There’s an old saying, “never trust a man who asks you to trust him”, and, as with many an old saying, it’s founded on bitter experience. In his chairman’s report Bill Kenwright audaciously talks about trust on no less than eleven occasions; it makes us wonder if Bill Kenwright understands that trust is reciprocal, that trust has to be earned and that over the past thirteen years far too many have come to believe in another old saying, “you couldn’t trust him as far as you could throw him.”
What is trust? Integrity, strength, belief? Yes, all of those things, all of those things that Evertonians are seeing on the pitch but not off it, because after years of being misled, mistrust between fan and the management of the club has sadly, yet predictably, prevailed.
This latest plea for trust forms part of the 2012 accounts; trust us, they’re appalling. Record operating losses, record debt, reduced turnover, £5m alone lost in gate receipts since 2008, non-existent EBITDA, the list is endless and the reading is as uncomfortable as listening to the well rehearsed excuses.
Everton’s losses are only limited through receipts received from the disposals of assets, our assets; £24m in 2010, £14m in 2011 and £23m in 2012. They say the truth hurts; well trust us, this is the truth and these figures are hurting the club, are contributing to our stagnation and our seventeen year trophy free zone, another unwanted record of the Kenwright era.
We hope that in the Emperor’s world of new clothes that Bill Kenwright exists in, someone will develop the testicular fortitude to forward this to him so that he can better understand what the Evertonians he likes to think he identifies with are thinking.
Change a single letter and trust becomes truth; give us one and you’ll earn the other Bill, give us neither and you’ll be remembered as the worst chairman in the history of Everton Football Club, worse than Johnson, worse than Houlding who split the club due to his pursuance of personal greed.
Eleven times you’ve talked about trust, here’s another eleven occasions we’ve trusted you that you’re telling the truth….
- We trusted you that it was you who put everything on the line to save the club from Johnson
- We trusted you over the corporate governance of the club; that Sir Philip Green was just your friend.
- We trusted you that Christopher Samuelson and Fortress Sports Fund were the saviours of the club.
- We trusted you when you said you wouldn’t sell Wayne Rooney even for £50m
- We trusted you to deliver the fabulous Kings Dock Stadium
- We trusted you that our new investor was good for the club but all he brought was Rocky.
- We trusted you that Tesco were giving us £52m towards the cost of a new stadium
- We trusted you when you told us Goodison would soon fail its safety certificate
- We trusted you when you said Keith Harris was working to sell the club
- We trusted you when you said that you were putting 50% of the money advanced to you by Deutsche Bank against future ticket sales of your shows into Everton.
- We trusted you when you said no more loans, we can’t afford them, the day after you borrowed from vibrac.
Everton suffer from the all talk and no action syndrome. Bill, you can give us a story about the boy’s pen or being with Cavanagh as he ran on the pitch in ’66 at the drop of a hat, there’s no one better at playing the bon vivant or the raconteur, you’re the best front man in the business bar none; but talk is cheap, asked to take some action, give us some investment to push us on and the silence isn’t golden, it’s deafening.
Whilst other clubs forge ahead commercially we’re stifled by a series of partnerships necessitated by the total lack of any form of investment by any member of the board for almost twenty years; a situation which manifestly makes the club unattractive to prospective owners and only serves to perpetuate Everton’s plight.
Around the ground you’ll see banners proclaiming trust for David Moyes; you’ll never see one referring to you in that manner. The fans genuinely trust Moyes; if you want to earn that trust sell some shares, sell your soul, do whatever it takes but trust in Moyes to deliver the European gravy train which will coincide with the new broadcast deal and give Everton a better chance of joining the elite of the premiership. It’s January, we know what he’s asked you for, he must have targets, it’s time to put your trust to the test, not through a Leeds style gamble but through bringing forward guaranteed income to assist our manager.
The ball is firmly in your court Bill, time to stop the talking, put up or shut up; cometh the hour, cometh the man.
The second dose of contempt experienced by the more discerning Evertonian this week was the announcement that Everton in The Community has announced three new ambassadors. Joe Anderson and Jane Kennedy, we can understand, but the third, Sir Terry Leahy, beggars belief and is as bewildering as Everton in The Community’s role in the prevention of free speech which has resulted in lifelong Evertonian Richard Knights being banned from Goodison Park, visited by the Police at his home and threatened by a solicitor for campaigning against Everton’s Free School.
Sir Terry, you will recall, was involved in the abortive and extremely costly failure to relocate Everton to a supermarket car park, nine miles from Liverpool’s thriving city centre. Fans were told that Tesco were giving Everton more than £50m towards the cost of the stadium and Sir Terry, seen here on the right explaining the true contribution Tesco were providing, took part in a notorious media campaign conducted through the local press when the vote given to the fans wasn’t going as expected. Sir Terry promised Evertonians much but delivered very little; every little certainly didn’t help on this occasion.
Sir Terry’s company cost Everton untold millions through a scheme that Liverpool City Council planning committee described as a con in 2008. It eventually emerged, through an admission by Knowsley Council’s CEO, Sheena Ramsay, and others, that Tesco’s contribution was little more than the transfer of an increase in value of council land once planning permission was granted; land that had been transferred via a complex and secret arrangement to Tesco. The proposal and the inability of Everton to explain where the alleged money was coming from was highly criticised in the Report by The Secretary of State into the planning application which indicated that Everton’s directors were acting in their own interests.
KEIOC are extremely disappointed that people at Everton have such short memories of what they thought of Tesco and Knowsley after the decision. The fact that the feelings of many fans, opposed to Sir Terry’s appointment, have not even been considered, just totally ignored as usual, is symptomatic of the Everton of today where fans are silenced and common sense from fans ignored.