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GOODISON RAW: Nailing another Blue Union nonsense
by Peter Bottomley

The Blue Union narrative of what is wrong at Everton tends to be long on accusations and short on facts. It’s like a laundry list of conspiracy theories. So let’s have a close look at some of the facts surrounding one of their key allegations. Let’s go to their constant insistence that the substantial rise in ‘other operating costs’ during the year that Finch Farm opened, as shown in Everton’s annual reports & accounts, represents something which hints at incompetence or which is suspicious, something in their words which is “still inadequately explained.”

The big jump in these costs, to which they refer, occurred when they climbed from £11.7m in 2006/7 to £21.1m in 2007/08. Of course there is an explanation. In the 2007/08 annual report this increase was described thus: “Further significant increases in operating costs were also incurred in the year following the opening of the new Finch Farm training facility. The additional operating costs compared with those incurred at Bellefield are seen as a necessary investment to provide the appropriate training facilities required by both first team players and academy players at a Premier League club of Everton’s standing.” So there you have it, crisp and clear, in the independently audited annual report.

Clearly the Blue Union are of the view that the club lies in its annual reports – an extremely serious accusation – and that the independent auditors, Deloitte’s, are complicit. But let’s look at it further. Is the explanation credible? Let’s run a few comparisons of the Finch Farm training complex and Bellefield.

Bellefield was 8.9 acres in size. Finch Farm is 55 acres, in terms of land alone over 5 times bigger. Finch Farm enabled the club to bring together the first team squad and the youth academy under the same roof, whereas previously they had trained separately. The facilities at Bellefield were built fifty years ago, in the early 1960’s, and to quote a Toffeeweb description: “state-of-the-art at the time, the place is now sadly well past its best.”

Construction of the new buildings and facilities at Finch Farm cost about £10m and it is currently valued at approximately £15m. The facility features 10 full-size grass pitches on three plateaus, one of which is floodlit, along with an additional floodlit synthetic pitch and specialist training areas for fitness work and goalkeepers, as well as an exact recreation of the pitch at Goodison Park. Inside the training complex there are extensive changing facilities for both the senior squad and Academy players. The indoor facilities include the following: gym, synthetic indoor training pitch, hydrotherapy pools, spa, sauna, physiotherapy rooms, media centre, video lounges, video editing suite, offices and catering facilities.

So the move from Bellefield to Finch Farm would have certainly caused a huge jump in the level of business rates, as well as substantial increases in all other costs too: electricity, security, personnel, cleaning, pitch maintenance, the list is endless.

So do we find the club’s explanation of this sharp jump in costs credible? – yes we do. Will the Blue Union? – probably not.   

So let’s try another tack. Let’s look at another Premier League club with a modern new training facility, do a comparison and see how their ‘other operating costs’ compare with Everton’s. Sunderland’s training complex is called, unsurprisingly, The Academy of Light. It is described as having: gym, hydrotherapy area, treatment area, changing facilities, media lounge, offices and a refectory as well as 12 or more pitches depending on the size they are marked out to, but not apparently a sauna or synthetic indoor training pitch. So it sounds similar to Finch Farm. In the accounts of both clubs the ‘other operating costs’ item includes the costs associated with operating their stadia, training facilities, travel and accomodation, in short all operating expenses other than salaries, amortisation and depreciation. The Stadium of Light is a new state-of-the-art facility which the Old Lady, Goodison, certainly is not and the costs of keeping her going, are of course high, and one of the reasons a move to a new stadium is seen as essential.  No two clubs are exactly the same of course, accounting policies will differ.

Sunderland’s turnover in the year to 31 July 2009 was £64.5m, while Everton’s turnover in the year to 31 May 2009 was £79.7m. So in terms of revenues Sunderland is 19% smaller than Everton. The item that interests us – ‘other operating costs’ – at Sunderland were £17.5m and at Everton £21.2m. Thus ‘other operating costs’ as a percentage of turnover at the two clubs is an identical 27%. So a comparison of two Premier League clubs, both with new-state-of-the-art training facilities to support, shows that they spend an identical proportion of their turnover on these facilities and all the other items that go to make up ‘other operating costs’. A coincidence – hardly. For us this validates the figure shown in Everton’s accounts and shows that it is consistent and credible.

Finally it is interesting to note that Sunderland made a loss that year of £24.1m while Everton lost £6.9m.

Will any of this satisfy the Blue Union? – probably not. Do we care? – no.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Peter Bottomley

Blogs for Everton site Dixie's60. First game at Goodison: 5 Nov 1960, EFC 1 - WBA 1...hooked ever since Follow me on Twitter: Follow me on Twitter: @dixies60pete

43 Comments

If it’s costing us £10 million pounds a year more than bellefield to run then we’re being robbed blind, and so are Sunderland. You do realise that that amounts to 192000 pounds per week. That’s not just £192000 per week, it’s £192000 per week MORE than Bellefield. Are you serious?
I notice you also comment on Safety Certificates for Goodison. Care to elaborate on that one?
No, I thought not.

by Jimmy on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm


it costs that much more than belfield because it is that much better than bellfield, you wouldn’t pay the same price to buy goodison as you would the emiratess. Also £192000 is less than rooney earns in a week 😉

by Mark on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm


Again,Excellent piece. You put facts and figures and already you have someone from, I presume, Blue Union trying to rubbish what your saying. In other words, The whole board are liars and so are Deloitte’s !

by David Hooper on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm


A few more numbers here, (in 2007) bellefield cost 300k a year to run, a 27 times increase on FF, the cost of renting back FF 1.2m a year (on top of the 11.7m increase), so total cost of 12.9m a year, that figure is huge and should be questioned. Total invested by the current board into development and building of finch farm £0.

by John Harrison on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm


Bisham Abbey AND lilleshall only costs 88000 a week and that has a golf course.
David, I never said the board were lying. I said they were getting robbed blind. Can you read?

by Jimmy on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm


Excellent piece again… Everton have made some really poor business decisions over the years… We need investment quickly…
But we have been saying this for many years , theirs some excellent stadiums out their and we are years behind them all in term’s of corparate hospitality and miking more money on match day
Ian Fredson

by Ian Fredson on Mar 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm


Good article, Finch Farm is a wonderful facility but why don’t the club own and save the huge amount of money being ‘wasted’ on rent.

by Joe Rimmer on Mar 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm


Unless you work at the club, these assumptions are nothing more than a guess. So can someone explain why these guesses are “nailing another blue union nonsense”?

I have no problem with your statements, you may believe you’ve worked out the truth through some good honest investigation. But please don’t present your guesses as some kind of sword of truth defeating heathens and liars at every turn, there’s no more truth in your article than there is in anything the Blue Union have presented. Besides which, like so many others you’re misrepresenting their statements.

Which is a bit ridiculous, I’m sure you’ll agree.

by Jez Wyke on Mar 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm


    Hi Jez – Which statements was Peter misrepresenting in this article?

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm


Anyone remember when football fans talked tactics, player performances, rival fans, great goals, bad mistakes etc etc. I’m sure Bill has made his fair share of mistakes at running the club but isn’t it funny how anyone who is independent of the club talks about Everton as well run club? SAF, the LMA, the FA the premier league, any pick of chairmen from across the leagues and of course any player wanting in or on their way out of the club. I’m not saying your all being ridiculous or anything like that but how many of you are actually qualified to question what bill has done? How do you know what it takes to run a football club in this day and age? the way I see it bills only problem is a lack of money and a love of spin and from a guy that’s in theatre is it any surprise? I miss when football was all about football…

I’m not having a go at anyone in particular here just a football fan tired of this side show

by Mark on Mar 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm


    I agree Mark. I was talking to my sister recently, and she asked me if Andrei Kanchelskis was that good. I told her he certainly bloody was, and that I’d be blogging about it next week.

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm


Absolute nonsense article when you’re talking about Finch Farm costing 10m to build and is now worth 15m, and you’re attributing that to the club… When the club simply sold the land and another company built and owns it!!

by Dave L on Mar 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm


Peter interesting account. On the one hand one would expect Kenwright as chairman no less (and self proclaimed greatest living blue) to have known the gist of all this himself when challenged about it, which says all you need to know about his grasp of things. But on the other hand it looks like you may well have shot one of the BU’s cherished foxes. If you were able to dig this out why didn’t the BU aficianados, or maybe it was all too inconvenient in the war of rival propaganda – in which the first casualty is always truth.

by Brian on Mar 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm


Excellent article but as you so rightly say it wont satisfy the Buffoon Union.
But hey why let the truth get in the way of a good old moan?

by Ste on Mar 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm


This question has been getting asked for years. Why haven’t the club just answered it.

Oh, I forgot, the club don’t need to engage with the fans do they.
Fans area pain in the neck.

by Jimmy on Mar 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm


Peter, you’re wasting your time with those idiots.

That fundraiser they shouted about was a total flop which is why they’ve kept a low profile about it after trumpeting it everywhere.

They’re just paranoid liars and hypocrites.

by Frank Moore on Mar 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm


Frank,

All is well at Everton then? Open your eyes.

by Jimmy on Mar 7, 2012 at 9:02 am


    @Jimmy – Where does Frank say that all is well at Everton?

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm


Peter,

That’s an interesting and well put together argument, even if objectively it’s less of an article than the one you’re questioning; perhaps “nailing” is a somewhat enthusiastic claim?

For us at The Blue Union we regard it as more of a platform for a far more sensible and reasoned discussion than those usually offered; an example of which can be seen in the response, “Sensible people don’t pay attention to these assholes.”

The previous Blue Union article contains a multitude of facts on a range of subjects; facts such as the findings contained within the government report into Destination Kirkby which conclusively proved that the board lied to its fans over the £52m cross-subsidy from Tesco and that the whole proposal was for the sole benefit of the owners or facts such as the meagre pittance offered to David Moyes, from the sale of a host of players, as he bids to operate a competitive team or the erosion of the balance sheet under Bill Kenwright from £20m of assets to £35m of liabilities. These aren’t conspiracy theories Peter, these are all indisputable facts; people can choose to ignore them but it doesn’t matter, they’re still facts.

You have chosen to concentrate on one very interesting claim; the one concerning the club’s other operating costs or to be more precise the remarkable increase in the club’s other operating costs in 2008, an unprecedented increase of 80% over the same line in the accounts in 2007.

You are of course correct when you state the explanation given in the 2008 accounts was that those “further significant increases” were claimed to be related to Finch Farm. It is with this statement that many people have concerns, as Everton has a well-deserved reputation with regard to misleading information and misleading their fans; look no further than the claim that Everton were receiving £52m from Tesco towards the cost of a stadium.

As with Ed Bottomley’s article, you’re the only one making the suggestion that The Blue Union are claiming that Deloitte are incompetent; it’s akin to Ed’s accusation that The Blue Union claim Bill Kenwright has “trousered” the other operating costs. We’re not saying any of that; our concerns surround the increase in the level of other operating costs and, as you will see, those concerns are well founded.

As “Everton accepts the close scrutiny of its fans” we believe that instead of talking unqualified gobbledegook, which for some passes for the most detailed explanation of their finances by any club, they, Everton, should address those real concerns with clarity.

We’re unaware of your background Peter and we’re not sure you understand the role of an auditor. An auditor isn’t acting as a forensic accountant; they’re checking the veracity of the accounts, they’re looking for compliance with UKGAAP, they’re checking on the health of the company’s financial systems. Yes, as part of that process, they may well examine the paper trail of an invoice, but beyond looking at the integrity of the company receiving payment, through VAT registration and company registration, they will probably look no further. For example, auditors Grant Thornton were responsible for the audit of the Rangers accounts. They would have seen millions being paid to companies acting as EBT’s, but there was nothing illegal about that; a bona fide company presenting Rangers with an invoice that was duly paid and which would form part of their £14m other operating costs.

Before we explain the perceived problem with the explanations given by Everton, for this remarkable rise in the other operating costs, we would just like to clear up your confusion on what Finch Farm actually replaced. It wasn’t simply Bellefield; it also replaced the academy at Netherton, an establishment that had a greater budget than Bellefield, according to the information we have seen.

You have highlighted the excellent facilities at Finch Farm and there’s no doubt whatsoever that they’re of the standard you would expect at a major football club. You know of course we own none of these facilities; the only cost attributable to the line, other operating costs, for these facilities is the £1.1m paid per annum in lease payments, since we moved in five years ago; it’s recently risen to £1.26m.

How much of the other operating costs are attributable to Finch Farm? Well simple arithmetic can give quite an accurate figure. Over the past twelve months the answer to any criticism of the finances has provoked the “85p in the pound goes on Finch Farm” response.

85% of Everton’s current turnover is £70m and we know that Everton’s total wage bill is £58m, of which 97%, £56m, is likely attributable to staff at Finch Farm, therefore subtracting £56m from £70m gives an operating cost for Finch Farm today of £14m, an accurate representation of the previous combined operating costs of Bellefield and the Netherton Academy and the £9.4m increase.

These are not The Blue Union’s figures, these are Everton’s own.
You correctly reiterate Robert Elstone’s explanations given in January; you’ll find the Blue Union had given a similar explanation in October of last year. The problem is it doesn’t add up; there is no way a building and a large field costs this much to run. It’s a huge sum of money and when discussing football financial matters, we forget how large a sum of money it is. You have offered sensible suggestions but still this does not account for such a large sum of money.

The 85p in the pound is not the only explanation given by Robert Elstone; increased and on-going capex, in the form of expensive medical equipment, lawnmowers and lighting rigs have all been offered in a bid to explain this expenditure. If this were true they’d be reflected in the accounts as an increase in the value of tangible assets – they’re not. The book value has actually reduced from £10m in 2008 to £9m today. Maybe they haven’t bought this expensive equipment, maybe they’ve leased it? No, again it would show up in the accounts and total lease payments are down to £1.5m per annum today from £1.7m in 2008.

You point to the business rates; the Land Valuation Office indicates that the current rateable value of Finch Farm is £645,000, prior to this, and applicable to all the published accounts by Everton whilst at Finch Farm, the rateable value was £320,000. The rating multiplier, supplied by Knowsley Council, is set at 0.433 meaning that Everton’s liability, even before any possible Sports Club relief, hardly makes a dent in the £14m.

You also mention energy; what will be more energy efficient, a modern construction or two older buildings, one, as you say, constructed in the sixties? Admittedly the new building and the total equipment could be more reliant on energy but by how much, two, three, four times? Once again it hardly makes a dent.

One of the main reasons The Blue Union are so disbelieving of these explanations is that we have seen the club’s other operating costs prior to moving into Finch Farm. If we told you that the operation of both sites, Bellefield and Netherton, cost in the region of £11,000 a day you may be surprised but we can assure you that was the ballpark for operating a couple of buildings in a couple of fields.

When you now consider that the figure Everton claim is the cost to operate Finch Farm, a building in a field, stands at £38,000 a day you can begin to understand our scepticism that is based on being once bitten twice shy; Everton have been misleading their fans for years and they’re doing it again over this seemingly reassuring claim that 85p in the pound goes into Finch Farm.

Of course it doesn’t cost £14m, as has been suggested, and the whole exercise is nothing but a ruse to distract from the total other operating cost figure of £24m that is stated in the accounts.

We’re unsure why you have highlighted the case of Sunderland; you haven’t stated what their other operating costs were prior to moving to their Academy of Light facility or if in doing so they experienced an increase attributable to this, which would of course have some relevance to our discussion; the fact that they have similar facilities is of little consequence if they’re not claiming that they’re paying £38,000 a day to operate it.

As for your claim that Everton spend money on retaining their stadium safety certificate, this is completely disingenuous as members of KEIOC, who met the city council’s safety officer, charged with issuing safety certificates, over the claims made by Everton when trying to move to Kirkby,will testify. Yes the Gwladys St and Bullens Road stands require additional maintenance due to the nature of their steelwork, unlike the Main Stand and the Park End, but to claim this is an excessive part of the £24M other operating costs or that it is somehow responsible for the 80% hike is erroneous; there are on-going costs at every facility but Everton spend less on their stadium than some Championship clubs hence why it’s in the state it’s in. The message in the 2008 accounts of spending £1m was propaganda for the gullible who believed Bill Kenwright when he said in that year that the Bullens Rd would soon fail its safety certificate; absolute rubbish and yet another bare faced lie, as the fact it is still open with no problems bears testimony to what was said in the meeting between KEIOC and the council. The unavoidable fact is that the annual maintenance requirement was also a requirement prior to the 80% increase.

Our contention is simple; Everton has a track record of hiding information from their fans and shareholders. We believe that fans have a right to know what is going on in their clubs and who actually owns them; they are not simply private businesses they are essentially community assets, a contention which the Government agrees with and will soon be introducing legislation to that effect.

Last night’s revelations, from Walter Smith, only serve to confirm The Blue Union’s suspicions over the state of governance within Goodison Park; nothing has changed.

by The Blue Union on Mar 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm


    @TheBlueUnion – Another detailed response, this time to Pete’s post.
    I won’t speak for him, but I want to clarify what I said in my post, in bold blue no less.

    To clarify: Not all Blue Union supporters are rabid blue loons, but all rabid blue loons are Blue Union supporters. You cannot claim to be fair minded, when the very people protesting alongside you think that Kenwright has trousered the other operating costs and that Moyes has the managerial nous of freshly pulverized roadkill.

    I know that The Blue Union’s officers don’t think that Kenwright “trousered” the other operating costs. However, a portion of the people alongside you in your marches do think this.

    Just to clarify one more time. I think that Bialystock Kenwright isn’t a competent Chairman but I do NOT support the Blue Union.

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm


great stuff ,keep up the good work ,The Blue union seem to me to be full of words and no action ,why dont they go out and find investment ,the facts are simple ,for any one to buy or invest in OUR great club there needs to be a remote possibilty that everton revenue,s will increase ,the only way this will happen is with a NEW GROUND ,so we are looking for some one who has a spare 400 MILLION to invest i dont even think that would be enough even if bill gave away the club for nothing .The blue union shouls tell us what they would do if bill gave them the club tomorrow and said go on then get on with it

by dave longworth on Mar 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm


Have just read that Blue Union response and it’s good that this site is at least getting some decent debate but I’m wondering if there are any other bottomleys to call on because you’ve both crashed and burned here as the blue union are not only able to answer you both with some credibility but they are now using analytical argument to destroy what Everton are saying and having looked at it there’s is the more credible in both cases. For me it’s Dixie’s Sixty 0 Blue Union 2. Is it half time or have you thrown the towel in?

by Alan on Mar 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm


    Hi Alan,
    I love the fact that The Blue Union took the time to respond to both our posts. I haven’t spoken to Peter yet but I’m sure he’ll have something to say. As for The Blue Union’s response to my post – I was a little confused by it.

    Whilst I thought it made some great points against Bill Kenwright, I am already anti-BK. I wasn’t accusing the Blue Union of thinking that BK has trousered the other operating costs, or of thinking that he’s a devious general sec destroying our club on purpose – I was accusing some of their supporters. The knee jerkers.

    What I do find alarming is that they are telling me what I think. I wrote a blog post saying that I was slap bang in the middle. The Blue Union responded and told me that I wasn’t in the middle, that I was essentially on BK’s side:

    “Several Blue Union supporters recently contacted various officers with a link to an article published on Everton fan site ‘Dixie’s Sixty’ which claimed to be a balanced view from a supporter equally fed up with The Blue Union and the board but, once read, appears to be more than 85p in the pound against our good selves.”

    I don’t like being told what I think, it’s unsettling.

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm


great site and well informed comments for people to decide on

by Peter on Mar 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm


Peter and Ed, as I said – you’re wasting your time with them. Like petulant kids they thrive on attention for its own sake. They also thrive on peddling rumours and then denying that’s what they mean. The point about them is they will never be satisfied with whoever is in charge and whatever is going on on the pitch. I couldn’t care less if some of them are accountants, engineers or shop stewards, as if that makes them better or more knowledgeable and committed than anyone else. They’re old women with nothing better to do and they are the ones who have tried to split the fan base not the club. All they have become is tedious as any ale house bore.

by Frank Moore on Mar 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm


I’ll take that back after reading Frank’s comment, some people still to learn. Peter has set out his opinion on why the other operating costs are believable and the blue union have responded using analytical argument to great effect. They have done this eloquently and succinctly in my opinion without resorting to any abuse. Peter’s case is good but the more compelling and comprehensive retort is the winner in my opinion. The killer is the breakdown of this 85p in the pound which I have personally heard from Mr Elstone. Well done to Peter and blue union but lets have respect and less of the childish remarks from other less informed posters who add little value to the discussion and devalue the site.

by Peter on Mar 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm


Ed,

It would seem your own readers like to tell you what to think as much as you claim the Blue Union do, I don’t like to name drop but Frank Moore is doing a compelling job of it.

by Cheryl on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm


    @Cheryl,

    It’s probably over-fussy semantic nit-picking from me. Scratch that, it is over-fussy semantic nit-picking, but here’s my take nevertheless.

    Frank’s telling me what to think. “Don’t listen to them Ed, etc etc, yaddah yaddah”.

    The Blue Union are telling me what I think. “Ed – You say you’re frustrated with the Blue Union and BK and you’re slap bang in the middle. But really you’re not. You think BK is preferable to the BU. etc etc, yaddah yaddah”

    A plague on both their houses. And any other houses that fancy plagues too.

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm


Ed, there’s no need for additional clarification; we understood you made a mistake hence our response that The Blue Union do not believe Bill Kenwright has “trousered” the other operating costs which was perhaps a subliminal attempt to dumb down the views of The Blue Union, we have no idea.

Whether general supporters of The Blue Union believe what you suggest is neither here nor there; they’re simply opinions of Evertonians that we’re yet to meet. You may hear an idiot in the Everton crowd shouting racial abuse, thankfully a rarity these days, but on hearing it you would accuse Bill Kenwright of running a racist club? Of course not; a sensible person would learn and understand the official stance on such vile behaviour and accept that.

There’s no need to believe that we’re telling you what to think because we’re not. You wrote an article which masqueraded as a balanced piece, but even a cursory glance tells you that two thirds is an inaccurate rant against the Blue Union who, of your own volition, you do not support which is, of course, entirely your prerogative as is ours when we point out to you, despite what you think, that the article is a clear attempt to undermine The Blue Union through misinformation and inaccuracies which we have attempted to address and we appreciate your integrity in highlighting the responses and those of your readers who understand what we are saying.

From reading the comments posted on both articles it would appear that your readers are slowly beginning to realise that these highly opinionated pieces which you appear to believe pass for informative editorial are nothing of the kind.

We’re more than happy to enter into any educated and civil debate but reading responses like, “They’re old women with nothing better to do and they are the ones who have tried to split the fan base not the club. All they have become is tedious as any ale house bore.” makes us realise that all some have to offer are insults.

Dave Longworth – why would the Blue Union waste their time attempting to sell something they don’t own? Despite a lack of comment from Everton, professionals in the form of Inner Circle Sports have been contracted to sell the club, an initiative proposed by The Blue Union and, not for the first time, adopted by Everton because it’s logical and it’s a sound business proposition.

Similarly we would not waste our time pondering the outcome of what we would do if Bill Kenwright gave the club to The Blue Union as it wouldn’t happen Dave.

Concerning the possibility of a new owner coming in and handing over £400m for a new stadium can you point out where this has happened with another premiership club? On the basis that it hasn’t happened and notwithstanding the fact that there are no suitable sites, as confirmed by Everton and Liverpool, the KEIOC element of The Blue Union has been diligently working with the council on this Football Quarter concept which promises to deliver an environment in which both clubs could flourish, but once again the opponents cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that fans really are making a difference while highly paid club officials are just making a mess.

TBU

by The Blue Union on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm


    Delusional. Utterly delusional. Please read my article again. Two thirds of it is NOT an inaccurate rant against the Blue Union. You are paranoid in the extreme. Interesting that the only DIRECT allegation I level (about recording the BK meeting) is the only question you dodge. I’d love for you to list any innacuracies, but your one track minds keep veering back to Kenwright bashing. Come on then, out with it, where are the innacuracies? Your reply answered different questions and pulled allegations out of thin air.

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm


OK we all know EFC isn’t being well run. Now lets cut to what we don’t know – how the BU think they’re helping matters. The story so far. The BU’s transcript of their meeting with Kenwright not only highlighted his many shortcomings (nothing new there!) but also their’s. The exchanges read as unplanned uncoordinated muddled and served only to close down any further opportunity for dialogue by anyone else. Where has this got them – shouting accusations at the chairman through the railings on match day. They are also patently failing to get their message across with the media – again which is to do what exactly? They bleat about being misrepresented. The BU claim that it isn’t personal is continually contradicted by their banners messages etc. They make absolutely no attempt to counter their more rabid acolytes hurling abuse at anyone with a different take on matters yet respond exhaustively (as above) to those who dare challenge them on any aspect of the problems at EFC. But still no ideas on remedies. It all sounds more like a frustrated and incoherent tirade denigrating the club and fellow supporters. This is hardly likely to secure wider support for the BU let alone interest from any potential investors or others who could make a positive contribution to EFC’s plight. How is any of this helping matters?

by Brian on Mar 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm


as i said previous ,if everton handed over the club to the blue union tomorrow for nothing ,what would the blue union do

by dave longworth on Mar 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm


ED give up ,you will never get any one from blue union or there sheep to give an answer to a direct question , so blue union what would you lot do if you were running the club tomorrow

by dave longworth on Mar 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm


Ed, we’re not being delusional. Your article talks about the Blue Union for two thirds of it’s content and contains a lot of misinformation which we’ve been happy to correct.

by The Blue Union on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm


    The Blue Union – Correcting people’s opinions since 2011. See you in September lads.

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm


This is utterly ridiculous, and some of the comments afterwards are just as bad. Liverpool run their academy for 3mil a year. Apparently 85p in the £1 goes to FF. It is complete and utter nonsense and Elstone etc have been blown out the water. EVENTUALLY some of you will realise. So what do people do? The old “I dont like Kenwright, but I dont support B.U” thing is tiresome. In other words, your not happy with the current custodians, but choose to sit there and do nothing. Yet, when people highlight these failings you have a pop at them too. You’ll get splinters you know sitting on that fence! AGM’s have been banned for 5 years because good old Bill was “bored” of questions. If they did tape it SO WHAT? It may be another 5 years before anyone else got an interview. This man and this board tell bare faced lies and ban any journo or reporter from entering the ground. Fact. Nobody spoke about the contents of the meeting they spoke about the alleged tape. The club were lovin it. Yet you people say “Im not happy with that but what would B.U do” Unbelievable. I really do despair. A challenge to both Bottomley’s (mainly Ed) I do blogs, nowhere near as good as yours I might add, heres the challenge. Robert Earl’s BCR sports group is based in the British Virgin Island. Vibrac who we have had two loans off are based in the British Virgin Islands. So Earl will not invest but will act as a loan shark?? There has to be a connection. A man of your talent im sure will produce a cracking read. Get diggin Ed lad 🙂

by Scotty themerseyjuror.co.uk on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm


    Thanks for the complement Scotty! I’ll start digging…

    by Ed Bottomley on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm



ED Bottomley For chairman keep it going ED

by dave longworth on Mar 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm


There you go Ed/Pete. Told you what they’re like. Complete nutters full of bullshit. Now they’ve called off their ‘mass protest’ for tomorrow – but will ‘reinstate’ when the team hits a bad run. Says it all.

by Frank Moore on Mar 9, 2012 at 9:59 am


This whole 85p in the pound guff has some confused. The 85 p means that 85% of our budget is spent on players, wages, coaches, scouts, development…..Moyes. The other 15p runs the admin side of the club.

I wish iy was 90% but we can only do so much

by mark on Mar 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm


Wow! The blue union aren’t the answer, yet at least they are trying to do something constructive to change the club. I think many have forgotten what Billy said to those fans before the Kettering game, showing his total disrespect to the fans that ultimately fund the club.

Whether calling off the protest was right or wrong, I understand and respect their decision. What I do not respect is the same ‘battered girlfriend’ syndrome fan-base, knocking anyone who dares asks for chance, that is what truly sickens me!

by CaptainFerguson10 on Mar 14, 2012 at 11:35 am


“The 85p in the pound is not the only explanation given by Robert Elstone; increased and on-going capex, in the form of expensive medical equipment, lawnmowers and lighting rigs have all been offered in a bid to explain this expenditure. If this were true they’d be reflected in the accounts as an increase in the value of tangible assets – they’re not. The book value has actually reduced from £10m in 2008 to £9m today.”

Is it not possible that the value of tangible assets can decrease? I believe this is referred to as depreciation? Often spread over a 3 year period? I am prepared to be corrected but if the value of existing assets drops sufficiently that the drop exceeds the value of any new assets brought in, then the overall value of all assets will appear as less in the accounts i.e. a drop from £10 million in 2008 to £9 million today despite buying in new assets.

by Twainy on Mar 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm


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