An Open Letter to Mr Kenwright

Ian Burns 04/02/2018 7comments  |  Jump to last

Dear Bill,

Please notice my very polite address, which in truth is meant to lull you into a false sense of security – you know the type of move to which I am referring. It’s the sort of thing you do when there is bad news on the pitch and you throw out some crumbs of good news about reduced pricing on season tickets or a piece of positive information about the new stadium – but here apologies are due because I am telling my grandmother how to suck eggs!

I am writing this post on a Sunday morning after the 5-1 defeat at Arsenal and I am sitting here with a cup of tea wondering how many weekends have been ruined since your Chairmanship started at Everton.


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I don’t want to go through the details of the oft-discussed reign of yours, Bill. I don’t want to discuss the extended stay of Mr Moyes, whose only task was to keep us in the Premier League. I don’t want to discuss the appointment of a manager who had just relegated a side into the Championship ("What a manager" and all that); nor do I wish to discuss the appointment and rash spending of Mr Koeman or even the panic appointment of Mr Allardyce.

I don’t want to discuss the questionable offshore loans; the questionable people the club has been linked to; or the dash across the Mediterranean to ensure a former CEO signed a non-disclosure agreement. There are two things I would, however, like to point out.

When you (and Farhad) appointed Allardyce, you were obviously in such a panic you completely forgot about the job description. You know the bit I am talking about where he coaches, motivates, explains tactics, reminds them to wear their jockstraps... and takes responsibility for the team’s performance. Because you didn’t point out his job description, he blames the players for everything that is wrong about his management.

This is the same guy who, along with Mr Walsh, couldn’t identify a left-back to borrow until the end of the season. Well, if these guys had read ToffeeWeb, there are a number of talented posters who listed a number of left-backs potentially available, given the two protagonists got off their fat arses and went out to scout, negotiate, discuss, you know the sort of things I’m talking about. Had they bothered, they would have noticed that, in modern football, left-backs don’t always wear Number 3.

However, they are recognisable by the fact they play on the left of a back four; they are left-footed and they bomb up and down that left wing – just as Seamus did on the right in his comeback game last Wednesday – something which astonished Allardyce in his post-match interviews. They help to give balance to the side.

Anyway, I digress. To the point of my post. There is a series being run on ToffeeWeb, excellently written by Mr John McFarlane Snr. (I add the Snr because he has been following Everton longer than yourself, Bill.) The series is about his favourite players, not necessarily the best players. However, the wide choice he has had; the memories he invokes amongst the older supporters have hit the nostalgia button right on the money. Why do I bring this up? Well, I will explain...

Younger supporters of Everton Football Club have only ever known the reign of your good self, Bill. Their memories will be of your era; the trophies you haven’t stacked into the display cabinet; of the questionable loans; connections; Moyes’s dour football in his latter seasons; Martinez and his ability to lose matches from winning positions due to lack of nouse; defensive coaching; Koeman... the less said the better... and Allardyce, God forbid. They will never know that we were as big a club as Man Utd.

What players will they be gushing about, longing to write about? Coleman, Cahill? Apart from those two stalwarts, are there any more in the same category as Hickson, Ball, Kendall, Harvey, Young, Vernon etc. I could go on... and I can assure you, Mr McFarlane Snr certainly could!

Every game Allardyce is in charge at this club will add to your legacy and the youngsters of today will be writing about how far the defenders of their day at Everton could kick the ball, if they could ever get near it.

Of course, people will accuse me of exaggeration but that’s what legacies do, they exaggerate the nostalgia, enhance the memories. Will your legacy do that for our younger supporters of today, Bill? Will they write fondly of Allardyce et al?

No, I thought not.

Ian Burns

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Reader Comments (7)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 09/02/2018 at 22:46:53
A great article.

This season has totally baffled me, as did the turnaround in the team's performances in Martinez's 2nd season. Here was a Manager and Team who at one point looked to be beating Arsenal to 4th spot the season before, only to cock it up at the 11th hour. I sometimes ask myself do the powers at the top want Everton to become the 7th team or are they happy with just 6 at the top, winning everything, year-in & year-out?

Also, is it just a coincidence that the team most likely to fall out of the top six is Arsenal? Our benefactor is the best mate – ex-accountant of Usmanov. If Arsenal suddenly go boobs up, who was most likely to replace them – Everton would be my guess... but not now. Leicester winning the Premier League really foxed the top 6 and maybe they decided they couldn't let it happen again.

Moshiri's money appears to me to be being spent very unwisely and on players no-one else appeared to be in for: Klaassen £25m; Bolasie £28m: Sigurdsson £45m; Keane £25m; Williams £10m – and even money spent on so-called 'kids for the future' has been in plentiful supply. Yet we are crap, or so Allardyce says, and our very own eyes see it weekly.

Two managers sacked, both with handsome payoffs and no doubt after signing non-disclosure agreements. Unsworth hung out to dry as relegation wasn't just threatened but looked a bloody certainty. Telling Sam "No!" – and then, when squeaky bum time arrived, bringing him in. The Stadium as planned couldn't get built for a Championship Team. Everton have to be in the Premier League.

The appointment of Walsh appears to me to have completely confused our transfer strategy. "Who is Walsh answerable to?" – would be my question... never mind "Where's the bloody left back?"

Then we come to what are the greatest three mysteries to me. Why have a team with top four pretensions been more than happy to sell Stones and Lukaku for a pittance, and Barkley for £15m. Lukaku should have got us more than £100m Barkley should have got us £35m minimum but we don't even blink or point the finger. Why did these lads want out so badly?– Were they aware of an agenda unbeknownst to us mere supporters???

Secondly, why did we allow Galloway to go on loan to Sunderland, fail to register Garbutt in the squad when we only had Baines, and couldn't be arsed to buy a left-back – Robertson, £8m to the Red Shite, anyone?

Finally and the really great mystery: Why can't Everton beat the teams in top 6? Yes, it happens occasionally – Man City for example. Liverpool? No chance. Arsenal at the Emirates? – a disaster every season; Chelsea? Appalling. Spurs? No chance... Man Utd? Nah.

Other teams have done it – Burnley at Spurs, Palace at Anfield, Southampton at Anfield, West Brom at Anfield, Bournemouth at Chelsea, etc etc. Everton cannot!! Is there a secret pact? Are we under orders not to even try, so the top 6 stay out of reach? Sometimes, to quote Godley and Creme – Truth is Stranger than Fiction!

Now an awful lot of this is appearing to me, at least, to be possibly deliberate. The Stadium it appears to me is the be-all and end-all of Moshiri at Everton. Keep Everton in the Premier League and get the Stadium built. Possibly deals dealt, a wink here, a wink there, overseas accounts etc, Usmanov steel possibly used... Moshiri may piss off and leave Everton FC and Liverpool CC in the mire. It seems a possible plan to me. Or am I just becoming a cynic in my old age?

By the way, if I am off beam, why doesn't Usmanov declare his interest openly and leave the board at Arsenal? Just asking.

Keep up the Good work – Everton need people like you more than ever know right now.

Jay Harris
2 Posted 09/02/2018 at 23:40:18
A very good point, Ian, asking the right questions but don't expect to get an answer and even if you did it would not be an honest one.

None of us know what's going on at the club. Since the day Kenwright took over, it has all been smoke and mirrors and lie after lie.

Don Alexander
3 Posted 09/02/2018 at 23:55:34
I criticize Kenwright openly and often, but mainly from the perspective of today and tomorrow. His inability to realize funds for the Kings Dock, his "shadowy", to put it mildly, financial arrangement with the appalling Philip Green (and others I suspect), together with his legal silencing of former employees "in the know" about the way he runs the club, and his denigration of fans at AGMs, is all historic but none of it engenders any hope that he's the guy to rely on whilst remaining chairman of our club as it reaches for the sky under the owner's terms, as Moshiri spells out that ambition.

The stench of "knowing your place"/"not getting above yourselves"/"making do under the circumstances" permeates everything about the club for decades and it's all been "led" by Kenwright, regardless of his denial of it. He makes a point of employing ex-player coaches with zero credentials on appointment and they do precisely what he wants and no more, and why wouldn't they? They scratch his back and he scratches their's. Kenwright is to Everton what Kroenke is to Arsenal, a useless leech knowingly sucking the life out of the club, albeit he's devoid of Kroenke's money.

His so-called love of the club is as nothing compared to his love of his obscenely large bank account, almost entirely accrued on the back of the club and the fans who support it financially. He could have given £10 mill to the club to compensate it for the pay-out for that clown Martinez if he'd wanted to show accountability. He'd got over £70 mill off Moshiri after all but he did no such thing. We the fans pay for that, again.

Whether he likes or deserves it he is a parasite on Everton, a mere two-bob millionaire in the minds of many other club hierarchies, only the go-to guy for freebies to that new London show as far as they're concerned, and the much vaunted public face of EitC, his greatest achievement by far, but on the backs of others it must be said, not that it registers a mention beyond the very local confines of our crumbling ground.

Some fucking legacy that is. And he remains Chairman!!??? Jeez!

Derek Thomas
4 Posted 10/02/2018 at 00:29:54
Ian Burns and the first 3 responders - Spot On, couldn't agree more
Frank Wade
5 Posted 10/02/2018 at 00:42:55
Ian, I think you're wrong in saying Bill Kenwright had anything to do with the choice of Allardyce. Au contraire. He wanted Unsworth. He is no longer calling the shots. He didn't want Koeman either but hey, he's an easy target as he doesn't fight back.
Clive Rogers
6 Posted 10/02/2018 at 10:09:34
Frank (#5), although he has lost some power the last two years, Kenwright has almost destroyed EFC.

He refused to stand down for Paul Gregg when he wanted to save the Kings Dock project, saw off Sheikh Massoud again because he wanted to remain Chairman and has actually done that again with Moshiri who has obviously given in to him.

The last twenty years or so in which Kenwright has been in control has been the worst in EFC's history. Is that just coincidence? This man has turned us into a small club and a laughing stock.

Carl Allan
7 Posted 10/02/2018 at 10:28:19
I agree with the above posters, there has never been a worse time in our 140 year history to be a blue. Currently the longest trophy-less baron spell in our history, longest run without a derby match victory despite all and sundry winning at Anfield,including the likes of Blackpool, Wigan and Wolves, since we last beat them anywhere.

The away record at Arsenal and Chelsea is unexplainable given we (or they) have never been out of the top division since the mid 90s when we last tasted 3 points at those venues, over 20 trips to both now.

As for the so-called horror years of the 90s under the Johnson tenure,I give you, 1994-95 the fa cup and victory at Chelsea, 1995-96 victory at Anfield and Arsenal and a sixth place finish. In fact, no defeat in any derby match between March 1994 and April 1999.

What we would do for a taste of those barren years again.

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