upper pay rate is (£60k per week?) and convince him staying here for 5 years is better for his development. His agent may be suggesting otherwise, I suspect, as he will be seeing £-signs from his commission.

If we do sell -- and I don’t think £40M is unreasonable if Sterling went for £49M and if Man City enter the fray -- we must include a buy-back clause in the contract so, if it goes pear-shaped -- as it well might do, à la Rodwell at Man City -- we can get him back for a snip.

Stephen O'Donnell
68 Posted 18/07/2015 at 14:27:22
I will bee gutted if we sell Stones. Fuckin Abramovich and Man City have ruined football forever. What’s the point now? It's not an even playing field. All the rich clubs just fuck off and have your own league... It's a farce now.
Andy Crooks
69 Posted 18/07/2015 at 15:07:13
Bill Farmer, I don't often state things on here as being a fact. However, Bill Kenwright has lived the dream on the cheap. That is a FACT.
Jamie Crowley
71 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:31:44
Eugene -

You don't go to Chelsea for £90k a week because you know you'll simply not play. And it puts your career on not as solid a footing.

So you negotiate with Villa and get your wages up to £60k, stay put, and still play. Thereby increasing the likelihood, as your career continues on an upward trend, that another of Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd et al, come back in two years offering £125k a week.

John Daley
72 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:09:45

"..you're a good young player who plays for your local side...Villa come in for you...you get into the first team...you're selected for England. Then Chelsea come in, they want you and will pay you 90k a week.

Question, why wouldn't you go?"

Hmm, that is a tough one Eugene, and I can think of only one answer:

Because (being a young lad, moving away to the big bad capital, all on your own) they believe it would be highly beneficial and in the best interests of both parties, for you to stay with a caring, considerate, 'host family', who can help you acclimatise to life in a modern, multi-cultural, socially diverse, urban sprawl and, as such, have secured you the very best digs possible: The spare bedroom in John Terry's Mam and Dad's house.

Oliver Molloy
73 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:57:22
Kenwright on the phone to Abramovich...

"Ok Roman you can have Stones for £50 million but we want Mourinho as well -- and we want you to pay his wages for all the time he is here"

I think most Evertonians would accept this scenario!

Eugene Ruane
74 Posted 18/07/2015 at 16:54:50
Jamie (71) - 'You don't go to Chelsea for £90k a week because you know you'll simply not play. And it puts your career on not as solid a footing'.

Agree and disagree.

Agree that is what most likely what would happen, disagree that is the conclusion a confident young England international would come to.

He has, in the last couple of years, come through all his professional 'tests' and probably (with some justification) would think 'I'll do what I did at Villa, I'll get a chance and grab it with both hands and play plenty of games... and I'll be £20M (over 5 years) better off and in the CL and winning stuff."

He'd probably add "I would like to thank Aston Villa Football Club, particularly the supporters who have shown me..." etc.

Eugene Ruane
75 Posted 18/07/2015 at 17:52:15
John (72) - 'The spare bedroom in John Terry's Mam and Dad's house.'

I believe to relax and encourage young players, the Terrys have put a sign on the bedroom door.

'The Winston Bogarde Suite'.

(mind you, with Mr Terry Sr in the house, I'm sure there would be quite a few beak-loving PL stars who'd pay handsomely for that room)

Matt Muzi
76 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:33:27
Maybe it’s just me, but if Chelsea make us a big offer for Stones, I would be flabbergasted, if the board knocked it back.

And while there has been a notable improvement in the boards flurry into the transfer market since the arrival of RM, (well to be fair, it couldn’t really've got any worse!!), I’d be surprised if all the money that the club got for Stones ended up being made available for RM to buy more defensive midfielders, or players he can play out of position, or in a system that doesn’t suit them.

Colin Glassar
77 Posted 18/07/2015 at 20:59:49
Might be a good idea to flood the Goodison switchboards with calls and text messages saying we want Stonesy to stay as a matter of principle.
Greg Symon
78 Posted 18/07/2015 at 21:48:53
I just hope that our board (who could give Bernie Madoff a run for his money) actually have the balls to quickly respond to Mourinho’s latest quotes and say that Stones is not for sale, full stop.

However, I just get the feeling that even if Martinez is upset and doesn’t want to sell, the board will deal behind the scenes and squeeze as much money as they can.

I hope we don’t sell as Stones is great to watch and will only get better but also the money wouldn’t be reinvested into the playing squad.

Worrying times ahead.

Paul Jeronovich
79 Posted 18/07/2015 at 22:18:46
Looks as though Mourinho has come back at Martinez by saying we have knocked back their bid but have 'NOT' said Stones is not for sale. Worrying.
John Audsley
80 Posted 18/07/2015 at 23:31:38
This is going to run and run.

I love Stones and think is well on the way to becoming the classiest centre back in the premier league but im pretty sure the shambles we call the board will happily grab the 40/50 million and then give RM 20 million to rebuild....

Then the backlash will start with quotes in the media saying Stones forced the move and some pleb getting quoted saying "Bill was on the phone 24/7 begging him to stay but he refused".

We've seen it all before under the stewardship of BB.

I live in hope that he is a blue on 1st September.

Colin Williams
81 Posted 19/07/2015 at 01:38:18
Like I’ve been saying all along..... This multi-talented player should never be sold!! This player is the catalyst for our future development! Selling Stones will put us back many years!... Why?... The lad gives everyone pride, leadership and hope that we can build a squad and compete with the wealthy clubs!

I believe this can be done without selling our "special players"... We must not sell to anyone!... unless Stones wants to leave.... And if this happens, all we do is get the best deal possible, and wish the lad all the best!

Sean Patton
82 Posted 19/07/2015 at 14:11:26
I might be swimming against the tide of popular opinion on here but I don't rate Stones as highly as others. Yes, he is class on the ball and is a good tackler but he is susceptible to the ball over the top and is bullied too easily by big forwards like Benteke, Giroud and even that guy from Young Boys.

If we could get £35M, I would be tempted as it would mean a replacement and a top quality playmaker, call it doing a Southampton. However, if the club hold fire for a year and he goes and stars at the Euros, we can add another £10M to the price.

Paul Tran
83 Posted 19/07/2015 at 16:30:24
I know what you mean, Sean. I like the idea of Stones the good-tackling, footballing centre back, Everton & England captain of the future. I’m increasingly concerned by his inability to deal with long balls and powerful forwards. Can’t all be Jags/Martinez’s fault. Defenders have to defend first; that’s the side of his game he has to improve. Will he get the guidance to do that with us right now?

If we had a chairman that would give the money to the manager and a manager who knew a decent keeper, playmaker, defender or striker if one collided with him, I’d think about agreeing with you.

Steven Jones
84 Posted 19/07/2015 at 16:53:03
Think we need to calm down. Stones will be going nowhere this pre-season.

Bill does not need the money -- we stood firm on Baines/Coleman. Stones himself is happy at EFC and learning from Jags.

RM will stand firm no doubt. Stones is not going to rock the boat or push for a transfer this season.

There may be more bids and shenanigans, however Mourinho is making it even more difficult for Bill or RM to concede with his public comments.

Remind ourselves of OFM’s comments and the resistance that brought about.

Stay calm and carry on. Look at the 5-7 young players coming together to build and emerging side in the next 2 years.

Stephen Brown
85 Posted 19/07/2015 at 17:09:04
It is becoming a bit silly now! Even established 'big' teams like Everton, Aston Villa and Liverpool cannot keep hold of any of their players when they have a decent season. A Russian oil barron and a Shiek just buy them to effectively use them as back up players. This whole process is surely built on sand?!

Eventually Chelsea, Man City and Maybe Man Utd will buy all the decent players and the league is effectively pointless!

I would love Stones to stay but I'm not building my hopes up like I used to do! It's coming to a point where it's pointless teams like Everton having good players as the money club bullies just take them away!

Stephen Brown
86 Posted 19/07/2015 at 17:19:24
Perhaps the Premier League should limit the amount of players in a squad to 20 and ban loans ?!
James Marshall
87 Posted 19/07/2015 at 17:38:14
Here’s the thing that strikes me, last week Stones said he was very happy at Everton, then Chelsea make a bid which Everton are in no way obliged to entertain even if they double it (for example). Stones is 21, he’s a Northern lad who presumably has all his family & friends in the North and is currently a first choice centre-half for one of the bigger (second tier?) clubs in the Premier League.

Now, purely on a human level, why would he uproot himself and move to London where he’s not guaranteed to play anyway? We have to assume that the manager has spoken to him about it, the players will have spoken to him about it too and surely the club will have told him whether or not they want to sell him?

I can’t believe that players, managers and clubs don’t have these conversations with players, especially young ones, when bids come in. I get the feeling (as many others do) that John Stones is a smart, down-to-earth kid who knows which way his bread is buttered. So, unless Everton tell him he’s for sale, I find it hard to see him agitating for a move down south.

Our squad seem like a tight-knit bunch who get along and enjoy each other's company so I don’t see any reason why he would suddenly want to leave. I’m rambling a bit, but as I see it, Everton are the ones who can make this decision in it’s entirety.

Tom R Owen
88 Posted 19/07/2015 at 21:32:27
Grow some Kenwright and tell everyone to fuck off !
Brin Williams
89 Posted 19/07/2015 at 21:44:35
’then price is inconsequential and he stays. That would go a long way for me to restore the image and respect we have for our Chairman post Rooney et al.’

I think this is a defining moment in the life/nay history of Everton FC.

We have arrived at the stage where I believe we have a pretty decent manager despite last season’s fiasco. We also have the makings of a pretty stable team with better players than we have had for a long time.

We have a regular source of income if we can stay in the higher echelons of the Premier League AND we have a fan base that are crying out for evidence that the BoD share their vision of future glories.

Selling our best assets will not go down well with our long-suffering supporters and as has been previously stated on here -- THIS is the time to stand firm in the eye of the storm and show that we are a force to be reckoned with.

This is our destiny NSNO - COYB

Joe Tiesteel
90 Posted 19/07/2015 at 23:19:35
In John Stones, we have a player of the highest calibre who we must strive to hold on to. He is developing into the perfect centre back. He needs convincing our ambitions satisfy his, and then there will be no need to worry about the poaching from the so-called rich boys.

The attacking movement in his play must be a motivation for the rest of the team going forward in the future or we run the risk of losing him. This season, we must show that going forward rather than side to side or back is what we need. Stones gives that example in everything he does.

The board need to resist all advances from other clubs and build on the assets we have.

Dave Richman
91 Posted 20/07/2015 at 12:16:09
I just read a post on Facebook (yes, I know, but bear with me) saying Chelsea have offered £20 million plus Victor Moses ..... by my reckoning than makes the total value of the offer about £20 million and a fiver
Jay Woods
93 Posted 20/07/2015 at 13:34:57
@ Stephen Brown: The league was pointless before Chelsea and Man City became awash with cash. In fact, there hasn't really been any point since the whole Sky money / Premier League era began, at least not for a club with a board as backward / self-serving (allegedly) as ours.
Jon Cox
94 Posted 20/07/2015 at 17:34:11
Oh my god! You've just got to hear TalkSport trying to steal John Stones from us.

It makes me want to puke!

If all the best players just play for four teams and they win everything, whats the point in even watching football at all.

TalkSport just seem to be there to upset players who play for clubs like ours.

One thing I did notice though. When it came down the move for Sterling to Man City, Talkshite couldn't get enough ex-RS players sprouting 1,000 reasons why Sterling should stay. It's been the same for Spud as well.

I really hope we keep JS now cos if we do and after the window shuts, I hope everyone bells TalkSport and gives them shite.

I know I will, I'm sick to death of those "Flowery twats"

Robin Cannon
95 Posted 21/07/2015 at 05:35:02
I see we've moved to the "John Stones is keen on a move to Chelsea if the clubs can agree a fee..." stage of the press coverage, so I fully expect him to be at Stamford Bridge before the start of the season.

Frankly, if we can gouge them price wise I can live with it. He's a very promising central defender, but if we can get upwards of £30million then that frees up potential the kind of wider improvement we need throughout the squad; and potentially gives an opportunity for the likes of either Browning or Galloway to get more playing time.

Eric Myles
96 Posted 21/07/2015 at 05:40:11
If we sell him to Chelsea for £30M we will only get £10M, less any sell-on fee due to Barnsley, nett to spend.
Victor Yu
97 Posted 21/07/2015 at 06:23:34
You can't blame him for leaving.

Money talks. We can't offer European soccer. We don't offer as much money in wages. We aren't winning trophies like Chelsea. We aren't as big a name as Chelsea (say what you want about our history but the fact is they are a bigger club in soccer terms now for most players).

Milos Milenkovic
98 Posted 21/07/2015 at 09:59:25
It is much more than a decision to sell player(s). Last season we didn't sell anyone, we only brought players in, we had an excellent season before and yet we failed badly. We must change our approach, we must think big, we must act like a big club.

Selling John Stones might be seen as another move that will present as as a small club, but it doesn't need to be like that. Even clubs like Man Utd or Bayern sometimes can't keep their players, but their focus is not on crying and moaning but reacting and buying quality players and showing to the footballing world that they are the ones who made great business.

I am sure you remember the situation with Lescott. He was excellent player for us, but selling him to Man City for £24 million was a great deal. Our problem was handling that situation. We should have gone out in public and internally and said, "Hey this is great job, we are satisfied and we will bring in 2-3 great players." Instead of that, we made horror story, portraying Lescott as a devil, and our club as poor old house who is falling apart.

I am much more worried that we are still playing with 2 defensive midfielders than selling our centre-back. We can have Messi and Neymar, but with this midfield set up, we wouldn't be among top 4. That is showing our intent. We have excellent players but we are not maximizing their potential and that is the spot where we need to show our ambition, our creativity.

And one more thing, I like Stones but I very much doubt that he will become a top, top defender because he is slow and that can hardly be improved.

Darren Reeves
100 Posted 21/07/2015 at 13:09:30
Would be gutted if he leaves. A top class act and a true gent. I 'met' him here in Singpoare. Very down to earth. Very sound.

Aside from that, he has fantastic positional awareness and when he fills out a bit will be some kind of Barrier.

This is the fulcrum of a future team....

Jason Lam
102 Posted 22/07/2015 at 04:53:06
You have to look at what we can offer lad that Chelsea can't, and that is first team football. Chelsea can offer more money. They can offer better learning environment: Mourinho, Terry, Cahill, ball playing midfielders, European football. Stones will stay with us for one season max.
Chad Schofield
103 Posted 22/07/2015 at 06:37:40
Let's not forget Barnsley's 20%; there's the remaining contract (~£6m someone suggested), so selling at £30m means we have £18m to play with IF all the cash is upfront and not absorbed by Lukaku owed payments.

Only way the rest of the contract is waived normally is by the player requesting a transfer and then ironically being labelled a greedy traitor.

At least that's my understanding... I've not read Stones's contract.

Philip Yensen
104 Posted 22/07/2015 at 11:09:07
His head has been turned now, let him go. £30 million, no deals, total payment. With the agents, internet, fellow England players, money all eating at him, he has got no chance.

We all know the results of other players leaving Everton and sit on the bench for their new club, pockets full of cash and a growing fat ass (arse). Simply ask the player in private with the captain and manager, does he want to stay or go!

£35 million – deal or no deal.

Peter Fearon
105 Posted 22/07/2015 at 14:20:39
This is a line in the sand. If we stand firm on John Stones, it sends a message to other wealthy clubs and corrupt agents that Everton's best young players are not for sale. One of the insidious things about these public bidding wars is that, at a certain point, creditors get involved and insist on a sale.

The fact is that at his stage of development, Stones needs to play thirty games next season. If he goes to Chelsea, he will probably play half that. Jack Rodwell's development was stunted by going to Manchester City too early in his evolution as a player – 16 matches in two seasons – and, frankly, Raheem Sterling's development probably will be set back too, not that I care what happens to him. Hang tough, blues!

Ralph Basnett
106 Posted 23/07/2015 at 07:28:40
So Chelski concede 4 against an American team, double the price - little bit of Karma there Jose!!!!
Paul McGinty
107 Posted 23/07/2015 at 17:33:44
It was actually the Red Bulls Reserves and Academy they lost to. The first team had a cup game the previous night. Defense splitting back pass from John Terry... to the wrong end for one of the goals.

I hope Jags etc are having a word in Stones's ear to balance Cahill's comments. First comparing Bolton with Everton is a bit dodgy. Second, for every Cahill, there is a Filipe Luis, Mohamed Salah, Juan Cuadrado, and even further back, Kevin de Bruyne, whom Jose loved then tossed aside. So sometimes it's a "be careful for what you wish for" deal.

If he is way underpaid despite his 4-year contract, Everton need to pay Stones more dosh, to incentivize him to hang on for the season at least. His value is not going to go down and if we truly don’t need the revenue from a transfer at the very least it gives Martinez the time to buy a replacement without the inflated price, that Everton will otherwise incur, if we need a rush replacement with £30+ million from a Stones transfer in this Transfer window. Obviously no Blue wants Stones to leave... he's class, but in today's world, who the hell knows what's going to happen?

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