Unless Premier League rules change, the Sky 5 piggies disappear off to feed in a European Super League trough, or we get an owner with money and sense, we are never going to win the Premier League. I'd say we have at best a 2% chance of qualifying for the Champions League in the next decade. Even if we did, the players would be snapped up by richer clubs and it would be a one-off.

It is a struggle to find any part of our club that we can be proud of, or anything that offers any signs of any impending green shoots of recovery. We have a weary, want-away owner, and the only replacements on the horizon have a very depressing CV. We are losing money like crazy despite an ever-decreasing squad in terms of both numbers and ability. We hope Thelwell will turn recruitment around, a long-standing joke of a department, but we have had equal faith in others before, only to be let down.

The Premier League shows no signs of letting up in their efforts to penalize us for daring to try to aspire to greater things with PSR points deductions. The latest accounts indicate that, unless we sell every player deemed half-decent in this league, and unearth another two each year, we can expect points deductions every year.

This brings us to matchdays. Apparently, two of the top sides played each other yesterday in a match that could help decide this year's Champions. I couldn't care less! It has about as much relevance to me as a supporter of a League Two side. Everton are in the top teams' league in name only. We play in a separate league, the 'Relegation Fodder League'. That means when we play teams from the 'European Competition Challengers League', we set up our stall to not get thrashed.

Getting regularly thrashed by ECCL teams gets the manager sacked. The other games are all 6-pointers playing other RFL teams, where we set out our stall to nick a goal and hope to hang on for a result. Getting comfortably beaten by other RFL sides gets the manager sacked. 

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This makes the match a nervy and usually depressing experience. That's every match!

And that's the future! Players may change, managers may change, but that is our likely future if we remain clinging on by our fingertips in the Premier League every season. 

Maybe the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will improve things, but I can't see a little extra matchday revenue is going to make enough of a difference. The light at the end of the tunnel is only some Premier League official with a torch, bringing another points deduction threat.

So, what's the worst that can happen? The club going bust?  Relegation?

The club could go bust. So what! It will return because 40,000 of us will watch it in the 8th tier if necessary.

Relegation. Well at least then we will be playing for something. I look at the likes of Leicester and I actually feel envy. Their supporters go to every match without fear, they believe they can win any match. At the end of a season, they could even win a trophy... a trophysilverware, imagine that! (yes, I know, we were the proud winners of the Sport Pesa Cup). But interesting, maybe attacking football, all the time… with goals! Imagine travelling home from the match feeling happy – regularly, not just once every couple of months.

'But we have played in the English Top Flight more than anyone else, it's a proud record.'  No, it isn't. It's something losers say to make themselves feel better; winners quote what they have recently won. There's a difference between being in something and competing in it!

Don't get me wrong, I don't want relegation. I want something to turn us around where we are. But this has gone on for so long now, I'm no longer scared of it!

Reader Comments (20)

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Len Hawkins
1 Posted 01/04/2024 at 20:08:37
Read today that the players will sue EFC Ltd if they go bust or get relegated. Whoopee Doo, they are the cause and playing their guts out to keep us up should be the first thing they do the rreedy bastards.

Also thanks must go to the biggest clown in football, Moshiri – the fool who selected him, Kenwright – along with the players who are not fit to wear the Blue shirt of Everton Football Club (the home of the worst squad in existence).

Trevor Bailey
2 Posted 01/04/2024 at 20:28:02
John, I think the same. What does it matter? In the grand scheme of things, absolutely nothing.

I too would support them in whatever league they end up. I honestly think that a lot of Everton fans need to get their heads out of their behinds.

Football as we of a certain age knew it to be, is long gone, finished. It became a cartel when the Premier League was introduced. Everything since has been geared and manufactured to secure the top 5/6.

Truth is, I gave up on any sort of sanity football-wise years ago. Still can't stop supporting them though. Big sigh.

Part of me thinks a spell, hopefully short, in the Championship would be no bad thing. But then we get promoted to the poisonous, corrupt Premier League again…

Ah fuck it. It is what it is.

Barry Rathbone
3 Posted 01/04/2024 at 20:36:04
It matters because another generation of Evertonians will be lost and our transition into Sheffield Wednesday, Preston NE, Huddersfield et al will be complete.

There are only 2 avenues of salvation: monumental oil money or the recruitment of an unknown manager of the young Mourinho type.

Both unlikely.

Charles Ward
4 Posted 01/04/2024 at 20:53:20
Barry, the answer is a bright young coach backed up by professional analytics to identify hungry young players. And a determined board of directors who want to knock the top teams off their perch.

Nostalgia is great in the pub with yer mates but it's no way to run a successful business or we'd still be buying suits on tick from Jackson's. Dump the embarrassing anachronisms, the People's Club with its simpering tone of Lady Di and for once and all get rid of the nepotism and cronyism which have brought us to these depths.

Who in their right mind thought that a headmistress and honorary professor was the right person to run a multi-million pound business?

Weather this storm, get to the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in whatever league we are, and start afresh.

You have to look at Brighton's success and see that as the model.

Danny Baily
5 Posted 01/04/2024 at 21:06:31
It matters. As fans, we're not prepared for the loss of status. Unlike some other clubs, we're not primed for a quick return.

Relegation will be something that deals a permanent blow to our hopes of being at the top table in a meaningful way ever again. And articles like this are symptomatic of the fact that it is all but an inevitability now.

John Connor
6 Posted 01/04/2024 at 21:26:53
Barry #3,

I agree, it does matter for the next generation.

I go to see my brother, brother-in-law and people I've been friends with for over 30 years. We used to take our sons to every home match (6 of them); one by one, they have made excuses not to go, mainly couldn't be arsed.

Now, we are all in our 60s and only one of 'the kids' still goes on a regular basis. Once they get out of the habit of going, it's not going to come back and eventually our new shiny stadium will be more than half empty (like Sunderland's) and the downward spiral will continue.

It's okay for us to say we will support them in the Northern Premier League, but once we go, who will take our place? And 40,000 regulars in the space of a couple of years will quickly drop and never come back.

Paul Hewitt
7 Posted 01/04/2024 at 21:27:22
Plenty of good young coaches in the Championship. Watched the Ipswich v Southampton match, I'd happily take either of their managers.

The football they play is something Dyche would never do. Quick attacking, good passing and movement. Not just ale-house hoofing shite.

Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 01/04/2024 at 21:44:11
Charles @4,

The nuance I would add is finding players not fulfilling their potential at other clubs. I remember thinking Paul Power from Man City was a joke, yet he turned into one of our best-ever acquisitions.

Brian Clough built his all-conquering Forest on such players like Kenny Burns, Tony Woodcock, Larry Lloyd and John Robertson. It can be done but it needs a great motivator to polish those hidden gems.

John @6,

I remember my brother saying he didn't want his 2 kids enduring the Everton torture so got them interested in sailing – that was 30 years ago!!! This stupor has been long in the making and, as you rightly say, once they go, they don't come back. We really are looking into the abyss just now.

Steve Oshaugh
9 Posted 01/04/2024 at 21:44:52
Of course it doesn't matter... it is just a football club.

Objectively, from a football competitiveness standpoint, then dropping down a league would actually be a good thing. It would be great to start a season with more than 2 or 3 teams having a good chance of winning the league.

The Premier League is definitely not a good sporting competition. The difference in revenue and total salaries between the top and bottom teams is insane.

If you were starting a competition from scratch you definitely wouldn't design one like the Premier League. Why would anyone reward teams so handsomely for finishing 4th or even 5th this season?

I would be massively in favour of letting the big boys bugger off... I have no interest in them at all. I used to watch games like Man Utd vs Arsenal back in the day but had zero interest in the Man City vs Arsenal game over the weekend. I genuinely couldn't give a shit who wins the Premier League (other than I would prefer Klopp didn't win of course).

There is no sporting answer to bridging the gap. Doing things the "right" way through good coaching and recruitment will still end up with a good season finishing 6th at best. Brighton have been going well but have won nothing and don't look like they will any time soon.

Michael Lynch
10 Posted 01/04/2024 at 22:15:51
Great piece, articulates exactly how I feel.
Peter Moore
11 Posted 01/04/2024 at 22:29:30
I sadly agree. The Premier League is shite. Money has ruined the game, especially our inability to use it wisely.
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 01/04/2024 at 22:36:58
John, it does matter. The scenario you are envisioning, as all Evertonians do, is a failure to achieve due to mismanagement, which relegation will sort out by bringing Everton back to the basics of a normal football club where real football is the result. But that is not going to happen.

Everton came under the control of Bill Kenwright who basely mortgaged Everton to enrich himself. When he needed more money, he contacted Philip Green. Green was advisor to Moshiri and Usmanov on their Arsenal Premier League investment. He linked them up with Kenwright, who was looking to continue to run Everton and continue to enrich himself. He was in good company with Usmanov and Green who were of a similar disposition.

Moshiri is just a patsy in the process. Even if Everton goes down the swanee, Usmanov and Green will make money out of Everton along with a few others, even if relegated. Green made a fortune even when his businesses collapsed around him.

So Evertonians have to keep Everton in the Premier League, they also have to back the Premier League regulation, imperfect as it is, and they also need to back Government regulation.

It would be easy to give up and hope for the best, but the survival of Everton FC is at stake and some Evertonians have been fighting for 30 years to save their club.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 01/04/2024 at 22:39:40
Anyone seen that Danny Boyle film "Yesterday" with that kid from Eastenders in it where somehow everyone in the world forgets the Beattles ever existed except for that kid?

Imagine if that were to happen to Everton, if that Eastenders kid came knocking on your door trying to convince you that you supported a team called Everton with a billion in debt, a crap group of players, and a second-rate manager that hadn't enjoyed success in three decades, would you say "please help me remember?"

Or would you happily embrace the collective memory loss? And get back to watching rugby, cricket, It's a Knockout, Stars in Their Eyes rr whatever was filling the void in your life?

Derek Thomas
14 Posted 01/04/2024 at 22:39:49
There's only thing worse than being in the Premier League — not being in the Premier League??

The sooner somebody puts us out of our misery and we morph into St Domingo Phoenix, the better for everyone's sanity.

Brendan McLaughlin
15 Posted 01/04/2024 at 22:48:56
Of course it matters.

This time next season...

I'm channelling my inner Danny O... breatheeeeeeee!

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 02/04/2024 at 07:36:10
It does matter. It always does.

Brendan, keep going and keep breathing!

I've been talking to my younger brother and nephew this week. They are a lot more pragmatic and sensible than me. We have different views, but we all come together on match day and want the same thing.

Jimmy Hogan
17 Posted 02/04/2024 at 10:53:25
After the anger has subsided, the apathy comes.
Ernie Baywood
18 Posted 02/04/2024 at 11:12:35
It matters, but it won't impact my feelings for Everton. I'll watch. I'll possibly enjoy it even more than the drudgery that is watching Everton in recent years.

It might impact my kids. They're passionate now, but they're still young.

If we drop down the leagues, it will almost certainly end a long family history of Everton supporters. That might die with my progeny.

That's important. Everyone involved in this club is just a custodian. They've got a responsibility to look after this thing of ours and hand it over again.

That's why I have no sympathy for the argument that we were just unlucky that there was a war in Ukraine. We swam with sharks and it wasn't the right choice. They were not the right custodians.

Unfortunately, they are all over football now.

Laurie Hartley
19 Posted 02/04/2024 at 11:33:47
It matters to me alright, John – it's a question of pride in the shirt.

The thought of us being relegated fills me with horror and sadness.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 02/04/2024 at 12:32:22
Jimmy (17),

Yes, that's true with some people, but for others, when the anger calms down, the worry and fretting takes its place and, as Laurie says @19, pride comes into it, especially with the players and being honest most fans care a lot more than plenty of these players.

I dread tonight's game but I'll be glued to my iPad, kicking every ball and making most tackles before some of these players even think about it. As for relegation, I don't even think about it because, putting it mildly, if we go down, we are in no position to even think about coming back up straight away.

Fuck-all hope that we'll win tonight and get some relief until Saturday.

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