JUN
11
2015
Mickey Blue Eyes...
A Cheerful Farewell
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A CHEERFUL FAREWELL

By

Mickey Blue Eyes

 

All good things come to an end.

 

Having done their bit as Evertonians, for their own good reasons Steve and the boys have decided after fifteen years to call finis  to the Blue Kipper website. And so it goes the way of all mortal things. Like all football experience it has been an up-and-down puissance, but never less than humorous or without an occasional pratfall, particularly during the tempo-free, triple-strength Horlicks season of 2014-2015......How typical of our current erratic Royal Blue era it should feature an uncertain "recovery." Maybe next season will be dramatically different. Maybe. I have a distinct feeling of Déjà-Bleu.

 

Hence this indulgent, highly-subjective and cheerful farewell ramble. Go no further if you seek something else. I reminisce. Pour me a generous balloon glass of Grand Cru Cognac.

 

First enjoyable encounters with Blue Kipper came just after the millennium in pre-match pubs where I met Steve, Paul, Gary, Paul2, Ray and Mike. They were on their Top Toffee Ale 'Ouse  mission, ostensibly a tour of recognition of Evertonian watering holes (emphasis on "holes") around Goodison Park, but actually an excuse for quaffing unhealthy amounts of peculiar liquids, thus scarring vesica urinaria for life. To say nothing of affects on mortality. Afterwards, they established themselves at different venues as a "Blue Kipper Lounge" until that too faded out a few years ago. We hit it off immediately because I was taken with their casual jokey approach, serious only when absolutely required, not up themselves, more organised-scatty than anything. Their mildly provocative Call Y'self an Evertonian? made me smile because I knew it was bound to stir petty envy and then torpedo a few egos in a self-appointed ale-house cognoscenti.

 

Sure enough it did, which was invariably funny. You had to see some of the incoming yoyo emails and site sabotage attempts to believe them. It was Chihuahuas in the back yard yapping endlessly through the night, old women in shawls shouting at each other, an empty tin can kicked down the street. But such is footy life, or at least the puerile side of it. Despite that nonsense, in times good and bad nobody is more straightforward loyal or spirited in their support of Evertonia than the Jones brothers. Much-loved and much-missed Ray, Flo and Chris would be proud of their Blue Kipper boys. (Ray had a wonderful way with any nipper wearing a pinky strip. He would approach the youngster, wag a mock admonishing finger, and in his marvellous quiet but firm voice ask, "Have you been naughty?" It never failed to amuse or impress.)

 

I'll have the Cognac  straight please, no ice.

 

So I began amateur wordsmithing for Blue Kipper because I could experiment with composition. I always tried to say something so bleeding obvious that, for whatever reason, few had seemed to notice. It was my first full year back in England after a couple of decades to and from the Middle East. But where has the time gone? When the internet came along in the 1990s it was a boon in more than one way even though nobody had a clue which way it would develop. It was the stone age of the medium for the general public, though the military had been using it for years. For homesick expats it was a less expensive and quicker method for keeping up to date. We had always intended to return home and settle in our beloved city whatever its problems; we could never imagine living away from the coast or choking inland on carbon monoxide or commuting via a rat-like underground rail system or living in a Wicker Man  village. Touring the world at the expense of the system was enjoyable and satisfactory, but ultimately it was no more than a fulfilled wish. If not carefully considered, long-term expat work produces only rootless vagabonds. No, abroad was not an option, anymore than I wanted to live and work in England's seedy capital.

 

Coming home was every bit as warm and human as we wanted. Blue Kipper and footy played its part, albeit small. It all helped because footy was quarantined from everything important. In due course local warmth was never better illustrated than when my sister visited with her family from the USA. We were shepherding our respective broods down Church Street when she spotted a Boots pharmacy and, plagued by jetlag, thought aloud in a mid-West drawl, "I need some headache pills." As she went in an elderly door guard said, "Jus' win the lottery gerl, an' yer 'eadache'll soon go away." At such times you know you are home. Liverpool gerls know that better than anyone.

 

Nevertheless, our city then was as much on its knees as our football club. On the former broader and much more important issue even now I think locals sometimes fail to understand just how  much and why  the English establishment hates the city and its people, and why thirty-odd-years of lying propaganda and economic attacks were launched against both. You can be sure of one thing in the Westminster/Whitehall/Canary Wharf gang: They always most hate those they most wrong, the only way they can "justify" their malevolence. Part of British history too. Nor has anybody ever got poor by overestimating sheer funk in a bribed suburban lower bourgeoisie who help underpin it with a terror of poverty and a distrust of independent minds, a state of being poet Walt Whitman once described as "quiet desperation" but now better described as desperate moral abdication.

 

Add in our city's iconic global popularity in the distant 1960s and you begin to see one of the sources of smouldering umbrage down there in Corruption City. Over time resentment manifested as cheap, mean-spirited "revenge" and then became outright hatred during the poisonous Thatcher era of the 1980s. How neocons and their apologists hate  the free-thinking dissidence of the 60s and 80s! Lest we forget in this United Kingdom of Amnesia, or anybody thinks this an exaggeration, you need only consult secret government documents released in 2011under the thirty years rule. In these, government ministers Howe (Chancellor), Brittan (Treasury) and Jenkin (Environment), classic tory hypocrites and all members of the Cambridge/public school gang from the same era, wanted to eliminate references to Merseyside, population about 2.5millions, as "...a viable economic and social entity." It was enough to trigger an economic and cultural chain reaction. We all know what happened next.

 

There is more than opportunist political mischief in this, there is real evil. It eventually helped destroy millions of lives throughout the country, not just on Merseyside. Incredibly, Howe was once a two-years MP for Bebington in Wirral before being summarily booted out, which probably partly explains his subsequent actions; when asked about the secret documents, he said he "couldn't recall" attacking his former constituents. Of course not. Standard "amnesia" is the usual  resort. Naturally, mainstream media ignored the wider implications. Equally naturally, tory Blair's New Labour turned out to be a politically traitorous warmongering adjunct of it all. Is it any wonder all of it became a malign osmosis in the national soul?

 

We certainly were not the sole target but we were one of the few cities - in the end the only one left standing in England - that let London thieves know they would have democracy dancing in their faces. Better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Shades of the 1960s. Hence the mafia-like reaction from Westminster, Whitehall and Canary Wharf. Now Britain outside the capital is threatened with the scam of "city devolution" and the bullshit of "A Northern Powerhouse": In reality, nothing more than a debt-inducing protection racket, likely (as in the USA) to put some cities in hock to transnational banks via "the bond market." It is the urban-governance equivalent of student fees when young lives are put in hock for most of their working usefulness. Transnational bankers will be rubbing grubby palms together in anticipation of yet another free-loader windfall. There is nothing digitised automaton capitalism and its apparatchiks will not steal, including the bread from your mouth, the roof over your head, your health, education of your children, and your old age. Theft from the cradle to the grave. All of it promoted by media bought-and-paid-for jobsworths, the worst of which are the Rupert Murdoch proto fascist mob. It is what conscience-free propaganda clerks do, how they meet their ponzi mortgage payments in a Brave New Bankrupt World.

 

Yes, I will have a top up. Just a little, no more.

 

Now a new Zeitgeist  beckons. The past is fading, though the damage has been immense and would take another generation to resolve - assuming there was the political will to do so. "London" has become a deluded farce scripted by P.T.Barnum and Milton Friedman. Held in contempt by seemingly everybody outside the M25, it is a neon-lit ghetto of ignorance and greed, its worst hirelings shuffling into line to mutter "Me too" to the Canary Wharf Ministry of Theft and its ugly high-rise village of mountebanks and shysters. The logical conclusion to all this is a-once-unthinkable breakup of Britain and a return to Victorian-type mass deprivation and even the looming possibility of ur fascism. But a USA neocon (appropriately named Fukuyama) was wrong when he gloated "It's the end of history": Eventually it will be the end of their  history.

 

Which is why everybody everywhere who resisted then and now can be proud of their large or small actions, especially the surcharged hero councillors of the 1980s, the men and families the English establishment sought but failed to destroy, not just neutralise. Only now is reality dawning that our city was just one of the first objectives in a nation-wide, nay global, attack on decency. Now, inevitably, everybody is a zero-hours target, a new pseudonym for the docker welt or builder lump of casual "employment" or Eastern slave shops. Nobody is safe, not even those who kid themselves otherwise. Fear is, always has been, and always will be, the key to understanding organised capitalism: all the rest is bullshit. Who can blame the Scots and Welsh for wanting out of such a vile deception?

 

I freely admit at the time I was unprepared for the full depth of legalised corruption and sheer mean-spiritedness in the country. I was too long away, too much insulated from the worst affects. More importantly, I profoundly underestimated long term damage done to working-class institutions, though I should  have known from precedents and Marxian analysis; using those, the result of the last general election was entirely predictable, as is more and much worse forthcoming theft and warmongering. Like too many of us on the Left I thought those institutions strong enough to break the assault. I was badly wrong. They were undermined, then fragmented, then overwhelmed, then sold out by suburban curtain-twitchers, neocon bureaucrats and arriviste  New Labour, then almost obliterated.

 

Almost, but not quite. They will rise again in a different form because the conflict between labour employment (that is, everybody waged or salaried) and capital is unavoidable. In the long run Howe, Brittan, Jenkin, Thatcher, Blair and their successors will fail because  of the terrible damage they inflicted. Now their mentality stands exposed for the house-of-cards it is, at least for those with eyes to see. No matter how long it takes, history shows organised resistance is as certain as the rising sun. Still, last time it took two world wars and mass poverty to raise political consciousness to elect the radical Labour government of 1945, to which succeeding generations owe so much. But what will it take this time?

 

And nowhere was the new bastardised culture more evident than in the hyped-up comparative trivia of football. All sports in fact. But now home, leisure-wise it was easy to settle comfortably among the great herd of genial fans who sought only a few hours of communal enjoyment away from the rat race. Terrace houses still nuzzled up lovingly against Goodison Park. Local humour still survived, still deflated pomposity. People were still people despite the propaganda lies. Decent lives went on in spite of everything, in spite of media, in spite of government betrayal of its democratic responsibilities. At the time virtually everybody was as crazily footy optimistic as ever. It was like finding an old pair of much loved comfortable slippers thought lost.

 

Alas, locally, as everywhere else, there was also a small milieu  of tenth rate footy chauvinism, a sad muzak of Baroque resentments, of cheap spivvery and hypocrisy, of obscene racism my generation thought long routed, all of them vices typical of the national drift to......what? A Hobbesian gospel? Perpetual dysfunctionality? Gawd knows what such a mentality thinks it sees in a mirror. Some of the culprits turned out to be conmen from the new rentier  class, outright nazis, accountancy frauds, mere busybodies, or small-time wannabe criminals from Planet Paranoia, some out-of-town frauds who don't, never have or never will live in our city or have genuine affection for it. For that self-appointed see of maudlin cardinals it was heresy to hold a different opinion. An even smaller number are so twisted they want to burn down the house, Gotterdammerung 1945 style, a tiny gau  of nutters who seek as owners a non-existent combination of George Soros, Pol Pot and the Holy Ghost, plainly ignorant of the true story of sainted John Moores and how he, like many other football owners of that era, actually  accumulated wealth.

 

Much of it happened because of a grotesque obsession with Bill Kenwright, who for some became a convenient and venomous focus for frustrated playing hopes. It was a waste of time listening to their Received Opinion and its demonic view of history: The "arguments" were so old and marinated in nonsense I had almost forgotten the answers. But that kind of football RO has always had a difficult time with motive and reality. Comically, it faced two ways at once, one signposted "train set" (whatever that means), the other "money tree." We must hope for their sake when their heads stop turning they face forward. Small wonder there has never been a useful focus. The reality is likely to be much more prosaic when Goodison stresses reappear after new TV revenues work their way through to more inflation and/or Bill Kenwright, now in his seventies, sells up or retires in favour of a new owner.  At which point some people will get the rude awakening of their lives, as did Aston Villa curmudgeons after Doug Ellis sold up to billionaire Randy Lerner, who now wants to sell the Birmingham club after nine years of not making a breakthrough. Some mentalities never learn.

 

In truth football has always been tainted thus; only now relatively it was worse, part of socioeconomic anarchy in a nation demoralised and corrupt at every level. It was more toxic because more overt and more easily spread. It all amounted to much the same thing whether local or national, or international for that matter. But I adjusted quickly to the new footy realpolitik  because I had to. It was either that or abandon the game completely, which was out of the question for (dichotomy alert) a free-thinking football addict. For me, that will only change if it is revealed the English game is as riddled with match-fixing as the Italian version, or there is a mass return to standing terraces.

 

You know, I will  have another one. But make this the final one.

 

Early Everton internet message board forums were marked by a rush of novelty before evolving into little more than whinge salons. A new cold generation of VDU junkies seemed incapable of nuance in writing or speech, poorly educated except in mere computer keyboards and algorithms, mostly inarticulate and insensitive, a gift to the mass idiocy of tabloids, "public relations" bullshit and the junk "culture" of soap operas, text/Facebook/Twitterspeak, The Simpsons, The Sopranos, MBA-spouting morons and stand-up "comedians" whose "humour" depended on attacking audience members or other easy targets.  

 

In such "company" a civilised exchange of opinions was impossible. A tiny number were virtually illiterate or merely resentful, which often meant tedious explanation of a form of words or meaning. Anyway, almost all of it was absurd players transfers or ownership gossip which morphed into a cyber clone of lonely drunks hunched over empty beer glasses in an ale-house reeking of bleach and farts, good for nothing but peddling melancholia. Eventually they resorted to attacking each other because everybody sensible had long tired of the nonsense and gone home. I joined the exodus early.

 

The change of direction meant I could scribble raw essay impressions which were sent to Steve at Blue Kipper, who posted them without editing. Initially they included crude "reality checks" which tried to place the game in a more important broader context. Readers could take it or leave it. It bothered me not one way or the other; nitpickers had the effect of a rabid moth. I was never one of the site owners and never made editorial policy, nor did I want to, though occasionally I was asked for an opinion. Looking back, some of it has lasted well and some bring a blush. All of it was opinionated: So what? They were mere spontaneous notions no more or less valid than your own.

 

Steve deleted only one piece after he posted it. Even then he talked with me first. During which I repeated what I had always said, that it was his site and if we ever came to serious disagreement then I would move on. Later I felt a mild sense of justice when the opinion was confirmed in spades. But we never did fall out despite holding different judgments on some club issues. Still, given human nature, one minor dispute in fifteen years was pretty good going. At one stage I stopped contributing to encourage others to make their own efforts but sadly this produced only short lived attempts. I soon returned.

 

What a nice Cognac. Full bodied, all the right scents. Nothing better. Well, except for a derby win.

 

Meantime there was always, always, Everton Football Club and its efforts to survive the mess of the Peter Johnson era, earlier creeping neglect and burgeoning "new" capitalism. Johnson, a supporter of the analfielders and not a committed Evertonian, was a Wirral businessman who had prior success in reviving the fortunes of Tranmere Rovers and then bought Everton from a Moores family who trousered a very large profit for doing nothing except ignore near-precipitous decline after years of incapacity and death of John Moores in 1993, ironically a year after creation of the Premier League system; John Grantchester is still a large shareholder but he has no discernible talent or will and is apparently as useful as a paper frying pan. However, Johnson's other businesses quickly ran into financial trouble and he was forced to sell the club in 1999 after day-to-day club administration and finances were ignored and plummeted to even lower levels. Since then he has sold Tranmere too and they have now dropped out of the Football League, a bad blow for Merseyside football.

 

Relatively stable commitment was restored when Bill Kenwright took over, but it needed ten very long and often painful years, David Moyes, some serious mistakes, a debilitating fight with fellow-owner and pump-primer Paul Gregg, two failed ground moves, and the sale or collaterising of almost all the main club assets to even get to that position. It was a Pyrrhic victory dogged by football capitalism. It was either that or sink to the bottom or perhaps liquidate, both of which could still happen in a heartbeat. Nobody else with sufficient money or good will or economic guarantees wanted the club then or now. There are no Evertonian billionaires on Merseyside. Or elsewhere. But plenty of lurking spivs and barrow boys, which is why footy existence is so fragile.

 

In the circumstances just maintaining status was a miracle, however unpalatable for fantasists and tenth-rate "analysts." Amid the background noise some people rattled tin drums and waved spread sheets but they never came up with anything that made constructive economic sense or proof of allegations of siphoned money. Usually it amounted to nothing more than bellyaching over sponsorship deals or trying to float absurd stadium notions or bleats about enticing a new billionaire owner. Some of it was well intentioned, some pie-in-the-sky, some unintentionally funny, most of it a mere ego trip. The remnant was an evolutionary dead end of Neanderthal accountancy or personality obsessions. The total effect is a frenzy for even more deluded rat-eat-rat economics - the utter claptrap of "investment" - that brought the English game to its crazy inflationary state and which could yet bring it down as it did FIFA, many other sports, and the global economy.

 

As things are, a fiscal Sword of Damocles will swish as long as the present socioeconomic system is tolerated. It threatens Everton as it does perhaps 90-95% of professional clubs. For just one example, nearby analfield came within weeks of bankruptcy in 2010 before Yankee carpetbaggers bought their debt. Previously, the Moores family sold them too in 2007 to a gang of Dixie carpetbaggers and supposedly trousered a cool £89millions; later, they "hugely regretted" the sale, but presumably the money helped mop up any tears. The existential lesson is, fear being the key, those who stand still in the capitalist road get run over. The problem for Everton Football Club and virtually every other club is that we could easily run out of road. Like it or not, and nobody sensible does, that is the way it is. There is no available quick fix or rich sugar daddy. Howling at the moon is not a solution. Not that it prevents the howls anyway.

 

Meantime, our local rivals will soon complete construction of an enlarged sixty thousand capacity stadium. That will end for a generation, probably longer, the rest of your life, all argument of which is the "bigger" club. The implications have yet to sink in for Evertonians, but will next season when they see the new Behemoth opposed to our own much-loved but outdated and land-locked ground of a mere thirty-nine thousand capacity. After which, as I warned years ago, nothing more certain, you can expect the usual noises from the usual sources. Therefore, I safely predict this will become the dominant Summer Whine as the analfield superstructure grows. The Kirkby scheme was a final chance to avoid that fate because the club have made clear it is likely the recent Walton Hall Park project is a no-go unless finance arrives miraculously or local politicians co-operate; it is a worthy but necessarily speculative effort. In those respects the future looks pretty dim. Bleating about distant history and a non-existent golden age will cut no ice.

 

Matters will stay thus until we get much-needed cathartic regeneration and a new home of at least fifty thousand capacity, which process would probably take yet another decade of treading water. Or there is a sudden national or global understanding that the game simply cannot continue in this way and must revert to a more equitable format: but for that to happen there must exist a moral dimension which capitalism has never had and never will have. See the latest FIFA saga. My guess is that if the football castle was stormed it would be as empty as the Bastille in 1789 or the Élysée after near-revolution in 1968 when De Gaulle fled to Bonn saying, "Le jeu est fini."  The question now, as then, becomes......After heady triumph, what to do with the castle? See, there are no easy answers. Only noisy fools think otherwise.

 

One last small top up. Enough to sip.

 

In spite of all that there is always the match, the overpriced pantomime melodrama, however high or low our playing fortunes. Actually playing  football is often overlooked in all the back entry bitchiness, though true devotees have always seen through the idiocy and loved the game for its essential simplicity; sadly for some, disappointment with life fails to get over that hurdle. But the game is still what three generations ago J.B.Priestley called working-class "conflict and art." Surrounding rituals still fluctuate with flavour of the month results. Flash Harry meteorites still burn up in the atmosphere. Media journalists still make a cheap vicarious living from it. Foolish young and gifted players still screw up the chance of a lifetime.

 

Nevertheless, I have never gone along with Daily Mail  neocon muck that the game has become "middle class." From its inception the professional game was a global leisure pursuit for those who gouge a feudal pittance; that has never changed and never will, for without the grass roots players and fans there is no professional football, a power they have yet to realise in full. Yet, gloriously or ingloriously, it is still eleven players against eleven players for ninety minutes on the pitch. The Laws of Association Football are still simple, offside always excepted. Great players and teams and managers still come and go. The appeal of the game itself  is stronger than it has ever been, arguably stronger. We have all of us played it at some level or turned January-frigid on FA Cup terraces at Macclesfield or burned in the sun of ersatz Wembley. It is what we do and have always done, gawd help us. In that respect there is nothing new at all. We all seek its transient glory.

 

That was the background to every opinion I posted on Blue Kipper: the passing parade, a fabulist carnival of players, managers, owners, talent, great and loyal supporters, peasant wannabes, clowns and villains to match any other. I have always loved it and always will, which is why writing about it, even the bad bits, is so easy. Still, I have barely scratched the surface. At its best it is harmless, healthy fun in good company; it has at least managed to cauterise sick tribal madness which almost destroyed the game in the 1980s, and stadia are now much better and safer. The small minority petty worst of it, the thugs, the simian gabble, the moaners, the thieves, the spivs, is the small change of experience, a price we pay for toleration, the by-products of a disgusting socioeconomic system.

 

As usual, the best in life is to be found in small things. If I had to pick one event from these footy years it would be the Europa League away match against modest SK Brann in Bergen, Norway on Wednesday, 13th February 2008. Blue Kipper had organised the flight and we duly found ourselves in the neat little port city of Bergen, footloose and, as they say, fancy free. The first stop was the black interior of a huge barn of a place in the urban centre, complete with cinema size big screen, scam beer prices and overcrowded raucous Evertonians. After a while it got unbearable and I fled the scene with Steve and Paul to look for a more civilised venue.

 

Directed by my guide book we drifted down to the waterfront fish market where Paul bought a half of freshly caught salmon. Then we took the funicular railway to the top of Mount Floyen where the book said there was a small refreshment kiosk and a viewing platform. Let me tell you there are few better experiences than quaffing good hot coffee and wolfing fresh salmon while overlooking the coastal scenery of Norway. It was wonderful. The air was diamond sharp, the sunshine just warm enough, the setting peaceful, the view beautiful and clear all the way to the horizon sparkling far out at sea.

 

I wanted to stay but Paul had his usual beer withdrawal symptoms so eventually we made our way back down to the waterfront and rickety harbour side bars in Bryggen, and an encounter with not only the ESCWARA group but James Vaughan's proud Dad. Later, I riffled through the guide book again and came up with a Kafe Kippers on the other side of the city. This could not be missed. We fell giggling into a taxi - in my case literally, far too much alcohol - and eventually found ourselves in a cosy bistro attached to a co-operative theatre and culture venue in a regenerated sardine factory. Yes, you read that right. Again we indulged John Barleycorn not wisely but too well, all of it absorbed by hearty Norwegian fodder. By then the sun was setting behind a hill across the fjord and we were feeling, well, nicely mellow. Footy seemed a long, long way away. There was a short-lived feeling that we should sod the match and settle down for an evening of chat. But chauvinism kicked in. Footy loyalty keened, a madness in all of us. The game beckoned, the capricious bitch.

 

For some reason not unrelated to wavering bladders we had difficulty finding a taxi and arrived at the ground fifteen minutes after kick off. Fortunately it was still 0-0. Even better, Our Boys ran out neat and worthy 2-0 winners after a couple of scares. Then we took the coach back to the airport. If there is anything more enticing on a cold dark night than the fleeting sight of warm glowing homes glimpsed from a passing bus then I have yet to see it. We could hardly wait to get to our own hearth, which, of course, there is no place like. The whole trip was sublime, easily the best away match experience I have ever had, including more momentous victories and exotic stadia.

 

There were plenty of similar happy experiences thanks to our irrational amour pour le footy. There were other away trips, the Kevin Brock-like moment in Kharkiv, the wonderful home match against Fiorentina which we should have won but didn't, likewise a notorious corruptly-refereed game at Villarreal in the Champions League, an FA Cup final, Blue Kipper annual doos, a marvellous weekend in Belfast as guests at Billy's Evertonian wedding, and the Blue Kipper Lounge. Many others. One of these was the award of Blue Kipper Player of the Season to Duncan Ferguson, at which Steve said to the Big Yin, "Everyone who wins this fucks off to another club. Promise me you won't do the same." A few months later Duncan was gone, sold by Peter Johnson. The wheel turned. It still does. Be not dismayed. It is the way of things. Laughter is necessarily the order of the day despite the most barren, trophy-free years in our club history, but paradoxically the fourth best run of league placings. If you fail to laugh, you cry.

 

As to our current playing prospects, I have not the faintest idea. The last two seasons have bamboozled me as much as anyone else. The only thing I can be certain of is that a repeat of this season next season would see us fall through a yawning trapdoor. If that unspeakable footy horror happened there is no telling when or even if we would recover the position. This season I was scarcely a lone voice when I noted after just a few matches that immediate prospects looked bleak indeed. We were, quite simply, awful......wretched even. There was no disguising it. Accordingly, fans confidence evaporated as Goodison home matches lapsed into the knowing, resigned silence of a morgue. On the other hand, a reprise of Roberto Martinez's exhilarating debut season would give our fans and everyone at the club a well-deserved lift. Perhaps a complete transformation.

 

But for that to happen Roberto, seemingly a good and decent man, will have to undergo a serious rethink. Tepid five-a-side on the half way line will have to go. So will the tortuous self-effacing, superlatives-ridden press conference shtick which now has all the appeal of a finger nail on a blackboard. Failure to do so can have only one outcome: His credibility will evaporate. For whatever reason he will have lost in a few seasons what it took a decade to construct. It remains to be seen if he has the necessary abilities and strength to recover. The ball is very firmly in his court. We all fervently hope he knows what to do and has the luck to go with it. As we all know, team rebuilding is now more necessary than ever, especially given the veteran ages of Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar, basically the heart of the team. We need at least four new players. But also we have the enormous promise of John Stones, Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku, Muhamad Besic and James McCarthy to compensate, though they have to grow up quickly now or fail. Whether they will want to stay if the playing method remains unchanged is a moot point. Optimism and stern nerves will be required during renewal.

 

Hence the end of this website, but not Evertonia. There is never enough time in a linear sense. But as much-missed Louis Armstrong once sang, there are oodles when you ignore the clock, amble, and make the most of what you have. It is always possible to find maximum enjoyment and occasional triumph among absurdity, chaos, criminality, resentment and noise. Life is still - just -  what you make of it. Neocon fraud and theft will not go on forever, it only seems like it. Most of all you can still find comedy and irony......without which, everything else is worthless. Laughter will always be the mortal enemy of misery.

 

So, farewell, then Blue Kipper. We owe Steve, Paul, Gary, Paul2 and Simon a large Evertonian debt. The website will be missed, but fondly remembered. We are not on the pitch. And it really is  all over. What a great and funny old game it was, well worth the candle, every second of it, good and otherwise. The very spice of life.

 

A superlative, fragrant Cognac  too.  And here's to Us, and to You and Yours.

 

 

Comments about A Cheerful Farewell
38
Gutted. Always visit Blue Kipper for news and views, and to be honest hardly visit the official site in preference for BK. Well done for your content and I wish you all the best. COYB :(
Simon, Fylde Coast, 10:59 AM 17/06/2015
37
I'm sorry BK, I didn't mean all that Im just hurtin still Please just one more month I'll be good
doug, Liverpool, 3:05 PM 16/06/2015
36
Fine! Go then! See if I care! Plenty more sites to Choose from! Every time i was with you I fantasized about Toffeeweb anyway and when I commented I faked it every time! Go then, just go.. Who needs you anyway!!
doug, Liverpool, 3:03 PM 16/06/2015
35
Gutted! Where I am I going to get the real news now rather than the official propaganda? Seriously thanks guys I appreciate all your hard work over the years, but all good things come to an end eventually. Blue Kipper will be sorely missed by many. Good luck and best wishes for the future!
Paul, Almeria Spain, 8:59 PM 15/06/2015
34
Gutted. Im gonna miss you kipper, i remember getting me pic taken with my lads and brother in the Abbey ( top ale ouse) back in the day when you got started, been on this site daily since then. COYBs
Phil Howard, New Zealand, 6:00 AM 15/06/2015
33
Thanks for all the hard work over the years, its always been a website I've enjoyed.
Matthew, Saltburn, 9:20 PM 14/06/2015
32
Always enjoyed popping on here to have a little read on what the true blue fans are saying. Always could get an honest idea of what fans actually thought and it gave the fans a voice. Does the official everton fc website or someone at the club have something to do with this. Maybe you guys at this site are giving the fans a voice and a certain mr someone at the club doesnt like that for certain reasons. Anyway farewell
Maz, Everton, 7:52 PM 14/06/2015
31
Adios, and all the very best for capturing so aptly the life and times of Evertonians. Brilliant and realistic home truths, I hope it's not an ode of foreboding for next season. Hand on heart my sincere thanks to all the team over the years. "What's Our Name.?"
El Cid, Offshore, 7:37 PM 14/06/2015
30
Ok BK, let's not do anything too rash! Give us just one more month will ye lads? Best bit of the whole season starts now what with the tranny window now open for all to gaze at. Oh go on BK, don't make me beg?. Pleeeeease!?
doug, Liverpool, 3:20 PM 14/06/2015
29
Sad day,thanks for the chance of letting me post many of my rants when this great club left me so frustrated, I won't be going to some of the other sites,where they are more embroiled in slagging fellow blues off.BLUE KIPPER kept it real. Long live the fish.
daz.m, st.helens, 10:38 AM 14/06/2015
28
good luck to all of you. Not withstanding some of your more nebulous philosophies your remarks on the blues have always illustrated undoubted passion and sensible realism. The site ill be sorely missed.
JD , parkgae, 1:59 PM 13/06/2015
27
Gutted to see your site end, thanks boys for the memories, you were a proper LOYAL Blue site (unlike the Blue CLOWN Union) hope you have a rethink on your decision,but wish you all the best for the future make no mistake you will be sadly missed very much so!
Peter B, Walton, 9:31 AM 13/06/2015
26
I pray that this is not symptomatic of the slow demise of Everton as a whole - just a small part of the RM effect/malaise. It sends out completely the wrong message to our many detractors. Have a rethink - I'm sure that there are hundreds of Evertonians with sufficient motivation, IT knowledge and time on their hands to take over this most laudable of projects.
John T, Bristol, 9:28 AM 13/06/2015
25
For many years now this has been the first site to visit each morning. Sad to see you go, but lads, a very big thank you. The team lives on and we all look forward to the next season
Ross Bawtree, East Anglia, 9:05 AM 13/06/2015
24
Just awesome web site, kept me laughing and crying every season. All good things as they say, best wishes to all of you for the efforts and articles, it's been a blast! It's a grand old team......COYB!
Seanblue, Blue mtns australia, 3:51 AM 13/06/2015
23
Not good news for Evertonians, we are spread all over and you have brought us all together as a family, hope there is some way we can still keep in touch. You can all be proud of what you have achieved over the years.
Tony, Upper Bullens, 9:51 PM 12/06/2015
22
Sad day. Thanks lads.
Dogger, Stanley Park, 9:31 PM 12/06/2015
21
Thank you for your wonderful insightful writings. I wish you and the rest of the team,good health and fortune for years to come.
the obsructed view, liverpool, 3:31 PM 12/06/2015
20
Sad news, thank you for years of pleasure
Geoff , Herefordshire , 1:36 PM 12/06/2015
19
Thank you for your effort over the years...
Toffeemcn, Hong Kong, 10:32 AM 12/06/2015
18
Farewell blues, your site cost me many hours of wasted work time, thanks for the memories.
Alex C, Sydney, 2:52 AM 12/06/2015
17
For the 13 years I have lived away from home it's been my go to. Thanks for everything.
RFitz, New Jersey, USA, 1:23 AM 12/06/2015
16
Say it ain't so, Joe.
Hotpants, Crosby, 11:00 PM 11/06/2015
15
First Cleverley now this. I will finger blast you all if you don't reverse this decision forthwith.
Mortz, Kent, 10:46 PM 11/06/2015
14
Will be missed used to enjoy lounge at Wesie before and after some laughs
Don , West Derby , 9:43 PM 11/06/2015
13
A sad day, thanks lads and good luck, we'll miss you
Stevo69, Formby, 9:18 PM 11/06/2015
12
Mark my words, it's no coincidence Blue Kipper goes missing same week as FIFA are investigated.
paul, Ormsirk, 9:07 PM 11/06/2015
11
Thanks for your work over the years. Top quality.
ken, ainsdale, 8:27 PM 11/06/2015
10
No way I'm gutted this site is finishing! Can't believe it...thanks for being my first source of Everton updates in the past few years. Gonna feel a bit lost now but thanks for your boss website, all the best.
Starkey, Liverpool, 8:26 PM 11/06/2015
9
No no no no no no no no 15 excellent years, only leaves bloody papers to for me now, never mind we rarely get a mention, So long and many thanks
Jim, noCarlisle, 8:26 PM 11/06/2015
8
Bullshit! You're not done til I say your done...or not done!
Devastated Doug, Liverpool, 7:51 PM 11/06/2015
7
I've enjoyed reading your regular writings on BLUE KIPPER. Why give up now,is it for financial reasons? I have a suggestion,why not ask all Evertonians to pay a small subscription to run things and have Everton events all over Uk and Ireland,I've just been in Dublin where we had a great evening with Graeme Sharp and Bob Latchford present. I run my own business website and except for hosting + domain name subs,costs are very small.
Gerald mcLoughlin, Northern Ireland, 7:47 PM 11/06/2015
6
Great piece Mickey. I have enjoyed reading the site over the years. It was a great one stop source of blue news for myself - informative with the added edge of great humour and quirky editorial and most importantly written by some of the greatest blues I have ever met. I also have some fond and unforgettable memories in the lounge, BK European aways and at the doos with my dad, scotch tommy and co. Thank you for this. Big thanks to Steve and the rest of the gang for putting everything together, it was top class. Good luck to you all for the future and I am sure to see you at the match.
Mark Jones, Blackpool, 7:40 PM 11/06/2015
5
Bad news but good luck to everybody for the future. Thanks for your efforts over the years. You'll be missed.
Spectator, Crosby, 7:28 PM 11/06/2015
4
Why?!
njr1330, Liverpool, 7:16 PM 11/06/2015
3
Today genuinely is a sad day. First Christopher Lee passes on, then Ron Moody (not fussed about his 'enders days though), another teacher gets stabbed, and now the kipper's had its chips. My bookmark bar is going to look decidedly bare from now on! Cheers for everything lads, quality site, quality content, good laughs and a good community. Sorry to see it go! COYB!
Tom R, Cardiff, 6:41 PM 11/06/2015
2
Well written Micky, you should try writing for a living :). Gutted the website is going, spent quite a bit of time on here over the years, so many thanks for your efforts and good luck on the future COYB'!!!
Steve, Formby, 6:22 PM 11/06/2015
1
Have I got this right?!?! Is Blue Kipper finishing?!?!?! Oh no!!!!
Wrighty, Dudley, 6:20 PM 11/06/2015
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