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Tough times on the blue half of Merseyside

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Phil McNulty | 17:44 UK time, Thursday, 18 August 2011

While Liverpool have spent in excess of £100m since January under new owners the Fenway Sports Group, there has been nothing other than a long summer of silence across Stanley Park at Everton.

Manager David Moyes has barely spoken publicly since the final day of last season brought victory against Chelsea - perhaps an understandable stance given that he has had nothing to discuss given the lack of activity at Goodison Park.

All that changed when the results of a conversation between chairman Bill Kenwright and "The Blue Union" supporters' group were published late on Wednesday night and revealed the stark state of Everton's financial position and their inability to finance any improvements to Moyes' squad.

In the meeting, which caused great embarrassment and anger inside Goodison Park when its contents were made public, Kenwright laid bare how Everton are under severe financial pressure from the bank as they wrestle with debts of around £45m and outlined the failure to attract buyers to improve their fraught financial framework.

Bill Kenwright and David Moyes

For years Moyes has worked wonders at Everton, despite financial inertia. Photo: Getty

Kenwright and Everton were immediately forced to embark on a damage limitation exercise and the affair may not yet be at a close as I understand the club is considering legal action on the basis they believed the meeting would be confidential without any recordings taking place.

His revelations will not come as a huge shock to most Everton observers who can simply point to Moyes' non-existent transfer budgets and the lengthy existence of a policy where he can only strengthen his squad via sales.

And yet the very public dissection of their problems by Kenwright will still have come as a shock to the system, especially in the light of the contrasting cash situation a short walk away at Anfield, where Kenny Dalglish is being bankrolled to conduct a hefty reconstruction of his Liverpool team.

Moyes is expected to break his lengthy silence on Friday before Everton's first game of the season against Queen's Park Rangers, a club that has ironically just unearthed a new owner, and he is certain to face an inquisition about Kenwright's comments and how the bank now appears to have a firm stranglehold on his hopes for further progress.

Despite the financial handicap, Moyes guided Everton to seventh last season and the talent in his team was underscored as Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea were all beaten at Goodison Park.

But as he moves towards his 10th anniversary as Everton manager, it appears the club is gripped by inescapable financial inertia, increasing the prospect of Moyes accepting he can no longer move the club forward in such reduced circumstances and will seek opportunities elsewhere.

This has created unrest among the fanbase and led to Kenwright's rendezvous with "The Blue Union" in his London office and the frank admissions that confirmed the worst fears of Everton's following regarding finances and the lack of interest from any potential purchasers.

He told them: "We have just done a document to the bank which says you can't stop the football club from trading. Do you not think the bank doesn't ask me every week how we're doing with the sale? They're desperate.

"So what I've told them is 'don't kill us this season.' No, I will not sell [Phil] Jagielka, just as last year I was hung drawn and quartered for not selling [Mikel] Arteta.

"You know the four players we don't dare sell. [Leighton] Baines, Jagielka, [Marouane] Fellaini and Tim Howard. In simple arithmetic, if you want me show you, £5m a year for nine years is £45m. The [Steven] Pienaar money has gone to the bank."

In a separate interview, conducted after a transcript of his meeting with "The Blue Union" was released he admitted: "We've come to the stage with our bank where we just can't borrow any more. The banks are tightening in."

Everton fans in the Goodison Park crowd

Without more funds, the Goodison Park faithful fear for what the future might hold. Photo: Getty

So what is the way forward - if indeed there is one?

Kenwright supporters are hard to find in the current climate but there is one brutal truth even his detractors cannot avoid. You cannot sell a football club, indeed any commodity, if there is not a willing buyer.

He can also point to a less-than-unblemished track record of takeovers elsewhere. Not every new face at a club can provide the sort of finance on offer at Manchester City and Liverpool and many supposed saviours have turned out to be the complete opposite.

And when Kenwright insists he has been trying to sell, even uncovering one potential buyer who turned out to be a hoaxer who lived in a one-bedroomed flat in Manchester, then he must be taken at face value.

This has done little to satisfy those who lay much of the blame for Everton's current plight at Kenwright's door and there is no doubt chances for improvement have escaped the club in the recent past.

Sadly, what appeared to be Everton's great opportunity was missed during Kenwright's reign when a plan to move to a 55,000-seater stadium in King's Dock failed in 2003, while a proposed move to Kirkby also floundered amid much acrimony from fans unhappy at a move outside the Liverpool city boundaries.

It does appear Everton's only real hope is for Kenwright to uncover a new owner or major investor, but as well as funding Moyes' transfer ambitions they are also likely to have to factor a new ground into their equation - a prospect any interested parties will find unpalatable in the current economic climate.

And, in Everton's case, they have not unearthed a single serious suitor despite years of searching and the involvement, according to Kenwright, of brokers Keith Harris, Amanda Staveley, agent Leon Angel and several banks.

Until that day arrives, Kenwright will stay and Moyes must again perform the trick of keeping Everton ahead of those clubs around them with more powerful finances to call on.

And it all provides an uncomfortable backdrop to the start of a new season at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    The issue is money simple BUT at least Everton have a side capable of generating income so long as the owners don't go overboard chasing the dream - what's wrong with doing it on a shoestring? I mean alst thing you want to do is go the NUFC route (my team BTW) and get relegated and then struggle to cut the wage bill (unless you bounce straight back). Any team outside London though will struggle to get half-decent players unless they are MUFC, LFC or MCFC unless they pay huge, huge wages - which needs huge, huge stadia. A problem Everton, M'Boro, Wigan and even NUFC have unless you're in Europe - I mean I bet a fair few players went to Stoke this season rather than Everton for European football...even if they were on less or the same as Everton. Sadly for most clubs the "Ashley Model" seems to be the way ahead but it won't bear fruit until the proper UEFA rules come into play....in 2018 or something like that.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well at least Everton got a mention in the blogs. Better than nothing!

    BTW the main BBC Football page link for this page links back to itself. I had to go to blogs > McNulty to get here.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's somewhat typical that the second word in an article belatedly focussing on Everton is 'Liverpool'.

  • Comment number 4.

    I sympathise with Everton here. A great club with great history and tradition as associated with many of the clubs in the Premier League.

    As a City fan we were in a very similar position if not worse financially prior to the takeovers of Thaksin Shinawatra and Sheik Mansour. Moving to the now Etihad Stadium in 2003 definitely proved more attractive to potential investors in the long run.

    The massive millstone around the neck of the club for me is the ageing Goodison Park, which in the era of modernised or new stadia is looking a very poor relation indeed.

    With rising construction costs and no end the current financial climate in sight it is difficult to see where investment will come from unless the club can facilitate the move to a new stadium.

  • Comment number 5.

    Whatever the financial plight of Everton they remain one of the great football clubs of English football and still have one of the best managers around. If they keep their best players and satisfy the manager they will still have a good season.
    Not everyone can win the premiership.

  • Comment number 6.

    Where is the story? Most clubs have to fund transfers by sales. Must be horrible playing week in week out in the top league and being in a position to turn down £10m+ transfer fees...

  • Comment number 7.

    It's a well known fact that McNulty is biased and is a Everton/Arsenal/Chelsea/Manchester United/Manchester City/Liverpool/Spurs (choose one) supporter/hater (delete one).

    Just getting in ahead of the usual crazies.

    Thanks for the article. I'll be watching Everton's matches this season with renewed interest, especially those against wee Scouse Kenny and Mancunian Money Bags Mancini. I'll be loudly cheering for the Toffees and perhaps I'll adopt them as "my team". My interest in the Premier League is all but extinguished as it's clear that around 80-odd clubs in the Football League are now essentially nothing more than feeder clubs for the top five or six in the Premier League.

    Boring.

    I remember when Everton won the old First Division back in the '80s with the likes of Graeme Sharp, Adrian Heath, Peter Reid, Pat van den Hauwe, Trevor Steven, Kevin Sheedy et al. Those days are long gone and won't return unless Everton find themselves an oil billionaire with bottomless pockets.

    Ahhhh well..........................time to go play with the dog. He always wags his tail and never changes.

  • Comment number 8.

    Everton's debt (always trundled out in such articles) is actually less than many teams, is manageable within guidlines - other teams who have been active in the market have sold at least one player for substantial amounts and - in my opinion - are still not as well equipped as Everton.

    What I will say is we have an aging squad and need to bring through the young players now on the fringe,

    This season will be interesting

  • Comment number 9.

    bluenose_al ???

    Have you read and understood what Kenwright has said ??

    You come across either a WUM or Clueless .

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Everton dont need to indulge in cheque book management - they always over achieve. The team spirit cannot be brought. Thats what fickle fans will never understand. Money doesnt make Everton successful, David Moyes does.

  • Comment number 12.

    Some parts of the Bill Kenwright discussion transcript:

    "Mark, ”The question is Bill why hasn’t it been sold?” Bill, “Why? I wish I knew….I have no idea; look, the thing I’m getting is there’s not enough money in the world; the thing is…..when was the last major sale of a football club?”

    Barry, “Liverpool”, Simon, “Blackburn”

    "


    "Bill went on to tell a story concerning Keith Harris; he’d put forward two guys who, in his opinion, were suitable potential owners of Everton Football Club. Harris claimed the two guys controlled a hedge fund; one was the head of ICI in the Far East and a second an inventor. They conducted due diligence and Everton were ready to sign an agreement when Bill smelt a rat; investigators discovered that ICI had never heard of the person concerned, he actually lived in one bedroom flat, and the second guy, the inventor, was based in Manchester."

    Oh dear.

  • Comment number 13.

    Get a grip McNulty, this is a club that is trying to live within its means instead of having a sugar daddy - yet you portray it as something bad. Becareful what you wish for. The BBC will have to live within its means soon too.

  • Comment number 14.

    Last Friday, contrary to earlier reports in the media, three representatives of The Blue Union met with Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright.

    Obtaining a meeting with Bill is an achievement in itself at the moment; he’s refused or cancelled all opportunities to speak to the media, via which he could have responded to the genuine concerns being expressed by an increasing number of Evertonians.

    The meeting was arranged through Derek Hatton. Derek, a lifelong Evertonian and friend of Bill Kenwright, who has recently expressed similar concerns over the future of the club, believed dialogue at the highest level would be the only way to facilitate a degree of understanding on both sides.

    The three Blue Union representatives, Barry Jones, Simon Magner and Mark Jones, took unpaid leave to travel to London at their own expense and attend the 3hr 30min meeting which took place at Bill’s office.

    To avoid the possibility of supporters learning of the meeting from any other source and in a bid to prevent any misunderstanding or misinterpretation arising over what was actually discussed; a brief statement stating that the meeting had taken place was issued the following day.

    The Chairman was aware that information from the meeting would be supplied to supporters. The only confidentiality exercised surrounds matters concerning the chairman’s private and family life, which he is clearly entitled to expect and we are equally happy to respect. The normal conversation expected between any football supporters has also been omitted. All three representatives concur that the following is a true and accurate report of what was discussed.

    The first report is a factual account of what was discussed; the subsequent report explains our interpretation, understanding, reservations and describes the conclusions we have drawn.

    The meeting began with a brief description of the campaign to date; that is wasn’t a mindless Kenwright out campaign, that it was a search for answers and a desire to find a solution to the perceived stagnation of the club.

    Bill responded by explaining that nobody is a bigger Evertonian than he; that there was nothing he wouldn’t do to support the club and as an example explained that he’s the only blue to mortgage his house and has borrowed £10m. Having said all that he reinforced that he doesn’t want to be here, he wants to sell; but, he stated, “How can I get out and leave my Football Club?”

    Simon replied that Bill’s credentials as an Evertonian weren’

  • Comment number 15.

    Thanks for the early replies. Clearly a very emotive issue for all Everton fans.

    You have asked for a platform to debate Everton's finances and future many times and now you have one here so would like to hear from as many of you as possible, reflecting both sides of this argument.

  • Comment number 16.

    weren’t being questioned here, but indicated that many Evertonians make financial sacrifices to support Everton without any desire or hope whatsoever of obtaining a return; Bill “Okay, okay, let’s start”

    Mark moved on to what is actually being done to sell the club; he explained “What is Bill Kenwright trying to do now to move the club forward, to sell the club, we hear all the time that you want to sell but what are you actually doing, nothing ever seems to materialise; why hasn’t the club been sold?”

    Bill responded “You’re asking why the club hasn’t been sold? I have no idea why Keith Harris, Amanda Staveley, Philip Green, Robert……Elstone, Bill Kenwright…..” Mark, “why haven’t they succeeded?” Bill, “I don’t know….I have no idea why they can’t sell it. Simon, “Is Keith Harris involved Bill? Robert Elstone is on record as saying he isn’t….” Bill, “I don’t know what record that is son but it’s not HMV…Robert said that? When did Robert say that? Simon, “At the public inquiry…….” Bill, “Keith Harris is involved on a daily basis, okay, let’s agree Robert said that; did you read the Keith Harris article in the Echo, The Times, The Guardian…the work he was putting in to sell Everton? Barry, “He was trying to sell Newcastle at the same time, didn’t do…..”Bill, “You’re talking exclusivity? Look, it’s a punt; I’ve been to Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Citi Bank, we don’t think it’s a good idea to give exclusivity, we would cut off too many avenues; no one can sell the club better than me…”

    Mark asks, “Who have you approached?” Bill, “There’s a guy at the moment in Italy, another in Abu Dhabi…Keith has phoned with another; we’ve put a prospectus together…..look you’ll never get a better salesman than Bill Kenwright for Everton Football Club” Mark, ”The question is Bill why hasn’t it been sold?” Bill, “Why? I wish I knew….I have no idea; look, the thing I’m getting is there’s not enough money in the world; the thing is…..when was the last major sale of a football club?”

    Barry, “Liverpool”, Simon, “Blackburn”

    Bill, “You would want Blackburn Football Club%3

  • Comment number 17.

    Bill, “You would want Blackburn Football Club? Barry, “Liverpool” Bill, No, No, No, No, I said major sale; Liverpool weren’t sold, they took over the debt.” Barry, “I’m sorry Bill, they have a new owner who never had a club; they were sold and now they’re showing ambition” Bill, “Okay okay, I’m not arguing with you if you call that buying a football club; Blackburn…..well…….I wouldn’t want a Blackburn.”

    Simon, “Well the proof is in the pudding; in five years time they may have Championships and we may be sitting here saying we want a Blackburn scenario. Bill, “No they won’t…look, I don’t know the answer, I get two clubs in the city, Liverpool the foremost club in football…. Barry, “Is it the ground Bill?” Bill, “I don’t get that no….there isn’t a ground situation now…there just isn’t the kind of money out there.

    Simon, “Can I just get back to Keith Harris? You’ve said that Keith Harris has been involved in attempts to sell the club but Robert Elstone, at the public inquiry, stated that Keith Harris wasn’t involved in the selling the club, which is it? Bill, “Of course Keith Harris is involved….Keith Harris is involved on a daily basis.

    Bill went on to tell a story concerning Keith Harris; he’d put forward two guys who, in his opinion, were suitable potential owners of Everton Football Club. Harris claimed the two guys controlled a hedge fund; one was the head of ICI in the Far East and a second an inventor. They conducted due diligence and Everton were ready to sign an agreement when Bill smelt a rat; investigators discovered that ICI had never heard of the person concerned, he actually lived in one bedroom flat, and the second guy, the inventor, was based in Manchester.

    Mark asked, “Bill, are we waiting for people to come to us or are we going to them?” Bill replied that they’ve recently produced a booklet to sell the club, that he has the best contacts in the business and that he speaks to the top agents involved in selling football clubs, Bill stated, “Look, we’re desperate, I’m desperate.”

    Barry asked, seeing that Liverpool is now owned by the Boston Red Sox, if any enquiries had been made of the Steinbrenner family who own the New York Yankees? Bill replied “Yes, every avenue has been ex

  • Comment number 18.

    been explored. You either believe me or don’t believe me. What more can I do?” Mark explained “This is the point Bill; people don’t know about this, why aren’t you making these statements public?” Bill replied, “I’ve said all this before; listen son, what more can I say?”

    Simon, “Can I just return to Robert Elstone, again, he said at the inquiry that none of the major shareholder shares were for sale, that you were looking for investment and were not selling the Club” Bill answered, “Guys, I do not run the football club…the chairman doesn’t run the football club; do you accept that football fans hear what they want to hear?..Tell me, what has riled you since Chelsea?” Mark answered, “The week after Chelsea we heard that seventh was as good as it gets for Everton, that we don’t need a billionaire…that we want to do our business early and that Louis Saha slept in an oxygen tent…Bill, “Maybe he does….”

  • Comment number 19.

    Mark, “We’ve heard nothing since Bill…James Vaughan left, that’s it, no other news, no transfers.” Bill responded, “We’ve got no money”

    Simon, “Bill, we’ve had almost £30m over the last 12months; £9m from Bellefield, we’ve sold Pienaar, we’ve sold Vaughan, we’ve had loan fees…..Bill, “Yes, I got £1m for Yakubu”

    Mark & Barry, “Where has it gone Bill?” Bill, “85p in the pound goes back into Finch Farm……football isn’t rocket science, matchday, player sales and television goes into one budget; what do you think is happening with the money?”

    Simon, “I’m fairly confident it’s gone to pay debts Bill”

    Bill, “And where has the debt come from?” Simon, “Good question…you tell us…” Bill “I’m not going to get angry, I know you’ve come a long way and I appreciate that, let me try to explain. This football club takes in a massive amount of money; on £81 million we sort of breakeven… you know about EBITDA? Mark “Yeah….” Bill, “EBITDA is earning before……interest……taxation……depreciation and amortisation, it’s our income. On top of our income we have to pay interest of around £4m. Okay, you know about the bank loan we had under Walter, the securitisation for £30m, it’s now £24.6m, it’s like a mortgage; it goes down slowly. The bank overdraft is £25m, we had Bellefield; we have £25m plus Bellefield. I’m not talking down to you, I’m just asking questions that I didn’t know till I had to learn about accounts. September/August we get the first lot of Sky money, we’re cash rich. When you have sky money and season ticket money there comes a time when, like every club, we’re at the borrowing limit…end of March…so what do I do every year, I sit with my bank…why? Because at the end of the year we’re back down within our facility, okay, this time we’re not…what do you think our squad is valued at for insurance purposes? It’s about £180m but the banks won’t take that as security …you have to battle with your bank, daily for me. When David started I said to him, we had the £30m debt…remember we were going to get £27m from NTL under Walter…we had an overdraft of %A

  • Comment number 20.

    Mark, “We’ve heard nothing since Bill…James Vaughan left, that’s it, no other news, no transfers.” Bill responded, “We’ve got no money”

    Simon, “Bill, we’ve had almost £30m over the last 12months; £9m from Bellefield, we’ve sold Pienaar, we’ve sold Vaughan, we’ve had loan fees…..Bill, “Yes, I got £1m for Yakubu”

    Mark & Barry, “Where has it gone Bill?” Bill, “85p in the pound goes back into Finch Farm……football isn’t rocket science, matchday, player sales and television goes into one budget; what do you think is happening with the money?”

    Simon, “I’m fairly confident it’s gone to pay debts Bill”

    Bill, “And where has the debt come from?” Simon, “Good question…you tell us…” Bill “I’m not going to get angry, I know you’ve come a long way and I appreciate that, let me try to explain. This football club takes in a massive amount of money; on £81 million we sort of breakeven… you know about EBITDA? Mark “Yeah….” Bill, “EBITDA is earning before……interest……taxation……depreciation and amortisation, it’s our income. On top of our income we have to pay interest of around £4m. Okay, you know about the bank loan we had under Walter, the securitisation for £30m, it’s now £24.6m, it’s like a mortgage; it goes down slowly. The bank overdraft is £25m, we had Bellefield; we have £25m plus Bellefield. I’m not talking down to you, I’m just asking questions that I didn’t know till I had to learn about accounts. September/August we get the first lot of Sky money, we’re cash rich. When you have sky money and season ticket money there comes a time when, like every club, we’re at the borrowing limit…end of March…so what do I do every year, I sit with my bank…why? Because at the end of the year we’re back down within our facility, okay, this time we’re not…what do you think our squad is valued at for insurance purposes? It’s about £180m but the banks won’t take that as security …you have to battle with your bank, daily for me. When David started I said to him, we had the £30m debt…remember we were going to get £27m from NTL under Walter…we had an overdraft of

  • Comment number 21.

    Season after Season we've had to deal with our Financial problems, to be honest i'm not too worried at the moment, i think we can push for a Europa League place this season.... yes we don't have the funds like other clubs but in the end of the season we always finish in a respectable position (5th,6th,7th,8th in the past few seasons). Kenwright is a good man and a great evertonian but its about time he sells the club but the problem is, who wants to buy us? and the answer is well at the moment anyway 'no 1' so like i said we just have to get on with it

  • Comment number 22.

    Some thing is amiss. If QPR only arrived in the league can be sold, then why are Everton and established team for years, with one of the best managers in the game and usually a top 10 finish not find a buyer. I don't think they really want to sell.

  • Comment number 23.

    I think BK would love to sell. I know Moyes would love backing in the transfer market, even for players like Shane Long who already looks quality at this level. For me though, I would rather Everton didn't follow the massive investors who want quick success. We are a football club. I think something will hit the fan in Chelsea and Manchester soon, I honestly do. I also don't want us to go down the Leeds or Portsmouth path because that's where madness lies.

    BK has Everton's best interests at heart. He's tried to get us a new stadium because Goodison Park loses us money. Do fans back that? Not all of them let me tell you. Some Evertonians pick and choose. I know it's frustrating that we can get outbid by these smaller clubs getting promoted straight into the league but that's how it is for the moment. Grin and bear it.

    In Kenwright and Moyes I trust.

    Though I suspect Moyes is making a rather difficult job look quite easy at the moment...

  • Comment number 24.

    Why are clubs always looking for new investors? Run the club like a business. Move up the table, make intelligent transfers and produce players in your academy. No, it's not easy but its the right way to go.
    I can understand Everton will always want more from their team but you're in a respected club consistantly in the top half of the PL. Be happy with your bit of success and if you want to grow improve the structre of your club.

  • Comment number 25.

    So now today you're talking about Everton's woes, when yesterday it was about Arsenal NOT spending (along with everyone else) - not trying to hijack a sad but true Everton storyline, but considering every other article is about how Arsenal need to splash the cash and Arsene is losing it I think it's worth a mention. I hope Everton turn this around, and Moyes deserves a medal - not many others could've kept such high league positions with such little resources and a paper thin squad. So it would be nice to have some perspective when you report on Arsenal as we are trying to compete with the Billionaire Boys Club whilst not ending up in a similar situation. Liverpool have spent £100m this year on mainly mediocre players yet they are pretty much getting a pat on the back. Old Fenway Sports will get his money back somehow, don't you worry. The clue's in the word "investor".

  • Comment number 26.

    The problem at Everton is that Kenwright has mortgaged all our financial assets such as season ticket sales and our physical assets such as Finch farm training centre. This means we are at the mercy of the banks who are trimming the overdraft back. I don't understand why we haven't had a fire sale to offload Yobo, Yak, and why there is such a desire to hang on to Arteta who stank the place out last season.
    I reckon that Moyes will tell the world that it's his last season unless things change, in his press conference tomorrow.

  • Comment number 27.

    #24 - you're mad?! That's ridiculous. Obviously what you have to do is get a billionaire owner and buy success. Doing what you suggested almost sounds like self sustainability - you'll just get ridiculed in the papers if you try that. And heaven forbid you're marginally successful with that and even, shock horror, make the CL and beat Barcelona. Go wash your mouth out......

  • Comment number 28.

    I like Kenwright and his hearts in the right place... the problem lies in the fact that any deal he wants to do relies on him still being the figurehead of the club even when it is sold. Which foreign businessman is going to plough money into a club which he is going to be top man which the media focuses on... Kenwright might not have the money but if he wasn't such a showman maybe the club might have chance to go forward.... COYB

  • Comment number 29.

    "I get two clubs in the city, Liverpool the foremost club in football"
    Bill Kenwright

  • Comment number 30.

    I have got nothing against Kenwright as when he finanices some good signings they have gone really well. what worried me is that for us to get an investor they have to agree to the terms of kenwrights which he still wants to be chairman at the club when someone takes over. i do believe we need the investment as if it doesnt come soon i can possibly see us losing moyes to another club with money and also losing our big name players then us dropping into the bottom half of the table and possibly fighting relegation. i dont want this to happen but for it to come good we need someone to come and invest and get us the players we need. COYB

  • Comment number 31.

    Kenwright is the problem here, I don't think he really wants to give up control of the club .... ego problems and his desired return on investment.
    Once Moyes goes, and he will, it will all be over for the toffees ...

  • Comment number 32.

    I feel for Bill, I really do. He saved us from Peter Johnson, a business man who took over a club that was nothing to him but a commodity. Bill had a real affiliation and connection with Everton, he understood the fans, because he was (is) one.

    When he first took over, he was well out of his depth. Over time he grew to understand how running a club really worked and slowly got to grips with things. However, the problem is, to be a real success now in the current climate in the premiership, to really challenge, you need to have a real knack for business. Kenwright has the acumen for business and finance of a Greek politician. You can't just react, you need to show initiative. I think a major problem is, while his intentions are still noble in the sense he doesn't want his boyhood club to be taken over and turn us into a Portsmouth or run the risks Leeds did, he doesn't actually realise how out of his depth he actually is.

    Were this still the 60's/70's/80's even just the early 90's, I think, with the manager and the setup within the club, the balance of youth and experience, the team spirit etc... Everton would be challenging for the title. But it's not and never will be again. Now, off the field is as important (if not more so) than on. It takes more than a great manager and a well run youth academy for a team to be a success. Look to United. The reason for their domination of English football, along with a great manager who was allowed to build a dynasty and one exceptional youth team to really solidify that dominance, was a very smart, very progressive, forward thinking board when the premiership began, who realised a potential and an opportunity there rivals didn't.

    The problem behind the scenes at Everton far pre-dates Kenwright as the figure head. But in the modern game, you need so much more than a fan with the club at heart to succeed as a chairman. And you also need your chairman to realise that.

    It's sad to think a team who were the second most successful in English football before the premiership began, could very conceivably never win a league title again.

  • Comment number 33.

    I agree with what toffees90 is saying. As an outsider looking in, debts of £45 million are a lot, clubs have been into admin for much much less. Perhaps not when you're in the premier league but what if? Unless you're bankrolled by a sheikh I don't believe anybodys 'too good to go down' and should it happen, perhaps without moyes or if stars are sold for cash, then what next? That's the problem I see being raised here, perhaps some toffees fans don't want to see it/don't believe it could happen, that and the inability to attract investment to an established premier league side, whatever the reasons.

  • Comment number 34.

    I think Everton still have fine players in Coleman, Jagielka, Baines and Fellani, these would grace any premiership team and Moyes is one of the best managers in picking a tactical unit full of fight and focus. I believe they are better than at least ten other teams as it stands but I'm not sure after that. I feel sorry for their supporters but I don't think we are going to see a free fall, more like what Fulham do.......spend very little and yet seem to get the very best out of every player unlike many of the top spending clubs, Chelsea included. Less money, more heart and bring in the youth more often. Good luck

  • Comment number 35.

    "Though I suspect Moyes is making a rather difficult job look quite easy at the moment..."

    That has to be understatement of the century.

    Don't know all the ins and outs, but seems to be, think it was Alan Bennett who said, there's only so much marrow you can suck out of a bone, but, to be honest, I can see DM continuing in the same vein for a while, so are Everton fans happy with that, or are they looking for more? It could be that when Finanacial Fair Play kicks in, the whole landscape will change completely. But I'm not convinced, and that's a few years down the line in any case. And what happens if/when DM calls it a day?

    Founder member of the Football League, longer in the top flight than anyone else, impressive list of honours, football hotbed, fantastic fanbase, huge rivalry with cross park European giant....a sleeping giant. I just don't believe that in this big wide world, with all the money flying around the PL, Everton can't find one buyer to make the step up.

    Surely with his ties to Boston Red Sox, Fenway should have been buying Everton. I wonder how long this Curse will last!

  • Comment number 36.

    Thanks Phil for highlighting the plight of my beloved club. Kenwright when he first took charge, sold or outsourced everything and borrowed against season ticket sales which provided income for transfers for the first few years of David Moyes reign. Now unfortunately there is nothing left and we left with an ageing small squad, and the prospect that we have to sell to buy. Even then this money may just disappear, for example, both Pienaar and Vaughan have been sold recently but the money hasn't been given to the Manager.

    So unless there is an increase in turnover (very unlikely without CL football) or borrowing (again unlikely) then we are stuck in the same situation as we have been for the last few years, and will not be active in the transfer market.

    David Moyes may again work miracles this season and achieve a top 7 finish but he'll also need some luck with injuries. However, this situation can't continue can it?
    Surely at some point Moyes will get frustrated, knowing that he can't strengthen his team unless he sells one of his best players.

    Therefore, we desperately need investment. Kenwright if he is the true blue he says he is, must see this. If he loves the club so much why not sell it for a £1 and remove any thought to staying in control. I suspect though that the difficulty is that him, Robert Earl and reportedly Philip Green all want a sizeable return on their initial investment which is making the price of buying Everton totally unfeasible once debts and a new stadia are taken into account.

    If you are reading this Bill, we know you love the club but please sell and quickly before it is too late.

  • Comment number 37.

    Keith Harris is not going to give the sale of the club his full attention, he has his hands full with orville and cuddles.
    on a serious note, i think kenwright is the problem, not the solution. everton need a fan at the helm, but they need a good businessman as well, who can strive for a good deal with a new owner without the baggage that comes with being so passionate.

  • Comment number 38.

    There are some well meaning, yet ill informed impartial contributors to this thread. Kenwright has been on the Everton board for at least 20 years, and has been the majority shareholder since 1999. Under his stewardship our debt has rocketed (Smith being given NTL money BEFORE the agreement was signed), we have continually failed to invest in our once great stadium as money has poured into the English game (two failed stadium moves anyone?) BUT it's ok because he's English and has supported the club all of his life so we should be grateful. He has sold everything the club owned and is running short of ideas. His saving grace was hiring Moyes who has kept him out of the firing line for years.
    Aside from all the patronising nonsense from the people who believe we are being run prudently, can someone please start asking Kenwright what exactly he is doing about selling the club? Our Chief Exec was quoted in a Government enquiry as saying the shareholders were NOT looking to sell their stock. Which is it? Are we really supposed to believe a sensible buyer could not be delivered at a sensible price?! Enough of the Keith Harris smokescreen, if he is serious about a sale, get a Martin Broughton type figure into place and get it done, no more of this mythical search for investment.

  • Comment number 39.

    Fellaini £15m, Yakubu £11.5m, Bilyatletdinov £10m, Heitinga £6m. Not exactly a bargain foursome eh? Lets not even mention £6m for Kroldrup or £6m for Beattie...

    Truth is Moyes' best signings in terms of value for money have generally been when he's dipped into the Championship (Lescott, Jagielka, Cahill) or Man Utd rejects (Howard, Neville, Saha). Working on a tight budget is no bad thing for Everton - if Kenwright & Moyes had £15m spare right now they'd probably spend it on Roque Santa Cruz or Winston Bogarde...

    Basically Everton are

  • Comment number 40.

    Firstly I would like to say I do not agree with "The Blue Union" putting this transcript into the public domain! Granted, it seems to have had, what I presume to be, the desired affect, in that it seems to have grabbed media attention, however, the damage is now done! Every Everton fan has wanted the club to be more transparent in all dealings of the club, and finally Kenwright has done as has been asked for so long and spoken to the fan base! I fear now that this has been released, short term gain is high, but there will be another story in the press next week if not tomorrow, but this kind of meeting will never happen again! Cost Vs Benefit? Im unsure this was the right decision!

    I am of the opinion that the football bubble will eventually burst!! Yes this could, and probably will be, way down the line, but like many other commodities it will eventually have to answer to sustainability! And lets face it, escalating, crazy wage bills will kill the game!

    Moyes undoubtedly has been some kind of 'saviour' to our club! working with the constraints he has and producing the results he has, has been nothing short of a miracle! But, when the day comes and he wants to try his hand at the money clubs, I fear that could be a real disaster for 'The peoples club', but only because there isn't another manager out there capable of what he is, not because hundreds of millions haven't been thrown at the club!

    The clubs around us have spent, and brought in many players, but have they actually added quality that will get them into europe whilst on their spending sprees? I don't believe they have, and think in the long term, like leeds and Portsmouth, will fall foul of poor business and signings! Sunderland the prime example! Added numerous players, but will they push them to the next level? nope!

    In conclusion... Accept that we cant spend, be happy with the players we have! After all, the 'big 4' have been enquiring about many of them! Bring through the decent youth we have and keep the club sustainable!!!! I for one believe an honest days work far out weighs selling your soul to the devil!

  • Comment number 41.

    This club is English footballing royalty. Thanks Bill but it's time to go....Terry Leahy and Lady Grantchester....come on down.....

  • Comment number 42.

    In reply to #40.

    Are you seriously attempting to give Kenwright credit for speaking to media now?! It's a blatant attempt at damage limitation that came immediately after the transcript was released. Whilst the publishing of a blow by blow account may not be ethical, Kenwright knew the content of the meeting would be fed back to those interested and even made reference to some note taking happening during the meeting. So what is the issue here? That it may be too accurate because it may have been taped?! Surely that would be in his best interests?! I notice that the veracity of the report has not been questioned at any point.
    The agenda of the Union is to engage in dialogue with the people who appear to be running the club into the ground. Is it not reasonable to wonder how we've managed to evade any significant investment during the past ten years? Can we not question the lack of a strategy for taking the club forward, rather than "begging and borrowing from banks"? What about the lack of investment into the Club's infrastructure through the years?
    Don't be kidded into thinking that people looking for change are expecting some cowboy to come in and load the club with a better packaged debt. We want a competent investor/s to come in with a plan to take the club forward. We need to support our wonderful academy, provide the manager with a REASONABLE transfer kitty and to address the stadium issue. These are all things that are currently under extreme threat of failing without an end in sight.
    You're asking the fans to be happy with the players we have, have you digested the content of the meeting with Kenwright? The players we have are under very real threat of being sold!
    I find it hard to comprehend how Kenwright selling the club constitutes selling our soul to the devil. It's mildly xenophobic to be honest. Football is a business now whether you like it or not, and we are not currently equipped to survive, let alone progress.
    Take your head out of the sand.

  • Comment number 43.

    Everton underperformed last season. And perhaps they will over perform this season.

    But it is not so long ago that they were proclaimed as the dreamteam - a supporter running the club, and a hungry young manager running the team.

    If you want to bring money into the issue then perhaps it is as well that they took the path of other similar sized clubs, Leeds, Southampton, Middlesborough, Newcastle etc of going down to go up...

  • Comment number 44.

    Thank you Phil for this Blog,

    Here is the situation:

    Everton has a squad (and a manager) that is good enough to be "The best of the Rest", in the last 2 seasons we had disaster of a start and yet finished 8th and 7th, the 2 seasons before we finished 5th and 5th. City and Spurs overtook us, Villa did the same the season before last but they fell down last year.

    Currently with the squad we have and with what all other teams did (sell and buy), Everton will finish 7th (give or take 2-3 positions based on how good or bad some other teams will be).

    Basically, at the end of last season we were in a position where we had to sign 2-3 players in order to "try" to catch "Spurs" "Liverpool" and "Arsenal", but we signed no one, in the same time, Moyes is refusing to sell the players, not even interested in selling unless for crazy money.

    Obviously, there is no coordination between Kenwright and Moyes, Moyes is not "happy" to have a squad that will finish in top 10 (been there, done that), Moyes with Everton finished 4th once and finished in Europe League position 4-5 times.

    We as fans are wondering, if we don't have money to even bring players on loan and the current squad not good enough to close the gap with the teams above us, then let's sell those who are taking 75K per week (Arteta for example) and rebuild the team, we have players like Yobo and Yakubu who are not even in Moyes' plan for the bench and they both take over 40K per week (each).

    We either have to move up or take couple of steps back and rebuild for the next 5 years, but staying where we are is killing us because the debt is growing while we are only good enough to finish 7th!

  • Comment number 45.

    Having read the transcript of the meeting from Gavelaa I have to say that I am pretty livid with Kenwrights responses to some very reasonable questions. I have no questioning Kenwrights love for the club but If I was to report to my managers in work regarding the progress of a project and responded with "some guy in italy and abu dhabi is interested" without providing any substancial evidence of progress or facts then I would be out the door. Fair enough if there isnt anything to report but why not just tell us that. "some guy is interested" is not good enough!

  • Comment number 46.

    Everton up against tough times, not much different from the vast majority of Football League clubs, with very notable exceptions.
    That always begs the question, especially for Everton fans, would you rather struggle on with a modicum of success ( I mean one of the top 10 clubs in the country is not bad) under present financial restrictions or have some billionaire come in and start throwing money around???
    Would success be any sweeter? Or can you be proud what Moyes and co have done so far?

  • Comment number 47.

    First off Phil it's the Blue Three Quarters of Merseyside.

    Secondly don't believe what Kenwright says, no money? Only last week Everton took out a loan from a BVI company secured against the 2012/13 gate receipts.

    Evertonians have had enough of this charlatan as chairman and the interview with the Blue Union guys shows just what a clown he really is. How can any chairman of any company say that they do not know where 24% of their expenditure goes??? (the mysterious and unexplained 'other operating costs') They'd be sacked immediately.

    There's also no proof that the meeting was recorded, only the club PR machine say so, did you ask the Blue Union guys for their comment on the accusation? And did Kenwright really expect that a meeting with a fans reperesentative group would not be broadcast around the internet? How naive/stupid is that from the guy that has abolished AGMs at the club?

    Do some investigative journalism Phil, don't just beleive the damage limitation propaganda from Everton's own Dr. Geobbels.

  • Comment number 48.

    Bravo to the Blue Union guys for doing a proper piece of investigative journalism. Something which has been sorely lacking from the local & national media.

    I'm a realistic Evertonian, I understand the difficulties selling a club in the present climate, I understand the wariness we must have selling to any old Tom, Dick or Harry. But that doesn't mean we should just acquiesce to the status quo - and it certainly doesn't mean TOUGH questions shouldn't be asked of the people running the club.

    Dave Prentice et al (even McNulty, dare I say it), take note - these Blue Union guys are showing you how to do your job.

    Here's hoping that these revelations generate a proper discussion about Everton's situation within the media.

  • Comment number 49.

    38. At 00:06 19th Aug 2011, Mark wrote:
    His saving grace was hiring Moyes who has kept him out of the firing line for years.
    ----------------------------
    Kenwright’s first choice was Gary Megson

  • Comment number 50.

    I'll admit I'm not an Everton fan, but I follow all developments closely, and I will say that I am as impressed with both Kenwright and Moyes as anyone that is involved with football; I think both carry themselves with utter honesty and dignity, and criticism of them seems entirely unwanted. Say what you like about Kenwright, but I have no doubt that he wants what is best for Everton; he has been frank for a long time now that he wants to sell, given the right offer, for the benefit of Everton. And Moyes, who has to be one of the most talented manages in the league, has shown remarkable loyalty and integrity in both staying with the Toffees, and refraining (generally) from complaining about the financial restraints. Three guesses for who I support in the premier league, but I wish our owners were that candid (the Gaffrer is of course a legend)

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    I am as frustrated as anyone about our inability to jump to the next level but it seems obvious that Kenright is genuine. What's the point in questioning where money has gone? Its obviously gone into the team.
    Its absolutely fair, proper and correct for supporters to question the club's strategy over stadiums, kit deals, training grounds, PR, car parks etc.. But lets face it: We currently bring in less than we spend. There is no money missing. Its gone into the team. We have over achieved for years and we should be proud of that. What kind of new owners are we looking for anyway? We aren't going to get a Mansour, Abramovic, Kroenke, Henry... We aren't attractive enough. We should be able to find a Lerner, or Ellis Short... But, lets face it, they make massive sales in order to buy. Isn't that the reality? It's the level we're at already (but we're busting our balls to stay there). We have a great manager, committed players and yes, an owner who I believe has our best interests at heart.
    The Blue Union have every right to scrutinize the club's hierarchy but do not have the right to distribute private interviews to the media with the intention of humiliating the club's owner (At least, that is how it has played out). As far as I can tell, Kenright answered their questions honestly and with respect. To have a debate is healthy but let us be fair. Let us offer credit where it is due and criticism where it is right to do so. It's the eve of the season and we have no money but we still have a good squad of players. Get behind the club! Accept the fact that Kenright wants to sell but there is currently nobody who wants to buy it. Accept the fact that the premier league is not a fair competition anymore. There is nothing we can do about that except hopefully prove success can come via a different route.

  • Comment number 53.

    I find it ridiculously hard to believe Everton have no buyers. You hear news about Football clubs being bought and sold at least 4-5 times in a year.Not everyone will find themselves a Russian Oligarch or a Oil sheikh.But there is no reason why Everton cannot find a good owner who can be happy with a top 10 finish and a occasional Europa cup outing and DM is a magician.
    P.S. - Why do they not want a Blackburn Rovers kind of thing? Do they not want a foreign owner with no background of football?

  • Comment number 54.

    If Blackburn Rovers manage to find a buyer who`s putting at least some money into the club, why can`t Everton? And, Rovers sold in order to buy and so should Everton.

    Many clubs have to sell each year to stay afloat, reduce debt and/or to be active in the transfer market. Simply depending on loan deals just shows how bad things are.

    Record TV income, relatively low wages compared to the top clubs, no outlays on new purchases, 45m in the red and the bank pulling the plug is not a sign of a club being run properly.

    Sell a couple of players to reduce the debt level, Moyes is good enough to find some decent replacements as he`s proved in the past!

  • Comment number 55.

    Finally a bit of media attention, yes the way it's happened is a bit controversial, but IMO it can only help us having everyone know the way the fans feel na dthe state the club is actually in.

    I think Kenright should leave it there though. Taking legal action against your own fans is only going to make things worse, if the club was honest with the fans then these groups wouldn't have had to do what they did.

    I worry as an Everton fan, on the face we look alright, we still have the 7th best first 11 in the league, but underneath we are in all sorts of trouble and this often gets ignored due to relative success on the pitch. I don't think it will hurt for the world of football to know how desparate we are, who knows it may see someone come out the woodwork with some sort of offer.

    In the current situation I forsee relegation in the next 3-5 years, one lus side though is that our players more than cover the extent of the debt so if worst came to the worst and we had to sell everyone administation etccould be avoided.#

    Sad and very frustrating times.

  • Comment number 56.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 57.

    Sadly for Everton, there has been tight purse strings for as long as I can recall. That being said, I saw them last season at Villa Park and they were great. The loss of Pienaar must be huge, as we simply couldn't get the ball off him and Arteta. Thankfully we won! I see Everton as a club with similar stature to Villa, and the kind of spending we see with Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, and Man Utd will not be sustainable in the new financial regulations. Man City have appeared to pay massive wages to encourage players to join them, whereas I'm pretty sure a player would not demand massive wages to play for a club like Arsenal, Man Utd, and Liverpool.

    I do think the fans have borne the brunt of the cost of football in ticket and shirt prices, with players demanding more than their fare share of the club's income. My club is having to slash the wage bill purely because of the club not making enough money. The shirts are in excess of £45, and the matchday tickets are £22 - £47.

    In Germany you can go watch a team like Bayern Munich for 20 Euros. In my opinion clubs like us and Everton need to get together to stick to wage structure limits, such as Wolves and Wigan did last season.

    My thoughts about Moyes are that he is a future league winner, and maybe after fergie goes he could take them on. I would love him at Villa, but to be honest, it is a step sideways, not up.

    Some fans envy Man City for having a multi billionaire owner, and their long suffering fans deserve some good cheer, but for me I'd be happier with an owner who loves the club, and has a good reputation for appreciating the fans. Take Bill Kenwright, and Randy Lerner as good examples of this.

    If Everton fans do want a new owner, be careful who comes in (Glazer family, Hicks & Gillett).

  • Comment number 58.

    Firstly I would like to commed Phil on an article that actually assesses a real issue in football and doesnt just repeat the usual arsenal have a problem blah.

    I wouldnt exactly describe everton as struggling. They have an excellent manager, consistent league results and a great team spirit. They also seem to have a proven track record of producing young talent (Wayne Rooney anyone?). I wouldn't therefore be worrying too much. The problem comes when Moyes gets poached. I wouldn't be surprised if Man utd wanted to replace one scot with another when SAF retires. Or maybe IF (and I say that risking the wrath of Arsenal fans) Wenger leaves, Arsenal might want another manager who has a proven track record of working miracles with smaller amounts of money than rivals.

    Once moyes goes (and he will everton fans, theres only so long he can put up with the situation) THEN you have a problem. Because very few managers have the skill to achieve what he has. Possibly Paul Lambert could, maybe even Ian Holloway (god I want him back in the premiership! haha). So I would say it isn't crisis yet, but there needs to be something happening soon.

    What though? Its a big punt but maybe invest in a new stadium..... bigger stadium means more revenue. It would be a BIG debt to have on the club but it worked for arsenal. Plus a nice shiny new stadium would also make the club more attractive to investors.....

  • Comment number 59.

    Two things.

    Firstly.

    "You cannot sell a football club, indeed any commodity, if there is not a willing buyer".

    True (and well done for stating the bleeding obvious!).

    The question Evertonians are looking for answers to is, 'WHY is there not a willing buyer?'

    Before answering that, think of all the two-bob clubs that HAVE been bought (in some cases twice) during Kenwright's time 'running' Everton.

    And (sigh) yes we KNOW a buyer isn't a guarantee of success, but the alternative (continued stagnation) IS a guarantee of failure.

    Secondly.

    "And when Kenwright insists he has been trying to sell, even uncovering one potential buyer who turned out to be a hoaxer who lived in a one-bedroomed flat in Manchester, then he must be taken at face value".

    I have no idea if this was meant as a joke, but for the record, the idea that Evertonians should take ANYTHING Bill Kenwright says (including 'good morning') at 'face value', will have induced the wryest of smiles in most thinking blues.

    Fact is, he makes Pinocchio look like George Washington and must spend half of each day extinguishing flames from his kecks.

    ("I can not tell a lie...this feller was going to buy us but turned out was a big hoaxer and a big liar who was living in...erm...a flat in...er..Manchester, honest-to-God!")

  • Comment number 60.

    Poor ownership kills football clubs. Everton's near neighbours found that out to their cost and on a smaller level Maidstone Utd and Enfield too. Remember Enfield? Owner Tony Lazarou promised much and delivered only empty promises and debts before leaving the scene of the accident.
    Enfield now play in a junior league. I remember an Everton board member a couple of years back saying that if the club didnt find a buyer and move to a new ground, League One football was a distict possibility. Perhaps there are some Wolves, Man city, Sheff Wed, Sheff utd, Charlton etc fans out their with similar experiences.

  • Comment number 61.

    A good entry Phil. The tough climate Everton finds itself in is a warning for other clubs, but when the moneybags spend spend spend, those other clubs feel like they need to keep up.

    http://footballwithaview.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 62.

    I do find it hard to believe there is no-one globally who would not want to but Everton FC - I'm sure Michael Knighton isn't doing anything at the moment.

    Seriously though given Kenwright is an entertainment person surely he could get some investment from people like Andrew Lloyd Webber, Simon Cowell etc.

    I'm surprised he doesn't do what Stirling Albion did and give anyone who stumps up £500 a trial for the club. 1,000 takers would bring in Half a million which could be used to finance a loan move especially if the final of the competition is a chance to play Liverpool in a reserve match or something similar.

  • Comment number 63.

    Moyes deserves to be at club where he can live out the vision he has. Only he has kept everton in the top flight. I am surprised none of the bigger clubs moved for him during the manager carousel in the last season. I hope he gets his chance.. Hey David, what about Arsenal??

  • Comment number 64.

    In reply to No. 42 - Mark

    I think you're the one who needs to take his head out of the sand! Support our academy, transfer kitty and a new stadium!? Unfortunately you seem to be of the opinion money grows on trees and there must be thousands of billionaires lining up to get involved in the PL. I think not! These things would be great, but that kind of money then turns you into a Man City, and I for one don't think success bought would be any sweeter!

    Kenwright spoke to the fans by allowing this meeting to take place! Like it or not, 'The Blue Union' have ensured this will never happen again! If you truly wanted to open up the forum for the fans you would have appreciated that this was an opportunity to get at least a foot in the door, but maybe individual stardom was actually what you desired! Yes there are many problems at the club, just like any other, but rightly you dont get other fan bases making a mockery of their clubs!

    What is it you actually want? 'Kenwright out' chants will just open the door to other problems which no doubt you'll find fault with! 'The Blue Union' have shot all fan forums in the foot! CONGRATULATIONS

  • Comment number 65.

    everton must get 70 million every summer from tv rights, where does that money go?

  • Comment number 66.

    50. At 04:11 19th Aug 2011, Tom Blight wrote:
    I'll admit I'm not an Everton fan, but I follow all developments closely…. Say what you like about Kenwright, but I have no doubt that he wants what is best for Everton; he has been frank for a long time now that he wants to sell, given the right offer, for the benefit of Everton.
    -------------------------

    Then how come in a Public Inquiry ON OATH the CEO of Everton categorically stated that the controlling shareholders of Everton HAVE NO INTEREST IN SELLING THEIR SHARES???

    Not been following developments too closely have you?

  • Comment number 67.

    The story of everton and its very poor board ,and chairman have been on every everton fans minds for last 4-5 years , we are a club living on yesterdays stories , lack of investment has kept everton below the top 6 , i really belive if neil lennon leaves celtic this year ,david moyes will go to celtic, and no one will blame him , we have a club punching above its true value ,with other clubs investing in players and stadium .
    As a seson ticket holder since 1987 ,this is the 1st year i have not renewed or bought tat from the club shops ,i refuse to give to my club when the board refuse to our manager any thing , many everton fans are not happy ,and it is a story iam suprised has been kept out of media so long

  • Comment number 68.

    Moyes won't go anywhere.

    Not until SAF leaves ManU.

    (But that may be sooner than many think... ).

  • Comment number 69.

    52.At 04:53 19th Aug 2011, DCBlue wrote:
    I am as frustrated as anyone about our inability to jump to the next level but it seems obvious that Kenright is genuine. What's the point in questioning where money has gone? Its obviously gone into the team.

    What Evertonians are questioning in regards to the money is 'what are the £24 million 'other operating expenses' that represent 24% of our expenditure??? It's a big sum to remain unaccounted for.

    As regards to money going into the team, when was the last time we signed a player that we paid money for? http://evertontime.com/

    The board is a disgrace, they are 3 multi-millionaires who to date they have not invested a single penny into the Club so if they won't put their hand in their pocket to invest in the Club then they should sell it.

  • Comment number 70.

    As an outsider, I think Everton are doing ok. Financial control is stopping them from gambling on bankruptcy, finances are stable (at least no worse over the last 5 years, altho I'm sure someone can put me right) and the team has over achieved to hold a relatively safe but nervous mid table. David Moyes is doing a fantastic job. Congratulations. For now.

    However with every season that the team isn't reinforced or improved there is a threat of relegation which would be a blow that they would not recover from quickly. I'd have thought a bit of player trading would be vital and the scouting network needs to be better at unearthing cheap and sell expensive. (If Beckford is the best they can find then it's not working). A new stadium seems to enervate every club thats had one, and Everton are missing that particular injection. Maybe stability actually means stagnation, and sooner or later there is a price to pay.

  • Comment number 71.

    IMO Everton fans should be proud that their club hasn't whored itself to the uber rich foreigners who are looking for expensive toys. The fact that no one has come in to buy Everton should be something to be proud of, because it means that it is still your club!

    You can't compete against these clubs in terms of resources so it's not worth trying, it will only bankrupt the club both financially and morally.

    Look at the City fans now who are supporting Arabian oil money or the Chelsea fans being transfused with Russian oil money, or the other empires built on masses and masses of debt. What has this got to do with supporting YOUR club?

    This from a SWFC fan...

  • Comment number 72.

    Football clubs continue to not learn the lesson. As a fan of Portsmouth who were rightly nailed up for overspending their income and nearly went out of business, Everton would appear to be doing the same. Its hardly a suprise that the banks won't lend more when Everton are deeply in debt. The contant reliance on a new billionairre to come in and bail out clubs is beyond depressing. Everton fans, I feel very sorry for you but it would not suprise me in the slightest if more and more clubs end up in this boat with you.

  • Comment number 73.

    Bill needs to take his head out the sand and take the bull by the horns. I'm glad this meeting has been made public because Bill Kenwright or the Club cannot hide behind the facts anymore. Looking for an investor is a constant quest but in the meantime we need to get our house in order. Anyone who says there are clubs in worse debt would be right but they all have sugar-daddies and don't have the bank breathing down their necks. Any one in the real world who is in massive debt has to do one or two things, apply for bankruptcy (which Everton cannot do) or Sell / Save & Raise cash...we sell one of our assets Jagielka / Rodwell / Fellaini / Baines - just one to raise £20m-£25m...save money by get loan deals of the likes of Man City or Chelsea. I would also try to fill the 5,000 seats that are always empty at every home match...get the kids in the ground at £10 each etc. We need to shift this £45m debt before any investor seriously looks at us and stop spending money we haven't got when we do get back into the black. Fellaini & Bily at £25m were big investments when we couldn't afford it, and the verdict so far is Fellaini is still very promising but Bily has been a flop - loan deals are a win-win situation if they wanna impress then we buy them or extend the loan plus save a fortune !!!

  • Comment number 74.

    59 ejruane wrote:

    Secondly.

    "And when Kenwright insists he has been trying to sell, even uncovering one potential buyer who turned out to be a hoaxer who lived in a one-bedroomed flat in Manchester, then he must be taken at face value".

    I have no idea if this was meant as a joke, but for the record, the idea that Evertonians should take ANYTHING Bill Kenwright says (including 'good morning') at 'face value', will have induced the wryest of smiles in most thinking blues.

    Remember Notts County!

  • Comment number 75.

    Most of us sort of knew that we were in the doo doo money wise.

    Agree with a lot Chris H at #73 is saying. We need to act like Fat Sam did when he was at Bolton - good players on loan deals and get the debt down. I'd let the kids on for next to nothing - couple of quid - and get the ground filled.

    Moysey has done miracles for us, but as soon as Redface retires, he's off down the M62. Any other manager would have got us relegated by now (can't believe someone mention Holloway) but he won't be here for ever, so we need to act now whilst we've still got him.

    Still rather be us though than them down the road - but we need to stop thinking we can compete with them for now, because we can't.

  • Comment number 76.

    To an extent, I don't really understand the problem. Many clubs are in the same overall position as Everton so I don't see why there particular situation deserves to be put under the spotlight any more or less than other clubs.

    If you look at the table, clubs like Stoke, Wolves, Blackburn etc aren't that different. In fact, those clubs are probably working on a smaller budget than Everton. (Particularly given that two of those clubs have no debt either.)

    Is it simply that Everton and Everton fans have higher expectations than the fans of the clubs I've mentioned? Still, this is the real world we are talking about, capitalism rules and it just happens that Everton are nowhere near the top of the pile at the moment.

    Would Everton borrowing £50m from the bank really catapult them into Europe or the top 4? Would it prove to be a worthwhile investment? Probably not.

    It's just the way it is. Is Everton's position a microcosm of the state of football at the moment? Maybe.

    I just don't get what we're trying to say here.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ #11: Nav Sandhu yours is one of many good points. Yes it is Moyes that makes our club the success it has been over the last 9 years.

    In the Walter Smith days, I never believed that i'd see European football at Everton any time soon. Not only do we challenge, we play some very good football and Moyes has unearthed some amazing players who were nothing before they arrived at the club.

  • Comment number 78.

    £45 mil debt doesn't worry me. It is not a huge amount considering we guarantee 30,000 + people through the door each week, and would do if we dropped a division. Quick maths tells me that 30,000 X £30 X 19 games generates £17100000 income each season. That's with a potential of 10,000 more people each week and not taking into account hospitality etc.

    If we have to sell players, then so be it. As long as Moyes gets some of the money to spend. We moved on from Rooney, Lescott, Ball, Jeffers etc leaving and we would do the same should Jagielka, Baines, Fellaini etc have to go.

  • Comment number 79.

    The North West produces great footballing talent, and in Merseyside young players will want to join either Everton or Liverpool. That will forever be the case. It is like asking a youth team player does he want to sign for Sheff Wed or Barnsley? Yes, Barnsley may be in the division above but there will only ever be one choice.

    For that reason, we will always be secure, as we will always bring through young players. Finch Farm now means that they will be brought through in top class facilities.

  • Comment number 80.

    As an evertonian, yes i'd like for Moyes to be able to spend, but a budget of 15-20 mil a season would do for us. Moyes works best with lesser quantities as some of his bigger signings (Johnson, Beattie, Yakubu, Kroldrup, Bilyaletdinov) have not been his best.

    In conclusion, yes hopefully Kenwright will be able to pass the reigns on, but not to a Sheikh or Baseball owner with little interest in the club. Most Evertonians would want what I want a football man, preferably an Evertonian with wealth to secure the 15-20 mil budget against each year.

  • Comment number 81.

    75..... I mentioned Holloway and I dont see whats wrong with that. He almost performed a mini miracle with blackpool last season with a worse squad and tighter budget so I think he would be well placed at everton

    76.... While I agree Stoke and Blackburn are in the crapper so to speak Wolves are actually doing very well financially. They are making 16m a year in the premiership profit and have 25m cash in the bank to invest. I think that as other teams become financially nailed wolves could start to do a lot better in the league. Especially with Mccarthy buying careful and sensible signings.

  • Comment number 82.

    @ #67 Dr Antonias Fuccilio !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Really, a season ticket holder since 1987, and this is the year you make a stand. How about in 1999 when we had just sold Dacourt, Materazzi, Bakayoko and we managed to bring in a 38 year old Richard Gough and Joe Max Moore on a free. Why did you not make your stand then? Or in 2004 when we sold Rooney and Moyes was backed to the extent of bringing in Marcus Bent that summer.

    Frankly, the club is better off not having your "Support" this year.

  • Comment number 83.

    #81 wycombetilidie

    Stoke are debt free as well I think.

    The point is, I imagine that Stoke and Wolves have less income than Everton and yet do ok. Given that Everton have debt, why are they expected to do so much better?

    As for Holloway, I wouldn't want him as manager of my club anytime soon. The way Blackpool slipped away from such a promising position last season showed either naivety, ignorance or arrogance of the part of Holloway in my opinion. His apparent refusal to change tactics for the sake of survival all the while hiding behind his 'honest John' facade does not reflect well on him. But maybe he''ll wise up. Maybe I'm being harsh.

  • Comment number 84.

    Surely the answer (sadly no longer an option i think) would have been for Liverpool and Everton to build and share a stadium?

    Both are clubs steeped in traditions and history, god knows the Liverpool fans like to remind us every pigging year, but i don't see why this would prevent a move to a new stadia. The opposition must, therefore, be simply due to the rivallry between the sides.

    I get that, really i do, but at what stage must common sense win over emotions? If you look around the globe you will find countless examples of rival clubs co-habiting the same stadia. The Milan teams are probably the most obvious example but i think Munich is the most innovative.

    Bayern and 1860 Munich share their same stadium, the Allianz Arena, with no problems. They use a unique lighting system to illuminate the stadium in red for when Bayern are at home and blue for 1860, whilst only a superficial change this simple solution does give the two sets of fans a feeling of seperation, their identities as indidivual clubs are preserved. This, i think, is all that the fans want; a sense that their club is still their club.

    We seem to have a problem in this country when it comes to adopting ideas from outside of the UK, we automatically assume that solutions found on the continent won't work in this country.

    If two of the most hostile groups of supporters in European football, the Milan's namely, can share a stadium then i'm sure that Liverpool and Everton fans could do likewise.

    The stadium would reinvigorate football in Liverpool and provide a modern stadium for fans ot enjoy for decades to come.

    Unfortunately it would seem that the repsective fans can't put their rivallry aside for the good of the city, and the game as a whole.

  • Comment number 85.

    Is there any way the 'Blue Union' pillocks can be banned from the club for 'Bringing the Club into disrepute'? such as the mechanism the League has.

  • Comment number 86.

    Mr Blue Burns.

    Sadly for stoke fans they are losing money but are propped up by their chairmans company Bet 365 who keep pumping money into the club.... however you are right in that they are becoming more solvent now they are in the premiership consistently. I think the issue everton have is that because Moyes has been performing mini miracles each year, the fans seem to have the expectation that it can keep happening. You are right in that everton should have similar aims to the stokes and Wolves of this world and merely want survival.

    As for holloway I think his all or nothing tactics were admirable and successful, I think you are right though in that teams got wise to their play and were able to counteract it. Still though, he had already done what noone thought possible and got them up in the first place and I remember many on this thread saying that Blackpool would get less points than derby did..... I still rate him highly as a manager.

  • Comment number 87.

    To Mr McNulty,

    Why have you chosen to focus on the well known fact that EFC has no money? Why did you base your piece on common knowledge, when the far more explosive issues were only given a brief mention. EFC can't borrow money -that has been known for many years now by all blues. Why did you overlook the following failings highlighted in the transcript (instead of taking the "let's not hurt Bill's feelings" approach)?

    1) When asked what this £24M "other operating costs" (nearly 1/3 of the entire club's revenue) was going towards. Bill could not answer and gave no apology for not knowing either.

    2) Kenwright claims that no major club's have been purchased recently. Even when the Blue Union through up L'pool, and Blackburn. Kenwright dismissed both. Avoiding the question totally.

    3) On several occasions demonstrated a total lack of knowledge of what Elstone and Ross are doing and saying. These are his right hand men. He should know exactly what these guys are doing.

    4) Blaming the current credit crunch for a lack of buyers is pathetic. He's had 12 years to sell - but blaming it on conditions that have been around only for the last 3-4 years is hiding behind excuses.

    5) He states EFC used to lose money on Merchandising until we outsourced this revenue stream. I dont know of any other Premiership club that made loses selling it's own shirts.

    6) We built our training ground and immediately sold to a finance company. We sold it for £8M. We now lease it back for £1.1M per year in a 50 year deal = £55M. Yes we sold something for £8M and tied ourselves into paying £55M to use it.
    Another example of amateurish operations that Bill, his board, and the directors are obviously doing today.

    7) Kenwright (most embarrasingly) states he's the greatest EFC sales there could be. Yet after searching "24/7" for "new investment" over 12 years -he could only find a guy in Manchester living in a one bed flat.

  • Comment number 88.

    When Peter Johnson left the club our debt was £20m but we had £18m worth of off field assets.
     
    Now, we have a debt of anything between £45m to £90m, have an asset liability of £27m, plus we have just took out another loan against 2012/13 revenues!
     
    I get totally and utterly fed up with the ‘oh, he saved us from Johnson’. Well, Bill may have saved us, but we are in a far far worse financial position now than Peter Johnson ever had us in.
     
    David Moyes’ net spend is £2m a season, so how the hell has our debt spiralled out of control? Complete and utter total mismanagement by people who have not got a clue how to run a football club.
     
    We have a Chairman not knowing what the £24m is under ‘other operating costs’ (before he took control of the club it was £1.3m). A CEO who tells a public enquiry one set of things and the fans and media something completely different. A Head of Communications who tries to sue, threaten and abuses every supporter and fan group who tries to question the goings on at the club. A marketing team who don’t know how to market, and pints of Chang at half time that are warm and flat!
     
    This once great club, pioneers of English football, has been brought to its knees by a bunch of incompetent clowns, and finally, finally, parts of the British press seem to be getting on to that fact.
     
    This board, Kenwright, Earl, Carter, Woods, Philip Green (his input at the club needs to be opened up) have got to go; and go now.
     
    Then ask Lord Granchester and beg Sir Terry Leahy to come in and sort this complete and utter mess out.
     
    Anyways, I’ll be at Goodison tomorrow and getting right behind the only good things about the club I love at the minute: David Moyes and the 11 men in Royal Blue shirts.

  • Comment number 89.

    #87 daddyh

    An illuminating list of issues (of which I was not aware of) that have been inexplicably missed in the blog! I shall look forward to Phil addressing them as, operationally, they are as if not more important that player buying and selling in the context of this article.

    Keep up the good work daddyh! :-)

  • Comment number 90.

    - Is there any way pillock Lescigales could be banned for bringing rational, logical clear-thinking Evertonians into disrepute?

  • Comment number 91.

    Football eh... the land of unreality!

    Many of us who aren't fundamentalist worshippers at the temple of our particular club, see the Premier League as becoming more and more boring. Without very, very large amounts of money clubs cannot compete at the highest level. Everton have consistently been there or thereabouts as the highest placed of the second tier clubs.

    The vocal minority of Everton fans who periodically call for David Moyes resignation and the commentators who try to manufacture stories to satisfy the 24 news culture need to accept that the club is overperforming; that much of this is due to Moyes management; and that it could only be in the madhouse of professional football that there could be any idea that Everton is a club in crisis.

    The constraints on a club's performance are, generally speaking, threefold:

    1. management - identifying tactics, selecting a team, identifying players to move in and out, motivating the team - Everton are undoubtedly overperforming in this respect. There's lots of evidence that consistent management (rather than chopping and changing managers every couple of years) works - another plus for Everton.

    2. finances - enabling the manager to bring in the players he wants - Everton are clearly constrained in this respect. Massive financial investment can buy good management and players and will usually result in a club entering the top 3 or 4 (Chelsea, Man City). Large scale investment but not on the super-rich scale usually results in a club being in the top 6-8 but doesn't guarantee it (eg Liverpool, Spurs). Moderate financial investment doesn't necessarily guarantee anything as it can be negatively compensated for by a poor/unlucky manager.

    3. the third factor determining success is the performance/management/finances of other teams - football is a zero sum game. One club finishes at the top of the table. No other club can finish higher than second. Since Everton's top 4 finish we've seen other clubs leapfrog them as a result principally of financial clout - eg Man City, Spurs (partly managerial but largely financial), Liverpool (again, partly managerial).

    My contention is that Everton will be able to maintain a position in the top half of the table if they keep David Moyes. They can maintain a top 6-8 position consistently if they can get a reasonable amount of investment (enough to pay down some debt and finance a little movement in the transfer market). If they want to move into the top 4 they need to find a very substantia

  • Comment number 92.

    "And when Kenwright insists he has been trying to sell, even uncovering one potential buyer who turned out to be a hoaxer who lived in a one-bedroomed flat in Manchester, then he must be taken at face value."

    Yes, if he'd been looking "24/7" this year or since 2008 perhaps - but this is one of the biggest jokes in football and yet if and when the press actually do look at it we're told "we should take it on face value" - what utter rubbish!

    It's taken a group of supporters to get questions in front of a man who has effectively stopped communicating with the fans - or only does so when the sun is shining on the club. There is a whole host of disasters that have happened under his watch, yet he is meant to be taken at face value - regardless of the exposed lies that have fallen from his mouth. As pointed out on The Blue Union's summary, wouldn't someone have checked someone presenting themselves as the head of a defunct company (ICI)?

    Bill is a fantastic ambassador in so many ways... but he is also an egotistical fantasist whose been acting (and has done for many years) like a child desperately clinging onto his train set. So no, I'm sorry, I will not take him at face value.

  • Comment number 93.

    Have to agree with #59. I can't understand why a club like Everton can't attract any serious buyers while other clubs can. If Moyes goes then I see a very bleak future for the club.

  • Comment number 94.

    Crisis ! What Crisis? We are just a bit skint but not massively in trouble like Leeds, Portsmouth or soon to be West Ham (if they don't get promoted). We already knew we had to trade to buy however what is wrong with that? Lets just hope that all this adversity helps create a real togetherness in the dressing room. One that puts us on the form we all know the lads are capable of producing. As for the debt, well i am sure that we have enough assets to off set it. We have a superb academy set up, one of the best. The scouting network is top notch. We are well supported and have a great brand. I am not worried and i just hope none of this nonsense spills over onto the pitch come 3pm Saturday. Those disgruntled Evertonians calling for heads to roll need to really have a reality check. Given the finances we couldn't really hope for any better than what we have. Lets hope a big money buyer comes in however until he does let just get behind the lads on the pitch and thank god that Carson young bought Birmingham.

  • Comment number 95.

    #94 Danskeverton

    Those disgruntled Evertonians calling for heads to roll need to really have a reality check.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    From what I can gather just reading the comments, I don't think most Evertonians need a reality check but there are issues that need addressing as highlighted in post #87 by daddyh.

    If there were satisfactory answers to those points, I think they'd accept the situation. Until those points are answered, I think the question that remains is what situation are they actually being asked to accept?

  • Comment number 96.

    88.At 10:12 19th Aug 2011, Duncans_Pigeon09 wrote:

    Well said!!!

    Kenwright was also acclaimed at one time as "The saviour of the Playhouse" a theatre in Liverpool that has since closed down on his watch.

  • Comment number 97.

    For all those commenting on just this article & the snippets of comments above, I would urge you to have a look at the whole transcript of this meeting. The Blue Union is a collective of a few groups - SOS1878, Evertonians4change, The People's Group & KEIOC. As you can see from their own sites, this was never about a "Kenwright Out" campaign or a general protest in anger movement.

    We have been lied to continually by both Kenwright & the CEO, all the groups were pushing for was an open dialogue with the club as to why every penny received disappears into a black hole and what the club's plans were moving forward. If you read this transcript, you will see why Evertonians are so worried.

    If your chairman came out with statements such as "I don't run the club", "I have no idea" (when asked what the £24m in our accounts under "Other Operating Costs" relates to) and worst of all, "There is no plan" - what business holding millions in assets and liabilities doesn't have a business plan - One - Everton FC.

    The best part of it is, this group were told in no uncertain terms before heading to London that if they dared to ask "What is the asking price for any potential buyer" then the meeting would be terminated immediately.

    If Kenwright seriously thought these minutes were never going to become public, then he is a bigger fool than we all first thought, that was the whole point, open communication so we all know why we haven't got a pot to pee in. As is the Everton way of late, if you speak out, they roll out the legal team to shut you down, I hope they fail miserably.

    No
    Status
    No
    Optimism

  • Comment number 98.

    This has done little to satisfy those who lay much of the blame for Everton's current plight at Kenwright's door and there is no doubt chances for improvement have escaped the club in the recent past.
    ----------------------

    Therein lies the problem. Blame for what exactly?

    Taking a middle-to-large sized club and running them in a way that means they regularly over-achieve and finish at the top of the "middle league" (that excludes the top 6 who have access to way more cash) nearly every year, beating a number of bigger spenders?

    Not selling to the first fly-by-night offer that comes his way?

    Being derailed by local NIMBYS who forced the review on the stadium plans (that the fans didnt want anyway)?

    Everton fans are a particularly silly lot. They want cash to spend but are not prepared to do any of the things needed to generate it.

  • Comment number 99.

    It's time to stop being critical and frankly rude about Kenwright. There's no hiding from the situation at Goodison, I'm sure Kenwright will only sell us to the right buyer. If that buyer doesn't exist, then we will not be sold. Going bust with him at the helm, or because some dodgy foreign businessman heeps debt on us and rips us apart- neither is better. So there's one way to help them- GET BEHIND THEM. COYB!

  • Comment number 100.

    #98- "Everton Fans are a silly lot"??? There are two sides to every story, and you get to hear the media hype, because it sells more. There are plenty of well grounded fans at Everton, less fickle than you.

 

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