Our recent brush — make that breach — with Profitability and Sustainability regulations has left many an Evertonian feeling wronged by the Premier League.

“The 'Big 6' can do what they want, but we have to answer to this!”

“Chelsea can spend a fortune on players in January but because they stagger their wages over long contracts, that’s okay, but we can’t spend a penny and still get looked at.” 

“The Big 6 can threaten to leave the League and get nothing but they come down like a ton of bricks on us”.

All probably sound a bit familiar if you dare venture into the current Twitter-sphere, or comments across some ToffeeWeb articles, and not without good reason.

I often veer back to when Liverpool FC tumbled to the verge of bankruptcy only to get bailed out by the Bank of England. And that Chelsea FC have bankrolled the best part of two decades of success on Vladimir Putin's money, and just last season, such were their sanctions, they were unable to even afford to fly to football games… but are now okay to do what they want. New owner, no problem.

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Given a lot of these sort of examples, it’s probably reasonable to feel hard done by. It’s worth a listen to the recent ToffeeWeb podcast with Paul The Esk for a bit more detail on why we are being looked at when others aren’t. It's safe to say it makes for uncomfortable listening!

And while I personally question the worthiness of P&S and how worthwhile the rules are, in this piece I wanted to look at the media and ask the question – are we given a fair crack from them? I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I do sometimes wonder if we’re an easy target; the team to reference when there’s a wider issue.

Take the recent news story from BBC Sport on the high number of domestic flights within the Premier League and the carbon footprint that leaves. Though of all the teams and matches, Everton are the ones highlighted in this tweet by Dan Roan, BBC Sports Editor.

I recall Nottingham Forest flew to Blackpool for an FA Cup fixture in January which is about as ridiculous as it gets, I would have thought though that won’t matter to anyone half-watching the news story. They would only remember that Everton flew to London and back for a game. That’s the rhetoric we face.

And this sticks in my mind from July 2020. An article about betting sites as shirt sponsors at a time when we were sponsored by Cazoo, though instead of showing a football club with a shirt sponsor that at the time had a betting and gambling shirt sponsor, they showed an old photograph of Everton. Surely there was a more current example they could have used?

And there’s also the monthly baseless probes from The Guardian into Alisher Usmanov’s involvement in the club. Meanwhile other ownership of clubs like Newcastle United for example, seem to sail by without question.

And then there’s TV. Remember the public flogging we received on Match of the Day when the board stayed away for the Southampton match? The belittling we get almost every time Sky TV feature Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.

I could go on and on, probably. Maybe there’s a touch of paranoia about it, and I shouldn’t take objection to everything posted about Everton, as currently by definition it will be negative.

Is there a conspiracy against us? I certainly don’t think so. Though I do feel we’re looked upon as the easy team to reference? The man to kick when they're down… the dead dog? You betcha!

I listened to a good podcast earlier called The Price of Football from Kieran Maguire and Kevin Day. Kieran referenced, without going into details, that the way Everton treat the media is pretty poor. If that’s true, I’m surprised by this as I’ve always thought some of the media men to come out of Everton seem very welcoming and great to deal with.

Maybe while Everton’s standards have tanked on the field and in terms of Board management, so too have their media department. Who knows? But perhaps that goes a little way to understanding this rationale.

Is there any credence in my thought process, or is this simply paranoia? 

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Reader Comments (40)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 28/03/2023 at 08:39:16
It's nothing new, Paul. I can remember Roy Vernon having to go to print to defend us after we won the League in 1962-63.

According to the Southern Spurs-loving Press, we basically kicked our way to the title, trampling over all those poor delicate flowers liked Dave Mackay, Bobby Smith and Maurice Norman.

Rob Halligan
2 Posted 28/03/2023 at 09:04:20
Paul, remember the end of last season when there were a few pitch invasions, the one at Man City the day they won the Premier League and the Aston Villa goalkeeper was attacked, and also there was one at Sheffield United when their player, I think Billy Sharp, was attacked, or attacked a fan or player.

But when it came to the BBC reporting these pitch invasions, whose picture do we see on their website? That's right, us, celebrating staying up, and all harmless fun apart from one fan goading Patrick Vieira who lashed out at the fan, but was somehow found to be innocent by the BBC:

Pitch invasions: Offenders to receive automatic club ban under new Premier League & EFL measures

Christine Foster
3 Posted 28/03/2023 at 09:58:08
Big enough to belittle, but small enough to ridicule.

All front, no substance… that's why they get away with it because we make ideal targets. Get them on board or ban them completely.

Barry Hesketh
4 Posted 28/03/2023 at 10:44:00
One of the explanations I read on another site, for the amount of seemingly endless negative stories or rumours that surround Everton, was that being the natural enemy of our neighbours, it would automatically attract clicks, viewers and listeners from their fans and that would improve ratings for the outlet responsible for airing those views.

Whether there is a deliberate anti-Everton stance doesn't seem to hold water, as we're mostly irrelevant from a competitive point of view, and that's been the case for a quarter of a century.

By now, most of us realise where the 'negative' views are most likely to be coming from, so we shouldn't give it oxygen by kicking up a fuss about it.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 28/03/2023 at 10:48:05
I think the media has been very kind to the Everton Chairman over the years, not so much to Everton FC and our fans.

Still having a go at the club and the fans and changing to see the good side (?) of Kenwright and now some articles coming out about how he really is. A lot of what appears in the media is really made-up nonsense to fill the pages of papers and air time on TV.

James Marshall
6 Posted 28/03/2023 at 10:52:44
I think it feels like we're picked on because the club is its own worst enemy – a basket case – so the media whip up a frenzy around us because it makes good copy.

As Barry says above, we're an irrelevance in modern football, so of course we're an easy target. We go on about our 'istory and how important we are, but we're not, are we? We're a footnote in the pantheon of top teams.

A top team we are not.

Paul Hewitt
7 Posted 28/03/2023 at 12:06:01
Paul, it's simply paranoia.
Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 28/03/2023 at 13:19:46
I thought it was the mob across the park who wallowed in victimhood – seems not.

We get the press we deserve.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 28/03/2023 at 13:46:25
I remember after the Leicester game last season when the Americans were sending us the video of how the Evertonians were being perceived in their country by the pundits on television.

We got a lot more credit in America than we got from the media in this country but that's not really surprising to a lot of us really, especially the ones who live in the same city as the self-proclaimed best supporters in the world, who are often backed up by sycophantic media in this country.

The better you do, the better you are received, although a lot of the media in this country don't perform any better than our team!

Si Cooper
10 Posted 28/03/2023 at 14:26:37
This is a tricky one to answer because uneven application of regulations obviously does happen a lot, and we are an easy target, as Christine eloquently points out.

Do we set ourselves up for a fall? Well, we certainly aren't squeaky clean... but we don't actually have to be. If we generally are no worse than most and actually better than some, then we shouldn't be front and centre every time someone thinks an example has to be set.

Just this week, there was another very clear example of the sort of challenge Allan got sent off for when he brought down Saint-Maximin last year, which went unpunished.

Harry Kane hacked at the legs of an Italian player who was leaving him trailing, but missed completely. Not a word from the commentators and no interest by the referee. Reputation can certainly help you get away with things that others are castigated for.

Alan McGuffog
11 Posted 28/03/2023 at 16:20:11

And shortly afterwards, did they not "break" the story that we were up to our tits in amphetamines? The players, that is!

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
12 Posted 29/03/2023 at 17:46:56
And I will go on until my dying day that we hear constantly about the 97 deaths at Hillsborough and all the fault of the police for opening the gates and not delaying the match - but the 39 killed in Brussels is not an issue as they were Italians fleeing from hooligans wearing red scarves.

And as for "We go on about our 'istory and how important we are, but we're not, are we? We're a footnote in the pantheon of top teams", yes like Spurs who are now a month shy of 62 years since their last league title (and go back 62 years you get to 6/5/1899 - yes 1899). Since 17/4/1961 we have 62-63, 69-70, 84-85 and 86-87 - 4 titles. So they are the ones who should be the footnote. We have even won the FA Cup later than them. On the other hand, Gary Lineker knows he played for them but he can't remember playing for us.

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 29/03/2023 at 18:28:19
Hillsborough was a national disgrace, but not because the police opened the gates, but because of their incompetence, which was actually covered up by the people at the very top of our society.

Joe Fagin resigned from his position as the Liverpool manager absolutely heartbroken, the day after Heysel, but his Chairman was different, and tried to push the blame away from his football club.

I also think a lot of the modern press, realized just how badly their peers treated the Liverpool fans after Hillsborough, and are absolutely terrified of them now, especially since they have become so powerful, and this goes hand in hand with their natural vindictiveness?

Linekar said the best team he ever played for was Everton, but alls he got for his 40 goals that season was a charity shield medal, I think!

Shane Corcoran
14 Posted 29/03/2023 at 21:46:58

Chelsea got a transfer ban, didn't they? Man City are being looked into too, aren't they?

I've said it a hundred times before. Every club has a segment of fans that think they're treated more harshly than any other. I find it remarkable that so many people from so many different clubs feel that they're special enough for the media, FA or officials to focus their energy on screwing them over.

Peter Mills
15 Posted 30/03/2023 at 07:33:01
Carragher, Murphy, Souness, Lawrenson, McManaman, Hansen, Barnes, Gerrard et al have helped to create a narrative on TV for many years.

Rs players have been put into places of great influence within the media, no doubt helped by the club, when their playing careers are over. This will inevitably lead to more favourable commenting on that club. At the same time, those ex-players are not averse to jibes against Everton (let’s face it, Everton do present them with such opportunities now and again).

I don’t see it as paranoia, rather as a smart strategy by the rs to help their image.

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 30/03/2023 at 08:58:03
Pick on us? I am not sure we are relevant enough for them to be honest.

I don't think we ever have been in recent times. Even during our brief period of success in the 1980s, it was all about Liverpool and even Tottenham, who they had nailed on for the title. Or was that who they wanted to win the title?

But Neville Southall crushed their dreams.

Then the 95 semi final when we ripped up the semi final text book and sent Tottenham home with their tail between their legs, destroying the media's hopes of their dream final.

And then we had the audacity to go and win the thing against the all conquering Manchester United.

I'm not paranoid, but we've never been fashionable with the media in my lifetime. Maybe those who recall the 60s have a different view as it may have been different in that era?

Alan McGuffog
17 Posted 30/03/2023 at 09:09:07
Danny the 60s began with the Mirror and others having a go a us for vandalising football specials. ( probably fair enough )
We then " bought" the league in 62 -63.
Then we were found to be off our tits ( the team that is ) on purple hearts.
Then the BBC discovered the kop.
Then us and Wednesday pissed the press off by denying the country the United v Chelsea final they so wanted.
The Harry banned the TV cameras denying the country the opportunity to see one of the best sides ever. Oh except for the Derby in 1969...and the media loved that didn't they ?
So..as the love for that lots grew like Topsy we were scorned and ignored by the media.
However, amongst real fans it was a different story. I went to university in 71 and for the first time met lots of fans of other sides. With the obvious exception of one bunch all the others had a respect bordering on fondness for us.
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 30/03/2023 at 09:27:48
Good post Peter, and sorry for going back to a man, who should no longer be here, but it’s all about playing to, or just playing the media.

Bill Kenwright, that all conquering chairman of Everton, has mostly received good press, even though the club hasn’t won a bean under his tutelage.

Play the media, and even your lies can end up being factual.

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 30/03/2023 at 10:08:20
Living in London Alan, as soon as people hear me and realise I am Everton, there is a lot of interest and curiosity. But like you say, amongst supporters.
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 30/03/2023 at 10:15:28
Alan (17), good post, I agree with most of it except for the part with us vandalising the trains, that began with Liverpool fans on a train to Doncaster in the fifties on a Good Friday of all days and when they were in the second division where the bastards should have stayed or even lower!!
Alan McGuffog
21 Posted 30/03/2023 at 10:25:57
Dave I almost forgot Tony Kay. The fact that the whole sorry episode had nowt to do with us didn't matter to the press.
Andy Crooks
22 Posted 30/03/2023 at 11:02:47
Shane# 14, spot on. I helped a friend research fansites a few years ago and, this is a fact, not myth; on every single site, from Man City to Barrow, a significant amount of contributors thought their club hard done by.
By media, referees, the world.
City, because they are too rich, Barrow because they are too poor, and everything in-between.
It's what we do. Look for scapegoats.
Dale Self
23 Posted 30/03/2023 at 12:22:56
Andy, that is funny but just because we’re paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get us.
Dave Lynch
24 Posted 30/03/2023 at 12:46:51
Can't add anything to the above.

We are a shit show of a club.

Nick Page
25 Posted 30/03/2023 at 13:42:01
Andy, the kopites think they’re hard done!!! I mean, as if. The luckiest fucking shower of twats going, in any sport, anywhere, in the known universe. Won two trophies last year without scoring a goal. Most penalties in the PL era. Most injury time goals in the PL era (amusing how it gets called Fergie Time though). Consistently the club that finishes above their xG every year. And they think they’re hard done by. Ha! Which just goes to show how widely held that “belief” is amongst fans. Except with Everton there are actually many many examples of us being hard done by and picked on. The lack of fighting spirit is what kills me though - Kenwrights Everton just roll over and take it, don’t cause any fuss and don’t upset anyone. Spineless twat. Keeps all his big-wig and media mates happy but fuck the fans and the club. Always been like that with him and that’s why it happens. And that has to change, regardless of how “big” we are. It’s totally unacceptable. The Niasse debacle for simulation was completely orchestrated by the PL who got the media involved - that ugly Manc prick Phil Neville was on MOTD calling us out. Our former captain. Who had obviously been told before hand what to say. I think Michael Keane at Brighton was another one? Deli Alli hand ball vs Spurs VAR. There’s loads and loads going back years. Graham Poll vs the shite. Atkinson did it against Utd. Letting the shite back in the CL and changing the rules then getting hot balled against Villarreal….then getting Collina out of retirement to fudge the game in-case we scored. And it happened. And we did…..NOTHING.
James Flynn
26 Posted 30/03/2023 at 15:00:42
No, they don't.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
27 Posted 30/03/2023 at 18:56:29
Nick Page - you missed out Clive Thomas
Rick Tarleton
28 Posted 30/03/2023 at 19:19:13
Managers like Shankly and Klopp are beloved by the press, they enjoy the limelight and welcome media attention. We have had Catterick, Lee, even Kendall wasn't exactly a lively extravert. Recent managers have generally been inward and gloomy characters. Duncan Ferguson would have been a welcome change.

Everton are the opposite of the "Ee-eye Addio" approach to football. We haven't, thank God, had a Hillsborough to get long-term sympathy, nor have we murdered almost 40 people as happened at Heysel. There are clubs the media love – Tottenham, Man Utd, Liverpool – and clubs which interrupt the popular clubs; we are at best interrupters.

John Keating
29 Posted 31/03/2023 at 05:30:06
Yes, we could be sponsored by the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's mob).

Press, Government, Premier League would be all over us after our first game accusing us of everything, religious bias, anti-Muslim, Jew, Hindu etc etc.

We have to accept some Clubs can get away with things we can't

Roy Johnstone
30 Posted 31/03/2023 at 12:24:43
The perception of the press being at us isn't helped by articles from Simon Goodley in the Guardian (another today telling the world how far behind we are with the stadium). He really does have an axe to grind with us.
Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 31/03/2023 at 12:30:34
You definitely do wonder when you read his report Roy. The Guardian are that interested in Everton, they have sent people to view the new stadium of our embattled club, and are even looking to get the expert opinion of others, who are employed in this industry?

Roy Johnstone
32 Posted 31/03/2023 at 12:35:54
Also Tony, the comparison with a model of the ground. We should at this point by now. Don't remember this level of in depth critique when Tottenham's ground came in late.
Brent Stephens
33 Posted 31/03/2023 at 13:14:13
This is the first critique I've read about progress on construction; hardly a high level of scrutiny. I think Id' rather know about any delays, and about any EFC misinformation about that.
Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 31/03/2023 at 13:27:32
The Guardian seem to enjoy portray bad news. Some call it the truth and reality. I'm ambivalent as I read across the spectrum to get a balance.

Tottenham were late. Wembley was a year late and instead of costing the original £325M, ended up being a £790M investment. I think that's why amongst other things, FA Cup semi finals have become a permanent fixture at Wembley as the FA claw back money.

It wouldn't surprise me if the stadium comes in late. I have actually read it would potentially be 6 months behind schedule. Not uncommon for large scale construction projects.

Tottenham had Wembley for a season whilst theirs was finished and it was a bit different as they were redeveloping and rotating the White Hart Lane footprint.

What would we do? I guess stay at Goodison, depending on what deal we have done to release that real estate and when. But what if, hypothetically, we are bound to hand over the keys to Goodison regardless of the BMD timeline?

No way are we going to Lucifer's Den for even half a season. One match a season as the visiting team is bad enough. Old Trafford wouldn't sit right, although many who can't usually get tickets would get the opportunity. The Etihad?

Let's see. One thing I am confident in is that we are past the point of no return and the stadium is happening. I will be there for that first fixture, even if I have to stand outside.

Bill Gall
35 Posted 31/03/2023 at 13:33:38
i believe that most major construction sites have built in delays in their estimates and most completion dates are expected dates and not factual..Everton's major delays on the primary construction depends on the weather and getting the weekly reports at the moment it seems on track . The company building the stadium are quoted as being happy with the progress, and i would rather believe them to make an accurate assessment, rather than someone flying over it.

Sounds like the green eyed monster "jealousy" is starting to kick in.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 31/03/2023 at 13:46:59
Danny, "The Guardian seem to enjoy portray bad news. Some call it the truth and reality."

"It wouldn't surprise me if the stadium comes in late. I have actually read it would potentially be 6 months behind schedule. Not uncommon for large scale construction projects."

Are you portraying bad news, truth and reality?!

Danny O’Neill
37 Posted 31/03/2023 at 13:51:04
I think so Brent. Maybe I'm a Guardian journalist in disguise!!

I think it will be slightly delayed. It's inevitable. And that's not an Everton thing for once.

Larry O'Hara
38 Posted 31/03/2023 at 14:14:47
The Guardian are tax-dodging hypocritical scum, who persecuted feminists who (used to) write for them. Viner even has them pay that bellend Chiles (her partner) for his literary diarrhoea. Just as Rusbridger used to employ his daughter the talentless Bella Mackie, while sacking journalists exposing Met Police corruption (Flynn/Gillard). Ignore them.
Bob Parrington
39 Posted 02/04/2023 at 10:28:37
Dale @ 23. That's classic, mate! Loved it, chuckle chuckle!
Bob Parrington
40 Posted 02/04/2023 at 10:54:48
Brent, Danny and Larry, Regarding the Guardian IMO it is just about the most self-serving heap of crap reporting. Not that most of the press is any better. No news, lot's of opinion, much without evidence.

Got that off my mind. Yeah!

Getting back to "on subject" I do get the impression that there is an attitude against Everton. Maybe, as has been said previously on here, it is that previous RS players are in the list of supposed critics on TV.

RS seem to have bred a group of players, trained to be on the TV etc after leaving RS. 10 steps ahead of us maybe. We need to be forward thinking as a board/management team, and create some strategies to change our profile through the short and long term future.

Maybe I'm thinking bullshit but we need to make some changes.

Last but not least. Had a nice thing when I was walking our Kelpie dog a couple of days ago. About 10 am. Passed by a local high school. about 8 young lads about 12 yrs old were sitting on a corner behind the school, having a chat. As I passed, one said GO EVERTON (I had an Everton T shirt on), which started a conversation. This is Adelaide, Australia. The young lad said he is an Everton fan and it was nice to see another Everton Fan because there are not so many around Adelaide. Made my morning!

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