APR
03
2013
The Undeniable Logic of Football Fans
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A Right to Reply in respect to my last Blog "The Curious Case of Everton Football Club"

Although the number of comments posted in response was minute when you consider the number of Blues out there, and certainly in comparison to the feedback I have received via Twitter and other channels, it does strikes me just how rabidly critical some of my fellow Evertonians can be, particularly when they have a polar opposite opinion, or they're simply ignorant to the facts being reported.  I say ignorant because there was very little in terms of an "opposing view", so it sort of makes it a little difficult to have a sensible debate. 

 

It seemed clear to me that some responders simply read what they wanted to read - making things up in their heads as they read - rather than actually reading what was written.  One or two seemed to view the piece as an attack on our love and affection for Everton, yet this was never questioned and no suggestion was ever made that one's affinity with the club should diminish because of the perceived poor running of the club.  "You can't stick my love for Everton on a balance sheet" said one.  Who suggested you could or should?!  What have the clubs poor finances got to do with our love of the club as fans?!  Completely ludicrous statements such as this can make it difficult to formulate a logical response because it's so far removed from the issue. I've always been someone able to take constructive criticism, it's imperative to make yourself better in what you do and who you are, but when you analyse some of the pitiful comments made, you start to question the actual motivation of the commentators in respect to the context of the current situation at our football club.

 

"Total bollocks", "What a load of shite", "More conspiracy theories" (where's the conspiracy?!), Collymore is this and Collymore is that, all really constructive commentary and offering an alternative view to the predicament many are not happy with.  Personally, I don't care much for Collymore but he addressed a situation that is clearly of importance to at least some Evertonians.  Important enough to have a phone in devoted to the subject for more than two and half hours.  It was advised on air that both Kenwright and Moyes had sanctioned the broadcast of the responses from the "unknown source", so again, why some Evertonians feel the need to call the figures "bollocks", "inaccurate" or a total load of tosh is beyond me.  They're the facts in the public domain and what we have available to make commentary upon.

 

Of course, a number of the reader comments were simply diversions from the core subject of the article.  Everton is for sale, it has allegedly been for sale for some years, we're the 4th most successful club in the country, there should be plenty of suitors, there have been suitors, but still no sale.  The simple question is why?  This appears to have been generally ignored by the 14 responders to date - all of whom are welcome to their opinions of course.  Significantly more have agreed with my view via Twitter and other channels so there certainly does seem to be a balance of opinion but there will always be doubters and ignoramus.  My childhood hero Neville Southall felt it was a "good interesting read" so that satisfied me that at least one person connected with the club understands the numbers.  

 

Whether you agree with my view or otherwise is not of central importance, understanding the facts of the numbers is what's important.  It was suggested by one that I'm an accountant and it has literally been taken as a fact within the threads because one dissenting reader simply tends to agree with the words of the previous dissenting readers unable to portray any independent thought.  I'm not an accountant, a mathematician, an economist, nor have I ever had the desire to be.  I simply looked at the latest accounts filed with companies' house and performed some very basic analysis of the differences between income and outgoings from one year to the next.  Nothing complicated or startling in that.  One laughably referred to me as a "twonk" because the "Assets were running around on the pitch".  I know mate, I referred to them as "intangible assets" and even explained this meant players. I also explained that their values decrease over time.  The relevance being, it has a bearing on the total value of the club and what the board is asking for!  This reader for example, had simply ignored the "Tangible Assets" that I had referred to, Bellfield & Goodison.  Did you actually get the gist of what the article was about or where you too busy dreaming up insults that trumped the reader before you? For some, the analysis of numbers seems to simply be too much and is - of course - all a "load of bollocks" and "made up".  Ghandi once said, "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth."  I'm certainly not a minority of one, but the truth is still the truth.  The numbers are factual and you have to understand the numbers to try and draw a conclusion upon why the football club has not been sold or whether the reported value is "fair".  This was the POINT of the whole piece and yet the response of some old windbags concentrated upon completely irrelevant factors.  So, the challenge to you dissenting voices, what's your actual view on the valuation? 

 

I had a couple of responses that were - at least - critical of the method of valuation.  This I don't mind.  After all, I prefixed my calculations with "bag of a fag packet" and asserted that there are indeed many ways to value a company.  I'm very well aware a Football Club is not a normal company, but that doesn't mean every investor will take exactly the same approach to valuation.  Not every law firm, accountancy firm or retailer is valued in exactly the same way as their competitors, so why indeed would a football club? It's naive to believe they would be.  The "market dictates the value," said one dissenter, ignoring this as one of my very points!  As the market dictates the value and as the club has been for sale for quite some years, the logical conclusion is that the asking price is too high.  In the same manner that a house on the market for 2 years at the same price is more than likely "over valued".  It doesn't take a mathematician, accountant or financial whizz to work this sort of stuff out.

 

There was also a general theme in the responses that Kenwright is better than the last guy (Peter Johnson).  That may well be true, but just because he's perceived to be better (because he's an Evertonian) doesn't mean he's the right man for our club, or the best.  For a long time now, I've hoped that he would come good, that he would have a plan, show some business nowse and commercial acumen, but it hasn't happened.  "Careful what you wish for" is an overused phrase in regard to this subject and whilst I believe in the mantra it shouldn't provide for so much caution it halts progress.  It certainly doesn't mean that fans should settle for the status quo and not strive for better.   I'm one Evertonian who will certainly never do so.  Alan Newton

Follow Alan on twitter @AlanRNewton

Email Bluekipper at mailbag@bluekipper.com

Comments about The Undeniable Logic of Football Fans
 
14
What a waste of precious bandwidth.
Paul, Warrington, 11:45 AM 5/04/2013
 
13
@Allan #9 - what planet are you living on lad? Not every article HAS to be football related and CAN focus on other aspects of Everton. I think it asks a valid question many Evertonians want an answer to. "telling us details we don't need to know.. Because we are not in a position to do anything about it". Gods sake! ... I wouldn't want to be your neighbour in a revolution. Where there is a will and a truth to share versus the propoganda machine, there will be a way. Do you think the Arab spring could have occurred if people thought it completely futile you ignorant idiot?!
Billy, Hammersmith, 11:52 PM 4/04/2013
 
12
Why do I get the impression this writer sounds more like Joe Beardwood than Alan Newton?
Jimmy, Sheffield, 7:42 PM 4/04/2013
 
11
This Article and the previous has not talked about football, it has stated facts that are true and opinionated by the Alan Newton. Telling us details that we don't really need to know because we are not in a position to do anything about it (are you listening Blue Union). So what is Alan trying to tell us??? Is he in a position to do anything about it??? This site is an open forum for us Evertonians to air our views. We should stop talking about buyers or investors and get behind our team on the pitch. There are MANY examples of TEAMS that have achieved great things without spending fortunes or have billionaire backers (Ask Swansea). I remember the great days on the late seventies early eighties when the legend Brian Clough (applied for Everton manger and was turned down) created the all-conquering Nottingham Forest that knocked the shite out of Europe and won a hat full of trophies based on a TEAM not a business, Howard Kendall achieved the same up until we ripped apart post the Hiesel disaster (and it was). Now the big business of the premier league has removed football from the equation and allowed Man Utd to win the league more times in the last 20 years than it did in the previous 100 years. So MY OPINION is, I hope to one day see an EVERTON TEAM (NOT some twat of an investor with loads of money) win the league like we did back in 85 & 87. Is this a good enough reply Alan Newton?
Allan , Ellesmere Port, 2:15 PM 4/04/2013
 
10
The guy's a last word freak. Right to reply my arse.
Dan, Bootle, 2:12 PM 4/04/2013
 
9
I think the moneys all locked away in Area 51. Perhaps we never actually won the cup,ever and that Andy vd Meyde was made to drink excessively by some guy on the grassy knoll.
Willy Eckerslyke, Rainhill, 12:46 PM 4/04/2013
 
8
This is getting tiresome and so is Mr. Newton and his fag packet. I couldn’t care less if he is a bin man in Timbuctoo or a minister of state. He’s only as entitled to his opinion as everyone else, but he doesn’t have a corner on the truth though occasionally he seems to think so, just as he often sounds self righteous about his ‘Evertonianism.’ If someone chooses to use expletives in their responses to him that’s a matter for them. I get that kind of response whenever I post an opinion on here and I couldn’t care less, that’s their right too. Quoting Ghandi might satisfy Mr. Newton’s pomposity but it has never been a mark of football fans anywhere in the world, anymore than it is up in Sunderland right now. If you can’t take the heat don’t stick your hand in the fire, join the Women’s Institute. But what Mr. Newton doesn’t seem to understand is that MOST EVERTONIANS ARE AWARE OF THE CLUB’S DIRE FINANCIAL SITUATION even if they can’t articulate it. We can read a balance sheet. We know about the sale of Bellefield and the other site. We know about players amortisation. We know about revenues. We know about the sale of assets. We know we live hand to mouth because every club in the country does except Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. We know the present Everton owners don’t have sufficient money to take the club further in a time when one good player can cost near enough £20 million and could still be a washout. Ask Steve Gibson at Middlesborough or the umpteen other club buyers around the world not just in Britain. We know ‘It can’t go on’ because Kenwright said as much years ago. We know the club has been for sale for years – you couldn’t get bigger headlines than in the local paper, again years ago. The ‘point’ that COLLYMORE said the club valuation is £125 million speaks for itself. Having listened to a recording of that broadcast I can safely say not only is Mr. Collymore not the sharpest knife in the box, he doesn’t even have the nouse to be IN the box. Whatever HE says THE CLUB hasn’t confirmed the figure, nor will they, nor would I in their position, for the simple reason that the price depends on the condition of sale and what both parties agree. It could be anything between £50 million and £150 million. People have to show willing and that they have the financial backing to carry it through. Nobody has, or you would know about it in five minutes. ‘The market’ dictates nothing, human beings and their circumstances do. ‘Market’ is an empty term, a word bandied around like christians bandy the bible around, as though it was some sort of magic wand that sorts everything out. So Mr. Newton’s ‘method of valuation’ doesn’t matter a row of beans, back of a fag packet or not, anymore than his opinion does. The only valuation opinions that matter are the proposed purchaser and the seller. That’s the way transactions work and always will. Mr. Newton gives the impression that anybody who doesn’t agree with him is ‘settling for the status quo.’ That is utter nonsense – I have yet to meet an Evertonian anywhere who doesn’t want us to do better and I am sure that applies to the club as well. We don’t have to agree with Mr. Newton to want better, whether he is in the minority or majority. He’s just another fan. As for possible new owners, the perils are obvious and examples many and ignored at the cost of common sense. Kenwright isn’t ideal because nobody is, but to imply selling the club will automatically improve it is an absurdity, in fact the chances are even we could nose dive and do a damn sight worse. Mr. Newton implies there has been no progress, which is an insult to everyone at the club who works hard to prove the opposite, including David Moyes and his players and his staff and Robert Elstone and his staff. But of course where Mr. Newton REALLY comes unstuck is in his lack of construction. All he does is peck away like a maiden hen, and what he will never understand is that is precisely why many fans won’t trust him and his ilk – he seems to want to attack Kenwright only, always on some vague notion of valuation, his only ‘idea’ is to sell the club as if that would cure everything. The fact is the whole of professional football is living beyond its means because of the kind of false expectations stoked by the likes of Mr. Newton and his lack of substance couched in pseudo intellectual terms and apparent smug self satisfaction. Until that fact is dealt with head on the game and ALL its clubs will be one step away from financial disaster, including Everton. Which is why Mr. Newton and his fag packet and ‘market’ are the least of it. My guess is that the fans know this too.
Spectator, Crosby, 12:40 PM 4/04/2013
 
7
I haven't, nor will I, read the above diatribe. Like all narcicists the writer obviously believes that his opinion is important, which it is, to him. Other sites are either depressing or boring and usually poorly put together. This is what attracted me to Blue Kipper. However, I'm sick to death of wordy and supposedly learned pieces. I love football and Everton for the fun they provide and really despise, albeit the real world, this descent into technicalities which have fuck all to do with goal averages or points gained/lost.
Billy, Portland St, 5:41 AM 4/04/2013
 
6
Lee, I do state Kenwright is "perceived" to be better because it's subjective and exactly that, "a perception" in some people's minds. A perception can be both true or false. Clearly there is divisive opinion among Evertonians, so it's entirely subjective as to what you perceive to be true. You'll note, I've not necessarily come down on one side or the other on this particular issue, stating that it "may well be true". However, my underlying point here being that I don't personally believe either PJ or BK are, or have been, good enough given our mantra. Nil Satis......
Alan Newton, London, 11:01 PM 3/04/2013
 
5
Paul *(comment 4). I was a season-ticket holder the year we won the Cup. I can tell you two things: it was brilliant, and it wasn't because Everton was well-run financially. We played awful football in the League, though we certainly got the results we needed to stay up, and we played decent stuff in the Cup. Johnson's influence? Honestly, it's hard to see any. As for the figure of £20m in the black at the point Johnson left, I honestly think there's a mistake there: Maybe he pulled all his investment out when he went, leaving us with an overdraft? And equally, it was Johnson who claimed he had to sell Ferguson because we had no money. So I don't know where that £20m figure came from, but I am cast-iron certain it's wrong. Yes, he built us a stand, and he built us a shop. They're both nice. But he also put up money for us to pay a record transfer fee for Steve Simonsen at Tranmere, a club he also owned, so not really paying anything, and he left us in masses of debt. Johnson was there five years before saying the job was too difficult. Kenwright, on the other hand: I want to be clear, I don't worship the man and I think he's made mistakes, but you can hardly compare the two. He inherited a club estimated at the time to be £18m in debt and losing at least £3m each year: 15 years later we're better off than those figures logically place us (projection based on that £63m in debt, in fact £42m) and we're not only still in business, we have a decent football team, have qualified for Europe's top competition for the first time since 1985, been to one FA Cup final, two semi-finals, a League Cup semi and in the last eight-nine years we've been there or thereabouts for European qualification. That's not what I want for us, but believe me - I remember Royle and Walker, I remember Smith, Kendall two and three, and even Harvey, bless him, and we're better than at any time since 1988. Yes, I'd love someone to buy us, (though Portsmouth, Leeds and others prove that alone won't be enough) and yes, Kenwright's made mistakes. But this isn't about defending Kenwright, it's about re-iterating the truth: he's worked hard for us, and we're better now by miles than we were when he arrived. Say what you like about him, but don't get confused about Johnson. He was abysmal.
Rory O, Brighton, 10:57 PM 3/04/2013
 
4
Lee, how is it fact Kenwright has been better than PJ? Yes he employed Moyes who has saved his bacon but that is it. PJ built a stand, mega store, won a trophy and sold the club with assets of £20m showing in the accounts. BK. has won nothing, has never even invested in some blue gravel and the accounts show a debt of £44m+ with all assets sold or mortgaged to death all in a time when football has been awash with money from TV revenue, that's some proof Lee.
Paul Gladwell, Wirral, 8:48 PM 3/04/2013
 
3
Alan there are none so blind as those who will not see. The facts have been out there for all to see. The argument that Bill is a Blue, and be careful what you wish for, are very scary.
Bluenoseronnie, Londonderry, 4:53 PM 3/04/2013
 
2
You say Kenwright is "perceived to be better" the fact is he is better, this is not a perception it is fact. The results show year after year since he has been in charge. At the moment we are and have been at the top, to get any higher than we are we have to beat Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea with multi billionaire owners. Every other team in the premier league is in the same position so unless you can match their wage structure, their turnover etc you can only then gamble and i say gamble because there are only 4 places to have a chance of getting a return to go someway to balance the books. And Thats exactly where lies the problem. Who is going to gamble that sort of money, you will need to do what City did and actually up the stakes if you want some sort of guarantee. "We are not in a bad position" now that is a perception!!!
Lee, Rainhill, 3:37 PM 3/04/2013
 
1
Well said, about time someone wrote an article like this. All too often you see Evertonians with the "we should be the biggest the best and the richest because we're Everton" on the forums and the threads. They don't ever seem to want to take in what is being written about in a given article. Just dish out their unfounded opions and insults (been singing in the Gladdy for 9 years mate i know what i'm on about) But this isn't an Everton wide problem unfortunatly it's football wide or society wide even. As is said on many occasions every clubs has nobheads, but if these people where to just take a minute to read what is actually put in front of them without boiling with rage over some percived injustice then maybe they can positivly contribute to what has become a global arena for discussion. Sometimes i wonder why these people don't create their own website or their own discussion boards or groups where they would be able to bring all of their material together to make a compelling case for their arguments, and then i remember the BU...
Stephen Regal, Liverpool, 3:16 PM 3/04/2013
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