Developing and pushing the Everton brand is crucial

By Administrator on Jul 31, 08 09:37 AM in Journalists

By Sean McGuire

THE legacy of former Everton chief executive Keith Wyness will not become apparent for at least a couple of years yet.

While a manager's impact can largely be measured on a season-by-season, if not game-by-game, basis, the role of chief executive is much harder to assess.

Projects are generally more long-term, such as developing a brand, developing a stadium and targeting new countries for supporters.

And they are an integral part to the long-term success or decline of the club which manifests itself in the team.

The chief executive is not responsible for the team's performance next week, but he does have responsibility for how the team plays in two, five and 10 years' time.

Everton must now consider where it wants to be in the future - and how it plans on getting there.

Evertonians, in the stands and in the boardroom, want a successful club playing attractive football at the top of the Premier League and in Europe.

But the process to turn Everton into a club that can consistently achieve Champions League football and collect domestic silverware is far more complicated than just spending £50million on new players each summer.

Under the leadership of David Moyes the team has prospered but the club has not moved forward as quickly and that will translate to the team's performances in the future.

The club need a similarly strong leader off the field. The ideal candidate will be familiar with sport, as a business and as a cohesive factor in the community, with finance and with brand development, among other factors.

The next chief executive needs to have a strategic vision with the skills to turn a plan into a programme of activity that delivers tangible results.

Developing and pushing the Everton brand is crucial with the global focus on the English Premier League.
Everton needs to expand its geographical reach, to attract fans from across the world. It is not sufficient to have a winning team, it needs to be supplemented by targeted efforts to grow the fanbase.

The work taking place in China is one example of this, but there needs to be more. Internationally, Everton are behind several of their Premier League rivals and must also compete with other successful, glamorous clubs from across Europe and the world.

The club must work extremely hard to ensure that it doesn't fall any further behind and then starts to catch up.

It will be tough, but it is imperative that the club takes the opportunities and makes the most of them.

Such an approach can generate larger corporate revenues, an increased fanbase, greater merchandise sales, ultimately creating a virtuous circle of financial and footballing progress. But it is not just about football being big business, generating revenues for the sake of it, but because a stable and significant financial position can allow for real progress on the field.

However - and it is a point often overlooked by Premier League clubs - brand development begins on your doorstep.

It's about Everton matches being a passionate and pleasant experience for all, it's about Merseyside children choosing Everton as their team and it's about having pride in the badge and the 130 years of tradition and heritage it represents.

In short, it's about the People's Club being there for its people.

Nil satis nisi optimum has to be the benchmark for off-the-field performance as well as on it.

Players protected from the day-to-day politics of a club

FANS are often concerned about off-field turmoil, believing it can have a detrimental effect on the players.
This is rarely the case. Players are generally cosseted away from the day-to-day politics of a club.

More critical in Everton's case is the relationship between Bill Kenwright and David Moyes, which should be unaffected by Mr Wyness's departure.

In particular the manager's new contract is an important part of the continued stability in team affairs.

It is not a coincidence that Moyes's extended tenure has led to a solid, stable performance. In contrast Everton is searching for its fourth chief executive in as many years, which is a period that has seen the club fail to commercially exploit its on-field resurgence.

The players will only become concerned if it affects player recruitment and consequently the team's performance.

That need not be the case and there is no reason why Everton's pre-season preparations or their 2008-09 season should be affected by the management changes.

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