Basically, in my opinion, long before Beardwood’s presentation, the fact of the matter is that Everton are just existing; at the Club there is no such thing as striving to become something better, no objective, no financial shrewdness or business target, no likelihood of investment or change to push the Club forward, no likelihood of a new ground (or need for one, in Beardwood’s opinion) and ultimately no hope for Evertonians. To sum it up, I believe that more and more Everton fans (the questionnaire drawn up by Grand Old Team, in partnership with other well-known Everton sites, represents this) are now feeling this way, and in my opinion they have every right to be concerned. Some Blues want a lot more, and expect a lot more for this Football Club, whereas others are happy to bide their time, coast along and continue to plough money into Everton – that is fair enough, who am I to tell those people what to do or not to do. But what angers me most is that these people do not see a return on their investment and efforts. Their investment and efforts are NOT matched by the current Everton Board or the mentality of the Club. They have no vision, no plan, no model, no acumen, no interest in improving, yet people will always go the game, pay their money and carry on, and whilst they do this the Goodison hierarchy feel no need to make alterations, or look to better themselves and MORE IMPORTANTLY – this Club. Existence – it is just what we do, until someone or something happens, but how long will it take?
Following on from Beardwood’s presentation and the reaction that ensued we then read an almost retraction of his presentation items in the Liverpool Echo over the weekend. For me this typified the relationship between that particular local media source, people who dare to speak out against our Board, and our Football Club. It is hard not to assume that after his presentation in front of the Club’s shareholders and press at Goodison Park, Joe Beardwood has since been ‘spoken to’ by the powers that be at Everton and he has now played down the Club’s need for a rich owner or to have any aspirations at all- basically we should be grateful for what we’ve got. Propaganda, censorship, hidden agendas, call it what you will. It’s like Kenwright’s golden circle; you are either in or you are out, and when I say out you are not welcome at the Club – he won’t have any snakes in his camp, just yes men. Beardwood branded Evertonians as ‘childish’ for wanting a billionaire owner – yet not for one minute have I ever heard a fellow Blue demand a billionaire owner (Beardwood himself is an Everton fan, surely he should know this) he also went on to say we’ve been regularly punching above our weight and that a victory over a ‘big team’ at Goodison should, in reality, qualify for success. Absolute dross if ever I have heard it. We only punch above our weight because not enough people demand success from this Club. The ‘overachievers’ aren’t we. The ‘Club of the People’. Everton have become like that lad who you hang round with, he’s nice, he’s popular with everyone, but he can never cop off – Everton are well and truly in the friend zone when it comes to relationships.
“I know lads, we didn’t like what was discussed at Goodison Park last month, Joe’s presentation portrayed us in a bad way, let’s have a word with our friends at the Echo and see what we can come up with, then let him have another go”
It is mentality like this that makes me sick, it makes me want to fuck it all off, what is the point? So should we release a DVD because we beat United 3-0 the other week? Proof that whilst we do pull off the odd notable victory over a bigger side over the years then that probably keeps a proportion of our support happy! Does it keep me happy? Does it fuck. It’s so small time it’s unbelievable. I spoke to Neville Southall last Friday night who said ‘we should all be going to that stadium with the belief that we can win the league’ he went on to say ‘why can’t we believe we can win a trophy, it’s only six games to win the FA Cup’ – he believes that’s where the problem lies, and I can’t disagree with what he says. The whole mentality needs to change, from the stewards to the hot dog sellers to the fans, the manager and his players, everyone associated with the Club, why don’t we have faith that we can achieve? ‘It’s Everton though isn’t it’ – I say fuck that theory, stop accepting failure and demand more. Of course there is a gulf between the likes of City, Chelsea and the rest, but does that mean we have to throw in the towel, should we not aim to bridge that gap, force ourselves to attempt to break the mould, if not then what is the point in going to Goodison Park? ‘Mediocrity, mediocrity, mediocrity’ – You can just envisage Kenwright standing on his board-room table yelling that at his fellow board members and Club seniors every time he is in town. It’s ridiculous. ‘As long as we are in the Premier League, we’ll all be able to drive our fancy cars and live in our fancy houses and throw a suit on, go the game and act like we give a shit, won’t we lads?’.
As for the press, it stinks, I probably sound like a broken record but I find it hard to believe that people still buy and read the Liverpool Echo. There is simply no probing, no pressing for information, no recognition of fan-concerns or key issues, they are in bed with the Club and it is so predictable to see what will be reported next. Former players on the Club’s payroll writing columns and blogs about how important Kenwright is for the Club, how Everton are in a ‘good place’ with him at the helm, talking about only needing a few players, never wanting anything more. Plucky little Everton. The Echo’s constant ‘bigging up’ of the current Blues Board and ‘playing down’ of the Club’s reputation, aspiration and fans intelligence is shameful and downright insulting. The Beardwood article is the latest episode, the Sunderland fan headline was an indirect dig at us too (you may have noticed, or not), what will be next? They love to wind us up, it’s almost like they enjoy having the power to manipulate our fan base ‘we know everything but tell you nothing’ – well I won’t be manipulated, I will speak out against an organisation who are very snide in what they do. An organisation that find it acceptable to print the following words and refuse to comment on what the response is from our fans, he can shove his fucking spread sheets up his arse this fella.
“It’s childish to complain that we haven’t got a billionaire owner. You’ve just got to try and finish above where you are in the wages league table. I’ve got spreadsheets covering the last 10 years and compared to where they are in the wages table, Everton are regularly winning the league by a country mile in regards to where they finish. We’re not going to win the title but we’ve regularly been punching above our weight. I reckon that Everton have got the 12th biggest wage bill in the Premier League so to finish 10th, ninth or eighth and turn over a big team at Goodison Park every once in a while is success” – Joe Beardwood in the Liverpool Echo, May 2015
I can’t fathom how other Evertonians share this view, I’m sorry.
Like it or not there are real issues at Everton FC, and over recent years not many people have wanted to approach them, but now it appears that there are more and more Evertonians voicing their concerns about the current Board, the running of this Football Club, our hopes (or a distinct lack of them) for the future, and the people who are paid to report on such issues (journalists). It’s become a key topic, and others who have been quite vocal against Kenwright in the past might believe their voices were not heard enough at the time – well surely now there is too much to ignore, our fans need to unite and demand transparency, demand information and question the people who run our Club. A Club who stick stickers on your seat if you haven’t renewed your season ticket, a Club who give Goodison a lick of paint every now and then and believe it is acceptable, a Club who commercially disappoints on an embarrassingly consistent level, a Club who feed us shite catering at ridiculous prices, a Club who release DVD’s celebrating the fact we’ve won a game, drip-feed us propaganda, jump into bed with the Press to earn themselves a ring of steel, a Club who will play down the importance of keeping Ross Barkley and Stones but talk up the importance of keeping Tim Howard and Tony Hibbert, and a Club who take us as fans for absolute mugs.
You might say ‘stop supporting them then’ because my views sound so harsh, but I was born into this Club, my love for them will never end, but with this love also comes passion, belief, hope and an unrivalled desperation for success, with this love comes heart, with this love comes money, blood, sweat and tears, effort and investment in my time. Unfortunately you just don’t get any of the above back from Everton FC – especially from the Board – but the Club have got you by the bollocks because they know many will never turn their backs on them and stop going the game. It’s a crushing reality. Not for one minute have I said I desired for a billionaire owner or anything fancy, I am not stupid enough to think that everything just all of a sudden falls in to place, but how much is it to ask that we have a Chairman, a CEO and a Board who share my beliefs, have a business plan or colleagues with the know-how to succeed, a group of people who want to take this Club forward rather than keep stalling and existing for the sake of it, or why don’t they even contemplate letting go of the Club into the hands of those who can take us further or make us better? How much is it to ask of a local reporter to report on the issues highlighted above, rather than me spend hours of my day penning my thoughts because I’m sick to my stomach with worry, they are paid to do it, and paid off to only do it as Everton say, whereas I just write an article about the Club I love and I say these things straight from the heart, I could write things like this every day I feel that strongly, does anybody else?
It is one big circle of secrets at Everton FC and at the moment, after a disappointing season (in the past, if we’ve done well on the pitch it has been a nice distraction from off-field concerns) there is plenty of concerned Evertonians out there who see a bleak future for the Club they all love. Do you share those concerns or are you happy with the way things are? I’d be interested to know. For me, life is about trying to improve, be it a job, personal circumstances, who you spend time with, life is about being happy, having something to aim for and most importantly when times are tough you have can always rely on a bit of hope – it pains me to say it but unfortunately nowadays at Everton FC there is not a lot of that left any more.
On a final note, I’ll leave you with this.
“There has never been a business plan at Everton. A lot of emotion, a lot of good people but it can’t just be about this whole model that’s been created, it can’t just be about winning trophies” – Joe Beardwood at Goodison Park, April 2015
Might as well pack up and go home then lads.
A modern-day Premier League Football Club with no business plan? When has being nice or emotional about something made it a success? It can’t just be about winning trophies?
Actually it can be about winning trophies and for once we should all stop constantly accepting second best, because with that sort of mind-set we are never, ever going to move forward as a Football Club unless things change. Does this badge and our motto not mean anything anymore?