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Tom Cannon : BBC Tuesday 20th March 2007

In an Interview with the BBC would be board member, good friend of Bill Kenwright and advocate of fair play Prof. Tom Cannon had this to say about the state of Everton at the moment.

We couldn't help noticing Tom's silence on all things Everton over the past couple of years in his appearances on SKY TV and Radio.

We find it rather strange that he chooses now to speak out in favour of a move to Kirkby.  Not only that, Tom insists that not to move would turn Everton into Tranmere. In an article penned by ambitious ex-Trinity Group employee Phillip McNulty, Prof Cannon asks us to look to Marine FC to see just what may happen if we don't heed his warning...

How Attractive Are Everton To Invest In: "It depends on the type of investor. If you are looking for a bankable asset probably not because bankable assets are probably the top four clubs, with one or two others who are single town clubs such as Newcastle. If you are a speculator and you think you could invest enough to turn a club strategically in another direction then they might be attractive."

How Much Would The Blues Cost To Buy?: "One of the hardest things in the world is to value a football club. If it was a takeover, one would have to assume there would be a premium. So assume that premium, particularly in the current market, would probably value the club at around £50m.

There is also now the question of the new stadium. It looks like there is a very attractive package on offer in Knowsley, so assume Everton need to put in £30m for the stadium and then to invest to clear most of the debt would probably be another £30m. Everton are relatively debt-free in Premiership terms, so let's say it takes £100m to buy the club, make an investment in the stadium and clear most of the debt.

Everton normally spend around £20m a year on players. So in terms of players, to take Everton to the next level and spending more than you normally spend, you are probably talking between £40m and £60m, taking the gross price to about £150m to £170m."

Would Bill Kenwright Sell: "Bill has said in the past he would stand aside if someone he regarded as the right person came along, and I believe he is being 100% accurate in that, but that hasn't happened yet. I think Bill has done very well for Everton. There are things he could do differently. I think the board is too small, with only two or three people. He should be looking for a more broadly-based board, maybe five or six people with different kinds of expertise, if not more money. Look at who Bill's closest friend in football is? It is David Dein at Arsenal and they did not achieve their success overnight."

How Important Is The New Ground: "The ground move is crucial, given the type of ground developments we are seeing in the north-west of England. Everton need a new ground. Goodison Park is old, tired and badly structured, with 3,000 obscured-view seats and only 11 executive boxes. Staying at Goodison Park is the nearest thing to a guarantee of decline that you can come up with. Whatever you did there, the cost would be enormous. If you tried to close down sides while you turned the ground around, it would inevitably be in the shadow of the new Anfield. I think it should be some distance away.

I don't see Kirkby as a problem. If Manchester United can be outside Manchester, I don't see why Everton can't be outside Liverpool. Knowsley Council has a fantastic reputation for collaboration. You don't have organisations the size of Ford, News International and Tesco involved with the council unless that is the case. Having the money to spend on players, having money to invest in the development of talent and having money to bring in the best in terms of management and skills is the way you get success.

Everton are obviously involved with Tesco in the new ground and we are very lucky to have arguably the most successful company in Britain being run by a totally committed Evertonian in Sir Terry Leahy. But it must all make sound sense for everyone involved because I do not believe Sir Terry would make a decision like this based on sentiment. He would not damage Tesco and he would not damage Everton." {cms_module module='comments')