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Friday, March 29, 2013

84%……of people used to think the earth was flat.

After what some would call a period of reflection after the PR disaster that was Stan Collymore’s recent radio show, others would call it keeping your head down and hoping for the best, Everton’s Ministry of Truth have gone into overdrive on the back of the annual Populous Premier League fan survey that revealed, amongst other things, that we have the best stewards, that we have the third most visited website in the top flight, that we offer the second best value tickets and have one of the most welcoming grounds in the country. All perfectly understandable, we are The People’s Club after all and we should be best as we’ve had more time than anyone to perfect it; we’ve been delivering top flight football longer than any other club in the country.

What wasn’t understandable was why so many people had the perception that Everton’s corporate sales are so good or why the 84% of Evertonian participants, who felt Everton were a well-run club, identified that having a sustainable financial policy and a long term vision were the two most highly ranked factors in order of importance.

Sustainability and vision aren't two words that spring to mind when thinking about Everton’s hierarchy because if this were true it would manifest itself in the form of increased revenue in the accounts which would then find its way to the manager; it doesn’t because, just like the perception that the earth is flat, it isn’t true.

KEIOC have continually warned fans of the message in the accounts, that as a business we’re getting worse and worse. We’re not going to explain about key metrics or asset debt ratios as it’s clear it’s not sinking in with some people, many people. We’ll just explain to you that we’re that well run that whilst every other “top flight” club in the premiership receives millions of pounds from their kit supply deals with major kit manufacturers our club receives nothing; the effect of which is that whilst other clubs strengthened in the January window our manager, despite asking the board for money, was left twiddling his thumbs.

That the perception of the survey’s participants isn’t factually accurate doesn’t prevent Everton’s Ministry of Truth from desperately clutching at any tenuous straw of encouragement; they need to find some, there’s none in the accounts. A quote, supposedly attributed to the CEO, laughably proclaims….

“Our Nil Satis approach and quest for continued improvement is integrated within every department in the club and I’m delighted that this is recognised by such a significant section of our fanbase and the wider footballing family.”

This significant section was 1,260 anonymous Evertonians, here are the only terms and conditions you needed to comply with to participate. We have no idea whether they go to the match or not but it’s funny how one man’s significant section of fans, actually anonymous participants, are praised and lauded when the same number of actual matchgoing Evertonians were dismissed as a militant minority who were rattling the crystal glasses of the boardroom with cries of, “One Billy Liar, there’s only one Billy Liar” from under the window in Goodison Rd.

The day’s work was complete when the star attraction, the chairman himself, appeared on Sky Sports News. Anybody entertaining thoughts they were about to witness a Boris style mauling at the hands of an Eddie Mair knew immediately that this wouldn’t be the case once ex-Everton employee Alan Myers was identified as the Sky interviewer.

Along with Bill Kenwright himself, Everton supporters who aren’t native to the city fail to understand why Bill isn’t seen as the best salesman for the club; they couldn’t possibly begin to understand why there are howls of laughter when he talks of being in the boys pen with holes in his shoes or being with Eddie Cavanagh at the ’66 final when he ran on the pitch, perhaps it’s time that they began to ask the questions why the majority of local blues have such a different attitude to blues who rarely visit Goodison, if ever.

One bone of contention, for everyone concerned about our club, is the constant misinformation and why people promote it. Look at the chairman in that Sky interview, “They don’t want another Bill Kenwright” he said in relation to the next owner and the fans, “They don't want someone who has come in and got a second mortgage on his house and thrown everything together so he can keep the club afloat.” This implies that he has borrowed money to save the club, the problem there is that not one director of Everton has put money into the club so clearly he means buying shares from Peter Johnson saved the club; good with accounts are you Bill? Any time you want a live debate on this issue let us know and we’ll be there.

Leaving aside the facts surrounding the financial health of the club under Johnson as opposed to its health under Kenwright, is he suggesting that his share of the 71.39% of the club that True Blue Holdings purchased from Johnson, a transaction which left Kenwright with 7,228,359 of the 21,415,866 shares obtained, was financed by a second mortgage on his house? Of course it wasn’t, but as he’s brought it up it’s a worthwhile question to pursue as the answer will reveal the root cause of all the problems at Everton and the reason why not one director has ever invested a penny into a business which has been screaming out for investment for years, investment in the infrastructure which would generate more revenue to drive the club forward.

Why haven’t the answers to this, and to other questions such as the involvement of Robert Earl and the correlation with Bill Kenwright’s share ownership, been sought? Because too many are happy to sell papers and look the other way, too many won’t admit their total ignorance of matters off the field and would sooner act like sycophants to the club’s hierarchy, believing that they’re good blues but in fact have just as much in common with a complicit media who have contributed to the erosion of our club by staying silent when they know the truth just as much as we do.

The time for silence and passiveness has passed, it’s time for the truth; nothing but the truth is good enough.
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