Is Everton's Strategic Review working one year in?

29/12/2022 33comments  |  Jump to last

It is now more than a year since the club announced the undertaking of a Strategic Review. The answer to the question of whether it is working or not, is that we don’t really know, which in itself could be an indication that it is not working.

These things take time, though, and the rot at the club ran so deep it cannot be fixed overnight or in one transfer window or in one year. It is not unreasonable to expect more indications that it is beginning to work, though, and few such signs exist on the field for fans to see at this moment in time.

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Reader Comments (33)

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Charles Brewer
1 Posted 29/12/2022 at 15:39:33
There are two guiding principles in developing a strategic review: Is this an operationally oriented review, or is it a buzzword compliant one?

The former are identified by lots of real numbers, alternatives and timetables and concrete measures.

The latter are identified by the similarity to a Harvard Business Review article and the number of times diversity, inclusivity and equity (DIE) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) are mentioned with bonus points for references to modern day slavery and sustainability.

My observation so far is that Everton will have gone fully for the Buzzword Compliant version with a firm commitment to Net Zero (at least in terms of goals scored). Getting rid of Richarlison, not replacing Calvert-Lewin, putting Dobbin and Simms out on loan and buying Maupay, has supported this aim really well.

They are also doing well on the inclusivity front, making sure that players do not discriminate in favour of their colleagues when they pass and that they share the ball with the opposing team as much as they can. They have also included as many idiots on the board as possible, although idiots are not underrepresented in football management or anywhere else.

The club has taken to heart the complaints of Sepp Blatter than modern footballers are effectively slaves, being bound with contracts whereby they sometimes have to play two 90-minute matches in a week, for at least part of the year. That said, Mina, Calvert-Lewin, Davies and a host of others are standing up to this exploitation by lying down on the treatment table whenever possible. As for exploitation, the players are often paid sums that Everton supporters find incredible.

On the governance side, what could be more diverse than a clueless lachrymose luvvie, a stupid cow and a confused Iranian?

The position in the Premier League table indicates they may need to do a bit more work on the sustainability front, although Boxing Day's performance indicates strongly that they are using even less energy than last season, and that they have reduced CO2 production by not running about and breathing heavily.

Dave Lynch
2 Posted 29/12/2022 at 15:43:49
What Charlie said @1
Charles Brewer
3 Posted 29/12/2022 at 15:59:52
I forgot recycling.

We take any old worn-out dross and repurpose it in our midfield. We also take young dross from Manchester United (for a suitably large fee, of course).

Larry O'Hara
4 Posted 29/12/2022 at 18:21:12
Short answer: No!
Mike Hughes
5 Posted 29/12/2022 at 18:49:59
I read Denise Barrett-Baxendale's recent statement which referred to the so-called strategic review.

There was a picture of her face next to it. It may as well have been her bare arse because the statement was flatulent, corporate bullshit IMHO.

It typifies what EFC is becoming – soulless, lacking identity and out-of-touch with the fan base.

She is taking us for fools – the Liz Truss of the Premier League.

Covering-up the dysfunction and incompetence from top to bottom with “corporate speak” might fool some of the people, some of the time but …… what matters is the output.

How many wins?
How many trophies?
Position in the league.

In fact, the statement read like something some mediocre smart-arse might write to embellish their CV, ready for the next job as the current ship steadily sinks.

At best, we are currently a charity both on and off the pitch (and in the transfer market). At worst, the lunatics are running the asylum – hiding in plain sight.

I fear for us with the likes of these at the wheel. A slow-motion car crash springs to mind. The likes of Barrett-Baxendale won't give a toss. They will be off elsewhere.

Like Liz Truss, I wish she would disappear up her own arsehole.


Jerome Shields
6 Posted 29/12/2022 at 20:05:58
Mike #5,

Couldn't have put it better. I don't even think that there is a Strategic Plan to review in the first place.

The writer of the above article appears to smell a rat. Listing what has happened, but not being able to pinpoint a recognised Strategic Review. He then resorts to telling us that it exists, because people a Everton say so.

He is now hoping it will surface next year. I am looking forward to reading about his findings.

Original though the article was one of Denise press releases, but on reading, it is the Real McCoy, in Forbes no less. I suspect the Writer is an Evertonian at heart, since his article fits in well on Toffeeweb.

Peter Neilson
7 Posted 29/12/2022 at 21:43:56
Of course, it's working exactly as intended in taking the sting out of the discontent at the time, leaving the incompetent buffoons in charge with their amateur groupthink. The loons are marking their own homework and giving themselves an A- at worst.

The most obvious outcome should be a noticeable improvement in performances and an indication of a preferred style of play. Both of these are completely absent.

Brendan McLaughlin
8 Posted 30/12/2022 at 00:04:15
The clue is in the word ‘strategic'. It's been less than a year...

Strategic reviews rarely produce results in the short term.

Chris Jones [NZ]
9 Posted 30/12/2022 at 02:10:47
Charles – brilliant. Thanks for the laugh amongst the doom.

Happy New Year to all Blues

Peter Neilson
10 Posted 30/12/2022 at 09:05:44

Denise Barrett-Baxendale doesn't think so; in her words, it covers “short, medium and long-term actions and objectives clearly defined.”

Question is: What are the short-term ones as they clearly aren't visible?

David McMullen
12 Posted 31/12/2022 at 00:16:42
Short term they've appointed a new manager and a new DoF. How's that all going?

I think if we were just some random organisation, then it's a failing business.

The same people are running the business.

Brendan McLaughlin
13 Posted 31/12/2022 at 00:31:45
Peter #10

I was probably careless with my wording #8.

Most strategic reviews have short, medium and long term goals. For an organisation the size of Everton FC even short term goals are likely to take 12/24 months to acheive and most will likely be the "low lying fruit"

Indeed DBB has apparently indicated in her programme notes that we have made some progress in acheiving some short term goals in that we have identified new roles and made some appointments.

In terms of changes however that fans will readily identify with which I was adressing in my original post...don't expect rapid progess.

Nick Page
14 Posted 31/12/2022 at 00:33:50
Another Kenwright plant. Working hard, Bill.
Brendan McLaughlin
15 Posted 31/12/2022 at 00:35:41
David #12,

The new manager and DOF were appointed before the strategic review. Indeed, it was apparently the DOF who carried out the review.

Brian Murray
16 Posted 31/12/2022 at 00:38:38
Tell you what, Denise, short-, mid-, long-term – just leave us and let's get people fit for purpose who have decent contacts over the globe commercially and in marketing and so on.

Something your severely lacking. Stop embarrassing yourself and us.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 01/01/2023 at 20:03:54
So everything is kosher on the other side of the football club, and it was only our performances at Goodison Park and Finch Farm that needed to be looked at.

Hilarious! I can't believe I used to take you seriously Brendan!

Brendan McLaughlin
18 Posted 01/01/2023 at 20:27:14
Seriously Tony (see what I did there?) #17…

What the fuck are you talking about? Where did I say anything of the sort?

To be honest, given that you hold Jerome in such high regard, I'm pretty relieved you don't value my contributions.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 01/01/2023 at 20:48:04
You never said it anywhere Brendan, but you never do mate, it’s just me and my misinterpretation!
Brendan McLaughlin
20 Posted 01/01/2023 at 21:08:25
Jeez, Tony #19

"You never said it anywhere, Brendan, but you never do."

Are we talking about "those three words"?

I posted in jest on another thread that you were beginning to sound like a girlfriend I had broken up I'm beginning to think "Many things said in jest..."

Almost feel the need to say "It’s not you, Tony... it's me!"

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 02/01/2023 at 08:19:30
I just hope you weren't looking in the mirror when you said it, Brendan.

The Strategic Review was nothing short of embarrassing, imo. Other clubs often ask: What would Everton do? These are words that come out of our phoney chairman's mouth.

They'd have a Strategic Review, and realize that there are 26 vacant positions in the football club? (If I'm being honest, this might be wrong because I stopped reading Denise's report.)

A proper Strategic Review would only have to get rid of one man, and it wouldn't take long to realize then that the club is filled full of nepotism, and at least another 20 posts, would probably need filling right away.

I'm sorry, Brendan, had to bring you into it, Jerome, he talks about carrying on like an ex-girlfriend, and then starts criticizing you, trying to get to me. But don't worry mate, I don't take him seriously!

Brendan McLaughlin
22 Posted 02/01/2023 at 09:42:29
Again, Tony #21,

I have not expressed a single thought good, bad or indifferent regarding the Strategic Review carried out by the club, so I haven't a scooby why you feel the need to keep addressing me on the subject.

No issue with you having a pop but I'd much prefer it if it was for something I actually said!

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 02/01/2023 at 09:52:11
There hasn't been a Strategic Review. I would call it more of a Self-Assessment.

They looked in the "mirror, mirror on the wall", got told they were doing okay, and were the fairest of them all, then made the slippers fit.

I'll get my coat.

Result tomorrow. 2 - 0 Everton.

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 02/01/2023 at 10:00:21
Brendan @13,

"Don't expect rapid progress" isn't a thought?

Although I'm just hoping it's not a figment of our imagination.

George McKane
25 Posted 02/01/2023 at 10:25:31
Having founded and run a major international charity, I have been bombarded in recent years with the shyster world of Consultants, Accountants, Influencers and Advisors who constantly tell me about “Strategic this and that”.

Sadly, some fall for it – “transitions”, a word totally meaningless in football terms – is now mentioned on MotD... I'd never heard it ever in football till the World Cup tripe commentary and the statistic posted throughout the games at the Strictly World Cup.

I'd rather hear that they – The Board – spoke to a good mix of articulate young and old Evertonians with real nous. That crew (Kenwright, Moshiri, Barrett-Baxendale) couldn't convince me today is Monday.

Brian Harrison
26 Posted 02/01/2023 at 10:27:38
I know this subject of a Strategic Review has caused much concern amongst the fanbase, many feeling that it has been more of a smokescreen than an actual review. But we are not alone as many supporters of other clubs are far from happy with their owners or chairmen.

Only yesterday, the Spurs fans were singing to Levy to get out of their club; the Man Utd supporters have been very vociferous in wanting the Glaziers to get out of their club.

The problem is that, because especially the Premier League is now so expensive to own, that clubs even with billionaire owners are struggling and we have got to the stage where countries are taking over Premier League clubs.

I think when you have a Saudi club willing to pay Ronaldo £177 million a year shows the game is out of control. Seems that, in a few seasons, only oil-rich countries will own all the top clubs — is that what we really want?

Many such countries have dubious civil rights issues, but it seems that all that matters is who can give us the most money to spend, irrespective of the background of these new owners.

The oil-rich states plus multi-billionaire Americans are now the predominant owners of most of the Premier League clubs. So it won't surprise me if, like the NFL, we start playing Premier League games in these countries.

I suppose the Premier League was set up to help make the richest clubs richer, rather than for the good of the game. The only real beneficiaries of the money in the Premier League and other leagues are the players.

Clubs are paying more and more to players, were at our club over 85% of all our income goes out in player wages. Supporters are just eye candy so matches can be sold by Sky with full or near-full stadiums creating great atmospheres, but we as fans, through no fault of our own, are now playing games at ridiculous times just to suit Sky TV planning.

John Otway
27 Posted 02/01/2023 at 11:10:50
George #25.

My favourite definition of a Consultant is "a man who knows a hundred different ways to make love but doesn't know any women".

George McKane
28 Posted 02/01/2023 at 11:21:30
With you totally, John – I could recount many stories of meetings I have attended with rooms full of phoneys all saying “yah”.

I'm with Randle P McMurphy and his questioning the doctors.

Christine Foster
29 Posted 02/01/2023 at 11:41:31
George, John,

I have worked on three sides of the fence, as a Group CEO, as a Principle Consultant, and as a fixer... seen it all, been there, bought the tee-shirt... had "consultants" borrow my watch to tell me the time.

I worked (very short) for one of the top consultancies who were basically immoral, to the point I never put them on my CV. And, last but not least, a consultancy who placed fixers at senior levels in the company with one important proviso: they had to do the hard yards inside the company, agree on a plan, set objectives and make them work. Then, and only then, you would be paid. Fail and you get diddly-squat...

That's why I can often see through the double-speak, the bullshit... I know the words, I know the type of people who use them; I know what works and what doesn't (as much as one can). I was taught by the best, hurt by the worst, learnt lessons I'll never forget.

There are some bloody good consultants out there but there are some bloody awful owners who appoint them and never wanted to change in the first place. I have met conmen so good you cannot help but laugh, owners so bad you leave a place in shock. Been threatened, physically, professionally and personally... it's money and – where money is involved – there are liars.

Brendan McLaughlin
32 Posted 02/01/2023 at 13:09:07
Nice dummy, Tony #24

As I said previously, I haven't expressed a single thought – good, bad or indifferent – on the Strategic Review carried out by the club. My comment to the effect that we're unlikely to see rapid progress is neither good, bad nor indifferent.

ps: My opening line was an attempt at humour based on your footballing past – I wasn't being rude. [Don't want to be misinterpreted yet again.]

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 02/01/2023 at 13:19:34
Anyone who has ever played football must have been done a few times by a clever dummy, Brendan!
Jim Lloyd
38 Posted 02/01/2023 at 14:15:19
Brilliant, Charles (1)
Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 02/01/2023 at 17:40:21
People like Neville Southall, arguably the greatest goalkeeper that has ever played for Everton Football Club, but not someone who would be welcomed at Everton (by the powers that be) because he only plays with a straight deck.
Joe McMahon
46 Posted 03/01/2023 at 22:21:28

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