It’s been a whirlwind few days of on-field action for Evertonians following a poor Derby defeat at Anfield on Saturday, and then being on the end of a last-gasp, dramatic Manchester United equaliser at Old Trafford last night too. That first sentence is nothing new as a supporter of this Club and of Football in general; it most certainly is a multitude of emotions and takes a lot for you to settle down after results and digest them. However nowadays, before Everton fans can get too downbeat or reflective about matters on the pitch, there’s too many positive noises and moral-boosts coming out of the Club about matters off the pitch for us to worry too much – and this is certainly a sign of the times.
Recently I wrote about the Bramley Moore announcements and how I believed they were a catalyst for our future, with Evertonians finally hearing some concrete plans about where our Club is headed; I’m still brimming with excitement because of this news and I firmly believe it is a huge step in the right direction. The relationship with the Council is at an all time high, a feasible and sustainable plan is there and finally I can see a vision to take this Club forward and bring back that much-needed success. I’ve also more recently vented some largely critical views about matters on the pitch – more specifically our failure to turn up in yet another Merseyside Derby. I’ll be honest I slated them. I swore at them plenty of times and had to get things off my chest. But I’ll also be honest, I also felt massively guilty writing it. It hurt. Nobody likes writing horrible stuff about the things they love, but I did. That’s the ‘beauty’ of being a football fan, the contrasting emotions, the excitement and the despondence and my two most recent write-ups have been about completely different subjects too.
In times gone by the results have hit me hard, not only because I hate Everton not winning, but also because matters off the pitch have affected my mindset towards the Club too. To see a Team just making up the numbers on the pitch and a Club with no direction, business plan or idea how to progress off it, was a double whammy to me as an onlooking supporter. It went on for years. I wondered when things would change. But now, even though results and defeats still affect me massively, of course they still hurt, I’ll admit I can’t dwell on them for too long because I am too excited about our future and what it might bring. It may sound silly but it’s what I feel. I am judging what I am seeing and hearing and there is no downside. I’m too confident that eventually the good times will come again, we will eventually have enough quality players to bring trophies and success, and we will eventually have the right infrastructure and status to become a force which simply can’t be ignored or dismissed. Both of these factors are inevitably why Farhad Moshiri came to the Club and the plan he has for it. He has instilled this excitement in me, and many others like me too.
I hope you can see the point in what I am trying to say here – on Saturday, Sunday and Monday I felt sick about the Derby result – as you and probably every other Evertonian did. Then came Tuesday, we faced United and we bounced back. Of course a win would have been much better but to defend how we did and battle how we did, plus show good phases of play ourselves and eventually come away with a hard-earned point, I felt a lot more positive about our Team, albeit annoyed we couldn’t hang on for all three points in the end. The difference in our last two games were evident, as will the challenge we face when Leicester come to town on Sunday too. That’s football.
But then came today – firstly I’d missed the news about Tom Davies signing a new deal yesterday so welcomed that when I first read it this morning. He’s a good lad with a bright future, and that bright future can be at Everton. Then also came the announcement that Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri had jointly purchased the Royal Liver Building. Now you may think ‘why does him buying a building make you feel better’ well for me this again speaks volumes. When you look at the bigger picture – which as Evertonians we don’t all do – this again is massive. This isn’t just any old news. This isn’t just any old investment, this isn’t just any old building, this isn’t just any old location and this most certainly isn’t just any old investor.
Moshiri has jointly purchased the Liver Building with Corestate (a real estate investment manager) and the news of this collaboration has only just broke, even though the announcement about the Liver Building being sold came out last year. It’s all being timed to perfection and leads into one. Firstly the Bramley Moore plans a fortnight who, then the Council approval news last week, and now this today – two potentially huge, key moments in the future of Everton FC. You’ll get fans who say ‘buying a building won’t win you the League’ and yes I can see their point, but when you look into Moshiri’s purchase it paints a better picture for Everton FC and our status and these things mean an awful lot to me. Moshiri’s involvement in the most famous and iconic building in the City, a Building synonymous with Liverpool, ties nicely in with the fact that we are trying to build a brand new stadium, and community, just a stones throw up the road. An apparent request from Moshiri has been made for a north-facing office to become his – and Everton’s head quarters – looking down on the new Bramley Moore site, is this guy a genius or what? Everton FC, based in the Liver Building with their footballing home within touching distance. This is significant whether you like it or not. This is commitment and without getting too carried away this has to all but mean that Bramley Moore is nailed on. This isn’t a new office block and stadium on some industrial park in the back of beyond, this is the centre of what Liverpool as a City is all about, and Moshiri wants to put Everton at the forefront of that.
If you won the lottery as an Evertonian and had money in Everton what would you try and do? Many of us would joke and say something like ‘build a massive stadium on the waterfront and buy the Liver Building too, let’s make them birds blue’ you’d get laughed at, and of course Moshiri isn’t going to start painting the Liver Building royal blue anytime soon, but the rest of it isn’t a joke, this isn’t a pipe dream or stuff of fantasies, nor is it some lunatic like me winning the lottery, this is a man with a plan and a vision to get Everton on the map, to get Everton back where they belong. He wants his offices looking out over the Club and City he is investing in, the new Everton domain. I’m a massive fan of this and I can’t contain it.
In terms of a location and being able to see and know where Everton are then the City centre and the waterfront is the most recognised and accessible place. He is picking and choosing his options well and it is all falling into place nicely in my opinion. From bringing sponsorship to Finch Farm to improving Goodison and potentially leaving a legacy behind in L4, to announcing plans for the Northern Docks and buying the Liver Building, talk about making an impact, yet you’ll still get some who will complain! And this is just the stuff off the pitch, I haven’t even mentioned what could happen on the footballing side.
It goes back to me saying about results and yes of course they matter, they always will and always will hurt when they don’t go our away, regardless of what else is going on at the Club. But for me when you sit back and realise the steps that are currently being taken and the ideas being generated from the Club as a platform for progress, the structure changes and roles, as well as the continuation of the community work that is done, the prosperous academy and the fantastic togetherness and communications being fed out (season ticket videos a classic example), you can’t help but feel a buzz about being a part of that.
We all get down after seeing Everton lose and I’m the biggest crank when it happens, but nowadays I can’t help but buy into the Moshiri ideology at Goodison Park and I can’t help but feel that this guy is not only the real deal, but he wants to make this Club into a super power for the long term. This isn’t just a flash in the pan, spend spend on players and hope for instant success, this is a controlled, calculated and clever approach which is slowly transforming Everton FC.
If Farhad Moshiri is willing to make the positive and significant steps he already has off the pitch at my Club, then I simply cannot wait to see what he has planned for matters on the pitch too.
Up the Mosh-era Toffees.