Who Is the Main Player in The Everton Show?

01/09/2015  526 Comments  [Jump to last]
The financial machinations at Everton FC have been a cause for concern for many fans dating back to the controversies surrounding the Fortress Sports Fund and Destination Kirkby proposal.

Using information freely available in the public domain, the person behind the Watched Toffee Twitter account has been digging into the complex system of loans that the club has been using to fund operations since the global financial crash in 2008.

» Read the full article at Viral Everton

Reader Comments (526)

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James Elliott
1 Posted 02/09/2015 at 00:17:44
I don't think anyone is happy with this transfer window. We are obviously still paying for Lukaku and we will be for the next few years. We haven't added a number 10 but got another winger.

The price for Funes Mori is very high. And we have all read what @WatchedToffee has written. I have to agree that there must be lies coming from the board as things don't add up.

So, why can't the fan's run the club? Barcelona do it, Portsmouth are now doing ok, and there are many other examples. With the backing of the entire fan base, couldn't we be in control of the club we all live.

I know it's not that simple, but it's our club, we love it, we pay to watch our team, we wear the badge with pride. Why can't we take control of our club?

Mike Childs
2 Posted 02/09/2015 at 01:01:33
Because the board will never let it out of their hands. They have to good of a deal going robbing Paul to pay Peter when they are the same 3 persons. If it wasn't For TW, I'd probably find another club to back but I enjoy this site and people on it to much.
Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 02/09/2015 at 01:19:23
Regardless of the character of Mr Kenwright or the business acumen within the boardroom, it cannot be healthy for an Instituion such as Everton FC to be so reliant on 'outsiders' for funding whether they are supporters of other clubs or not.

It also cannot be healthy for rival Premier League clubs to be drinking from the same fountain and even less healthy that those clubs are all borrowing money from the same offshore tax havens - it might all be perfectly legal and everything may well be above board, but it only takes one of the people or companies involved to be of a less than honest persuasion and all of those clubs will be tarred with the same brush and their names besmirched even if they are not guilty of anything other than being desperate for money at particular times of the year.

The sooner that Everton FC are self-reliant, notwithstanding TV Money and in a position to put a stop to borrowing from offshore loan companies the better, surely the next couple of seasons will allow that to happen, although if any movement on the WHP project takes place, the club may have to borrow even more money from these sources and more heavy interest payments will have to be paid and thus they will remain stuck in a similar spiral for the foreseeable future.

Had Everton sold John Stones would they still have been obliged to take out the loan? or would they have been able to carry on without the loan, so much of modern-day business is about tax avoidance it is difficult to assess whether all of these decisions are made purely for footballing reasons.

Dennis Ng
4 Posted 02/09/2015 at 02:05:53
It is discouraging, and to make things worse, past 2 transfer summers have been filled with buys that seemed way overpriced (Lukaku and Mori). As much as they can shine, it always make me wonder, where did we get all those money (even accounting for budget surpluses built under OFM)?

If we have those surpluses yet not writing off debt, we're digging a hole we will ultimately not be able to get out of. It is that reason that makes me nervous about BK's stewardship. How can we compete with the top when we're possibly a debt timebomb?

Eric Myles
5 Posted 02/09/2015 at 02:57:15
We've had a massive increase in telly money for 2 seasons now but have also increased our borrowings from BVI sources. Why??

If the same thing happens with the next megabucks telly deal then surely something is wrong.

James Flynn
6 Posted 02/09/2015 at 03:05:32
What a read.

The hogs are at the EPL trough feeding, aren't they.

Harold Matthews
7 Posted 02/09/2015 at 04:36:52
Could not believe I was reading about Everton Football Club. Sounded more like a shark infested cesspit of lies and greed which needs to be investigated by the proper authorities.
Amit Vithlani
8 Posted 02/09/2015 at 06:28:13
The article provides some crucial disclosures which the accounts do not. The myriad of companies providing the loans links back to individuals on our board.

This raises concerns. Direct investment has been limited and loans have been the preferred route of financing. But beyond the matter of not putting money in, the more serious question surrounds the cash being taken out as interest on these loans, which are secured on future broadcasting revenues.

A further concern is the risk the club faces if one of these offshore vehicle gets into problems. The apparent matters relating to Power 8 caught my eye.

Hypothetically, if an entity went under for example for tax irregularities and was wound up owing the taxman say £20M and its main asset was a loan secured on broadcasting rights, the football club in question would need to worry.

Another aspect of these arrangements is that they appear to drive the last minute transfer activity. We appear to be waiting for the latest round of Sky cash in August to pay off previous loans in August and when that is paid down, a fresh facility is made available with a couple of weeks left to buy new players.

These are poor and dangerous arrangements if so, but it is difficult to know the real extent given the complete lack of disclosure. That in itself is a warning signal.

Derek Turner
9 Posted 02/09/2015 at 07:00:00
Good read, just confirms what most of us have been suspecting and talking about all along. EFC is a cash cow, for persons known and unknown, living off payday loans in a setting of ever increasing income. For those of you who still think Bill has our interests at heart.
Matt Traynor
10 Posted 02/09/2015 at 07:00:06
Harold #7, and which authorities would you entrust to be the watchdog? This has been going on for years.

In 2009-10 I was working for a client in Asia looking at financing of football and commercial opportunities arising for both clubs and corporate brands. At that time, I read a research piece that stated that in the Premier League alone, there was a secondary industry feeding off it that was worth an estimated ٟ.2bn per annum (this included football and sponsorship agents).

It's all perfectly legal, and it's a good way for investors to recoup sizeable sums at no risk, and no tax.

If someone has the information available to hand, and totals up how much we've paid in finance charges and interest payments since Bill & Co took over, I bet it amounts to more than a "mid-range stadium in Kirkby".

However, I look forward to the rebuttal from those who would deny any such impropriety is taking place.

Martin Mason
11 Posted 02/09/2015 at 07:44:58
Very high on innuendo but tragically low on fact and evidence I'm afraid and, as usual, devoid of any constructive solutions. It doesn't offer a shred of evidence that anybody is milking money out of the club or doing anything illegal. If there's a shred of evidence, take it to the police or the mainstream press and let's expose it rather than limit it to hand waving here. Remember that they are innocent until proven to be guilty and this article doesn't even scratch the surface of doing so.

Dodgy financial dealings at a football club? Well, no shit Sherlock. Everton were a club that was going out of business that couldn't borrow money from any mainstream sources, we survived and are improving in most aspects and for me the end justifies the means.

Same old about the directors not investing their own money in the club; they don't have to invest their own money and would be lunatics if they did for no returns. The club needs to stand on its own feet and live off its income — not, unsustainably, from the pockets of the board.

No silverware for 20 years? That's the real issue for some.

Anthony Flack
12 Posted 02/09/2015 at 08:16:40
Martin, thanks God for some balance.

I have some expertise in the funding of business, and have no doubt it is complex and with the limited factual information available difficult to understand.

It is far from unusual for business owners to lack transparency connected to funding and tax. This does not necessarily equate to fraud, milking it or even a badly run business.

However I do accept that, as a result of the lack of transparency, legitimate supporters are concerned. Some allow the concern to run away into conspiracy.

The lack of success is the greatest issue, this is linked to money and the depth of owner pockets or willingness to invest. Obviously missing the Champions League pot then exacerbates the issue, as without a sugar daddy it us hard to break in.

For me RM is in the right tracking, building the best set of players I have seen since 1985, and a younger following group...

Ged Simpson
13 Posted 02/09/2015 at 08:39:09
Well a lot of research has been done so credit for that. What does it all mean? Christ knows.

But I'm hopeful about our new defender.

David Chait
14 Posted 02/09/2015 at 08:50:47
Does make a disturbing read but one key point that it makes which is in defense of EFC is that Vibrac is filling the financing gap left by the banks. The fact that Vibrac lends to a few clubs supports the need for this entity. The fact that Vibrac has linked to football makes sense.

But this is not to absolve Kenwright. The stadiums have been a debacle; even if not deliberate, they have been messy.

The one decision that I can't get my head around as it just is such a poor financial one is the sale and rent back of Finch Farm. The rental we are paying on that piece of land vs the amount we sold it for is mind boggling. Surely there was a better option to be able to develop it to what we needed.

Kevin Tully
15 Posted 02/09/2015 at 08:50:49
Anyone excusing a board worth a reported 𧸖m not acting as guarantor for their own business is either a fool, or they have no concept of what is actually taking place.

Anthony #12. You say you have experience in this field? Why on earth would you say this: "I have some expertise in the funding of business, and have no doubt it is complex and with the limited factual information available difficult to understand."???

A bizarre statement from someone who states they are knowledgeable in this field. An apologist's words, that mask the truth. The truth is, the board of directors refuse to expose themselves to even the tiniest risk, to the detriment of the long term financial health of this football club.

They could quite easily borrow from traditional lenders at a much improved rate of interest, if they acted as joint guarantor. This would be normal practice for any business borrowing on a short term term basis as outlined above. If they refuse to even adopt this accepted normal business practice, then please explain their role, because quite frankly, I'm lost as to what they bring to the table? You & your pal above are talking absolute nonsense, as usual.

Kevin Tully
16 Posted 02/09/2015 at 08:55:48
I won't even get into who is profiting from the above tax avoidance schemes, or possible money laundering, that's another issue. I assume everyone who pays their taxes in this country agrees, it's not something we want EFC involved in.
Paul Andrews
17 Posted 02/09/2015 at 08:56:11

If the chairman and his board have done nothing wrong in their business machinations, why in your opinion do they go to great lengths to keep it covered up? Why the secrecy?

Tom Hughes
18 Posted 02/09/2015 at 09:05:43
Read the article again, then read your diatribe..... and please point out where and how you have been more factual or evidence-based in your assessment.

Once again, you never offer any facts or counter argument to refute any specific points or issues. You were exactly the same over Kirkby even after a public inquiry pulled it to pieces, and after the club had to admit their failure. General circular arguments and soundbites of little or no substance..... even when everyone else has moved on.

Taking out extortionate loans off greedy silent partners is not illegal. .... it's just foolhardy and or immoral dependent on who it is and how it is paid back, just like spending fortunes you haven't got on pie-in-the-sky out-of-town stadia that can never happen. ..... or was that a figment of our collective imaginations too?

Facts? Honestly you wouldn't know one if you fell over a factually high paving stone.

Amit Vithlani
19 Posted 02/09/2015 at 09:11:43
Anthony and Martin. The financial crisis has now abated. Whilst markets are currently in turmoil, fundamentally the credit markets are in far healthier state than back in 2008.

Everton and other EPL clubs are in line to receive a rich annuity stream from Sky. Whilst Sky is not a AAA rated entity, it is fairly robust and has quite a resilient business model.

Are you of the opinion that the only source of funding for Everton right now is to borrow from off shore entities, in tax-free jurisdictions?

Do you not question why these opaque vehicles, as the article factual proves through researching filings at Companies House, have links to individuals who have publicly been associated with our board?

Finally, do you really believe that the correct way of funding a business is only through debt? I for one would not. All businesses need a mix of equity and debt. Funding 101 tells you there has to be a layer of pure risk capital to absorb losses and ensure the business remains a going concern.

If the returns are not there for an equity investment, then the answer is not to stuff the business with debt, but instead to either seek buyers or, failing that to wind it down.

If the owners choose to do neither, and consistently refuse to invest their own money, then legitimately questions need to be asked what their motives are for electing to keep the perpetual flow of debt.

What you should know Anthony is that using debt to finance investment also eats into returns, and therefore that too makes no sense as a strategy unless (A) there are returns to be made, but the owners refuse to put the cash in as equity or (B) that they are making returns from the provision of the debt itself.

Kevin Tully
20 Posted 02/09/2015 at 09:26:42
From Transparency International UK:
"Money launderers can easily create offshore companies to hold wealth and assets and provide secrecy for the beneficial owners.

Our research showed the scale of use of offshore secrecy in property under criminal investigation for grand corruption, and the broader footprint of offshore secrecy in the UK property market.

Over 75% of the UK properties under criminal investigation for grand corruption use offshore corporate secrecy. For all criminal investigations analysed, every property that made use of a foreign company to hold property used a company from an offshore secrecy jurisdiction, rather than a major economy.

As of July 2014, across the England and Wales, at least 𧴲bn worth of property was held by companies registered in secrecy jurisdictions. Out of 91,248 foreign company-owned properties in England and Wales, nearly two thirds are held via the British Virgin Islands and Channel Island structures.

London by far dominates the footprint of offshore company holding of properties in the Land Registry data.

In total 36,342 London properties totalling 2.25 sq miles are held by offshore companies. Of these, 38% in the British Virgin Islands, 16% in Jersey, 9.5% in Isle of Man, and 9% in Guernsey. Almost one in ten properties in the City of Westminster (9.3 per cent), 7.3 per cent of properties in Kensington & Chelsea and 4.5 per cent in the City of London are owned by a company registered in an offshore secrecy jurisdiction.

Brian Harrison
21 Posted 02/09/2015 at 09:44:08
I am not equipped to know the financial dealings of our club but I know that the banks some years ago refused Everton any further credit. So I can imagine that BK had a major problem. He had a young ambitious manager who wanted money to strengthen his team, and the team was doing well.

The banks had refused any further funding, so BK would probably do what any of us would do and that is ask friends for help. So maybe he asked the likes of Philip Green for a loan, and Green being a very astute business man wanted a good return on his investment.

Now I am not saying any of this is true or if true it should have happened, but I could well envisage a situation were something like this could have happened.

Also the club have not tried to claw back money from supporters as our season tickets are amongst the cheapest of the established Premier League clubs.

Other than a billionaire new owner, I don't see any long term solution to our problem; it is what it is. A club whose owners haven't got the wealth to turn the club around, so there is no quick fix unfortunately.

Harold Matthews
22 Posted 02/09/2015 at 09:46:03
Matt, from a layman's point of view it all sounded very dodgy. Maybe I was influenced by your own piece on another thread where you suggested an investigation into people using the club to make money.

Some ToffeeWebbers are suspicious about the Lukaku fee which jumped up alarmingly and the unexpected size of the Funes Mori fee. I'm not saying these values are not correct but they were a great surprise to the majority of fans. A difficult to believe massive increase at the very last minute.

Then we have the musical chair situation with all the various loans. Many millions of pounds being shuffled here there and everywhere. Interest fees galore, West Ham involved, even Daniel Levy involved.

Mind boggling stuff to someone like me with zero economic expertise who imagines the odd million slipping under the counter. My only worry is the security of our club and these complicated financial articles scare me to death.

Marc Williams
23 Posted 02/09/2015 at 09:56:59

The Funes Mori fee hike is pure incompetence from EFC, look at the article from the Argentine paper & yesterday's piece in The Guardian.

Incompetent clowns with poor research & no Plan B, getting screwed for an extra £3.25 mil at the last minute.

Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:16:27
Well an interesting read but if there's a point I'm not smart enough to see it.

There's a lot of effort gone into it... which makes me wonder why there's precious little by way of actually exposing what people have done wrong.

It's just BK borrowed from this bloke, who knows this bloke, who worked with this bloke, who borrowed from a bloke who works with a bloke connected back to BK. And amazingly, so did someone else.

Patrick Murphy
25 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:23:20
Matt (10) between 2000 accounts and 2014 accounts Everton have paid an overall total of £49.47m in interest of which £39.47m was used to pay the interest on loans other than the overdraft or HP agreements.

These figures are from the Everton accounts but I haven't got to hand any facility fees or other costs associated with the loan agreements and I'm not certain that they are publicly available or whether such articles are included in 'other operating costs'.

Ged Simpson
26 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:28:22
Yeah – I tend to agree, Ernie.
Kevin Tully
27 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:30:52
Patrick - Have you included Everton Investments & The stadium in those figures?
Patrick Murphy
28 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:35:46
'Conflicts of interest', Ged and Ernie, may that be the cause for concern from those who have spent time and effort gathering the information. It certainly causes me concern.

It's bad enough agents and others taking money out of the club's coffers but, if Everton's ability to make football decisions depends on people who are not connected to the club, then that should concern all Evertonians.

Patrick Murphy
29 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:43:20
Kevin, those figures are from the accounts and are for the group as a whole. I'm no expert, but I can't see any other related figures.

I've mentioned this before on another thread earlier this Summer; I believe that some of the figures others are using have been accidentally collated as separate when in fact they are one and the same. As always, given my lack of expertise in this area, I stand to be corrected.

Tom Hughes
30 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:45:26
Well Ernie, as they say, you can lead a horse to water.....

If you think it's okay and not a bit underhand, improper or damaging to run a club or prolong ownership via extortionate loans and/or potential profiteering for third parties and supposed "friends", then that's up to you. To me it's precisely the same carpet-bagging model we've seen so heavily scrutinised and criticised elsewhere... except of course those clubs are much higher profile than ours, which has been engineered into plucky little Everton over a long period. Long enough in fact for some to actually forget who and what we are.

BK has been the perfect foil for his "friends", who have in return ensured his, and their pension fund has grown handsomely in the cash rich Sky era. Nothing delivered in over 15 years.

Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:48:36
Ernie (#123),

If the directors of the club, with money, had the interests of the club at heart, they could have given an interest free loan to buy Finch Farm, or even at a low interest loan, to save the club from spending rent on the training ground for the next 15 or so years. This is just one small example of what the club means to the people who run it.

On a lighter note, Martin Mason, you contradict yourself in all of your posts; I'm naming you as "The Corkscrew" — you've that many twists and bends in your posts.

Martin Mason
32 Posted 02/09/2015 at 10:52:35

I offer no facts or counter argument because I'm not making any claims. It is 100% on those who make claims to support them with facts and not conspiracy theory and hand waving. The article gave nothing other than that the club used non-conventional funding at a time that none was available. Dodgy dealing at a soccer club? Shock, horror; for me far better that than an insolvent club.

Amit, no, I think that borrowing is not the correct way unless a strong economic case can be made for doing so. Without knowing the reason why the money was borrowed under current conditions though I can't comment. Those doing so don't have the chance to respond but that doesn't mean that they're guilty of anything.

Kevin@19, what was the point you wanted to make? Offshore finance and investing isn't illegal.

Paul Cherrington
33 Posted 02/09/2015 at 11:04:03
The fees for Rom and Funes Mori do seem high considering we're always portrayed as being skint....
Tom Hughes
34 Posted 02/09/2015 at 11:10:03
You are not making a claim?

Then what are you posting for?

What a ridiculous statement..... another circular non-argument with no substance to back it up.....

You then go on to "claim" that all of the issues outlined in the article are either irrelevant or unimportant.... you just can't back that up, or counter any of the points made with anything but blind faith in those responsible.

That's where you are on all of these discussions....

In football's richest era when all around us have spent more than us and delivered more than us, we have been in hock to loan sharks..... and our fans have paid for the privilege.

Kevin Tully
35 Posted 02/09/2015 at 11:31:48
Martin (#31) – I don't ever wish to make any points to you directly, nor engage in any debate. Thanks.
Anthony Flack
36 Posted 02/09/2015 at 11:41:28
Amit, all of what you outline is sensible and well expressed re funding, investment and changing market conditions. However, dependency on bank funding secured against short-term third-party sourced income, ie, TV money, is perhaps not where the TSB want to secure their loans.

Years ago, when working in banking, I was taught the two cannons of lending: Can the loanee make the payments? And, if not, do you care? ie, there is security that can be readily realised.

I am not sure your post is intended to agree or disagree with the point I tried to make, ie, that things may not be sinister, milked off etc. They might, however, not be well run!

Anyway, I am off as I am stuck in Toulouse with my kids and wife as my car is stuck on an autotrain that had an accident with a tree. Insurance company just laughed...

Thomas Surgenor
37 Posted 02/09/2015 at 11:43:31
Perhaps this is why so many potential buyers drop out in the final stages?

It sounds too complicated a deal to work out who gets what.

Amit Vithlani
38 Posted 02/09/2015 at 11:53:53
Good luck Anthony, hope you manage to keep the kids entertained!

I think the point I wanted to make was whether it was acceptable, over a long period of time, for the owners of a business not to put equity in. If I read EFC's accounts, we have a negative equity position. The whole business is effectively being funded by creditors. Bearing in mind one of the lifebloods of the business – Sky money – is pledged to lenders on whom we have little information on, I think it's right and fair for supporters to ask questions, as the article in question does.

Martin, two points in response to you.

1. Firstly, in terms of a response from the club/owners, there is quite a simple answer: make disclosures in your accounts. Whilst the Companies Act does not compel a business to make disclosures, good practice, particularly amongst larger businesses with significant creditors, such as EFC, is to provide more information in the accounts. The most spectacular corporate failures have often been preceded by opaque funding structures and a lack of transparency. Consequently, it is not unreasonable for your average supporter to worry who "are the main players" at EFC, pulling the strings in the background.

2. We do know how the money is used. Look at the accounts. The business is ultimately funded by its creditors. From the players purchased, to the operating costs, to the CEO's salary, to the interest payments, these consume all of the revenues of the company, and more. The shortfall has been funded by taking out debt, which appears to be repaid and re-drawn each year, effectively becoming evergreen. In funding parlance, these are becoming "hard borrowings", ie, borrowings the business is becoming heavily dependent on. Would you agree that is not a good position for the club to find itself in, particularly if the source of the loans are potentially opaque vehicles?

Martin Mason
39 Posted 02/09/2015 at 12:03:17
Tom, I stated the opinion that the article proved nothing and that is fact. Stating opinions is the function of this forum – not necessarily making claims.

I said nowhere that the points raised in the article were irrelevant or unimportant so I need justify nothing in that respect. I also don't have to counter any of the claims made in the article; it's 100% on the author of the article to show that the claims he made are correct and tbh there wasn't actually a claim of substance – only insinuation.

Tom Hughes
40 Posted 02/09/2015 at 12:41:43
So they are relevant and they are important issues..... Thank you.

And....... what was your point again?

Martin Mason
42 Posted 02/09/2015 at 13:00:15
Tom, logic certainly isn't your strong point mate. I said nowhere that the points raised in the article were irrelevant or unimportant, that doesn't mean that I find them relevant or important and in general I don't.

That was my point: the article said nothing – just aired a bunch of baseless insinuations.

Tom Hughes
43 Posted 02/09/2015 at 13:34:21
We've had all this nonsense from you before. Do you really read your posts before hitting the submit button?

Logic....? Insinuations. ....?

I suggest you read the article again and then what Amit and others have posted in direct response.

Then you can try to finally respond with logic, and without insinuation..... and maybe back "your opinion" up with some substance for once. It's never too late to change the habits of a lifetime...... mate!

Graham Mockford
44 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:08:14
Without wishing to get into the polarising nature of the thread so far, I have a number of issues with the article.

The substance of the argument is not borne out by the findings. It is obvious the author is alleging financial wrongdoing but I can't see anything that would lead me to a conclusion that this is the case. Just lots of tenuous links and guilt by association.

This guy has obviously done a tremendous amount of research, certainly more than I ever have or would care to. But where is the smoking gun? Are you seriously telling me if there was not some real substance to it, an investigative journalist would not take it on?

Secondly why is this guy anonymous? I mean the avatar is beyond parody. If he has 'truth' to tell, why be afraid to be public about it? Or maybe the conspiracy theory stretches as far as Bill and his nefarious counterparts would want to 'silence' him. For me he's just another internet whack job with too much time on his hands.

Finally and this is what really got my pip: "a middle class and privileged upbringing in Mossley Hill". Having grown up in Mossley Hill, the son of a docker, I was neither middle class nor privileged, thank you very much &mdsah; although we could always afford a bottle of Cream Soda when the Lemonade Van came round.

Victor Johnson
45 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:12:48
Alpine, Graham?
Joe Foster
46 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:15:34
Remember Alpine lemonade. They used to do a red Kola.
Graham Mockford
47 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:18:03
It was Victor and it was a very satisfying shade of fluorescent green.
Matt Traynor
48 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:32:30
I don't think anyone is accusing anyone of financial wrongdoing.

In layman's terms, the accusation is that Everton are borrowing increasing amounts of money for the sake of it, to allow individuals with an interest in the club to make money - quite legitimately, and tax-free, on an anonymous basis.

In other words:
With the increased TV deals, there's no need for Everton to take out what started as a £10m / per annum loan.

In plain English:
Next year there will be even less reason, but we all know they will take out bigger amounts to satisfy these individuals.

Oh, and the reason he's probably gone anonymous and used that handle is EFC have form for banning people who speak out against the regime.

Victor Johnson
49 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:45:52
Alpine Cream Soda, refreshed the parts other drinks just didn't reach. Fuck modern football & fuck Red Bul!
Dennis Ng
50 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:46:47
I always view owning clubs to be a rich man's hobby, whether he is a fan or not. I'm very skeptical as to whether the Sky 4 are making profits out of their merchandising and even if they are, does it completely fund their purchases? My guess is no. I've no qualm if the owners don't invest much into the club but to keep increasing debt to buy players etc. sounds more too fishy to be sustainable.

Another head scratcher is that we keep letting go of academy players to sign for other clubs for free when we can possible sell them to recoup some money. Do we hate money that much? If we aren't growing value within our academy, I really doubt we're growing value in our first team.

Martin Mason
51 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:50:48
Tom mate, as I've already said, I don't have to justify anything as I have made no claims about anything. I simply quoted as fact that the article provided no evidence of anything against anybody. Fact that is, not opinion.

I fully agree with many posters on here and learn a lot in the process, my thinking that this article is a pile of pony doesn't make my opinion on what anybody else has written on any other subject any less right or wrong or that I believe the board has always done the right thing. My responses here are on this article only.

You aren't adding anything to the subject so sorry but this my last response to you.

Amit Vithlani
52 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:52:37
Spot on Matt @ 45.
Kevin Tully
53 Posted 02/09/2015 at 14:55:12
Agree, Matt. Anyone stating there is criminal activity occurring is constructing their own strawman.

The main premise of the piece, however, is that the directors are not acting in the club's best interest, which IS their legal duty.

Extract from 'The Companies Act -2006:

"This decision has had direct implications for the formulation of the new statutory provisions regarding the duty of directors to act in the best interests of their company. In summary these provisions say that directors are (still) expected to manage their companies' affairs in the interests, ultimately, of their members collectively and not of any external parties."
Graham Mockford
54 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:04:11
So Kevin based on your post, the directors have a legal duty to act in the club's best interest, you say.

If they are not, then this would be a criminal act surely?

Kevin Tully
55 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:18:15
I imagine that would be almost impossible to prove, Graham. Unless you could find a paper trail leading back to Philip Green, or you could discover who the beneficiaries were of the Vibrac loans. Clearly, that's precisely why these off-shore entities exist - to hide the identity of whoever is behind them.

On a personal level, I don't want my club involved in tax avoidance or to be involved in possible money laundering, even if it is unwittingly.

Tom Hughes
56 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:21:24

Which parts of the article do you actually dispute and why? Unless I've misread or missed parts, I don't really see anything that is not either well-documented fact, or referenced for independent perusal.

The article is extremely well-researched and questions the nature and make-up of the club's ownership, and the effects it has had on how we operate and have performed over the years. Important issues if we are ever to assess our recent past, present and future prospects..... which I assume we are all interested in.

As regards investigative journalists.... where were they at the time of Destination Kirkby? Where were they when the newspapers bombarded the fans with the club's endless propaganda at the time of the ballot. ... that subsequently were all shown to be lies? Where were they when KEIOC were posing all the questions? They were nowhere to be seen. It was the fans who had taken the time and effort to expose the real issues.... and were eventually fully vindicated in doing so....... so you can't assume that we ordinarily merit anything more than token coverage in this regard.

Thankfully, articles like this and the recent protests have spawned several searching newspaper articles on these and related issues in recent weeks. ........ long may it continue.

Graham Mockford
57 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:29:15

I have no problem accepting the facts as laid out. As I said it is obviously a detailed piece of research.

Where I suspect we differ is on the conclusions you can reach from what is laid out.

The allegation is that third parties are siphoning money out of the club and that the Board are colluding in this. Well, yes, maybe... but I still don't see anything that would convince me that is definitely the case. Unless I'm missing something?

Tom Hughes
58 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:32:12
Yes.... but try and make it stick Graham....

Forfeiting the chance of the Kings Dock stadium was simply shrowded by the internal wranglings and politics of the board.... However, I don't think anyone could argue that BK was acting in the club's best interest in letting that opportunity pass.

No-one was able to question it, and shareholder's were simply fobbed off at the AGM that followed....

Harold Matthews
59 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:34:09
Cheers Matt. Nice to know they are all clean and legit. Personally, I wouldn't trust these money obsessed slimebags with their own grandmother's pension book.
Graham Mockford
60 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:46:23
No, Tom, I don't think they could. And for me that is where any protest about the Board should be aimed. Their record and their competence in managing the Club.

I think all this conspiracy stuff peddled by the likes of Watched Toffee is just a lot of insinuation that in the end amounts to nothing that can be substantiated. It might appeal to some to think we can expose malpractice, but I repeat, I still see nothing that would lead me to that conclusion.

Surely the better stuff to go after is: Why we can't find a buyer? Why can't we come up with a credible plan for stadium improvements? How can we get the level of investment required to compete better?

Kevin Tully
61 Posted 02/09/2015 at 15:47:00
I would base all assumptions on their track record and probability, after taking into consideration all the facts, because that's all we the 'evidence' we are presented with. I know where I would put my money, but that's my personal judgement.

Graham Mockford
62 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:03:10

If I'm ever up before the Old Bailey, I sincerely hope you are not on the jury.

Kevin Tully
63 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:07:57
To be honest, Graham, if you had stood in front of T.V. cameras for the past 16 years telling everyone porkies every time your lips moved, I am sure most people wouldn't believe you! Old cynics eh?
Gary Russell
64 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:13:17
What am I missing here? My take on this is that BK has, on his watch, allowed shady businessmen to bleed the club of huge amounts of money with the loan and interest structure that they 'legally' hide behind in some offshore accounts.

Now you can say no crime has been committed but to not see how we are now being held by the short and curlies because of BK's ineptitude and lies is... fucking criminal. Don't you agree, Martin Mason? Is BK really the skipper of this ship?

A fans' revolt is the only answer for me. No change until we make change.

John Ford
65 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:25:48

Gary Russell
66 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:27:29
Evidence of what John?
Graham Mockford
67 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:48:54
I've had a brainwave Kevin.

How about a Jeremy Kyle special with the lie detector.

I can see the caption now:

"Has my football chairman been leading me a merry dance?"

We could have Martin sat next to him vouching for his character. You can sit backstage mouthing obscenities and then run on to be restrained by the security guard.

However it only works if you have really bad teeth.

Kevin Tully
68 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:50:35
I don't think we would need a lie detector, Graham!
Winston Williamson
69 Posted 02/09/2015 at 16:53:26
What tends to happen when articles like these are posted on TW? - the ensuing arguments start to detract from the substance of the articles.

Generally polarised arguments.

The facts of the running of the club are available, online, if you care to take the time. Interpreting the facts is where the waters get muddy.

I have made my position known in the past - in my opinion, based on the facts I have seen and my interpretation of those facts, the club was leveraged when bought and has continued to struggle with debt ever since. This is coupled with a less than enthusiastic approach to commercialisation and marketing.

This article continues to illustrate that debt levels will only continue to spiral until another business model is developed.

Fraud, money laundering and corruption should only be mentioned if convictable evidence can be produced, as it weakens the argument otherwise.

Patrick Murphy
70 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:03:11
I agree Winston that anybody that raises illegality is far off the mark. However, it seems to me that it is those who tend to support the current board who raise the ’illegaility card’, stating lack of evidence etc.

Which is strange because BK’s detractors often point out that they are not trying to prove any illegal wrongdoings – merely that the club has and continues to be hamstrung with some its financial arrangements.

John Ford
71 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:05:41
Gary I think your summary is a decent one. The financial world to a large extent makes its own rules; most recently, Blair, Brown and Cameron saw to that. So the idea of whiffy dealings is nothing new and is likely the same elsewhere, in fact financial chicanery seems normal practice.

Like you say, there's no evidence of any legal wrong doing. BK isn't a thief, just an egotistical limpet who's out of his depth with little interest in doing what's actually right for the club.

Dermot O'Brien
72 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:09:12
It is all too shady, that's what's wrong. Not that every club or company is squeaky clean but something is rotten in Goodison.

What I am taking from this is that BK got help to take over the club from Green and Earl. In return the club uses their companies for loans and PG and RE get a nice wedge.

They are businessmen who saw who saw the opportunity coming down the track regarding the BPL. BK is not. Neither is Elstone... That's the problem.

Andrew Clare
73 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:20:51
The Receiver eventually.
Ged Simpson
74 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:29:15
"See... told you "....
"But this shows nothing illegal"
"Yar but...."
"Yar but..."

Seems to me, apart from some who work in football finance, we will pull out of this complicated account what suits us.

I have no friggin' idea if these sub-prime lenders have charged us par for the course interest for such loans or not. I have no idea of the credit rating of EFC now and their ability to go to main lenders.

I have no idea if the names that crop up are good, bad or indifferent. I certainly am in no way surprised that names keep cropping up....that much I do know about the banking and finance industry.

So for now all I can say is "See...told you...(will insert opinion here if and when I have one based on full picture) "

Eric Myles
75 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:30:05
Dave #31, the lease of Finch Farm is 50 years, of which 7 years has passed.
Tony George
77 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:41:53
As a newcomer to this forum, I was completely fascinated as well as educated by the' Viral Everton' article to which the original post refers.

From the follow up posts, it seems that whilst the mysterious and over-complicated funding processes may well be eye-raising, they are necessary because of the Company's continued failure to maximise it's income via the usual commercial activities.

It's as though BK & Co say "Why go to all that effort when our mates are always happy to provide the necessary finance at a cost that can be lost in the accounts?"

Of course, if BK really is in hoc to said financiers, it may not be he who makes that 'management style' choice!

Tom Hughes
78 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:48:25
Graham #66,

Sounds a bit like some of the AGMs and the EGM prior to their abolition. ....

Paul Andrews
79 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:49:26
If it's all cleaner than Snow White why all the secrecy?
Why are the financial dealings run through a maze?
Martin Mason
80 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:52:15

I genuinely believe that the club had to borrow to survive so I'm not sure if it was bled dry by these people or only that it paid a premium on the additional interest charged. Irrelevant then, of course, because we couldn't get a loan from the banks at any interest rate.

There's a real counter argument that they took over the club in desperate straits, stabilized and improved it, and kept it up generally in the top 8 of the toughest league in the World without any sugar daddy finance or loss of control to foreign asset-strippers.

Are we being held back because of BK's ineptitude and lies? I don't think so; we're held back now because we don't raise enough revenue to service debt, buy and pay the quality of players we need and to upgrade, or move from, Goodison.

Have Bill's lies contributed to this? I don't think so really... only to the frustration of the fans who should really have known better than to believe some of his daft statements.

I agree, BK isn't the power behind Everton but, believe me, these aren't stupid, weak people, especially BK, and it'll take more than demonstrations by a few fans to get them to do anything they don't want to.

Ged Simpson
81 Posted 02/09/2015 at 17:59:17
An independent assessment of the company is needed and will become even more needed as fans develop entrenched views, become known for them and end up unable to get out of their corner.

The so-called debating on TW takes usually about 5 or 10 posts to become personal, angry and often childish. I doubt I am alone when, after reading a TW debate on the Board/Finance, I am reminded of political debate in 2015.

One Q for those who know – what is the purposes of an Annual Audit? Do they tell us anything? Are these independent? I seem to recall the companies I have worked for had to have independent annual audits.

Denis Richardson
82 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:04:36
Graham 56,

Without getting into all the issues. We can say one thing. Fact is we currently pay the company Vibrac about £2M a year in interest (that's about £40k/week).

There is also a lot of circumstantial evidence that Vibrac is owned/run by one of our directors.

Whilst it is perfectly normal for directors to lend to the company, it is highly questionable as to why we're paying around 9% interest on the loan – especially when we have an almost guaranteed Sky cash mountain.

Does that sound odd or not? And does that not mean the director in question is siphoning money out of the club?

Helen Mallon
83 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:05:40
I have heard people say that our board don't take anything out of the club. But if two of the board loan the club money from the BVI Vibrac company and charge interest on that loan, then surely they are taking the interest as a payment.

Is this correct or am I missing something?

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:06:56
Erie (74), Thanks for that Eric, makes the Finch Farm deal even worse than I thought.
Dave Abrahams
85 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:16:36
Graham (61) if you are ever up at the Old Bailey get Martin as your defence brief, he'll have the jury going crackers, they won't know what to believe, you'll walk away free as a bird.
Patrick Murphy
86 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:23:32
Ged (79) I'm sure that Everton's accounts are audited as the club have listed the audtitors and their fees have been published in the accounts.

However, is it in the remit of the auditors to suggest that the club is maximising its potential? Do the auditors care about who the club borrows its money off?

Lastly many major companies have had their books examined by independent auditors only to find themselves or their proprietors on the wrong side of the law, despite having passed an audit by independent bodies on numerous occasions.

Tom Hughes
87 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:30:23

Extremely selective and revisionist ..... but we've been here before with you. But......

"Are we being held back by BK's ineptitude and lies, I don't think so"

So the loss of Kings Dock hasn't held us back at all.... ?

Or the multiple lies connected with Destination Kirkby that cost us millions (that we didn't have), and several years of wasted time, effort and missed opportunity, and no doubt lost revenue, haven't held us back either?

Are you serious?

Who needs foreign asset-strippers when we've got this lot.....?

Tony George
90 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:39:52
As a postcript to my post above, the guy who recently introduced me to ToffeeWeb just rang me to say "You can always tell when Evertonians have no football to moan about, they get stuck into Bill Kenwright – welcome to the club!"

I'm obviously a quick learner!

Amit Balaggan
91 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:43:04
I work in a bank, to be exact I am in to lending to corporates and don't believe debt is such a bad thing. The issue with club seems to be different. The issue here is why is the club not generating funds it should be making.

The answer is more of marketing then financial. I am attaching link for financials for 2014: Everton FC Co Ltd Annual Report 2014

It is glaring to see that, out of turnover of £120Million, the share of commercial and sponsoring activities is less than 10% while a whooping 74% of the turnover is derived from TV broadcasting (now we know why banks insist that we first bank the TV money).

Question now then is: Why club of such standing is not able generate additional commercial income considering huge standing in places like US and Australia? Who is taking marketing decisions and and why are not getting deals for jersey etc?

Just to give an example, I am from India and there is not a single outlet in whole of country where I can buy an authentic Everton shirt. When I wrote to the club, I never got a proper answer. India might not be football playing country but it has huge fanbase and with its population just imagine the potential

Amit Balaggan
92 Posted 02/09/2015 at 18:49:15
Just to quote a figure Spurs have kit sponsorship of £16 Million per year from AIA while ours is £5 Million from Chang Beer. While Newcastle and West Ham are above us, we are level with Sunderland and Aston Villa, both of which are relegation fodder.
Note: Figures as of financials for 2014
John Raftery
93 Posted 02/09/2015 at 19:16:25
The article does not pass the 'so what' test. It contains gossipy phrases such as 'it takes no great leap of faith', 'it is understood' and 'it is known'. People with money move money around to avoid paying tax and make more money. Wow!
Jay Wood
94 Posted 02/09/2015 at 19:26:40
Whilst the author of the article is to be congratulated on an impressive research into the finances and loans brokered by the club, I don't think there is (as described by Graham #43) a smoking gun or indisputable evidence to implicate any one associated with the club of financial malpractice.

Without doubt more strident voices do speak of and accuse the board of nefarious malpractices, but that is not, I believe, the solitary or default position of critics of the board.

Unfortunately, those (few) radical voices are the ones perennial defenders of the board settle upon. By contrast, such defenders conveniently ignore the more moderate voices and their very legitimate and well-presented examples of the board's negligence which has impacted on the club's ability to compete at the very top end of the league.

As Patrick #69 correctly, IMO, states:

"...BK's detractors often point out that they are not trying to prove any illegal wrongdoings, merely that the club has and continues to be hamstrung with some its financial arrangements."

Amit in previous threads has made very deep inspection and analysis of the club's accounts and again here he makes telling, questioning posts (#8, 19, 38), which cannot be flippantly dismissed by any style of 'hand waving' as attempted by one or two in this thread.

Finally, did any of you note the Tweet in which the author highlights the company results of JG Funding with who Everton has and had loans with? They are listed as having:

Cash: £16,659
Net worth: £7,918
Assets: £13,583,314
Liabilities: £13,575,396

As Watched Toffee asks: "How can this company lend us £20+?"

Watched Toffee's article and investigation into the intricate web of the club's finances and the names associated with the companies arranging loan facilities to Everton should give cause for concern for any Evertonian genuinely concerned for the present and future well-being for the club.

Tom R Owen
95 Posted 02/09/2015 at 19:29:19
Martin Mason (#78),

Why do you always say it's not the chairman's fault?

The guy has been in charge for 19 years. If it's not his fault (as the ultimate final say), then whose fault is it?

Jay Wood
96 Posted 02/09/2015 at 19:32:07
Opps! My previous post should read:

As Watched Toffee asks: "How can this company lend us £20 million +?"

Martin Mason
97 Posted 02/09/2015 at 19:42:16

Many apologies, I missed the questions you asked of me here.

I'm not an accountant and so can't really comment on whether the way the club is run financially now is worse than when the current board took over, whether it's sustainable, whether it is different to the way most other clubs are financed or what we could and should do to change it. My comments are only on the unsubstantiated insinuations of financial malpractice at the club. I'd believe that if a shred of real evidence was provided.

There's a comment above that my description of hand wringing was applied to comments from you, this is incorrect. It was based only on the OP. I believe that you can and do add very much to the discussion.

Tom R Owen
98 Posted 02/09/2015 at 19:44:47
Well said, Amit.

The marketing is shocking considering we have an established USA name in the team and from what I've seen on my travels nil stockists in the USA.

I know last year when Peter Reid managed Mumbai, the interest in Soccer and Premier League is growing in India.

Oliver Molloy
99 Posted 02/09/2015 at 19:56:21
From what I can make out of it all is Philip Green is an opportunist and is making money out of Everton along with Robert Earl, and it looks like Bill is being led by Green, perhaps not by choice.

I would love to know what Keith Wyness knows!
John Raftery
100 Posted 02/09/2015 at 20:10:06
It may be growing but with average earnings in India of £1000 per year, it is doubtful many of the population will buy shirts.
Tony Abrahams
101 Posted 02/09/2015 at 21:04:25
If seems that we have all been took on a very merry riverdance! They are still doing it now, judging by the fees for our latest two additions.

Kenwright himself called Phillip Green, a magician, when he had that infamous meeting with the Blue Union.

A magician usually makes things disappear, so why would our loveable chairman be talking about Green in this context, when asked what his connection was to Everton?


Dennis Stevens
102 Posted 02/09/2015 at 21:31:02
I think it all supports what most have long believed: that Kenwright leapt out of Gregg's frying pan & into Green's fire – with Everton paying the price, & paying & paying & paying.
Kristian Boyce
103 Posted 02/09/2015 at 22:19:42
Unfortunately we'll never know what Keith Wyness knows as Mr Green & Mr Earl chased him across the Mediterranean straight after he left to set up a meeting.

Other than Elstone, you have to wonder why other CEOs haven't stuck around for any decent length of time.

Martin Mason
104 Posted 02/09/2015 at 22:28:31

Is it possible that when BK called Green a magician it's because he managed to obtain the finance that Everton needed to survive and who continues to do that? It's easy as a non-player to criticise those who have to actually produce the goods, week-in & week-out.

Ian Cowhig
105 Posted 02/09/2015 at 22:36:24
I work for a well known British brand that were severely impacted by the financial turmoil in 2008-09. We are owned by a foreign company who knew the potential of the company in the future, once the world was in recovery. As a result they guaranteed the short term loans to bolster the company. And they are now reaping the benefits of doing so.

Now look at Everton...

The club have mortgaged both Goodison Park and Finch Farm to supposedly support the playing side of the business. They have borrowed money from financial systems at high interest. Again to supposedly support the playing side.

None of this makes sense if you as a shareholder, and astute businessman, are expecting dividends on your investment from club profits, and to make money from any future sale.

The mortgage arrangements devalue the club to prospective buyers. And the high interest loans will mean less profit, and so lower dividends to shareholders on a yearly basis.

So you have to ask the question: "Where do the so called astute businessmen make enough profit to mean they believe retaining ownership in Everton makes sense?"
The article suggests a more guaranteed, more profitable, less risky way of making a profit through football ownership, to the detriment of the fan's aspirations for the club, and other less wealthy shareholders, who do not hold enough sway to dictate club policy.

And is the failure to plan properly for a new stadium, and the quoted cost to buy out the club, part of the ruse to keep this policy going?

Christine Foster
106 Posted 02/09/2015 at 22:58:01
Martin, if it walks like a Duck, quacks like a Duck and shits like a Duck, it's probable safe to say in all probability it's a Duck. Of course until you dissect it and have genuine autopsy evidence you cannot tell what sort of Duck it is, can you?

So of course you are right in saying there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that the smoke and smell is not of a burning Duck on the BBQ...

Sorry for the lame duck approach to your rhetoric but I am sure you get the point.

Everton (its board and SO) have set in place a structure that whilst you correctly say is not illegal, it is something that the government is trying to prevent in its attack on tax avoidance schemes, offshore finance companies who do not disclose directors or associations.

You are quite right in saying too that there is no evidence that any such organisations have benefitted our directors or SO, but there is guilt by association, there is fact in that these companies charge high levels of interest and on the balance of probability I would say that messers Green and Earl complicit in setting up such schemes to "help" Everton.

As such, if they are financially profiting as a director of such offshore companies or receiving a commission for providing this "assistance", then they are acting in such a way that is a classic conflict of interest. That they can disguise this by non disclosure quite legally does not make it right at any level.

The point of the article I suspect was more of disclosure of the links to key players and the links to bad practises. As I said at the beginning, if it walks like a Duck....

Christine Foster
107 Posted 02/09/2015 at 23:13:52
It begs a more serious question too... Should the club ever be relegated (God forbid), then the lack of commercial and other income (Sky) could, almost certainly, mean the club could face liquidation. It would be impossible to finance the loans, and no one would touch us with a barge pole.

Plan B... what happens if it all goes wrong?

There is a moot point too that's been nagging at me for a number of yeas [I must really get a life] that we have been unable to attract an interested party to the table to buy the shares of the major players.

It has to be the commitments that the club has entered into that make it so onerous financially to extricate from. Such as high penalties for early withdrawal; after all the finance companies and their directors would want a payoff to protect their interest, wouldn't they?

It's common practice of loan sharks.. .finance companies... it just could be the missing piece in the jigsaw as to why we have not sold... the real reason.

Keith Harrison
108 Posted 02/09/2015 at 23:32:53
I would like Robert Elstone to address the article. He can either totally refute it - by providing proof to the contrary, or come clean (unlikely) and admit that the situation is not illegal, but unethical.

This will grow legs as at long last Evertonians seem to be getting fed up with a stream of platitudes, false promises, and now a - to say the least - moderate transfer window.

If the national media jump on this as fast and dig their claws in as much as they did with the Stones transfer circus, some serious answers may have to be provided by the custodians of this club.

Let's not get hysterical and accuse messrs Green, Earl and even BK to an extent of being on the grassy knoll, but push for answers to this conundrum which may, as Christine states, explain why, despite 24/7/365 seeking, we cannot attract investment. Apart from high interest loans that is.

Mike Childs
109 Posted 02/09/2015 at 23:36:24
It just makes no sense that already filthy rich people would stay involved with Everton if there wasn't money to be made. The rich support the politicians who bend the laws to allow them to beat taxes.

I believe BK is the face simply because he can claim he loves the club. If there was no way to make money they'd sell the club tomorrow or sooner or they'd have built a stadium to increase revenues.

Eric Myles
111 Posted 03/09/2015 at 00:20:17
Martin #94 "I'm not an accountant and so can't really comment on whether the way the club is run financially now is worse than when the current board took over."

You are ALWAYS commenting on how the current board has, and is, improving our financial position despite evidence to the contrary that debt is increasing.

Tom Hughes
112 Posted 02/09/2015 at 01:36:29

You're wasting your time addressing your points to Martin..... Robert Earl, Phil Green or whoever else could post a full page confession in the Times, or Keith Wyness could break the terms of his confidentiality agreement and sing like the proverbial canary and he'd still say: at least it's not Bill's fault.

It's long been suggested that the club is beholden to other parties, either by virtue of its "actual" ownership structure or financially, or both...... The indicators have been there almost throughout....... and I doubt that this would be a revelation to anyone now.

Even the nature of the initial buyout.... when there were doubts as to how BK could've afforded his part of the investment, and the apparently mythical remortgaging of his house etc. Long since shown to have never happened...... were we even being carpet-bagged back then?

The collapse of the Kings Dock with the now infamous board-split or engineered power-struggle, which led to a massive cover up, with little or no explanation ever offered....... and the real deal of the century lost forever. How could this ever have been allowed to happen by people supposedly with our best interests at heart? The cutting questions at AGMs regarding this failure and the resultant and preceding loans, and other weird, wonderful or plain fictitious funding mechanisms are now almost folklore, and relate directly to the issues raised in the article.

The Destination Kirkby proposals were entirely led by third parties, with the key driver being the highly controversial retail element (not just Tesco)..... again, linked closely to the suspected "friends" of Everton FC.

The continued inability to deliver any new stadium infrastructure, when all around us have rebuilt extensively, some more than once...... with the vast majority with less turnover than us.

The continued inability or reluctance to sell up in an era when practically all others have been sold, again, some more than once.

Practically the entire value of our club is on the pitch, and has been produced via the lowest net spend of any top-flight club over the period of BK's tenure. Most property assets have been sold off, and no real value has been added in terms of infrastructure revenue streams or commercially. So you're right that if our manager stops producing decent teams from our apparently very limited budget, and we tumble down the league....... how will we stop the fall? We appear to have no scope to buy ourselves out of trouble like many of our competitors. We are in effect one poor manager away from disaster

Taken in isolation, each point might seem or indeed be inconsequential. However, when viewed together within the context of the whole series of events, issues, and combined with the information outlined in the article, it increasingly tends to point towards external influences or potential internal ulterior motives that we are not being made aware of. In other words a fully functional duck who appears to be shitting on us with gay abandon.

Jay Harris
113 Posted 03/09/2015 at 02:22:37
I would just like to say that some still believe BK should be nominated for a Knighthood or should that be a nightcap.

For anyone to carry on believing and supporting this total charlatan beggars belief.


He has destroyed the asset base that was our club and now has us beholding to a couple of East end spivs.

Anyone that believes this man is an innocent with only goodwill on his agenda needs to be referred to a psychiatrist.

The worst period in our history at a time when finanace is pouring in to the top clubs.

Shame on you Kenwright. I cant even call you Bill.

Jim Jennings
114 Posted 03/09/2015 at 02:24:12

Why is it that every time I read your comments on threads related to BK or the board I am reminded of the "Tory Boy" sketch on Harry Enfield & Chums.

"Tory Boy, where's your homework?"

"The question is not where is my homework but where is your evidence that I don't have my homework"

"Tory Boy, you have not done your homework, have you?"

"The burden of proof is not on me to prove I have done it but for you to prove I have not done it" etc etc

Gary Russell
115 Posted 03/09/2015 at 03:00:43
It is very apparent that replying to some posters on here is an exercise in futility. I am with Helen, it does feel like TW has been infiltrated by EFC spies....
Matt Traynor
116 Posted 03/09/2015 at 04:12:29
Gary #112, given the levels they've stooped to (radio phone in callers masking as fans, when they're employees etc.) it really wouldn't be a surprise.

Kim Jong Bill, ever worried about his perception, when no-one outside of Everton supporters really gives a shit, because thanks to him and his self-serving friends, we've got no international profile. We're struggling to maintain a national profile if it weren't for players like Stones etc.

Steve Jenkins
117 Posted 03/09/2015 at 06:48:41
Regarding whether a journalist will investigate the article further, looking through Twitter, Gabriel es Marcotti has stated that "it's very interesting" and later said that he will look into it or pass it on to someone to do so (as he is currently v busy).

Whether he actually follows through as promised, I guess only time will tell.

Tom R Owen
118 Posted 03/09/2015 at 07:19:41
Guys re our friend Martin
He has never answered a question, only raised another . I have written before on previous threads he is like a politician .
And an arrogant one , who has the audacity to tell people they do not understand what someone else has written.
Completely in denial
Bit like our chairman really.
Tony Abrahams
119 Posted 03/09/2015 at 07:35:25
Martin... make that WEAK IN, WEAK OUT!
Tony Abrahams
121 Posted 03/09/2015 at 07:47:25
I really should take Kev Tilly's stance with THE DUKE, but in that same meeting Kenwright couldn't account for 㿄 Million pounds. Twenty four fucking million pounds MR CHAIRMAN? "I don't know, I'm only the chairman, I'm not the invisible man yer know!"

Dennis 98, exactly.

People should read that infamous meeting, for which Patrick Murphy, put a link on ToffeeWeb. Don't read it if you love Everton, like I do though. It will only depress the life out of you.

Keith Harrison
122 Posted 03/09/2015 at 08:26:06
It didn't take the highly respected Trevor Birch very long to suss out that things were rotten in the state of Denmark, or has he been forgotten? And I bet if he came back tomorrow instead of Elstone, his tenure would be shorter than last time.

I don't really mind EFC employees 'infiltrating' the site, as it should give some balance, as, let's face it, most people who visit this site do not post. It's mainly the noisy minority – me included – who can be arsed to do so, which leads to a skewed view.

However, Martin above, and several others, seem to be living in total denial of what is happening at our club. With the new Sky money coming in, we should be in a position to actually buy our way out of the punitive contracts with Kitbag, Vibrac and others, and start again from a level playing field.

It is time for a viable, transparent, business plan to be put in place at this club we love. This can only be done by ascertaining what is actually happening with all our cash and the steps required to remedy this.

Apparently around 5.2 million different people followed efctv to tag our deadline day deals. If we knock the 36,000 Chelsea supporters off this, a tenner off every one of us would go a long way to buying the club.

While supporting Roberto and the team wholly on the pitch, whether you think he's the right manager or not, this alleged rape of our club, if true, should neither be allowed to continue, nor swept under the carpet.

It's time we stopped sitting back, and started pro-actively seeking the truth.

Graham Mockford
123 Posted 03/09/2015 at 10:42:25

I agree Martin does take a singular approach to all things Everton but there are many who are as equally intransigent on the other side of the argument.

I'm not a huge supporter of the Board but at the same time I don't necessarily buy all the accusations that fly around. Their biggest failing has been their ability to have a long-term strategic plan to change the fortunes of the club and they have been too hand-to-mouth just surviving.

However, your assertion that the club is suddenly awash with money just doesn't stack up. Yes, the TV deal is better and provides some welcome relief but every other club is in the same boat other than the mega rich clubs.

You talk about buying out the Kitbag deal. Well that is certainly not necessary as Kitbag offered to let us walk away for free. My inclination is to believe this is still a relatively safe no-risk piece of business. But of course in TW parlance Kitbag equals incompetence.

Sometimes it's useful to hear the counter argument. "Cherish the vocal" is the saying.

Martin Mason
124 Posted 03/09/2015 at 10:42:27
Eric@106, I comment on financial issues only in areas where you don't have to be an accountant to see the picture and will as always accept being corrected.

I've mentioned it before, gents, I'll answer any questions that I can answer, that have an answer and that don't have a personal attack attached.

Some of the responses above are hilarious.

Derek Thomas
125 Posted 03/09/2015 at 10:44:21
Tom Hughes: 'One poor manager away from disaster."

The quote of this or any other Board related-thread... totally nail on head.

Eric Myles
126 Posted 03/09/2015 at 11:01:21
Martin (#117), you are corrected all the time but still post the same incorrect nonsense repeatedly.
Nick Page
127 Posted 03/09/2015 at 11:16:27
Where's the No 10 money, Bill?
Nick Page
128 Posted 03/09/2015 at 11:17:54
Kenwright said years ago that he had no intention of being Chairman past his 70th birthday....which is tomorrow. Shall we add this porky too to the ever growing list?
Richard Jones
129 Posted 03/09/2015 at 11:19:21
I'm sorry guys I would't give Martin the time of day, he's a WUM who disappears when he's been battered only to turn up on another thread and do the same again.
Nick Page
130 Posted 03/09/2015 at 11:25:43
And here is the article and comments from the previous time this all blew up.


And yet nothing else happened. Heads buried in sand everywhere!!
Tom Hughes
131 Posted 03/09/2015 at 11:49:05

It is one thing being intransigent and being able to back it up with a whole series of well documented facts, events and related issues to form an argument... it's quite another to be a Martin Mason. His approach is more related to blind faith and the blinkered discernment of the bigot. He has form.... and lots of it.

You admit yourself that you have had concerns about our board's performance, and lack of direction at various times etc... I think when viewed in the context of the whole history of the past 15 years, the issues outlined in the article should only add to those concerns. Of course view anything in isolation and plausible explanations or excuses can be found.... but not so for a whole sequence of mishaps and failures over a very long period.

Graham Mockford
132 Posted 03/09/2015 at 12:05:49

It's simple, if you don't want to read his views don't read them. It seems a modern day disease. Go on to Twitter and see people who violently disagree with people they actually follow. Then getting all upset when something is tweeted they don't agree with.

Seriously, and Martin is right, some of the responses are 'hilarious'. Posters getting all frothy mouthed because he won't agree with their point of view.

You may be 100% right, he may be 100% wrong but as long as he is not abusive and follows the rules of the site he can have HIS opinion and you can have yours.

Tony Abrahams
133 Posted 03/09/2015 at 12:14:37
Martin 117, who do you genuinely think that the main player is in the Everton show?
Martin Mason
134 Posted 03/09/2015 at 13:03:43
Tony@123, I don't know the real interrelationship between the main shareholders and how this affects how the club functions. I'm also not too sure what the "main player", really means.

If I had to say, it'd be that the main players are the major shareholders who hold the controlling shares and in this respect the key "players" would be Kenwright and Earl as Woods is non-executive.

My own personal opinion is that Earl is the key man and hence his title as "Director", I believe that he wields most influence behind the scenes. BK's main function appears to be as front man but don't underestimate his power and influence at the club, he's determined and ruthless.

Winston Williamson
136 Posted 03/09/2015 at 13:25:15
Keith (#115).

It appears the Board have taken the other option in regard to the Sky money...

I know many people who operate their personal finances in the same regard. They borrow money or purchase items on credit and struggle to meet the repayments. They do meet the repayments (including interest), but a large percentage of their income goes to servicing debt.

Even when their income improves they borrow more, as they can now afford the increase in debt repayments.

The same is happening at EFC. The annual income goes up and our borrowing goes up because we can afford to borrow more.

The problem is we have no contingency plan in case of problems (such as a crumbling stadium).

The Sky money is a convenient reason not to pursue other income streams to their maximum extent.

In the case of Green or Kenwright coming to the rescue to stop EFC going under, I ask one question: Why were we in that position in the first place? Leveraged buy-out?Aready stripped the clubs assets? No viable players to sell? Sorry, but the Board cannot be lauded for saving the club from a problem they created themselves.

John Keating
137 Posted 03/09/2015 at 13:35:45

I didn't realise our Deputy Chairman and a major shareholder was a non-executive director.

Jay Harris
138 Posted 03/09/2015 at 13:36:22
All this tripe about Kenwright saving the club is absolute nonesense.

When Johnson sold up (at a more than fair price!!) the club was profit making and had a net asset position.

Within a couple of years of Kenwright taking over, we were loss-making and were selling off or mortgaging assets like crazy.

Does that sound like someone "saving" the club.

Winston Williamson
139 Posted 03/09/2015 at 13:46:06
Exactly Jay. It all points to someone who couldn't afford to buy the club buying the club and maximising debt levels to remain in control. And that's the less cynical version.
Phil Bellis
140 Posted 03/09/2015 at 13:52:24
So, you admit confirming not denying you ever believed that?
Tom R Owen
141 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:03:40
Well said Jay128
Wait for the Graham/ Martin reply!!
Tony George
142 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:09:23
Without getting into semantics, my understanding is that Kenwright, Woods and Earl are all classed as non-executives hence Bill's statement to BU, 'Why ask me, I'm only the chairman' !

The only 'executive director' is Elstone who, I believe is classed as 'The Chief Executive'. Of course, both exec and non-exec directors can be remunerated although BK has always insisted that he and his fellow governors 'take nothing out of the club.'

Martin Mason
143 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:11:02
So, those complaining about the club borrowing and selling assets to fund buying of players would be happy if we hadn't bought players?
Steve Brown
145 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:15:30
Read through all these comments and it is a really lively debate on a critical subject. My overall views are that:

1) while using off-shore loans securitised against future revenue is legal, it is not a sustainable model to run a business;

2) the named shareholders (Green, Earl et al) are perfectly within their rights to refuse to invest in the club, act as guarantors for loans, or sell for a penny below their valuation of the club, but don't pretend to be anything other than venture capitalists with no inherent interest in the club;

3) the lack of transparency in how this club is run insults the fans' intelligence and reinforces why the club needs to be rid of these owners.

Martin Mason
146 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:20:30

They aren't listed as non-executives, only Woods.

Patrick Murphy
147 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:26:08
Steve (135) Officially Mr Green has nothing to do with Everton FC and he is not listed as a shareholder or director.

But it would seem that his influence is greater than some would like it to be...

John Keating
148 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:30:52

I would have thought that out of the 3 major shareholders the most likely non-executive director, as we know the meaning of, would be Earl.

Bill, well he's the front man and likes the media.

Woods, well, say what you want, at least he's there every game and only lives round the corner.

Earl, well, certainly has no day-to-day influence in running the Club. In fact I think he's only been to the ground once, years ago with his mate Rocky.

However, Earl certainly has an influence in strategy and planning organising things like er.... loans.

Eric Myles
149 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:34:51
Martin #133, our player purchases are funded by our player sales.
Tony George
151 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:49:39
I have to admit coming late to this debate and have never had the interest in the politics of ownership that has been exposed here. However, it does occur to me, that being a 'private' company rather than a 'public' one, whoever owns Everton FC Co Ltd has absolutely no obligation to share its innermost workings with us, the hoi polloi!

I do recall that when Randy Lerner took over Aston Villa (then a public company) from Doug Ellis, he went about buying up all the stock so that he could turn it into a private vehicle, non-accountable to anyone outside his family.

Similarly, Spurs, West Ham, Stoke, Chelsea and many more are private fiefdoms accountable to no-one outside a small coterie of shareholders. I am sure their supporters would love to know their inner workings but get the same response as is usual here.

Tell me, who can explain how Man City organize their finances and which sheikh owns which of the maze of companies under the Man City banner!?!

The truth is, Martin Mason is right – unless evidence of malfeasance can be presented, all this is of little or no consequence – it's how modern business works. Sad, perhaps, but hardly illegal.

Graham Mockford
152 Posted 03/09/2015 at 14:57:31

How very dare you?

You have no right to that opinion when all like minded individuals realise it is a pile of festering manure.

Are you so blind you can not see that Watched Toffee has effectively laid out the whole sham and corruption for what it is? He's like a modern day Bob Woodward. I mean come on wake up and smell the coffee.

Winston Williamson
154 Posted 03/09/2015 at 15:59:33
Martin 137.

You ignore the borrowing to purchase the club and asset-stripping to service that debt. Buying players has come, predominately, from selling players, Martin.

Martin Mason
155 Posted 03/09/2015 at 16:23:32
Winston, there hasn't been any asset stripping at Everton, they have sold assets to pay operating costs and buy players – that isn't asset-stripping; only asset conversion.

We have bought players and operated the club by a combination of normal revenue, borrowing and selling players. While selling players has contributed to all aspects of spending, I don't believe that the statement that we've bought only by selling is correct. As always though, I'll stand corrected if you can point me to where I can validate it.

My point is that borrowing has been a key in the club's financial strategy, if no borrowing then we either buy less players or reduce operating costs (shut down the academy?). What do we prefer?

Dennis Stevens
156 Posted 03/09/2015 at 16:27:10
I don't think there's a suggestion of any illegality beyond the possibility of whether the Board have truly acted in the interests of EFC.

However, I do think it's a model of company [mis]management that rather screams "Carpetbaggers!", & I suspect an increasing number if the fanbase will become disinclined to put their hard-earned into it.

Richard Jones
157 Posted 03/09/2015 at 16:35:48
We only borrow to pay Green and Earl their extortionate interest rates.
Martin Mason
159 Posted 03/09/2015 at 17:17:05
Richard, Green isn't an Everton shareholder now.
Joe Foster
160 Posted 03/09/2015 at 17:42:15
Can you prove that Martin?
Martin Mason
161 Posted 03/09/2015 at 17:59:33
Joe, Google it, Everton's main shareholders are in the public domain. Jon Woods bought his shares, if what I read is right.
Helen Mallon
162 Posted 03/09/2015 at 18:07:03
Look, let's just put so much pressure on the board with protests that they bloody well can't take it anymore and piss off. Social media is a great tool – we can get at Green and Earl through that.
Patrick Murphy
163 Posted 03/09/2015 at 18:09:18
Martin - you stated that Mr Green isn't a shareholder now, can you tell us during what period of time that he actually was? I don't remember him having shares at any time!
Martin Mason
164 Posted 03/09/2015 at 18:53:04
Never sorry, I was mixing the G's of Gregg and Green.
Paul Andrews
165 Posted 03/09/2015 at 18:59:52

You're not the first to mix them up, and you won't be the last. :-)

Raymond Fox
166 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:08:52
Tony 145, has taken the words from my mouth.

Reading this thread, it strikes me how much hot air is being expended with no possible result. The club is privately owned by the shareholders; they can do as they please as long as they don't contravene business practices.

As spectators we are paying to be entertained, that is all!

There are plenty of accusations flying about, how much of it true, I wouldn't know.

The facts are that the shareholders are bankrolling the club / putting their money were their mouth is, in other words, it seems no-one else wants to!

Winston Williamson
167 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:39:00
Asset stripping or conversion, Martin, the result is the same. However, just to point out... we paid for Finch Farm to be built and then sold it and now lease it back. Asset stripped or asset converted... the result is the same.

"While selling players has contributed to all aspects of spending, I don't believe that the statement that we've bought only by selling is correct. As always though, I'll stand corrected if you can point me to where I can validate it."

In terms of player purchase... I definitely said selling players predominately paid for purchases.

Additionally, you're refuting something I didn't say then ask me to prove your point with evidence!

My point, Martin, is that borrowing has placed the biggest financial burden on the club, starting with mortgaging assets and selling assets, which has culminated in the club now spending a portion of next season's money increase this year.

I'm sorry, but it is poor financial planning and it is effectively crippling us each year!

Winston Williamson
168 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:43:49
Incidentally I would prefer us to act in a financially responsible manner. Not borrow money to the extreme that we are unable to fund infrastructure and to make us an unsaleable entity.
Patrick Murphy
169 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:52:28
"The shareholders are bankrolling the club" — thank God for that! I thought they were only hanging on to their shares because the value of their holding on paper at any rate must have increased by quite a lot in the 16 or so years that they have held them.

It's also good to know that we are mere customers who seek entertainment. In the cold-light of day, that is an accurate description, but there are a great many football fans who wish to know that the club that they and their forefathers have supported for over a century will still be around and in good shape for future generations to enjoy.

I suppose from a hard-headed business point of view it really doesn't matter what state the stadium is in, does it? Especially if the club can't make any money out of improving it.

David Greenwood
170 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:02:18
Have come to this very late. Apologies if this has been said above.

1. Have the current directors (executive or nor executive) invested any money in Everton?

2. Have these same directors offered to act as guarantors with British High street banks so that the club can take out loans/mortgages at commercial business rates?

3. As no UK banks will loan Everton money, who owns the overseas money lenders that lend money to Everton at exorbitant rates?

To the one or two (deliberately) missing the point above. Ask yourself what the answer is to question 3.

Dave Lynch
171 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:05:46
My old fella used to use the Alpine pop bottles for making home brew.

It was the rubber seal under the cap that made them perfect for it... Apparently.

Raymond Fox
172 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:07:10
Well, let's put it another way, Patrick; they 'invested' (good word) their money in the club when they bought their shares.

That's what we are: spectators, no more, no less.

Without our attendance though, you could say without our support, the show couldn't carry on.

Michael Kenrick
173 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:34:40

1) Yes... in that they have bought Everton Shares...
But No, in the sense that the millions they paid for those shares went to Johnson, Gregg, etc... previous shareholders — and NOT into the club itself.

2) Such behaviour has never been reported or described in the accounts, as far as I recall.

3) I think that's the topic of the article in question; and the answer seems very murky. Being offshore, their ownership is opaque.

Like many have said, there's plenty to fuel supposition and innuendo here but what's lacking is a smoking gun. For some, a compilation of all past transgressions, coupled with our current parlous state, is enough to cry foul and unleash the dogs on the current custodians.

To others, who might like to see stronger evidence before joining the lynch mob, the case is far from proven. I don't think that makes them WUMs, Elstone clones or club employees. I think it would be better all round if we could we perhaps try to keep the discussion elevated from such ad hominem nonsense?

The argument that's hardest to challenge is that of business expediency. This includes maintaining manageable debt, while generally balancing the books without dumping vast sums of sunk capital into what is in essence an incredible cash cow.

Yes, use whatever excess money is available to buy and pay players. But why would any owner sink vast sums of money into a business that gets a ~𧴜M windfall every season? It simply makes no sense at all. Is that what the wealthy clubs are really doing? Or are they all sustained by huge tranches of debt financing that make our little offshore dalliances pale into insignificance?

Tom Hughes
174 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:36:18

I don't do twitter or follow anyone on it, so I've no idea what you're on about..... However, I do believe I am entitled to respond to people who have made it their vocation in life to infest various threads, and fill them with nonsensical posts.

That is surely a concern to anyone interested in debating the issues.

Hilarious you say? Which post do you find hilarious, and why? Are any of them Martin's? Are they any more hilarious than posting endless unsubstantiated nonsense, and rarely if ever responding to direct questions......?

Is it an issue? Well in itself of course it isn't, especially when you consider his reputation as a source of ridicule on this site. However, as we saw at the time of Destination Kirkby Martin Mason was one of those instrumental in bombarding this site with posts supportin the project. When various posters presented their concerns, and supported them with facts and figures, he simply responded as he does now... with little of substance beyond blind faith and club propaganda. As one by one the lies and deceit where exposed.... he retreated behind the endless rhetoric.... Everything he had supported so vehemently on here had been shown for what it was, and not once did he admit his mistake throughout or after that project..... even after the club dropped it at the first opportunity...

Similarly now..... an important question has been raised, some of the issues have been investigated and the findings listed in relation to the history and real events..... and just as with Kirkby Martin instantly pipes up with "I see nothing wrong"....."This board has never held us back".... etc...... now that might be hilarious, if it wasn't pitiful.

Funnily enough. ... at the time, I called out the likes of Martin to see if he fancied a meet up to discuss the matters over a pre or post match pint..... Needless to say, none ever took me up. I often wondered if he was one of Wyness's famous thread infiltrators who all mysteriously vanished off the fansites after DK's demise..... I wonder.

Tony Abrahams
175 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:40:50
So your saying that the spectators should vote with their feet, and stop supporting Raymond?
David Greenwood
176 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:44:00
Yes Michael. Quite simply my point should simply have been who makes the money from the overseas loans that Everton take out each year?
Joe Foster
177 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:57:35
These captains of industry on our board sure knew how to wreck our finances and put the club in to financial jeopardy. Maybe we are not so much a rich person's plaything but a rich person's way of making money for themselves.
Lev Vellene
178 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:58:24
Michael #164, one of my favourite movies is Conspiracy Theory. Mainly because I see all those kinds of theories as too funny to be true, whether in the movie or not.

But reading this article/post, I find myself wondering at the more mundane applications of 'conspiracy theories'! Web of loans, none of the 'loanies' having any cash themselves to actually spend?

Well, it does sort of explain the lack of investment if no-one really owns anything to invest in? Or have us peasants missed anything here?


Keith Harrison
179 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:59:21
Dave Lynch (162). A beacon of sanity in the madness of this thread mate.
Keith Harrison
180 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:05:58
Does anyone know if the club has a Mission Statement. And what it is?
Keith Harrison
181 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:08:22
Will you and Lyndon give a prize for the most outrageous one submitted Michael? This would exclude the official club one of course!
Steve Barr
182 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:21:08
Keith @168. Can't find anyhing for the Football club itself but found the following for other entities associated with EFC:

Everton in the Community:
Through the positive promotion of sport, physical activity and the brand of Everton Football Club, we are committed to provide high quality, accessible participation and development opportunities that positively change lives and bring enjoyment to our communities.

Everton Shareholders Association (objectives):
On behalf of the Association members, to conduct Association business in the best interests of the institution known as Everton Football Club.
To encourage the wider ownership and distribution of shares in Everton.
To work constructively with the Club on any relevant policy or operational matter affecting the well being of Everton.
To work constructively with all members of the wider Everton community.

Everton Former Players’ Foundation:
1 - To relieve, in cases of need, hardship or distress, persons who are or have been former players of everton football club and the widows and dependents of such persons.
2 – To educate young persons through their leisure time activities.
3 – To provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupations in the interests of social welfare for the public benefit.

Keith Harrison
183 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:25:11
Thanks, Steve.

The Shareholders Association one is interesting. Are the main board included in the SA, and therefore should they subscribe to this theorem?

Oliver Molloy
184 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:29:06
Could someone please explain to me why the club can not borrow from the banks?
John Keating
185 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:29:33

Google "non-executive director" and have a look at what he/she is supposed to do.

I would suggest Earl is the nearest we have, if not, to a non-executive director.

Think he might be fulfilling ANY of his duties???

John Keating
186 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:33:29

Why borrow off a bank at relatively low interest rates when you can borrow from some offshore mob that a Director – who takes nothing out of the Club – has his fingers in, at higher rates.

Seems quite straight-forward for Everton Football Club.

Keith Harrison
187 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:34:02
He brought Rambo to the club. Give the guy a break, he must be exhausted.
Raymond Fox
188 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:36:26
Well, I suppose plenty do, Tony; it's not an option for a true blue fanatic, though, is it?

We're all entitled to our own view on how the club is run and the league would perhaps be a more fair competition if each club was supporter-owned and run.

Now that would cause some arguments.

Kevin Tully
189 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:41:50
The problems the club face are two-fold. Firstly, until we can rid ourselves of this fractured ownership model, we are unable to move forward. We require an outright owner, who can implement a sound strategy to modernise the club from top to bottom. From pie-in-the-sky stadium schemes, Kitbag to Sodexo, we find ourselves lurching from one crisis to the next.

Secondly, we are screaming out for a large injection of working capital. I won't go over old ground, but if we don't solve that looming issue, we are on the road to ruin.

We come to the present day and where do we find ourselves? Dreams of donations from a struggling Council, a board that has an awful track record which is now coming home to roost. How much longer will the majority shareholders cite 'enabling partners' as a coherent strategy to solve all our woes?

You have to ask yourselves: Why are they hanging on for dear life? Why do they put more effort into silencing any dissent than they do in creating a new, modern Goodison Park? They can't just cancel AGMs anymore, they MUST answer the points some have been raised in this thread.

Will the current ownership change their MO? I'd be amazed if they did, so I would say they really do have to sell to someone who can ensure the club has a chance to thrive, and give the long-suffering fans some hope.

The notion that nobody wants to purchase the club is ridiculous. The club could be sold tomorrow, at the right price. That price, however, has to reflect all the long-term mortgages and ridiculous commercial deals we find ourselves tied up in.

The asking price also should take into consideration the state of Goodison Park. Sadly, I believe they have no intention of going anywhere soon, and the cycle of loans, lies and crazy stadium schemes will continue.

Oliver Molloy
190 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:47:09
Yeah John,

I get what is being suggested, but surely there must be more to it than that.

What I'm saying is does anyone know the banks have refused to lend Everton money?

If the answer to this is Yes, then what other option does the club have? But, given the money in the game now, I find it hard to believe that Bill Kenwright would be unable to borrow from the banks.

Michael Kenrick
191 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:55:54

Without checking, I believe there is an overdraft facility cited in the Accounts, and I assume this is with the High Street banks. No doubt it has a modest limit designed to facilitate cash-flow rather than major / long-term borrowing needed for things like players and stadiums, however.

I think the 'myth' that we can't borrow from the banks is somewhat dated. It goes back to a period before the current Sky deals, when our financial existence was more hand-to-mouth than it is now (assuming the greater TV income is not all blown away).

Garry Corgan
192 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:56:41
I don't profess to be an expert in these matters but what I took away from that article is that, if this web of offshore companies are not being undertaken to launder money, then, at best, Robert Earl, acting on behalf of Philip Green, is likely to be authorising the club to take out loans from other companies owned by the pair. They will then sit back and enjoy the profits of interest.

This could well be why Wyness left, why Elstone (a yes-man) was appointed in his place, and why people like Earl and Green have any interest in Everton Football Club.

John Keating
193 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:57:39

You would think that, regardless of someone's present financial state, if they went into their bank, showed them a winning Euromillions ticket that was vouched for by Camelot and asked them for 200 quid to go on the piss before the Camelot cheque cleared, they'd be accepted.

Seems our lot don't do that; they just keep on going to Wonga. The sad thing is our money lender just happens to be a director!

Graham Mockford
194 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:00:17
Tom Hughes

I think you may be missing my point.

I am not commenting on the validity of either Martin's or your argument. However what is 'hilarious' is the near hysterical reaction, yours included, to posts he makes.

If it really is causing you such pain just ignore him.

You claim the right to respond to his posts, abso-fucking-lutely. But you can't have it both ways. He has the same right.

As for all these infiltrators on this site, I think you may need an extra layer of tin foil.

Oliver Molloy
195 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:11:52
Thank you, Michael.

I did presume the club would have an open working business account with the bank.

So if my thinking is correct, Bill is choosing to borrow money from Green, paying more in interest than he would with the banks and of course this has to be wrong and can not be in the best interests of the club.

No-one can argue any differently, in my opinion, unless they can explain my ignorance of something.

Unfortunately, as someone pointed out to me, as the owner, BK can do what he wants right now.

Graham Mockford
197 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:23:53

There you go you've proved it. Spectacular piece of deduction.

By the way, where is your evidence Everton are borrowing money from Green and paying him interest?

Graham Mockford
198 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:30:25
Kevin #177

Why is Kitbag a crisis?

Keith Harrison
199 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:35:01
Just picked this up regarding a Vibrac loan to Reading. Does anyone here seem familiar??


Reading secured a 㾶m loan against the August 2014 parachute payment due after their relegation from the Premier League, this was secured after relegation. Upon receiving the 㾶m parachute payment Reading will owe Vibrac a remaining ٟ.5million.

With Reading seemingly unable to make the remaining payment Vibrac called in BGT to oversee the sale of the club. Vibrac pushed through the sale of Adam Le Fondre to Cardiff and seemingly made things difficult for the chairman, Sir John Madejski, by changing terms of sale on several occasions. This led to many potential investors disengaging with the club, whilst Vibrac sought to push through sale to the mystery Phoenix consortium, which involves former Director, and person for bringing Vibrac into Reading, Chris Samuelson.

This called the Football League to look into the inappropriate role that Vibrac have given themselves, of running the club without having undertaken the Fit and Proper Persons Test. Reading were subsequently fined 㿊,000 by The Football League in March 2015.

Keith Harrison
200 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:42:38
Graham, if it wasn't so ludicrous, it would seem that Kitbag are actively against Everton Merchandise being sold abroad.

Apparently it is difficult to get the replica shirts in Australia (We had their greatest ever player, Timmy, for years), Thailand (our main sponsor for years is based there), and the US - we had their greatest player, Landon, plus McBride and Joe Max, and have Taliban Tim now, whose stock couldn't be higher.

Based on their performance and the pittance we get from them annually, 'crisis' is maybe not the exact correct terminology, so would 'commercial suicide' suffice instead?

Paul Andrews
201 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:43:18
Dress it up whichever way you want. The bottom line is we as Everton fans are getting the bollocks ripped off us.

The chairman and his board are feeding us a load of bollocks and we are accepting it all day long.

If only we had a forum to expose this crap, instead of the platitudes our forums repeatedly show to the status quo.
Oliver Molloy
202 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:46:00
Graham @ 185.

Who are they borrowing it from then, Graham?

I am all up for being educated as I previously said, so please do.

Graham Mockford
203 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:52:02

It's not enough just to peddle the normal, "I can't buy a shirt in Shitsville, Wyoming."

If it is commercial suicide, answer a few questions:

How many replica shirt sales do you think we could sell worldwide?
How much other merchandise could we sell?
What would you expect the gross margin on these sales to be?
What would the expected operating costs please include marketing costs, distribution costs, occupancy costs, mark down costs, payroll costs etc?
What would our EBIT be as a result?
What's the EBIT sensitivity if sales are 10% less than your projection?
How does this compare to the money received from Kitbag?

Just asking...

Ernie Baywood
204 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:53:40
If there was a fortune to be made in selling a million shirts overseas, wouldn't kitbag do it? And you can easily get Everton shirts in Melbourne, just go to the biggest sports shop, Rebel Sports. Failing that, buy one online.

Personally I don't believe that if an Evertonian wants a shirt that they can't get one.

Who's paying that sort of money in Thailand?

Graham Mockford
205 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:54:43

Keep up! They are borrowing it from Vibrac about whom we both know the same thing....... Fuck all!!!

David Greenwood
206 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:59:06

Vibrac. Is this short for Virgin Islands Beth Robert and Cara?

And are Robert Earls children called Beth, Robert and Cara?

John Keating
207 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:00:12

Read Keith's 186

The same mob are bankrolling us.

If you want to know anything about them, ask Robert Earl.

Andy Crooks
208 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:01:20
Graham (#189), that's a poor opening paragraph to your post.
Keith Harrison
209 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:06:16
Graham, do you mean EBIT, or the more commonly used EBITDA now mate?

And how can anybody do a budget without a single item of source information to begin with? Are you going to supply product costing information?

As for budgeting, mate, that is my actual job, and I have done it – very successfully – for over 30 years. Anyone who frequents this site who actually knows me would vouch for my expertise in this area too.

The chance of you or anyone else supplying the base information, however, is as likely as a full explanation of "other operating costs" in the Everton accounts.

And for your information, Shitsville, Wyoming doesn't exist. You're just being plain silly now. It's in Tennessee.

Oliver Molloy
210 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:12:52

Well, Vibrac seem to be linked to people who are linked to EFC. What I assume you will agree on is that Vibrac certainly charge high interest rates.

So let's ask Bill who Vibrac is, would he know... considering nobody seems to know? — yeah right... keep up, Oliver!

Vibrac Corporation is a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Vibrac have made national newspaper headlines in the United Kingdom for providing multi-million pound financial arrangements with Premier League football clubs. Vibrac typically provide Premier League football clubs with a cash advance on guaranteed broadcasting fees. As the company are incorporated in the British Virgin Islands it is impossible to determine who the lender is. Although the loans have been approved by the Premier League company.

Graham Mockford
211 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:18:45

That's sort of the point; how can you claim a deal is commercial suicide if you cannot provide an alternative business case?

I could perhaps take some educated estimations based on industry benchmarking.

For instance, Man Utd and Real Madrid sell the most replica shirts annually, about 1.5m, Arsenal 800k, Milan 400k. So take a view: delivered gross margins on replica shirts are typically 60% or so. Operating costs are probably a lot more difficult but you could take a stab. EBIT is fine as I'm not concerned with sunk costs of depreciation and amortisation.

Oh and as an aside, do you want our cash tied up in merchandise or spent on players?

So go on, show me why it is commercial suicide. Or are you just another who wants to trot out the lazy "Kitbag is shit"?

Graham Mockford
212 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:20:58
David Greenwood,

I don't know and nor do you.

Keith Harrison
213 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:26:55

I am losing the will to live on this mate. It's nearly half past 11, so I'll speak to Kev Tully in the morning, and we'll draw up a complete new, wholly transparent, operable business plan for Everton. And deliver it to Bill without charging anything for our expertise, as we wouldn't take any money out of the club.

Our only stipulation will be that money is borrowed at 12% interest from KK loans Ltd which will be registered on the Mull of Kintyre by close of play tomorrow. Say goodnight to the folks, Gracie.

Graham Mockford
214 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:29:47
Fair enough, Keith.

Can't wait to see it. If you need any help just give me shout.

Richard Jones
215 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:36:31
Graham we may not know nudge nudge wink wink. But common sense is something that can't be taught – you either have it or you don't .
Keith Harrison
216 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:38:04

You do the business plan mate, and me and Kev will sense check it over the weekend.


Graham Mockford
217 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:48:02

I'll pass on that. I'll just wait until someone can show me a reasoned financial explanation with robust numbers that demonstrates why the deal is so bad.

Otherwise I shall remain of the view that people who describe Kitbag as a 'crisis' or 'commercial suicide' really have no way of backing up such an assertion and that in fact they are just jumping on a bandwagon that had turned an uninformed opinion into something they accept as fact.

Kevin Tully
218 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:50:44
Well, Graham. If we want to look at the Kitbag figures from a purely financial perceptive, the £3m from merchandising & retail would place us around mid-table compared to our peers. By the time the deal is up in another 5 years (if there are no adjusted figures) we will no doubt be in the relegation zone - not good, I'm sure even you will agree.

From a 'brand awareness' perspective, it's a total disaster. We will have absolutely 100% failed to build on our presence or customer base in foreign markets, when,as Keith points out, we have missed out on huge marketing opportunities. Maybe these opportunities aren't massively lucrative as you say, but that's really not the point. If we ever were to reach the Champions League, the customer base & retail operations would already be in place to take advantage. As it stands now, if we did reach the Champions League - could we take commercial advantage. Absolutely not.

And therein lies the whole problem with the way the club is structured. Even if we were to have some success, we could never build upon it. We don't have the personnel on board.

Keith Harrison
219 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:54:32
201: Fair enough Keith
Can't wait to see it. If you need any help just give me shout.

203: Keith
I'll pass on that.

So you offer help then won't do it? Well if you're being like that, me and Kev will do likewise.

Tom Hughes
220 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:56:45

I'm not sure you've made any point tbh.

Yes, I've noted you're not commenting on the validity of my arguments, but you are concentrating on my contribution and not his for some reason, despite several other people's criticism.
Why the exaggerated and colourful descriptors? Hysterical.... how? Pain... when and where have I exhibited pain or hysteria? Merely, commenting directly on points raised..... and/or the recurring theme of questions unanswered.... perhaps you should try it too.

If you check back through the threads, I think you'll find I do ignore the vast majority of his contributions, and have done for several years.

It may be before your interest in the issues or even the club itself, but at the time of Destination Kirkby, the ballot and the ensuing inquiry:... it was shown that threads were infiltrated on various sites by club stooges to simulate some semblance of support for the project as it stewed in its own lies to its inevitable demise, by which time support on these threads had declined to practically nothing... I'm sure we could all do without more of the same.

By the way Mossley Hill is hardly a tenement block off Scotland Rd either is it....? "Privileged" can be such a relative term...... bit like carpet bagging.

Graham Mockford
221 Posted 03/09/2015 at 00:15:04

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't understand why people are getting their knickers in a twist about someone who posts a contrary position. If you read the thread, many seem upset that he dares to argue his point of view.

As it happens, I don't agree with a lot of what he says but he is prepared to make his point of view. And I resent the view he should somehow be prevented from contributing. Also he doesn't seem easily intimidated, in fact he seems to thrive on it. So my view would be ignore him, if that helps, or rebutt his opinions.

And to make my position clear, I'm not a supporter of the Board. I would like to see them replaced as I don't see how after 11 years they are going to do anything more than tread water. However, I don't see them as the devil incarnate and I struggle with some of the lazy arguments that are proffered.

My apologies if you think I was focussing on you; yours happened to be the last post when I commented.

And you are right: Mossley Hill is no Scotland Road; however, I have friends in Soweto who think themselves privileged if they had to live there.

Graham Mockford
222 Posted 04/09/2015 at 00:37:18
Kevin (#204),

No I disagree, I think the approach on this is an entirely rational decision for a club that has debt. De-risk, free up your cash.

It is reported Kitbag were happy to let Everton walk away from the deal but we declined. This says to me it is in our financial interest and, until someone can rationally explain how we could make a significant amount more money, then I think the whole thing is just supposition.

As for your 'brand awareness', do you seriously think the biggest football clubs in the world (Man Utd, Real Madrid and Barcelona) built their brand by selling cheap polyester tat? No, they did it by playing football. They did it through Charlton, Best and Law, through winning multiple European titles.

Man City won the PL, the FA Cup, qualified for the CL and sold less than 300k shirts which didn't even get them into the Top 10 in Europe.

The potential is not as great as many would assume.

Tom Hughes
223 Posted 04/09/2015 at 00:54:46
That's the point, Graham, he doesn't argue his point of view, he deals in rhetoric only... and when the questions stack up he clears off... and he's being doing it for years.

Soweto versus Scotty might be an analogy if it was at least in the same country... However, it's not, while my chosen comparison are in the same city..... and I'll let you guess which one this docker's son and grandson came from.

Kevin Tully
224 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:00:14
Graham, it's not just shirt sales, we are talking about our whole merchandise operation. I can only compare with similar size clubs, who will all be well ahead of us by the time this deal expires. Can you point me to where Kitbag wanted to exit this agreement? Wasn't the de-risk argument one put forward by Mr Elstone?

I'll leave it there, but if you think we couldn't do any better, when the likes of Norwich are out-performing us in this area, then there is clearly no more to be said. Cheers.

Graham Mockford
225 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:03:19

Thanks for trumping me with your working class credentials, I was actually attempting to be light hearted but more power to you comrade.

This isn't the Oxford Debating Society, just follow the rules of the site and it's fine.

If he doesn't want to answer your questions he can do as he pleases. You might find that frustrating but if you keep wanting to engage him I guess you are going to have to suck it up.

Graham Mockford
226 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:07:11
Yes Kevin I'm an Elstone plant. In fact if you rearrange the letters of my name you will find it spells 'board patsy'.

There is a place you can find about the Kitbag exit, it's a new phenomenon called Google.

Mark Riding
227 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:15:42
The state of this thread tonight.
Tom Hughes
228 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:22:52
Again, that is the point... it's not any kind of debating society when questions are continually dodged and the only response is rhetoric... that's just noise... which is why I mainly avoid him, as I said.....

Wasn't trying to trump you.... or more importantly Mr Kenwright as per the original point.... just making a comparison.

Graham Mockford
229 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:26:03

Just a quick scan of this thread shows five occasions you have directly addressed him.

Not exactly avoiding him from where I'm standing

And congratulations for being more working class than both myself and Bill. Did you know Cilla?

Tom Hughes
230 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:43:42
Yes...... Graham.... because I was commenting on this thread in direct response to points raised by him.... that's what we're supposed to do.

Have you checked all the other threads he's posted on too. I think you'll find I've avoided most of them.

It was you who first raised the working class roots issue with your docker reference..... I don't really do the inverted snobbery thing or fake or exagerate my background ...... I don't have to.

Cilla? No..... she got buried from my church though. .... she even passed our house....... does that count?

Jack Mason
231 Posted 04/09/2015 at 02:16:29
Tom, you're in danger of de-railing this thread, which I believe would be the opposite of what you intend. Graham is not baiting you, he is merely pointing out that Martin is entitled to express his view. Can we please move on to actually discussing the contents of the article.

Additionally I don't think comments that refer to illegal activity or conspiracy theories are useful either, they don't further the debate. They sideline it.

Eric Myles
232 Posted 04/09/2015 at 06:18:16
Martin (#145), a definition of asset-stripping is the selling off of assets to pay debt, for example the sale of Bellefield and Arteta fall into the category of asset-stripping.

The fact that we only fund player purchases with sales is shown in the accounts by the surplus in player trading each year.

Keith Harrison
233 Posted 04/09/2015 at 08:20:57

Who Is the Main Player in The Everton Show?

My money is on Earl.

Do I think he's acting in the best interests of the club?

No I do not.

What do you think?

David Ellis
234 Posted 04/09/2015 at 08:32:55
Well I do know about these things and I can't see anything wrong at all in this article. Loans from shareholders often go through BVI companies – there is nothing wrong with this. Yes, it's to avoid taxation but it's perfectly legal and normal business practice.

Loans from non-banks are also common if the regular banking sector will not lend to you. Yes, there is a concern that it is a more expensive form of lending but there is no information in the article about the interest cost.

I can completely understand why directors do not put their own money in or give personal guarantees. Family businesses may do this sort of thing but not businesses of the scale that Premier League clubs have begun. Our board is not wealthy enough to put their own money in, and very owners are nowadays.

Tom Hughes
235 Posted 04/09/2015 at 08:38:06

You're not a relative are you by any chance?

Derail the thread? I suggest you read back to my original posts. I have referred directly to the article and to comments he has made about it, with pertinent questions or direct points... as have several others. As ever, we are still awaiting the responses. I have commented about his long history of trolling any thread remotely critical of the board as far back as Destination Kirkby, and the rhetorical/avoidance method adopted... as have several other posters on this thread, not just myself. How can that ever constitute derailing a post on my part?

Where have I said that ANYBODY is not entitled to post? Where have I said that anybody is not entitled to express an opinion? I'm sorry but that is nonsense.

I also don't expect people to then cry foul if I then ask them to try to justify their statements and/or respond to the resultant questions that they generate....

Btw.... For a "derailed" thread it appears to have been one of, if not the busiest on the site... Of course, if you don't like my posts you could also take Graham's advice... and simply ignore them.

Kevin Tully
236 Posted 04/09/2015 at 08:47:50
David (#222),

So they don't invest, they don't guarantee loans (which is incorrect; Earl says he has done in the past), the catering is outsourced, the commercial operation is outsourced, there is no sign of any of the stadium issues being resolved, so please enlighten me, what is it they do exactly?

Or more pertinently, what do you think they bring to the table?

Eric Myles
238 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:08:25
David (#223), besides the source of the money which may be normal business practice as you say, there is the question of why do we need these dodgy sources of finance when we are experiencing a 50% increase in income?

Why is it that, the more we earn, the more we borrow? Shouldn't the increased income relieve our debt burden, not increase it, especially the high-interest borrowing from dodgy sources?

Tom Hughes
239 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:55:42
David Ellis,

You don't see anything "wrong" in the article? You're not concerned about any of the issues raised at all? I find that astounding given the history, context and depth of research in the article.

I suppose, you could apply the same broad brush logic to any criticism of the Glazers. After all, there is nothing illegal in a leveraged buy-out.... and/or mortgaging the club to the hilt to pay for it at the club's own expense..... nothing illegal at all. However, the result has meant that the club with comfortably the biggest fanbase and turnover in the UK can be outspent by several of its competitors, and now struggles to compete with its great European rivals. So it is hardly been in the best interest of their club in real terms.

Similarly for our lot, although on a much smaller scale. Following the transfer of shares to Earl there was a step change in the club's "other operating costs" that our chairman famously couldn't explain at an AGM... and the question was suitably avoided thereafter. Moyes's ability to spot quality at low prices meant that we were able to fund team building via a hand-to-mouth, sell-to-buy existence... with a zero net spend throughout his time. All while the club is forced to seek exorbitant loans... potentially from one of our own directors.

Yes, they are not obliged to spend a penny. We are however entitled to expect them to act in the club's best interests and move it forward and deliver... and not simply sit on it waiting for a big pay day or to profiteer from it when we have least been able to afford it — and to the club's detriment.

All I see is a club that is still outspent by most of its rivals; still has to wait till the end of transfer windows to spend any serious money; still has to loan against future TV money; still has no modern stadium infrastructure when all around us have; still is out-performed commercially by most similarly sized clubs; and has practically no property assets left to help fund future development.

No cause for concern? What would I need to add to that list, or too the article, for it to concern you?

Keith Harrison
240 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:18:30
David Ellis, I know about these things too and it stinks.

Those who understand need no explanation.

Those who don't understand, don't matter.

Kev, they don't bring anything to the table mate. Sodexho do it as the catering – along with most other things – has been outsourced.

Graham Mockford
241 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:36:15

I'm almost afraid to ask but why is it a problem to outsource your catering to Sodhexo?

Keith Harrison
242 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:52:39
Have you eaten Sodexho food lately Graham?
Tom Hughes
243 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:53:37

Why not out-source everything... then we wouldn't even need an expensive CEO, just an accountant would do... Hold on a mo!?!?

Graham Mockford
244 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:56:54

Yes, I have it every home game in The Park End lounge. Always fills a spot for me; however, they just keep running out of choc chip cookies at half time and only have those lemon and ginger ones.

Graham Mockford
245 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:57:41
So, Tom, you would do catering in house?
Martin Mason
246 Posted 04/09/2015 at 11:18:24
Eric, the definition of asset stripping is not selling assets to pay debt: it is selling the assets and taking them out; that's what 'stripping' means. What Everton have done is converted assets from one form to another; that isn't stripping.

David Ellis above is 100% correct, there is nothing incorrect in what the club has done in regards to finance or outsourcing of services, it's common practice.

Just remember one thing when push comes to shove: they are the owners of the club and they can and do run it as they see fit. Compared to them, you know very little about how the club is run or how it needs to be run; I don't mean that in a nasty way but state it as the glaringly obvious. There's a very good reason why they are running a business turning over 𧴜 million a year and we're fans.

Are the club running things for the benefit of the club? In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, then of course they are because the benefit of the club is benefit to them.

Are the board running the club as well as they can be reasonably expected to do? That is a complex one that neither you nor I have the expertise to answer and which depends on how irrational your expectations of the club are. The football world in general rate Everton as a well run club which is very much respected for how it's ownership is configured and I believe that they are doing as well as any reasonable person could expect them to do given their revenue restraints.

How odd that it is then our own fans that throw bile at them? A tiny minority of fans that is, some of whom have some good points to raise but never any solutions or alternatives.

Tom Hughes
247 Posted 04/09/2015 at 11:24:08

For a fortnightly event venue, possibly not... although I believe several other clubs still do, and can profit from it.

However, if the club had invested in facilities to create more exhibition, conference & hospitality business throughout the week, as we see elsewhere, then perhaps the catering could've remained in house and been profitable... but we all know the answer to that.

Martin Mason
249 Posted 04/09/2015 at 11:33:43
This is on another thread but it should make good reading for all fans especially those screaming for the board to get out.


Graham Mockford
250 Posted 04/09/2015 at 11:34:18

I really think it is a non issue, the differences are going to be fairly marginal. A third party means you share your margin but the overall quantum is likely to be greater and you don't need the infrastructure expense in house.

I raise the point because the scatter gun approach of "everything is wrong and commercially inept" just polarises the debate and distracts from the key issues.

And in fact you raise the pertinent point: it is the failure to either redevelop GP or find a new ground. After all, I'm not sure I'd want to attend a conference in Walton whilst some scally wanted to 'mind' my car.

Who operates those catering facilities is a non-issue.

Patrick Murphy
251 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:00:13
Martin (235) I'm personally not screaming for the board to get out; I'm asking for them to do more than they are currently doing.

Every year that passes without the ground issue being addressed is another year that Everton FC fall behind other smaller but progressive clubs. If Everton haven't been able to do this when the sun has been shining, when are they ever going to be in a position to do it?

It has been the elephant in the room for going on 20 years and, unless some astounding announcement is made in October, it will be another 20 years before the club get around to doing anything.

Any one of us, given the TV money, could have had Everton ticking along for the past 10 years; it really has been that easy. The football side of the club has always relied on its manager and players to get it right on the pitch, but the club has lacked strong leadership off the pitch for far too long. No demands are made, no expectations are publicly aired... and given that situation, it's little wonder that the team hasn't exactly pulled up any trees in the last decade.

Watching the club drift along year on year, decade by decade, has been painful to watch and each year that passes it becomes less acceptable; issues need addressing sooner rather than later and I believe that is all we ask from the board. Running a club is so much more than putting players on the pitch, that's the bare minimum required, but unfortunately that seems to be the only thing our board are prepared to do for the club.

Dave Abrahams
252 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:02:26
Tom Hughes (223) carry on Tom, keep them coming, Martin do you truly and honestly believe what you post, come on truly and honestly?.
Kevin Tully
253 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:07:47
After 236 posts, I'm just happy to realise we are in safe hands after all. Thankfully, there is nothing to worry about and we are performing as well as can be expected. Our finances are in decent shape and our board are all acting in a proper manner. That's why I come on this site to be honest - It's truly amazing what you can learn.

But as Columbo used to say, "There's just one more thing." (Well, three actually!)

Goodison still seems to be rusting and not fit to host modern day football. We need bridging finance to operate & purchase playing staff. We don't seem to have any plan to address the previous two issues.

But, if the experts above tell us everything's rosy in the Everton garden, then I suppose I can only accept their more educated opinion.

Ged Simpson
254 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:17:01
It's good this. You can dip into this and other threads now and then and find the same folk churning out their positions. The debate moves nowhere and just ends up personal and sarcastic.

It's independent assessment that is needed..... but I fall into the trap as I keep saying that.

Shit... I'm boring myself!

Kevin Tully
255 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:27:07
Well Ged. There's an old saying (I'm sorry I can't provide evidence of when, or who first uttered these words) but I do feel It would sum up my feelings towards the people who run Everton, and some posters above:

"Don't piss down my leg and tell me it's raining."

Eric Myles
256 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:29:28
Martin (#233), paying debt to creditors IS taking money out of the Club.

And if those creditors happen to be board directors, as the article implies, you are quite happy with that?

Eric Myles
257 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:33:46
Martin #235, that article is so full of of misinformation but with more incorrect figures than usual making it a bigger piece of nonsense than most that have been posted.
Graham Mockford
258 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:41:05

I'm genuinely interested, what incorrect figures have you spotted?

Obviously there is a difference between actual numbers and the interpretation of those numbers to reach conclusions.

This paints a pro Board interpretation of matters but if as you say the numbers are incorrect it makes it worthless as an opinion.

So what are you disputing?

Tony George
259 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:41:14
Kevin, I don't think anything in my post indicated that 'we are in good hands after all'! My comment was on the article that originated this thread rather than a judgement on the governance of Everton FC.

The point I obviously failed to make was that ours is not the only club whose governance, funding and operating model is clouded in mystery. Perhaps because of the 'kind of businessmen' it tends to attract, it will, I believe always be so. No better example of this can be found than in the recent history of the 'Mighty' Rangers whose previous owners were so anxious to divest that they fell for the charms of a chancer who brought them to the very edge of destruction.

Of course, like most Evertonians, I would love our club to be run more efficiently, more openly and more successfully although I am certainly not one who believes 'the supporters' could do it better. We have one of them at the helm and look where that got us!

No, my sad conclusion is that we are where we are – and will remain so until something cataclysmic happens either to the men in charge or to the league position, ie. relegation. But as for malpractice bringing the club down, as per the Rangers scenario, we are a hundred miles away from that happening I'm glad to say.

Tom Hughes
260 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:46:32
I could equally level the same scatter gun accusation in reverse.... everything is just fine and the club's well run.... etc. I mean read some of the nonsense from the usual culprit.

I've no problem with the concept of hiring in expertise... but we're talking about selling sausage rolls and beer here, not selling a whole football club (but you might have something there)..... and as far as I can see behind the counters there has been no major changes in "infrastructure"...... so there's no savings there either.

Similarly with Merchandising..... just because we have been supposedly poor in that department before...(although I seem to remember articles about 10yrs ago about clubs such as Celtic visiting our club shop and wishing to model their operation on it)...... it doesn't mean that the right expertise in house couldn't keep all of that profit in house.... After all how many other clubs have an exclusivity agreement with Kitbag?

But again, it's not always about viewing certain aspects in isolation.... and you'd be forgiven for thinking that we don't want the bother of doing anything for ourselves at all.... except perhaps sell our tickets. We even wanted a stadium for nothing, it didn't matter what it was like or where it was.... as long as someone else did all the work..... it's as if the place has become a cross between a holiday camp and a retirement home.

Dave Abrahams
261 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:57:32
Tony (245), don't be too sure of that; it mightn't be malpractice but don't rule out incompetence by those running the club.
Graham Mockford
262 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:08:23

I would certainly agree that just accepting everything at face value is a strange position. I always try to judge things on the merits of the issue and I've been fairly clear about my reservations of the record of our Board.

I don't personally buy the regular statements on here decrying the commercial performance of the club as though it is some silver bullet that if we got some marketing geniuses in we would suddenly change the game financially. Outsourcing is a perfectly sensible and legitimate approach for non core activities. Some of the stuff I read on here beggars belief. Posters talk about breaking the US and Asian markets like we are fucking One Direction. It seems we have lots of commercial experts around here many of whom I suspect have never been near a commercial deal in their lives. My personal favourite was buying a player called Honda so we could do a car sponsorship deal!

The way to increase commercial revenue is to build a successful football team not the other way round. I believe we should be demanding of our club a coherent strategic plan to improve football performance on the field, the very thing we all watch our team for and stop worrying about the sausage rolls.

Tom Hughes
263 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:11:03
The article linked by Martin in an attempt to portray as an answer to the protesters?

I can't remember exactly, but wasn't he the guy who wrote to suggests the £18m in the bank could be used to further reduce the £28m debt figure, when in fact it's the net debt so it's already been used in the calculatio? You can't use it twice!!!

Also, the author wrote a piece, when at The Guardian, that was subject to legal challenge... once bitten, twice shy???

Colin Fitzpatrick
264 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:20:36
Well remembered Tom, here's a link to the Digger article from September 2011:

Everton mortgage future broadcast income to alleviate cashflow problem.

I always find that The Swiss Ramble is a good guide if you want a quick overview.

Eric Myles
265 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:32:51
Well Graham #244, look at the shareholdings, spot anything wrong?

Look at the date of the Finch Farm leaseback????

Then there's the £28 M debt, but we have securitised loans for £43 M, so how can debt be only £28 M???

And that's just off the top of my head without reading the article again to really dissect it.

As you rightly say, it's worthless as an opinion.

Kevin Tully
266 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:34:52
So basically, Colin, the club endeavored to remove the fact we were dealing with Vibrac from the public domain? Funny they would do that, if it was completely normal practice, as some would like us to believe.

Graham, whoever said having an overseas presence would "suddenly change the game financially?"

You like to pour scorn on other people's opinion, but just because some of us use a paintbrush for a living, it doesn't mean we are completely wrong.

Martin Mason
267 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:35:45
Patrick@237, We'd would all really like the board to do more than they're doing but what exactly would you like them to do? Do you believe that there are obvious things that they could do to increase revenue or reduce costs that they have blatantly missed?

Contrary to popular opinion, I don't unconditionally believe that the board do everything correctly (because like all fans I don't know whether this is true or false) but somebody needs to provide the balanced view that this board needs rather than it just become a mouthpiece for a minority activist group of fans.

Eric, using asset sales to pay off club debt is certainly not asset stripping. Using it to pay off the personal debt of the purchasers would be... but paying off club debt isn't.

Colin Fitzpatrick
269 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:38:25
Here'a a link to Swiss Rambles summary of the last accounts:

Everton: Blue Sky Mining

Eric Myles
270 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:45:22
Martin #253, asset stripping is asset stripping, whoever you are paying off. Especially so if you are paying off debt that you have loaded onto the business, as in our case.

But for someone who likes to repeatedly state that they answer questions, will you answer the one I posed in post #242?

Graham Mockford
271 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:49:57
Thanks Eric

I think you are right about the shareholding and confusion between gross and net debt. I did think Finch Farm was 2013 though, not that it's really material.

My view is that our financial position is improving but this article gives the Board too much credit for this. He even refers to us 'muddling through', not exactly a ringng endorsement of corporate governance.

John Keating
272 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:52:24

If any of the debt was incurred by.... say, the unnecessary high interest rates paid to... let's say Vibarc, and we had to sell a player, let's say Arteta, to pay off that unnecessary debt. That would not be asset stripping?

Graham Mockford
273 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:05:18
Of course not Kevin,

Just my view that sometimes we lose sight of the important stuff and end up in blind allies that dilute the message for the real change that is needed.

And being completely wrong is a difficult thing for anyone to achieve.

Eric Myles
274 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:06:39
Graham #256, there cannot really be any confusion between debt and net debt except in the spin that the Club put on announcing "debt reduction" and "record profits", neither which are true.

But considering that debt increased 19% to record levels, borrowings from high interest BVI loans increased by 60% and this has been the trend for a number of years, I certainly don't think our financial position is improving.

Finch Farm leaseback arrangement was 2007 by the way.

Patrick Murphy
275 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:33:08
Martin - How many years have passed since the Kirkby debacle fell by the wayside? Do you honestly believe that the club have done everything possible to make Goodison Park fit for purpose? How many years will the board continue to twiddle their thumbs waiting for a magic bullet to arrive that will solve the ground issue?

I don't profess to have solutions and I'm sure it is extremely difficult to find them, but that is the board's job. After all, it is their asset, albeit used as security for funding other parts of the club, but that asset must be losing value as each year passes and if we don't find an enabling partner to fund a new stadium, redeveloping Goodison Park is the only option on the table.

As some wise sage once said "The First Step Is Always The Hardest" and after 16 years of faffing around with unfeasable schemes the club is yet to make that all-important first step.

Graham Mockford
276 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:34:17

You are right, I think I was confusing the date with the recent sale to LCC.

I don't agree with the financial position not improving; we actually showed an operating profit for the first time in ages, nearly all due to the increase in TV revenue. I'd be surprised if that doesn't continue into the next set of accounts, although our league place money will reduce.

The debt issue is an important one. You are right, the amount owed to creditors increased to a record high number but of course we had a significant amount of cash in hand. The really important debt number is gearing because that measures it as a ratio of earnings and our ability to service it.

The question is: What do we do? Pay down debt but in all likelihood limit the amount of money available to strengthen the playing squad? Or continue to accept significant interest payments as a necessary evil of competing and generating revenue through league placings and extra TV revenue?

Martin Mason
277 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:38:00
Patrick, given identical income we could have improved the ground only by reducing other costs such as buying and paying players.

Would you have accepted this to carry out ground improvements? You can't do everything.

Martin Mason
278 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:41:43
John, no, it still wouldn't be asset stripping. Your extra interest analogy is also only valid if we could have got the money cheaper from other sources.

Eric, you're still labouring under that illusion that only actual debt matters rather than the ability to repay it. Based on actual debt, Man United are a basket case but, based on the only metrics that matter, they are not... which is the reality.

Martin Mason
279 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:44:17
Eric@255, please read the responses, I answered your question under post 253. It is not asset stripping.
Brian Denton
280 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:44:27
Martin #253 - selling assets to pay off debts would make business sense only if you were selling unproductive (or relatively unproductive) assets to pay off long term debt. Selling off long term assets to pay off short term debt is in the long run (actually probably in the fairly short run!) a recipe for disaster.

Borrowing against my house to pay my grocery bills would be rather foolish...

John Keating
281 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:47:22

Sometimes you have to forego the 2 week holiday in Spain to get a new boiler or whatever. If we do not address the ground issue, the whole shooting match goes up regardless of the players we have.

I am sure most supporters would be prepared to not buy in players for a year or two to pay for a new Bullens Road stand or at least something tangible.

Bill Gall
282 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:49:40
Reading these comments, the major criticism seems to be that Everton are having to pay a hefty payment in interests, on loans from a investment company based in the Virgin Islands that is alleged to be owned by one of our major shareholders and a board member.

Regardless of who operates these financial institutes, and people arguing back and forth over the board's use of them, can some one explain, as I am no sort of accountant, WHY? or WHO? was responsible for us to use these financial institutions, and have to continually use these people and not other financial institutes where we could get lower interest rates.

Tom Hughes
283 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:50:12

I'm not sure about the need for a silver bullet when people can list a whole magazine full of mishaps and irregularities over a very long period. Some may be harmless blanks but it's almost inconceivable that they all are. It's not inane or kneejerk criticism on a whim.

Unfortunately some people still seem to be incapable of splitting the roles and performances of team and club management; when it suits, they blend them both together to attribute blame or praise and muddy the waters.

Yes, the roles are inextricably linked but they are also distinctly different.... and often the subject to different funding models too.

For me it's a case of basic simplification in assessing the issues... obviously, the manager identifies the players he wants and manages all team affairs etc. Running parallel to that, the club management have to provide the facilities to help maximise matchday revenue streams.... and to maximise various commercial revenue activity to enable the manager to build the team that will give us the level of performance we all want on the pitch.

We are comfortably bottom of the league on the whole stadium issue, with nothing delivered, and all property assets built up over decades, that could've been utilised to help finance new facilities, already sold or mortgaged... and not only that, we have been guilty of missed opportunity at the kings Dock, and a complete waste of effort, time and money with the Kirkby debacle. I mean for these incidents alone they should've been run out of town... surely?

The commercial revenue is also nothing to write home about in comparison to most clubs around us... with the ultimate result being a zero net spend on the team over more than a decade sample period.

In other words our current financial and footballing status can be almost entirely attributable to Moyes who had to mainly source his own funds, perhaps Martinez also in his first season, and of course the Sky money.

A cardboard cutout board might've been more proactive... and they don't normally charge interest either.

Brian Denton
284 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:55:32
Bill, I suspect the BVI loan is hedged with hefty premature repayment penalties, which will basically preclude refinancing because the premature repayment penalty will more than wipe out the interest saved by refinancing at a lower rate. That's the way these things tend to work.

If I were unhappy with the interest rate on a loan (but was finding it difficult to get finance) I would try at the very least to get the loan on a 'rollover' basis rather than a fixed term. I'm sure the terms of the BVI borrowing have been discussed before, but can anyone refresh the details?

Eric Myles
285 Posted 04/09/2015 at 14:59:47
Graham, I agree we made an operating profit for the first time in years, it would have been criminal if we hadn't with an additional 50% increase in income over the year. But I put the credit for that down more to Mr Murdoch and his board of directors than anything our board have done.

I also don't put much faith in the cash-in-the-bank figure as that was before we paid half of it for Lukaku, and we also made 㿈 M excess on player transfers which we are not likely to do again.

I expect the next set of accounts may show much the same picture, that we're 'muddling through' more by chance than by design.

It is the 2017 accounts that could be the gamechanger. Are we going to see the additional 㿊 M income swallowed up by inexplicable additional high interest BVI loans or will we break the cycle? With all this guaranteed additional income, why do we need these high interest loans from dodgy sources?

Kevin Tully
286 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:02:24
Debt isn't a problem as long as it's serviceable and it doesn't affect your ability to function as a football club. If our commercial revenues were anywhere near Liverpool's, for instance, a 𧶀m loan to upgrade the stadium would be money put to good use. We could increase our asset base, and the extra revenues would pay off any interest plus some of the original capital outlay. At the same time, the valuation of the club would increase to justify the borrowings in the first place.

Let's say Everton could put a deal in place for 𧴜m @ 6%. We would be paying back ٤m in interest annually, but we could hopefully gain 㾶m in extra revenues. Not too much of a pipe dream, I would have thought? Now Imagine if the owners could stump up 㿞m of that capital expenditure, annual interest would be down to ١m (which they would easily recoup after any sale) and we could be looking at a successful Premier League football club, which could answer all their critics. Someone once told me if the owners were prepared to invest 㿞m, the banks would be queuing to jump on board.

Add in naming rights to a new Goodison, say ٠m a year, then surely this is not beyond the realms of possibility?

Stephen Stott
287 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:05:09
Tom, more proactive in what? Finding a multi-billionaire so we can either be their plaything or convenient avenue for their money laundering activities? I'll leave you to work out which two clubs I'm on about...

Or we could become a laughing stock due to someone wanting to use us as a front to flog his brands. Again I'll leave you to work that one out. The list goes on and on.

Eric Myles
288 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:08:45
Martin (#263), you have already proven on other threads that you have no understanding of net debt and that you have not even read the accounts.

And you have not answered my question in post #242, it is easy to spot having a ? at the end of it.

John Keating
289 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:10:12

I think what most of us have been asking for years now is a plan. Just a bloody plan. For the board to look medium/long term at the Club and tell us all what and how it is.

Our lot just blunder along day to day reacting and not anticipating. If Kenwright and his cronies had put in place a strategy and told us, I think they wouldn't have got the stick they have done.

I hate to say it but, compared to Fenway Sports across the park, our lot are shite.

John Keating
290 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:17:27
Martin (#263),

How do you know we couldn't have borrowed money from other sources and saved paying higher interest rates?

Can you show me where the Board have shopped around??

Could it possibly be that paying a higher interest loan to a Company that a Director has his fingers in is indeed asset stripping???

Keith Harrison
291 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:19:57
Kevin, next time I contract you to decorate my kitchen, can you do it on a fixed price mate. I increasingly cannot afford to pay you an hourly rate, which is obviously being spent in interpreting the finer points of debt management, and not on dyeing and varnishing skirting boards. Just saying.............

And on the kitchen theme, and your point on Sodexho, Graham, if they run out of the same type of cookie at half time every home game, and have a surplus of another type, does it not tell you something about their commercial acumen?

Ged Simpson
292 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:33:51
And still it rumbles on!

Can't you just meet up and hammer it out?

Eric Myles
293 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:33:58
Keith, you should always contract work on a lump sum basis.
Dave Abrahams
294 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:37:34
Ged (276), try and absorb some of the facts produced in this thread, it might come in handy in the future.
Keith Harrison
295 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:47:23
And as Mick Jagger once said, "I know it's only sausage rolls, but I like it!"
Matt Traynor
296 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:48:30
Eric #270 "With all this guaranteed additional income why do we need these high interest loans from dodgy sources?"

Exactly the question I posed, about half a million posts back.

Keith Harrison
297 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:53:52
I have told you 10 million times, STOP EXAGGERATING!
Graham Mockford
298 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:54:09

Debt management to choc chip cookies in a single post. I like it.

However this time I assume you are having me at it with your comment.

Dean Adams
299 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:01:53

Regarding those biscuits left over every week. Stop it will you, I make a killing flogging them on the black market after match days.

If you had your way, I would not be able to afford to live in such luxury and spend so many months on board my 60-foot yacht. Tut tut, some people just can't see the bigger picture!!

Keith Harrison
300 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:05:20
Graham, I don't understand your last line. Seriously mate, no idea what you mean.

Dean, partial to Lemon and Ginger meself. Mate's rates for a box? Meet on your yacht?

Dean Adams
301 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:08:55

Now your talking!! Good discounts for bulk as well. The yacht will be in the usual place on the Sunday following the next home match. Bring the wife, we can set sail for sunnier climes.

James Hughes
302 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:15:56
Just logged on after a couple of days. You mention Sodexo the club's caterer. I worked for them ..... I wont make that mistake again.

I would like to say more, but apart from they are shit and they treat staff as a resource not an asset, I'll stop now.

Did I mention they are shit to work for? (I was a multi-site manager.)

James Hughes
303 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:20:53
Sorry, I meant to add: NOT at Goodison... it was down south.
Martin Mason
305 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:29:46
John@271, I can't but I haven't made a claim that I have to substantiate. Those who make the claim that they could have found cheaper have to substantiate that claim.

No, I don't class it as asset stripping - at worst financial mismanagement, certainly a conflict of interest and crony capitalism of the worst type. They wouldn't get any support from me for this but my guess is that it may be illegal anyway. Again though, as far as I can see there's no evidence that they had lower cost alternatives or that there was any financial wrongdoing.

What would be the difference though between them lending the money to the club and being paid interest or investing the money into the club and paying themselves a dividend? According to the accounts they take no money from the club.

I'm not sure that I really understand any recent loans they've taken out though. I'll try to educate myself.

Kevin Tully
306 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:38:08
Martin, quite simply, it's illegal to pay directors a dividend when the company is reporting losses. They could however, pay themselves a wage. In the case of Earl & Woods, I'm not sure they could even justify that.

Bill proudly boasted he doesn't even claim for his mobile phone, I thought that was particularly indicative of a 'small time' theatre producer, who is completely out of his depth.

Patrick Murphy
307 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:50:38
The percentage rates for the last set of accounts (2014) are stated in the document.

The bank overdraft is principally secured via a lightweight floating charge over all the assets and undertakings (excluding Goodison Park Stadium) of the Company.

Other loans include £22,127,000 of loan notes (2013: £23,095,000) which are repayable in annual instalments over a 25 year period at a fixed interest rate of 7.79%. The first payment under the agreement was made on 30th September 2002 amounting to £1,588,000 with subsequent annual payments of £2,767,000 (including interest) starting on 30th September 2003.

The notes will be repaid in a securitisation agreement serviced by future season ticket sales. The costs incurred in raising the finance, amounting to £710,000, have been offset against the original £30,000,000 loan, and are contained within prepaid finance costs and charged to the profit and loss in line with the interest charge over a period of 25 years.

Other loans also include £20,924,000 (2013: £12,868,000) secured by legal charges over the Company's guaranteed Premier League broadcast revenues. This loan incurs interest at a rate of 8.8% and was repaid in August 2014. The Group has obtained further funding post year end as described in note 1.

Since 2000 Everton FC have paid a total of circa £49m in interest charges which is made up of the following: Bank Overdraft has cost circa £10m and other loans/HP charges amount to circa £39m

Martin Mason
308 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:54:42
Kevin, true but it doesn't prove he's out of his depth, Regan did a job as POTUS and could hardly string a sentence together. He's an eccentric (and long live eccentrics) and if he doesn't even take money out of the club at that level then surely it reflects well on him? If he'd said that he takes £100k a year for his mobile I guess you'd have jumped all over his back?

What I meant to add before was that what needs to be shown is that the directors gained a financial advantage from the loans.

Matt Traynor
309 Posted 04/09/2015 at 16:58:23
Patrick #291, they will also have paid other finance charges (arrangement fees, facility fees, call it what you will). They are not explicit in the accounts but they are not insubstantial either.
Patrick Murphy
310 Posted 04/09/2015 at 17:02:07
I agree Matt, but I am only reporting what the club have themselves published in the accounts; I'm sure somebody may have more details and, like you, I would be interested to know how much it has cost.
Brian Harrison
311 Posted 04/09/2015 at 17:15:54
I know a lot of posters like Patrick and one or two others have done a sterling job in trying to simplify things. But guys I feel like I have logged into the IMF webpage rather than enjoying people talking about the football side. Now I know the financial part of a football club is very important, but it's just boring to talk about.
Patrick Murphy
312 Posted 04/09/2015 at 17:38:46
Brian (#295) Thanks and I'm left wondering if the club has sought any loans from the International Monetary Fund that would be a novel approach. I'm currently watching our £8m man Steven Naismith getting lumps kicked out of him by the Georgians – not the 18th century dynasty but the country.
Michael Kenrick
313 Posted 04/09/2015 at 17:39:15
Yet, Brian, with going on 300 comments on this thread alone (and you may have noticed, we visit the topic with some regularity) your boredom is shared mostly with Ged and the other... er... shall we say happy clappers who just want to watch the game?

The problem that this thread and its Watched Toffee catalyst face is on the one hand, the complexity, opacity, and inherently secretive nature of business finance, such that there are no clear answers, despite the valiant attempts of many contributors above to find them. And the general apathy of the football-watching fanbase, who can't bring themselves to be concerned about any of this stuff, as long as they can take their seat every other week.

The big challenge for Everton Board Out etc is to get more people to understand that there is something here to be concerned about. As Keith says, some geddit; others... not so much. But then there are those who pour through exactly the same 'evidence', yet reach quite different conclusions. That's what makes these threads compelling for some of us: How can that be possible?

I don't believe they can all be lightly dismissed as Club stooges or Everton employees. I find myself leaning more towards Graham's well expressed skepticism, and have frankly been disappointed by Tom's persistent personalizing of the issues.

However, they are answers we've been searching for seemingly forever. I'm not convinced, despite the higher visibility and interest, that we are getting any closer.

Keith Harrison
314 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:14:45
Michael, there's probably no more than 25 different posters on this thread, and as I put yesterday morning over 200 posts since, it's often only the noisy minority that can be arsed that actually post. Would it be more indicative of the feelings of the site if you ran a poll instead? People will vote anonymously, even if they will not post on threads.

Could we ask if the readership believes we have the right people at the helm to take this club forward for the foreseeable future. A scaling of 1 - 10 would be nice.

Or anything in a similar vein that you and Lyndon want to cook up. And that wasn't an oblique reference to our board - or Sodexho!

Martin Mason
315 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:19:49
I don't think that it's a question of those who don't geddit being apathetic. When it all comes down to dust, the issue is, unless soccer businesses operate under different rules to other businesses, what right does a customer have to confidential information on how the club is run? And what right does he have to believe that he should be able to influence this... even to the expectation that they can change a legally constituted board of the club's legal owners?

I pose this as a question; my view is that, as a customer, I have the right to buy the product or not and that is all. As a shareholder, I'd expect to have different rights.

John Keating
316 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:24:48
Martin, do you remember how the Club treated the shareholders?
David Greenwood
318 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:28:15
How about an AGM for shareholders, Martin.
Raymond Fox
319 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:36:09

If I'm voting on their competence, I'd like to know what / who is the alternative.

It's a pointless exercise in my opinion in any case!

Tom Hughes
320 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:36:43
Persistent personalising? Does that mean starting most posts with the name of the person I'm responding to?

I think I have been quite patient over the years to be honest... and I'm certainly not the only person to direct questions at a certain poster.... or have I singularly offended others too?

Keith Harrison
321 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:41:18
Martin, following a football club is a love affair, and with Everton, once it touches you... etc.

I have bought Samsung, LG, Philips and Toshiba tellies in the past. I went for the ones with the best reviews at the time, and couldn’t give a flying proverbial whether the manufacturer wasted money on marketing, laundered money or whatever, as long as they would be around for the period of my guarantee. You don’t chop and change football clubs like that (the vast majority don’t anyway).

I bought my grandson an Everton kit and other merchandise when he was born last year. I seriously worry that when it is time for him to travel down to games (140 miles each way) Goodison will have fallen down, and our, and I mean OUR club might no longer be in existence if it isn’t wallowing in the nether reaches of the Football League.

I therefore want to know that the near 𧿘 expenditure that I fork out each year on following my team is being used to it’s maximum efficiency so that my family might be able to see a glory day like I have done in the past.

Many past dynasties have been brought down by apathy. I don’t think this issue is going to go away simply by posters like yourself saying all is well, all is calm, and if you don’t like it, don’t go.

Being an Evertonian runs far far deeper than that, and if you truly don’t understand that, my friend, you definitely don’t matter.

Tony George
322 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:42:41
You may well pose the question, Keith, and the Board score 'nil points' in a ballot, but BK & Co will continue to steer the ship for so long as their business model is sustainable. And Premier League survival will keep it so!

I think the stadium problem is likely to remain a great barrier to any credible takeover occurring. In short, we are stuffed!

Ged Simpson
323 Posted 04/09/2015 at 18:57:36
Michael Kenrick (#297): how dare you call me a "happy clapper"! That's me done now. I'll walk in the pub and you know what I'll hear? I'm finished. Years developing a reputation of having a tough incisive mind who never pulls his punches all down the drain! Watch it Brian.

More seriously – it is the more personalisation that I think is counter productive to the debate. I have posted a few times, the best thing fans could do is identify an external independent assessor (if there is such a thing), give them a terms of reference (not as easy as it seems but may shape the debate) and then raise the cash needed to pay them. I would contribute to that.

But contributing to banners flying around the sky... nah. Just leads to silly season stories in tomorrow's chip paper.

Brian Harrison
324 Posted 04/09/2015 at 19:33:06
Michael what is a happy clapper, I get the impression from your post that I and Ged are happy to accept the party line. Well I can assure you that I am as upset as the next fan on how my great club has declined. Thankfully I still have my memories of the great players and great teams I have watched over the 60 odd years that I have been watching Everton.
On a final note you stated earlier that you wanted posters to refrain from personal attacks yet single out Ged and myself for a special mention. I will say again I find this subject boring and the only people who know all the facts don't seem to be in any hurry to divulge the inner workings of our club. So I think it is only fair that your put on probation and that all your posts in future be monitored by Lyndon before publication.
Keith Harrison
325 Posted 04/09/2015 at 19:41:19
hahaha. Well said our Brian!
Graham Mockford
326 Posted 04/09/2015 at 20:27:55

I have defended your right to your opinion, and got a bit of stick for it.

What you say is technically correct in relation to a company's responsibility to disclosure. And on occasions some of the things posters ask for just do not make sense from a commercial perspective. For instance you would not expect a business for sale to disclose the selling price or conditions they want?

However your decision to support a particular football team is different than which supermarket you choose to shop in. You rely as a football business on the support of a core of people who support the club whatever. That can lead you to be complacent on retaining that support.

That's why I personally believe the whole anti Board agenda is counter productive. They just draw up the shutters and refuse to engage. And guess what they can because they have the right.

However if results start going bad the natives will get restless. And there in lies the nub, the most likely route to putting the Board under pressure is the thing no real Evertonian wants.

Maybe Kenwright feels he has had his fingers burned on previous occasions but proper engagement with a representative fan base in my mind can only be a positive thing.

Ged Simpson
327 Posted 04/09/2015 at 20:41:48
Free the so-called Happy Clappers.
Andy Crooks
328 Posted 04/09/2015 at 20:55:13
Graham (#309), your second last paragraph succinctly sums it up. To unite the supporters things will have to be so dire as to be almost irretrievable. That is our dilemma.
Dave Abrahams
330 Posted 04/09/2015 at 20:56:58
Ged (310), cut their hands off!!!!
Martin Mason
331 Posted 04/09/2015 at 20:57:11
Graham, sorry, I agree with you that it is different but I'm struggling with why in this modern era. As I said it was a question which I personally don't believe will be satisfactorily answered.

Regarding how Kenwright feels regarding engagement with fans, perhaps he feels that the club already has many points of contacts with fans and shareholders, in excess of what is required by Company law and all of which provide a route for contact for any fan? Should he engage with a hostile minority of non-shareholders whose aim is to undemocratically and unlawfully unseat him and who have proven to be unworthy of trust? I believe that he will never do that and to think he will is to seriously underestimate the guy.

He is not going to engage directly with BU or any of the minority activist groups. Those groups accepting this is the key to the way forward.

Tony Abrahams
332 Posted 04/09/2015 at 21:06:32
Just went to the last post and saw my old friend the duke, is defending King Billy to the end.

Remember True Blue Holdings, Martin? This Luvie duvie only wants engagement with people like you.

Ged Simpson
333 Posted 04/09/2015 at 21:07:29
Ooh 'eck Dave. Reputation shattered and handless. Reminds me of that Python Holy Grail scene when a knight has all his limbs chopped off:

"Come back 'ere, I'll bite your legs off!"

Bill Gall
334 Posted 04/09/2015 at 21:08:13
David (#301),

I believe there is an AGM for the shareholders but it may just be attended by the minority shareholders and not the majority holders of shares. Supporters who have small numbers of shares may know.

Tom Hughes
335 Posted 04/09/2015 at 21:40:11
Minority group? You obviously never went to the infamous EGM..... or did you? Minority my arse.... The Shareholder's were incensed, and rightfully so..... AGMs stopped for the first time in this club's history.

Hope that's not too personal.

Patrick Murphy
336 Posted 04/09/2015 at 21:41:09
Lest we forget it is Mr Kenwright's 70th Birthday today many happy returns Mr Chairman!
Graham Mockford
337 Posted 04/09/2015 at 21:51:07
No Tom it's just your normal self righteousness.

I think I can say fairly certainly the majority of Everton supporters don't give a shit about Kirkby or Vibrac or Kitbag or anything else other than can they turn on to MOTD on a Saturday night and feel happy.

That doesn't mean I don't believe there are governance issues that don't require addressing. But your constant harping on is quite frankly tedious.

Oh and by the way I'm expecting the normal reply. You have a little more in common with your nemesis Martin Mason than you probably realise.

Ged Simpson
338 Posted 04/09/2015 at 22:08:21
Graham, I reckon you are right. But I understand the frustration those who follow this issue in detail feel.

I follow politics in detail and despair how the electorate are duped. And I get equally self-righteous about it at times.

But in the end I realise that doesn't make them bad – just with other priorities, as is their right.

C'est la vie.

Ian Smitham
339 Posted 04/09/2015 at 22:27:14
This, for me, is the most interesting subject on the site and as MK has said @297, one that rears its head regularly, and quite right too. I have not enjoyed explaining to my kids why we had to sell Wayne or other such likes, nor why we struggle to compete financially with the big spenders, which leads to the questions around why not?

What stops us being at the Top Table of transfers? Which leads me to question where we are... which is the first step of working out where we want to be.

I have read this thread a couple of times and quite agree with David at 194. Regards Banking, Oliver @ 179, only 3 years ago, Everton were simply a bad option for Banks in a sector they have had no appetite for.

Martin, your comments at 128 and 138. Please will you help me understand where the "non-exec" type phrase regards this Company has arisen as, as far as I know, there are none. Eric, I will watch this response with interest as I am sure that you will.

Kevin at 290, not looking to pick a fight, but loss-making Companies can make dividend payments, BP is a current example; however, I believe the general rule is that they must come from a longer term view, in the case, say of BP, profits will return. EFC have no track record and for the record do not pay Dividends.

Just for completeness, all Everton's shares rank as equal, or whatever that Latin Parri-passu phrase is, and so if the Directors were taking dividends, the other Shareholders would too. Equally in proportion.

Tony@135, regards execs and non-execs, can you let me have a bit more on this as it is not what I understand. Execs do not generally exist. Non-execs is a phrase given to members of a Board who generally work away from the business but sit on the board to give a broader business acumen to the people running the business.

Patrick @ 297, we exchanged a pleasant set on here about the loans a few weeks ago and thanks for the factual analysis that you share. If so much Sky related money is sloshing about, why is the loan renewed each year and am I right in assuming there are penalties if the Company wish to end the arrangement early? Then again, if one of the Directors would block an early redemption, based on the thread above, the Company may not be able to do so.

Lastly, and I direct this to MK and LL, and it is your train set, one that I enjoy the ride on, thanks. A couple of weeks ago LL posted that the traffic was down.

May I humbly suggest that there are some "Permanent" subjects adopted. This one for example, as MK said at 297, is really interesting to some, but not others, so maybe a permanent ongoing article could be set up, along with others for example, Moyes, Martinez, The Ground move, Hamstrings, Transfers, I am sure there are more, that particularly interest contributors.

The advantage will be that people who want to update on certain subjects will be able to dive in to that one, and others if they want to, without that subject being closed. This subject is ongoing and always will be, but as a contributor above pointed out, not one that everyone is interested in.

Another advantage would be that the trail would lead to it being easier to track the thread rather than the recent issues re Bills pockets and his Given up thread both of which were a real good read but not joined up.

Another idea I had, was to allow people to have categories of supporter that they are as part of their name and bits. I am thinking of maybe

Ian Smitham


Groundshare Yes
Martinez Out
Stones Stay

You pick the subjects and people can add their views or not and each time others look at the contributors profile, they get a better idea of that contributor which should lead to better discussion, I think.

Thanks for reading, I hope no-one is offended and that this subject continues on a permanent basis. Anyway, just my penny worth. Fantastic site, the only one I read, Regards.

Keith Harrison
340 Posted 04/09/2015 at 22:51:02
Absolutely livid I didn't get mentioned in Ian's Magnum Opus...

Happy Birthday, Mr President. And I have seen the video of Patrick Murphy dressed as Marilyn singing that to Bill K today.

Ian Smitham
342 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:07:50
Keith, quite; there is a quote from Bill regards his Birthday. Someone brighter than me will be able to dig it up on this momentous day.

Kevin Tully
343 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:14:34
Ian - incorrect. You can take a dividend if your shareholder funds have the equity from previous year's profits. You cannot take a dividend if you are showing a minus position (which we are) in your shareholder funds. Hope that's clear.
Ian Smitham
344 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:16:59
Kevin, cheers, that is why is drew a distinction between Everton and BP. We are along the same lines.
Bill Gall
345 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:21:17
Tom # 317 if your comments were directed at my post I apologize for not explaining it correctly. My comment was about the Everton Shareholders Association that do have a AGM, and although they have meetings with members of Everton FC are an independent organization.

As the comment you hope that is not to personnel, at 74 years of age, they just go in one ear, and out the other.

Patrick Murphy
346 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:24:08
Ian perhaps this is the item you mentioned? Bill Kenwright at 70


Kevin Tully
347 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:25:01
With a projected equity position of 𧴢bn for BP, that is some comparison, brother!
Dave Lynch
348 Posted 04/09/2015 at 23:46:01
I've never clapped happily.

Only appreciatively...

Tom Hughes
349 Posted 05/09/2015 at 01:05:28
Bill Gall.... #326

Bill, no idea what you are talking about..... and I certainly wasn't talking to you.

Tom Hughes
350 Posted 05/09/2015 at 01:47:00
Graham.... are you going to ever refer to any specific post or point I've made or just pontificate about fresh air forever?

Because you seem to want the best of both worlds and to say a hell of a lot about nothing, and I've no idea what I'm supposed to be so self-righteous about or what specific point has so vexed you.

Where you at the AGM or EGM? Is that the issue? Have I misrepresented anything? Where you a pro-Kirkby voter and still feel that guilt? If so, get over it.... it's long gone and good riddance to it!.....

In my industry, we call a spade a spade.... and don't talk for the sake of it....... and seriously don't tolerate lies. Hence my aversion to nonsense. I'm not sorry if that offends btw.

Again, I hope that is no more personal than your post.

Bill Gall
351 Posted 05/09/2015 at 02:01:08
Sorry to get you confused Tom, it was just your post followed my post about the shareholders, and I apologize for the confusion.
Tom Hughes
352 Posted 05/09/2015 at 02:28:06
Bill, I've only just read them back on my phone which I can barely read sometimes, so I can now see why you were confused. No worries.
Christine Foster
353 Posted 05/09/2015 at 03:06:04
I think the reason the debate goes on is very simple for many of us and yet for many others there appears to be total denial.

It's Trust.

So many times we have been lied too, conned by the people running the club. And please, there is no need to reiterate facts that are in the public domain. But it has left a significant portion of the fan base, myself included, unable to reconcile their abuse of power with a total lack of transparency.

This club is financially managed by experts, unfortunately the are experts in making money for themselves at the expense of others. Do I believe Bill is incompetent? No, far from it, I think he knows exactly what he is doing.

If I wanted to know the club's vision, its strategy, its business, its stated objectives, analysis of accounts, explanation of "other operating costs", its Plan B for long-term security or survival should we have a bad season.

All of these points are reasonable to request as a shareholder, but as a stakeholder in the company I expect, as the Companies Act requires, that our views are considered and acted upon.

The fundamental issue of trust colours this debate and always will. Many of us love our football club as much as we do our loved ones, so when trust is lost and no change in actions or attitude take place then tell me why we should forget how the trust was broken.

It's the elephant in the room, we no longer believe what we are told. They traded our trust on the alter of self interest. Truth? Perception wins every time.

Jack Mason
354 Posted 05/09/2015 at 07:15:24
I think you're right, Christine, this is an issue of trust. I admire Tom's rallying, almost as if we bounding towards the precipice, he is sounding the bell that there is something rotten. Yes, there might be something rotten, but isn't that an issue that reflects something larger than our football club, which we see everyday in our lives? Illegality it isn't; however, I would agree it is unethical, if it can be proven monies are being removed from the club via operating questionable facilities. The article follows the money and that's where we are.

Personally, I haven't posted since Walter Smith was the manager, but I've read this great site daily, undoubtedly like many others. My "trust" evaporated a long time ago and, even though Everton do fantastic and meaningful things in the community, somehow I get the feeling that "trust" on my behalf is not the club's greatest concern. Certainly if we are now just consumers and not supporters.

My family have watched this club for generations, season ticket holders. My father took me to my first game, many years longer than I would wish to admit, It was against Bolton. We lost; it didn't matter. Next week me and my Dad would be there and "We will win," he said. He was right, we did and we won a lot in those days. Forty years later, he said something to me last weekend, when I asked him about our chances against Spurs. He said "I've watched this club all my life, but now I'll sit down and watch United. What's the point, we'll never win anything with this lot in charge, we're gonna end up just like Burnley." There is one thing for sure, with this business model, we are heading for the cliff.

So, I would appeal to us all to keep our narrative cohesive not fractious, present our concerns with reason based on fact, not hysteria or unsubstantiated rumor and hearsay. Let's show we are born blue, we are the benefactors of this fine institution, not manufactured consumers to be ignored.

Jay Wood
356 Posted 05/09/2015 at 09:41:14
Graham Mockford and Tom Hughes.

May I first say I enjoy both your posts on TW. I don't necessarily agree with everything either of you post, but I respect the manner in which you post. Graham, I like your eloquence, wit and independence, not aligning yourself rigidly to certain 'cliques' that exist on TW, oft times taking a contrarian view to a populist one.

Tom, I enjoy the deep knowledge you bring to the debate on such matters as the stadium issue and your thoughts on the club's management and finances.

It saddens me a little then that you have both been suckered in to swapping blows on an infinitesimally small sideshow, rather than focus exclusively on the far more worthy matters raised in Watched Toffee's article.

The column inches you and others have expended on one particular poster detracts from and dilutes the importance of the core issues raised in this thread. And - yes! - the irony is not lost on me that my own post to a degree is doing the same!

Tom, I get what you're saying about that poster. In normal debate his views should be challenged. The problem is - as you mention yourself - you know this poster is not going to fully engage in true debate. Trying to engage with him as you do only gives oxygen and a platform to someone who really doesn't merit it.

You are evidently well familiar with his MO. You can bet BK's house mortgage he will always pop up on a thread like this. You know exactly the position he will take. You know the obfuscation he resorts to. You know he will demand levels of proof from others which he does not apply to himself. You know, when cornered, he will attempt the virtuous escape, claim the moral high ground for himself and justify not replying, as seen in this verbatim quote by him:

"I'll answer any specific question put to me, but not pages of opinion." That's convenient, isn't it? You also know he rarely fulfils the first clause in that sentence, and almost never answers a direct question with a clear unambiguous answer.

So it begs the question Tom, as asked by Graham, why attempt to engage with him when you already know with years of experience, it is a forlorn, futile exercise?

I can understand the need by many driven to challenge his utterings, but I agree with Graham. If the poster causes you so much angst ... ignore him! That's the stance I take after I engaged with him for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I was civil and eloquent, but challenged his claim that essentially stated "Everton is a club that has been in decline for 50 years, the success in the 1980s was a mere blip in a progressively downward line, and it is totally unrealistic for a club like Everton to enjoy the same level of income and success as the 'top clubs.' "

Having experienced first-hand his contradictory, evasive and vacuous manner of debate, I avowed never to address him again.

By contrast, Graham and I recently exchanged views on matters not dissimilar to this thread. Civil, genuine debate ensued in good humour, contrary points were made and acknowledged by the other and whilst there was not total agreement, a kind of consensus was arrived at between us. There is absolutely no chance of that ever happening with this poster.

So Tom and others, if you want to engage in an A-Z of debating gambits with this poster, be they ad hominem arguments; false analogies, assertions, conclusions, dichotomies, premises and suppositions; arbitrary redefinitions, pedantic distractions, red herrings, empty rhetoric, self-serving rationalization, smoke and mirrors, sophistry, spurious kowtowing, truth by authority, vagueness and zig-zagging ... then ... knock yourself out! BUT! ... be prepared for a great deal of frustration.

Because there is ample evidence that this poster is not in the least bit interested in genuine debate, but rather resorts to debate by gainsay. That is, he merely contradicts another's position without truly defining his own. His interest is not in equitable, honest debate, but rather, in getting a rise out of others. And in that he is very successful.

To paraphrase the memorable words of a certain Tony Marsh of a few years ago, this poster "is more slippery than an eel bathed in Schwertfeger."

Jay Wood
357 Posted 05/09/2015 at 09:46:52
As for the REAL issue of this thread, as I said in post #90, Watched Toffee's article is interesting without exposing Graham's 'smoking gun.' However, his research into the intricate web of the club's finances and the names associated with the companies arranging loan facilities to Everton should give cause for concern for any Evertonian genuinely preoccupied for the present and future well-being of the club.

The allegations of corporate malpractice are unprovable without deep forensic investigation by suitable authorities. Making such claims makes it easy for defenders of the board to swat away any criticism.

A far more legitimate line of attack on the club's guardians and make them more accountable is to question their performance in certain key areas, transparent for all to see and easily measurable. Calls for greater transparency should not be confused with a mistaken belief that we the fans have a right to know all the club's inner workings. There are some commercially sensitive matters that could potentially undermine the club if placed in the public domain.

That said, I think many would be appeased if we could see, for example, a 3-5 year road map with stated goals and times in which to achieve them.

These goals should include:

* a root and branch review of the commercial arm of the club
* an exploration and addition of new and alternative income streams, over and above monies from TV deals and player sales
* the appointment of proven commercial managers to ensure the above
* continued exploration - and actual provision of! - a modern stadium, with NO option off the table, including re-developing and extending GP
* continued investment in youth via the academy
* establishing and developing a first rate global scouting system to uncover rough diamonds to add to and complement the academy
* establishing a template and style of play across all age groups to ensure continuity and natural progression and adaptation to the club's 1st team
* a recruitment policy of players, coaches, medical staff and administrators that conforms to the aforementioned template

And, in the wake of this thread, a re-negotiating of our loan facilities to a more ethical and accountable lender at more favourable rates probably wouldn't be amiss also.

None of the above is fanciful, pie-in-the-sky thinking. All can be delivered and achieved within stated time frames, with one vital ingredient:

Good Intent.

Dave Abrahams
358 Posted 05/09/2015 at 11:11:02
Jay (335) I understand your concern that Tom and Graham are basically taking too much time debating the OP page. I think most of us can learn from both of them.

Christine (334) thanks for your post, it illustrates perfectly for me, the way Kenwright and his cohorts run the club: they just couldn't care less about the ordinary supporter, they care about what is best for themselves.

Tony George
359 Posted 05/09/2015 at 11:24:05
Jay, I suspect that if the Club felt the necessity to respond to your very sensible list of goals above, they might well say that most, if not all, are enshrined in their business plan already. They just don't want to share it with us and the rest of the world – and why should they?

I think that in recent times – ever since Kings Dock, in fact, I and many more have become supporters of Everton the Team rather than Everton the Club.

Tom Hughes
360 Posted 05/09/2015 at 11:28:29

As you probably realise, I actually don't expect any direct answers from Martin... and as you intimate, the very notion would be quite ridiculous. I'm sure most posters on here don't either. More often than not I'm merely countering the view he represents. The lack of answers is quite honestly a fitting and adequate response.

At the same time, generally, as with Graham or anyone else, I will usually try to reply to a post if it's actually addressed to me, out of basic courtesy if nothing else... or perhaps if I'm mentioned in a post, or if I disagree with something or feel an outrageous claim has been made... and that's all I have done here really.

I've actually addressed far more posts to Graham than to Martin on this thread, and of Martin's dozens of posts I have actually only responded to a handful. ..... so if anyone is feeding the troll it's no more me than several others.... but I get your point.

As far as angst is concerned, this is relaxation for me; I can assure you, even the eternal frustrations of supporting our team are positively pleasurable as far as I'm concerned.

Jay Wood
361 Posted 05/09/2015 at 11:41:27
Sorry Dave #335, but you have completely misunderstood my post if that is how you have interpreted it.

I WELCOME their contributions and the broader debate on the Watched Toffee article and I wholeheartedly agree with you that we can all learn from them and others by having our opinions challenged.

As well as commenting on pure football matters, I enjoy threads such as these that explore the club's workings and finances. Others don't, and I understand that.

My point in #335 was to draw attention that both of them had diluted the impact of their message on the core issues prompted by Watched Toffee by being suckered into a trivial side issue centred on one maverick poster.

I was simply expressing my opinion and observations. In no way am I advocating a prescriptive form of censorship on ANY poster or what and how they post.

I truly believe in freedom of expression, no matter how wacky some opinions may strike us. I believe a mature, intelligent audience is discerning enough to be able to discriminate between different messangers and their messages.

Believe me, if I was an editor or moderator on this site it would probably be too anarchic because I would let everything pass and allow posts to stand or fall on their own merits!

Jay Wood
362 Posted 05/09/2015 at 12:00:59
Good lad Tom! I figured you are pragmatic enough to realise debating with certain people on here is a futile exercise.

Equally, I understand a person can't help 'rubber necking' at the car crash posts of those same people which leave you agog wondering: "Do they REALLY believe this..?"

As a result, many get suckered in to reply and chaos ensues. I prefer a strategy you mention. Don't reply directly to the poster, but still address their opinions in a post of your own.

Jay Wood
363 Posted 05/09/2015 at 12:35:07
Tony #338

You are repeating a line you used earlier in this thread, that Everton as a private company rather than a public one, has absolutely "no obligation to share its innermost workings with us, the hoi polloi."

That may well be true Tony, but that doesn't prevent considerably larger private companies than Everton having a mission statement and the like on their goals with time frames by which they wish to complete them.

I 'get' the corporate side of the club needs to be cautious in what they place in the public domain, but that doesn't excuse them from not demonstrating and sharing their vision and intentions for the club at all, of which we have the grand sum of zero.

Football club ownership is a tricky one, I grant you. Devotees have a deeper and eternal emotional investment in a club, more than any 'brand' preference they may have for any number of consumer products.

Again, earlier in the thread you consider "BK & Co will continue to steer the ship for so long as their business model is sustainable. And Premier League survival will keep it so ... my sad conclusion is that we are where we are and will remain so until something cataclysmic happens either to the men in charge or to the league position, ie, relegation."

That equates to the 'do nothing' option, Tony, which has concerned many of us for some time. Because that is the path to eventual and inevitable ruin and demise as hungrier, more ambitious clubs with real intent catch up and overtake us. As has been the case and continues to be so.

Dave Abrahams
364 Posted 05/09/2015 at 12:57:19
Jay (340) fair enough Jay, I think you are right.
Tony George
365 Posted 05/09/2015 at 15:10:15
I think I may be in danger of coming over as a BK supporter when, in all truth, I began to write him off when he failed to deliver on the King's Dock opportunity.

Yes, Jay, I do opt for the 'do nothing' approach as there seems bugger all I can do except throw my season tickets in what might have become the Royal Blue Mersey !

I suspect the majority of Evertonians don't really give a stuff who owns the club or makes a few bob out of lending it money.They certainly don't lie awake at night worrying about its Armageddon. What they do care about is where we finish in the league and how many millions can be blown in the twice yearly 'windows'.

The other day I read that over the 15 seasons of this century Everton had averaged 8th place. That, in spite of having a soppy chairman and a somewhat curious funding mechanism !

Of course, I do realize that this comparative success has more to do with the abilities of the club's recent managers than any BK magic but there are precious few competitors who can boast such a record. On the field, where it counts, Everton must be seen as a relatively successful TEAM... it's only when you start delving into the financial free masonry in which it operates that you begin to get a little twitchy!

The most salient remark I've read in this thread is that 'we are just one bad manager away from meltdown'. So let's just hope BK can maintain his ability to pick 'em!

Michael Kenrick
367 Posted 05/09/2015 at 22:52:40
Jay, sorry to address you directly but could you perhaps explain further how the impact of the message on the core issues prompted by Watched Toffee has been diluted?

Yes, a few posts do get sidetracked... but the key issue of dubious financial instruments for EFC seems to be the fairly consistent focus of this thread. Or am I missing something?

I do see overly personalized posts struggling with opinions and interpretations that differ, but I don't see where the discussion has been suckered into a trivial side issue.

Joe Foster
369 Posted 06/09/2015 at 13:35:27
Here's a little piece about Spurs. It looks like offshore owners is the way of the world.
The real power at Spurs lies with a reclusive currency speculator and billionaire called Joe Lewis, a tax exile who spends most of his life on a luxury yacht somewhere in the Caribbean. Lewis, who owns a majority stake in ENIC, a holding company that owns Spurs, seems to regard Spurs not as a football team whose job is to win trophies or bring glory to the owner but as an investment vehicle. So transfers are scrutinised more for their implications for the Profit & Loss account than for the impact on the field.
Tony Abrahams
370 Posted 06/09/2015 at 15:02:25
Similar to Everton, Joe, it's not often Spurs don't make money in the transfer market.

Key difference with them though, is they are soon to begin building a new ground.

Always seem fashionable in the media too, whilst little old Everton, continue to punch above their weight.

So we have managed to average 8th over the last 15 years, wonder what's making it, so hard to sell Everton, then?

Joe Foster
371 Posted 06/09/2015 at 16:38:32
God knows why we can't sell, Tony. Newsnight did a report on the Premier League a couple of weeks ago. They stated that people do buy clubs to make money and actually make a profit in this era of mega bucks football. Also that Premier League clubs are in the black for the first time due to the large cash injections from Sky.
Joe Green
372 Posted 06/09/2015 at 19:18:43
Joe (#349), I guess that Tony (#348)'s question was rhetorical, he's inviting the answer "because Everton isn't for sale".

Michael (#297), I'm one who finds this thread very interesting. I support one poster's suggestion that a permanent "folder" could be made for this and previous related threads on the subject of the club's ownership, financing and business management. You could even edit out all the name-calling posts prior to archiving ... if you have time.

My understanding of the main debates, having read all the posts is as follows:

1. The club is owned by it's shareholders, of which there are many. Three major shareholders together command a clear majority of shares: Kenwright, Woods and Earl. The club is run day-to-day by a management team led by the CEO, Robert Elstone. He may also have a shareholding (nothing unusual in that). Elstone reports to the Board, chaired by Kenwright and with Woods and Earl as members.

Kenwright has stated, and no one seems to doubt, that the Board do not take a salary or dividends (which would be payable to all shareholders). However it does seem clear that Earl owns (fully or partially is not known) a company in the Virgin Islands called VIBRAC that loans money to Everton at 8.8% - a high, although not extortionate, rate of interest. Some say it is possible that this loan was needed when Everton's finances were in a poor state and before recent TV deals so that traditional lenders would not lend. Furthermore that the loan cannot be paid-off without high penalties. Others question why the loan is needed at all these days and why it seems to be increasing year on year.

There's little suggestion of illegality, although tax minimisation is likely the reason for the use of the Virgin Islands. It's also a nice earner for Earl. I'd like to see the Board be more open about the loans - why not? It's the lack of information that drives more conspiracy theories.

2. Many posters feel the club's commercial performance, merchandise sales, sponsorships and so on, is poor and blame that on the Board and CEO. Others argue that it's lack of on field success that is the root cause. By comparison with Everton's peers, it does seem we could be doing a little better.

3. The biggest issue for me personally is the lack of a new or redeveloped stadium. There have been many false dawns (King's Dock, Kirkby, Walton Hall) and many posters see incompetence as the reason Everton are almost unique in the PL in not having a new stadium. Others argue that new stadiums cost significant millions which the club doesn't have, while shareholders wouldn't normally fund capital investments from their own pockets.

Perhaps the Board has done well to maintain Everton's PL status into this new TV deal "loads of money" era. However if so, now is the time to spend some of that money (or loans against it) on the Stadium ... it seems to me that issue can't be avoided for much longer.

Colin Fitzpatrick
373 Posted 06/09/2015 at 22:01:53
Joe, #347, I wouldn't disagree that offshore is the way of the world but whilst everybody knows Joe Lewis is a major player in Spurs and his relationship with ENIC and Daniel Levy, the true relationship between Everton, Robert Earl, BCR Sports, VIBRAC, Mousehole and JG Funding is far from clear and, for concerned Evertonians, raises some interesting, and I would say, complex issues.

Personally I feel this has been a good, perhaps if not a classic, ToffeeWeb style debate over what is not only a fascinating part of EFC but a vital aspect of what drives the team on the pitch in their pursuit of success, something we all desire but have been denied due to both football and non-footballing reasons.

ToffeeWeb provides the platform to discuss, offer a view and indeed debate this subject with fans who would, in the past, due to geographic or lifestyle reasons, not have had this opportunity. It provides a vital function that the local media, for whatever reason, choose to ignore, stifle or manipulate debate on, adequately illustrated by the embarrassing fan symposium held earlier this year by The Echo.

I can understand those who perhaps feel these subjects, the club's finances and its board, have been done to death and perhaps take the view that questions on who should have been bought as a Number 10 or which formation the manager should adopt for the next game are more pertinent subjects for a fan website to discuss, but as Michael confirms, these threads, on the structure of the club and the board's decisions, remain, as they have been for years, some of the most commented on.

I rarely post on TW these days; the disgraceful manner in which Richard Knights was treated by the club, the lies senior staff told to outside agencies including Merseyside Police, the 㿀,000 they spent in attempting to silence him, made me realise that the people who run our club are lower than a snake's belly and it soured my relationship with them as a fan, although I remain an Evertonian and I avidly read TW to keep abreast of developments both on and off the field.

There's no doubt that opinions on those that run the club, and their actions, are long since polarized; that is to say there are two schools of thought and by now, in line with the theories of group dynamics, those that have chosen are forever in one or the other camp and have opinions that have hardened. I know some, in their pursuit of fairness, like to be seen to flit between both camps and to be fair, whilst I've never felt the need to have an arse like a hot cross bun myself, they're invaluable as instigators of debate when these threads appear.

However, I can empathise with Tom Hughes; I know him well, we're both from the 'spade is a spade' school of thought, so I can only applaud him delivering some much needed plain speaking to someone clearly taking the piss. Maybe that's another reason I no longer post on TW, I became fed up with receiving emails from Lyndon issuing me with yellow cards, thoroughly deserved I may add, for calling someone or other a thick twat or a village idiot, which reminds me, if post #313, that party political broadcast on behalf of the Bill party, isn't from the mind of a well known insidious Kenwright acolyte, I'm a Dutchman! Note to Lyndon, I've changed my email fella!

This polarization is far from 50/50, the call for a poll earlier in the thread would most probably have simply reproduced the result The Mirror poll produced a few weeks ago and those from the days of Kirkby, an 80/20 split.

It's worth acknowledging that poster who felt a little bored by these threads as, whilst those that have an opinion are indeed polarized, there remains a significant amount who, for one reason or another, simply don't have an opinion. Look at that Mirror article containing the poll; of the 12,000 that read it only 10% bothered to vote, so clearly the protesters and the likes of Watched Toffee need to find ways to engage with and enlighten fans who remain ignorant of the history and performance of the current board.

Maybe this group of fans just don't give a toss or maybe they see the problem but then, as they feel that there's nothing they can do, they look the other way and simply get on with the roller-coaster ride that a supporter of Everton has to accept?

Martin Mason
374 Posted 06/09/2015 at 22:31:16
Ian@ 321

Sorry for the delay in answering your question. If you have a look at Jon Woods's Wikipedia biopic, Woods is listed as a non-executive director. I have no comment on it – I just quoted what I read. Wait with interest no longer.

Colin, goedenavond meneer.

Ian Smitham
375 Posted 06/09/2015 at 23:05:14
Joe Green @ 350, quite, clarity.
Martin Mason
376 Posted 06/09/2015 at 23:08:05
Just a non-confrontational comment concerning responses following my post at 313 and tbh and many other posts. No comment on the points I raise, only ad hominem? I usually say that this is done to save the poster from actually having to think but surely Everton Fans are better than that when discussing the club that we all support?

I'm accused of being unable to alter my views when presented with conspiracy theories about what the board has or hasn't done and yet that describes exactly the position that all rabidly anti-board people adopt, absolutely closed minds. The reality is that I'll accept any accusation against the board that is substantiated and any that aren't I accept as opinion only. You can have your own opinions for sure but not you're own facts.

How can I take seriously anybody who'd believe I must be associated with the club because I don't hold their own particular prejudices?

Richard Jones
377 Posted 06/09/2015 at 23:33:42

The board have not found investment or a buyer (fact).
The board have failed to provide us with a stadium (fact).

Just two facts there before I go to bed.

Michael Kenrick
378 Posted 06/09/2015 at 00:17:45
Great to hear from you, Colin. I can totally understand the disgust over Richard Knights. What I find a little more difficult to understand is the conviction that Bill Kenwright would engage with 'disaffected' fans who are questioning his regime and business decisions that underpin the operation of the club. I mean... don't you think "once bitten...'???

Terminating AGMs fits this MO to a tee. Is he really any more likely to engage with a group calling themselves Everton Board Out, or Blue Union, or KEIOC?

The club's Fans Forums were clearly meant to fulfill a Premier League requirement for interaction between the club management and concerned fans, but I feel certain they haven't gone anywhere near such key topics as the dubious instruments of debt financing.

Perhaps if post #313 had been authored by somebody (anybody) else, it would be seen for what it is: a simple statement of the truth regarding Bill Kenwright's contempt for disaffected fans who have the temerity to question this "well-run" club.

It will be very interesting to see if the far more professional-looking EST are going to be able to engage meaningfully with the club. Perhaps only by making sure they steer well clear of contentious business issues like this?

Christine Foster
379 Posted 07/09/2015 at 02:34:45
Nice to see you back Colin, much missed!

Michael, ignoring #313 was actually quite hard to do for me, but I made it after a few vodka breezes and a couple of pear ciders... You see I have come to the blinding conclusion that Bill is not the bumbling fan he portrays himself to be, or the luvviee of the media, Mr Nice Guy.

Not engaging with untrustworthy fans is a bit rich considering just why they took the approach they did. Trust is a two way street, you cannot cry foul or be surprised if others play you at your own game!

Two wrongs also don't make a right but you cannot take the high morale ground if you say one thing and do another. Bill attempted to do so... But, if he had been upfront and honest in the first place, then he would never have been in the position he finds himself in today.

He is not the owner of the club, he does not have a controlling interest, the "club" is not for sale, minority shareholders, all shares may be sold, but controlling interest would mean that all three major shareholders would have to sell and not a penny would the club see. So, unless someone more shrewd than the current lot takes a punt, we are at the behest of the carpetbaggers in our boardroom.

Michael Kenrick
380 Posted 07/09/2015 at 07:24:40
In my experience, the club has always been a bit aloof, and for a long time would do the very British thing of citing business confidentiality as a reason why things like this cannot be discussed. Being upfront and honest is just not part of that business model, I'm afraid. So I just can't see pleas for transparency and openness getting off first base.

Ged Simpson believes there should be an independent investigation by some sort of external inspector. What possible motive would the club have for agree to such an unwarranted intrusion? To assuage the concerns of a few disaffected fans? Sorry, it's just not going to happen.

Bill opened up to a few guys from the Blue Union, and paid a heavy price of sorts in that many of his nonsensical proclamations and past miscalculations were laid bare to a somewhat bigger audience — although still in the main not registering for the vast majority of match-going Evertonians.

But I think you might be wrong, Christine, about the club ownership thing. Earl and Woods appear to be fully supportive of Kenwright, and there don't appear to have been any rifts, so I suspect Kenwright as Chairman effectively commands almost 75% of the total shares. And that in all practical and financial matters makes him the owner.

Yes, Green may be a 'shadow director', as we discussed a few years ago. If he is, he's largely invisible, and Kenwright is his frontman. We're stuck with him until he and his mates decide it's time to sell up.

Ged Simpson
381 Posted 07/09/2015 at 07:55:14
Michael (#358) - my thinking (and I am far far from being any kind of expert) was an investigation or assessment done on information that is already in the public domain or can be found without needing Board cooperation.

My reason is, as this thread shows, fans often have their own agendas that leads to cherry picking "facts" to further their argument.

I thought an independent analysis may help and may get the Board to defend themselves and encourage others (serious media) to see this as a serious business story rather than just a tabloid story about a bit of unrest.

Matt Traynor
382 Posted 07/09/2015 at 07:56:20
Michael #358, I don't think Ged's suggesting the club opens itself up to a due diligence process. (We're not buying, and of course such a process would be subject to that "very British thing" (where did you get that from?) of confidentiality).

Rather, by employing people who know where to look for information that is public, or if not public, "get-able".

You are right though that we'll probably not get any more clear answers, rather it'll further fuel the conspiracy debate and further entrenchment of people's positions. (But think of the ad revenue with such click-bait!).

We might be surprised at how much information is easily attainable. Like historical M&A approaches by interested parties...?
True Blue Holdings in 2000 (new vehicle for existing shareholdings).
Paul Gregg-led group in mid 2006 - just before....
BCR Sports in Autumn 2006 (where Gregg's shares ended up so we're told)
Lakshmi Mittal-led group in Autumn 2008
Amil Ambani-led group in Autumn 2008
Qatar Investment Office in Spring 2009

Now I'm sure various people will claim the report this came from is fake, but I certainly recall there were stories around the Mittal and Ambani approaches at the time.

Others can fit the time-line for DK around that, to see whether they really where trying to sell off the back of a planning consent, but would be interested to know why there seems to be no info post 2009, and who the "blank" entries in the files for other approaches correspond to.

Ged Simpson
383 Posted 07/09/2015 at 08:20:41
You're right in what I meant Matt. I have no idea whether what happens at EFC is "normal" for PL Boards or very unusual. I always have that problem with politics...is what happens here unusual or typical in Europe.

I think Colin F is right about polarization of views and inevitable group dynamics.

Anyway after trying to get my rusty brain into gear and giving this some thought, I guess in the end the two main problems with my idea are:

1. Developing a Terms of reference. Who would do it? Can't see Tom and Martin sitting down to agree this. Maybe EST could do this as one of their big things is their democratic approach. If done just by the loudest voices it would fail dismally.

2. The cost. If there aren't that many motivated away from TW, then paying for such an independent assessment could be tricky. Perhaps one of the Universities could be interested as an academic exercise for Business related disciplines with students/post grads doing some of the research ? (Obviously after a rigorous vetting process!).

So whilst I still think an independent assessment would be useful to inform and take the debate forward, I realise the devil is always in the detail.

Tony Abrahams
384 Posted 07/09/2015 at 09:05:09
Can I jump in here, with two people I have never had the pleasure to meet.

Colin I admire your stance regarding Everton, and you also showed great knowledge, wisdom and love for the blues when you and your fellow KEIOC members, stood up to Everton and Tesco regarding Kirkby, near Wigan!

Martin, I'm sure you are much clever than me, but was that a Dutch phrase you gave to Colin at 352?

Your next post, whilst not wanting to be confrontational, by accusing some people of not being able to think. (Classic Duke, I might add), could well be determined as being insulting, and also very confrontational?

I think you got your posts the wrong way round Martin, and blew yourself up to the fact that Colin, obviously knows who you are. As I say I am probably wrong, but it's usually the smugness that gives these things away!

The smugness, like when Kenwright told members of the blue union that Phillip Green was a magician. (Is he also the Invisible Man?)

Why would anyone come out with an answer like that? Why? Why? Why?

Brian Harrison
385 Posted 07/09/2015 at 09:33:37
Colin Fitzpatrick

Now there is a blast from the past, Colin and I used to disagree most vehemently mainly over commercial or financial issues. I think Colin was a big supporter of KEIOC and I thought they could have achieved a lot but went about it the wrong way.

My post saying that I was bored with the subject, which led Michael to call Ged and I "happy clappers" was probably taken out of context. Yes, it is vitally important on how the club is run but we have done this subject to death.

As Colin points out this debate just seem to polarize opinions, so everytime a post about the financial running of the club is posted the same people with the same views permeate the site.

Ged Simpson
386 Posted 07/09/2015 at 09:39:48
Round of applause Brian - crap joke !
Kevin Tully
387 Posted 07/09/2015 at 09:55:52
I would like to dispel one or two myths that seem to be permeating through this thread.

One, it is NOT normal business practice to take out loans based upon future revenue streams. Especially not for everyday operating costs such as wages. This would be viewed as the last resort in most cases.

Two, borrowing from companies in the BVI is at best, enabling tax avoidance for the financial gain of a third party. Is this something we want the club to be involved in?

Also, what are these loans secured against? That is the main question here. Are the board placing the club in a precarious position, because they have refused to show some faith in their own business model? I think it's safe to say they are.

Some people refuse to condemn the way the club is ran until they actually set eyes on the bank transfer to Philip Green's personal account. That's their prerogative. I see a club which is ran poorly, with little or no innovation from the owners, and certainly no financial risk (but plenty to gain) from their stewardship. We can do so much better.

Christine Foster
388 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:10:16
Brian, yes people bang the same drum unless they are convinced by an argument or by the disclosure of fact. As Michael quite rightly points out, transparency and honesty are not a priority of the board so in the main we are left with conjecture and analysis of what information we can piece together and deduce the reality. It's not clean, it's not perfect, but in the absence of disclosure it's all we have.

Bored with the resultant discussions? Done to death? No... Because, like a jigsaw the pieces start coming together to see what's really going on. Does it matter? Absolutely, it's the decisions made today that determine what our club will be in 5 or 10 years time. So yes it's important.

Just because the board doesn't want to engage doesn't mean supporters or shareholders should stop asking questions.

Richard Jones
389 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:20:20
Hmmmm "could have achieved a lot", Brian? This "gang of drunken knobheads" as Ian Ross called them, knew before the public inquiry that Kirkby had no chance of going through and told the club this and had a big hand in stopping one of biggest football swindles in English history.
Ged Simpson
390 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:24:15
"Some people refuse to condemn the way the club is ran until they actually set eyes on the bank transfer to Philip Green's personal account."

It is that kind of comment (even with the following 'prerogative' comment) that hampers debate and makes a lot of us unconvinced by or put off the the debate.

Tell me honestly the tone does not imply anything about those who do not agree with you.

Want to get people on board or taking an interest?

Stop barking.

Colin Fitzpatrick
391 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:34:41
Hello Michael and Christine, maybe is has been a little too long, it hasn't all been down to Richard's quite disgraceful treatment but it certainly helped.

Michael, moving forward, and using diplomatic language, I think EST 1878 is the vehicle by which democratically elected fans can one day have a true voice in our club; that vehicle is now established, it's a vehicle that's endorsed by the government sponsored Supporters Direct and let's hope our fans embrace it. It will be a long journey but that first step has now been taken and I wish them all the best.

Dropping that diplomatic veil, I think it's great that an official organisation has been established which the club will find it difficult to control or have influence upon, an organisation that they will also find difficult to ignore, but the signs are already ominous with their refusal to comment on the launch of EST1878.

You're completely correct, the Fans Forum was established due to the need to comply with guidelines given by the Premier League, so they rehashed the former Fans Council and hand-selected its members who, I'm told, to this day, elect members which are also hand-selected by the club, confirming the concept that democracy is an excellent idea as long as you're in control!

When it came to acting in the interests of the fans, I had very little confidence in the ability of what was clearly an artificial organisation. This concern was confirmed when they remained as quiet as the Everton boardroom over Richard Knights; it's clearly an organisation that, with the launch of EST 1878, will become increasingly unnecessary and even more impotent, if that is at all possible!

I'm uncertain whether your comment, on Bill Kenwright's conviction to engage with disaffected fans, is specifically directed at me or not, but I assure you that I completely understand why he has no wish whatsoever to engage with fans or indeed his own shareholders who question his chairmanship of this excuse for a board. Undoubtedly, as you point out, he has been bitten – savaged, I'd call it – but, just like if you mistreat a dog, you can only expect one outcome.

Personally I have no wish to engage with him or any of those that are employed to do his bidding; who am I anyway? I'm just a fan who makes a few observations now and again, observations that are little more than stating the bleedin' obvious.

These threads tend to go off on tangents as posters misinterpret what is being said: allegations of financial impropriety or financial irregularity are well wide of the mark in my opinion; the root cause of Everton's current malaise can only be found in the structure of its board. I wouldn't be too quick to accept the roles of Kenwright and Earl, just remember what you always say, Michael, that Anita Gregg lent Kenwright the money to cover his investment in TBH. If that was the case, when Philip Green paid Paul Gregg for his shares, the ones now registered in the BVI, who paid back Anita?????

When Keith Wyness cited Philip Green, as exerting too much influence on the activities of Everton, why would Green be allowed to do such a thing? These aren't conspiracy theories, these are what the people involved, Gregg and Wyness, actually said... So, whilst the idiots with agendas dance around the internet, screaming about tin foil hats and conspiracy theories, the more sensible attempt to debate and discover the truth; a truth which is extremely difficult to uncover when the natural culture inside the club is one of spin and downright lies.

I wouldn't dismiss the ability of the Blue Union to engage with the club, albeit I'd admit it's an unwilling engagement. Not many will realise the BU have three representatives on the Football Support Federation national council, that they were instrumental in the 㿀's Plenty campaign which has saved thousands of match-going supporters hundreds of thousand of pounds, a proposal that Everton subscribe to, promoted by an organisation that is officially recognised by the city council and represents fans interests on committees set up by the Mayor to promote fan safety.

This polarization I spoke of earlier is definitely something which the club benefits from in their bid to hide the truth of what goes on inside the club. Their poor commercial performance, and their inability to address the stadium issue, can both be seen as simply symptoms of the aforementioned root cause of the true problem at Everton, a problem they address with smoke and mirrors and attempting to control any possible semblance of investigation. Imagine attending an AGM where all the questions to be answered by the board will have been submitted in advance? That's how Everton interpret the word 'engagement'.

I'll demonstrate these factions within the fanbase by predicting how they'll spin their kit supply renegotiation:

For years, a section of the fanbase has criticized the Kitbag deal. This deal was initially promoted as a merchandise deal, which followed the first with JJB, a deal which was negotiated on the back of a pressing need to address the club's own disastrous merchandise operation in as cost-effective a manner as possible; that is to say, without spending a penny – a theme that observers of this board's inactivity will be more than familiar with.

Criticism of the Kitbag deal surrounded the mysterious disappearance – some would say 'non-appearance' – of a kit supply deal with whatever manufacturer was being promoted at the time; this was during the time of a veritable explosion in these revenue streams, as FFP rules began to take effect. Famously described as 'Kitblag', Everton defended it with all the usual smoke and mirrors we have come to expect, whilst certain fan groups kept the pressure on, and fan sites such as ToffeeWeb gave the opportunity for fans to debate and become informed on the issue – debates which fans should not for one minute believe are not followed closely by the club.

Now, I'm reliably informed, we've renegotiated our Kit Supply deal with Umbro. We're now getting / going to get ٤m a season from them. To many, that will be seen as nothing more than good news. ٤m is, after all the criticism of the club's commercial performance, a very welcome step in the right direction. ٤m is, due to amortization, a quality player paid for including his wages.

The polarized groups will take slightly differing views: one will exclaim, "Rejoice, Rejoice" in their best Thatcheresque accent... whilst the people who aren't bellends, whilst readily approving additional income for the club, will want to ask a few questions... such as: Why haven't we been receiving this income? Who is now paying us this income? Is it a slice of the cake or the whole cake? &ndash because ٤m for a Premier League kit supply deal is well off the pace – look at QPR for example.

Whilst all these questions remain unanswered, questions of the board and their performance, and that of their employees, I think there is a very real need for truly independent websites such as TW to give genuine people the opportunity to offer genuine views from whichever side of the divide they decide they're comfortable with.

Perhaps the polarized groups aren't really pro-Kenwright and anti-Kenwright; maybe it's just about being right or wrong... and, in reality, the numbers concerned or the conversion rates are academic. It's simply about uncovering the truth before this board's final act is played out.

Kevin Tully
392 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:38:09
Apologies, Ged, if that comment has upset you. No offence meant.

Let me rephrase that particular point. Quite rightly, people want to see hard evidence of any wrongdoing before they make a decision as how the club is ran. But my personal opinion is that it's clear the board have no faith in their own club. otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Ged Simpson
393 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:44:14
Just me being hyper-sensitive Kev....no problem.
Eric Myles
394 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:45:31
Christine #366, "Just because the board doesn't want to engage doesn't mean supporters or shareholders should stop asking questions."

Considering that the board members hold 68% of the shares and other shareholders account for 32%, a larger proportion than any single board member shareholding, I think the shareholders not only have a right to ask questions but also a right to expect to receive answers.

Dave Abrahams
395 Posted 07/09/2015 at 10:54:53
Colin (368) thanks for your last post, I sincerely hope it is one of many in the future. I wrote last week why this thread is very important to fans on this site because, even if a lot of us have nothing to offer, we can all learn, and I've learnt plenty.

I think some people (directed at no-one in particular) see a long post, maybe on this topic, and don't bother to read it. I think they are missing a lot if they do not take everything in about the dealings of this board, good and bad.

Tony George
396 Posted 07/09/2015 at 11:33:02
As Michael implies above, 'the club has always been a bit aloof'. I wasn't around in the much vaunted days of Moores control but my father – who was for a while a shareholder (one share!) always tells me that the only AGM he ever attended, with 'Mr John' in the chair, was over in less than five minutes!

So it seems BK has taken 'the great man' for a role model by carrying on of the tradition of secrecy which has permeated the club for years ..... perhaps forever!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's right only that it's nothing new!

Tom Hughes
397 Posted 07/09/2015 at 13:04:40

I have been attending AGMs since Johnson was in control... with a family member doing the same for many decades before that. The formal business can be resolved quite quickly if there are no major issues to vote on. And the Question & Answer session too if there isn't too much to discuss.

Perhaps the period that your father attended them was one of greater success and therefore harmony... it's amazing how a bit of success on the pitch will alleviate other concerns, and let's face it we were a completely different proposition in many ways back then. At the same time, it's well known that the club was quite insular in some respects during the Catterick era for instance... so I'm not sure how open and forthcoming they will have been in any case. I'm sure they'd much prefer to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.

Some posters have said that the club doesn't have to reveal anything.... and I've heard the old "confidentiality" response to a question more times than I can remember at these events. While I appreciate the need for confidentiality at various sensitive stages in any process, there shouldn't necessarily be an issue once that process is completed (successfully or not). I attended the meeting immediately following the demise of the Kings Dock.... and was astounded by how easily the subject was swept under the carpet. Similarly with several other contentious subjects over those years..... and that's generally the way it worked.

However, by the time of the EGM and the AGM that preceded it, the Shareholders were increasingly refusing to accept being fobbed off and people hiding behind bogus confidentiality claims etc. The questions came thick and fast and they were getting their fingers burnt.... and the answers soon dried up... and that was the end of AGMs for a number of years... which is of course another cause for some of the mistrust mentioned by Christine, and perhaps the incentive for the kind of research covered in the original article.

Derek Thomas
398 Posted 07/09/2015 at 14:14:35
First: Colin; bravo, a master class. You name the horses and riders Goodison Money-go-round then ask: Who paid Anita Gregg? – would the answer be The Club?

Over the years, there have been a number of these types of threads and slowly, more and more people are learning more and more about the timeframe of events.

Hopefully EST 1878 can bring pressure to bear and, while they are at it, try to link up with TrustEverton and thus have both a political and financial stick to beat the Board with.

Tony George
399 Posted 07/09/2015 at 14:40:39
Thanks, Tom, but I do think that AGM protocol can be manipulated to good effect by any wily Chair. Nothing to do with football but some years ago, I attended a major company's AGM as representative of the firm I was working for.

As I remember it, there was a fairly lengthy presentation under the heading 'Annual Report & Accounts' and about half-a-dozen questions were allowed and addressed - not entirely to the questioners' satisfaction.

When it got to 'Any Other Business', the Chair reminded the gathering that the agenda stated clearly that 'only such business as is appropriate to the business of the meeting and of which notice has been given would be allowed.' As no such notice had been received, the meeting was then closed.

I may not have got all that wording correct but I mention the experience to illustrate that it is not only EFC who legally avoid accountability to their shareholders – although they do it quite effectively!

Eugene Ruane
400 Posted 07/09/2015 at 14:52:34
Colin/Tom, for all the (obvious) frustration you feel, please try not to let it put you off. I, along I'm sure with many others, very much appreciate the thought, intelligence and illumination your posts provide. I am particularly thankful for you explanations on the specifics of financial matters, as I find it difficult to grasp 'business' and financial dealings.

As for getting 'into it' on TW, personally if the moon is full and the telly is shite, I can still enjoy finding myself in the middle of a good oul spat, but re Martin Mason, I have seen enough evidence to suggest his whole 'Ooooh Bill is fuckin' lush' schtick is a wind-up. And so for that reason (dramatic music) re his posts... I'm out.

Bill Gall
401 Posted 07/09/2015 at 14:59:22
Regardless of your views on this article by Watched Toffee, personally I would like to thank them for providing one of the most interesting discussions I have read on TW for a long time.

What the comments on here show, whether you agree or disagree with the way the club is run, is that there are very knowledgeable passionate supporters commenting on here that demonstrate what it is like to be a true supporter of the best club in the Premier League: Everton FC.

Brent Stephens
402 Posted 07/09/2015 at 15:23:03
Tony #377 - similarly, there was a Vice Chancellor of one university who used to get to AOB, ask if there was any other business, and in a micro second followed up with "No? Meeting Closed".
Martin Mason
403 Posted 08/09/2015 at 09:34:48
Richard at 355

Two more facts then,

No other club in a similar or better position to us has had a sniff of a buyer in the time that they and we have patently been for sale. See Newcastle and Villa for example

The board hasn't provided us with a new ground because they don't have the finance to do it unless they can do a retail leveraged solution. What would you prefer, that we buy players or finance a new stadium at any cost and end up in the League One?

I have to ask why is it so difficult to see that we can't do anything that we don't have the money to pay for?

Tony @362, Colin added 2 and 2 and got 5 as always and decided that if I wasn't a particular stooge of BK that he knows then he's a Dutchman. I'm assuming therefore that he's a Dutchman.

Great thread btw, I'm really looking forward to seeing some evidence on malfeasance by the board and why they are doing any worse than any reasonable board with similar revenue constraints could be expected to do. It would really round the thread off perfectly.

No I'm not a troll nor do I have any association with the club. I have a brain and I have perhaps a different opinion than a few but certainly not all on here, that is my prerogative.

John Keating
405 Posted 08/09/2015 at 09:54:20

Why a new stadium? Why couldn't we have spent the last 10 years redeveloping Goodison?

Surely a new stand every few years subsidised by the Club AND the wealth of the Directors could not only have given us better facilities but also potentially given the Directors a better return on their investments.

Eric Myles
406 Posted 08/09/2015 at 10:17:16
Martin #381, your 'facts' are wrong as usual; for example, Manchester City and Leicester City have been bought in the time we have supposedly been up for sale, as have a raft of other clubs in a worse position than us, eg, Reading & QPR.

We are not saving money on a stadium to spend on players, our funding of purchases is from player sales.

Tom Hughes
407 Posted 08/09/2015 at 10:41:17
As has already been covered many many many times.... The two clubs mentioned have been sold in the period that we have been supposedly up for sale. As have almost ALL others. Including those bigger than us and some have even been sold twice......

Furthermore, if we cannot have a new stadium unless it is retail-leveraged, why have we spent the last 2 years+ paying a CEO for at least 1.5 days per week of his time (his own words), and consultants and stadium planners/designers to try to deliver a stadium in a suburban park with almost no retail element, apart from a possible supermarket?

Why did we pursue the Destination Kirkby scheme when every man and his dog knew the retail enabler would never pass planning, and was relatively worthless to the club anyway? The Kings Dock also had little or no retail.... but generated a far richer enabling package... and was still squandered. Does all that constitute malfydooda... or doesn't any of that matter?

Like the gift that never stops giving...

Martin Mason
408 Posted 08/09/2015 at 10:42:42

Upgrading or new is the same situation, if it needs finance then we don't have it. We can have players or ground? What should it be?

Eric, Manchester City in the same position as us? Breathtaking, they had their own new ground and the buyer was looking at advertising for Etihad flights from Manchester. Any ideas on why they didn't buy Everton what with all their history?

I don't know enough about the Leicester City sale but if there was any similarity why didn't they buy Everton instead if were such a buy? We're for sale and we haven't had a sniff of a buy, there's a reason for that.

You can repeat the nonsense that we only buy by selling as often as you like, it won't make it any more correct. Player sales are a revenue, player purchases are a cost, our sales are never enough to finance the playing staff we buy so it's just as correct to say that we only buy by borrowing or by TV revenue. If you'd like to make a direct correlation that we only buy by selling then that is true of every club. Helps with the confirmation bias but adds nothing to the debate.

John Keating
409 Posted 08/09/2015 at 10:54:20

With the TV riches soon to come, do you not think that and some of our directors' many millions would not build us a new Bullens Road stand?

Tom Hughes
410 Posted 08/09/2015 at 10:57:53
Upgrading and building anew is not the same situation. There can be a vast difference in scale and cost and there are also phasing advantages.... which is why the majority of clubs have redeveloped.

Breathtaking. ....? Get your facts straight: Man City still do not own their own stadium.

Throughout Moyes's years we had roughly a zero net spend... and literally followed a sell-to-buy model throughout. The Sky windfall has alleviated that.... but still saw us leaving things to last-minute buys in the window and missing out on targets identified months ago.

John Keating
411 Posted 08/09/2015 at 11:08:24

Any idea on the approx. costs of upgrading, say Bullens Road, as a start, seeing the Council did indicate land might become available there via the school?

Tom Hughes
412 Posted 08/09/2015 at 11:35:49

It all depends on the approach adopted or the type and size of development.

For instance, just adding a new 19 rows above and behind the existing upper tier increasing capacity by 4-5000 on this side need not cost more than £20m in construction cost terms. Cardiff have not long completed a 5k expansion of the Ninian stand for just £12m in a similar way. Of course this would still leave the problem of the lower Bullens but the worst views could be eradicated via reprofiling the lower tier with little loss in capacity.

Conversely, the whole upper Bullens could be replaced in two phases with the rear section in place before the existing one is removed. .... resulting in no interim capacity loss, and all lower tier obstructions gone. This could lead to a much bigger total capacity on this side as the new upper could be set back slightly... increasing capacity on both tiers. This of course involves more construction cost... and would be in the region of £30--40m.... or more depending on fit out, number of boxes and size of lounge spaces and roof support system etc.

Or of course we could build a whole new stand of say 15k capacity for £30-50m+ depending on format chosen and quality.

The result would be to push the capacity into the mid to high 40's... and at a fraction of the cost to build the same size stadium elsewhere.

John Keating
413 Posted 08/09/2015 at 11:55:48
Thanks Tom,

The thought of a new Bullens Road for £50m would be unbelievable!

You would think that cost spread over a few years of TV money plus a few quid from the board could be achievable. The money and time we've wasted, even since DK, is pitiful.

Winston Williamson
414 Posted 08/09/2015 at 12:26:22
A correlation between selling players to buy (especially throughout Moyes' time) is that we didn't buy a player until we had sold a player.

In the times we didn't buy any new players we didn't sell any players (of note) either.

Borrowing money still occurred during periods we never bought players, as such, it can be inferred that borrowing was obtained to meet the day-to-day running costs.

However, in Martinez's rein (other than the sales of Felliani, Jelavic, Anichebe funding his spending) the increased borrowing (BVI) is obtained just before we spend money on players.

Winston Williamson
415 Posted 08/09/2015 at 12:30:03
Could the reason for Man City being bought ahead of us be that Man City did not have a fractured ownership, barely servicable levels of debt and mortgaged or sold assets?
Winston Williamson
416 Posted 08/09/2015 at 12:32:20

That's very interesting regarding the Bullens Road. would it be possible to create an attachment between Bullens and the Park end to create a join to three sides of the stadium with the main stand staying separate?

Tom Hughes
417 Posted 08/09/2015 at 13:48:05
Yes Winston,

The horseshoe configuration is favoured by many great clubs... and a fuller corner section would add much needed extra capacity too.

Ultimately, the aim could be to bring all sides upto roughly the same height as the Top Balcony. Obviously, this is readily achieved at the Park end.

Jay Harris
418 Posted 08/09/2015 at 14:35:17
Tom, I would like to compliment you as the source of many useful facts regarding stadium construction and particularly GP.

As I remember, you and/or Trevor Skempton had a meeting with the Goodison hierarchy to present some proposals, either pre- or post-DK.

Can I ask who was there and what sort of reaction you got?

Colin Fitzpatrick
419 Posted 08/09/2015 at 14:45:09

Of course you're right to question the mentality required to follow a retail-based development; more suited to rugby league clubs and or football clubs in the lower tiers, these had their day in the early part of the last decade. Changes in shopping habits, along with the long-since questionable practice of out-of-centre stadiums, means these developments are unlikely to see the light of day ever again.

Kirkby followed the King's Dock and preceded The Park End Development, also known as Goodison Place, what do they all have in common? Well, put as the management speak bollocks they so like at Everton, they're all developments which rely on 'innovative financing' in other words they are all reliant on other people's money.

Why Everton pursue these strategies is simple: the directors refuse to invest a single penny into their own business. They'll look at anything that enables them to have a free lunch – only they appear not to understand that there's no such thing as a free lunch despite three clear lessons, soon to be four, which have been spelt out to them.

The question is: Why won't they invest a single penny to enhance their business? Nobody knows the answer; maybe it's the same reason you don't build an extension on a council house?

You'll remember that I took your Sheffield architects on a visit to Goodison, a visit I'd arranged with Robert Elstone. This was just after the demise of Desperation Kirkby and whilst working on the Football Quarter concept, a concept that the regeneration of Anfield follows closely, so closely in fact that we were even acknowledged in their Strategic Development Plan!

Those architects couldn't believe Goodison had remained undeveloped and put forward a plan for the Park End that, from memory, was 㾼m.

Phased redevelopment is without doubt the most cost-effective route, it could begin tomorrow if the will was there... Of course, in place of some positive action, we'll hear all the excuses under the sun as to why they can't redevelop. But of course the real reason we aren't seeing the Bullens like this...


is the same reason that has them looking at any harebrained scheme, they'll talk about anything as long as they don't need to spend any capital amount.

The latest is WHP, I won't say anything here, I'll ring you later, but let's just say when people find out what the latest variation on the theme is I think they'll be well and truly angry. No wonder the club are attempting to control the AGM; exercising control by only answering questions that have been submitted in advance, believe me they'll need to.

Of course whilst the vast majority will see straight through all of this, you'll always get the bellend who laps it all up. ;-)

Ged Simpson
420 Posted 08/09/2015 at 14:57:07
Join Now!

Keep The Bullens Action Group

𧾦 pa.

Account details on application


Tom Hughes
421 Posted 08/09/2015 at 14:57:25
Succinctly put, as ever, Col.....
Ged Simpson
422 Posted 08/09/2015 at 14:59:44
I apologise for last message.

I realise a lot of folk are working hard on this issue.

Jay Harris
424 Posted 08/09/2015 at 15:24:35
great to see you back here and apparently in fine form.

You may have answered the question I put to Tom about a meeting with the hierarchy; however, I seem to remember an earlier meeting about the time of Kenwright's takeover at which plans were presented and rejected.

Kevin Tully
425 Posted 08/09/2015 at 15:38:19
Colin - Take a bow...Here is an excerpt from the last AGM, when the club were questioned on their plans for WHP...


Tom Hughes
426 Posted 08/09/2015 at 15:41:20
Jay...... yes, Trevor and I met with the club. I can't remember if it was just after the ballot for Kirkby, before, during or possibly just after the inquiry. We were with a couple of the KEIOC lads and Ian Ross, Alan Bowen and Robert Elstone's represented the club... with David Kerle (sp?) Of KSS architects.

It was a bit of a last-minute thing for me having only just got back into the UK.... and Trevor hadn't had long to prepare anything. We gave them a purposely very loose presentation of ideas to try to open up the debate and get a feel for where they stood, but it became evident very quickly that they simply weren't interested in redevelopment. It was simply an exercise in lip service..... I think they were still "Kirkby or nothing" at that point.

Tom Hughes
427 Posted 08/09/2015 at 15:59:04
Colin references an image in his post, which is worth a look. The image shows how a Leitch stand can be transformed to combine old and new.

That project was in fact far more troublesome than it would be with the Bullens, as the facade is listed at Ibrox and all construction had to take place above and through the existing structures. Ours could be stand alone at the rear of the stand knitting into each floor to substantially add concourse area.... and is a far cheaper construction method. The result can be quite spectacular, and even in a stadium with 3 much newer stands, the mainstand is still the most revered.

Dave Abrahams
428 Posted 08/09/2015 at 16:51:24
Kevin (401) The last AGM wasn't as entertaining as that, nevertheless everyone was in a very good mood because Martinez had given all of us a great deal of hope for the future of Everton in the Premier League.

The thing I took away from that meeting was a young man got up to ask a question, don't remember the question, but before he handed over it for Elstone to answer, he asked the young man his name and then added "You're a proxy voter, you say..." but couldn't keep the sneer out of his voice.

I thought to myself, when things are going well, you just show how arrogant you are, but when it gets rough you stay out of the way.

Bill Gall
429 Posted 08/09/2015 at 16:56:40
Not being an architect, but reading about redeveloping Bullens Road Stand,, would this be something similar to what Liverpool are doing to one of their stands?

My own experiences since moving to Canada is in the mining industries, and the first thing I was taught, was there was no such thing as "It can't be done" — just find out who can do it and how much it will cost.

Colin Fitzpatrick
430 Posted 08/09/2015 at 17:13:48
Tom, your post #403; as usual, you make some excellent points. You earlier described the meeting we had with Robert Elstone and the management team.

You'll remember the tennis match I was having with him over the figures for redevelopment of Goodison and one thing that struck me was that, whilst he likes to always head you off with "Yes, yes but how can we pay for it?" he knowingly accepted that the one thing the likes of Man City and Chelsea can't buy is heritage and history.

We'd be mad to throw such an asset away and I think, despite the position the 'owners' put him in, he knew it's something priceless and able to generate revenue. You only need to look at that photo of Dean scoring his 60th to understand this.

Colin Fitzpatrick
431 Posted 08/09/2015 at 17:19:21
...and Bill, you're spot on, Engineers and Architects solve problems. What you hear from Goodison are excuses to hide the fact that when it comes to answers they're impotent.
Tom Hughes
432 Posted 08/09/2015 at 17:28:41

Yes, Liverpool are indeed doing precisely that, but they are trying to add 9,000 on this side alone..... including a whole executive tier with two rows of executive boxes, and because of the existing stand's size and geometry the volume of construction will be double what I'm suggesting for the Bullens.

The roof alone will be as deep as that at Wembley. By comparison, proper overlapping of tiers at GP will half the roof depth. The new stand at Cardiff is nearer in scale and therefore cost.

Tom Hughes
433 Posted 08/09/2015 at 17:44:02
You're right Col, we can have the best of both worlds... history and state-of-the-art modernity alongside each other. Furthermore, the resultant set-up will have a significantly higher number of high-value elevated views than that envisaged at WHP, where apparently only one side is two-tiered... with the rest basic single-tier stands. Hardly synonymous with our club's rich history in stadium innovation and design.
Bill Gall
434 Posted 08/09/2015 at 18:32:45
Thank you to Colin and Tom for the information, and Tom, I checked on the development plans for Cardiff City and I now have a better understanding of what you were explaining.

I cannot understand the reluctance of the Everton Board to not at least look at the redevelopment of Goodison Park, as it appears a cheaper solution than building a complete new ground.

Had the Board ever asked any Architectural & Engineering Companies to provide them with a plan and costs for redevelopment, or are they just totally against redevelopment of Goodison Park?

John Keating
435 Posted 08/09/2015 at 18:39:36
There you go, Martin.

If we flog Stones next season – hopefully NOT – and we use the £40 million, not on "other operating costs" but on a new Bullens Road Stand we are well set up.

Might I suggest you buy a season ticket for the newly named "John Stones Stand"

Now I wonder who we could flog for the new main stand?

Colin Gee
436 Posted 08/09/2015 at 19:45:34
Great to see some ToffeeWeb names from the past posting on here again.

Very imformative. I'm no business man at all, have no head for figures, but even a normal fella like me can see that something is very wrong within the walls of Goodison....

Sky throws money around like confetti at a wedding, yet we still don't have any.

Answers on a postcard to Bill Kenwright and the rest of the board of our Football Club.

Eric Myles
437 Posted 09/09/2015 at 00:45:50
"Our sales are never enough to finance the playing staff we buy."

Wrong again, Martin (#385), our player sales are always GREATER than our purchases. It says so in the Club accounts.

You seem to forget what you write, Martin, as in #381 you stated as a 'fact': "No other club in a similar or better position to us has had a sniff of a buyer in the time that they and we have patently been for sale."

But when I mention Man City you argue they don't count because they were in a better position than us?

Eric Myles
438 Posted 09/09/2015 at 00:50:15
And Martin, the club that Tom is referring to that has been sold twice are our neighbours in case you hadn't worked that out.
Eric Myles
439 Posted 09/09/2015 at 01:20:18
Bill #410, yes they have. In the Kings Dick portfolio the Club provided 2 proposals for redevelopment of Goodison
Tom Hughes
440 Posted 09/09/2015 at 06:52:22
Not just Liverpool, Eric.... a few have been sold twice. Some have changed hands quite recently too. It's an absolute non-argument.... especially in the context of the length of time we're talking about.
Tony Abrahams
441 Posted 09/09/2015 at 08:57:21
Martin, go back to post 100, and read what you said.

Maybe Everton, wouldn't have survived without the money from the invisible man? We would have survived, we might have even been playing in The Kings Dock now, but it's highly unlikely that your loveable friend, would still be the Chairman!

Martin Mason
442 Posted 09/09/2015 at 10:06:40

In the end Everton didn’t have the money to make Kings Dock happen, very simple. That it was possible and that BK somehow prevented it, or that they had 㿊M ring-fenced to make it happen are the largest of all of the myths surrounding the club and there are many. It was a massive disappointment but the reality was that we couldn’t finance the 㿊M never mind the real cost.

Just a general point to comments above. Leicester City are in nothing like the position we are, they had a new ground, the price was low and they don’t have a minority group of fans who’d expect them to spend 𧴜M on transfers every year to restore them to their historical greatness. Liverpool are nothing like us, they have strong commercial revenue, a worldwide fan base and offer a potential return for investors. EFC has nothing to offer a buyer except debt and a massive ground liability. I also believe that a tiny group of our fans will put off any serious purchaser who would know that whatever they achieved wouldn’t satisfy some.

Does anybody seriously believe that the board hasn’t looked at the option of developing Goodison?

Patrick Murphy
443 Posted 09/09/2015 at 10:19:56
Martin - They may have looked at it but they have for their own reason's chosen not to redevelop Goodison. If they had have started upgrading Goodison shortly after King's Dock failed to materialise, the work might well have been completed by now and the board would have had something to be proud of.

As it is they have done nothing apart from waste time, energy and not an insubstantial amount of money on pie-in-the-sky plans. I'm not really interested in what other clubs have or haven't done, I don't care about them, but I do care about Everton FC and so far this board has failed quite spectacularly to achieve anything of note apart from using the TV money to pay players obscene amounts of money to wear the Blue shirt of Everton.

Eric Myles
444 Posted 09/09/2015 at 10:28:13
So Martin #418, you are again confirming that your ’fact’ that no club in a better or same position as us has not been sold is wrong by stating Leicester and Liverpool were in a better position than us.

You also say "that they had 㿊M ring-fenced to make it happen are the largest of all of the myths surrounding the club" which really means that you think BK was lying when he stated that the money was ringfenced. Why do you think he was lying?

Winston Williamson
446 Posted 09/09/2015 at 11:11:57
Thanks Tom,

It appears substantial changes could be made to alter GP without too much disruption to attendances.

From a fan perspective, I cannot see why we'd ever want to move home when the option of upgrading GP is available. As Patrick stated, if the work had started a decade ago, it could be almost complete now.

Phil Bellis
447 Posted 09/09/2015 at 11:41:50
Martin does make me smile, but he's no Milo Bloom
Eugene Ruane
449 Posted 09/09/2015 at 12:42:42
Phil (423) - I agree although comparing fictional characters is so subjective.
Dave Roberts
450 Posted 09/09/2015 at 12:45:49
Isn't it funny how some people's names are conspicuously absent when it comes to talking about the footy on ToffeeWeb but mention a stadium or financial suspicions and they're all over the place.

Funny that innit?

Bill Gall
455 Posted 09/09/2015 at 14:30:08
Eric (#415),

I take it from your reply, that the club provided two proposals for redevelopment of Goodison Park, that these were an alternative if the Kings Dock did not go through.

Was an answer given after the Kings Dock failed why there was no follow up on either of the two plans for redevelopment? Or were these just part of a smoke-and-mirrors presentation to showcase the Kings Dock.

Joe Foster
456 Posted 09/09/2015 at 14:57:55
BK's comments after taking control, he said:

"Obviously, I am very, very happy. It has been a very long road but I am thrilled and relieved that it is now done. Acquiring Peter Johnson's shares is only the first step to restoring a great club to where it belongs — to where it should be. If you are going to run a successful football club you need two qualities: you need to be realistic and you need a plan. I'm realistic and I have a plan".

That worked out well didn't it.

John Keating
458 Posted 09/09/2015 at 15:19:51

Are you now saying it's a minority of supporters who are preventing the Club being sold? Weird accusation, to say the least.

Also I certainly don't expect us to spend crazy amounts on players but surely in these days of huge amounts of TV money, low interest rates, material and labour costs stagnant, we could look at phased redevelopment?

Just because Bill or the Club say something, it doesn't make it true... as we know to be so true.

Eric Myles
459 Posted 09/09/2015 at 15:29:49
Bill (#431),

They made proposals for 45,000 and 55,000 capacity alternatives which were developed by professional companies, McHugh Ward for the stadium design and Deloitte and Touche presumably for the costing, so they were no 'smoke and mirrors' presentations.

The vapid excuse now presented against the redevelopment option is that it will only provide a ground of total 34,000 capacity.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
463 Posted 09/09/2015 at 17:36:54

Sorry to take a different view from your consistently accurate and well-informed comments but, as I recall, the Ward McHugh study predated the Kings Dock fiasco by some years (1998) and was commissioned by Goodison For Ever-ton, not by the Club. I saved the GFE web pages that referenced the study as a part of our archive back in the day: Goodison for Evert-on.

From Bill's question, he's referring to the two schemes mentioned in the Kings Dock brochure, which was linked on here in the last couple of weeks... or was it earlier on this thread I'll add the link here when I find it again.

Regarding the Ward McHugh study, there was this exchange on Day 11 of the Kings Dock Public Enquiry, when Trevor Skempton, Urban Design Consultant, questioned Chris Potts on behalf of KEIOC:

Trevor: "Goodison Park is one of the most historic and atmospheric stadia in the World, and may indeed be one of the reasons for the club punching above its commercial weight. A group called 'Goodison for Ever-ton' campaigned against a previous Chairman's proposal to move out of town. They appointed Ward McHugh Associates, architects of Twickenham, to investigate the potential for redevelopment of the existing stadium, which they did, are you aware of the Ward McHugh proposals?"

Chris, "Yes they undertook a piece of work prior to Kings Dock."

Trevor "In your evidence you have said that the Club instructed Ward McHugh [para 2.1.2]. It is my understanding that the Ward McHugh study was commissioned not by the club, but by supporters to demonstrate (which it did) that redevelopment of their Goodison Park is indeed possible, can you confirm this?"

Chris "I've seen the study, it doesn't work."

ps: Seems the name-calling has started again. Kind of Martin's fault, admittedly for stirring the pot with his ridiculous statement: "that they had 㿊M ring-fenced to make it happen are the largest of all of the myths surrounding the club."

Martin, Kenwright himself created the lie (not 'myth') of the "ring-fenced 㿊M", and yet he gets a pass from you on that, along with all his other lies. It's distortions like this that gets people's backs up, and make you your own worst enemy. I've taken a stand against the stupid name-calling and ad hominen nonsense but it would help if you would at least acknowledge the falsehood of calling this a 'myth' when it was indeed the central issue of the Kings Dock failure.

Michael Kenrick
464 Posted 09/09/2015 at 18:05:39
Perhaps these exchanges from the minutes of the EFC 2007 AGM will help Bill Gall and others understand the club's long-standing resolute and unwavering position regarding redevelopment of Goodison Park:

The next shareholder highlighted the drawings presented at St. Georges Hall, detailing the projected redevelopment of Goodison Park.

"I don’t understand why you don’t have a set of plans for it (Goodison Park), and you should have a set of plans for it. I think that Goodison Park has got the footprint of the Emirates," he offered.

Mr Kenwright replied, "As I said five minutes ago, we have a team of experts — and if you think we haven’t that, you’re wrong. It does not have the footprint of the Emirates. We could never get to 60,000 at Goodison Park. We could, on our latest investigation, get to 37,500 if we included the kind of things that we would want to do over a period of four years and it would be massive income on the way, and costing of more than if we move to a new ground. Once again, guys, I know what you’re saying. I get your letters, I understand you, but you’re wrong."

The next shareholder highlighted the potential car parking problems arising in Kirkby, casting doubt over the number of parking spaces being made available to matchgoers in a parking area catering mainly for shoppers.

Mr Potts fielded this question: "The club have taken quite a number of feasibility studies on obviously Goodison Park, what’s the potential, what’s the opportunity, what can be done — but certainly if the club is going to make a major investment, it wants to make sure it has the best facilities, of Premiership stadia. It has to have the right hospitality, the right players facilities, and the spectators’ facilities. We go to a lot of stadia now and the quality of the benchmark is forever being raised. If the club are going to spend this amount of money they have got to hit a satisfactory benchmark, there just isn’t enough room within the Goodison Park footprint to achieve that and, as Mr Kenwright’s indicated, the latest study we’ve had which has been done in recent months show them applying all the latest guides that you would apply, putting in the hospitality you’d need, putting in all the Premiership facilities you would expect, with sub 40,000 capacity.

"Add to that, any redevelopment that would be done, as the gentleman indicated, stand by stand, as and when it’s needed, the implication to cashflow of taking out a stand year by year is phenomenal. Plus you’ve got no enabling development; it’s all coming out of the club’s funding itself.

"So actually, the financial equation looks very very grim. The club have looked at it. I’ve certainly seen reports by architects and cost consultants etc over the years and I can assure you that the latest one which is done to see what can we do, how can we take this forward, on cost and design, we can’t get above 40,000 so that we can give you a Premiership stadium for the players. So, we have done the work."

A shareholder questioned these reports, mentioned by Mr Potts, asking him precisely what he’d viewed, at the club?

Mr Potts replied saying that "The most recent report has been produced by a company called KSS Design who are... they transformed the Commonwealth Games stadium in Manchester for Manchester City. They are the designers for Spurs. They’ve done work in the past for Chelsea and Fulham."

The shareholder, in response, said "But things have moved on since, haven’t they, because the council have basically said that the footprint can be extended. Now, the reports you’re referring to are talking about the existing footprint as it is.

"Now, just before you answer me, I was privileged to be part of an opposition group, which confronted Peter Johnson with the help of our present chairman Bill Kenwright to stop similar moves to Kirkby, and Bill was very much behind us at that point in time.

"We proved at that time, we got an architect in called Terry Ward from Ward McHugh, based in Sheffield, who obviously you know, and he worked on Twickenham, as you all know, and we proved here, to Peter Johnson, that given the footprint extended you could build easily 50,000 and 55,000 here on this wider footprint with all the corporate facilities you’re talking about, with all the first class Premiership facilities you’re talking about — and we didn’t do it last week, we didn’t do it last year... we did it 10 years ago.

"And the club have had that document sat there collecting dust and pushing it under little papers every time we change chief executive, or chairman, or another member of the Board, because — let’s be honest — we’ve had no ambition at this club. Since we won the trophies and then we had a lull there’s been no ambition at all to move this club forward. We missed the bubble, for other reasons, but we’ve let this ground crumble, deliberately. It’s a ploy, I don’t know why, but I want you to realise that we should’ve done a Manchester United, we should’ve done an Aston Villa, we should’ve done a Newcastle United, and we should do what Tottenham are now doing — and rebuild Goodison."

No comment forthcoming from the top table.

And we wonder why Bill Kenwright doesn't like AGMs???
Tom Hughes
466 Posted 09/09/2015 at 18:15:49
The Ward McHugh study was commissioned by GFE in 1998 (apparently partly funded by BK)

I'm not sure if I remember rightly, but I think those options were again presented at the time of Kings Dock.

Tom Hughes
467 Posted 09/09/2015 at 18:42:29
The last study done by KSS was a complete after-thought.... it was done during the ballot (in response to increased interest in redevelopment due to KEIOC and a natural aversion to out of town), not before it.... meaning no serious thought had been given to redevelopment once Tesco and Kirkby was mentioned.

It was fundamentally flawed on several levels.... saying a new mainstand would only accommodate under 7,000 when the existing stand already had over 12,000 and could be re-roofed to eliminate the majority of obstructed views.

Jack Mason
468 Posted 09/09/2015 at 19:23:50
Michael's exert from the "minutes of the EFC 2007 AGM" establishes the board clearly knows it could expand Goodison, they just choose not to. Whether that is because they don't wish to invest their own money or not, we don't know, but they certainly know it is feasible. More likely they are looking for third party investment, specifically for a new stadium.

Follow the money; I don't believe the club has been up for sale. Why would they sell? The main shareholders "benefit". Selling isn't an option for the board. However, investment would be a win/win scenario, And there's a big difference there, when people ask "Why haven't we been sold?" It's simply because we are not for sale and never have been. There maybe a 24/7 search for an investor but certainly not for a buyer.

Brin Williams
470 Posted 09/09/2015 at 19:55:07
Most would now agree the club is not for sale, so we can forget about that and move on. Looking for a buyer was never an option with this board.

However looking for investment may have been pursued but to date with little if any success.

Why is that?

Look at it this way, any (I'll say that again) ANY sensible investor will be looking for a return on his money and to our knowledge there is no return, or if there is, probably not enough to satisfy aforementioned investor.

So that being the case the next very valid point that ANY investor would ask the present board is "If you say this is a good investment, why are you not doing just that, increasing your investment and reaping the rewards yourself?"

Having decided not to 'invest' anyone interested enough in obtaining a slice of the Premier League Action would want to buy a major say in the company by acquiring a shareholding. The present incumbents are hell bent on preserving what they have at all costs and not expose themselves to further risk. Nor will they dilute their holdings.

Investment is about risk. The current board have very little risk at their level of 'investment'. In other words they are onto a good thing, call it a gravy train and they do not want any more snouts in the trough.

Graham Mockford
471 Posted 09/09/2015 at 19:56:03

I imagine they have chosen not to but, in their normal cack-handed manner, have sought to hang on in the hope that some new ground deal comes along that costs them less.

This Board have always been short term in its thinking, hand to mouth. But I guess it comes down to choices.

Where do we want the cash to go? Spend money on the playing squad or take a longer view and invest in facilities? I pose the question because I suspect it is the reality of the situation, not because I want to take a contrary view.

Maybe their are funding mechanisms that could make both possible, I honestly don't know.

It feels a bit like the poor bastard who is mortgaged to the hilt but his missus wants a new house but at the same time wants to keep her car and go on holiday to Barbados (apologies for the misanthropic analogy).

And maybe the answer is she should get a new husband.

Michael Kenrick
472 Posted 09/09/2015 at 20:00:37
Forgive me if I dissect a portion of your post, Jack, it strikes at the heart of very fundamental issues:

"I don't believe the club has been up for sale." And yet Bill Kenwright has called himself Everton's best salesman. He's talked about selling the club. They had some guy actively hawking us around for ~£125M a few years back. (Who was that?) Yet repeatedly we are told by some fans that the club is not for sale, Sorry, but I don't believe that. Everything has its price. They might not want to sell just yet... or have not found a suitable buyer. But at some point there will be a change of ownership involving sale of the major shareholdings.

Why would they sell? When they sell (for anything more than £20M), they will receive a potentially massive pay-off... a fantastic return on investment. The real question is: Why would they NOT sell?

The main shareholders "benefit". From selling? Of course they do... massively. And they are the Board. That's why they would sell.

Selling isn't an option for the board. Why not? Of course it's an option. But, with revenues increasing dramatically, this may not be the time. I'll bet they want to hold out for a while longer to see how things shake out. But I am 100% convinced that selling is definitely an option.

Why do people say it's not an option? Why do people say we're not for sale?

And don't quote the business about directors not wanting to sell their shares, as quoted in the DK public inquiry. That was then and this is now. And I'm sure it was misinformation or taken out of context at the time.

If a big enough offer was made, they would sell. But financing a new or redeveloped stadium is a massive millstone.

Tony Abrahams
473 Posted 09/09/2015 at 20:21:03
Jack, I was on a train a couple of years ago, coming back from a break in London, to watch Everton. Got talking to this Yank, and you get that sixth sense, sometimes, well I do anyway...

"I bet this phoney cunt, is a mate of Kenwright's," I thought, and I was only right. It was his nature, and the fact that he was wanting to talk about himself, way too much, to a complete stranger, that did it.

I gave his mate, Bill, a fair bit of stick, and it seemed to disturb him, then I said "Do us a favour, mate, tell him to sell Everton." His eyes opened wide, and he shook his head, "BILL DOESN'T WANT TO SELL, HE SAID, HE JUST WANTS INVESTMENT."

You can learn a lot on a train talking to strangers, even if this man was just confirming what quite a few of us have known for years.

Michael, sorry if I caused any offence earlier, I never meant to, and would hope that Martin doesn't take me seriously either.

Tony George
474 Posted 09/09/2015 at 20:24:11
I begin to think that for so many contributors, BK & Co selling up is an end in itself. Are things so bad that just any buyer will do?

It always shocked me that, when the Moores family sold out, they gave little thought to the purchaser; they just wanted the money to sort out the old boy's estate.

Few of us regarded Johnson as the right new owner and things have got worse since he was succeeded by 'a true Evertonian'.

I worry about the present 'stewards' but worry a lot more about who might succeed them because one thing is for certain – BK won't be consulting the fanbase when the time comes, believe me!

Michael Kenrick
476 Posted 09/09/2015 at 20:31:43
As you can see, Brin (our posts crossed), I have a different take. The present Board has invested... massively. A total outlay of £20M for the shares. (So we were led to believe at the time: £857 per share.) That's their current 'risk'... only realised as risk if they cannot sell for more than £20M.

They don't actually need to invest any further. Premier League clubs have generally been appreciating assets, despite most of them running at a loss. That's the bit that makes no sense until you factor in the tax saving... and the need to siphon off extra money annually if you see you are going to make a profit.

But why sink massive amounts more money in? Unless it dramatically improves that already rather fine looking upside? This is where all the loans, all the debt makes sense, because you can go for the more expensive players and increase your chances of winning... and getting even more money. All the while siphoning off excess money in the form of high interest, facilitation fees, etc – all no doubt perfectly legal and all audited up the jacksie by your pet accountants,

Now if it was in fact a leveraged buyout, then they are in a vastly better position, because they invested nothing. But stand to make an even greater net return.

Is there anything I'm missing?

Tony Abrahams
477 Posted 09/09/2015 at 20:39:50
Totally agree Tony, and I was just glad David Moores reneged with the Arabs, for a few dollars more.

Michael, that conversation was true, but like you, I also believe Everton are for sale. I just believe it would take a truly stupid offer for this to happen.

The invisible man must be really happy with his current plan, considering that he's already had the money he paid for Everton, back in interest though.

Andy Crooks
479 Posted 09/09/2015 at 20:49:50
Martin # 385. They chose Leicester over Everton because Leicester were available to buy. Why would Bill Kenwright contemplate selling Everton?

I have long believed that much of this is about the personality of Bill Kenwright. He has as much money as he will ever need and he has Everton. The ego massaging thrill of it all. The applause when he appears on the big screen, the conception in the press of the boy made good, the true Evertonian who is different from the carpetbaggers, the chairman every fan of every other club would aspire to.

If he sells, he will still have all the money he will need but not his reason for living. We are not for sale.

Jay Harris
480 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:02:00
I can confirm from personal knowledge that the club "was" for sale through Keith Harris and the indicated asking price at the time was £200 million, later dropped to £180 million.

There were a few inquiries but all fell at the first hurdle because of the complications of the deal.

Keith Harris dropped "pushing" the sale but is still retained in the case of any interest.

Ged Simpson
481 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:08:39
Andy (#441) - I think that is a really good point. I have always thought that about the mind of BK. I have never been convinced he needs to drain EFC of cash with his theatre business not is he one who wants to pile up millions. I think what you say may well be key to his motivation. Not as dramatic as some conspiracies on here.
Patrick Murphy
482 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:09:51
Jay - I hope your namesake isn't getting paid by the hour, no wonder Other Operating costs have increased so much in recent times. :)

However, I do tend to agree that the current owners aren't in a great hurry to sell and for the reasons stated above by Andy (441) but that doesn't mean if a crazy offer came in they wouldn't seriously consider it.

I suppose to Bill, selling Everton would be like selling the family home and it wouldn't quite be the same for him, visiting Goodison as a mere spectator.

Bill Gall
483 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:15:05
Thank you, Michael, for providing that information. It may seem ignorant of me asking all these questions, but living in Canada for a long time, the only information about Everton you can get is just general information from the media.

Since the progress through the internet has become available and articles provided by supporters on ToffeeWeb opened up for general discussions, it is only lately I can find the background of some of the articles that are being discussed, and this means sometimes asking questions.

For supporters who may think I am a new supporter from Canada, I started supporting Everton in 1952. As a schoolboy, I played a cup final at Goodison Park, and immediately became a supporter, both in the Boys Pen and ground. Eventually a season ticket holder till I left for Canada in 1976, Since then, I come back on a regular basis, always in the playing season.

This present article is one of the most informative I personally have enjoyed.

Joe Green
484 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:24:33
Michael (#436) - you write that the real question is "Why would they NOT sell?", and then partially answer your own question in (#439) by noting that "they don't need to invest any further".... ie, things are now ticking over quite nicely; BK has status and something to do, Earl has loans being paid.

Also, maybe it also involves BK (& JW) being a fan, being oldish... he's enough money to live on already and what is he going to do at his age with the extra millions from selling? BK would surely miss the involvement with the club, manager, players, etc, who wouldn't? Plus the risk that a new owner would turn-out to be unsuitable. I'm assuming Earl is content with his returns from the BVI loans.

Although I do wonder why anyone rational would buy the club. It will be hard to get a return on the investment, with a stadium to be renewed and little chance of competing for CL places. Unless it was at a "competitive" price, which again reduces incentive to sell.

So continue on... but the stadium ages and this has to be addressed fairly soon. The club didn't have the money for a new/redeveloped stadium until the new recent TV deals. Will they now: a) spend on a new/redeveloped stadium, or, b) spend it on transfers/wages, or c) siphon-off to BVI, or d) other I haven't thought of!

Jack Mason
485 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:24:51
Michael, if I may clarify, a few points. I agree that if an offer was made to Mr Kenwright that he would find impossible to turn down, he would sell. Receiving such an offer, that would match his valuation, is in my opinion unlikely, given the current circumstances. Therefore, effectively the club is not for sale, for a realistic price. In other words I believe it is over-valued.

Again I agree, a massive pay-off would be a fantastic return. However to my knowledge they haven't received anything close to that valuation, I presume the major shareholders will not sell, whilst they enjoy the benefits of running the club, until the said valuation is matched.

The "benefits" I refer to don't pertain to a potential sale but as you state clearly that would be a huge benefit. Instead I'm implying that there are are other benefits to ownership. Which the article suggests.

In conclusion: yes, the club is for sale, but not at a price that is viable, in my opinion. In the meantime, the major shareholders will enjoy the benefits that ownership of the club offers. And the sale of the club will not be an option until the valuation is met.

Tony Abrahams
486 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:26:32
Andy I agree with a lot of your post regarding Kenwright, but if it's true he had to borrow £7million off Anita Gregg, to buy his Everton shares, how was this money repaid?

I hope Martin is right about Kenwright being a very determined leader, because let's have it right, none of us would want to see him end up being the fall-guy. The implications for Everton would be catastrophic if this ever became the reality.

Brin Williams
487 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:32:47
Michael - 'All the while siphoning off excess money in the form of high interest, facilitation fees, etc – all no doubt perfectly legal and all audited up the jacksie by your pet accountants,'

Nail & Head are two words that come to mind.

Patrick Murphy
488 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:56:18
Bill (445) If you want to read about what happened at Goodison in the last couple of decades and more try this http://www.bluecorrespondent.co.nr/

Everton Independent Research

When you get on to the home page there is a menu button, select seasons and then press the "go" button that will open up a range of seasons most of which are full of match reports, gossip, quotes etc from the local media particularly the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo, it takes a little while to find what you want to read, but it is divided into months of each season, if nothing else it is a good read for just about any period of Everton's history although the 60s and 70s have not yet been processed.

Martin Mason
489 Posted 09/09/2015 at 21:59:44
Michael@439, how they gained control of the club is irrelevant wrt current operations and remember that at the time they were heroes for getting Johnson out. They now run the club on the model of moving towards matching revenue and expenditure which is a sustainable model and how the club has to be run in the future.

There is the question of the borrowing and I don't know the answer to why they need to do this. Not that there is anything wrong with it; I just don't have the financial expertise to understand why. You ask why should they invest further? I say they shouldn't and mustn't but for different reasons.

You insinuate that it increases what they will eventually make when they sell but I say they mustn't anyway because it is an unsustainable model. They don't have to invest, they would be stupid to invest with no return, and it would be bad for the club if they did. The club has to stand on its own feet not via the pockets of temporary custodians.

Andy @441, it was a finding of the DK enquiry that Everton had been for sale for some time. The board have said the club is for sale so the club is for sale unless you can show that it isn't. The asking price is absolutely the business of the board and the board only and it is unknown, whatever anybody might say. At some price they will gladly sell the poisoned chalice.

Brin @449. There is no evidence that the EFC loans came from an Everton director and, even if it did, 8.8% is pathetic for this type of loan so nobody is "siphoning" anything. I have investments in Company notes (a type of corporate bond) from sound companies paying double this or more. If they could borrow at this rate in the financial position they have been in in the past then good on them not bad.

Peter Lee
490 Posted 09/09/2015 at 22:12:34
Everton shares have been selling at around ٟ,350 since at least 2008. Neither a slowly increasing debt nor massively increased TV money have had any impact on this.

There are 35,000 shares, I understand, valuing the club at just over 㿛M. How anyone could imagine that the current major shareholders are asking 2-3 times that value, I don’t know. When they bought their shares all those years ago, they paid around 𨀊 per share. A return of 60% over that period is a poor return on what they could have got for their money in other more hassle-free investments of equivalent risk.

An investment over only 10 years at 5% compounded would give over 60%.

Whatever their investment might be described as, "shrewd" it hasn’t been.

Patrick Murphy
491 Posted 09/09/2015 at 22:13:49
How sustainable will the model be if part(s) of the ground are closed for "Health and Safety" reasons Martin? Should we keep purchasing and paying players and let the ground rot?

Even with the modest sums that Everton have paid in transfers, and being the last time I checked only the eleventh highest wage bill in the PL, they still can't find a way to address the ground issue!

Should they double the price of Season Tickets? They could but the club wouldn't benefit because ST money belongs to somebody else for the next few years. If they don't use at least some of the TV revenue on something other than the players and their wages in the next couple of seasons, they'll never do it. I hope they do but I doubt it very much.

Let's see what people think in five years time and I'm betting that most will be very disappointed and even more angry than they are at the moment.

I love your pro-oligarchy thinking, Martin; it doesn't matter how you acquired something in the first place... Mr Abramovich would doubtless agree with you. Personally, I don't.

Martin Mason
492 Posted 09/09/2015 at 22:46:12

My answer is that I don't know; the difference between me though and certain others is that I don't know and I admit I don't know rather than I don't know and try to waffle that I do.

Jack Mason
493 Posted 09/09/2015 at 22:53:23
Peter @453, I don't think Mr Stallone agrees with you.


Bill Gall
494 Posted 09/09/2015 at 22:55:46
Patrick # 450 thanks have already entered that into my favorites column
Richard Jones
495 Posted 09/09/2015 at 00:07:54
Martin, Elstone confirmed at the inquiry that none of the directors were interested in selling the club, you've already made a fool of yourself over the ring fenced £30 million come on man are you going to keep this up like you did during the inquiry?
Eric Myles
496 Posted 10/09/2015 at 00:45:20
Michael #439 & Tom #441. Those Ward McHugh studies may well have been done before KD but the proposal brochure states that the Directors commissioned the study in March of that year.

Just another lie from them?

Tom Hughes
497 Posted 10/09/2015 at 00:55:28
I seem to remember that they appeared on the ballot for Kings Dock... but I could be wrong. GFE commissioned them originally. ...... and it is famously claimed that BK helped fund them in the Johnson era. (When he was also on his board)
Eric Myles
498 Posted 10/09/2015 at 01:18:18
Tom / Michael, I posted this link on a thread last week


7th bullet down is the KD prospectus including the claim that the Club commissioned the Ward McHugh studies in March of that year.

Tom Hughes
499 Posted 10/09/2015 at 04:05:53
Well spotted Eric.... I have that brochure somewhere. The original scheme was definitely commissioned by GFE in 1998 (ish), in response to Johnson's first look at Kirkby, I'm sure it will be archived somewhere on TW or elsewhere.

Perhaps the club asked Ward McHugh to revisit it prior to the vote for the Kings Dock in order to offer options for that vote. They certainly didn't commission it in the first place...... and it's absence from the later destination Kirkby vote shows how biased that whole process was. To be honest, I think they realised that any option would've taken preference over Kirkby.... so they simply left it it out.

Eric Myles
500 Posted 10/09/2015 at 06:04:59
Considering that the board would have been looking at raising £78 million to build Desperation Kirkby why can't they raise only £20 million to redevelop the Park End and still have the same capacity as DK would have achieved?

Unless it was never their intention to raise the money for a new stadium but to sell the Club with planning approvals and let someone else foot the bill?

Joe Foster
501 Posted 10/09/2015 at 07:36:59
It's hard to believe we can not afford any of this when the club that comes 20th in the league will get £99 million.
Martin Mason
502 Posted 10/09/2015 at 07:49:45
Richard @457. I read the report of the enquiry and didn’t see what you said anywhere. I quoted the paragraph which confirmed the club was for sale so you need to do the same to support what you say.

What I said about the ring-fenced 㿊M was correct. There was never 㿊M to ring-fence, that was a myth; what BK said was that, if 㿊M were raised, it would be ring-fenced for developing the stadium. This was in reply to a question on whether the money, if available, would instead be used to buy players for which there was also a desperate need.

Martin Mason
503 Posted 10/09/2015 at 08:11:10
There are 2 well known psychological behaviours that describe how many of the more extreme anti-board activists see things. These are called Cognitive Dissonance and Confirmation Bias.

Cognitive Dissonance is when a person has a nice happy picture of a situation and when the situation changes he is incapable of seeing or excepting the new reality. For some fans this was that EFC was once a successful club (we know our history don't we?) and up there with the big boys and the new reality is that we now aren't and are unlikely to get back there. The reason for some can only be the existing board yet the concept that the existing board were responsible for the decline of EFC is ridiculous. EFC have been badly run for decades and were totally incapable of maintaining their once lofty position under the competitive realities of the EPL.

Confirmation Bias is only taking on board information that supports a biased view. For example, an article in a newspaper lists many positive things done by the club but I won't even read it because I don't agree with it, I'll justify that in my mind by saying it was in the Daily Express or that Martin Mason said it and therefore it can't possibly have any credibility. Confirmation Bias is basically only taking on board anything that supports what you already think. For some, this means that coming on to a discussion board is pointless other than to get more Confirmation Bias.

The correct position if discussing an issue where facts are not available is to say that we don't know, not to invent what could have happened other than to raise this purely as an opinion.

Phil Sammon
504 Posted 10/09/2015 at 08:32:15

What's the psychological condition where you genuinely believe everyone who disagrees with you is mad? Maybe you could have a sit down with someone and be formally diagnosed?

Where facts are not known then it is quite acceptable to say 'we don't know'.

However when the facts are deliberately withheld from you, then I think it's fair to assume something is amiss.

Jack Mason
505 Posted 10/09/2015 at 08:35:55
Confirmation bias and Cognitive Dissonance Martin, really. Come on your better than that. Psychology 101 has no place here, especially wrapped up with vague ad-hominen attacks with no foundation. I understand you are naturally defensive because you view that you are being attacked. Try and establish with evidence, why you support the board and where they plan to take us, in let's say, the next five years.
Phil Sammon
506 Posted 10/09/2015 at 08:40:00
I can't wait five years!

You've got til the end of the day, Martin.

Ged Simpson
508 Posted 10/09/2015 at 08:48:01
Martin - firstly, congrats on making this such a long thread. You seem to generate loads of replies each time you post ! Be honest - does it amuse you some days ?

Anyway - my turn.

In your post #(451) you pick up on Andy saying club is not for sale.

I think Andy's point may be more subtle than just "Is it or is it Not for Sale?"

I think his description of the BK mindset seems reasonable based on what we know of him. So the club can be seen as For Sale but that can mean many things.

My £160k house is also for sale......for £250k and any buyer must keep the garden layout exactly the same, keep all utility contracts with the same suppliers and build a swimming pool in the garden. No firm offers yet.

Now that can be a good thing (BK wants to leave a good legacy in his eyes) or bad (these "soft" motivations have badly affected his business acumen).

For myself... I have dealt with money and credit and debt for many years and, if I was to be frank, the numbers and the contracts bore me to tears. However what drives the people behind the numbers – now that is interesting to me. (But useless for a TW debate probably!)

Ged Simpson
509 Posted 10/09/2015 at 08:56:13
Jackie - today I have learned something already. I had no idea what "ad-hominen" meant when I read your post and googled it. Now I know and what a useful word to describe a lot on this thread.

Further to my post (#470) admitting that I am interested in "...what drives the people behind the numbers....." , I will be fascinated if psycho-analysis by contributors of each other continues!

Richard Jones
510 Posted 10/09/2015 at 08:56:15
What Elstone said, it’s in the DTZ report, Martin, and as Michael pointed out, the 㿊 million was ring-fenced wasn’t a myth — it was a lie!!!
Tony Abrahams
511 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:05:21
Martin, what a thief, over 17.5% on a loan! you should be on the board my friend.
Jack Mason
512 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:09:54
Attack the character, not the point or argument. It's an easy way to sideline a debate, Ged.

I support Martin's right to his contrarian position, I just wish he would support, with evidence his faith in the status quo. Failing that, maybe a spokesperson from the club could join the debate, instead of us all waiting for sporadic AGMs to clarify the boards position. I don't find that to be an unreasonable request.

Ged Simpson
513 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:13:40
Agree Jack (misread your name above).

As for "a spokesperson from the club could join the debate".

Now that would be great.

Colin Fitzpatrick
514 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:16:23
Michael #436,

Regarding the club being for sale or not, you're right to point out that there's a certain amount of misinformation and a need to understand the context behind certain claims.

Take for example the statement, to the Public Inquiry into Destination Kirkby, that the Directors had no intention to sell their shares. What else could they say to an inquiry that was about to establish that they were to become recipients of over 㿞m that was derived from the public purse thanks to Knowsley Council and Tesco?

Of course the scandal, for Evertonians, was that it wasn't cash given to the club by Tesco, an irrevocable cheque as it was called by Robert Earl; it was simply an uplift in the valuation of the built stadium, a value that would appear an asset and address the perennial problem of the negative balance sheet thereby keeping the club's bankers happy.

As a cost-effective solution to a serious problem some would say this would be described as good business; others would take umbrage over being lied to and the attempt to relegate the club to an out-of-town shack of a stadium more suited to the lower tiers of the Football League whilst our once peers marched off into the distance.

All of this was preceded by the statement from the chairman that the club was definitely for sale, that banker Keith Harris was working Orville's feathers off looking for suitable buyers, later adding to this list Deutsche Bank, Amanda Staveley and some fella called Green.

Of course there's another problem when attempting to find out the truth about Everton: you simply can't believe a word that comes out of the chairman's mouth.

Do you seriously believe that a guy who runs multiple businesses hasn't a clue what the line 'other operating costs' is? That two chancers managed to con not only a banker and Everton but the auditors who allegedly conducted due diligence prior to their near signing to purchase the club?

No, me neither; they're all stories used to force home a point. He always uses stories, people do, but for a multiple of reasons.

There's a guy that often posts on here who's a great story teller, a lovely guy that will have you laughing one moment, crying the next; he'll hold his audience, one, two or a whole room, by speaking softly as he tells you a story of a friend's experiences in a concentration camp and there won't be a dry eye in the room when he's finished, there will also be nobody in the room whose thought process aren't provoked; he's a lovely guy who tells stories, so what's the difference?

Well, in my opinion, one is forever making up stories to reinforce for his own agenda; the other is simply telling you true stories that make you think. It's sad that when I hear anything Bill Kenwright says, my default position is it isn't true, due to the amount of shite that he fully expects you'll believe and has been disproved.

Because of this, it's virtually impossible to discover what's going on, indeed gone on, at Goodison over the years... but I'm firmly of the opinion that a good starting point is to understand the very foundations of the current regime which can be found in their takeover in December '99.

There are many facts still to uncover, for example how many know what happened to the shares bought from Peter Johnson? Not that they were bought by True Blue Holdings but that they were mortgaged, why was this?

Cutting through all the bull, the club is definitely for sale, for sale at the right price, a price which an extremely tough businessman determines is the best possible return on his investment. Meanwhile, future owners are looking at what needs to be spent on the much neglected club infrastructure which means that the two figures remain so far apart that the club remains in limbo.

I'm sure that, whilst we all ponder what's going on at Everton, Bill will be pondering, whilst bobbing around the Ligurean Sea on Lionheart, how he's going to lead the shareholders on another merry dance at the next AGM; some things never change!

Richard Jones
515 Posted 10/09/2015 at 09:26:57
Elstone said and its in the DTZ report was "The directors of Everton Football Club have no interest in selling there shares". As was pointed out to you already Kenwright saying the money was "ring fenced" was a lie not a myth. now behave there's a good boy and go and read that report again.
Kevin Tully
516 Posted 10/09/2015 at 10:22:00
I suppose a lot of the opinions on here are relevant as to where you think EFC should find themselves in the pecking order of Premier League clubs? Also whether the current majority shareholders have done all they can to keep pace with their peers?

Simplistically, we've won nothing for 20 years – unacceptable. Whatever your thoughts are on the board, this agenda comes from the top down, and permeates through the fan base.

Secondly, whatever the reasoning or rationale behind it, there is clearly no appetite at board level to move forwards, unless someone else is prepared foot the bill, and put in the hard yards. A 13-year sponsorship deal with Chang is a clear indication of the strategy that is currently implemented across the whole club.

You can defend their record quite easily by setting the bar at not being relegated – amazingly, this is STILL one one the mainstays of the pro-board arguments presented: "Look at Portsmouth."

It's incredible that we end up arguing about offshore loans and who is is the driving force behind our funding. The simple fact is, we have no hope of progress with this fractured ownership model, who refuse to inject any capital into their own business. Please take a look up at Goodison Park this Saturday, stop and ask yourself, "Is this good enough for my club?"

Phil Bellis
517 Posted 10/09/2015 at 11:06:11
No, it's not, Kevin.

Part of the problem is there are supporters like Martin who appears to advocate "We are in the gutter; how we got here is not relevant, there's no way out, so settle down and enjoy the view."

Utterly shameful.

Joe Foster
518 Posted 10/09/2015 at 11:12:11
I agree, Phil. I find it strange and disturbing that some fans as you say "advocate" the position we are in. It's almost as if they revel in it, but offer no input to any possible solutions.
Tony George
519 Posted 10/09/2015 at 11:23:49
Over an International break, this thread has attracted nearly 500 posts. As a newcomer that surprises me no end for very few of my matchgoing acquaintences do any more than smile benignly when BK name is mentioned.

Recently, when rumour of his bad health was mentioned, the guy sitting next to me said, 'Whatever his faults, we've averaged 7th or 8th place during his time as chairman whilst before that it was about 14th in the Premier era!'

I'm no stato and haven't checked the record book for that statement's veracity, but if it's right, the man's not been all wrong..... if you get my meaning!

Keith Harrison
520 Posted 10/09/2015 at 11:46:59
True point Tony, but I take it you don't sit in the Lower Bullens? When we played Carlisle in the Cup a few years ago, ALL of my Carlisle supporting friends who travelled down said the place was an absolute disgrace, and there are a number of (then) League One clubs with better facilities. There's probably even more now.

As I have mentioned a number of times in this now magnificent epic, where is the Mission Statement for the club and or a viable business plan going forward which addresses the stadium predicament?

Martin Mason
521 Posted 10/09/2015 at 11:52:04
Phil@477, I didn't say that how we got here is irrelevant; it is very relevant because it blows out that Everton's ills are purely the result of the current board. What I said was about how BK took over the club.

I've also never at any time said that there's no way out; there is but there are no silver bullets. I just quite rightly question the nonsense that, to find a way out, all we have to do is to get the board out and sell the club for any price and everything will be OK.

Another point is that I have to provide no proof of anything with regard to the current board because I'm making no claims against them or even for them. What I say about the board is that there is no evidence of malpractice against them, no evidence that they are not doing everything they can in the interest of the club, or that they are not doing as well as a reasonable person could expect within the financial constraints that the club is under, and no evidence that a change in ownership will change the current situation, unless the change in ownership is absolutely the correct one.

This latter point is exactly what the board has said all along: if we sell it, has to be to the right owner. It is the people who make these claims that have to validate them. I haven't seen this yet nor one solution among the criticism. Board Out! Board Out! Then what?

What the directors said individually about their own shares was not that they weren't for sale but that they wouldn't sell in isolation. There is nothing wrong with this, nor for them expecting a price for the club that they as owners feel is fair.

Martin Mason
522 Posted 10/09/2015 at 11:58:17
Sorry, just as an example of what borrowing costs can be, the last company I worked for, GKPI, borrowed $20 million or so at 13.5% and they were sitting on a massive development.
Colin Fitzpatrick
523 Posted 10/09/2015 at 12:01:13
Tony #479, that's a good stat that mate and I've heard it before, good but not exactly accurate as the average place in the last sixteen years is 9th. surprisingly if you look at the preceding sixteen the average place is....9th!!

I have no idea what that all means btw but at least you can put your mate right the next time he uses it. Statistics eh, you can always count on a statistic!!!

Richard Jones
524 Posted 10/09/2015 at 12:14:54
No Martin, Elstone said none of the directors are interested in selling any of their shares and what Kenwright said about the "ring fenced" money was a lie not a myth.
Phil Bellis
525 Posted 10/09/2015 at 12:27:54
Go on, Martin, I'll bite...

Would you care to offer your proposals on how we clamber out of the gutter in which we currently reside?

If you are too busy or need time to formulate any response, I quite understand

Richard Jones
526 Posted 10/09/2015 at 12:44:01
Martin, obviously companies in oil extraction attract extremely high coupon rates on loan notes due to the risk involved. Making a comparison with Everton lending against guaranteed income sums you up, you're desperate for some reason to make your ridiculous-points at all costs.

It's like comparing the rate someone who's been bankrupt can get against someone who has a clean credit rating or a government lending to a AAA rated country or a tin-pot South American regime.

Just be quiet and leave it to the more sensible posters you just may learn something. Hope you were't in charge out in Iran, understand they've posted a $77m loss for the first part of this year alone. Economics of the madhouse on ToffeeWeb or what.

Eric Myles
527 Posted 10/09/2015 at 12:54:41
Martin (#482)

"Another point is that I have to provide no proof of anything with regard to the current board because I'm making no claims against them or even for them. What I say about the board is that there is no evidence of malpractice against them, no evidence that they are not doing everything they can in the interest of the club or that they are not doing as well as a reasonable person could expect within the financial constraints that the club is under and no evidence that a change in ownership will change the current situation unless the change in ownership is absolutely the correct one."

And then you go on to make a series of claims for the board!!

Jim Jennings
528 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:00:43
Eric #485

Those are not claims. They are statements of fact. Any reasonable person who doesn't expect the board to provide £100M to the manager every transfer window to buy players can see that... etc, etc.

Ged Simpson
529 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:08:49
If this goes past 500 posts, I reckon the 501st should just remind themselves of the original Q: Who Is the Main Player in The Everton Show?

Then we can start again.

Tom Hughes
530 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:35:47

Saying that the club's owners haven't done anything that was not in the club's best interests, or that they are performing as well as they could within financial restraints, is by definition (whether you like it or not) "making a claim".... So far, despite hundreds of posts over many years you have never ever been able to justify these assertions by any evidence whatsoever.

You made a similar "claim" earlier in the thread.... and once again, I challenged you to justify your stance in post #85.... and once again, you vanished. Indeed this is how you always operate, and no faux psychological analysis will ever get away from that. Plant a few subtle unsubstantiated "claims" in support of the board in your posts, then hide, and/or demand evidence off everyone else about everything else.

So I'll ask again... was the engineered collapse of the Kings Dock so BK could stay in charge in our club's best interest, or his? Do you think the club has suffered at all over the past 10+ years from this missed opportunity?

Was an extremely wasteful retail-led destination Kirkby, with the club exploited as the enabler for our retail partners to get under all local/regional and national planning legislation ever in our club's best interests? (Or even viable?) Especially, when the club (or its new owners) was going to still be burdened with practically all the stadium construction costs? Was this good management in any way, or was it merely packaging the club to maximise sale value?

Was attempting to repeat the trick at WHP... with no serious enabling element possible? Or again, was this a packaging exercise to maximise sale value. ...? Or was it just another ill-conceived headline distraction, to divert the obvious stadium questions at the last long-awaited AGM?

As far as financial constraints are concerned, I suppose that's very much dependent on whether or not the constraints are self-inflicted due to the nature of the club's ownership and financial structure, and perhaps more importantly how that structure came about in the first place... (ie, the subject of the original thread, which was supported by in-depth research, yet dismissed by yourself in an instant. I wonder why?) Those financial constraints have also been self-inflicted by the club's inability to raise matchday revenue streams via delivering improved stadium infrastructure (unlike all other clubs over the same period, and most with lower turnover, smaller fanbases, and often less wealth on the board), and inability to negotiate commercial deals commensurate with our club's size and status... which brings us full circle back to your unjustifiable stance regarding both "acting in the club's best interest" and the "financial constraints" as excuses for poor performance.

Tony Abrahams
531 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:37:24
GED I wouldn't have a problem with that, as long as my old friend THE DUKE, gets the five hundred post!

If we get to 499, then the next question should be,What's the weather like in Brighton today Martin?

Ged Simpson
532 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:43:38
Fair enough Tony
John Keating
533 Posted 10/09/2015 at 13:53:18
He's right, let's not do anything. It's not our business to do anything. I mean if next door was on fire bollocks to them it's tea time and I'm watching the telly.

Kid gets run over in the street well let someone else help, that's what the police & ambulance are there for isn't it?

When the grandkids throw their McD bags on the pavement, bollocks to picking them up. Binman's bloody job.

No, let's all do sod all. Unbelievable.

Kevin Tully
543 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:23:40
Another 20ft tall strawman ; "I just quite rightly question the nonsense that, to find a way out, all we have to do is to get the board out and sell the club for any price and everything will be OK."

Martin, please point out one post that advocates the above in this thread? In fact, point me one post on the whole of ToffeeWeb that states the above.

Everyone can see we are cast adrift under the current ownership, you can make all the excuses you want as to why that is, but it's an undeniable fact. Quite simply, people want to see a deliverable plan in place. If the current owners don't have the will, the talent or the finances, then yes, they should look to sell immediately, to someone who can deliver the above.

Thomas Lennon
545 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:32:58
A couple of points - the interest rate you pay on a loan is dependent on the perceived risk. Everton are in a high risk business where tens of millions can disappear at the crunch of an expensive knee. Pointless to compare this to other types of business.

My memory is that Gregg sold his shares at considerably higher club valuation than £20million. More like £80-100 million? One shareholder needs to sell high a lot more than Kenwright and Woods.

Martin Mason
546 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:34:41
Tom, I didn't make that claim, I said that it was those claiming that the board had not done these things to show that this is indeed so.

I make no claims except that the board know infinitely more about running a business, especially a soccer club, than I and the vast, vast majority of fans do and us telling them where they're going wrong is like telling Stradivarius how to make violins. Overall I believe that they are doing well given the constraints they work under, they have provided a far better squad of players than RM is capable of managing and have made the massive commitment of not selling. They are completely undeserving of the vitriol aimed at them by some.

Please note that this is my opinion that's all. Could they have done better? Of course; could they have done worse? absolutely.

Martin Mason
547 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:37:32
The main driver at Everton? I've changed my mind. It is Bill Kenwright the untouchable, the majority shareholder and the man who's seen everybody off.
Brent Stephens
548 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:43:17
Martin #508 "The main driver at Everton? I've changed my mind. It is Bill Kenwright the untouchable, the majority shareholder and the man who's seen everybody off."

Evidence for claim?

Thomas Lennon
549 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:43:38
Another thought occurs while certain contributors bang on about members of the board siphoning cash out of the club. One or two here bang on about stadium redevelopment so much it is almost as easy to start speculating that there might be something in it for them too – perhaps they too are shareholders and/or stand to make money from selling their specialised expertise to the club?

I am confident both are innocent of corruption but it isn't that difficult to see how false perceptions can arise and persist.

Dave Abrahams
550 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:46:13
Thomas. (510) are you any relation to Martin?
Martin Mason
551 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:46:46
Kevin@495, please define "cast adrift" and then explain how this board has achieved this. Easy of course as you state it as "undeniable fact".

Regarding the deliverables plan, please define what you want to see in it and explain why you as a fan think you have the right to see it?

You have said at the end that if they don't capitulate and give you the plan they should sell immediately which means of course at any price and they're obviously not going to show you or any other fan (as against shareholder) information that they have no right to know so you've answered the first part. Exceptional.

Jay Harris
552 Posted 10/09/2015 at 17:52:21
Martin, would you define lying as being malpractice of a director or is that one of the qualities you admire?
Brent Stephens
553 Posted 10/09/2015 at 18:04:34
Martin #508 "Bill Kenwright...the man who's seen everybody off."

Martin - evidence for claim?

Ged Simpson
555 Posted 10/09/2015 at 18:21:20
He's still the Chair and has highest no of shares and is backed by Board, Brent. Or is that just too simple?
Brent Stephens
557 Posted 10/09/2015 at 18:24:57
Ged, I'm playing Martin at his own game, in calling for evidence. What does he mean by seeing everybody off?
Tony Abrahams
558 Posted 10/09/2015 at 18:45:39
He's seen everybody off but the devil, Martin, you don't get out of things that easily.
Kevin Tully
561 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:05:05
Martin, too easy...answering a valid question with another question won't work.

One thing though, I would love to meet you on Saturday and sign you up for an annual membership of the newly formed Everton Supporters Trust. We need all voices on board – we are upstairs at St Luke's from 10:30 onwards.

A genuine invitation – Kevin.

Martin Mason
562 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:06:30
Brent, you're not doing the same as me in asking for evidence in anything other than a very trivial way. There is an auditable series of facts concerning how BK first wrested control from Johnson, then saw off Gregg and eventually became the majority shareholder at the club despite never really having the personal wealth to have done so. I believe that "seen off" is a valid description of what he did to his opposition that he did it is well proven.
Martin Mason
563 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:14:19
Jay@503, no I don't support lying.
Patrick Murphy
564 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:24:07
I always thought that it would be improbable if not impossible that a dictatorship could succeed in England/UK/Britain but I am beginning to see that the deference shown by some to those with money and or power regardless of their talent, I may well be proved wrong...any one know of a good place to buy Sackcloth's?
Colin Gee
565 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:25:00
Martin #511,

So if Kenwright 'wrestled control' from Johnson, saw off Gregg and eventually became the majority shareholder at the club without having the personal wealth to do so, How did he afford to buy all those shares then?

Did somebody, perhaps say Phillip Green lend him the money do so? He must have got the money from somewhere or someone...

Keith Harrison
566 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:34:23
Martin, could I suggest that you meet up with Kevin Tully on Saturday in The Winslow. Entente Cordiale over a few swifties, then he can enrol you in EST 1878.
There's a good lad.
Ray Said
567 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:35:08
Martin Mason. I don't agree with your take on the board and Bill Kenwright about but I take my hat of to your dogged defence of your opinion. I wish some of our players showed that level of fight.
Tom Hughes
568 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:45:37

I quoted you quite directly and I'm not going to argue the semantics..... So, as predicted once again, you're refusing to back up your claims or answer questions in response to them.

As far as it proving or showing anything, I think I quite clearly showed three examples for you to comment on.... and summarised with more general concerns to link it altogether.

Kings Dock... abject failure, referred to by the then Arsenal chairman as something he would've given one of his arms for.

Destination Kirkby. .... abject failure as summarised by the inquiry where all claims supporting it were shown as complete fabrication.

WHP... same again. While all around have delivered.

Quite what violins have to do with anything is anyone's guess.... unless you're talking about fiddling while Rome burns perhaps.....

Martin Mason
569 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:51:56
Just to say that I won't post again on this post or anything similar. I've said what I needed to really and I'm not adding anything now. Hope that I've at least sown a few seeds of different opinion but I doubt it. Many thanks anyway.
Eric Myles
570 Posted 10/09/2015 at 19:54:58
Thomas #496, while the ownership of players may be high risk due to possible career ending injuries borrowing against guaranteed Income is risk free and should be readily available from any reputable financial institute.
Brin Williams
572 Posted 10/09/2015 at 20:15:39
MM @518: 'I've said what I needed to really and I'm not adding anything now.'

Jesus, thank god for that – now we can close the thread ffs – it's starting to get me down.

Graham Mockford
573 Posted 10/09/2015 at 20:17:09
A valiant effort Martin, whoever penned the nickname The Duke was very observant.

The good news is we haven't got another international break until next year.

Dave Abrahams
575 Posted 10/09/2015 at 20:39:51
Graham (#532),

October is the next international break, about four or five weeks away.

Jay Harris
579 Posted 10/09/2015 at 22:06:13
So Martin,

When your hero said "The money is ringfenced" to the council (Re KD) and when your hero said "The check will be in the bank in the morning" (Re Samuelson) and when your hero said he will be signing for us in the morning (Re Manny Fernandes who later confirmed he had never received an offer from EFC) and when your hero said "Goodison will fail its next safety certificate" (knowing it didn't need one) and when your hero claimed "The council refused us permission to build on Stanley Park (when we never made an application to begin with), were they lies or just an oversight on the part of one William Kenwright storyteller extraordinaire.

And if you don't support lying, will you now withdraw support for this proven liar?

Keith Harrison
581 Posted 10/09/2015 at 23:48:24
Graham. Enjoy your food Sat mate, but please complain if they run out of your faves. Unless Dean Adams is hovering to buy the surplus.
Keith Harrison
582 Posted 10/09/2015 at 23:49:27
And Martin, hats off for persistence and never losing it with individuals. Don't agree with your sentiment, but can't fault your manners.
Graham Mockford
583 Posted 11/09/2015 at 00:16:11

Thanks but unfortunately I will be in Cape Town so my brothers will be eating my biccies

Phil Bellis
584 Posted 11/09/2015 at 00:50:25
Tom Hughes
585 Posted 12/09/2015 at 21:19:11
Hopefully see part 2 posted up soon too.

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