From threatening Europe to Big Sam’s desperate rehabilitation: what went wrong?

Mike Kehoe 28/01/2018 50comments  |  Jump to last
Forgive me if this subject has been done to death in previous articles but I am genuinely confused about how we have transformed from a successful powerful club on the verge of challenging the European elites into a shambolic enterprise that turns to Sam Allardyce for salvation?

Obviously the wheels started coming off in 85 following Heysel but we still won the league in 87 before the manager left and some players moved on. Quite possibly the worst effected club by Heysel was Wimbledon: who knows what chaos Fashanu’s elbows may have wrought in Monaco and Milan?

I start at this time because this seems to be when our decline began. In 88 RS brought in Barnes, Aldridge, Beardsley and Houghton while we brought in McCall, McDonald, Cottee and Nevin: while mostly good signings there is a definite disparity in quality. We broke the transfer record on Cottee and saw off strong interest from other top teams so things were still going relatively well.

Blues of a certain vintage will recall all to easily how the team didn’t gel quite as well as we hoped and the standards fell dramatically in the coming seasons resulting in several managerial changes which brought the club to the very brink of the relegation abyss in 94: I endured the trauma of Mike Walker and can easily comprehend how the quality of football deteriorated so shockingly; his experiments with Barry Horne as a right winger a traumatic memory.

What I cannot grasp is how the finances seemingly evaporated following the Littlewoods era. Looking at that sentence it appears self explanatory and then combined with failing to capitalise on European competition certainly didn’t help, this then in turn compounded by the ‘pleasant surprises’ of Peter Johnson’s application of cynical exploitation and downright ignorance.

I think what I’m asking is how could things have gone so far wrong in this timescale and leave such a toxic legacy which seems to have poisoned almost everything since (95 FA cup excluded). I simply can’t accept that a club of this size with such a consistently solid fan base can struggle to such a degree and repeat the same mistakes with such alarming regularity as to be force fed this footballing shit sandwich by SA and then be grateful.

I personally would be happy for the club to express and demonstrate a vision for the future. To identify a competent manager in the mound of Eddie Howe or similar and identify a style of play and work towards it, and stick with it, even if it looks a bit wobbly at times. I seriously can’t be arsed with all the panicking and blaming that goes on as it never ever helps: it mystifies me that people slag of Moyes as Dithering Dave and that he lacked competence and ability when he built a decent team with no money. As for Kenwright, I don’t feel qualified to pass an opinion but he may well have done his best under very trying circumstances: I am yet to hear anything remotely credible by the conspiracy theorists about his personal gains at the clubs expense.

This Summer will be another important milestone for the club and hopefully a statement of serious and ambitious intent will be heralded with a realistic strategy and staff that will capture the imagination and inspire confidence - a bit like last season but without the fucking epic stupidity. Obviously many big clubs have fallen from grace in the decades of Everton’s decline and Murdoch’s money has revolutionised the game for good or bad: its definitely bad. In the case of other teams the reasons are fairly obvious: Villa were asset stripped by American owners, Clough faded and so to Forest, anyway I’m not interested in them.

Was it a perfect storm of incompetence, greed and the European ban that dealt our club such a devastating body blow or was there a specific incident around the end of the eighties or early nineties that i have missed? I struggle to accept stupidity as an answer on such a scale when you are dealing in millions but then the evidence is so often overwhelming: we start the season with no forward and then end up playing a fairly hopeless right back at left back and RS replace Suarez with Lambert- still makes me chuckle that one.

It’s time to get things right and build something positive for the future rather than this death by a thousand cuts brand of anti football in the name of rehabilitation. The money now seems to be available after years of incomprehensible make do and mend austerity. Don’t screw it up. Again.

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Alan Bodell
1 Posted 28/01/2018 at 17:12:42
Brilliant article, I'm just bemused that after years of little finance where mostly we punched above our weight and then now with spending power we are struggling to get points against anyone, never mind the top teams.

Oh well, that's what toughens us up in the workplace on Monday mornings, I guess.
Geoff Lambert
2 Posted 28/01/2018 at 17:34:42
I got to the part where you want Eddie Howe as the Manager to take us forward. And gushing about Moyes and Kenwright!!!!

And that is why we are where we are today.

Alan Bodell
3 Posted 28/01/2018 at 17:46:26
Geoff, without Moyes and Kenwright, I think we'd be with Leeds Utd, Nottm Forest, Sheffield Wed etc; today, many on TW dislike both but I don't so it's just opinions, mate.
Lawrence Green
4 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:12:45
There's an argument to say that John Moores's financial clout made the hierarchy at Goodison complacent, indeed the choice of manager was also the single most important decision that the Everton board could make.

Bingham and Lee followed Catterick, both tried but failed to have success and were followed by the ideal manager in Howard Kendall. An astute person, with the manners of a diplomat and who shared the same ambitions as the fans for his team and his club.

Colin Harvey was perhaps a good choice at the time, however, possibly in hindsight not the best one. Until Joe Royle arrived, Everton stumbled and faltered, but even Joe's FA Cup triumph couldn't mask the fact that Everton were still some distance from capturing former league glories.

Moyes was the right man in 2002 and remained so until circa 2009; he stayed a few years too long and since then the board have shown no sense of purpose as to what it is that they want from their manager or indeed their team.

Allardyce is here for now and who knows perhaps into next season but he isn't the man to guide us out of the desert of despair. I don't know who is but, if the board get it wrong the next time they choose their manager, we will have another few years of struggle and strife to endure.

Robin Cannon
5 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:17:01
Mediocre and complacent leadership running up the Premier League era. Then the failure of the King's Dock meant that we were neither improving as a business and increasing our income, or in a position to take advantage of the influx of mega-cash over the last decade or so.

Neither here nor there. Nothing so disastrous as to see a Villa or Leeds style collapse, nothing to warrant a new investor or (preferably) a better self sustaining model.

Moyes staying for too long I think seriously undermined his legacy. He did a great job in his early years to pull us back from that brink of disaster that some clubs have faced. Kenwright's abiding failure is the King's Dock. For the rest... feels like he's never been involved enough to be a full time "CEO", and yet always unwilling to give up the reigns enough to let someone else lead.

Now, we appear to have no particular strategy at all. We didn't really know what to do when Moyes left. We've lurched from manager to manager with wildly different styles. And now we're at the epitome of short-termism with the Allardyce appointment. I don't see any evidence that anything Allardyce is doing will see us materially better at the end of the season than if Unsworth had remained caretaker.

I agree. I want to see us hire a manager based on a proper strategy, and have patience as that strategy is implemented. And, even if we face problems severe enough that a manager change is warranted... try and not make knee-jerk hires that massively redirect that strategy and throw out all the previous work.

Geoff Lambert
6 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:25:22
Alan! Without Kenwright, we would be playing in a King's Dock stadium and might have the owner we have needed for years a lot sooner.

Moyes is at West Ham now and lucky to be there.

Charlatan and a bottler. [Just my opinion...]

Danny Baily
7 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:28:47
The only things that will allow us to compete with the elite clubs, both at home and in Europe, are infrastructure and revenue. That means a top class stadium with a 60,000 plus capacity and a revenue stream to match.

If we can stay at the top table until Bramley-Moore is built then we should have an assured seat for generations to come. If the new stadium plans turn out to be smoke and mirrors, then I'll be all out of optimism.

Mark Tanton
8 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:31:03
Without Moyes, we might have sank without a trace. How easy it is to forget how close to oblivion we were when he was walked though the door and found Gazza and Ginola hobbling about like Shakespearean ghosts of football past.

Football fans are, on the whole, ingrates.

Steve Barr
9 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:33:11
Mike, a very interesting article but I will add that, as a club, we've always failed to sustain/build on a seemingly winning and optimistic period throughout our whole history.

The declines have either been beyond our our control. For example, I think we were reigning champions at the outbreak of both world wars and certainly were champions when the Heysel incident led to the European ban and robbed us of any chance of building on that great team, or self-inflicted.

On the self-destruct button, I would argue that started before the 1980s. I recall we were touted in all circles as being the team of the coming decade when we won the league in 1969-70, but that team was dismantled for reasons I'm not clear on, but seemed to be down to the club and its management then? Thereafter, I agree with your observations from the mid 1980s onward.

I also agree 100% with your comment that, as a club, we need leadership that can demonstrate a vision for the future and identify the right manager with the necessary attributes and character to drive the team and club forward.

I've posted on other threads to that effect, having reluctantly referenced the likes of Bill Shankly who did just that at Liverpool and others of that era such as Don Revie at Leeds, Clough at Derby and Forest and Bill Nicholson at Tottenham.

I don't see any of this required vision at the club now and, based on posts from ToffeeWebbers who have worked at Goodison, it would appear we are a complete amateur club in just about every aspect of running a professional club both on and off the pitch, so I don't hold out much hope for the immediate future.

It's torture being a Blue at the moment but I'm ever hopeful and look forward to reading more comments on this thread.

Jay Harris
10 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:46:29

Whilst I agree Heysel caused us a rapid decline, I personally feel the rapid decline came about under Johnson and Kenwright when record amounts of money were coming into clubs. Commercial opportunities abounded and Man City and Chelsea – previously no-marks – suddenly became a force with the money behind them. With Man Utd taking off under Ferguson by buying up all the best young talent, and a strong Arsenal club, we were ill-equipped financially to compete and carried on being run like a local sweetshop while the other clubs were bringing in CEOs and marketing experts.

I think many did not appreciate the success of Moyes and the way he held the club together while Kenwright and cronies were looking at how they could look after themselves.

Kings Dock was a major letdown, Destination Kirkby was an embarrassment. Earl, Green and Wyness further examples of Kenwright's DNA as was Trevor Birch's appointment and subsequent resignation after a few weeks.

I still believe Moshiri is being undermined by Kenwright who still wants the power at the club but hasn't got the ability to run it properly. It doesn't matter who we get as manager, if there is something not right at the top.

Until we clear out the whole management team and get professional big hitters in, we will not progress. If I had my way, I would go balls out to get David Dein as Chief Executive and Arsene Wenger as Director of Football and let them find the right manager and get player recruitment right.

Jeff Spiers
11 Posted 28/01/2018 at 18:50:42
As posted before, if players and some supporters think we are not going down, we have a rocky road ahead.
Jim Bennings
12 Posted 28/01/2018 at 19:08:59
It's not just as easy as simply starting again from scratch in summer. We need a mega overhaul nobody doubts that, but we all know we will not see one.

We are quite likely to see Leighton Baines and Ashley Williams trudging out in defence again come the opening day in August and the usual two static holding midfielders at home to a promoted team.

There's nobody at Everton who has the guts to say it's not acceptable for the club to simply be content with mediocrity. The sole purpose in summer, if Allardyce is still here, will be to grind out 11 or 12 wins from 38 league games and reach 40 points come early April again.

The answer is not just to throw money after a load of unknown average players from far flung weaker leagues. What we need is to sell the players that are past their best and buy proven Premier League players and coach them in the way they should be coached, none of this “pass and don't move” or “hoof ball” that we we are currently witnessing.

Last summer the club didn't need massive changes, we needed a proven striker (Vardy, Giroud, example) we should have just bought Sigurdsson instead of three nNumbers 10s and played him in the correct position, although we should NOT have paid the crazy amount we did.

We should have made certain we attracted a competent left-back, we had enough time.

Next summer it's no longer about a few additions making this team better again, it's about a whole new team and mentality in the way it's coached.

We just can't afford to throw money here there and everywhere and players with no track record of doing it in stronger leagues. We've had our fingers burned too many times and it's really in the balance as to how Tosun turns out (again we needed a striker this month to hit the ground running given our scoring struggles).

We needed a striker doing it NOW!!! When will mistakes ever be learned from?

Andrew James
13 Posted 28/01/2018 at 19:10:45
I'd say our board's refusal to sign black players in the 1980s and early to mid 1990s was another factor why the other clubs got out in front of us. It cost us a manager and contributed to the brush with relegation.

I'm not saying it is the main reason for going from Champions in '87 to relegation battles in the '90s but...

Alan Bodell
14 Posted 28/01/2018 at 19:14:13
Geoff, if memory serves me rightn Kenwright waited until we got the guy with money, which hasn't worked out too good yet, but having lived through decades of glory and despair with so many managers and board members, I'm happy with my opinion of both you don't care for.

We are where we are and it's not good but could be a whole lot worse if it was not for some you dislike.

John Keating
15 Posted 28/01/2018 at 21:20:14
Heysel in my opinion was the most significant reason of our decline, without doubt.

After the European ban our management and team started to break up and the Board were incapable of having the long term vision of weathering the ban and being in a position to take advantage of reintroduction.

A couple of very short term spells of relative success have masked the steady decline until this point.

We are so far behind the top 4/5 unless a massive financial backer steps in we will never break into this top group. We can spend a hundred million on 4 players they can spend that on one.

Unfortunately we will always realistically be best of the rest for the foreseeable future.

Alan McGuffog
16 Posted 28/01/2018 at 21:31:40
John, and we've spent the thick end of £100 million on absolute shite.
John Keating
17 Posted 28/01/2018 at 21:55:59
True, Alan.

They always say you should buy while you're ahead. We should have been buying a replacement for Baines a few years ago not now, same with other positions. This ha been a downfall of ours for years.

Once this shit of a season is settled and we're clear of any hint of relegation, a full enquiry needs to be conducted regarding not only this season's disaster but from the last years of Moyes.

A full clear out, top to bottom.

Ian Pilkington
18 Posted 28/01/2018 at 00:21:12
It is nearly 22 years since we last won a trophy. Kenwright bought the club 18 years ago last December. Before he took control, the longest trophyless period in our history was the 17-year period between 1946 and 1963.

He can't be blamed for the decline from 1987 to 1999, but he did absolutely nothing to stop it during his tenure as owner, and after selling his majority interest nearly 2 years ago, Kenwright is still a major influence in the running of our club.

Quite incredible.

Jerome Shields
19 Posted 29/01/2018 at 06:13:31
Good article. Wonder where the guy that kissed the centre circle point at the end of the 1994 season is now?

I think the real rot set in when Food Hamper Johnson took over. He bought the club for peanuts and a few years later sold it at a huge profit.

It was at that stage that Financial Management took over from Football Management, because that was where the money was to be made. It took Bill Kenwright a bit longer to realise a profit, but Financial Management overtook Football Management again.

Danny Baily
20 Posted 29/01/2018 at 09:12:27
John #15, best of the rest? Don't be fooled by us sitting in 9th position in the table. We are in very real danger of relegation. Just look at the fixtures. We really needed all three points against West Brom.

Newcastle, Villa and Leeds fans probably thought they were cemented in their status as best of the rest not so long ago.

A win against Leicester (I would have expected a draw) will put us back on target for 47 points by my reckoning. Very little room for error in those games we're expected to win from then on.

Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 29/01/2018 at 09:30:31
Alan (#14) he had a man with money, Paul Gregg, but would not let go of his complete hold of the club when Paul wanted to run the club a different way and so we lost a genuine money man with big connections and ended up virtually in the hands of a billionaire who took from the club and provided nothing, Phillip Green.

More than likely you won't agree with that because you think Kenwright was good for Everton. I think you are very easily pleased if you think the present chairman was good for Everton; he was most certainly very good for himself.

Clive Rogers
22 Posted 29/01/2018 at 09:47:16
Ian (#18), I won't be going to the new stadium if Kenwright is still chairman.
Clive Rogers
23 Posted 29/01/2018 at 09:59:19
Jerome (#19), that is not true that Johnson made a huge profit on selling EFC. He paid about £18M and sold for £20M. See EFC shares information on TW under Club.
Derek Thomas
24 Posted 29/01/2018 at 10:00:35
Dave @ 21: Spot on; I'll only state the first black mark in Kenwright's litany of failure and shame, summed up in just 2 letters - KD... Any other of the rest would've also seen him given the P45 in any other multi-million-pound commercial business, bar a football club... well this football club.

Stuff happened before him which didn't help.

You have to give the devil his due though – it's a good trick to get somebody to give you mega millions for your business and still leave you in charge.

Peter Hughes
25 Posted 29/01/2018 at 10:30:19
Clive, if Kenwright is still chairman I doubt there will be any new stadium!
Clive Rogers
26 Posted 29/01/2018 at 10:39:05
I think it has turned out that Kenwright has been a much worse chairman than Johnson was and history tells us that. It went wrong for Johnson when his company almost went under and gave us a bad 18 months. Kenwright, a bad 20 years.
Anthony Hawkins
27 Posted 29/01/2018 at 11:06:52
I'm not completely clear how the club went from ‘85 with Andy Gray and ‘86 with Lineker to Cottee in ‘87 and onwards. It seems the nose dipped ‘87 and onwards.

Johnson screwed the club and Kenwright hasn't done anything to improve the club other than smooth a troubled planes decent. He's not added any money to the pot and any money that's come in has been from the equally troubled Philip Green. You only have to look at how his retail companies have ended up to see the approach he likes to take.

The club has almost 35 years of obvious mistreatment which is not going to be resolved in one season of having money. That Kenwright has managed to maintain his role at the club despite not being the major shareholder is beyond my comprehension. I don't believe he's now adding any value to the club. If anything, I think he has a negative impact.

There are deals done over last summers transfer window that just plain wreak. I don't want to go into details we already know as it infuriates me.

Jay Wood

28 Posted 29/01/2018 at 13:20:07
As Mike says in his OP, this is a topic that has been done many times. When you consider the full history of events, I don't think it is a confusing issue at all.

Mike references the Heysel disaster as the starting point of our decline. It is a convenient ‘cop out' for me and always has been. As Mike himself says, we won another title after Heysel and contested cup finals. Yes, it denied us the possibility to play in Europe with a phenomenal team. But we weren't the only English club banned from Europe. All English clubs were.

However, other elite clubs did not fossilise and fail to prepare for a return to European competition once the ban ended, nor fail to seize the opportunities the newly formed Premier League offered as Everton evidently did.

And to correct a few posters absolving Bill Kenwright of blame for some of the intervening years Mike references, this did all happen on Kenwright's watch.

A common mistake made by many is the starting date of Kenwright's association with the club.

Yes, he bought out Peter Johnson to gain a controlling majority in 1999 and became chairman in 2004, but Kenwright actually joined the board 29 years ago in 1989, which comfortably pre-dates the Premier League era.

On gaining control of the club in 2004, Kenwright stated the following:

"Acquiring Peter Johnson'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. I'm realistic and I have a plan."

I leave it to others to reflect on Bill's words and if he realised them.

Add to the above, let's not forget that Everton's very own Phillip Carter was very much one of the driving forces behind the Premier League's formation. The Everton club chairman at the time, Carter also held the prestigious position of President of the then Football League.

Everton, along with Man Utd, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal were part of the Big 5, who stabbed the rest of the league in the back in creating the Premier League which came into being in the 1992-93 season.

At the time, we had more league titles to our name than everyone, other than Liverpool, parity with Arsenal and ahead of United. At the time, our head to head records with United was vastly superior, compared to today. Indeed, in our very first away match in the newly formed Premier League we went to Old Trafford and twatted them 3-0.

At the launch of the Premier League it is reasonable to say we were equally well placed at its inception as any of the historical great clubs (of which Everton was undoubtedly one of them).

Subsequently, second and third-tier teams that sat outside the Pantheon of Great English Clubs have now superseded us. Why, and how? Because the guardians of our Great Club allowed this to happen.

* By 2000, just 8 years into the Premier League era, Everton's financial position had become so precarious we were already flogging any young talent and taking out prohibitive loans

* By contrast, our historical peers (with whom Everton was on at worst an equal footing at the formation of the Premier League) were able to either:

1) Radically redevelop their existing stadiums (for example, Man Utd demolished two stands and grew their capacity from 44k to 68k by the year 2000. They continued that development into this century and now boast a 76k capacity)

2) Relocate to a modern purpose built stadium (for example, in 1999 Arsenal took the decision to relocate to the 60k capacity Emirates and played their first game there in 2006)

Of course, further stadium examples similar to the above are available whilst in the same time, Everton has failed in two new stadium locations and we wait with baited breath for Moshiri's stadium plans to come to fruition.

Everton, by contrast, other than the forced move to an all-seater stadium imposed on all clubs by the Taylor report following the Hillsborough disaster, has only built the Park End stand in 1994, the only serious modification to Goodison Park in nigh on 50 years.

* Those same elite peer clubs attracted vastly superior sponsorship deals to Everton.

For example, in 2000, Man Utd signed a shirt sponsorship deal with Vodafone worth £10 million a year. Today, their shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet is worth £57 million a year. By contrast, Everton's shirt sponsorship deal with SportPesa (Who???) signed last summer is (allegedly... the club has never released actual figures) the value of Man Utd's Vodafone deal of 17 years ago, £10 million a year.

We are now two years into Moshiri's reign at Everton. He is signing off cheques unheard of in Everton's history. The rhetoric is full of promise. The actual results don't match the rhetoric.

Moshiri has appointed and sacked 3 managers in his 2 years (if you include David Unsworth in that calculation), but can anyone say with confidence he has yet hit on the right appointment for the club?

The continuation of Bill Kenwright himself and Robert Elstone in situ, plus the appointment of Steve Walsh as Director of Football (possibly a legitimate post that could benefit Everton in the long term), raise further questions about Moshiri's judgement on personnel and objectives.

In short Mike, the answer to your question is self-evident, IMO:

Woeful mismanagement and lack of foresight and planning on every level by the club's custodians in the 32 years since Heysel and the European ban.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 29/01/2018 at 13:50:19
I think you miss the point, Jay, because only for Moyes and Kenwright, who knows where we would be?

One took the piss, because he was making the other one loads of money, and the other one has always took the piss, which is obvious just by reading your post!

"I'm realistic and I have a plan." These words by Kenwright are now ring-fenced inside my brain, alongside the time the front page of The Echo had a big headline telling us he was going to buy us a centre-forward with his own money.

What a fucking player this fella is... I just wished we had some like him who could perform the same magic on a football pitch.

Jay Wood

30 Posted 29/01/2018 at 13:57:52
Tony @ 29.

"I think you miss the point, Jay, because only for Moyes and Kenwright, who knows where we would be?"


Can't make head nor tail of what point your refer to, or what point you are trying to make, Tony (presuming you are addressing my post @ 28...?).

Steve Ferns
31 Posted 29/01/2018 at 14:05:19
Guys, if you look at the boardroom throughout the 80s you will see the decline set in well before Heysel.

Sir John Moores built the club to a great height, he used guys with great business acumen to run the club, after first proving they could run his Littlewoods business. But Sir john was in rapidly failing health in the 80s.

'84 to '87 might have been our most glorious period in terms of trophies, but attendances were at an all-time low. We barely got 30,000 for a game, we often got below 20,000. We actually had one of the highest attendances in the country, but such were the problems at the time, that a lot less people went to watch football than now.

Then there was also the issues whereby people say the club said the attendance was lower than it was to pay less tax, or the guy on the turnstyle was on the take, and so didn't put everyone through, or a number of other conspiracy theories were put forward by people who would swear that there was 40,000 plus at the game but only 30,000 was announced as officially there.

The club was not making money in the 1980s. Football was not making money. We did not capitalise on our success as there was little to capitalise on. Sure, attendances soared from 23,000 to 32,000, and we started selling shirts as replica shirts became a thing for the first time, but we ended our glory days with our financial powers waning because of the demise of Sir John.

The Moores family didn't actually sell Everton to Peter Johnson until around 1994. Sir John was in very poor health from 1986 onwards, unable to talk from 1987, and soon after confined to a wheelchair. He died in 1993.

I believe the damage was done in the 7 years from 1987 to 1994 when the club was owned by the Moores but was effectively rudderless, as Sir John was unable to effectively run us.

Sir Philip Carter was Chairman in this period, from 1978 to 1991, and no doubt he did excellent work in the early part of that, and was instrumental in setting up the Premier League, which would have been a masterstroke if Everton went into it in the shape they were in 1985, and without a European ban. Instead, we went into the Premier League like a lame dog, and watched as everyone else overtook us.

From 1991 to 1994, Dr David Marsh was in Charge of Everton. This is a very rocky period of our history, as we all know too well. The death of Sir John, the sale to Johnson, the closest we've come to relegation in decades (although 1998 was almost as close), and the nose dive from top 6 to that great escape in only 3 seasons.

So things were not as good as you may think behind the scenes in the '80s, things had already started going wrong by the time we last won the league, not just because of Hysel, then things really got worse under the tenure of Dr Marsh, and reached rock bottom until Kenwright rode in like the proverbial Knight in shining armour to save us.

Of course he hasn't. But over that time, the club has stayed in the Premier League and has improved. Whether that's despite him or because of him is another argument.

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 29/01/2018 at 14:22:15
I was being sarcastic Jay, because I can't believe how many people have been taken in by MR K!

My son reckons its on sky sports news that West Ham, are prepared to pay £20 Million for Snides? If this is true then Joe Anderson better keep his fuckin mouth shut!

Jay Wood

36 Posted 29/01/2018 at 18:49:59
Steve @ 31.

Some valid data and dates in your post, but it mitigates nothing or no-one at Everton IMO.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s... Low gates... low income from football... the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker model of club ownership in the hands of local business men – rather than the corporate suits of today...

It was the same for all clubs, Steve. Others were astute enough to adapt to the new situation. Everton didn't. And we are where we are today, and have been for virtually all of the Premier League era, as a result of that negligence.

And to date, Moshiri is yet to inspire confidence that the tide is about to change in our favour any time soon.

Mike Kehoe
37 Posted 29/01/2018 at 19:02:08
Geoff Lambert @2,

I mentioned Eddie Howe as an example of a young manager who has achieved a reasonable level of success and has learnt the ropes; the key part of that sentence is an example, in the piece I referred to ‘in the mound of'.

I am not a cheerleader for Howe but I can't help but feel a degree of envy for clubs with a settled managerial set up that doesn't shriek incompetence or desperation.

Regarding Kenwright, I genuinely have yet to see anything that has even a passing resemblance of evidence that he has abused his position financially: I think we would all like to be privy to such evidence as that would be the missing piece of the jigsaw of what is wrong with the club.

My suspicion is that there is a clandestine and corrupt element that has undermined the club's finances and almost dragged the club to destruction.

So again, if anyone has a case against Kenwright, then bring it forward as it must be exposed. Again I am not a cheerleader for anyone but I am always careful to be measured and critically analyse facts and then be open to other interpretations rather than just make accusations.

Am I alone on wondering how Moyes may have performed with a healthy bank account? Sadly you must be seriously deprived of affection if you consider my position on Kenwright or Moyes to be 'gushing'.

Darren Hind
38 Posted 29/01/2018 at 19:14:52
Kenwright has enough to answer for without silly suggestions that he should be held accountable when a more powerful presence ruled the Boardroom.

Philip Carter (Thatcher's favourite football chairman) is equally as culpable. The fall off the cliff happened on his watch, it was him who missed the starting gun.

While others upgraded their stadiums. Carter told his board members that there was no point in putting up a spectacular double tiered stand when the arl Park End was levelled... "It's too good for them (us)" he said.

Thatcher sycophant

John G Davies
39 Posted 29/01/2018 at 19:20:40
I could not agree more, Darren. Carter toed the Tory party line and put the interests of his club second.
Jerome Shields
40 Posted 29/01/2018 at 22:19:08
Clive (#23),

It's a matter of opinion whether £2 million is a huge profit or not.

Ian Pilkington
41 Posted 29/01/2018 at 00:15:29
Philip Carter, through his connections with Littlewoods and John Moores, served on the Everton Board from 1977 to 1994, an era which included the most successful period in the club's history on the playing field, but latterly the start of the decline in investment coincidental with the deterioration of John Moores's health.

Philip Carter was never a major shareholder in the club and, despite his successful business career, rising through the ranks to become Chairman of Littlewoods, he was not remotely wealthy enough to invest in it, hence the sale by the Moores family to Peter Johnson in 1994.

He was of course recalled twice to serve on the Board by Kenwright in an advisory capacity.

Sir Philip Carter does not deserve the totally crass political comments made by Darren @38 and John @39.

Don Alexander
42 Posted 30/01/2018 at 00:37:37
Ian (#41), I think it's a bit rich to denigrate the views of Darren and John.

Carter was one of Thatcher's few go-to guys following Hillsborough. She had him in her pocket, a yes-man to his core, and as we could see at the time and all now know for a fact she had throughout the 80s a very detailed plan to run down to penury the entire city of Liverpool on a "managed" basis, by her.

Maybe he was too thick to see through that, even though he was so close but the fact remains that alone of the five chairmen courted to initiate the construction of the Premier League, with the exaggerated remuneration of those five clubs a deliberate policy.

We are the only club to have failed completely to progress whilst he was with us as chairman, or as Billy Numbnuts' chosen 'best advisor', or now....

And we named a stand after him??!!! Jeez.

James Stewart
43 Posted 30/01/2018 at 00:40:08
Great article. I was with you until you suggested Eddie Howe. Definitely not him for me, he would be Martinez Mk2.

Dyche I would be all for.

Darren Hind
44 Posted 30/01/2018 at 05:36:22
Ian @41

You may be right. Politics probably have no place here.

I was more informed about the inner workings of the club back then. I knew people who worked for Carter both at Littlewoods and at the club. The general consensus seemed to be that he tried to run both businesses in exactly the same way. What worked at Littlewoods unfortunately didn't work at the club. He didn't "get it". Not like his boss.

I will try to balance this out a little. I don't know how costly his decision was to go with the single-tier stand, but he was instrumental in bringing in Howard Kendall. That may not be seen as a masterstroke as Kendall had been doing a decent job and was being watched by several clubs.

What Carter did (and nobody can take this away from him) is he stood by Kendal when so many were calling for his head. He deserves recognition for that.

That said, Don is right. To name the stand after him given his comments, is a bit of a joke.

Kendall's team was put together through a combination of determination, belief, desire and two or three gambles on crocks which paid off beyond his wildest dreams.

It was not a team built with lavish funding from upstairs. It was a marvellous wonderful miracle which owed much to bringing the right characters into the dressing room. The sort of characters which didn't exist in the boardroom. The sort of characters we have missed since Sir John's health started to decline.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 30/01/2018 at 11:02:01
Champions in 1985, just over two years after the fans were trying to have a whip-round, to sign Terry Curran?

I don't know how true it is that Norwich City, approached Everton, to fight the European ban, but I can't believe we just accepted the decision so easily, when I look back.

I hope we get Bramley-Moore, but I'm not looking forward to seeing some of the names of the stands though, especially the one that's got a hole in its roof!

Ste Traverse
46 Posted 30/01/2018 at 12:35:58
I see a few comments criticising us naming a stand after Carter.

If you think that's bad, imagine if we had a 'Bill Kenwright stand' at the new stadium!

It certainly wouldn't suprise me if it happened.

John G Davies
47 Posted 30/01/2018 at 13:25:01
Tony (#45),

If the boot was in the other foot, do you reckon AC and Inter would have accepted a ban for something Juventus did? Not a chance. They would have took it to the highest court for a ruling.

Thatcher made the decision and Carter wouldn't stand up to her.

Craig Walker
48 Posted 30/01/2018 at 14:14:14
Good article. We are in our current situation due to a combination of bad luck (Heysel, losing to Oxford United away in '86, Southall getting injured playing for Wales in '86, Gary Stevens making a mistake in the '86 cup final, playing the '85 cup final 3 days after Rotterdam, numerous derby hard-luck stories, Collina etc.) and bad management (signing the likes of Ginola, Gascoigne, replacing excellent players with ones who weren't as good (Steven vs Nevin), not signing Nigel Martyn sooner.

Kings Dock was the biggest mistake in recent history. Not making the Park End bigger when it was built in the 90s was an obvious error.

If Bramley-Moore falls through than I'll have to question what it the point?

For all of Peter Johnson's faults, we never lost a derby match whilst he was at the club.

Brian Williams
49 Posted 30/01/2018 at 14:38:51
Don't know about our "rehabilitation" but I firmly believe we'll need help in the shape of other results going for us – starting tonight with an away win for Liverpool and Arsenal and a draw between West Ham and Palace.
Don Alexander
50 Posted 31/01/2018 at 00:31:52
You'll know it's happened when and if you raise every seat at Bramley-Moore only to see a karzi underneath it, Ste (#46).

Shitting on Everton is his way whilst he says he's doing his best to maintain the highest possible standards.

George Stuart
52 Posted 05/02/2018 at 03:48:00
Craig Walker's list summarizes my opinions. There are others: Kendall's exit to Spain, could we have signed better players with him in place? Beardsley et al. And so on.

One thing I did not know is, Don Alexander [42], that "as we could see at the time and all now know for a fact, she had throughout the 80s a very detailed plan to run down to penury the entire city of Liverpool on a 'managed' basis".

Really? One of the reasons, not the major one to be sure, I emigrated to Australia was that woman. Please point me to the facts of her very detailed plan. I'm off to google it now. Carter her lap dog, oh the shame? I imagine she truly hated Liverpool, and we of course, her.

Jay Harris
53 Posted 05/02/2018 at 04:55:15
Oh, how easy it is to denigrate others. I knew Phil Carter very well, he was a merchant banker by profession and a very capable man. He was nobody's fool and was also chairman of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board.

He was as Blue as any of us and also presided over the most successful period in our history. He was not particularly fond of Johnson or Kenwright for good reason. Johnson was incompetent and Kenwright was just out for himself.

However, Johnson was the last person to provide funds out of his own pocket and built the Park End. Kenwright has never put one penny of his own money into the club – not even when he made a fortune out of the sale of shares to Moshiri.

Phil Carter was a gentleman and I think it is wrong for posters to post blatantly wrong opinions of the man.

Charles Barrow
54 Posted 05/02/2018 at 10:52:51
Like many people on this thread I can remember all the missteps from 1970 onwards. What concerns me is now. Moshiri seems to have turned out to be a bit of a buffoon, who seems to know little about football (as in his comments to Jim White etc).

Most people over the years have blamed Kenwright for not having any money and not selling the club to someone who has. Well, we have spent millions and millions since the summer (3rd highest spenders in the premier league) and we are worse than before! Probably because Moshiri is easily led and is so ignorant of football he just says yes to Koeman and Allardyce who blindly want to spend their way out of trouble, rather than thinking clearly about what the team needs and the tactics to employ. So lets just hope that Moshiri makes the right choice of manager in the summer if (hopefully) Allardyce is binned.

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