Let’s get this straight from the start. I’m not an apologist nor am I a rabid hater of the man who steers the ship we set sail on each super Sunday…….
Bill Kenwright: Stepping Outside Of The Polarisation
I feel like I’m one of the few who can take a step back and look at things from a slightly less involved direction.
To some he is the cringe worthy luvvy, or bleeding the club dry, to others he is the lifelong fan who is doing the very best he can for the club he loves.
For me, it’s about 50/50.
One of his lasting legacies, unless something changes fairly soon, will be the stadium issue.
From the ‘ring fenced’ money available to build a modern football stadium to adorn our city’s iconic waterfront to the divisive attempt to move the club out of the city altogether and take the greengrocer’s shilling.
The lack of a modern stadium with all the money making ability and the actual comfort and facilities fans of the Sky era demand will blight him long after he has given up the reins.
And before anyone moans about Kirkby being Scouse because of its postcode, Formby has an L postcode too. Doesn’t make it part of the city.
Anyway…a lot of issue has rightly been made of the huge amounts of money being pumped into the club via the TV deals we have had over the last 10 or so years.
The accusations that Bill Kenwright has somehow been funneling cash away doesn’t sit right with me. Especially after how easy it was to see Peter Johnson subsidising DJ Spuddles via Everton’s transfer dealings.
The Kitbag deal and some of the financial side of the running of the club do appear to be amateur at best. Personally I think Robert Elstone would be better off going back to playing Roger Daltrey in his Who tribute band but that’s just me.
There is definitely scope for improvement in that area.
What I will say in favour of Bill Kenwright though, is that the club seems to be on a much more stable footing than before he arrived. He has been open and honest enough to admit he isn’t a billionaire and that we have had to cut our cloth accordingly. We have a serviceable debt and a squad that is improving in quality and depth all the time.
He was shrewd enough to appoint David Moyes who took the club from the depths of the Walter Smith/Peter Johnson era were we had the likes of Paul Gascoigne, David Ginola and Mark Hughes on huge wages in a squad full of hungry, young, sometimes lower league players.
And when there was money available it was spent.
Completely overhauling a squad isn’t easy or cheap.
We managed it.
The signing of Lukaku for £28m is a huge statement of intent and the backing of yet another genius appointment in Martinez is receiving rave reviews and should be applauded.
A lot of fans were moaning about us being around 4th/5th/6th place and not going for it, not taking the gamble on getting into the promised land of the Champions League. But for me I always think of Leeds United and their attempt to gatecrash the elite of Europe. They tried it and it nearly ruined their club.
I don’t want that to happen.
What we have had though, is sustained growth and have established ourselves as a club who deserve to be taken seriously in that top 5 or 6.
You only have to look across the park to see how dangerous a gamble it can be. Liverpool, despite their mythical 300 year waiting list for season tickets and regular influx of fans desperate to buy club merchandise were hours and days away from entering administration.
Not weeks and months. It was that close.
We, on the other hand, have been diligent and have stayed fairly stable compared to others.
The last thing we need is for Bill to sell to a Vincent Tan, a Thaksin Shinawatra or a Mike Ashley type character.
He has his faults, but just think about the other side of him, the speech at the Hillsborough memorial being one.
And try to find a more balanced viewpoint.