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Arteta is a gem, but spare a thought for poor sad Everton

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“Making the Arsenal”the book of Arsenal’s rebirth

Twitter us on follow (or the other way round) @UntoldArsenal

By Tony Attwood

If there is a man in football who seems to love his club and be doing all he can for it, it must be Bill Kenwright, who appears to have been pouring money into Everton year on year, with never a sniff of a profit or a return of his investment except for the year that Rooney was sold.

Yet he is now being hounded by Everton’s version of the AAA (the AEE I suppose) with the suggestion that he is making it impossible for the club to be sold.  Protest marches are held – they probably put up big boards criticising him as well.

The argument from the fans quite simply is that too much is being demanded for the club, and that is stopping buyers coming forwards.

There’s been talk that Jain, the Indian company, wants to buy, but nothing much more has emerged.  The owners of the club however say they are talking to others, but the issue is not money but finding the right buyer.

The problem for the fans is that Everton is a selling club (Mikel Arteta, Jermaine Beckford and Ayegbeni Yakubu) with few youth players coming through either to be sold on elsewhere for a nice fee when they make it, or to play in the first team as they mature.   So their purchases are loan signings and free agents as the bank won’t lend them anything to buy a big name.  Besides, big names go to big clubs, and Everton isn’t that big any more.

The debt is around £45m – far less than Arsenal’s and secured by the ground – but the biggest problem is the ground.  Arsenal’s debt is secured by a new ground which can still be argued as the best the country. Everton’s by an ancient millstone.

According to the club 85% of income goes on the training ground and academy, paying the players, the coaches, the scouts, the support teams, team travel and accommodation along with rent and other overheads.

The other 15p in the £1 funds everything else.   Which means there isn’t much else.

Worse, earlier this year Everton’s bankers (those vampires at Barclays) started to pull the club in.  They  reduced the overdraft facility, which meant no more buys.  They did manage to sell the old training ground for £9m after a total cock up in terms of failed planning permission and untold PR disasters in terms of rows with elected council members.  Barclays took the money to reduce the debts; Everton saw not a penny.

So it is another club in which effectively the bank decides who one can buy, and as we reported in an earlier review, the club is even suffering from hoax buyers claiming to represent everything from ICI to oil billionaires and wanting to buy the club.

The problem is Everton is a middle of the road club these days, and wants to be more.  But to get up higher the club needs either a new model of trading (as Mr Wenger introduced when he came in and transformed the old squad with new diets, and new players largely unknown in England, brought in from Europe), or a huge new investment (like Manchester City or Chelsea).  Indeed Mr Kenwright has said that the people who bought Man City could have bought Everton, if only Everton had had a decent stadium.
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So the Kenwright out movement grows.  From having rescued the club from nowhere-land (note the clever Beatles reference) in 2000, and having been inducted into  Everton’s Hall of Fame in 2009, and having endlessly been praised for bringing David Moyes to the club and allowing him to run the team, the fans (or some of them) want him out.

The Anti-Everton Everton now criticise the rest of the board, just as the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal do at the Ems – the only difference in fact is that AEE like their manager, AAA hate everyone except David Dein.   They say that in criticising the chairman who funds the club they have the best interests of the club at heart.  They say that Everton has become a soap opera, and blame everyone for the fact that new investors come along and vanish – without taking into account that most of them are media inventions, created to fill a few pages.

They have a go at Keith Harris who was brought in to find a buyer and can’t, and they are angry that money from transfers is going into Barclays not into purchases.

Probably what kicked the whole thing over the edge was… well, us.  Arsenal.  We got Arteta – and what a bloody good purchase that has turned out to be for us, stabilising a part of the team which had lost three world class players (although at least one of them is coming back next year, and a second one has shown that his promise was more than promise).

Everton fans know that Arteta can, on occasion, turn a game even when surrounded by ordinary players.  Now with good team around him, he is shining far more than he could ever do at Everton.

The trouble is (and this is where I sympathise with Everton supporters who have turned on the owner) that there is nowhere to go.  The ground is worthless in terms of redevelopment, the banks will show no mercy – because they are run by bankers not by people, and no one wants to buy a club that doesn’t have much success at the moment, and still needs a ground.

When there’s nowhere to go, all you can do is blame everyone else.  It doesn’t make it better, but shouting a lot is at least a viable alternative to drinking too much.

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75 comments to Arteta is a gem, but spare a thought for poor sad Everton

  • Chowdhury

    Great Post Tony.
    Hope the AAA will read this and realize how blessed we are. But then I probably shouldn’t expect anything logical from that bunch. They will always have their sad little complaints. Regardless, thoroughly enjoyed the post.

  • Paul Collins

    It seems strange now to remember the mid-80’s, when Everton were blessed with a team containing such players as Ratcliffe, Sheedy, Steven, Stevens, Reid, Lineker, and my favorite of all, Paul Bracewell. They were second only to Liverpool and in any conversation of the biggest clubs in England the conversation always went “Liverpool, Utd, Everton, then everyone else (although generally Spurs, Arsenal and then everyone else). The thought that Everton would be so inconsequential was inconceivable. Even in the 90’s they were always viewed as “sleeping giants” rather than dinasaurs no longer relevant to the modern game, like Wolves to children growing up un the late 60’s and 70’s, or Huddersfield to the post WW2 children. One gets the feeling that Liverpool could soon go that way once the generation of kids who grew up supporting Liverpool Championships gets old and are not replaced by a newer generation. Once Liverpool become merely a Liverpool team, rather than an international one, which will hapen if they dont start winning Championships again, then it is hard to see them staying competitive.

    Arsenal have such a huge advantage being a London club. Spurs have shown how much that is the case with their ability to stay financially competitive despite 36,000 crowds and a lack of any real success in 50 years. It is similar to being a Milan club, or Munich club. There is a built-in advantage financially being in the biggest and richest areas.

    It is very hard to see where Everton go from here.

  • Mandy Dodd

    tough times for Everton. Not completely sure we are finished buying from them if they have to sell either. It is well documented that Wenger was looking at Hazard, Goetze and Mvila if reports are to be believed, which as we know is a very big if, Everton have a young mf that firmly fits that bill. To their credit, Moyes does acquire / develop some very good players.
    As for the AAA, not sure if they know if they are coming or going at the moment. But mentioning Everton, their current manager seems in favour with a lot of them , along with the ever present O’Neill and Ancelotti

  • Anne

    I’m really happy (and sad at the same time) to see this article about Everton. I think that these issues are issues that are not only worth being examined, but need to be examined.

    I just wish that all of these people who are ushering Everton out with a resigned, sad smile and a wave, would realize that they are ushering out football as they know it at the same time…. Aren’t they?

  • Paul Collins

    Anne – no more so than those ushering out Huddersfield in the 30’s, or Wolves in the 60’s. Football changes but one thing has always been constant, the richest clubs are the best clubs. Everton used to be among the richest clubs in the land, now they are not. So they dissapear. Others will replace them.

    Arsenal’s great glory in the past 80 years has been to stay at the top. And our current financial model would appear to be robust enough to keep us there for at least the next few decades.

    The question is much more “who is next after Everton?”. Perhaps it will be Newcastle, or Liverpool, or Spurs? And who will replace them?

  • Shard

    It’s still a completely half formed theory, and I’m sure there will be a lot of holes to pick in it, but over the last few weeks, I’ve just had the feeling that Everton are being subjected to a similar sort of campaign as Arsenal, though on a different scale.

    The talk of protests against owners/managers/chairman seem..well..instigated, rather than something I would trust as a general outpouring of emotion. It is similar to the black scarves or whatever they are calling themselves these days. There might be some genuinely disgruntled people, but I just don’t see the movement as genuine.

    Everton were also the only club to not spend money in the transfer market, opting instead for loan signings, and they do seem to get through a good few number of players from their academy. Of course, partly, this is because they have no money I suppose. But the pressure being put on the owner in the media for only wanting to sell to the “right” people, could be a sign of further promoting the billionaire business model.

    I’ve read the same fear mongering articles about how Everton will be doomed if Fellaini’s contract isn’t renewed and he is sold. And how then the manager will leave to manage Spurs WHEN (not if) Redknapp becomes England manager. Basically, it was trying to promote excessive spending once again and of course, in current circumstances, that would mean pushing the chairman out.

    Now the clincher, in my opinion would be, if Everton were facing the same sort of referee decisions that we have seen against Arsenal in the last few years. I don’t watch too many of their matches, but the Rodwell red card against Liverpool was suspicious to say the least.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Shard, I have heard a lot about the Spuds lining up Moyes as well, poor guy hasn’t he been through enough!
    On the subject of Redknapp, still think there may be an increasing number of “ifs” over him becoming England manager over the next few weeks, but we shall see….innocent auntil proven giulty and all that.
    Agree with you on Rodwell vs Pool, very strange, just goes to show what a well timed visit to Mike Riley can do. Maybe Dalglish threatened to expose Riley as a Manc supporter, but I guess we all know that anyway!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Shard,
    if I may contribute my little part to your comment which raised something I had noticed but not mentioned yet.
    The reason I did not mention it was because we only reviewed 4 games of Everton this season and I thought this not being enough to use it as full proof.
    But in the table of wrong calls we have Arsenal in first place with more than 10 wrong calls per game in average.
    But the team that stands second in this table (after 4 games) is …Everton with 9 wrong calls per game on average.

    Any other (smaller) team with 4 games reviewed so far is far away from this number in fact….

    Really something we must keep an eye on

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Actually, I pity the Premiership setup more.

    Should this trend continue, some have predicted a decline in the interest in the game – in terms of %turn out to watch live games at clubs’ stadia and the interest of international fans in English clubs.

    It is easy to say it cannot happen to English clubs because the fans’ love run deep and the international fans are a reflection of the dominance of the English language/culture as the preferred 2nd language of the international community.

    Saying that underestimates how quickly and devastatingly value can disappear from a brand that is poorly managed or allows itself to fall behind in delivering values cherished by its patrons.

  • Shard

    @Walter

    I remember asking how many matches Everton’s position on the table of wrong decisions you did a while back, was based on. This was the reason I’d been interested. But as you say, it’s still too early to form any conclusions.

    Regarding this meeting Mike Riley business. I don’t get how it should be allowed. Surely someone who is the head of referees shouldn’t be interacting with one single club like that, on an arbitrary basis, but address representatives of all the clubs together and take on board their concerns collectively.

  • mike collins

    I really feel so sorry for Everton and their supporters. The best away team midfield I ever remember was Gabriel, Labone, Kay.
    They have a very fine manager but time has caught up.
    Why people criticise Wenger and the board I have no idea. No team has a god given right to play at the top and Everton is the only other team along with Arsenal that I have never seen in the lower divisions
    MC

  • It is not always wealth that wins the league. Remember Nottingham Forest, or Ipswich come to that.

    Of course financial doping now makes that much much harder, but it can happen. And if anyone is going to stop financial doping it is going to be us.

  • The saddest thing is that Kenwright probably would sell Everton for a token fee (like the 50p that Ken Bates paid for Chelsea) to someone who would sign an obligation to pump money into the club. That buyer just doesn’t exist, which I guess the AEE can’t get their heads around.

  • Richard B

    Twenty years ago, when the EPL was formed, Everton were one of the then designated ‘Big Five’ who drove the formation of it through.
    The others were Spurs Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal. Given that Man Utd didn’t have to do anything about developing a new stadium they were able to (relatively speaking) sit back and enjoy the ride. Arsenal redeveloped Highbury and then did what maybe they should have done in the first place and built the Ems.
    The other three clubs did basically nothing. Spurs tinkered with WHL but have now been left with the smallest ground of those five clubs. Liverpool and Everton did nothing.
    On the pitch Man Utd and Arsenal got stronger while the other three went backwards.
    Financial doping (and where it’s happened)has played a very significant part in all this and there’s no doubt that being in London helps. But the fact is, the boards of Spurs, Liverpool and Everton have been like rabbits in the headlights by comparison to Arsenals who, for their pains, have been described as decrepid, unadventurous and secretive.
    They have proved, certainly by comparison, to be enviably far sighted and have, throughout, maintained the business model which has proved to be the key difference.
    That, and of course, having the best manager to help them make it all happen. We don’t know how lucky we are.

  • dan

    Can’t say I haven’t noticed Everton’s bad run of late since the departure of Arteta. Our gains is their loss, we can all sympathise and rightly so but should the shoe be on the other foot I’m sure Everton would of done the same to us.

    Way before Cesc jumped onto the Barca ship many thought how wonderful it would be to have Artea play alongside him, I know I did.

  • Marcus

    Evertons loss could be Spuds gain. Moyes could transform the Spuds into a Europa league club!

  • Passenal

    As much as I understand the sympathy for Everton, I agree with Richard B that it was a failure to have a vision and a long-term plan, which has partly landed them where they are now. I could easily see Arsenal ending up in the same place had we not had the good fortune to have a visionary like Arsene Wenger in charge of the team supported by a Board with the guts to back his vision. We really have to appreciate what we have because nothing lasts forever.

  • Anne

    Ok, this is kind of a random thought… But personally, I would find this “financial doping” to be a lot more threatening if the huge sums of money were actually being spent on the highest quality players. But I’m not so sure that’s the case, really.

    As Arsenal have proven, you can spend a fraction of the money, and still bring in higher quality players than the clubs that are throwing all this money around are bringing in at the current moment. And I’m serious about that. Fernando Torres? Andy Carroll? Why did these players command these huge sums of money? WHY?

    That’s a question that has really been getting to me lately… WHY should Arsenal spend huge bucks on a player like Cahill? Sigh. I guess that this “financial doping” stuff is just curious to me on more than one level.

    Anyway, sorry for going slightly off topic here. Just random musings.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Thanks for pointing that out about Everton and the refs. Very interesting.

  • Anne

    I’m cross-posting this on both the Everton article and the most recent ref watch (detailing ref Taylor’s apparent highway robbery against Blackburn)

    Looking into this a bit, it appears that Blackburn (how many times have we heard this story, now?) is facing a takeover battle. Fan protests, etc. Do we have the ABB now, as well as the AAA and the AEE? It seems like it.

    The following article about Blackburn is quite interesting, mainly because reading it just feels like deja vu to me for some reason…:

    http://www.blackburn.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=262526

    I’d really like to find some Blackburn and Everton fans to weigh in on these topics. Anyone know where I can find them? It seems that neither club has quite the internet presence of Arsenal.

  • Jamie White

    Anne. For Everton, try posting an article on “toffeeweb”. (www.toffeeweb.com). They have a pretty passionnate and clever bunch of contributors on there by all accounts.

  • Anne
    Have to say that I see quite a lot of interesting comments on here about the Everton plight.
    Makes a change to see a different perspective on our plight!

  • Gooner Gal

    I am quite happy to stick my head above the parapet and say that I don’t rate David Moyes and he has been part of Everton’s problems.

    His team and tactics are about 5yrs out of date and other premiership managers have worked out how to set their teams up against him. He doesn’t have great man management skills, which would be fine if he was a better tactician. I think Everton has partly lost players like Pienaar, Yobo, Beckford etc because he has struggled to inspire them. Moyes isn’t a shrewd operator in the transfer market and I never thought the expensive purchases of Beattie, Yakubu, Johnson and Neville would get them regularly competing for CL football. In fact I was quite surprised that Arteta said in a recent interview that this had been promised to him.

    Over the years he has had more money at his disposal than the Bolton’s, Blackburns, Wolves and Wigan’s of this world, but Everton it seems for the most part, are always scrapping it out with them come the end of season. He isn’t really able to attract top players on reputation and after almost 10yrs, it might be best if they part ways. That of course is if there is any truth in what has been said in the press, then Moyes feels he has taken the club as far as he can. Understandably he has opposed the sale of his best players, but I can’t help feeling that had he bitten the bullet and sold Baines and Jagielka in the past 2 years, the club would be on better financial footing going forward in the next 2-3 years. And then able to attract better players, on better wages and eventually become a better investment opportunity.

    I find it odd that Moyes is not fully commited to the self sustaining model, even though Everton have a productive academy and he should of brought Rodwell, Barkley and Anichebe through quicker (Beckford left because he was never really given a chance last year even though he proved to be a goal threat PL level). Everton are a selling club, but Moyes seems a bit in denial about how the whole thing works and he has caused a bottleneck in that he has been against the sale of almost everyone.

    Also the fact that Arteta is remembering how to play, says more about Moyes ability than the Chairman Kenwright. I think Evertonian’s have misguided rage. I watched the Everton Vs Newcastle game and the manager has to take a lot of the blame for what went wrong in that game.

    Paul Lambert is a much more impressive manager and we are going to get a proper game out of Norwich at the W/E.

  • Anichebe

    What an awful article. You really haven’t researched anything about Everton.

  • Colin

    Tony,

    It’s interesting seeing an outsider’s view of the problems at Everton and whilst I can see your piece has been relatively well researched, from information in the press, it’s also deeply flawed. Kenwright, along with the rest of the directors, has never invested a penny in Everton; in fact, a significant portion of the ownership of Everton is highly questionable, particularly the shares attributed to the Spurs supporting Robert Earl and the unquestionable role played by another Spurs supporter Philip Green who is seen by many to be a shadow director and the real power behind the throne.

    Kenwright’s eleven year reign has seen the club decimated; all the tangible assets have been sold off and they’ve now started on the intangibles, the balance sheet has been eroded by some £50m and is now negative, there’s been two failed ground moves, one to a prime location in the city centre the other to the car park of a Tesco supermarket some nine miles outside the city centre that turned out to be little more than a property con. I could go on for hours about the lies, the deceit, the contempt in which the board hold the fans and the small shareholders; it’s only recently that the press have woken up to the fact the Everton, as a business, is in dire straits.

    The fans protesting aren’t AEE as you describe them, they’re staunch Evertonians who want what’s best for their club; they’re not advocating sack the board or any such nonsense, they’re proposing that the sale process should be outsourced to professionals who will identify and deliver new owners who can demonstrate the vision and resources to resurrect Everton and have the best interests of the club in mind rather than leaving it to a board who have delivered nothing but failure and are now looking to line their pockets.

    Arsenal are extremely fortunate; at least you have owners who had a vision and have delivered it, I certainly prefer your way to that of Chelsea or Man City.

  • Hi Gooner Gal, some good points made and fair play for sticking your neck out but there are a few points that I would disagree with.

    When you say he has lost players like Pienaar and Beckford because he has struggled to inspire them. Pienaar was struggling in Germany until Moyes got the best out of him, now he is doing nothing again while at Spurs. We got 10 goals out of Beckford in very few games, so I don’t think it is fair to say he wasn’t inspired, apart from his ability to score he was simply a championship/league one standard player who couldn’t control a ball and didn’t fit in with our system. Yobo became a liability costing us goals every other week and was never going to get in the side a head of Jaggs and Lescott.

    I would also say in comparison to most other managers he is very shrewd in the transfer market, you only have to look at the 2m we spent on the likes of Arteta, pienaar and cahill, or the£ 4 or £5m spent on Lescott and jaggs. £3M for Neville was not an expensive purchase and we got a few good years out of Andy Johnson until the likes of Wenger and Mourinho destroyed his reputation accusing him of diving so he had to be sold, but we got our money back for him anyway. Yakubu was the first Everton player to score more than 20 goals for us in years and did well until his achilles injury. Only Beattie I would say was a flop but £6m is hardly an expensive purchase when you look what everyone else is paying.

    I wouldn’t say we were scrapping in out with the likes of Wigan Wolves and Blackburn either. Scrapping it out with Liverpool, Aston Villa and spares would be more reasonable since we have mostly finished between 5th and 8th while Moyes has been in charge. Also how can Moyes attract top players when he can not offer top wages or CL football? Never mind the top money to buy top players.

    “he should of brought Rodwell, Barkley and Anichebe through quicker” Rodwell was brought through at 16 so I don’t know how he could have brought him through any earlier plus he has had injuries. Barkley is only 17 and would have played last season only for a triple leg fracture and Anichebe was brought through very young but is quite simply a terrible footballer.

    As for Arteta remembering how to be a footballer, I think that is very unfair. He played some of the best football of his career at Everton it was only after his cruciate knee ligament injury that he struggled which is to be expected after such a serious injury, he showed he was beginning to come back into some form when he scored against Sheff Utd in the league cup and against Blackburn.

    Anyway good luck to Arsenal and Arteta, maybe one day he will get the chance to play for Spain, he should have been in the squad for years.

  • sorry spurs! or should that be spuds?

  • Aussie Blue

    Everton fan in peace. For the above post that questions where he can find Everton fans go to the following website if you want to hear from us on plenty of issues – http://www.toffeeweb.com
    If I wasn’t an Evertonian I’d be an Arsenal fan. I admire the way Arsenal play and supporting a London club would be logistically easier as I’m Australian and rarely get to Liverpool.
    My quick thoughts are yes Moyes has to answer for a lot. His tactics can be very poor. He is a very conservative manager and I don’t think he will win much if anything. But his hard work ethic and conservative approach will also not see Everton relegated. The problem is that there are too many Everton fans and the board that seem to set this as their only goal.
    As rightly pointed out above while Everton have not enjoyed any major success in recent times they are historically one of the great Engligh clubs and set many firsts for English football. Yes if Everton were to dissolve other clubs would step up but losing Everton or any clubs that have been around for so long and one so much is a loss of history and culture for English Football.
    I’m not 100% anti Kenwright and part of me would hate to become another Man City but I see it as our only chance. If you want a clue as to why there is a growing campaign against Kenwright here are a few notes:
    – More times than I can count he has come out with statements to completely mislead the fans (e.g our favourites “watch this space” and “the money will be there in the morning”) these refer to promised signings or investment that turned into nothing. Statements like these also seem to strangely emerge just as season tickets are up for renewal.
    – The Everton board under Bill Kenwright has cancelled AGMs and replaced them with evenings in which they hand pick participants to avoid real questions.
    – At the last AGM Kenwright replied to a shareholder “I’m bored with that questions” when asked how much he wanted for the club
    – The failure to progress the King’s Dock Stadium proposal. Everton were essentially given the shot of having a large world class stadium constructed on the Mersey with minimal investment. It fell through for not other reason than Bill Kenwright was too slow to respond.
    – The Destination Kirby proposal. Kenwright wanted to move the club outside of Liverpool and split the fan base. It was coined the opportunity of a lifetime but as time went on it became clear to everyone that it was a shambles and the stadium would have been appalling.
    – Above all the failure to have any clear method or business strategy in place.
    – He was recorded by the Blue Union (without his knowledge) admitting that he had no understanding of the club’s finances
    – Promising not to sell Wayne Rooney

    Oh and finally while you may think Everton have had more money than clubs like Wolves for players its misleading. We have not spent a sent in over two season on a real signing. With the exception of Yakubu all our major signings have been made as a result of money gained from player sales like Rooney and Lescott

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I suppose the elephant in the room is Blackburn. If you’re looking to buy a non-CL club in the north west, why them and not Everton? Assuming that Venky’s didn’t just look at the list of clubs who’ve most recently won the league and think they were getting a bargain…

  • Kenwright pouring money into Everton year after year.

    You are so far wrong it’s unbelievable. That charlatan has asset stripped the club, including selling off our players like Arteta, scrapped AGMs to avoid having to answer questions from shareholders, and lied to the fans on countless occassions

    Have a read of this article for a bit of enlightenment

    http://www.toffeeweb.com/season/10-11/comment/fan/16215.html

  • Thanks to the Everton fans who took the time to read and reply to my piece. My apologies for the errors, but as was pointed out above, being an Arsenal fan living away from Liverpool I tend to base my thoughts on what is in the media and the occasional blog I read. It wasn’t written in a slap dash way, but I would readily acknowledge that it may well not be right.

    I was particularly interested in the comments about the AGM – not least as I was at the Arsenal AGM this year, and heard all the anti-board issues, the call for the chair to resign, the bring back Dein stuff etc etc.

    Although it wasn’t brilliant PR for the club, NOT having an AGM (which I thought was required under the Companies Act – indeed our auditor would go spare if I tried to cancel my company’s AGM) is an insult to fans, and I can well understand that anger that this brings.

    For that one bit of info at least I would argue the piece was worth publishing. It’s obvious, but still worth saying, when we can manage to have a moderately civilised conversation between clubs there are always things to learn.

    finally apologies for the delay in publishing some of the items – first posts to the blog are always held in moderation, no matter who they are from or what they say, to help us remove the spam. There are three of us here on spam duty, but I think we were all out last night. Sorry.

  • Can I also say thank you to the Everton fans who replied – it was very interesting and enlightening to hear their concerns about their club and the way it’s being run… it makes me feel grateful for what our club has achieved and how it is navigating a path through these crazy money-drunk times of globalisation in football – ok, we haven’t won any tin for a few seasons but look at what we have built!?

    To all the Arsenal self harmers out there – go and visit toffeweb.com and read about what it really means to be a ‘selling club’ or have a board that treats the fans with ‘no respect’ – you will realise that you are spoiled rotten.

    Again, thank you to the blue half of Liverpool for joining the discussion.

  • Anne

    @Jamie White and Aussie Blue:

    Thank you for that toffeeweb.com link. I guess I feel like, if we are to be discussing other clubs here, then the fans of those clubs should have a voice in the conversation as well (if they want). My youngest cousin is a diehard Everton fan, who will, no doubt, be making fun of me in future for not knowing about toffeeweb in the first place :).

  • walter

    Very interesting comments from the Everton supporters indeed.

    Does any of you Everton supporters happens to be a ref? Or know one? Just send him over here or let us know.

  • Anne

    @Dixie Blue:

    Thanks for responding. I think that fans of different clubs can always gain perspective from “sharing notes,” so to speak.

    By the way, where did you get the “dixie” handle? You wouldn’t happen to be from the American south, would you? 🙂

  • Ben Houghton

    Evertonian here, I found this link after a Gooner posted it over on Toffeeweb enquiring about how we see things…see here goes!

    The Blue Union are not anti-Kenwright as a human being or as an Evertonian. They are anti-board as businessmen led by a fan who have made numerous pathetic business decisions over their tenure. Kings Dock, Kirby, the Fortress Sports Fund, the Kitbag deal, the guy living in a bedsit trying to buy the club and (for me personally) how a chairman does not know what the millions of pounds worth of ‘other operating costs’ are in the accounts is laughable. Can you imagine Alan Sugar not knowing where millions of pounds was going from his accounts year after year?

    Everton are a selling club? Borderline in my opinion. Though I concede the statements released recently argue the banks want/need £10m a season from us of the players you listed it was our choice to sell all of them. Arteta had gone stale at Everton and whilst the little lad is a blue and of undoubted quality, a move was best for both parties. Beckford was bought for free and sold for £5m – good business which I’d have thought Arsenal fans of all fans would identify. Yakubu was Moyes decision based on discipline. Same as Yobo. If we’re going to go down the ‘Everton need to sell to stay afloat argument’ then perhaps we could ask exactly where the player sales and the sale of Bellefield (training facilities) went to? Because recent sales should all but eliminate the reported £45m worth of debt the club has. Perhaps Mr Kenwright and board can answer that?

    And no youth team players coming through? Have a word or do some research. Stretching back pre-Kenwright and Moyes and we’ve had young lads coming through who have contributed to us in top flight football. One of note for you guys is Francis Jeffers, great for us and gash for Arsenal. As for the current crop we have Rodwell and Barkley as the obvious shining lights. After that we have Hallum Hope banging them in reserves, Vellios making great strides to become an established first teamer, Gueye who currently is recovering from a broken foot, Jose Baxter out on loan to Tranmere who’s Everton career is admittedly in the balance but do the research and you’ll see his ability/where he’s gone off the rails. We have the youngsters but Moyes is reluctant to do a Fergie/O’Leary and chuck them in. Moyes is a totally different argument of course.

    I also see you’ve bought in to the ‘Man City owners would’ve bought Everton had we had a new stadium’ argument. Ifs and Buts have no place in history, only facts and the fact we can return to is the Kings Dock debacle. New stadium…Man City owners…Everton top of the league by your articles logical argument progression. See, every time the Blue Union are about to protest suddenly we get all sorts of positive media spin about BK and the board. X number of buyers in talks, key players about to sign contracts etc and it’s all smoke and mirrors.

    I’m surprised you say Arteta is shining far more than he ever could do at Everton and here is where my argument can easily be applied against me. See, I don’t expect you saw as much of Arteta as we have done and likewise I won’t have seen as much as you have done during his Arsenal time but I haven’t seen anything-ANYTHING-yet which says to me ‘why couldn’t he do that for us?’. I love Mikky, don’t get me wrong, but for the past 18months he was gash for us and had gone stale. By us allowing him to leave, for £10m at 29 after 6 years and buying him for £2.5m that’s Wengeresque business. And his leaving has removed Moyes need to shoe horn him in to the side at the expense of Rodwell who has been crying out for positional stability since he made his debut. Now Rodders plays centre midfield week in week out and he’s in the England squad/team. Please do not fool yourselves in to thinking Arsenal are somehow culpable for anything going on on/off the pitch at Everton. You’re not.

    In closing I genuinely find your article interesting as it highlights how much power the Kenwright PR machine has to the outsider looking in. I’m not anti Kenwright, I’d buy the man a pint, and the Blue Union don’t doubt Kenwright as a sincere fan. The anti-board sentiments are about bad business decisions which are easily researched.

    I’m a little hazy on the details of redeveloping Goodison but I believe proposals have been submitted for that. how viable they were is not something I nor yourselves will be privy to in all honesty. There is also the massive lump of ground on Stanley Park to build a new stadium which Liverpool seem to be getting nowhere with either so saying there is nowhere to go seems a little harsh…

  • Graeme Johnson

    I stopped reading halfway through the first sentence. Bill Kenwright has no invested one penny into Everton football club and neither have the other board members.

  • @Ben Houghton: “Can you imagine Alan Sugar not knowing where millions of pounds was going from his accounts year after year?”

    Didn’t he have that exact problem at Tottenham with El Tel? *bung* *bung* *bung*

    😉

  • Blueboy

    You write that Arteta was ‘surrounded by ordinary players’ at Everton. Ordinary like Arsene Wenger target Phil Jagielka? And Leighton Baines and Jack Rodwell? And Tim Cahill, one of the league’s best goalscoring midfielders of the past ten years? And Marouane Fellaini? And Joleon Lescott and Steven Pienaar, who I assume have now stopped being ‘ordinary’ now they are at wealthier clubs?
    On reflection, he was surrounded by some very good players, albeit as part of a small squad.
    Also, you might want to revise your statement about Bill Kenwright pouring money into Everton, which is simply not the case. Most fair-minded fans don’t hate Bill Kenwright but I don’t imagine Arsenal supporters would be too pleased if Highbury had seen not a single development of consequence since 1994, and your manager had not made a single significant cash signing in two years.
    As for Everton being a middle of the road club… there are worries about the future, understandably, but this is still a club that in recent years has been competing in the top six of the most competitive league in the world, while producing fine young talents. Not quite Nil Satis Nisi Optimum but still reason for some pride…

  • blarg

    Sorry, I stopped reading mid way through the first sentence. Bill Kenwright has put fuck all money into the club. All the transfer dealings have come from sales. Our net spend is negative.

    Kenwright is killing our club. 25 years ago we were the best in Europe.

  • Really interesting how the discussion is moving on to a different type of comment. Blarg’s view symbolises the problem I guess “I stopped reading mid way through the first sentence”.

    That first sentence is

    If there is a man in football who seems to love his club and be doing all he can for it, it must be Bill Kenwright,

    Now it is clear that many correspondents who support Everton has saying this is rubbish, he’s not doing that, but the fact that at least one person is not willing to read beyond that opening statement suggests to me that there is much more of an Evertonian equivalent of the AAA than I imagined – I was rather tentative about it earlier.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think Everton bought Fellaini for something around £20M a few years back. I think this is where a big part of the money went to.

    In fact this is more than the biggest incoming transfer from Arsenal I think.

    and for what it is worht: Fellaini just signed a new extension to his contract until 2016…

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Evertonian, hello to you too.

    Firstly I am not going to say I know the in and outs of Everton, I do not. But I do know (geniune) sources close to Beckford and he could of gone to three premiership clubs after Leeds and he chose Everton as they were the biggest out of the three. I also agree that his goal ratio compared to the time he was on the pitch was very good, but Moyes often left him on the bench. As for his control of the ball, it didn’t look like it was any worse than others in the Everton team. When I say that he wasn’t inspired I mean that he wasn’t encouraged by Moyes management to stick around. Pienaar I don’t know personally, but I think its strange that he left at the first time of asking, and for a club like Spurs and where he knew wouldn’t play regular football like he did at Everton.

    I don’t know how Evertonians feel about Yobo in general, but I think your comments are a bit harsh and a massive exaggeration about OG’s – it’s not as if he turned as many in as Jamie Carragher. Considering he was your captain, or vice (I think) at one point and one of your most consistent players in 0’7. My point is management is about keeping your squad happy as far as possible. Especially after Lescott’s leaving and Jagielka’s injury record.

    I think that when we talk about transfer fees we have to talk about them in context of the time also, before things got to the ridiculous state that they are in now. Going back a few years £8-9m for an unproven championship player like Andy Johnson was a lot of money. Especially when the going rate for an average British premiership player was about £5m. The point I was making was about not good enough return on investment from the transfer dealings to push on into a CL spot. The truth about AJ is that he quite often struggled to stay on his feet, even at Crystal Palace so I don’t think Mourinho & Wenger can be blamed for destroying his rep. Reiterating my point about about transfers, I think that the sale of one of your good players each season, whilst bringing through youngsters would of kept Everton solvent.

    I am happy to give you your points about the younger players, I don’t know the ins and outs like I said. I didn’t know that Barkley was seriously injured, neither about Rodwell’s injury. I just think Moyes should of given Rodwell more subs appearances last year when he was fit. If Anichebe is such a bad footballer, why did Everton offer him a new contract this year? and alledgedly strong arm him into signing?

    I will go on record as saying that the Arteta Arsenal signing didn’t excite me as much as some other Arsenal fans. As I agree with you that I thought he was struggling at Everton. I didn’t watch the Everton Vs Blackburn or the Utd one, but I am happy that we can agree that he is now finding form in an Arsenal shirt. Also I have to say that I hope for selfish Arsenal reasons that Arteta doesn’t play for spain, but he does end his career winning silverware with us.

    I still don’t rate Moyes that highly as others, for the reasons stated in my first post. but I also have to say that I would much rather discuss football with Everton fans than Spuds. I shall be back later.

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Blueboy when was Arsenal in for Tim Cahill? or even rumoured to be?

  • Blue in Exile

    Interesting article. I think most points have been covered by my fellow-Evertonians, but I do have to mention that, although Toffeeweb is indeed the biggest independent Evertonian site and has some exceptional contributors, it is also notorious amongst the wider fanbase for its unremittingly negative and anti-Kenwright/Moyes standpoint. It’s a bit of a standing joke that if you post anything pro the Chairman or manager you will be shouted down in a barrage of abusive replies. So I wouldn’t read too much into the posts from Toffeeweb blues, they don’t necessarily represent the majority view, and are definitely inflating the impact that the Blue Union dissent group have made, which is actually minimal.

    Could I also mention that Everton did indeed get the best out of Arteta and, although it was sad to see him go, most Blues I know agreed that he was really not producing any more. His set pieces in particular had fallen apart to the point where even Moyes admitted that his heart sank if he saw Arteta taking the ball off Baines for a free kick. In fact, we’ve missed Pienaar far more than Arteta if the truth be told. I’m glad Arsenal are getting something out of him, but we definitely had his good years and I doubt if he can be seen as anything but a stopgap for the Gunners.

    Good luck this season. Please finish above The Red Shite (as we call our neighbours).

  • Dave Roberts

    I liked the article although there were a few inaccuracies. As an Evertonian since my dad took me to my first game in 1955, I do feel sad that Everton are no longer the all-powerful club they used to be. We were instrumental in the origins of Barcelona FC (and had a friendly a few years ago in commemoration of the fact) and we had a strong influence on the growth of the game in Argentina as well as a club which named itself after us in Chile!

    It seems strange now that at the inception of the Premier League we had won more Championships than Manchester Utd and even now, after a long period of decline, we are still the fourth most successful club in terms of domestic trophies. And personally, after the introduction of Alan Ball to a great bunch of youngsters (predominantly)in 1967, I feel I had the honour of watching Everton play, for three years, the best football I have ever seen from an English club.

    But that is history and while Everton have a wonderful history it is the present that counts and football today is based more on money than it ever was in the past. Somebody above said that clubs in London have an advantage and that is right to a point but it is definitely a disadvantage to have two clubs in a moderately sized city at a time when the game is becoming more commercially based and one of them, crucially right at that time, is more successful.

    That was Everton’s disadvantage.

    The other unfortunate event was Heysel. Just as Everton had developed a team that had won in Europe, won two championships and an FA Cup,and were voted the best team in the world, our feet were nailed to the ground by a ban from European competition through no fault of our own that might have enabled the club to grow its Worldwide credentials.

    Indeed, our credentials and our history may have been even greater in other respects. We had great teams too in 1914 and 1939, but who were never to play together again despite being champions in those years. How many more championships might those teams have won during both those periods of war?

    We have still spent longer in the top flight of English football that anybody else and have spent only four years in the lower division in a history that spans 139 years. So there is a resilience about the club and, accordingly, don’t write us off too soon! The game is becoming more international and I will probably live to see the birth of a European league in a search for even greater revenue. That will be the bridge too far in my view that will kill the current commercial ethos of the game. The game will have to be rebuilt with a more level playing field and possibly a return to the days when the likes of Burnley could win the league.

    Not because they were rich….but because they were good!

    I can’t wait.

  • Blue in Exile

    Thank you for your contribution – and for the confirmation that the Toffeeweb site has a clear position on the club – indeed just as Untold Arsenal does. The problem for an outsider like me with the Toffeeweb site, and the contributions from followers of the site, is that it purports to be telling the one and only truth, and indeed as you will have seen there has been some abuse from those following the site in terms of the position I took as an outsider on writing the piece.

    Strangely, Untold Arsenal is often criticised for its overtly pro-Wenger stance – as we proclaim on the site very openly – but it seems to me always to be better to show where you are starting from, rather than pretend that you have an open mind, when you don’t.

    Again, Blue in Exile, thanks for clarifying.

  • Cahills_4head

    Great that fans from another club can recognise our plight. Although im not angry at Kenwright, he has lost the trust of the fans by to many bad business decisions and lying about investment (Fortuss Sports Fund) is unforgivaable. The media view that has been portrayed about him and the club can be seen in the article here. However the notion that Everton are a poor club is quite simply not true. We have Robert Earl (owner of planet hollywood) and Lord Granchester who between them must have over £1 billion. Yet are sitting there prepared to do nothing waiting for the ‘buyer’ to recieve a good profit on their shares. Keith Harris was quoted in an interview with ssn recently as saying that ‘you’re not far wrong’ when asked ‘how much is the club up for sale for? 150? 160 million?’.
    Having said that the team on the pitch must perform and last season despite a 7th place finish. Any match going Evertonian will tell you for the most part it wasnt pretty to watch nor was it enjoyable. We were poor and should have finished higher. It is no coincidence that our comic defending, lack of organisation and effort on the pitch plus a defeatist attitude from the manager has given the players an excuse. The refusal to not play bilyaletidnov in his preferred position and to continue to play saha who is out of form and does not have the required movement to play the lone role. I have faith in David Moyes it is Steve Round who coaches these players. The man who was responsible for Englands failure to qualify for Euro 2008. And was part of a newcastle coaching setup at a time when they were a complete shambles on the picth. It was like roles reversed the other saturday. I dont expect Everton to qualify for the champions league, i just want us to compete.

  • Anne

    Well, I guess this has been informative, if nothing else…

  • Anne

    To all the toffeeweb people, I was wondering if there are any Everton blogs that you really hate? Which are the WORST Everton blogs, in your opinion?

  • A question for all you good people who think moyes is the bees knees.
    Name me one premiership manager who has played 4-6-0 in a premiership game while having 3 strikers on the bench! Moyes has done it twice this season, once being at home! Negative is his middle name.

  • Kenwright hasn’t put a bean into Everton! He bought his shares off Peter Johnson,and er, not much else.

    Errors,mistakes and lies have littered his tenure. The day he’s no longer an influnece high up at EFC can’t come soon enough.

  • TheBlueEyedBoy

    I have to agree with all of the other Evertonians on here w/r to Kenwright’s lying, his zero investment, the rest of the board not being poor and also not investing, Moyes’ shrewd use of the transfer market but Moyes’ lack of tactical nouse and lack of creativity and the fact that the club is now paying for having no long term vision or plan.

    Regarding the below question: “I was wondering if there are any Everton blogs that you really hate? Which are the WORST Everton blogs, in your opinion?”

    ToffeeWeb – I have a love/hate relationship with this site. It is the most professional and slick Everton site out there but the agenda is very clearly anti-Moyes and anti-Kenwright. The editor does much to promote this angle and anybody who posts a pro-club article is subjected to abuse.

    Blue Kipper – I steer clear because the interface is atrocious but it has a loyal following of pro-club fans. Would use it more if it were user friendly. It isn’t.

    Grand Old Team – Holding almost the middle ground inbetween TW and BK but probably a little more on the TW side of the fence. Not a bad blog.

    The Executioner’s Bong – Bloody stupid name, bloody amazing blog. Absolutely love it, expert tactical analysis which is almost always 100% accurate.

    There are probably loads more but those are the blogs that I know of.

    As for Arsenal, I knew only of Arseblog and Le Grove before stumbling across this site via Toffeeweb. What do the Arsenal fans think of those and the other blogs?

    The BlueEyedBoy

  • walter

    Very interesting BlueEyedboy,

    On the way you describe it there seems to be some blogs who are the same about Everton as they are about Arsenal.

    Maybe Sammy the Snake (our regular other teams internet reporter) could take a look out there.

    If you still would return could you say if one of those blogs does something around refs on a regular basic? (Refs is a bit of my thing over here…)

  • @TheBlueEyedBoy Le Grove is probably on a par with Tofeeweb – there seems to be a lot of self-harm emanating from their pages… it attracts the type who believe the hype I think, the ‘panic generation’ as I like to call them – but if that’s where it has its stall set then who are we to criticise as it fills this niche very well… as we fill ours, on these pages, at the other end of the spectrum?

    ArseBlog is far broader in its scope and seems to carry articles that are across the board on issues of fandom. The market is fairly saturated I would say for this and ArseBlog has a big stake in it – other than that the other arsenal blogs/pages are more specialised like YoungGuns and A Cultured Left Foot, Gingers 4 Limpar and 7am Kickoff for the American fans.

    All in all we are a bit spoiled for choice as arsenal fans in terms of what blogs to read and follow.

  • Mahdain

    Le groan is probably the worst arsenal blog out there…they see nothing positive and moan nonstop about the manager and team… I wouldnt recommend it to anyone

  • TheBlueEyedBoy

    @Walter – Sorry, but I don’t think any do a regular thing on the refs.

    On TW one of the regulars (Ken Buckley) does a “From my seat” after each game and sometimes goes into how well the refs performed.

    Do any Evertonians know any different?

    Walter, can you point me to one of your articles on the refs? Would be interested in reading it.

    TheBlueEyedBoy

  • TheBlueEyedBoy

    @ Mahdain – Yeah, it gave me that impression. Le Groan appeared to be exactly that.

    You guys are actually changing my impression of Arsenal fans. I’m sorry to say that I had actually never had a good conversation with one of your fans since every Gooner I’d physically met carried an air of arrogance about themselves and ignorance of other clubs. Glad to see that I just had bad luck. You’re a good bunch on this site.

    TheBlueEyedBoy

  • @TheBlueEyedBoy – check out one of my RefWatch atricles:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/14953

    🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    BueEyedBoy,

    You could read this one http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/15245

    And by the way a score of below 70% is not good enough for refs. They should score higher than 70%. That is how it is done in other countries.

    And as a ref myself I know a few things about it.

  • TheBlueEyedBoy

    Love the analyses, really good and in depth. Doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    Take a look at the Executioner’s Bong pre and post match analyses when we play you. They’re a decent enough read for stats fans.

    TheBlueEyedBoy

  • Anne

    @DogFace:

    I don’t know how, but I somehow missed that RefWatch of yours in its entirety. And I really wish I hadn’t! It was fantastic 🙂 Thank you so much for providing the link. That made my day 🙂

  • Anne

    @TheBlueEyedBoy:

    I’ve really enjoyed your contributions here, and thanks for getting back to me on my blog question. I’m taking a look at the Executioner’s Bong right now, and it looks interesting. I’m also planning to check out those other blogs that you mentioned. Again, thanks.

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Colin P, 4:43pm – I agree with you. That is the kind of thing I was talking about.

  • TheBlueEyedBoy

    @Anne – Glad you’re enjoying it. Me too 🙂

    @Gooner Gal – Yes, agree with Colin too, although I must admit I do like Moyes, he is far from perfect. Far too negative, almost like George Graham but without the success.

  • @Walter.

    No Everton refs have been identified in the EPL but know a few refs that are Liverpool supporters though!!

  • @Anne,

    ‘Dixie’ to any bluenose is a reference to the English leagues greatest ever goalscorer William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean.

  • @WalterBroeckx

    Fellaini cost about £13 million in 2008.

    Our highest value purchase but nowhere near £20 million.

  • @GoonerGal

    you seem to be a very well informed footy fan and especially so on things Everton so forgive me for pulling you up re: Andy Johnson.

    He was not an ‘unproven Championship player’ as you say. The season before joining Everton he didn’t play much for Palace in the Championship due to injury. But the season prior to that (2004/5) he was the leading English goalscorer in the Premier League, and second leading goalscorer overall to some French bloke called Henry who became famous for his basketball skills and now plays in some American league.

  • @Blue in Exile

    when you say that anything on Toffeeweb in support of the Chairman or manager will be ‘shouted down in a barrage of abusive replies’ it is just not true.

    What you will get however is a very well informed and very long list of their failings and this is the very information that needs to be more widely spread so well intentioned bloggers like Tony do not start off their articles with complete fallacies like ‘Kenwright has been pouring money into Everton year on year’.

  • walter

    George,

    in Belgium (where I come from) the reported fee was 20M but it was mentioned in Euro. Now I really have no idea on what it was in £ at that stage to be honest.

    But you are right I just made a mistake and changed the euro’s for a £. Sorry about that.

    And this in the current period with a big economical and financial crisis. Lucky they don’t let me run the show over that 😉

  • TheBlueEyedBoy

    Walter, what do Belgian fans think of Fellaini?

    To those who do not see him play often he may appear to be a tall, strong thug with little skill.

    My opinion is that he is a very good player who bosses the midfield, has an eye for a good pass and can score goals, but his work ethic is inconsistent, sometimes having lazy games and other times running non-stop for 90+ minutes.

  • walter

    TheBueEyedBoy,

    I think you got it spot on. On his day Fellaini could be one of the best in the world and is very difficult to play against. A real box to box player I think. But he seems to have a bit of an attitude problem and goes missing in games for the whole game.

    I sometimes wonder if he is physical really 100% good enough for the EPL. And so has to take a “rest” in some games. I think he could be even more important in a more slow league like in Italy.

    To be honest I would like to see him at Arsenal but I don’t know if he would be capable of performing on a higher level. But I do know he could give us an extra option by causing a lot of troubles on high balls.

    The thing I really don’t like about him are his arms… he waves them around a bit too much at times. But that is the ref in me I guess.
    And sometimes he looks not concentrated enough during games and gives away easy balls that makes you wonder.

  • Gooner Gal

    @ George, to be fair I have never distinguished between English and foreign top goal scorer. In the season that Andy Johnson got relegated with Crystal Palace to which you refer, over a third of his goals were ‘won’ penalties.

    Fellaini at Arsenal would be even more of a walking red card than he is already at Arsenal, so I don’t think Everton need to worry about Arsenal putting in a bid for him any time soon.

    @ TheBlueEyedBoy – I agree with you about George Graham, except George’s was right for that era. Everton have good players who have the ability and potential to play better football than they are currently, that is all I am saying really. Fans can’t blame Kenwright for that and if the current squad were performing better, there wouldn’t be so many demanding new players.

    Any way, as much as this has been a welcome distraction, I now have other concerns to focus on as the Red army has resumed it’s march towards the summit.

  • Gooner Gal

    Sorry I meant to say ‘Fellaini at Arsenal would be even more of a walking red card than he is already at EVERTON, so I don’t think Everton need to worry about Arsenal putting in a bid for him any time soon’.

    It’s late I am off!