Everton are undeniably a club stuck in the past, yet beneath that world weary veneer lies a club of true potential. Much like Harrison Ford’s character in Star Wars, Han Solo, they appear to have been the victim of carbon freezing; permanently stuck in a time period at odds with the modern footballing age. On the surface of things, Everton look to represent a wise investment for any prospective owners, yet without a new stadium, they’ll continue to struggle to secure the new investment they so desperately need to take them to the next level.
Goodison Park just so happens to be one of my favourite grounds – it represents a simpler time for football; a throwback to a forgotten era. Tradition is a theme that courses through the veins of every Everton fan, but in order to advance as a club they may have to leave their beloved stadium behind.
Many people struggle to understand quite why after all these years Everton have still had no luck finding a new Chairman. They most certainly represent value for money in terms of status within the domestic game when compared to the club‘s market value. On the face of things they represent nothing short of a bargain.
However, very few Premier League clubs are purchased with such an obvious flaw in their investment proposal. Everton need a new stadium above all else, that is much is clear, but the added expense of developing a new stadium from scratch appears to have put off potential buyers. To put it another way, if Everton had recently moved to a 50,000 seater stadium, would they be struggling quite so badly to find a potential buyer?
On the pitch, Everton appear to have reached a glass ceiling in terms of their development. They are hampered by a lack of investment off the pitch and credit must go to manager David Moyes for doing such a wonderful job under such strict financial constraints. They are often the best of the rest and 6th place would appear to the limit that their resources are capable of stretching to.
They will find it increasingly difficult to usurp the likes of Spurs, Man City and even Liverpool in the future. There is a world of difference in terms of the amounts of money each of the aforementioned sides and Everton spend on transfers and in order to sustain any modicum of progress on the pitch, it’s clear that they require sufficient funds to compete, which sadly at the moment they’re just not getting.
The muted ground share with neighbours Liverpool was met with a lukewarm response from the red half of Merseyside. The general feeling now is that NESV are thought to be in favour of redeveloping Anfield as opposed to funding a move to a brand new stadium, much like NESV did with the baseball outfit they also own, the Boston Red Sox and their home Fenway Park.
Everton would be the main losers if any such move were to come to fruition and they are well and truly caught in a vicious cycle at the moment – without a new stadium, they won’t be able to secure the investment needed to help them progress on the pitch. Without new investment, they’ll find it almost impossible to fund a move to a new stadium.
These represent dangerous times for Everton with the rumour that David Moyes may be set to depart in the summer showing no signs of abating. The only conceivable route that’s available to Everton at the moment is European entry via a domestic cup competition, and they’ll have to wait until the end of next season before going down that route, which it has to be said, provides no guarantees.
Everton remain a big club, but one in stagnation. The frustrating thing is that they have a fantastic manager, decent squad and a faithful support, the only thing getting in the way of Everton joining the elite of English football once more is that pesky little issue over a new stadium – without it, they’re unlikely to break the cycle any time soon.