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
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