The reason for this article is to ask what purpose are the protests serving? What good is it doing? I do not support the Board and I wish for a different regime as much as anyone but there has to be a better way than acting like a bunch of vigilantes running around throwing stones and shouting names. It all feels a bit childish and I have always felt that fans of Everton Football Club were a bit better than that.
Better than the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool Football Club, who have both had their own protests in recent years, but with how much success? At the time we laughed and joked about what they were doing. For me, Gillet and Hicks fell on their sword in spite of their Sons of Shankly et al, not because of them. Gillet and Hicks had Liverpool staring into the abyss with impending insolvency and they had no choice but to sell; what happened subsequent to the protests and vilification was going to happen regardless.
Manchester United fans fought for their club by flogging a load of scarves, where did the profit go? Did the Americans sell the club? Did it work? No. They chartered a plane to get Moyes out, it probably played some part in his sacking but in the end his departure was inevitable and so would have happened anyway. Furthermore, that is a different scenario – they were protesting against an employee, a short-term employee at that, not trying to overthrow the regime.
Are the protests against the Everton Board that we are currently seeing going to work? Will the Board leave? Will there be a groundswell of favour and positivity from the local and national media for the plight of our vigilantes? The answer is NO! Could the protests do more harm than good? Based on the previous form of our Board... quite probably, YES. The hatches will get battened down and the lack of clarity and communication will increase and nothing will get done.
I want change as much as the next person and I want progress; I do not support the Board but I feel that the recent goings on are premature, and tasteless for the following reasons:
- The transfer window has not closed and we MAY end up keeping John Stones and spending £30 million. The board will then simply say “In your face”. Let’s see where we are at in a couple of weeks.
- The frustration is largely borne out of a poor season last time round and so the players and management have to shoulder some blame and responsibility. Poor performances and tactics are not Robert Elstone's or Jon Woods's domain.
- Bill Kenwright, regardless of your thoughts of the man, is apparently in very poor health and numerous rumours abound. Whilst we don’t know, it doesn’t look positive. I think, regardless of his short-comings, he deserves some respect at this time and, if his condition is as serious as some say, I am sure the protests, planes and banners and some instances of vitriol don’t sit well with his family or help his recovery. Please Blues, can we try and demonstrate our class?
The Board have failed us, and continue to do so but we know based on previous form that what has gone before will further alienate the club and the fans and the situation will not get any better.
Do I have a solution? I wish I did but I suspect it will take someone or a group with far more acumen than I have to solve this.
However, in my limited knowledge and business awareness, I understand that engagement rather than disengagement is the way to solving problems. Yes, the Board must play their part in allowing this but perhaps rather than protest schemes and crowd funding exercises to enable them, perhaps we ought to be putting together another group who, rather than protest, are mandated to focus on entering into dialogue and engaging with the club. A group of people with relative experience and business acumen who can add value to the club.
I would be happy to do whatever I can to help on this basis, but I’m sorry I just can't support the protests.
The collective is more powerful than the individual. A group who can help the board, help the club and who can bring ideas and strategies to the table. A group who, given their love for the club, would do this at no cost or arrange crowd funding programs to pay for expenses and time. The individuals are out there and many engage in such platforms as ToffeeWeb.
Tony I’Anson, could this be the next development in Trust Everton?