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Everton 1-0 Stoke

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This afternoon we took on Stoke. To save me typing, here’s the team;

Firstly, thoughts go out to the fan in the Park End who took ill and required the services of medics.

Quite a slow start to this one, but once we finally woke up, midway in the first half, Ashley Williams had a header cleared off the line.

Following this, Everton turned the pressure on Stoke, and it was pressure that was kept up until half time, at which point the game was still tied at 0-0.

The first half had Kevin Mirallas looking like a totally different player from the one that stagnated like a puddle under a week old bin bag in the back yard during our three year Martinez sentence.

Should’ve been 3-0 up at this point.

On to the second half, Everton initially appeared to keep the pressure on with Barkley going close. A couple of moments later and, shock, horror, penalty to Everton! Baines stepped up to take and put us 1-0 up although it was not the clearest cut penalty as it went in off Given but they all count. Stoke hit the bar soon after.

Everton’s first substitution comes on 68′ with Kone replacing Mirallas. A bit of action from Stoke, then Funes Mori on for Barkley. With five minutes to go, Tom Davies replaces Bolasie and Barry gets a yellow card.

Everton win the game by one goal, but I he the feeling RoKoe will want to see us seeing games off better than this. But good play for large parts from the blues.

The post Everton 1-0 Stoke appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Everton v Stoke City Preview

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Mick Ferguson Stoke

Three league games in before the most ill timed interruption there is. The international break, except only for those with an unhealthy obsession for Brext, UKIP, the Daily Mail and at least one St George’s flag tattoo.

Ultimately you know the outcome of English shitting their pants when it comes to the crunch, but to be fair that doesn’t stop us Evertoning for most weekends. Apologies for the ghastly verb I made up there.

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We’ve two games had since we last corresponded and by that I mean since you probably never had any awareness of this samey preview in the big void of the internet, or mistakenly clicked on a link by GrandOldTeam, or maybe just scrolled through the old photos. The Yeovil game was not even out of first gear with a few changes but thankfully not Moyes third round of the cup type changes, as we’re still in it. There was also a pleasing comeback win over West Brom where, if hidden misplaced symbolism is your thing, Koeman really announced himself to Everton with a sub after 35 minutes, changing the system and winning the three points.

Which lines us up at home against Stoke this weekend and it’s going a bit more pleasant than you probably expected – what with the lack of signings and 70% fitness things. However, Everton being Everton are masters of a spanner in the work and weekend ruining experts so we’ll keep any optimism toned down until a later date.

What about Stoke then? Well they are what they are and a very much established team in the Premier League, one which finished above us. You knew that, and a little later on I’ll cast some unkind stereotyping on them as that’s what we do in the interests of faux internet partisanship.

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Stoke will be keen to put some points on the board as they have one so far from a draw away to Middlesbrough and a tonking at home courtesy of John Stones’ Man City which leaves on a run of one win the last ten in the Premier League, we can see where fate is heading for this weekend’s game.

They’re managed by an old ex player and foe of ours in Mark Hughes, with hair like a weekend break Scottish sky, who will receive no big love at Goodison on the back of looking down his nose at us when buying Joleon Lescott seven years ago. Clearly Guardiola learned his lesson when recently making a similar transaction for our valued English centre back.

This corresponding fixture last season was peak Martinez with Stoke taking a fantastic three points in a 4-3 away win. Head’s started truly rolling in earnest concluding in Martinez’s exit towards the end of the season. It’s a bit too early in his successor’s reign to be using this as a marker for perceived improvement, but same that same token we’d enjoying giving them a stern goosing in the interests getting this latest attempt at Everton success.

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Stoke suffer a lot of stereotypes in both their football and people, many of which are unfair. They were symbolic of long ball and physical football under Pulis but under Hughes he’s added no small amount of skill and craft, resulting in a canny team that can beat you a number of ways.

The people of Stoke have also suffered from being from a smaller city and the locals being a tad “organic”. By organic I mean grown up without pesticides in muck and grime, and acknowledged only by cords wearing weirdos. It’s not uncommon to have a weekly arm wrestling night in the local pub, to tie up your Staffordshire Bull Terrier outside, drink a pint of Chinese and dodge dogshit like a drunken game of Frogger on the way home through cold streets.

That said we have to take things in context and when you put them alongside the other folk of Premier League clubs they’re preferable to most, they have a working class local parochial support, a keen appreciation of history and traditions and many of them eschew the ladbible/soccer AM/talksport brand of gobshitery that is currently terminally infecting the top of the English game. Another preview where I struggle to truly tear into the opposition for which I apologise, I kind of like them.[IMG]

Stoke knows what Stoke is and is comfortable with it. Stoke doesn’t try to be something other than Stoke. Stoke is around the sphincter of England in Birmingham and for all intents and purposes Stoke are the hemorrhoids of England, but manageable grade 1 piles that don’t protrude and can be managed by not straining too much in the gym and a steadfast anal cleanliness policy. Go on, pop a finger up there and feel some Stoke whilst remembering whilst an inconvenience that Stoke could be much worse.

For those of you under 30 reading this and struggling to empathise with the weak analogy I urge you to bookmark this to read in ten years’ time so you “get it”. Because you will.

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So, what did they vote in Brexit? Well you can guess from the following recipe:

Predominantly white working class populus/general below average education levels/smaller urban area with not much tourism or people passing through/Sky News being the prime educator for the happenings outside of Stoke/high % of female adults displaying gaudy tattoos.

If that was a recipe for a cake then it would come out tasting a little of xenophobia and ignorance. 58.8% Brexit it was. It’s no sweat as the European Union didn’t even know what Stoke was.

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OK, a list of some of their players who may or may not play in this game:

Arnautovic – the Bavarian Bolasie who played Everton interest rather sweetly to get a payrise, well in.

Shaqiri – poster boy of the Shire, Cottee’s leg double, who has mad skillz and is a doubt for this game.

Joe Allen – like a Cabbage Patch Pirlo, he’ll stroll around deep in midfield and collect pleasing Opta stats.

Walters – always pleasing to see someone from Birkenhead achieve success without selling heroin or via realityTV.

Glenn Johnson – remember how much Liverpool paid him a week and they all tried to pretend it was value?

Butland – ace young keeper who Barkley should tap up in England a-la-Stones-Hart but is a doubt for the game.

That’s your Stoke. Let’s talk Everton.

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Big RoKoe with his shoot from the hip talking and face like a late summer harvest moon over rural Netherlands is going about changing stuff hopefully for the better and stop us being shithouses when it comes to getting results.

The presence of a larger male up front will be required and with tremendous timing it may just be the Kone you wasn’t expecting to make a stake for a place in the team. With Lukaku being a bit working his way to fitness, if not then the Deulofeu project which seems a bit doomed to fail.

I have slight anxiety that Koeman won’t get Deulofeu which would be a shame as there’s a match winner in there, albeit with the fitness levels of a latter day Anichebe. Mirallas seems to be keen though and that’s no bad thing as we may have forgot that there’s a cracking player in there on his day.

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Stoke have a weakness at full back so this is the type of game you’d hope Bolasie may have some sort of impact from wide, whether that will be from the bench or from the start will be Koeman’s shout.

The most heartening bonus so far has been Gueye in midfield, not only for his interceptions but for the way he always looks to turn and move the ball forward through an effective pass or no shortage of skill and speed. The role of a defensive midfielder has been prone to change in times of late as you couldn’t get away with a Dog Of War in there as they’d be a liability in this no contact age, so the likes of Gueye can do a good job with timing and smart distribution. Early days yet but a paragraph to himself shows my optimism.

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Barry has been fantastic and with no European distractions this season may be one of our key players. There’s a few options in the middle of the park that will be interesting to see try to develop. Not sure with the defence but I think it will be a four rather and five, and the height they have on set pieces and from wide may see Funes Mori retain a place despite looking somewhat scary in moments of key defending. Jagielka or Williams alongside him, or maybe even both together.

You could hear Williams shouting instructions from the other side of the pitch against Yeovil, we’ve needed some of this arbitrary attribute. Coleman is out still so there’ll be more Holgate who’s this year’s Galloway at full back. Baines on the left and the Dutch lad in goal who’s done well enough so far to have many not wanting the long time England goalkeeper to swoop in this week, some achievement.

Nothing more to be said really, right into these blues.

The post Everton v Stoke City Preview appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

[OPINION] Defender, Leader, Captain… Goalkeeper? – Phil Jagielka.

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Phil Jagielka

This week, we take a look at our stalwart, Phil Jagielka.

Jags was never destined to become Everton’s defensive leader, some might argue he still isn’t, but either way, nobody can deny that he is one of the greatest English defenders of his generation.

However, things shouldn’t have panned out the way they did for the Manchester-born England international…

Pace to burn.
‘I’ve never seen anyone run away from him’.

Leighton Baines’ words dumbfounded many a Premier League fan during the 14/15 season…

Phil Jagielka was never a Centre half in his youth. He was playing for his schools’ teams deployed at Right wing and was playing against kids much older than him. He was always gifted, and that could be why he ended up at three very high-profile academies: Everton, Stoke City and Manchester City. The academies continued to see his pace as one of his defining features, and he continued on his career as a Right winger.

Today however, his pace goes largely unrecognised by the Premier League, but he continues to showcase his quick feet when he is called upon. This came to a head as he was proven to be the Premier League’s fastest player in the 14/15 season, which prompted Leighton Baines to jump to his Captain’s side as he said that Jagielka was ‘Never interested in plaudits’.

If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

Jags joined Sheffield Wednesday’s squad at just 15 years old in 1998, and made his debut at the tender age of 17- whilst still on an academic contract with the club- in the last game of the 1999-2000 season in the First Division.

After a successful debut and few months with the club, he was handed his first professional contract which ran from January 2001 for three years, and in this time, his abilities were showcased in the First Division.

He started to attract the attention of many Premier League clubs around this time, as Leeds United were linked with a £6m double move for Jagielka and his Sheffield teammate Michael Brown, but the move never materialised in the end, as manager at the time Neil Warnock said that the club would reject any approaches for the pair.

So, Leeds’ loss was Everton’s gain in the long run, as the defensive stalwart would go on to join the blues in 2007, but one more notable situation surfaced mid way through the 2006-07 season, Sheffield United’s first season back in the Premier League.

Phil Jagielka. Utility Man.
”I have always been half-decent in goal!”

On a bleak and blustery December afternoon at Bramall Lane during the 2006-07 season, few were expecting a largely struggling Sheffield United to pull off a shock against Arsenal; and even fewer were expecting a clean sheet for the Blades, but Arsenal were held at bay in the most extraordinary circumstances.

First-choice keeper Paddy Kenny suffered an injury early in the second half, and since the League rules at the time meant teams were only permitted 5 subs on the bench, and Neil Warnock had not selected a goalkeeper.

This meant that Phil Jagielka was forced to play a bit further back than usual, and he played his first game in goal in what would become quite an odd trait for the England International.

After a superb late save from the Centre Half turned ‘Keeper, United held on and upset high-flying Arsenal, and Jagielka turned in a MOTM performance.

On to pastures new.
“I think he will definitely go”

Paddy Kenny publicly said that he believed it was time for Jagielka to move on after United were relegated in their first season back in the top flight since 1994. And move on he did, as a £4m transfer went through on 4th July 2007, where he signed for Moyes’ Everton. Jagielka’s run of 133 consecutive games for Sheffield United was only halted by his transfer to Everton, and his consistency has been noted by many.

Jagielka struggled to adapt at first in his new team, but kicked on midway through the 2007-08 season where he put in 3 outstanding performances against Spurs, Europa League opposition SK Brann, and Manchester City. He became a mainstay in Everton’s first team, as Everton finally found their partner to Joseph Yobo and a consistent Centre Half, something which eluded Moyes in his early Everton years.

Potential achieved, but success elusive.
“Football can be cruel at times,”

Phil Jagielka has been ever-present in all three Everton iterations while he’s been here. He was a stalwart in Moyes’ time, and saw himself called up to Fabio Capello’s England squad at the peak of his ability. However, his international career was halted in the cruellest of fashions as he suffered knee ligament injuries in early 2009. He subsequently missed over half of the 2009/10 season, to his dismay.

Moyes’ words rang true as Everton were dealt a cruel hand and the Blues suffered tremendously in the early 2010/11 season, missing their leader at the back after the horrific injury.

From Sheffield’s Right Winger, to Everton’s Centre Half Captain.
”the time has come for me to grow up”

After David Moyes took over at Manchester United, club captain Phil Neville went with him to join his coaching staff, leaving Everton without a manager and Captain.

We’re not here to discuss Roberto Martinez-thankfully- so, onto Everton’s new captain. Step forward, Phil Jagielka.
Jagielka admitted that he needed to mature as a player after being given the Everton captaincy, and he most certainly did. Following a blistering 13/14 campaign, he had no idea of the defensive hell he would have to endure for the next two years. Being the only beacon of hope in the 14/15 season, he picked up all of the club’s End of Season awards, but the individual success was never what Jagielka was about. He is Everton, through and through, only the club matters to him.

Old dog, new tricks?
“He was a fantastic player and he’s proving to be a fantastic coach,”

In the summer of 2016, one of the greatest centre-backs of all time was to be appointed manager of Everton, as Ronald Koeman made the trip up north from Southampton. Now, after two seasons of defensive insecurity, Jagielka finally has a guide to follow. There is no doubting that Koeman can teach Jagielka – even in the twilight days of his career- and will progress him even further as a player.

So, it’s Jags’ time to show us why he was named Captain in the first place, to be the voice of security and authority for the club. Especially as we tread into uncertain waters, with a new horizon approaching for the Mersey Millionaires.
It’s time for Jags to lead by example, on and off the pitch.

It’s time for him to evolve again as a player, and truly reach his potential.

The post [OPINION] Defender, Leader, Captain… Goalkeeper? – Phil Jagielka. appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Koeman on Lukaku’s future

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Romelu Lukaku

Ronald Koeman has confirmed reports that Romelu Lukaku has informed him of his desire to remain at Everton.

Koeman: “He [Lukaku] told me yesterday that he made the decision by himself to stay for at least one more season. It’s great news for everybody”

Koeman also admitted a possibility that Lukaku could be set to receive a new contract.

'@RonaldKoeman confirms @RomeluLukaku9 has told him he wishes to stay at Everton.

— Everton (@Everton) August 20, 2016

'@ronaldkoeman on @RomeluLukaku9: "He told me yesterday that he made the decision by himself to stay for at least one more season." #EFC

— Everton (@Everton) August 20, 2016

'@ronaldkoeman on @RomeluLukaku9: "It's great news for everybody." Asked could it mean a new contract? "That's possible." #EFC

— Everton (@Everton) August 20, 2016

The post Koeman on Lukaku’s future appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

West Brom 1-2 Everton

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barry

Everton come from behind to take all three points at West Brom.

McAuley gave West Brom the lead just before 10 minutes, but Kevin Mirallas equalised in first half stoppage time before Gareth Barry headed in the winner to give Ronald Koeman his first league victory as Everton manager and to also end a torrid run in which Everton had lost their last 10 games in all competitions when their opponents scored first.

Ronald Koeman opted to name the same starting 11 as the team that drew 1-1 with Spurs.

Match report to follow.

The post West Brom 1-2 Everton appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

West Brom v Everton Preview

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west brom

A first away game sees us travel the relatively short distance down the M6, deep into the heart of scruff, as those lucky enough to attend will enjoy a good ol’ away day at the Hawthorns. A fixture that has been kind to us in recent times and, well, if we can piss with it Roberto then we surely should be able to piss it with Ronald?Easy stuff really. Unless you’re Everton.

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The Spurs game was an entertaining affair and pleasingly ended in a point apiece which would have disappointed Spurs more than Everton. It’s very much early days and so the first game was always going to be a marker, to study for any signs of progression through training rather than the limited personnel additions.

On saying that it was new boy Gueye who had a really effective game and caught the eye. In my opinion that same game we would have lost last season to a late goal or two. Is it a new manager bounce? We shall see. Our ambitions apparently push higher than holding Spurs at home, but it will take some time. And patience. Not unlike trying to enter Goodison under the new ticket scanning procedure.

So, in this relatively short preview, onto West Bromwich Albion, pride of the black country.

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What do we know about them? They’re like helium voiced wools really and that’s not an insult as wools on the whole are sound and preferable to most of the flutes scattered around the green grass of England. They’re warm folk who are content with the simpler things in life like a morning cup of tea with a biscuit, maybe stretched out to a Jaffa Cake on the weekend. A Ford Capri lying on the drive, a weekend in Blackpool eagerly anticipated. Evening meal on the table by 5.30pm, smoked kipper in the air and a pair of Next slippers – awarded as a gift in 1996 – eased on ready for an evening in front of the goggle box. You know the types.

But how did they vote in the Brexit referendum I don’t hear you cry? Well, small town coziness in England screams ignorant abhorrent racists and so it proved with every two to one person from that area voting to leave a European Union that has funded the area for many years when the Tories would be happy to neglect it. With the area of Sandwell I don’t believe it was a malicious vote because they’re terrified of some Poles stealing a minimum wage job or two, I just think it’s because they’re small town stupid, and we’re unlikely to be able to fix that any time soon so I hope 70% of them are on food rations as soon as Article 50 is invoked.

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Tony Pulis, with a face like someone staring into the midday sun in Nevada while trying to hold a dump in, took over and stabilised the club which is another terms for not getting relegated. Premier League fans are pampered though and the insatiable appetite for instant success in the shape of fans’ own personal visions is coming to the fore. The entitlement belies the Dunlop trainees with sole hanging off and working at Matalan pushing trolleys. For Baz may look like not much but inside that oik head of is lies a razor sharp strategic footballing brain and – truth be told – it just isn’t good enough Mr Pulis. And you don’t want to be see Baz when he’s angry, he’s watched back to back episodes of The Apprentice without blinking. That’s what you’re up against here.

Pulis will eventually be pushed out and a funkier foreign number will be brought in and everyone will get dead excited, right until the point where they realise that pragmatism is much more important in their position than good football as their chairman doesn’t like to spend too much money so they’re at a disadvantage without canny tactics and player trading. It’s called ‘finding a competitive advantage’ in sales terms, either through your product or service, or even distribution. In West Brom’s case it’s about packing the team full of genetically grown grocks who won’t give you a second on the ball and are going to cause you serious bruises on set pieces. It’s for not for everyone like, but neither is lower league football.

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Here’s a list of some of their players I can be arsed googling:

Rondon: their mandatory big Pulis lump up front who is going to wear down our defenders like nasty bout of shingles, mind you he can play a bit too.

Berahino: that bird in the office who reeks of Dior and is always throwing the eyes around at any nice lad that walks past but she’s gonna end up getting pregnant by a bouncer and being nothing more than a beak wife.

Fletcher: all skull and skin, should be pestering you at a bus stop trying to bum some money off you while calling you boss.

Evans – there’s no doubt in my mind that Moyes has masturbated over him at least once, with just one headphone in while downstairs so the free ear can listen for the floorboard creaks when his wife comes awakes and wonders where he is.

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Olsson – Vigo the Carpathian looking beaut, never trust him in a painting. Or on a corner.

Foster – likes to punch below his weight even though the sex is dull, he’s a six cans of Stella in the back garden on a Sunday lad that that’s all “reet”.

Can’t wait until we play someone I really detest, struggling with the sound teams here.

Everton.

Koeman, with a face like someone’s been doughnutting on Formby beach and ragged all the massive jellyfish apart, just said Lukaku is doubtful but may make the squad. So it’s prudent to assume he won’t make it straight in perhaps but I reckon he’ll be a sub. For all the merits of the Football Manager types raving over Deulofeu and Mirallas, they’re a bit plop up front as neither runs that much and they don’t have much of a presence.

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Barkley was visibly more energetic against Spurs and he’ll stick in that midfield. This is the type of game he should be pissing for us, we’ve said that for a few seasons and not seen it consistently enough. He’s better than anyone else on the pitch – hope Ross realises it. We’ve covered the impact of Gueye in midfield, he’s like a wee royal blue Power Ranger and long may he hassle the living shit out of all that tries to run towards our midfield with the ball. Barry was his usual imperious self, for all the talk of replacing Lukaku and Stones, it may be him that gives us a bigger headache to replace in the near future. New signing Bolasie will be in the squad and will get some game time if Koeman’s words at the press conference are anything to go off. Anyone calling it a presser is a tit.

No idea if we’ll stick with that three centre backs thing but the option is there to at least bring Ashley Williams in and shunt Mason Holgate to full back if we want to. Coleman is out for a few more weeks and it would be nice to see Baines get a lease of life under the new manager as he’s a bit too steady compared to what he can do, although I reckon he needs someone to play off him to bring it out, and the deep voiced South African is long gone sadly for him. That Stekelenburg had a boss game, but like Gueye it’s best waiting a wee while to see if it can be maintained. I must be the only person who really doesn’t have an opinion on Joe Hart as a rumoured suitor. Just win the points Everton, I’m not arsed how you do it or largely who with.

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There’s limited expectation and the season is into it’s second game so it’s hard to get too excited for the game. West Brom will have their tails up after a great win away to Crystal Palace.

We know what to expect and that’s not to patronise them with their more direct football, if it’s that simple a game plan then we only have ourselves to blame if we fail to overcome it as we know exactly what to expect.

If only it was that easy.

The post West Brom v Everton Preview appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Usmanov to Everton – da ili nyet?

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Alisher-Usmanov-Russian-tycoon

Much has been said and written about Usmanov and the chances of him investing in Everton alongside his business partner Moshiri.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll be delighted to see him do so, but there are reasons why I don’t believe he will, and there are significant practical problems to be overcome for him to do so.

Firstly it’s probably good to look back at the history of Usmanov’s and Kroenke’s investment in Arsenal.

The story goes back to 2007 – it’s fairly lengthy but I’ll give the shortest version I can.

David Dein introduced Stan Kroenke in early 2007 believing that his money could help Arsenal be more competitive in the Premier League. Kroenke bought Granada’s shares and a few from Danny Fiszman to take his holding to around 12 %. However, the Arsenal board were not happy with Dein and he was removed from the board in April 2007.

At about the same time Usmanov started becoming interested in acquiring Arsenal shares, forming R&W Holdings with Moshiri. Dein sold all his shares (14.6%) to R&W and became their Chairman. R&W started actively buying shares in the market, acquiring 21% by May 2008. Dein then resigned from R&W thinking that by doing so there would be an improvement in Usmanov’s relationship with the then Arsenal board.

However, the Arsenal board feared an attempted takeover by Usmanov and agreed to a “lockdown” meaning they would not sell their shares to anyone other than “permitted persons” through to April 2009. There was a further agreement giving the board first option on any director sales up to October 2012.

The board invited Kroenke to join them in September prior to the lockdown period, to ensure Dein could never return. However, in December 2008, a director called Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith who owned 15.9% left the board meaning her shares were no longer subject to the lockdown – critically she never showed any interest in selling to Usmanov.

Over the next two years Kroenke acquired another 3 blocks of shares taking his holding to 28.58 % in 2010, just below the critical 30% takeover threshold. Eventually in April 2011 he had acquired 29.99%. By this time R&W had got their holdings up to 27% through acquiring non board holdings ( but not Bracewell-Smith’s though).

On April 11th 2011 Kroenke in a takeover bid acquired the board’s and Bracewell-Smith’s shares taking him to 62% (there is an interesting sub plot to this, but for another time), R&W immediately refused to sell. Since this date both Kroenke and R&W have increased their holdings when shares have become available in the market to today’s figure of 67% and 30% respectively.

As a result of the failed takeover by Kroenke, and Usmanov/Moshiri’s decision not to sell their holdings to Kroenke, there has been total deadlock between Kroenke and R&W Holdings. As is well documented R&W have no board representation and their advice to the board and Kroenke is completely ignored.

Now, looking at the present position the theory goes that Moshiri sold his R&W shares to Usmanov allowing Moshiri to acquire his initial stake in Everton through Blue Heaven Holdings in the Isle of Man. Usmanov would then dispose of R&W to join his friend and long-time business partner at Everton.

This requires careful examination.

Firstly, if indeed Usmanov wished to invest in Everton, why did he acquire 100% of R&W Holdings (30.04% of Arsenal) by buying Moshiri’s share; why didn’t Moshiri acquire R&W leaving Usmanov to come straight into Everton? Then Moshiri could dispose of R&W and join his business partner at Everton.

The biggest stumbling block for me is how does Usmanov find a buyer for his stake in Arsenal?

Several people have suggested Kroenke might be a buyer, Usmanov could find another investor, sell to his family or dispose of his shares in the open market (Arsenal being an ISDX quoted company).

Firstly, Kroenke being a buyer. Why would he do so? Why would he spend another £400 million on acquiring the remaining shares in Arsenal that would derive him no additional benefit? His current stake of 67.05% gives him effective control of the company, the board and future direction, spending plans etc. He does not have to acquire any further shares to strengthen his position.

Furthermore, Kroenke would be very much aware that by acquiring R&W’s shares in Arsenal he would then potentially face Usmanov as competition in the Premier League, competition that probably only Manchester City could compete with in future years. This would clearly not be a wise decision by Kroenke.

Finding another investor. Clearly the premier league is still attractive to investors, particularly overseas investors, but what would a buyer of 30% of Arsenal be acquiring? Well, obviously the shareholding, but as has already been demonstrated that guarantees no influence, board position nor dividends. Therefore, I have to question who would be prepared to take such a position, a minority holder in a business run by an autocrat? From my own experience very few investors would buy into such a scenario.

Could Usmanov sell or pass his shares to family members? The Premier League is very clear on this, and if he was to do so with the intent of buying into Everton then the answer is a very firm no.

Can Usmanov sell his shares in the open market? In theory yes, but this is a very impractical method of selling a large block of shares in a very illiquid market, and there’s no guarantee that he could sell all his shares, something he’d have to do in order to take directly or indirectly a significant (above 9.9%) stake in Everton.

Finally, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Usmanov has publicly stated his holdings in Arsenal are a private, non-business investment “for family members to benefit for generations to come”. It should also be remembered that culturally investor timeframes in Russia are significantly longer than those in the West.

Farhad Moshiri should not be over-looked in all of this either – this is a man that has publicly stated his commitment to Everton, has acquired 50% and has options to acquire over 75%, put funds into the club and promised significant investment in the future. Perhaps, despite his great friendship with Usmanov, and the great amount of time they reportedly spend discussing football matters, this is actually something Moshiri wants to do alone? He should be afforded the respect until such a time as Usmanov’s interest (should it exist) be confirmed.

To conclude I’m not saying that Usmanov will definitely not invest in Everton in the future, but I am saying there are clear obstacles to him doing so, and the evidence to date in terms of how Moshiri sold his R&W shares to Usmanov to acquire a stake in Everton, plus Usmanov’s comments re Arsenal suggest he has no intention of doing so.

*This is an opinion piece, views expressed are entirely my own

The post Usmanov to Everton – da ili nyet? appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Moshiri on Everton Transfers

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kenwrightmoshiri

Farhad Moshiri has welcomed Yannick Bolasie to Everton and stressed he is keen anxious to further strengthen the squad.

In a statement to Sky Sports News, Moshiri said: “We are very pleased about today’s signing but remain anxious to further strengthen the squad.

“The chairman is relentlessly pushing things forward with my total support for him, Steve Walsh and Ronald Koeman”.

On about Moshiri and then about us wanting Joe Hart#Everton #Bo14sieIsABlue #Bolasie #Hart #Moshiri pic.twitter.com/pXXMuJ4Wgl

— Huffy (@Chuff84) August 15, 2016

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