Too Nice To Be Winners

As I helped an elderly man and his wife up the steps at Wembley last night after Spurs scored their 4th, taking pelters from triumphalist home fans whilst the stewards looked on, I shook my head in despair.

Despair at the sheer venom of the opposition fans, yes, but also despair at another gutless, pathetic performance from those fortunate enough to wear the Royal Blue jersey.

Southampton had been rock bottom, or so I had thought, but we did at least score there. Yesterday we couldn’t manage a shot on target, not for the first time under Fireman Sam. Apparently he thinks we should be “more boring”. Is that even possible?

All over the pitch our players seemed happy to help Kane break his latest record; we hardly ever questioned a decision from the ref. Take the more than ample wages, clap the fans left at the end & scuttle off home.

At least we won’t get relegated! Hang on, when was that the sole objective? And we still need another 12 (twelve) points.

Tough questions should be asked by fans, Media, shareholders & all stakeholders in our Club. Questions asked & answers demanded.

On Tuesday at the Everton General Meeting, I heard Farhad Moshiri say that we were secure on the “periphery of the elite”. I heard Steve Walsh claim credit for not signing Vincent Jansen, & I heard the CEO, paid apparently over £500k p.a., tell us that 80% of our revenue came from TV money.

It was my debut at the EGM, as a proxy on this occasion. I was struck by how nice everyone was, in particular how deferential the audience were to those on stage. As a proxy I did not feel I could ask questions, much as I wanted to & probably on reflection should have.

When eventually the floor was opened to questions there were no tough ones, other than perhaps asking Moshiri about his relationship with Sky & why a Lukaku replacement hadn’t been secured before allowing him to leave. Even those questions weren’t followed up.

It was all very cosy, all very safe. No pressure, no stretching targets, no burning ambition. All very nice.

The CEO, having been asked for the last two years to explain roles & responsibilities, raced through a slide that kind of explained who did what at break-neck speed. Nobody asked for clarification.

Nobody asked the Board to explain the substantial increase in Directors’ emoluments/remuneration.

Nobody asked why the proposed Stadium has now been pushed back (at least) a year.

Nobody asked the CEO to explain how much “Two Thirds” of the Stadium funding amounted to that was to be provided by LCC. So Mayor Joe had to spend the next 24hours doing Media interviews & fire-fighting. No sign of any Everton presence, back to ” don’t tell ’em your name, Pike” as a modus operandi. Don’t trust anyone.

Nobody asked Moshiri when he expected us to join the elite, or indeed how open his “window of opportunity” still was.

EITC does wonderful work under Denise Barrett-Baxendale, & her presentation was the highlight of the night. Never ever can that work be underestimated or undervalued.

However, EFC is a football business, & right now the football part is in a complete mess at First Team level. Imagine going to an Apple AGM if and when their products were not working & nobody asking why!

My point is that, for all the great values our Club stands for & exemplified by EITC, we can at times be too nice.

Football is a business, & a results-driven business. At the moment we are under-performing on and off the pitch.

Don’t be deceived by “record” deals with Angry Birds, SportPesa etc. Our revenues are rising, but the elite clubs’ revenues are rising quicker. The gap is getting wider off the pitch.

We saw last night that it’s getting bigger on the pitch too.

Question is when will we stop being so nice & ask the questions that need to be asked?

Those in authority at our Club must be held to account.

NSNO? I think not…..

@rodgerarmstrong

4 thoughts on “Too Nice To Be Winners

  1. I’ve always thought the Everton AGMs were too nice Rodger, even before Kenwright cancelled them. I’ve attended about a dozen AGMs (pre Banking crash) and they were very bitter affairs; investors were seeing their money diminish, quite ugly.

    Being a limited company EFC can frustrate the bloody hell out of us. Elstone’s position for instance: what is his daily routine? What of his management decisions for implementing the Club’s long and short term plans. That presentation was unlike any other CEO address, he mentions nothing about revenue streams, networking, PR, advertising, raising new capital, marketing plans…and nothing on the dreadful communication within the business. Fans deserve so much more.

    Sorry to read the unfortunate events at Wembley. Londoners simply leave me aghast. I’ve had plenty of trouble at Chelsea, West Ham and Spurs, down the years I hate the place. I’d complain.

    Love your writing Rodger, Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

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