No confirmation of Netherlands friendlies

Wednesday, 31 May, 2017 40comments  |  Jump to most recent
Updated story
Everton looked set to spend pre-season in the Netherlands, with three friendies lined up against Dutch opposition according to reports in Ronald Koeman's home country.

The Blues have apparently lined up matches against PEC Zwolle on 16 July, FC Twente on 19 July and FC Groningen on 22 July, with the last club confirming details yesterday.

Everton, however, insist that nothing has been confirmed yet and fans are being urged not to make travel arrangements unless or until the games are approved.

The Blues do have their final pre-season friendly settled, however, as dethroned Europa League holders Sevilla are scheduled to come to Goodison Park on Sunday 6th August.  

Reader Comments (40)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 24/05/2017 at 16:20:12
Holidays at home, then?
Shane Corcoran
2 Posted 24/05/2017 at 17:01:03
Probably makes sense not to be jetting around with the Europa League game so early. Or maybe the pair of boys have to call to see their mam.
Fran Mitchell
3 Posted 24/05/2017 at 17:28:41
The cynics: Koeman decided to take an extended trip home. He's sacrificing club and player needs for his own benefit. To be considered a top team we need summer competitions in Asia and the USA against Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. This is just small club mentality.

The reality: decent opposition in a league the manager knows, with a decent climate and no tiring journeys. Good prep for the Euro qualifiers. If they cant sneak a couple of Ajax lads back with them on the Easyjet home, that would sweeten the deal.

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 24/05/2017 at 17:43:41
I agree Fran. No need to go to the other side of the world to play a few meaningless friendlies.
John Raftery
5 Posted 24/05/2017 at 18:32:28
It would be a waste of time travelling long distances when pre-season is already curtailed as a result of the Europa League. I don't know anything about the current strength of the clubs named but they sound as though they will be stronger than the likes of Barnsley and MK Dons.
Nigel Munford
6 Posted 24/05/2017 at 19:14:05
Totally agree, no need to go further than necessary, so why not Tranmere and Accrington.
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 24/05/2017 at 20:18:44
I was thinking more Southport or Skem, Nigel. Is Ronald in Stockholm tonight I wonder?
Jimmy Salt
9 Posted 24/05/2017 at 21:16:33
Chong time.
Eugene Ruane
10 Posted 24/05/2017 at 21:39:50

I might go and drink too much and fight with other blues.


Chris Williams
11 Posted 24/05/2017 at 21:45:41
Just stick to writing on here.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
12 Posted 24/05/2017 at 22:59:30
Probably getting them fit by running up and down the dunes at Noordwijk.
John Pickles
13 Posted 25/05/2017 at 09:56:45
I hope the players are better behaved than the ones who made the pre-season trip in 2001 to the Netherlands. Many of the plane's seats had to have their covers replaced because they had chewing gum stuck to them.
John Daley
14 Posted 25/05/2017 at 10:12:49
John (@13),

Cut them some slack. We hadn't signed David Ginola by that point, so whose hair were they supposed to put it in?

John Pickles
15 Posted 25/05/2017 at 10:23:21
Danny Cadamarteri's, John – he was at the front.
John Daley
16 Posted 25/05/2017 at 11:22:44
"I might go and drink too much and fight with other blues."

Not again. I thought you had resolved to rein it in after the last ruck you rocked up to, Eugene?


John Daley
17 Posted 25/05/2017 at 12:49:43
Maybe we should just thank our lucky stars that we're not going to Sydney like the RS instead and so will at least give some of the worst, most cringe-worthy, half-time coverage ever a swerve.


"Oh my gosh, it's going so crazy"

[Cue absolute silence]

Gary Russell
18 Posted 28/05/2017 at 02:34:28
Jeezuz John, that took cringe to new frontiers. A new word needs to be invented...
David Pearl
19 Posted 28/05/2017 at 03:07:29
Has to be the Ozzy version of our Tubes?
Paul Traill
20 Posted 28/05/2017 at 14:31:12
Has anyone seen any confirmation on these games? A little summer trip to the Netherlands sounds fun.
James Watts
21 Posted 31/05/2017 at 05:45:54
Good to know our transfer committee also sound like they are organising our pre-season.
Will Mabon
22 Posted 31/05/2017 at 06:57:47
I was an hour too late, James!
Colin Glassar
23 Posted 31/05/2017 at 07:49:08
James, not to worry, Cannon and Ball have everything under control.

Our new schedule includes friendlies against Blackpool, Southport and New Brighton. Refreshments will be provided for ST holders but you'll have to pay for your own donkey rides.

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 31/05/2017 at 08:55:03
The donkeys have been taking us for a ride for years, Colin!
Alan J Thompson
26 Posted 31/05/2017 at 14:22:41
The reality; it's Tanzania as part of a sweetened deal, TBC?
John Pierce
27 Posted 31/05/2017 at 14:40:18
Another suspicious brick in the wall of Everton incompetence. In the last two weeks, we've bungled our kit launch and now cannot decide a pre-season. A lot of planning went into that then!

Sadly our ability to market Everton is way behind the teams most people often scoff at for jetting far and wide. We had a great advantage in The States and now are looking in on big sides playing the ICC cup each year.

Clearly despite the rhetoric we we are not ready to compete on any level. You need presence, we ain't got that apart from in the club's head. Everton need to market to non-Evertonians, the punter whose favourite national player is at Everton.

Walking around the States, Chelsea tops are a team on the rise. Jesuz!

John Harrop
28 Posted 31/05/2017 at 20:16:40
FC Groningen vs Everton
Saturday 22 July
Noordlease Stadium
KO 17:00
Tickets: €10 (adults); €5 (kids)

It's billed as Groningen versus the "Koemen" (get it?).

Seems quite definite to me.

Patrick Murphy
29 Posted 31/05/2017 at 20:22:27
John (#28),
It might seem definite from Groningen's perspective but Everton Football Club issued a statement yesterday at 17:30pm which I've linked below. Elstone is currently in East Africa so perhaps things will become clearer when he returns.

Pre-Season Notice

Jay Wood
30 Posted 31/05/2017 at 20:51:01
John @ 27.

You really do have a down on the club, doncha?

How, exactly, is this evidence of "another suspicious brick in the wall of Everton incompetence?"

How, exactly, did we "bungle our kit launch?"

And how, exactly, do you claim we "cannot decide a pre-season?"

There was clearly a lot of planning for the kit launch, employing a local theme with footage of many a local lad in the promotional videos. That shows awareness by the club that there is a strong local market for club merchandise.

Or, are you equating the annual bun fest of a 'love-hate' the new kit here on TW as proof positive that the launch was 'bungled'?

Similarly with your latest bleat on pre-season friendlies. Games in Holland were rumoured. Nothing official came from the club. Yesterday, the club issued a short statement that read: "At this moment, contrary to reports, we have no confirmed games in Holland during our pre-season programme.

"Supporters are advised not to book any travel under any circumstances until there is confirmation from the Club."

To me, that shows a caring club, not wishing its supporters make travel plans or expend unnecessary funds on as yet unconfirmed fixtures. Telling that you use it as a stick to beat the club with.

The season barely finished 2 weeks ago. Plenty of other clubs have still to finalise their pre-season. Everton has to plan carefully around their Europa League fixture late July. Difficult to jet off to distant lands as you propose when the club need to prepare for and play and win far more important competitive games in Europe.

But then, you're possibly someone who thinks he has a flat tyre, but doesn't even have a bike.

John Pierce
31 Posted 31/05/2017 at 22:37:07

The kit launch was hardly an international event, whilst the promo may have featured young local lads, as good as that might be, you're average punter in lands we are trying to influence has no idea who Leighton Baines is. It's simply small time, inward looking.

But they will know who Romelu Lukaku is, it's about globalization, it's about branding – not just to the Everton punter who will in all likelihood buy Everton merchandise.

That's not growing your brand. Sure going to Tanzania is a great touch and Holland isn't the worst place to go but again, these markets are tiny and saturated respectively. I'd rather see Everton in the States or Asia even for a one-off game to build it there.

We've had two international icons at our club in recent times, Cahill and Howard. Whatever you think of them they are adored by their countries, we've done jack-all to exploit and grow Everton through those opportunities. Cahill is force of nature as a branding dream, even the Red Bulls used him more astutely than we did.

Landon Donavan was so effusive about his time at Everton, the same could be said of him.

I'm not down on the club, or mixed up about weird bike metaphors. I've been a very patient supporter for a significant period of time. My patience has now worn thin and Everton deserve a chastening from top to bottom as they simply have not delivered. Here is no counter to that.

What they have delivered is a poor product on the field and steadily fallen behind competing in any sense commercially. So perhaps you don't share that view but realize that views like mine are cultivated out of taking my non-Everton mates, to any away game I could get to only to see them lose more often or not and do so in pathetic circumstances.

Under Walter Smith we were an embarrassment, and I was happy to be patient because I understood the position. We are now not in a position to be so inept from board down to marketing to commercial matters.

When the club does something to merit adulation, I will be the first one knocking the door down having ridden miles to get there on sub-functioning bike.

John Daley
32 Posted 31/05/2017 at 00:16:40
"Walking around the States, Chelsea tops are a team on the rise. Jesuz!"

How many USA national team players do they have again? How many have they had in the past?

People always go on about us not capitalizing on having Flappy when he was flavour of the month, or how signing a player from a particular country and playing a couple of non-competitive games over there, might lead to us making swift inroads in the public consciousness and set Everton on the path to eventually becoming one of the most popular clubs in that part of world. It just comes across as slightly naive to me.

True, such actions might earn you a small posse of new fans but, until you start racking up trophies (or at least seriously competing for them), then you're always going to be about as big a deal to a wandering eye as an infinitesimal fucking biddy ensnared in an itchy-headed kids wet nit comb.

You don't stand a chance of coming close to superseding those clubs who can give a gagging audience, with no qualms about switching allegiance, a real chance of getting to see actual success (and the instant gratification of revelling in reflective glory).

My father-in-law and his son are both Chinese and they 'support' a different English team every single year my wife and I go back there. When you ask what happened to them being a Man Utd fan or a Man City fan etc, the answer is invariably because they are "no good now" and someone else (usually whoever is... coincidentally [cough]... top of the league, or has recently won the league) is the "best team". The same applies to almost all their family and friends who follow football (or, at least, spend an insane amount of time gambling on it).

My wife's other family members in Malaysia display exactly the same level of Premier League loyalty/promiscuity.

Winning is primarily what makes a Premier League club popular in foreign parts, not fantastic marketing, a few friendlies or signing the next Li Weifeng/Li Tie (although an allegiance with Lucifer does seem to have served as an adequate substitute in recent years for the Aleister Crowley copying arseholes across the park).

Jay Wood
33 Posted 01/06/2017 at 01:44:25
John @ 31.

Hmmm... a long-winded justification which rather changes focus from your original post @ 27. Hey-ho!

Why should the Kit launch be an 'international event'? The promo was launched at Everton's key audience, most likely to purchase. That's the name of the marketing game.

Why does that have to be interpreted by you as "small-time, inward looking?" It is shrewd, ensuring you get the best ROI on your marketing budget. You actually acknowledge this when you wrote about targeting "Everton punters who will in all likelihood buy Everton merchandise."

I would wager a good wedge that the overwhelming return on sales on Everton merchandise come from, in the first place, addresses with a Liverpool postcode and thereafter other corners of the UK.

You make 'global branding' sound as simple as having a poster of an Everton player in the shop window of a Brussels sports shop and - lo! Suddenly the streets of Belgium are awash with Belgians in Everton shirts with Lukaku's name and number across their backs.

It takes a wee bit more than that, John.

Everton has done a number of different pre-seasons in both the States and Asia.

Everton has established sponsorship deals and 'information exchange' projects in both locations.

Now I have no idea where you are located, or if you travel much, but as John Daley rightly points out, the very markets you feel Everton is failing in have no great fidelity to 'the brand', the history and culture of any club. They follow success. Everton, for pretty much two generations of football supporters, cannot be regarded as a 'successful club.'

You reveal your hand (but contradict yourself) when you say you are not down on the club, but then immediately state your "patience has now worn thin and Everton deserve a chastening from top to bottom."

You are emboldened to claim the club has not delivered, saying "there is no counter" to your claim.

Well, there can't be any counter to something that is not stated. You talk in vague terms that they have "delivered a poor product on the field." What's your reference point? Are you talking about the history of the Premier League? This season alone? The Martinez - Moyes - Smith years?

I don't disagree that commercially, we are (currently) lagging behind our historical peers. But this very day, as reported on this very site, the KPMG report on the top 20 clubs with the highest income sees Everton in 17th, largely due to the huge broadcasting rights Premier League club now earn.

Spurs, 4-5 years ago, were in a similar position to the one we now find ourselves in. They currently have more than double our annual revenue, thanks to establishing themselves at the sharp end of the table and qualifying year in, year out, for European competition. This in turn has allowed them to attract an increasingly better quality player, whilst continuing to have a very good academy that provides the first team with quality home-grown talent.

This is the model Everton needs to follow.

If we achieve that, year on year that will continue to cement Everton in that top 20 rich list. Together with the hoped for new stadium and clearly more business savvy majority owner in Moshiri, Everton is well-placed to make that more than a fanciful pipe dream.

Perhaps your gripe is a more basic than your attempt to conflate commercial failings (as defined by you) and organizational cock-ups (rumoured fixtures not yet confirmed) as proof positive of total malaise at all levels of the club. You again reveal your hand by saying: "seeing them lose more often or not and do so in pathetic circumstances."

As for 'weird metaphors', I'll remember to dumb them down for you next time, John, to give you an outside chance of grasping their meaning.

Maybe something along the lines of:

"Another suspicious brick in the wall of Everton incompetence" is quite snappy and would probably work for you.

Oh... wait.

John Pierce
34 Posted 01/06/2017 at 03:55:04
Jay, John,

The core Everton fan will buy the kit regardless of the launch, it's not shrewd, it's the veritable captive market, it requires no imagination or innovation.

Everton should be commercially more active in the Asian and American markets, I firmly believe that. The American market especially still has much room to grow into, NBC are killing it with their coverage. The Asian market is a huge emerging entity to tap into.

The posses they attract would dwarf the lad in Dar es Salaam and the Koeman fanatic in Rotterdam.

The example of Howard, Cahill, & Donovan was a way in, not the panacea to solve our inept presence in the international marketplace.

Couldn't care less if the market is transient and fickle as you describe John, as in Asia, it's all money and I'm not expecting a plethora of Everton lifers to spring forth. I'm expecting Everton to have a base presence and be in a position capitalize on players and or success.

I'm not conflating anything, since my first game in '78, Everton have had 3/4 decent seasons. As defined by me a trophy winning one, for the pedantic condescending chaps who diss Schrodinger's cyclists.

My patience was laced with warmth and the glow of success, it can sustain someone for only so long.

After improved broadcast revenue and relative stability on the pitch under Moyes, Everton have done little to improve the perception of club domestically and internationally.

After decades of stagnation, perhaps even decline you could say why not call the club out now they have the means to change things and are still struggling to define themselves.

A club which can't win away at clubs we consider to be our historical equal for over 20 years

A club which is the 'best of the rest' or 'bottom of the top seven'. Since when has there ever been a top seven? Family Fortunes perhaps.

I will cede it sounds harsh and disingenuous but the context of over 40 years of support, not so much.

Jay, me long winded? Toffee-web takes a collective snort as the longest poster in history replies with bike zingers and intellectual snobbery, blunted by the 500-word preamble.

Stick to Everton rather than the personal 'oneupmanship', because when you do you are worth the read mate.

John, love reading your stuff, the bits Jay thinks I can understand that is!

Both argumentative Evertonians. 😃

Will Mabon
35 Posted 01/06/2017 at 04:12:35
Doesn't matter how you paint it, the club appeared to announce a series of pre-season friendlies in Holland. All very thorough that they've subsequently warned fans to avoid wasted travel and arrangements, but it does look a little amateur for a club of this standing.

Arrange - confirm - re-confirm - announce.

If problems arise due to unforeseeable or extraordinary circumstance, then explain.

Perhaps there's an "Everton" phase still to come, where the games are all back on again.

Dave Burnett
36 Posted 01/06/2017 at 09:30:47
One of the reasons as too why the club have asked fans not to book trips is that the first 2 matches may not be played at the grounds of those clubs. It may be that games against Zwolle and Twente may be in a training camp environment.

Information was known first about the Twente Enschede game but their site initially expressed concerns over the re-layed pitch being ready in time. Last pre-season, WBA had a tour of Holland and in the end due to police advice in Holland, had to play a game behind closed doors due to planned trouble by Dutch fans.

Appears as one post has said the club are thinking of the fans and will announce details when all confirmed. However does look like Groningen is a goer...

Nicholas Ryan
37 Posted 01/06/2017 at 12:21:41
I've already booked the hotel!
Jay Wood
38 Posted 01/06/2017 at 13:35:57
John @ 34.

Both John Daley and I took the time and care to outline to you why your original post (and subsequent ones) were flawed (in our opinions).

Your latest response does not counter the points both of us made. It simply denies them.

You "firmly believe" that "Everton should be commercially more active in the Asian and American markets" as in the good ole US of A "NBC are killing it with their coverage."

This is viewing 'soccer' in the US in a bubble. You are not only competing with fellow PL clubs, but other internationally established (successful!) clubs from many different leagues. More, you are competing with the major, MAJOR US sports of basketball, baseball and American Football and all the marketing know-how they possess in their well-established LOCAL market.

Dallas Cowboys (AF), New York Yankees (baseball) and New York Knicks (basketball) are listed as the leading sports franchises in the US, worth 4, 3.4 and 3 BILLION DOLLARS respectively.

When was the last time you were 'exposed' to their 'global, international marketing' to buy their merchandise?

Everton is a dwarf compared to those 3 examples, but you advocate we should be doing what they don't - and more! Going head to head with them in their domestic market.

Hmmm... Not sure if that is a recipe for success, or a waste of your marketing budget.

Check the KPMG report referenced here on TW. See page 8 for a very clear graphic of the top 10 kit value deals. Note who occupies the rankings - the most successful teams. We cannot re-dress that balance on marketing alone. The major influencing factor to start turning that tanker around will be success on the field. Your position, I continue to contest, is a glib, simplistic one.

The next page in that report - page 9 - is also an interesting one, showing the Return of Sales - the true profitability of a club. Benfica lead this table, generating 30 million euros for every 100 million euros earned. Interestingly, Spurs - the model I earlier suggest we follow - is in second place generating around 24 million euros per 100 million.

Similarly, you dismiss John Daley's correct analysis of the transient and fickle nature of the Asian market. And more, fail to take into account the fake rip-offs available in pretty much any and every Asian flea market. Again, selling genuine club merchandise in this market is a tough, tough sell.

You claim you are "not conflating anything," but in your original post (which I challenged on your specific claims) you make a juxtaposition of two disparate points (and curiously, this is the 2nd time I have posted that on TW today) and subsequently arrived at what I consider a false and unjust conclusion: the general malaise and incompetence of Everton FC.

Namely, calling out Everton for "a bungled kit launch" and an (alleged) inability to "decide a pre-season."

Your subsequent posts have since dropped any reference to pre-season arrangements and your perceived failings by the club and turned your focus on 2 things: the marketing issue (which both John Daley and I have contested) and an explicit dissatisfaction expressed by you due to your 'lack of patience' with the lack of success at the club (which is your right).

Finally, to address (another) personal side-swipe by you towards me. I say the following not to demean you, but to speak the bald truth.

Until your post in this particular thread caught my attention, I'm genuinely not aware of you as a TW poster John. I'm guessing you are a relatively new poster here on TW for that to be the case, because as a long term poster you quickly learn who the regular and established posters are and the likely positions they hold.

So to answer your charges against me. Yup! Guilty as charged! I can ramble in presenting my opinion, along with a good many others. You can add yourself to that list, based on what I've read from you in this thread.

'Intellectual snobbery?' Nah! Refute that charge completely. I write in plain simple English. I know I can construct and maintain a stated position. If my eloquence or rationale challenges you or offends you, tough titty! Engage in genuine debate to prove me wrong.

If you base that charge on my use of the 'bike zinger' and consider that an example of 'personal oneupmanship', roll back the thread and take responsibility for your own words.

The bike metaphor I used was one sentence at the end of a carefully constructed counter to your original post.

It is YOU who subsequently got all snidey (@31) describing it as "mixed up weird bike metaphors" and referencing a "sub-functioning bike."

Thus, my own playful swipe back at the end of post 33. If you're going to poke someone John, be prepared to be poked back.

In closing if you are still struggling with the bike metaphor, just ask. I'm here to help and happy to explain its usage in the context I placed it.

Have a gud 'un!

Dan Egerton
39 Posted 01/06/2017 at 15:56:09
I agree Jay. Only the most cynical of conspiracy theorists would ask such questions.

Seems to me as though Everton and those Dutch clubs are in negotiation to make it happen. It got leaked before any agreement has been reached. Pretty simple conclusion I draw here, but yknow I'm not a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

Will Mabon
40 Posted 01/06/2017 at 18:25:16
Dan, conclusion "Drawn". There's nothing to say anything was leaked. The matches and schedule were mentioned in detail and reported by several sources that I saw and nothing to the contrary was mentioned by the club for a good few days.

That could equally allow one to draw the conclusion that planning has been less than thorough, without recruiting paranoia. Anyway, probably no harm done.

Nicholas Ryan
41 Posted 01/06/2017 at 00:08:32
I think criticism of the club for the 'doubt' about the Dutch fixtures is unfair. These fixture dates were likely fixed some time ago. What was not fixed, was the date of the game in Africa.

Now that is set, it seems uncomfortably close to the Holland games. That, it seems to me, has been the problem... feet-dragging at the African end, rather than EFC incompetence.

Dan Egerton
42 Posted 03/06/2017 at 11:43:33
Will Mabon, I'd rather be wrong about a leak, than a cynic that immediately presumes to KNOW that the club was being incompetent based purely on paranoid speculation.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads