20 Long Years And Counting…..

As the twenty year anniversary of Everton Football Club’s last triumph approaches @Markthablue senses supporters are genuinely starting to question the role of the chairman and his board of directors


20 Long Years And Counting

20 Long Years And Counting….. Are supporters genuinely starting to question the role of the Everton chairman and his board of directors?

What is the plan to move us forward? Given the boards well documented failures over the years, do we really have any genuine hope that we will see a competitive Everton again?

Some will argue we have been competitive under this board and you’d be right, if fifth placed finishes and best of the rest outcomes are the pinnacle of your ambitions.

All that was achieved with less than a modest budget, years of negative net spending and robbing Peter to pay Paul transfer policies. It begs the question just what could we have achieved if we’d received even a bog standard Premier League budget?

We don’t necessarily need a billionaire – I’m a believer we’ve only ever been 20-30 million away from being an excellent side – truly not a lot of money in the Scrooge McDuck world of Premier League football.

That’s the frustration, a board with a plan, an innovative board who actually cared about our club, providing any kind of ambition to strike while the iron is hot would have seen us progress. 

So who are the board of directors?

Jon Woods – has anyone ever heard this guy talk? He’s sat right next to Bill Kenwright in the Main Stand and no-one it seems knows his motivation. What does he want for Everton FC?

Granted, he’s not the owner but then who is? Is it Bill Kenwright? Because Robert Earl was on an American chat-show claiming to be the owner of Everton Football Club. The lack of transparency at Goodison is frightening.

Earl jets in for the Spurs games because he is a Spurs fan, so why is he on the board of Everton Football Club? Shouldn’t we expect people in these positions to want the best for our club? Between Earl and Woods, I doubt you could make a paragraph of words they’ve spoken about Everton FC.

I don’t want these people anywhere near it frankly.

What is Phillip Green’s involvement exactly? Is he the true owner and Blue Bill the poster boy? Who knows? I could come up with a 1000 unanswered questions and not scratch the surface.

We have no direction as a club, no definitive plan. Sadly and embarrassingly, the Liverpool Echo remain unwilling to question the Everton board. Our concerns have zero presence in the local media. Why aren’t the journalists asking how and why Bill Kenwright hasn’t attracted any investment in 15 long years? Despite his infamous 24/7 search?

The Echo hastily took down a story revealing Everton had a thirty million pound shortfall for Walton Hall Park. Coincidentally, the same amount of money Bill Kenwright claimed was “Ringfenced” for Kings Dock over a decade ago. If this is true it shows we haven’t moved an inch as a football club.

Standing still is not an option in the Premier League and thanks to years of under-investment, some outrageous decisions from Roberto Martinez affecting the team and lets face it some stinking referee performances, the Everton team has finally matched the Everton board in performance this season.

Some people may not like this, some might agree. There can be few clubs with a more divided fan-base than that of our great team, however, something clear now stands before us.

An infamous anniversary

Everton Football Club is approaching an infamous 20 years anniversary. The lack of investment and forward planning from the board, coupled with woeful commercial deals (Kitbag anyone) and two stadium farces, means our lot is unlikely to change anytime soon.

This is not scare-mongering, nor me taking an opportunity to stick the knife in. Never have I been more worried for the future of our football club than I am right now.

There will be no liquidation or a winding up order, although the figures showing our complete reliance on TV money is unhealthy at best. Commercial revenue being out performed by match-day revenue is embarrassing and what is being done to remedy this? We simply look rudderless at boardroom level.

Take Tim Cahill and Tim Howard – both iconic national figures for their respective countries – any half way decent marketing department would have been all over that, but no, our presence in world football remains second rate and shows no signs of improvement given a barren spell almost as long as this boards failures.

I’m worried that hope as we know it has gone forever under this current regime. I’ll happily take 20 years of not winning a trophy but I do not wish this for my son who hasn’t even begun going to the game yet.

To quote an hysterical woman in the Simpsons: “Will Somebody please think of the children!”

How long are we going to accept our lot under this board? Shoddy commercial deals, stadium disasters, missed opportunities in transfer windows – we signed Phil Neville and Simon Davies after qualifying for the Champions League – the failure to attract investment into a predominantly top five side in English football….. When will the penny drop with Evertonians?

Everton Football Club and its supporters deserve an awful lot better than what we have been served up. There will be fans who will poke holes in my logic and that’s fair enough, I can see how it looks; I’m jumping on the bandwagon following Toffee TV’s unexpected show of rebellion this last week. But anyone who knows me on twitter will know, I’m nothing if not consistent about my contempt for the people that run Everton FC.

Twenty long years without any silverware. An entire generation have never experienced the blues lifting a trophy.  Assets stripped to such a ridiculous level that we don’t even own the sausage rolls on the Goodison concourse. It is simply unforgivable.

Nothing without hope

The sad thing is, we are now totally accustomed to it. Fans are making excuses for the board, reluctant to change in case we end up like “a Pompey or Leeds.” So we accept what we have, which patently isn’t good enough.

Maybe the real world needs to dawn on me but I truly believe you’re nothing without hope. Can you see Everton adding to its nine titles and five FA Cups under this current regime?

Fifteen years without attracting a penny of investment, two failed stadium moves and no reason to think that Walton Hall Park is anything but doomed to fail under a board who have shown to be incompetent on almost every level of running a football club.

This is all proof, the pudding has gone off a long-time ago and the club has no plan to move forward. Look at Southampton, a club in League One no time ago, now looking down on us. It may be difficult to come to terms with, but teams are now overtaking us.

West Ham and Spurs are moving into new stadiums, club ownership in the Premier League has changed hands multiple times – for good or for bad – but how is it possible Everton Football Club has failed to even attract any interest? What the hell is going on?

Are we really that unattractive a proposition or are they getting turned away at the door? We have never had any transparency and the Liverpool Echo’s scandalous apathy towards this issue isn’t helping. They appear to be sitting back, watching a great club being constantly shortchanged under this incompetent board. And yet they say nothing.

The Echo would not allow this to happen if it was happening to our neighbours as we’ve seen in the past, but they are quite happy to fob us off with “Osman goes go-karting” stories while the real issues, which are now appearing in Broadway style neon lights, continue to be downplayed or ignored.

I would sooner praise Bill Kenwright and get behind him, honestly I would, but as my twitter daily rants will testify, I believe we need to move our club on from him and his board.

We need to apply pressure to find out what our plans are for the future. There’s currently no accountability at Goodison Park as the national and local press happily box us off in the plucky little Everton pigeon-hole, and leave us be.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum?

Our great club deserves better, our fans deserve better, the next generation of blues don’t deserve what we’ve had to endure.

None of this will change under the people currently running our club. The press aren’t helping so those of us who desire change from a board who have seemingly failed us at every turn, will have to do it ourselves. How that manifests itself is anybody’s guess, but fans are starting to see that something needs to be done sooner rather than later.

I’d love to have made this more balanced but it’s a tricky task given this boards rap sheet.

I don’t believe we should sugar coat this any longer. It’s not about looking like “kopites protesting,” it’s about looking after our club, wanting the best for it, like we would any loved one.

As fans we sing “If ya know your history,” maybe it’s the history DVD we need to watch and not the magnificent seventh ones.

Everton did used to win things, we were successful. I am sick of watching others lift trophies and it’s time to want more. Something we’re patently not going to get under this board.

We owe it to our club, ourselves and the next generation to start voicing our concerns. I sincerely hope we can finally stand up to the chairman and his board this summer.

Fifteen years of lies, broken promises and failures have made me feel this way – so apologies for the full on rant – but the time for pussy footing is over.

“You’ll never get a better salesman than Bill Kenwright for Everton Football Club”

Time to admit you were wrong Bill.

Lower your asking price, remove the huge return-on-zero-investment gun from Everton’s head.

And kindly return our club.

Ambition and drive need to move back in at Goodison Park.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum 

Mark Ellis 

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Mark Ellis

34 year old Evertonian, BU Supporter, blogger, loving Roberto, busy with my beautiful son Kai who has made me & my fiancee Lyndsay's life complete.

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