The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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My Appointment, Our Objectives
I’m delighted that the Chairman and the Board of Directors have put their faith in me and I'm proud to represent the Everton at the highest level and to help shape our great Club’s future.
No one could fail to be aware of the significance of the past and the role our history plays in setting expectations for the future. It’s a big responsibility but one that doesn’t daunt me or our team. David said after Sunday’s game that there’s a style and dignity about Everton Football Club and that’s true. I’ve been here three and a half years and I know there’s an Everton Way to do things – that’s a way which embraces quality, pride and integrity. I have a team who believes that too, a team who really believes nil satis nisi optimum.
At a time when the reputation of certain clubs is taking a battering; at a time when the Game’s critics are sharpening their knives, our Club’s status continues to grow. There’s the greatest respect for our achievements on the field and my job is to earn similar respect off the field. In short, I guess, we can claim success when the world of football rates our efforts away from the field as highly as it rates David’s on-field efforts.
Much of that on-field reputation is centred on team spirit and resilience but I suspect this probably ‘wears a bit thin’ with our players. We have some great footballers, players with real talent, but talent that seems to me to be sometimes overlooked. We’re fortunate that our players underpin this talent with spirit and pride – not always the case when we look around the Premier League. Again, I’m keen we replicate the same blend – those attributes and that commitment, off the field.
We have a simple outlook – to make Evertonians proud to be blue; to grow the Everton family; and, to develop the loyalty of our fans. If we are successful, then we have a great platform from which to enhance our ability to challenge at the top of the most demanding league in the world.
Supporters’ Club Visits
How do we do this? There are many ways to achieve this reputation and these objectives including listening and responding to your feedback, rolling our sleeves up and being active in our community, rewarding our loyal fans, learning from others doing it better, and above all, by not standing still and making a real commitment to progress.
As far as rolling our sleeves up goes, only last week we began a series of supporters’ club visits in Southport. The visits are about getting closer to our fans and listening to views about the Club and how we do things. They’re also about exploring how Supporters’ Clubs can help us with our task of growing the Evertonian family. Over the course of 2009, our intention is to visit a number of our Supporters’ Clubs and if you’d like a visit, contact Darren Griffiths at email@example.com.
Growing our Club
Of course, everything we do is about generating money to invest in the playing squad. All our focus is on providing the resources to ensure the Manager, the first team, the Academy can maximise Premier League points and Cup success. And, as I’ve said on many occasions, the key is to fill Goodison every week. I was reviewing some financial information last week and for the five years to 2006/07, Newcastle United generated almost £450m of income – in very simple terms, this represents their spending power – Newcastle’s ability to invest in transfers and pay players. Over the same period, Everton generated £260m. For every £1 we earn, Newcastle earns over £1.70 and would they change places with us? Of course they would. The credit for that has to go to the Chairman, the Board, the Manager and our players.
How do we catch up? As has been discussed widely before, the stadium is, of course, a key factor and what the new stadium will do is make up some of that gap. If then, at the same time we retain the stability and good management, on and off the field, our Club will continue to prosper. A negative decision on Kirkby will make that task harder. However, if that’s the decision, it’s not a task we’re afraid of and it’s one, in true Everton style, we’ll embrace.
A subject that will provide much debate over the next week and a half is FA Cup replay tickets – probably the most sought after tickets in football. Information on how to get them is here but please book them early and if you can, buy online – it’s secure and easy. Our Fan Centre is an area we’ve invested heavily in over the past two years and we’re proud of the team and confident in our systems and procedures but please be patient with us. Selling 40,000 tickets in 10 days is a big challenge but one I know they’re up to.
By the time that game comes around, the transfer window will have closed, hopefully following some inward transfer activity.
Clearly David’s squad is depleted and results over the past eight weeks have won praise from all quarters of the game. Nice as these plaudits are, the Manager, the Chairman and the Board are acutely aware that we need to strengthen the squad and David’s team has been scouring the domestic and international leagues in an attempt to find players who can improve the team and help secure again, European football for the Blues.
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy. As with almost all Premier League club’s, funds are limited and, in addition available talent is scarce. It’s probably stating the obvious, but it’s very difficult to persuade a club to release a player who can make a difference at the top of the toughest league in the world – that is, make a significant contribution for the Blues. But we will work tirelessly ahead of next Monday’s deadline, and remain optimistic and hopeful by the time of my next update that I can be discussing our latest arrival at the Club.
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