Below is a full transcript of the Fans Conference.
Today is absolutely about us, talking to our fans, updating you on the things that we believe are important to you, it’s also important that we listen, indeed, I guess, attacking it straight head on, their has been six questions tabled on various yellow slips that are flying around the room a group of people have decided they are the six question they want to ask and, if am overdoing, their credibility and giving them too much credence then forgive me, but I may as well start by answering those six questions so, if you can forgive me for going slightly off script.
Q: Why has there been a sustained lack of investment in the playing squad?
And my belief absolutely is that there has been, the last 6 or seven years has seen continued support for David Moyes and i’ll talk a little more about where your season ticket money goes and indeed where all the money goes, because all the money at Everton football clubs goes into supporting the best possible first team squad that we can, absolutely, all our efforts, every last bit of revenue, every opportunity we have, we give, as much as we can to give David Moyes the best crack of the whip in the transfer market we can, we invest heavily in academy, we invest heavily in scouting, in youth development and all sorts of areas, so there has been in my view sustained investment and i’ll come on to that in some more detail.
Q: What value have the club’s owners placed on the club?
Well, the simple truth of the matter is that, it is private and confidential and it’s something that is expressly the opinion of those shareholders and it’s for those shareholders to decide, I am not a shareholder in Everton football club its up the individual shareholders to set that price. What I do know is that the price hasn’t been the reason why Everton football club hasn’t been sold. I am of the absolute opinion that the shareholders are not asking too much money for their football club and that is absolutely not the reason that Everton hasn’t been sold, but what value is a private matter and a matter for those shareholders,
Q: Why has nobody been appointed with the sole purpose of selling the club?
There has been lots of people appointed to look at selling Everton football club, our board of directors has a phenomenal network of contacts, that cover the globe, and know who anyone who might interested in buying a football club, we have also been approached by several agents who have wanted to help us sell the club, we have agents appointed in certain territories, we had a guy looking for investment in the middle east, we have had Keith Harris looking and bring investment to the table.
There is a network of people who are absolutely working on selling Everton Football Club, and will continue to do it. And we can talk about why that investment occurred, why hasn’t that happened, and who knows what the reason are, but I do say we have to be careful for what we wish for because I think for every one good new owner coming in to football there have been nine or ten bad ones, and good ones we missed out, perhaps we missed out Roman Abramovich and perhaps we missed out on Sheikh Mansour, but did we miss out on the Glazers, did we miss out on Hicks and Gillete, did we miss out on the people who bought Portsmouth or Newcastle, am not sure we did and i think we have to be careful.
That doesn’t mean to say the board is reluctant to sell that just means that the search for invest is something that, is not something that occupies us every single day, it is, I just think that we have to sell to the right person with the right motives and someone who is prepared to make an investment into Everton Football Club, because any rational investor looking to buy in to football is looking in the wrong place because football is absolutely not a rational business and anybody buying into Everton will need very, very deep pockets with some degree of uncertainty whether or they will ever get a return on that investment, having said all of that I believe that Everton is very fantastically exciting and attractive investment.
Q: Which major shareholders actually have their shares for sale?
Simple, all of them.
Q: What are the legal quagmires that have cause the Parkend to grind to a halt?
An unforeseen set of circumstances were as a result of some security, land security issues we have been in a two month holding pattern where two of our primary lenders are arguing about some security issues on the land from which the development will sit, we hope we have reached a breakthrough on that, we are talking day in and day out to break that, and once we break that we will start work straight away on that, I am absolutely convinced that the new development will go ahead and we are working day in day out to make sure it happens.
Q: What plans are in place to either redevelop Goodison or to find a new home within Liverpool?
Well question 5 really was what plans are there to redevelop Goodison, we are looking at a major nine to ten million pound investment just out there, which will deliver an absolutely fantastic new club shop, a museum, a hospitality block and some new offices, so there is substantial redevelopment already planned and just waiting to happen, a redevelop beyond that at Goodison we’ve been through those arguments a thousand times, it is incredibly difficult, the site is too small, if we stayed on this site we’d end up with about 10,000 less seats, if we looked to extend it, we’d need to extend it in to the school, in the houses adjacent here which would be problematic, no certainty we would get the land, no certainty how, at what price we’d have to pay for it, and the biggest single problem of all our funding streams are hugely restricted,any new stadium development one of the key funding sources is a naming rights deal, that would be restricted, we wouldn’t have the funds from the sale of Goodison, there’s lots of reason why sadly Goodison redevelopment is difficult. A new home, we are in constant dialogue with Liverpool city council about new sites, there are three or four sites being talked about at the moment , are any of em, are any of those likely to come to fruition in the near future in the short term? I really don’t think so the problem is, is a lack of funds, a lack of money, what we need to do is to find a new Kirbky type model where a 3rd party of private, private company or organisation is prepared to fund 40/50 percent of this development, there isn’t a football stadium in the Premier League or in the land in my opinion that has been built without substantial 3rd party help, and that’s exactly the model we need to find, there is a tremendous amount of work going on with that, we have a new a city council that are looking at this 100% more positively but their isn’t an easy solution, so that’s the answer to those 6 questions, and am happy to take more questions on that.