This article may have been recategorised and is therefore no longer available at this URL.

You can try to find the updated link in the article archive.

Share article:

Reader Comments (15)

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 ()

Don Alexander
1 Posted 30/11/2022 at 00:35:28
Dave Abrahams made a comment on the Mansfield Town thread a little while ago, commenting on his surprise that his routine telephone call to our club today, for information on acquiring tickets for a match, had actually been answered by our Director-Without-Portfolio, Graeme Sharp.

Dave said, in terms, that he'd been surprised by this.

I just want to assure Dave that I'm not surprised.

As the above article exemplifies to me, in the final paragraph particularly (and to many others I hope), we had the canker we still have in control of us way more than 20 years ago.

And yet we mostly whinge about managers, players and systems whilst all the while the canker remains, now exceptionally wealthy on our back.

Are we stupid or what?

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 03/12/2022 at 13:15:24
Don (1), I wasn’t really surprised when Sharp answered the phone, he’ll do anything he’s told by his puppet master and has done for a good twenty years, he’s clever enough to have his real opinions on how Everton are run but keeps them to himself, unlike Neville Southall he has never been his own man but pays lip service to fans and says what he knows what will keep his paymaster happy, Snodin is the same, it keeps them in a well paid job and realistically I suppose many would do the same, not for me, I’ve lost jobs being myself when keeping quiet would have done me more good.
Martin Reppion
3 Posted 07/12/2022 at 11:18:23
I remember being in the Mons with people telling me Duncan was joining Newcastle. I told them that was crap.

I've read many autobiographies from players and journalists from that time, and it seems that Walter Smith was stitched up good and proper by Peter Johnson. As had been Joe Royle previously.

It is strange to think that when Bill Kenwright first tried to buy the club from the Moores family, he was outbid by a couple of million by Johnson, who bled the club dry before selling it for 10 times what he'd bought it for.

I honestly think that, if Kenwright had been successful first time round, the club would have been, and would be, in a better position than what we have seen.

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 07/12/2022 at 11:35:03

I like the narrative that it was the kopite Johnson who stitched us up and that, without him, the reign of Blue Bill would have been all roses.

But I'd be interested to hear how you would substantiate the details there – especially the bit where he "bled the club dry" and that he "sold the club for 10 times what he'd bought it for"?

Martin Reppion
5 Posted 07/12/2022 at 11:51:14
As I remember it. This is without the benefit of looking up the old articles. There were several bidders interested in buying from the Moores family. They naturally wanted the most money and a quick sale. The price being quoted at the time was £10-15million. Football hadn't yet exploded into the cash cow it became. Johnson had the funds to outbid his rivals.

As for bleeding it dry. The Steve Simonsen deal, although it didn't cost us the reported £3.5m as we never had to pay all the add-ons in the contract, was a blatant attempt to use Everton money to fund Tranmere Rovers. He was never going to be a top-flight keeper though.

Other transfer dealings were a mix of vanity buys and desperation sales that left managers without funds to build properly.

I can't blame him. If I'd have been able to buy Liverpool FC at the time, they'd be in the National League by now and playing Friday nights at Prenton Park.

When he eventually was forced to sell the club, the prices of clubs in general had gone (quite literally) sky high. The figure I remember is around £100-150 million.

Dave Prentice's book has plenty in about this sad time at the club. As do several others from around that time.

Clive Rogers
6 Posted 07/12/2022 at 12:05:34
I understood at the time that Johnson sold the club for the same amount that he paid for it, £20M.
Michael Boardman
7 Posted 07/12/2022 at 12:26:22
I worked in Liverpool at the time of Johnson, and I saw Kenwright and Johnson going down the escalators at St Johns around the time they were "feuding", following a few pints after work. They seemed pretty happy with each other if I'm honest (and they weren't heading into the all-you-can-eat Chinese either)
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 07/12/2022 at 12:29:08
Clive (6),

That’s exactly how remember the sale of Everton by Johnson to Kenwright but the details of how Kenwright paid for the club are a bit of a mystery.

I’ve read Dave Prentice’s book, he wasn’t fussy on Johnson but got by with him, in the end, drinking on his yacht, he had quite a lot of nice things to say about Kenwright – and guess where he’s working now?

I had a lot of time for Dave, used to speak to him quite often on the phone about the Blues and found him to be a good Evertonian and very easy to talk to.

Clive Rogers
9 Posted 07/12/2022 at 15:59:27
Dave, 8,

My understanding was that the four members of True Blue Holdings paid £5M each, but Kenwright’s £5M was loaned to him by Paul Gregg. He had to pay him back when they fell out over King’s Dock and that’s when Robert Earl got involved. All very murky from then on.

Michael Kenrick
10 Posted 07/12/2022 at 22:51:39
I did try to work out the profit Johnson made back then but it was made more complex by the share trading and right issues that went on.

I concluded that he probably put in close to £20M overall, and that TBH paid him around £20M, as Clive @6 says. So I think saying he sold for 10 times what he paid is way off the mark.

It's true that he wanted a lot more for his shares initially and Kenwright basically beat him down over a long period when no-one else showed any interest in buying the club.

I agree that the Steve Simonsen deal was very dubious. But I'm just not sure that constitutes bleeding the club dry.

Don Alexander
11 Posted 07/12/2022 at 23:54:52
Dave (#2) me too, career-wise, when it came to telling the unarguable truth (my bent adversary paid up in full rather than be exposed to the public), but I don't regret a thing.

Don't let the bastards grind you down is my motto, and in the dying words of Frederick Douglass, a 19th century American slave who transformed himself into a massively effective orator on civil liberties, when asked by a young earnest man what he, the young man, should do to achieve beneficial change across the board was told by the great man;


You, and so many of us don't need that worthy advice by hopefully more Toffees will now pile on the agitation.

Brendan McLaughlin
12 Posted 08/12/2022 at 11:28:17
Ha ha Don #11

Very apt in the circumstances...

"when asked by a young earnest man what he, the young man, should do to achieve beneficial change across the board "

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 09/12/2022 at 10:02:15
Martin@5, when you say that you would have tried to do the same thing as Peter Johnson, if you was in charge of Liverpool, this is exactly what I personally think that Bill Kenwright has cleverly done whilst being in charge of Everton, mate.

Let’s face it, if you took over a premier league club, and still owned them whilst they were playing non-league football on a Friday night, you would have lost an absolute fortune, and this is where I think Bill Kenwright has been clever.

Kenwright has made a fortune, whilst managing the decline of plucky little Everton, and obviously done a job, that most Liverpudlians would have been really proud to do.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 12/12/2022 at 09:53:45
Clive (9),

Sorry a bit late with reply to your post, I never realised that Kenwright bought Everton with three other investors which makes his involvement even more benificial to him seeing how his initial investment was paid with a loan from Paul Gregg and then it gets really murky in how that loan was repaid.

It would make a good West End play the way Kenwright took over Everton, especially with The Mousetrap coming to the end of its very long run!!

Jim Lloyd
15 Posted 12/12/2022 at 11:25:54
I think it was Mrs Gregg that "lent" him the money, but it was the Greggs. Don't know where re-mortgaging the house came from. Dave (2) same here; hangers-on will nearly always find a way into a little snug post.

It was weird about the news of Ferguson being sold. The meter-man told me when he came to read the meters. He said he'd just been up to Goodison to read the meters up there and had been told Ferguson was going up to Newcastle that day!!

I went the match in the night time... no Ferguson! I told the fellers round me what I'd heard. It flew round! I think if it had been news earlier in the day, there'd have been a riot.

There seemed to me to be something distinctly dodgy: Robert Earl, our great supporter "Rambo", our "Good Friend" Sir Philip Green, and that sunny Caribbean island that always sent us money. Bent as a nine bob note.

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.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb