Everton Independent Research Data


Taylor's made for Goodison approach
Jun 1 2005 By David Prior Daily Post Staff
EVERTON have emerged as clear favourites to clinch the signature of highly-rated Tranmere wing-back Ryan Taylor. The 20-year-old's future has been the subject of speculation since Rovers narrowly failed in their bid to gain promotion to the Coca-Cola Championship. A number of clubs have been keeping a close eye on the former England Youth international, who has started over 100 games since coming through the ranks at Prenton Park. Norwich were among the clubs leading the chase, but last night Canaries manager Nigel Worthington claimed his side had lost out to Everton. "Ryan Taylor's one that we targeted," admitted Worthington.. "He was one of those with a lot of potential that we would have liked to have brought here. "But he's gone to Everton - it's a Premiership club and means that he doesn't have to move. He can still live in his home city." Manager David Moyes is known to be willing to spend up to £1million on Kirkby-born Taylor, but the club have as yet refused to confirm the apparent developments. Were Taylor to complete a switch across the city, it would represent the first move by a Tranmere player to Goodison Park since goalkeeper Steve Simonsen moved in a £3.3million deal back in September 1998. It would also represent the latest transfer activity in a busy summer so far for Everton. With Simon Davies already on board, the club are still weighing up firm bids for Chelsea pair Scott Parker and Mikael Forssell. Meanwhile, Everton's goal-keeper Iain Turner will miss Scotland's UEFA European Under-21 Championship double-header against Moldova and Belarus to have laser treatment on his defective vision. On previous under-21 duty, the Goodison number three wore glasses off the pitch and contact lenses on it. Coach Raiser Bonhof was confident the surgery would pay off, just as it had done for former Germany goalkeeper Eike Immel, who played for Manchester City in the mid-1990s. He said: "He has the chance to throw the speccies away. And I believe that if you are a goal-keeper and use lenses during night matches it is not so easy to see the ball under the floodlights. "It is also the same playing under bright sunshine, so without that it will hopefully be easier. "In Germany, my former goalkeeper Eike Immel had laser treatment and his job was easier afterwards. "He was about 26 when he had it and that was when this sort of surgery first came out 15 or so years ago. Now it is much easier I understand."
* Everton yesterday announced their first game of the pre-season. David Moyes will take his side north of the border for a friendly against Motherwell on Saturday July 16. The Fir Park encounter will mark James McFadden's competitive return to Motherwell.

Nugent eyes Everton
Daily Post
Jun 1 2005
PRESTON striker David Nugent is determined to realise his dream of playing against boyhood idols Everton the season after next following his play-off disappointment in Cardiff. The 20-year-old has proved to be one of the finds of the season after his £100,000 move from Bury. And the boyhood Evertonian is confident North End will be pushing for honour next term. "It's unbelievable to go from League Two to the brink of the Premiership," said Nugent. "It's a big achievement and hope-fully we'll have better luck next year."

Blues scoff at swoop for Rovers youngster
Jun 1 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FOOTBALL'S silly season officially kicked off yesterday. Norwich boss Nigel Worthington claimed that Everton had stolen Ryan Taylor from under their noses and signed the Tranmere starlet. "Oh no we haven't," replied the Blues, while Rovers boss Brian Little further dampened the non-story. Blues' owner Bill Kenwright was "mystified" by the reports, while David Moyes confirmed that he has watched the player in recent weeks but was not planning any bid. Reports began to flood the websites yesterday afternoon when Norwich boss Nigel Worthington said: "Ryan Taylor's one that we targeted. He was one of those with a lot of potential that we would have liked to have brought here. "But he's gone to Everton - it's a Premiership club and means that he doesn't have to move. He can still live in his home city." But Everton, Tranmere and the player himself are bemused by the claims. More concrete targets remain Mikael Forssell - in friendly action for Finland tomorrow against Denmark then World Cup action against Holland next Wednesday - and Scott Parker. The period of exclusivity for negotiating with Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Arteta has now passed, but the Blues are still talking to both the player and his club. The Spaniard made a positive impact on-loan at Goodison in the second half of last season, with a view to a permanent £3m deal. The Blues are still trying to negotiate a personal package which is acceptable to both parties. Blues' boss David Moyes was in Denmark last week, meanwhile, watching Brondby centre-back Daniel Agter. A likely asking price of £4m, however, immediately ended any further interest. The Blues have confirmed a pre-season friendly at Motherwell on Saturday, July 16 - a few days before they fly out to Bangkok to take part in the Asia Cup competition.

Ryan's roving nowhere!
Jun 1 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
TRANMERE manager Brian Little has poured cold water on reports Ryan Taylor is on his way to Everton. Norwich boss Nigel Worthington claimed he had tried to sign the 20-year-old, but Taylor was set to join the Blues instead. Little is keen to avoid a war of words with Worthington, but says he is baffled by these claims. The Rovers manager said: "We are aware that a lot of Premier-ship clubs watched him play last season, but at this moment in time he is our player. Nothing has been agreed with anyone. "I can't see any substance to it. On the back of comments from another manager we have a young lad who is wondering what is going on. "I'm surprised to see a manager making comments about a player from another club, particularly when Norwich City have never had contact with us regarding Ryan Taylor." Little accepts that interest in Taylor and Rovers' other starlets is bound to continue. "We have a group of young players who should be attracting attention from the top," he said.

Everton boss defends rises
Jun 1 2005 By Michelle Fiddler, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON fans were outraged when the club announced plans to increase lounge membership prices by up to 300% from next season. Here Everton chief executive Keith Wyness explains why the move is necessary and what it will mean for the club's future JUST weeks ago Everton fans were celebrating securing a valuable place in European football next season. But for many the victory seemed to come at a cost, with the news that corporate and fan suite prices are to rocket, in some cases by hundreds of pounds. But chief executive Keith Wyness was quick to dispel suggestions the two were connected. He said: "This is such an important year for Everton but this is something that was planned before. "We started this back in January or February, before we knew we were going to be in Europe." The club is spending £750,000 on refurbishing its hospitality facilities, meaning a lot of lounges will have inbox dining facilities. Club bosses said they were working hard to create a different match atmosphere and to improve food, service and stewarding for fans using the hospitality facilities. Mr Wyness said: "Every part of the business is working hard to support the manager. "We are working with hospitality firm Sodexho on the quality of the food product and customer service. We are trying to give the best value." Mr Wyness said the club had also reacted to fan concerns, including an about turn on the decision not to include the FA Cup quarter final in packages. There are 1,400 places across the nine membership lounges, many already sold out. The biggest increase for next season will be the Alex Young lounge, which will treble from £837 plus VAT per person to £2,100 plus VAT, which the club said takes into account the lounge becoming an all- dining facility. In contrast, the Joe Mercer suite will become a bar only, while Legends will be renamed The People's Club. r Wyness said: "If people want to go to somewhere like the Alex Young lounge for just a drink then we tell them they are not in the right lounge. "Some people are switching to different lounges to suit what they want. This is the unfortunate side of change but if we are going to compete at the highest levels then change is going to happen. "But we are trying to do it sensitively. We are trying to look after people and offer them sensible alternatives. "It is all about getting Everton into a fit financial shape as long as we are giving people value for money and so far the signs are positive. "We are not unique in this, unfortunately, due to the spiralling costs of football and costs in particular. Every club is trying to work every part of their business as hard as possible. "But I still think that our hospitality facilities are reasonably priced compared to many clubs." Mr Wyness also responded to the criticism that fans were not given very long to find the added cost of their renewed membership in the lounges. Renewal letters were sent out at the beginning of May and fans were given just four weeks to reserve their places. Mr Wyness added: "We are trying to get some idea of how this is going to move forward. It does not mean people cannot renew later, although we cannot guarantee their seats. "The season is getting shorter and shorter and if people are not going to renew then we are going to have to fill their places."
Lounge prices 2005/06 Dixie Dean Platinum Suite - £5,405, Executive boxes - £4,465, lues 100 - £3,760, Vice-Presidents ' Suite - £3,760’ The 1878 Suite - £3,525, Alex Young Suite - £2,468, The Marquee - 1,939, Joe Mercer Suite - £1,910, The Captains' Table - £1,763, The People's Club - £1,058

Back four signings a must for Blues
Jun 1 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES should watch the piggy bank. If Scott Parker and Mikael Forssell come, he will then spend £14 million for three players. Yet there has been no talk on strengthening the back four.
Last season we saw a few times where the lack of backup in defence can lead.
Jamie Graham, Huyton
MOYSEY is doing remarkable job in the transfer market. One of the best signings ever was Cahill for £1.7 million, but he spent £6 million on Beattie. It has to be the worst signing of the season bar none! However we should give him a chance next season! Forssell will benefit Beattie if we get him from Chelsea. However I am slightly concerned about the defence. I hear that Balde is on a free from Celtic. Imagine him and Yobo in the centre. That would be amazing. Pace, aerial ability and strength with Hibbo right back and Konchesky left back. There are some awesome teams in the qualifying round of the Champions League, including Everton.
Mark Short, Merseyside
WHY all this talk of signing Bellamy? Yes, he has talent . . . when he wants to use it. He has proven time and time again that he is an arrogant player, who thinks he is bigger than the club he plays for.
We got to fourth place and into the Champions League because of collective team spirit, not individual egoes. I would much rather have Fors-sell, Johnson or, better still, Robbie Keane.
We alsoneed a good, solid centre half. Stubbsy and Weir do well and give their all, but we need a bit of extra class. What about Richard Dunne back again? Or what's Michael Ball up to these days?
Can't wait for next season!
Harold Marsh, Knotty Ash
GET Arteta's contract tied up and sign Scott Parker and Mikael Forssell. And what about Keiran Richardson from United? He did well at West Brom and had a good England debut. He's young, plays on the left and can take people on - three things that Kilbane isn't or can't!
Sean R, Liverpool
WHAT an awesome signing Mikael Forssell would be. He has the natural goalscoring instincts Everton have been missing this season. He could even strike up a winning partnership with Beat-tie, who just needs some time and games under his belt.
Paul Gold, Merseyside

Your chance to see Blues' Champions League qualifier
Jun 1 2005 Jblue, Liverpool Echo
HOW would you like two tickets to Everton's Champions League Qualifying match at Goodison Park?
To celebrate the Blues' success in gaining fourth spot this season, Everton are giving away two match tickets, plus a VIP tour of the stadium. For your chance to win just text us the answer to this simple question: How many points did Everton finish the season with? A. 6 B. 61 C. 161 Text EVECHAMP followed by a space, your name plus answer A, B or C to 82540. Closing date for entries is Thursday, June 30. Texts cost 50p plus your usual standard rate. Normal terms and conditions apply. See evertonfc.com for details. * Stadium Tours can be booked on 0870 442 1878.

McFadden admits to Goodison concerns
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 2 2005
JAMES McFADDEN admits he has been knocking on the manager's door at Everton this season to air his concerns over his future at Goodison Park. But the Scottish international insists he is determined to battle on and secure a place in David Moyes's first team line-up as the club prepares for a Champions League debut. The former Motherwell player's distress at finding himself in and out of the starting XI has been offset by the success enjoyed at Goodison this year and their fourth place finish in the Premiership. And McFadden says both the manager and player appreciate each other's position. He said: "I think I have improved as a player but the only way to tell is if I get a decent run in the side and am playing week in, week out. "I am not frustrated as in restless but I would rather be playing and I don't think anybody in my position would be any different. "It is frustrating, but with Everton doing so well it has been a bit easier to take because we have had a great season.
"I have spoken to the manager a few times and he knows how I feel. And I know what he wants me to do to get in the team. I am going to try to do that."

Everton lottery trickster is jailed
Jun 2 2005
Daily Post
A MAN who went to collect his Everton football club lottery ticket winnings found he was out of luck.
Instead of being presented with £1,000, he was arrested for attempted deception and was yesterday jailed for six months at Liverpool Crown Court. David Arkwright had presented the scratch card ticket on February 3 which apparently related to the first goal of the Boxing Day match being scored after 22 minutes and two seconds. But the winner had also submitted her claim and it was discovered that Arkwright's ticket had been altered, said Ian Davies, prosecuting. Questioned by detectives, 34-year-old Arkwright claimed he had bought the ticket from an authorised seller but the court heard he now admitted being asked to submit it by drug dealers to whom he owed money.
Arkwright has previous convictions including making a false claim for criminal injuries. Judge Nigel Gilmour QC said he accepted he was a small participant in the scam. He added: "But it seems to me this was thoroughly dishonest conduct on your part." Arkwright, of Stanley Park Avenue, Anfield, had pleaded guilty to attempted deception.

Forssell breaks off to join up with Blues
Jun 2 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FINNISH striker Mikael Forssell will interrupt his international obligations to sign for Everton this weekend. And his capture could help the Blues clinch the even more coveted signature of Chelsea team-mate Scott Parker; the pair are friends and Everton are still chasing his £6m transfer.
Forssell plays a friendly against Denmark tonight, then will fly into Merseyside to undergo a medical.

Having suffered a serious knee injury last season, the examination is sure to be rigorous - and the Blues will be hoping to avoid the same fate which scuppered their pursuit of Sean Davis last summer.
The medical must be completed inside 24 hours, with Forssell returning to rejoin the Finland squad for next week's World Cup qualifier against Holland. Talks, meanwhile, are still continuing with Mikel Arteta's representatives, despite the period of exclusivity for talking to the Real Sociedad midfielder having expired. The Blues are seeking to extend that period, but at the moment nobody else is in for the 24-year-old who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Goodison last season.

Life's no beach for eager Blues star McFadden
Jun 2 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S James McFadden insists there is no way he will be distracted from Scotland's must-win World Cup qualifying doubleheader with Moldova and Belarus by dreams of tropical beaches.
His country's hopes of reaching the World Cup play-offs depend on dispatching both eastern European sides and hauling themselves up the Group Five table. Moldova is Europe's poorest nation and parts of Belarus are still contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 but McFadden insisted he would rather be heading for Minsk than the Maldives, or anywhere else near the sea for that matter. He said: "I don't like sand. I suppose there is a danger that you will feel as if you should be on holiday but we are professionals. "We have still got a job to do and that is what we are paid to do.
"There are plenty of places to go on holiday other than beaches. And there is certainly no sand in Belarus." McFadden argued that his lack of regular action at Everton meant he was fresher than most players anyway. He said: "I should be all right as I have not played as many games as most of the other players in the squad. "I played the last two games of the season and felt all right, even though we got a bit of a doing against Arsenal and lost against Bolton. "I played all 90 minutes of those two games and hopefully that will set me up for these two." With six goals from 19 internationals, the 22-year-old is the top marksman in the squad. But with rivals Kenny Miller and Lee Miller having been more productive for their clubs this season McFadden fears he could be usurped. He said: "When you are not playing you are not as sharp or as fit as you might be. I'm not taking it for granted that I am going to be in the starting line-up or that I am going to be star man. There are no guarantees. "If I can play these two games there will be a chance for me to show people that I can still do it."

Everton confirm Shore meeting
By Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jun 3 2005
EVERTON have confirmed they have held talks about investment in the club with a London-based consortium. But the Champions League qualifiers insist it is just one of a number of options that they have examined over the past few months. The group, led by former Tottenham director Howard Shore, is not believed to be looking to take over the Goodison Park club, but discussions were held due to the mutual friendship between Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and Shone.
However nothing concrete has yet emerged for the club, which is no longer under as great a financial pressure as in the past following its success in finishing in fourth place in the Premiership with the prospect of qualifying for the lucrative group stages of the Champions League. Everton chief executive Keith Wyness said: "There have been some preliminary talks. But we have talked to several parties and always have an open mind about such things. "We obviously have a duty to look seriously at any offers that come along." Everton spokesman Ian Ross added: "Bill Kenwright did have a meeting with Howard Shore, the two men are friends. But it took place last November and nothing has come of it. "It was never going to be a takeover but simply a possible investment in the club. There are people talking to us about this sort of thing all the time." The approach comes from Shore's group a little over a year after he resigned as a Spurs director following a disagreement with chairman Daniel Levy over plans for a rights issue. The Shore consortium includes Everton fan and London media man Keith Young. Everton have been at the centre of a number of investment stories over the past 12 months, intensified by the very public spat between Kenwright and fellow director Paul Gregg last summer. Gregg insisted he had £15m available from backers to invest in the club if Kenwright stepped down. However Kenwright unveiled interest from a newly-created consortium - the Sports Fortress Fund - at the club's AGM. The Christopher Samuelson led group say they now have the money in place to invest in the club, but an EGM is required to transfer shares to the Geneva based investors and that has yet to be called. Most recently Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan has emerged as a contender to buy shares in the club, but his plans have been shrouded by confusion over whether he will be buying out Gregg, which would require around £8m to take over his 23.2 per cent stake, or a a bigger slice the Everton shares. The club is expected to make a profit this year and manager David Moyes has been given money to spend in the transfer market. He has already bought Simon Davies and has bid for Mikel Arteta, Mikael Forssell and Scott Parker. Forssell is expected on Merseyside for a medical and talks on personal terms when he has completed international duty with Finland this week, and the club is hoping his arrival will help tip the balance for his Chelsea colleague and friend Parker to follow suit. Everton have made £12m already following their Premier League success from TV and merit money, and could add over £20m if they reach the Champions League group stages.

Blues should shift Carsley
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jun 3 2005
Shift Carsley
WITH the addition of Simon Davies and hopefully the addition of Scott Parker, Everton's midfield looks rather secure with Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta, Leon Osman (likely), Kevin Kilbane and Li Tie.
Would it be a good move to switch Lee Carsley to the back line now?
J Burton (via e-mail)
Wasted cash
INSTEAD of spending most of our transfer budget on expensive strikers like James Beattie, Mikael Forssell and worst of all Craig Bellamy, why doesn't David Moyes look into the chance of bringing back names like Stuart Barlow and Brett Angel? I think with their experience and proven track record together, they could do a great job in next year's CL campaign.
B Bethel, Liverpool
An '80s revival
SCOTT PARKER or maybe Owen Hargreaves is a must for the Blues. We also need to strengthen our back four. I guess we are bringing back the 1980s to Everton!
Duncan Evans (via e-mail)
Spanish class
GET Mikel Arteta signed up permamently. He is absolute class and proved it to us in the second half of the season, great passing, crossing and can't half take a free-kick and has great European experience and pedigree.
Can't wait for Scott Parker and Mikael Forssell to join.
John Itie, Everton.

Blues back Reds bid despite a £5m loss
Jun 3 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are still backing Liverpool's bid to defend their Champions League trophy next season - even though it could cost them £5m if their neighbours join them in the lucrative group stages.

The third qualifying round is the gateway to a multi-million pound windfall, although UEFA chief-executive Lars-Christer Olsson has warned the English clubs' carve-up could be reduced by as much as £5m each if they allow Liverpool to defend the trophy. "If Liverpool take part, then the income of the other English clubs in the competition will be reduced and the figure will run into millions," he said yesterday. The financial rewards clubs receive from the Champions League come from two sources - prize money, depending on progress in the competition, and a share of the market pool, calculated according to how much that country's TV channels pump in. English television's input is the most lucrative, so English clubs take the most out. Liverpool's entry would see that portion of the English cake sliced into five, not four. But Everton chief executive Keith Wyness confirmed: "Despite what is a most intense local rivalry, we do believe that Liverpool should be invited to return as holders." Everton will be unseeded when the July 29 draw is made, but that blow has been tempered by news that Mikael Forssell is set to become David Moyes' second big signing of the summer, and the much prized Scott Parker could quickly follow. With all of the major European Leagues now completed, the list of seeds for the decisive third qualifying round draw on July 29 is close to being completed. And in the complicated co-efficient ranking system UEFA use, Everton are not even close to being seeded. That means seeded Scottish giants Rangers and Celtic are potential third round opponents, provided Celtic over-come their second round opposition.
Mikael Forssell is due on Merseyside this weekend for a medical to complete a £3m transfer from Chelsea. The Blues will then press on with a £6m swoop for clubmate Scott Parker.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho confirmed last night that three players will exit Stamford Bridge this summer. The three are believed to be Forssell, Parker and Mateja Kezman. Birmingham chairman David Gold has made bullish noises about competing with the Blues for Forssell and Parker, but Everton are close to completing Fors-sell and are in pole position for Parker. Preliminary talks which took place with former Tottenham director Howard Shore last November, meanwhile, are unlikely to develop into investment in Everton. Chairman Bill Kenwright has not met Shore since.

True Blue Graeme sees red for charity
Jun 3 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON legend Graeme Sharp swopped his blue for red today in the name of charity. The former Goodison striker was showing his support for the British Heart Foundation's Help a Heart week.
It is the BHF's biggest fundraising campaign which focuses on women and heart dis-ease and runs from tomorrow until June 12. The disease kills more than 2,400 women a week. Graeme said: "I am really pleased to be supporting BHF and I hope the people of Merseyside will do the same by getting involved and helping in any way they can to raise money for such a worthy cause." Last year the charity week raised more than £900,000. To pick up a fundraising pack visit bhf.org.uk/helpaheart. To donate call 0800 028 2091.

Come on England! Cheer on the other stars of European football
Jun 3 2005 Liverpool Echo
Jane Woodhead reports on the Everton women hoping to bring glory to England AS LIVERPOOL continues to celebrate winning the European Cup, the focus of attention on football shows little sign of diminishing. In two days time the England women's football team will take on Finland in the first leg of the Euro 2005 women's football tournament. But Sunday's game, which is being staged in the north west as a tribute to the location where the women's sport began, will be a far cry from the men's European final in Turkey last week. The women's team, five of whom are Everton players, are taking part purely because of their love of the game. They are not paid - unlike their male Liverpool counterparts who earn up to £80,000 a week. Instead they all have to find full time jobs to support themselves, pay their mortgages and their bills. Despite the girls not receiving a wage, making it on to the England team does carry a small bonus - £1,000 payment. They may train as hard as the professionals who earned a £100,000 bonus each for their victory over Milan, but whether they win or lose their final makes absolutely no difference to them financially. The following day, Everton's Lindsay Johnson will return to work as a PE teacher, while her teammates will also resume a normal life. Rachel Brown (pictured above) will return to JMU where she is training to be a PE teacher and Jody Handley will go back to her job as a health development worker. Goalkeeper Rachel, 24, says: "Things are obviously very different to the men's game but this tournament really is a massive thing for me and all of my family. "It is something which is very special to me. "Everyone talks about football as being a man's game but this is the first real opportunity which we have had to showcase women's football to the world." Jane Woodhead reports on the Everton women hoping to bring glory to England The image of women's football is already changing with interest in the sport growing. The number of registered players has gone from 500 to 5,000 in just less than a decade.
Rachel adds: "This tournament is a massive window of opportunity for us. Football is becoming increasingly popular and is now the most popular women's sport across the whole country."
Rachel first started to play football at the age of nine and she joined Everton back in 2002.
She has been playing for the England squad since the age of 16. And she has hopes that England will perform well in the championships which open at the City of Manchester Stadium. After playing Finland on Sunday the women will then go on to play Denmark on Wednesday and Sweden next Saturday. "In 2001 we did not get through the group stages but we now have much higher expectations of ourselves. We have put in lots of hard work and training and have actually been unbeaten in 10 games which is a record." Jody agrees that the team is playing well. She actually left Everton four years ago to play for what she describes as being a better team, Doncaster Belles.
"They were certainly a better team at the time but I then returned to Everton after they showed great improvements." Jody's love of football also started at a young age, she frequently played with her father and local children in the street. But by the age of 13 her talents had become evident and she was selected to play for Shropshire Girls. "What we have achieved is absolutely fantastic. I am so proud to be representing my country. I think it is the proudest thing I have ever done." And Jody says when she is out on the pitch on Sunday all she will be thinking about is getting through the game and playing well. "We obviously just want a good result and to get through the first stages and reach the final." But Jody says she just wishes the women's game could attract the same level of media interest as the professional game: "Obviously we do not get as much media coverage which is disappointing. The more interest we can get the more money which can be generated and obviously the knock-on effect from this is a better game." Lindsay, 25, a centre half says playing in the European final is the highlight of any female footballer's career. "I am just delighted to be serving my country in this way. We will not be getting the same attendance as the men but this is the biggest game of our lives and a massive thing for women's football." Lindsay joined the England squad nine months ago and is joined by fellow Everton players, Rachel Unitt, 23, a left back and Fara Williams, 21, who plays mid field. In the countdown to the big game on Sunday, the girls are now refining their techniques and tactics at Blackburn's training ground. Rachel says: "We are eating what we are told to eat, there is a strictly no alcohol policy and lots of rest is required." But she adds that despite this the team is extremely excited and not at all nervous about the game. "We just cannot wait to play the first game. This is something which we have been working towards for two years and we do believe we have a good chance of winning if we play the way we know we can."

Unseeded Everton to face European giant
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jun 4 2005
EVERTON could face the likes of Inter Milan, Sporting Lisbon, Ajax and Monaco in the third qualifying round of the Champions League after it emerged they will not be seeded for the third qualifying draw in Nyon, Switzerland on July 29. The Merseysiders, back in Europe for the first time in 10 years, feared this would be the case and they are now awaiting UEFA confirmation of the fact.
But with all Europe's leagues now completed, Everton know they do not have a large enough coefficient to take a seeded place, and they would find themselves even below Millwall, who would have a better ranking because they were in the UEFA Cup last season. Everton face the prospect of being paired with Inter Milan, Sporting Lisbon, Ajax and Monaco and there is also the possibility of a 'Battle of Britain' if they are pulled out of the hat with Scottish seeds Rangers or Celtic, if the latter get through their second qualifying round. Formal clarification is still yet to arrive from UEFA but Everton's head of communications, Ian Ross, said: "As we have not been involved in Europe for the past five seasons we hold no UEFA team ranking and therefore take the England ranking into the Champions League for seeding purposes. "The current seeding list is worked out on the basis that teams such as Anderlecht, Locomotive Moscow, Dinamo Kiev and Celtic all progress through the second qualifying round. "But even if that did not prove to be the case the ranking for Everton is still too low to give us a seeded place, which is an extremely unusual situation for an English team to be in." Everton cannot be drawn against Manchester United, also in the third qualifier, because although the Old Trafford club are seeded they cannot face a team from their own country.

Newcastle in for Parker
Jun 4 2005 By David Prior Daily Post Staff
NEWCASTLE UNITED have joined Everton in the chase for Chelsea's Scott Parker. David Moyes is weighing up a bid for the £6m-rated midfielder, who is ready to leave Stamford Bridge after just one league start last season. Magpies manager Graeme Souness is believed to be interested in the player as a replacement for Lee Bowyer, and the Scot may lodge a firm bid when he returns from a holiday in the States next week. Another Goodison target, Mikael Forssel, could be an Everton player by early next week. The Finn will arrive on Merseyside this morning for a medical and could be ready to start discussing personal terms as early as tomorrow. Everton hope next week to be able to confirm the out of contract players who have agreed new deals. Duncan Ferguson, David Weir and Leon Osman are believed to have accepted offers while Alan Stubbs and Steve Watson are as yet to agree terms. Alessandro Pistone is expected to return to Italy and join Lecce. * FORMER Academy defender Daniel Fox, who was released at the end of the season, has followed former team-mate
Anthony Gerrard to Walsall on a two-year deal.

Weir is ready to remain at Goodison
By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
Jun 6 2005
THE lure of Champions League football has proved too hard to resist for Everton defender David Weir. The Scottish international is ready to put pen to paper on a new one-year deal with the club following last season's superb achievement in qualifying for Europe's top competition. The 35-year-old's present deal runs out at the end of the month and he had been linked with a move to Leeds, but Weir has signalled his determination play a part in Everton's European adventure. And he hopes the rest of the club's out-of-contract contingent will follow suit. Weir said: "We've just had a great season and I hope all of the guys who helped us finish in fourth place are around next season to enjoy it. "Alessandro Pistone and Alan Stubbs have been linked with other teams but I hope they stay - I'd miss them. "I'm happy to stay and sign a one-year deal instead of two because I know I'll need to keep working hard and playing well to earn another one next year. I don't want to sign for two then put my feet up. "I want to be there to help Everton do well next season." Weir is delighted that Everton proved so many people wrong last year. After being written off as relegation fodder, David Moyes's players earned themselves a place in the top four early in the season - and stayed there to hold onto a Champions League qualifying spot. "A lot of people predicted we'd go down and it was nice to prove them wrong," admitted Weir.. "Next year will be tough. Every year a club does well then can't keep it going. "It happened to Ipswich a few years ago so we need to ensure we're no one-season wonders. "There's no reason why we should be. We have good team spirit but I've always found in football there's a good team spirit in every dressing room when your side is winning." Weir is one of seven senior stars who have been mulling over offers to extend their stays at Goodison Park. Steve Watson, Alessandro Pistone, Gary Naysmith, Alan Stubbs, Duncan Ferguson and Leon Osman have yet to reveal their intentions, although early indications suggested Watson, Pistone - who may return to Italy - and Stubbs, who has been linked with Bolton and Wigan, could move on. Weir, who played in Scotland's 2-0 World Cup win over Moldova at the weekend, is the first to say he wants to share in Everton's first European foray for 10 years. Meanwhile Finnish striker Mikael Forssell is now back with his international colleagues ahead of the midweek game against Holland in Helsinki. He interrupted his international commitments by flying to England for a stringent Everton medical on Friday. The club hope to continue talks over personal terms at the end of this week which, if all goes well and the medical he undertook reveals no long-term damage following Forssell's serious knee injury last year, could make him Moyes's second summer signing by next weekend. The chance of Chelsea team-mate Scott Parker joining him remain threatened by the prospect of Newcastle stepping in with a lucrative deal for the midfielder. Everton hope to have further talks with Mikel Arteta and Real Sociedad to resolve the terms of turning his loan deal with the club into a permanent move.

McFadden clincher is reminder for Scots
Jun 6 2005 By Jon West Daily Post Correspondent
SCOTLAND manager Walter Smith has reassured James McFadden that he still sees a big future ahead of the Everton man. The 22-year-old was a regular choice under previous manager Berti Vogts. But having missed Smith's first match, the 2-0 defeat in Italy in March, he was left on the bench for Saturday's 2-0 victory over Moldova. The former Motherwell man still left his mark on the occasion, coming on late on to net an 89th-minute clincher to add to fellow substitute Christian Dailly's 53rd-minute breakthrough. McFadden is the leading scorer in the Scotland squad, with seven goals from 20 caps, yet has been merely a peripheral figure since leaving Moth-erwell for Everton almost two years ago. The player knows every time he scores for his nation questions will be asked back on Merseyside about his lack of club contribution. Smith, who is a former Everton manager himself, was aware of that and offered post-match words of encouragment. He said: "I think it terms of his progression it was a lot for him to go down to the Premiership and this was his first full season. "He is obviously disappointed that he has not played as many games as he would have liked and I hope he will get over that. "He has plenty to offer us. I will continue to pick the team I think is best - and I'm sure a lot of the time he will be in it." Whether he starts against Belarus in Minsk on Wednesday remains to be seen, although there are certainly spaces needing to be filled as injury and suspension bit into Smith's squad once again. He said: "It looks as though we have one or two problems. Jackie McNamara will probably be out for Wednesday's game and Paul Hartley is suspended so we will be a little bit thin on the ground. "Neil McCann is touch and go at the moment but I am hopeful we will get him back in time. "But I think we will also benefit from having played the Moldova match as Lee McCulloch and Kenny Miller hadn't played for a month." McCulloch operated in his former role at Motherwell as a strike partner for Miller, having spent the past few seasons at Wigan as a left-sided midfielder. It was McCulloch's third cap but Smith was pleased with his contribution, which included a cross for the first goal that goal-keeper Evgheni Hmaruc could not cope with. He said: "I thought he worked very hard and did very well to set up the first goal. I have been pleased with him since he came to us. He has showed a good spirit and determination."
Belarus' 1-1 draw with Slovenia later in the day was also good news for the Scots' hopes of a play-off place and victory on Wednesday will lift them above their hosts. Norway's 0-0 draw at home to Italy was a slight setback, given that an away win would have helped Scotland more. Smith added: "We are dependent on other results going our way but we can influence that as well and going on the last couple of games small steps forward have been taken in terms of the team's attitide and confidence.
"Wednesday, I would hope, will be another step forward." Scotland did the majority of the attacking at Hampden Park until the final half hour, which saw the Moldovans become more brave in the search for an equaliser. That nearly arrived but the Scots held out until McFadden wrapped up the three points. Smith is likely to be far more defensive-minded in Minsk against a team he rates as better than Norway and Slovenia.

Blues remain confident of double swoop
Jun 6 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON face a fight to secure the signatures of Scott Parker and Mikael Forrsell - but believe they are still in pole position to land both. Newcastle boss Graeme Souness has made Parker his first priority this summer, while Birmingham are keen to retain Forssell permanently after a successful season on-loan at St Andrew's from Chelsea. But the Blues confirmed today that "negotiations are ongoing" with the duo. The problem with Parker is the £55,000 a week wage deal he is currently on at Chelsea. Newcastle are prepared to match that figure. Everton have offered £40,000 per week-plus, but boss David Moyes is desperate to maintain some sort of salary structure at Goodison and hopes that the lure of Champions League football will prove more attractive to the player than the extra cash. The Blues will not go any higher, and are waiting for a response from the player's representatives. Forssell was scheduled to undergo a medical over the weekend in England, before returning to Finland to prepare for a World Cup qualifier against Holland on Wednesday. Blues chief executive Keith Wyness declined to comment on either of the transfers today, other than to confirm that discussions were still continuing and no timescale had been placed on either. Again, it seems that the forward is assessing all available options before making a decision. Of the seven existing Everton play-ers who have been offered new deals, defender David Weir confirmed over the weekend he had accepted a one-year extension, with Duncan Ferguson, Leon Osman and Gary Naysmith set to follow suit. Alan Stubbs, Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone, however, have not indicated their acceptance of new terms yet and look likely to exit Goodison. Weir explained his decision: "We've just had a great season and I hope all of the guys who helped us finish fourth are around next season to enjoy it. "I want to help Everton do well next season."

Football clubs join Prince's trust
Jun 6 2005 By Mary Murtagh, Liverpool Echo
HUNDREDS of young people from Merseyside have been helped into jobs, college or training thanks to a partnership between the region's football clubs and the charity The Prince's Trust. Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers FC provide work placements, talks from staff and players and use of the club facilities. The project sees youngsters join a 12 week personal development programme, Team, which uses the appeal of football to improve their lives. In the past four years the project has helped 323 young people from Merseyside. Shaun Preston, 19, of Litherland, is on the Team programme. He said: "I'm loving every minute of Team. We've been backpacking and car washing and speaking to all different types of people. "I've done outdoor pursuits in Wales like abseiling and we were cooking for each other on a rota. I haven't done stuff like that before. "I support Liverpool but I'm looking forward to the Everton stadium tour we're going on. The team leaders really look after you, they're like your mates, you can really talk to them. I'm really enjoying it." Everton FC's James Beattie, who has helped with the project, said: "When you hear the stories about what some of these young people have been through you realise what a difference The Prince's Trust has made to their lives."

Forssell problems has Bellamy back in frame
Jun 7 2005 By David Prior Daily Post Staff
MIKAEL FORSSELL'S proposed move to Goodison Park was on the verge of collapse last night - raising the prospect of a renewed Everton approach for Craig Bellamy. The Finnish striker underwent a medical on Saturday and was expected then to begin discussions regarding a £3million switch from Chelsea. However, no such progress has been made with the delay stemming from doubts over Forssell's knee. The 24-year-old's loan switch to Birmingham was brought to a premature end last season by a serious knee ligament injury that sidelined him for seven months in total. Everton have still not given up on signing Forssell but are understood to be putting together a new pay-as-you-play deal. The only chance of salvaging the deal now rests with Chelsea accepting such a proposal.
Should the move for Forssell break down, however, it would provide an unwelcome echo of Sean Davis's proposed move from Fulham to Merseyside two years ago, which was also scuppered by a failed medical owing to a knee injury. It would also force manager David Moyes back into the striker market, with a renewed approach for Celtic's on-loan frontman Bellamy a distinct possibility. The controversial Wales international (pictured above) is due to thrash out his future with new Bhoys manager Gordon Strachan this week and the Scot is keen to keep hold of the 25-year-old. However £5m-rated Bellamy, who is not wanted back by Newcastle, may well be tempted by a fresh start in the Premiership and Everton's Champions League qualification is a further draw for the player.
Everton are believed to have made a tentative enquiry some weeks ago but, should the Forssell move come to nothing, may go back with a firmer offer for a player who scored nine times in his 15 games at Celtic Park. The Goodison club also denied claims last night they'd dropped out of the race to sign their other Chelsea target, Scott Parker. Reports in Newcastle suggested the club had withdrawn from the chase to sign the £6m-rated former Charlton player, but an Everton spokesman insisted: "It is categorically untrue to say that we have dropped out of the chase to sign Parker."
The situation, however, is also thought to be finely-balanced with Liverpool reportedly joining Newcastle in the chase for the player. Parker's £55,000-a-week salary at Stamford Bridge is a potential stumbling block, with Everton knowing that such a deal would shatter their salary policy.
Newcastle are believed to be prepared to match his wages, with Everton offering over £40,000 a week. Everton hope the lure of playing in the Champions League will encourage Parker to consider their offer rather than joining Newcastle, who have failed to qualify for Europe. Meanwhile, Everton hope to continue negotiations with their out-of-contract players after the midweek round of internationals. They are expected to confirm later this week that Duncan Ferguson, David Weir, Leon Osman and Gary Nay-smith have agreed new one-year contracts. But is it now likely Alessandro Pistone, Steve Watson and Alan Stubbs will reject their offers and are set to leave the club.

Wyness: Liverpool inclusion must not cost clubs
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 7 2005
EVERTON will not accept any financial penalty resulting from Liverpool's potential inclusion in next season's Champions League, chief executive Keith Wyness said last night. The Anfield club are waiting on a UEFA decision regarding their participation in the competition, with director of communications William Gaillard confirming it may come as early as the middle of this week.
As revealed in the Daily Post last week, Everton would under the existing situation face a reduced cut of the television money divided up between qualifying clubs. Each country has a percentage of the TV pot and money is divided between their clubs - a fifth club under the England banner could mean that clubs get a fifth, not a quarter, of the proceeds. That could potentially cost the Goodison club up to £5million. And while still supporting their neighbours' bid to be allowed to defend the trophy, Everton have called on UEFA to find a solution that does not penalise clubs that qualified via league placement. Wyness said: "I have no problem with the title holders defending the title as we've said previously. "However it should be at no financial expense to any of the other clubs in the competition. One solution would be for them to be treated almost as a club with no country and therefore it wouldn't affect the country pool of the clubs that qualify through the normal means.
"It would be up to UEFA to decide what remuneration, apart from gate income, the title holders would receive." UEFA officials are preparing to discuss the Liverpool's situation ahead of their scheduled meeting in Manchester next week, with Gaillard saying yesterday: "It will depend on many telephone calls and the issue being discussed thoroughly with the executive committee members." Gaillard believes there is extra "sympathy" for Liverpool because their win in Istanbul was so dramatic. "There is a lot of sympathy for Liverpool's plight, at the same time we have rules," he added. "You strike a compromise between the sympathy and the rules. "The rule was applied five years ago in Spain, replacing the fourth-placed team with the champions (of the Champions League). "So there is a precedent. At the same time we understand that in England - and probably outside given the way they won the title - that provoked a lot of sympathy. "It is not (just) common sense, not as easy as it sounds, because it may have an influence on other clubs. "It's important we get a consensus from our executive committee on the matter before proceeding."

McFadden cool on link with Rangers
By Jon West In Minsk, Daily Post
Jun 7 2005
SCOTLAND forward James McFadden has shrugged off speculation linking him with Rangers by insisting the downfall of Belarus is the only thing on his mind. The 22-year-old is, along with Darren Fletcher of Manchester United, regarded as the brightest young talent to have emerged from Scotland in a while. But as he is not a regular at Everton, the club he joined from Motherwell almost two years ago, he has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park. Rangers manager Alex McLeish is known to be an admirer and, with Peter Lovenkrands - a fading star at Ibrox - attracting interest from Portsmouth, there could soon be a vacancy for McFadden at the home of the Scottish champions. McFadden offered no indication that he expected to be moving, however, insisting instead he was concentrating solely on tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier with Belarus in Minsk.
He said: "It is not the first time I've been linked and I imagine it wont be the last. "I have lost count of the number of times I have been linked with somebody. It is just the way it goes. "I don't know if anything is happening. Nothing is as far as I'm concerned. I don't think it is worth talking about. I have a very big game on Wednesday and things like that don't even register in my mind." McFadden came off the bench to net the clincher in Scotland's 2-0 Hampden Park success over Moldova on Saturday, a strike that brings his international tally up to an impressive seven goals in 20 games.
Whether he starts in the Dinamo Stadium remains to be seen but the player was in no mood to criticise manager Walter Smith for leaving him out in the first place. He said: "It is not for me to decide. The manager made his decision on Saturday and it worked. He cannot be criticised." The Moldova win enabled the Scots close the gap on Belarus and victory tomorow will see them climb above their opponents as well as draw closer to play-off rivals Norway and Slovenia. McFadden was in no doubt as to how important three points would be to a campaign that began disastrously under previous manager Berti Vogts. He said: "Saturday was a successful afternoon, not just for me but for the team as it was a must-win game. And I would say Wednesday's a must-win game as well. "We have been given a lift by the win, although there is a long way to go. We believe it is still possible to qualify and - until we're told otherwise - we'll keep trying. If we win on Wednesday then we will be back up there."

Time to buy
Post Soapbox, icLliverpool & Daily Post
Jun 7 2005
Time to buy
IT looks like Scott Parker is going to go to Newcastle (who aren't in Europe) for £55,000 a week instead of our offer of £40,000 - let him go! Sadly we are going to lose Alan Stubbs, who carried the team with Tim Cahill, and Alessandro Pistone who had his best season in ages. We need to buy as it's going to be tough next year.
S Pugh (via e-mail)
Don't risk it
I HOPE we don't give into the pay demands from Mikel Arteta and Scott Parker. While I'd love to see either or both of them at Goodison Park next season, megabucks pay packets have no place at Everton. Firstly it damages the morale of the lesser-paid team members. Secondly it's too big a risk investing so much money in one or two players who can easily become injured and thirdly we simply can't afford to sink into any more debt than we're already in. If they don't want to play for a quality team then they can always take their chances with Graeme Souness at Newcastle.
S McDonald (via e-mail)
Taylor swap
REGARDING the possibility of a straight swap deal involving Ryan Taylor for West Bromwich Albion's Jason Koumas. WBA don't have a natural right back and they're looking to fill that void as Koumas has been told he will never play for WBA again, it's not unbelievable is it? Maybe we should be looking at loaning him for a season with a view to a £1million permanent move if we get promotion?
Juan Ugarte is not the answer to our goal-scoring problems, we need a big striker. David Johnson is too similar to Iain Hume and Chris Dagnall so would be no use to us, unless either Hume or Dagnall were sold. Luke Beckett is an option but unlikely as we'd have to buy him, he's been transfer listed not released, as some people keep saying. The only option for the type of players we need is to buy, otherwise we're in for another frustrating season.
B James (via e-mail)
Players needed
ROVERS need to buy/get new players. At the moment we are second favourites to go up, but look at Bristol City, I think they have the potential to swamp the league next year. We need new players mainly a striker and right back if Ryan Taylor goes.
F Andrew, Birkenhead

How row over rent paved way for the School of Science
Jun 7 2005 150 Years of Everton, by Len Capeling, Daily Post
YOU finally get a handle on Everton's 127 years of extraordinary existence when you realise - with a start - that when this infant in blue and white took its first, tentative steps, Jesse James was still robbing banks and stagecoaches in the Wild West while, just two years before, General George Armstrong Custer and his force of 260 men had died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Even gazing steadily at the oh-so sombre faces of the players who turned out for this fledgling club in 1878, doesn't quite bring to life these forerunners of such as Ball, Harvey and Kendall who plied their trade on the green acres of Stanley Park and field close at hand. Unlike Jesse James and Wyatt Earp - also alive at that time - these early soccer missionaries seem like figures from a wax museum, whereas cinema made enduring flesh and blood of every Western gunman, whether desperado or lawman.
Almost all these early Evertonians seem to wear walrus moustaches - ladies hopefully excepted - with the odd,, often extremely odd, handlebar moustache adding to the fun. Beetle brows were also the rage, and no player appears to be under 40, or capable of smiling. You look at them, think of the glamour of present-day soccer stars with their expensively coiffed locks, their financial managers, their property portfolios, and try, unsuccessfully, to relate it to Everton's first gate receipts of 14 shillings - around 70p - raised from a game at Priory Road. Forty-five pounds from a whole season, barely enough to give Duncan Ferguson bidding rights on a champion pigeon. In the beginning, of course, was the word from St Domingo's. And the word was small. In 1878, the church formed a football section. A year later the young team, which played in blue and white, called itself Everton, after the district in which it then lived, and pasted the first glitter on a star name. To start with, they trod the grass of Stanley Park, the players carting the goalposts across the road and placing them in position. They stayed for four seasons, but needed gate money and moved on to Priory Road - to dressing rooms and a primitive stand - where the club landed its first silverware, the Liverpool Cup.
What happened next was, indirectly, the making of the club. Everton's overexuberant supporters - well, the goals were flowing in these innocent pre-zonal defensive days - got them evicted from Priory Road and president John Houlding - a former Lord Mayor - offered them a new home on - curses!! - Anfield Road. And, yes, every Everton greybeard knows the story from here.
The whole gang, players, officials, supporters and camp-followers became building work-ers and raised what is now, after numerous transformations, one of the most famous grounds in the football firmament. Everton prospered there, embraced professionalism, and entered the FA Cup competition for the first time in 1886-7, immediately withdrawing after fielding ineligible players.
A year later, smelling of roses, they were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League, and followed that up by becoming the second winners of the league - after Preston - in season 1890-91. Once again the goals gushed, the moustaches got longer, and the players departed their field of dreams on low-performance bicycles if they were lucky. Then came the ruckus that would drive the Everton toddler to quit his quarrelsome family to see if the grass was greener on the other side of Stanley Park Lake. John Houlding, now owner of Anfield, saw Everton's success, thought he'd make killing, raised the rent 150 per cent, and, in so doing, effectively created the real Everton.
Offered land alongside Goodison Road, they overcame Houlding's late, unpleasant attempt to hang on to the Everton name - he had to settle for Liverpool AFC after a spat with Liverpool RUFC - and upped sticks for Mere Green Field, later to be Goodison Park. The year was 1892, Queen Victoria was not amused, General Gordon had previously perished in Khartoum, and the Everton warriors featured Alf Millward - who had at least half a yard of under-growth attached to his upper lip plus two millipede-sized eyebrows - and Edgar Chadwick of the boomerang moustache and earmuffs for eyebrows. Well-drilled by their first, recognisable hero - coach,, guru Jack McGill - they played a fine passing game that allowed them to zig while others still zagged. I was there when they trounced Notts County 6-0... well, no I wasn't. Except in spirit. I actually arrived 68 years later - three FA Cups and six League titles on - when short back and sides still pertained, and poorish wages remained in vogue. Only the large moustaches had gone, shrunk to an understated David Niven style.
Goodison had grown out of all recognition by that time. Early photographs show what looks like a single stand topped by a lookout tower, although gates soon grew to more than 30,000 and later, with massive redevelopment, into the seventy-thousands. The club had also grown lots of legends, and trophies, including - at that time - five first division championships and two FA Cups, and were on the brink of even more glory thanks to the patronage of Littlewoods founder John Moores and the player-spotting talents of the enigmatic Harry Catterick. Under Catterick two more league titles would be won, plus another FA Cup, following an unforgettable victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
There would be heroes galore: the Golden Vision, Alex Young, a footballer in the classical mould; Brian Labone, Everton's all-time greatest centre-half; Bobby Collins; Roy Vernon, a genius; Tommy Ring; Tony Kay; Derek Temple; John Hurst; Jimmy Husband; Gordon West; the Holy Trinity of Alan Ball, Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall; Alex Scott as well as giants like Ray Wilson, the unsung Tommy Wright and a young colossus called Joe Royle. All of them would be in the true tradition of a football club which prided itself on being the School of Science. Jessie James had long gone to Boot Hill - as distinct from Bootle - when Dixie Dean strode into town in the 1920s. But it wasn't only his 60 goals in 39 league games that made him Everton's one true god. In a breathtaking career spanning 43 games, he scored a mammoth 377 goals, helping land two championships and an FA Cup between 1924 and 1937. His was the team of all the talents, from Ted Sagar in goal, to the silky talents of Alex Stevenson and, Dean's major supplier, the elusive Jimmy Stein. Dean would be succeeded by the majestic Tommy Lawton, another goal machine who led Everton to another league crown on the brink of World War II. After the war came some hard times, Lawton went, so did the inspirational Gentleman Joe Mercer, though another golden boy, Dave Hickson, shone throughout the fraught Fifties. Catterick illuminated the 60s, though his reputation for being a tactical superman later came under scrutiny as Alan Ball and others chipped away at the York-shire grouch's considerable achievements. Everton brought their total of titles to seven, FA Cups to three, and the sun in its wisdom shone on a gleaming Goodison. Then came the fall-off. The 70s brought the Mersey sound, of sobbing, from Goodison Park. It was to be a decade that, the magic of Bob Latchford and Dave Thomas apart, would be talked about fearfully, in whispers. But little did lamenting Evertonians know that the man dispensed with in the deal that brought the admirable Latchford from Birmingham City - Howard Kendall - was set to return,, lifting Everton to undreamed-of heights, and becoming, in the process, the club's most successful manager ever. Howard was also a heartbeat away from winning a Double. The league championship total rose to nine, the FA Cup tally to four - Joe Royle hoisting that to five amid the ruins of 1995 - and Everton tasted their first triumph on the continent, winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in style on a memorable night in Rotterdam. Heroes abounded. Peter Reid, above all. Andy Gray. Neville Southall, the best never to be over-taken. Trevor Steven. Pat van den Hauwe. Gary Stevens. Kevin Sheedy, by the left. Paul Bracewell. Skipper Kevin Ratcliffe, his bright, innocent smile clearing him with every referee. Derek Mountfield, and, later, the magnificent Dave Watson. Inchy Heath. Graeme Sharp. It all died too suddenly, like the Catterick era, and only Joe Royle, a giant from the past, briefly lit up the noxious 90s. Everton slalomed from the high peaks after Kendall foolishly took Spanish leave, and his later incarnations failed to weave more magic. The obsessive David Moyes is now charged with bringing back the long-lost gleam of silver and fingers remain crossed. But the memories linger - how they linger - of days when a row over rent sparked a revolution, and a club emerged that would burrow deep into the hearts of the Everton Nation.

How Evans stole a march on derby rivals in FA Cup
Jun 7 2005
150 Years Of Winners, Daily Post
IN the mid-1950s Everton and Liverpool changed places in Divisions One and Two, as the Reds side failed to replace its ageing stars. However, in the first season afterwards, the pair met in the FA Cup and it was Liverpool who won 4-0, largely due to John Evans hanging back at a free-kick and staying on-side to score a shock goal.
* Cliff Britton did not remain Everton manager for long after promotion, and was succeeded by a PTI from Loughborough called Ian Buchan. The move was not a huge success, but while he was in charge Everton travelled to Old Trafford and ended a record-breaking Manchester United run by winning 5-2. The match was notable for Albert Dunlop making his debut in goal and playing brilliantly, for Jimmy Gauld also making his first appearance, George Kirby scoring twice at centre forward, and Tony McNamara having an outstanding match on the right wing.
* Crewe had a memorable Cup-tie with all-conquering Spurs, also in the fifties, when a young Peter Robinson was the club secretary and had to take the money home each evening on his bike because they didn't own a safe. They drew 2-2 and could easily have won but for a couple of fine saves. However, they were a bit nervous before the replay when they arrived at Platform 13, and sure enough, they lost 13-2 against a side including players like Blanchflower, Mackay and Bobby Smith.
* Liverpool have twice played in the World Club Championship, under Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan. Both matches were held in Tokio, after a long journey, and they lost 3-0 to a Flamengo (Brazil) team including Zico, on the first occasion, and 1-0 to Independents on the second.

Sporting joy and despair at heart of our region
Jun 7 2005 150 Years of Sport, by Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
ANYONE searching for a graphic illustration of what sport means to Merseyside does not need to look very far. Even though the archives of the Daily Post run deep - spanning 150 years of sporting endeavour in the region faithfully and dramatically reported down the decades - events of the past few weeks only serve to underline the role sport continues to play in our daily lives. Liverpool's heart-stopping victory in the Champions League final against AC Milan brought thousands of people out onto the streets of the city in unprecedented scenes to welcome home the conquering heroes.
From those who can still remember Liverpool's first successful foray among the Continent's elite with crystal clear clarity to toddlers thrust towards the sky by proud parents amid the thronging crowds, the triumph of Rafael Benitez's side captured the imagination of every generation.
But it is not just the red half of the city that is wearing broad smiles today. David Moyes and his players at Goodison Park transformed a side written off as relegation fodder into Champions League qualifiers. It is customary in a reflective piece on the significance of sport to Merseyside to trot out Bill Shankly's maxim about football being more important than life and death. But to take his comments at face value, undermines the fact that Shankly, an outsider, had quickly come to appreciate how sport in the city had the ability to strike at the emotions of the population and produce the kind of reaction that politicians can only dream of. We have witnessed outpourings of both elation and grief during the past 150 years as sport can deliver just as many lows as it can highs, but throughout it is the pride of the Merseyside people in their sporting heroes that shines through - just as Liverpool fans sang themselves hoarse even when their side were 3-0 down in Istanbul.
And the Daily Post has been there all the way, reflecting the hopes and dreams of the players and their supporters, sharing in their glory and despair, and providing the kind of reporting that befits a city where sport is at the heart of so much. In an age of TV, radio and internet there is so much reportage to choose from, but the Daily Post believes quality still counts. And we have harnessed the changes in technology over the years to bring you more substantial match coverage, opinions from a wide range of writers, players and managers and the chance for you to share your thoughts with our readers. And it is not just in the world of football where the Daily Post excels.
To dismiss Merseyside as merely a footballing region, with its two Premiership clubs and a neighbour across the Mersey in Tranmere who have founded their own pages of cup folklore, is to overlook the achievements of a myriad of sportsmen and women in a wide variety of fields. Something the Daily Post would never do. From Olympic gold medal winners at cycling to world boxing champions, from cricketers who have played for England to golfers who have won at the highest level and from the cream of the country's gymnasts churned out by a sports centre in Toxteth to rugby players of both codes who have worn the shirt of both their countries and the British Lions, Merseyside's roll of honour cannot be matched. Which is why the Daily Post will continue to strive to match the efforts of our sporting community in bringing you the coverage they deserve. Roll on the next 150 years...

Toon aim to hijack Forssell transfer
Jun 7 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
NEWCASTLE have emerged as shock rivals to Everton for the signature of Mikael Forssell, after erroneous claims in the north-east yesterday that the striker had failed a medical! Within hours of the claims being published - and rubbished by the player's agent - The Magpies offered to sign the striker themselves. But Everton are now trying to negotiate a payas-you-play deal with the Finnish forward. Forssell did undergo a rigorous medical on Merseyside last weekend, which revealed that the knee injury which brought the 24-year-old's season to a premature end was still causing concern.
Forssell, who is due to play for Finland against Holland tomorrow, managed just eight appearances in the whole of last season, two of them for his country. The Blues still want to sign the striker, but on different terms. If Everton cannot renegotiate a deal, Craig Bellamy has been suggested as a possible replacement - but the Blues have made no formal approach yet for him. The Scott Parker transfer is becoming increasingly complicated, with Tottenham now seeking to land the midfielder as compensation for Frank Arnesen in their poaching row with Chelsea. Everton are still upbeat about their chances of signing the highly regarded midfielder, despite claims from the north-east that Newcastle are now in pole position. The Magpies have offered Parker a bigger salary package than the Blues, but boss David Moyes hopes that the player's ambition of playing in Europe will persuade him to choose Goodison. Parker will not make a decision until he returns from holiday. But before leaving he made extensive enquiries about possible areas to live on Merseyside and Everton ' s plans for squad rebuilding. The Blues' dealings with the player so far have been positive, but he is a sought-after individual and the Goodison club will make no official comment other than to confirm "negotiations are ongoing." Everton, meanwhile, have confirmed they will support Liverpool's right to defend the Champions League trophy they won last month in Istanbul - but not at any financial cost to themselves. UEFA are poised to make a decision on Liverpool's defence of their crown.
But Everton are concerned about the financial implications of such a move. Reports surfaced last week that if UEFA give Liverpool the green light it would be at a potential £5million cost to Everton if both clubs ended up in the group stages of the competition. However, Goodison Park chief executive Keith Wyness insists Everton are not in favour of such a move. Wyness believes the onus is on UEFA to find a way of accommodating Liverpool without damaging any club already confirmed as participants. Wyness said: "I have no problem with the title holders defending their title, as we have said previously. "However, it should be at no financial expense to any of the other clubs in the competition. "It would be up to UEFA to decide what remuneration, apart from gate income, the title holders would receive." Everton, fourth in the Premier League, have already been confirmed by the FA as one of England's four entrants next season and they will come in at the third qualifying stage. Each country has a percentage of the TV pot, and money is divided between their clubs - a fifth club under the England banner could mean that clubs get a fifth, not a quarter, of the proceeds.

I just want to play - McFadden
Jun 7 2005 By Jon West, Liverpool Echo
JAMES McFADDEN insists he is prepared to play anywhere to get a game for Scotland. The Everton forward can play in both an attacking midfield role or as an out and out striker, but so far under Walter Smith he has only been a substitute. He came off the bench on Saturday to net a late clincher in Scotland's 2-0 win over Moldova, but whether that has earned him a start in Belarus tomorrow in the World Cup qualifier the Scots must win to draw closer to the nations above them, remains to be seen. But the 22-year-old made it clear he would accept any role. He said: "I don't know if striker is where I'll be playing. I'm not here to pick teams and tell people where I should and should not be playing. "It was his decision on Saturday and it worked. I won't be saying I should be doing this or doing that, "I did have a chat with Walter and he told me a few things I can improve on and I was pleased with that. "Expectations will be there whether it's right or wrong and I'll have to deal with it. "Even coming off the bench it was expected I was going to score a goal. It is unfair at times but I have to deal with it. "If I didn't believe in myself there would be no point in being on the pitch. I want to prove I can do that. And I need to believe and there is no other way to be." McFadden also knows his lack of regular club action has counted against him but he insisted: "But if I play regularly and play well I know I'll be pushing for a starting place." With seven goals in just 20 internationals, McFadden's strike rate stands up to comparison with many a top striker. The player added: "I'm pleased with my goal record - it shows I can do it at the highest level."

Cahill would welcome Chelsea duo's arrival
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 8 2005
TIM CAHILL has admitted he would be "over the moon" if Everton sign Scott Parker and Mikael Forssell - as he joined a chorus of Goodison voices insisting the club must not suffer if Liverpool are allowed to enter next season's Champions League. Everton were last night still struggling to clinch the Chelsea pair, who Cahill believe would signify the club's intent ahead of next season's Champions League. The Australian, currently preparing for an international friendly against New Zealand, said: "I think Scott Parker and Mikael Forssell speak for themselves. "They're fantastic players with a lot of ability and if we get them I'd be absolutely over the moon because Everton are looking to buy big and make the club even bigger than it is now." Everton officials are working hard to make both deals a reality. Despite a bizarre denial from the player yesterday, Forssell did undergo a medical last weekend but uncertainties surrounding his knee led to the Merseysiders seeking a re-negotiation of terms with the player's club, Chelsea. Everton are still interested in the 24-year-old, but only now on a deal based on appearances. The club still stand a good chance of landing £6millionrated Parker, despite Tottenham joining Newcastle the race for the midfielder. Should both deals fall through, however, Everton will then turn their attentions to Craig Bellamy. Cahill also spoke out force-fully about Everton's position should Liverpool be granted a place in next season's Champions League. There are concerns at Goodison Park that such a move might hit Everton financially, with the club's potential revenue decreased as there would be a fifth English side in the competition.
A decision from UEFA on Liverpool's fate is due within days, with pressure from many sides being put on the European governing body to find a place in the 2005-06 competition for the Champions League winners. Cahill said: "I am absolutely delighted for Liverpool, it is a remarkable achievement and they deserve it. "But when you start asking for rules to be changed, I am not sure. There must not be rules for one and rules for another, but I will leave that to the top men to decide. Cahill added: "But just as long as it does not affect us, then I am happy for Liverpool to be in the Champions League." There have been suggestions that Liverpool should have taken the fourth Champions League place, with Everton shunted into the UEFA Cup, but that is highly unlikely to be the UEFA verdict. Cahill insisted that would not be an option, adding: "For two massive clubs in such a small city to have achieved what they have is tremendous. But we are just worried about Everton, our results speak for themselves. "If Liverpool get a place in the Champions League, then fair play to them. But if it affects us then I will not be happy. "We worked so hard and put everything into this, with such a small squad and not spending a lot of money it just shows how well the gaffer has done.
"But you can understand where Liverpool are coming from, as well as realising how we feel."
Manager David Moyes, who was back behind his desk yesterday after a short holiday, is also believed to be keeping a close eye on Auxerre star Benjamin Mwaruwari. The Zimbabwean striker scored 11 goals in 31 games in Le Championnat last season and was Auxerre's top scorer.
The 26-year-old also scored in the French Cup final victory over Sedan which brought the curtain down on coach Guy Roux's lengthy career at Stade Abbe-Deschamps. Charlton are also reportedly tracking his progress, along with Bayern Munich and Lyon. Everton have also announced that they expect to reach the target of 28,000 season tickets sold for only the second time in their history.
Chief executive Keith Wyness said: "We have already got a waiting list of about 5,000 and current holders have until June 18 to renew their tickets."

Everton have set standard
By Duncan Bech, Daily Post
Jun 8 2005
FULHAM striker Collins John has challenged his team-mates to emulate Everton by securing entry into the Champions League next season. Everton secured a coveted place in Europe's premier club competition by finishing fourth in the Premiership, completing a remarkable turnaround in fortunes after flirting with relegation just 12 months earlier. Fulham fought their own battle against the drop last term before eventually pulling away from the bottom three and John hopes they will now use Everton as an example of what can be achieved. "We're still in the Premiership and next season we can do better because we've got players who deserve to be in the top flight," he said. "The season before last Everton were near the bottom of the table and now they're in the Champions League, so why can't Fulham do the same?"

Moyes starts at the back
Jun 8 2005 EXCLUSIVE by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have made the signing of a new centre-half a priority - after it has become increasingly likely that three defenders could be on their way out of Goodison this summer. Boss David Moyes was back at Bellefield yesterday following a short break, where he learned that Gary Naysmith, Leon Osman, Duncan Ferguson and David Weir had all verbally agreed to contract extensions, while Kevin Kilbane has also committed himself to a new deal. But Alan Stubbs, Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone are not happy with the length of contracts they have been offered. Moyes is making squad rebuilding plans in the knowledge all three could be on their way. And while he waits for decisions from Mikael Forssell and Scott Parker, he will also pursue a new central defender. The Blues' boss has been reassured by the decisions from four of his out-of-contract stars. Gary Naysmith and Leon Osman both looked to have played their last matches for the club last season. But Naysmith has now agreed to a three-year deal and Osman a four-year extension, while Duncan Ferguson and David Weir have accepted one-year extensions with options. Kevin Kilbane has also agreed new terms for a further three years. But while Moyes waits for negotiations with Forssell and Parker's representatives to conclude, he is scouring the transfer market for central defensive cover. Birmingham's England international Matthew Upson has been discussed, but the Midlands club is trying to commit the player to a new contract - with three years on his current deal still outstanding - and would demand a prohibitive fee for his services. Cardiff's young defender Danny Gabbidon is not on Moyes' wish-list, while Danish defender Daniel Agter is promising but lacks the maturity the Blues' boss wants. Discussions with Mikael Arteta's agent, meawhile, will continue this week. The midfielder enjoyed a successful loan spell at Goodison last season and is available on a permanent £2.8m deal, but discussions have so far not reached agreement.

Team spirit, not star names so vital to Blues
Jun 8 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
WHAT short memories people have. Yes, I want the best players for Everton, but not at the expense of team spirit. We want people who, if the going gets tough, will dig in, not just come for the Champions League and big money. Can you imagine what the likes of Tim Cahill would feel if he sees all these people coming in on huge wages when he runs his socks off for much less. The spirit could be destroyed and the club left in more debt. Slowly, slowly is the way to do it with hungry players not greedy ones.
Sean Derry, Childer Thornton
THE leagues are littered with clubs who never improved enough to move on to that next level.
They never strengthened their squads at the right time, never brought in that right blend of play-ers and ended up with second and third choice transfer targets. The worst mistake some managers made was that they thought their management skills were better than they actually were.
The leagues are full of teams who promised so much one season and failed to deliver the next. Why? Building a team with the right blend is not going to be easy, but if David Moyes wants Scott Parker as midfield general, he has got to seriously consider paying the wages.
Mick Jones, Walton
THE Blues must stump up the cash for Parker and Arteta - they are both worth it. At their age, and with their experience, those two alone could make Everton a huge force for the future. We really need to compete in this transfer market to kick on next year. Simon Davies was a good start, so keep them coming.
Tim Spicer, St Helens
BEFORE anyone starts to panic about who we should be buying and paying outlandish wages for other clubs' cast-offs, we would do well to remember that success will not be bought overnight! David Moyes has done us proud on 'bargain buys' and we also have more potential for investment than we did a year ago. An experienced centre-back is more important than anything, with the likely departure of Stubbs, while Robbie Keane would be the icing on the cake.
Will Finlay, Crosby
ALL the doom and gloom has started already about transfers and money with some people. Parker is a good player, but £55,000 a week? Anyone who pays that is welcome to him. Secondly if the Forssell deal falls through then I'm sure it is Moyes who will have the final say, and is there an Evertonian who would go against his judgement? He stated in an interview a few weeks ago that us fans will only hear about players coming to Everton when he says so. So far I haven't heard him say much, which means everything going on now is pure speculation. I don't think for one minute he is sitting behind a desk doing nothing. He will bring quality to Everton this summer.
Jay Molloy, Wavertree
So keen on Keane
IT was obvious to anyone watching the Republic of Ireland v Israel match the other night what a talisman Robbie Keane was for the Irish. I hope David Moyes was watching because he is about the only prospective transfer who looks capable of adopting Big Dunc's mantle as a charismatic character. I'd rather Moyes got him than an overpaid 'prima donna'.
Terry Hopkins, Kensington

Patience the key - Dalglish
Jun 8 2005 By Ronnie Esplin, Liverpool Echo
LIVERPOOL and Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish urged frustrated Everton striker James McFadden to bide his time in his quest to establish himself as a first-team regular for his club and country.
The Blues forward struggled to hold down a place at Goodison last season and, even though the Scots sit second bottom of their World Cup qualification group and have a new boss in Walter Smith, McFadden's clinching goal against Moldova at Hampden on Saturday came as a result of yet another substitute appearance. However, Dalglish insists the young Scot should look at the bigger picture.
He said: "I don't know his situation at Everton, he's been injured and he's only started seven games.
"But I'm sure he's highly regarded by Davie Moyes and I don't think you would have much joy if you tried to buy him. I'm sure you would get a lot of resistance. "James has certainly done well for Scotland when he's had the opportunity. He's a wee bit different, he doesn't mind going past people and he picked up the pace of the game quickly when he came on against Moldova on Saturday.
"But I think Walter made the right decision in going for Kenny Miller and Lee McCulloch as his strikers, they are the two guys that are on form. "The disappointment of not playing is there for everyone who's ever played, but it's whether you want to labour on the disappointment. "We won the match and the result is more important than any one individual. Without the efforts of a lot of individuals you don't get a result, so it's a collective thing and he's part of that squad."
Dalglish admits he also sympathised with uncapped Hibernian striker Derek Riordan, who has been drafted into Smith's squad, only to sit on the bench for the last two games against Italy and Moldova. But the Scotland legend again reiterated the need for the 22-year-old to hold fire.
He said: "He can be pleased with the season he's had and he might be a little bit disappointed that he hasn't had a game yet for Scotland. "If he wasn't disappointed then he has got a problem because if you're second-top goalscorer in the league with 23 goals then you must have high aspirations for yourself. "It doesn't mean to say he's disenchanted - there's a huge difference between disappointed and disenchanted. "But if we win 2-0 then the manager has made a 100% correct decision." Meanwhile, captain Barry Ferguson is a doubt for tonight's game, after limping out of training yesterday with a groin injury. Ferguson was hurt during the final training session for the qualifier in Minsk's Dinamo Stadium.

Team spirit, not star names so vital to Blues
Jun 8 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
WHAT short memories people have. Yes, I want the best players for Everton, but not at the expense of team spirit. We want people who, if the going gets tough, will dig in, not just come for the Champions League and big money. Can you imagine what the likes of Tim Cahill would feel if he sees all these people coming in on huge wages when he runs his socks off for much less. The spirit could be destroyed and the club left in more debt. Slowly, slowly is the way to do it with hungry players not greedy ones.
Sean Derry, Childer Thornton
THE leagues are littered with clubs who never improved enough to move on to that next level.
They never strengthened their squads at the right time, never brought in that right blend of play-ers and ended up with second and third choice transfer targets. The worst mistake some managers made was that they thought their management skills were better than they actually were.
The leagues are full of teams who promised so much one season and failed to deliver the next. Why? Building a team with the right blend is not going to be easy, but if David Moyes wants Scott Parker as midfield general, he has got to seriously consider paying the wages.
Mick Jones, Walton
THE Blues must stump up the cash for Parker and Arteta - they are both worth it. At their age, and with their experience, those two alone could make Everton a huge force for the future.
We really need to compete in this transfer market to kick on next year. Simon Davies was a good start, so keep them coming.
Tim Spicer, St Helens
BEFORE anyone starts to panic about who we should be buying and paying outlandish wages for other clubs' cast-offs, we would do well to remember that success will not be bought overnight!
David Moyes has done us proud on 'bargain buys' and we also have more potential for investment than we did a year ago. An experienced centre-back is more important than anything, with the likely departure of Stubbs, while Robbie Keane would be the icing on the cake.
Will Finlay, Crosby
ALL the doom and gloom has started already about transfers and money with some people.
Parker is a good player, but £55,000 a week? Anyone who pays that is welcome to him.
Secondly if the Forssell deal falls through then I'm sure it is Moyes who will have the final say, and is there an Evertonian who would go against his judgement? He stated in an interview a few weeks ago that us fans will only hear about players coming to Everton when he says so. So far I haven't heard him say much, which means everything going on now is pure speculation. I don't think for one minute he is sitting behind a desk doing nothing. He will bring quality to Everton this summer.
Jay Molloy, Wavertree
So keen on Keane
IT was obvious to anyone watching the Republic of Ireland v Israel match the other night what a talisman Robbie Keane was for the Irish. I hope David Moyes was watching because he is about the only prospective transfer who looks capable of adopting Big Dunc's mantle as a charismatic character. I'd rather Moyes got him than an overpaid 'prima donna'.
Terry Hopkins, Kensington

Osman ends doubts over Goodison future
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jun 9 2005
LEON OSMAN has ended the uncertainty surrounding his future by agreeing a new deal at Everton.
The 24-year-old midfielder has been linked with a move south, having been offered more lucrative terms by Portsmouth. However, the former Academy player never wanted to leave the Merseysiders and has now reached a verbal agreement with manager David Moyes over a four-year extension to his contract, which expires at the end of this month. Both parties are hoping to formalise the deal by early next week. Osman has become a vital component in David Moyes's plans since breaking into the first-team squad in May 2004. Last season he was a regular on the right side of midfield, scoring seven goals in 35 appearances and aiding Everton's Champions League charge. Of the other six out-of-contract players yet to sign new deals, talks are progressing steadily. Moyes has also received verbal agreement from Gary Naysmith on a three-year deal, while Duncan Ferguson and David Weir have accepted one-year extensions. Alan Stubbs, Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone are unhappy with the length of contracts offered to them and are likely to leave. Kevin Kilbane, who still has one season on his contract to run, has agreed terms on a three-year extension. Moves are also under way to complete the deal to bring Mikel Arteta to Goodison Park on a full-time basis after his loan spell from Real Sociedad. Everton have already taken up the option of a £2.8million move, having already paid £1m for his services on loan. The problem is Arteta's wage demands, complicated by the favourable tax structure in the Basque country. Sociedad president Jose Luis Astiazaran has taken control of negotiations over the 23-year-old's move, with the financiallystretched San Sebastian club keen for the deal to go through. Everton, meanwhile, have refuted claims from Wales that they are interested in Cardiff's Welsh international Danny Gabbidon.

Bellamy back on Moyes' wish list
Jun 9 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
CRAIG BELLAMY is back on Blues boss David Moyes' summer wish list, even if a move for Finnish striker Mikael Forssell is successful. The Everton manager is busy juggling a number of transfers at present, with Scott Parker and Forssell a priority. But even if both come off, Moyes aims to press ahead with moves for both Bellamy and Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta. Bellamy, rated at £6m, spent the second-half of last season on-loan at Celtic and Moyes sees him as adding the searing pace to his squad that has been lacking since Tomasz Radzinski jumped ship last summer. The Blues have not made a formal approach to Newcastle, but will do as soon as the outcome of the Parker and Fors-sell transfers are known. Blues officials have been struggling to come to agreement with Real Sociedad and Arteta himself over a permanent switch for the midfielder who enjoyed a successful loan spell last season. A fee in the region of £2m has now been agreed, however, and the talks are continuing with the player's representatives in a bid to resolve personal terms. Real Sociedad president Jose Luis Astiazaran jumped the gun somewhat this morning when he was reported as saying: "It was easy to reach an agreement and it's a great move for him." But the Blues know nothing about apparent plans by Astiazaran to fly to Liverpool to iron out problems with the deal.

Injury concerns sees Moyes end Forssell pursuit
By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
Jun 10 2005
EVERTON target Mikael Forssell is set to be unveiled as a Birmingham City player today.
The Midlands outfit have announced an afternoon press conference to reveal the identity of their first signing of the summer - and sources close to the club expect it to be Forssell. Everton manager David Moyes had lined up the Finnish international as his second summer signing after Tottenham midfielder Simon Davies, but fears over his long-term knee problem left Goodison officials trying to salvage the deal with a pay-as-you-play agreement. If the Chelsea striker completes a return to St Andrews, it may intensify Moyes's interest in Craig Bellamy. Premier League champions Chelsea are keen for a straight cash deal for Forssell, but Birmingham would also prefer a pay-as-you-play agreement or to take him on another loan. They are equally mindful of Forssell's knee condition which meant that his second season on loan was cut short last September after just a handful of appearances. Forssell was an outstanding success in the 2003-04 campaign when he netted 19 goals for Birmingham - including 17 in the Premiership. But hopes of forging a partnership with Emile Heskey - signed from Liverpool for a club record £6.25million last summer - were cut short by the knee complaint which sidelined Forssell for seven months. Meanwhile Graeme Souness has expressed his admiration for midfielder Scott Parker - fuelling fears that he could pip Everton to the signing of the Chelsea midfielder. The Newcastle manager has confirmed he will be contesting the race to land the England international. United are understood to have made a £7m bid for Parker after Souness identified the Chelsea midfielder as the ideal player to liven up the centre of midfield and could back that up by coming closer to matching Parker's £55,000 a week wages than Everton.
Parker has been told he can leave the Premiership champions, having made just nine league starts under Jose Mourinho last season, with Tottenham also interested in signing the player.
"Scott Parker is a player we like very much and we are definitely interested in signing him," said Souness,, who has stepped up the club's transfer activity following his return from a family holiday. "He is a player I have admired for a very long time and there is no question he will be an excellent signing for us. "He is good on the ball and is one of the brightest young midfielders in the Premiership. He is a top player and is precisely the calibre of player Newcastle United are interested in signing. I'd like him to sign for us." Souness, though, still does not know whether a player who cost Chelsea £11m 18 months ago, will agree to a move north or prefer to stay in London. Meanwhile Everton are trying to resolve personal terms with Mikel Arteta having previously agreed a fee with his club Real Sociedad. The total fee is £2.8m, with Everton already having paid £1m.

Kilbane confident of Irish qualification
By Ian Parkes, Daily Post
Jun 10 2005
KEVIN KILBANE is confident the Republic of Ireland will qualify for next summer's World Cup finals - even if it comes down to a win-or-bust showdown against Switzerland in the last game. Kilbane scored the second goal in Wednesday's 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands - his first since February 2003 - to send Ireland top of a closely-knit Group Four. There was an element of luck as his 58th-minute shot took a deflection off captain Oli Johanessen but it was enough to deflate the Faroes in appalling weather conditions just eight minutes after they had conceded a penalty opener to Ian Harte. With France and Switzerland to come at Lansdowne Road, sandwiched by a trip to Cyprus, Ireland are in control of their destiny, which they hope will see them in Germany. Kilbane said: "We're top of the group, and that's all that could be expected of us. "After what happened against Israel on Saturday, I think people were disappointed, but we got through it last night. We were under pressure a couple of times, but I certainly felt we would win - although we felt the same on Saturday. But once Hartey got the goal from the penalty spot, it helped us to relax, and then I'm pleased I've scored. "It's a goal that's been a long-time coming - I actually think it was going to hit the corner flag - but I'm pleased we got the win more than anything and picked up a big three points and it's all in our hands now."

More in than out
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jun 10 2005
More in than out
WE must sign more players than we lose. We signed one and look like losing three. Our squad is small enough as it is, but I'm sure Moysey knows what he's doing. I wouldn't mind signing Phil Neville, he's experienced and can play several positions.
Andy Jones (via e-mail)
No mavericks
PLEASE David Moyes don't put our superb team spirit on the line by signing Bellamy. He has caused disruption wherever he has been and that's not what we need. He seems to be a maverick and we need team players.
S Robinson (via e-mail)
Waste of money
CAN anybody tell me why my tax is going towards MPs getting involved in this campaign to get Liverpool into the Champions League. I am sorry I do not wish my tax to be wasted on this exercise. I haven't heard one single person asking for Greece to be allowed past the European Championship qualifying rounds.
Paul Morgan, Liverpool
Pace needed
EVERTON need pace in the team. Possibly a Craig Bellamy who behaves would be a good buy.
Personally I think Robbie Keane would be better than him but money could be an issue there. God knows why though with him been in the last year of his contract. Another thing that's annoying me is why is Graeme Souness linked with every player we go for? I'm sure he knows he is so hopeless that he has just decided to latch on to David Moyes's targets.
Bobby Collins, Liverpool
Match ambitions
I JUST hope the board's ambitions and goals are the same as the manager's. If they are not, we will need a board whose ambitions meet that of David Moyes. It's only early days in the transfer market, with a lot of players either on holiday or on international duty. The business in the transfer market won't really get going until the end of July. It is frustrating when we get linked with the likes of Scott Parker and Forssell and then some sections of the media start writing, things like 'snubbed and turned down'. The main thing this season, though, is that the board's ambition must match that of the manager.
Tony Smith, Garston

Blues admit defeat over Forssell
Jun 10 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have admitted defeat on one transfer target - and are close to calling time on another.
Mikael Forssell was set to be unveiled by Birmingham at a lunchtime press conference today, while the Blues' have reluctantly conceded that their hopes of landing Scott Parker are also receding.
The Blues failed to negotiate a pay-asyou-play deal with Chelsea for the Finnish forward, and after concerns were raised about the player's knee, refused to gamble on a money-up-front deal.
Birmingham are prepared to take a chance on the play-er's fitness and he was set to be paraded at St Andrew's today. Blues' boss David Moyes declined to comment on the transfer this morning, but confirmed that the Blues were no longer pursuing the striker. Talks continue with Scott Parker's representatives, however, but for the first time the Blues have conceded they are no longer in pole position. Newcastle boss Graeme Souness, who is prepared to match the player's £55,000 per week wages, has spoken glowingly of the midfielder today. But the Geordies cannot offer the European football Parker is set to crave and Tottenham may yet emerge as favourites for his signature. David Moyes will immediately switch his attention to Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy, and has numerous replacement mid-field targets in mind. Celta Vigo midfielder Edu, however, is not one, despite claims from agent Manuel Pericet last night that a Liverpool-based club had made an approach.

European Cup Derby day?
Jun 10 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON and Liverpool may have to slug it out for a place in next season's Champions League.
A clause in UEFA's shock announcement said today: "There will be no country protection for Liverpool FC." This is believed to mean the Reds could be drawn against a team from their own association in the third qualifying round - and with Manchester United seeded along with the Reds, that leaves unseeded Everton. An all- English draw Of course, first Liverpool would have to come through two qualifying rounds - and while the identity of the clubs concerned will not cause undue consternation at Anfield, some of the journeys may. The first qualifying round could throw up trips to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Albania or Kazakhstan --while the second round offers the alarming prospect of a trip to Georgia to face Dinamo Tbilisi. The unseeded teams who Liverpool could face in the June 24 draw include: Sliema Wanderers - Malta; Pyunik Yerevan - Armenia; SK Tirana - Albania; Levadia Tallin - Estonia; Glentoran - Northern Ireland; Total Network Solutions - Wales; F91 Dudelange - Luxembourg; Lenkoran - Azerbaijan; HB Torshavn - Faroe Islands; Kairat Almaty - Kazakhstan; FC Vaduz - Liechtenstein; Shelbourne - Republic of Ireland.. UEFA always had a space allocated in the group stages for the competition winners - which they could have allocated to Liverpool had they so wished. Instead, Turkish champions Fenerbahce have been moved directly into the group stages, Polish champions Wisla Krakow have taken the Turks' place in the third qualifying round, the Romanian champions, Steaua Bucharest, are pushed up in turn into qualifying round two and Liverpool have replaced the Romanians in the first qualifying round.
* Phil Neal, who played in each of Liverpool's first four European Cup triumphs, was jubilant at the confirmation from UEFA.
He said: "We're delighted that the cup holders - as we are - are in be in. "We're in at the early qualifying stages, but who cares? It might curtail a pre-season tour but we're back in the Champions League and the boys, like us in 1977, would like to repeat it. "Everyone likes the champions to defend the trophy. It's like Arsenal not defending the FA Cup, so it's only right Liverpool were allowed to do that." Neal's one concern regarding today's decision is that Liverpool's players could tire before the end of the season, unless Rafael Benitez considerably strengthens his squad and boosts numbers. He added: "They're already scheduled to come back on June 27 so it will make it a very long season, so he's going to need a bigger squad."

Blues will pay price for Reds inclusion
Jun 10 2005 Liverpool Echo
UEFA confirmed there will be a financial impact on Everton and the other three English clubs in next season's competition after Liverpool were allowed to defend their title. The market pool share of TV revenue will now be divided between five clubs rather than four, although the Reds will have the status of the lowest-placed English club. UEFA spokesman William Gaillard said: "That still means there will still be some financial burden on the four other English clubs. Those calculations will take place later." Five English clubs competing in next season's Champions League competition will be an historic one-off, insists UEFA. The European game's governing body says it made an exceptional decision to allow Liverpool to defend their title. From now on the European Cup winners will gain automatic qualification, if need be at the expense of the side that finishes fourth in the Premiership.
Gaillard added: "The rules said no national association could have five teams in the competition. The decision taken today is exceptional because in the up coming season England will be the only association ever, and for the last time, to have five clubs." UEFA's statement read: "The Executive Committee decided to amend the regulations so that the holders will have the right to defend their title and therefore qualify automatically. At the same time, the number of clubs per national association will remain stable based on coefficient ranking."

Jun 10 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THERE has been some wailing and a gnashing of teeth among anxious Evertonians at their club's discovery that Mikael Forssell's knee wasn't all they had hoped for. Personally, I'm reassured that Everton's medical team is highlighting potential problems. The names Norman Whiteside, JesperBlomqvist, Slaven Bilic and Danny Williamson show the cost of jumping too quickly in the transfer market.

Forssell explains Everton decision
Jun 11 2005 By David Prior, Daily Post
MIKAEL FORSSELL last night insisted he was back to full fitness as he explained his decision to shun Everton and sign for Birmingham. The 25-year-old Finn re-joined the Midlanders in a £3million move from Chelsea, days after appearing to be on the verge of a switch to Goodison Park. Reports had suggested uncertainties surrounding Forssell's long-standing knee problem - confirmed by last weekend's medical - had persuaded Everton to shelve their original offer and pursue a pay-as-you-play deal for the striker. Yesteday, however, Forssell passed a medical at Birmingham and agreed a three-year deal with the option of a further two years on top of that. And he said: "Ever-ton were interested in me and we had some talks with them but I decided to come here because this is the right move at this stage of my career. "I've been fit for the past two to three months. I thought I wasn't going to play at all last season but I got back quicker than I thought. "I owe a big vote of thanks to Chelsea's physios and medical team and everything is fine now. "It has been a very hard six months for me, not being able to play, but mentally I feel a lot stronger for the experience."
City manager Steve Bruce revealed he had beaten off the interest of eight other Premiership clubs - including Everton - to bring Forssell back to St Andrews. Bruce admitted: "There were eight other Premiership clubs after his services. But Birmingham was good for Mikael and the reason so many clubs wanted him was because of what he did with us the season before last. "When I knew he was available, we had to act. He is the type of footballer everyone wants at their club - not just because of his ability but because of the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch. "We've beaten off a few clubs, we have paid the fee wanted and have satisfied the player's personal demands. There is no doubt we missed him last season after he got injured and I had been looking forward to linking him up with Emile Heskey. We hope that can happen now." Meanwhile, midfielder Lee Carsley has expressed his hopes that Everton avoid Liverpool in the third qualifying round for the Champions League. UEFA yesterday raised the prospect of an all-Merseyside, two-legged playoff for the Champions League group stages in August by ruling that Liverpool could face clubs from their own country. Assuming Liverpool make it through their opening two qualifying rounds, and given that they will go in automatically as a seed, all eyes will then be on the draw for the third round - when Everton take their Champions League bow - in Nyon on July 29. And Republic of Ireland international Carsley said: "I wouldn't like to get them in the qualifying round because they are obviously a very good team but it would be nice to get them in the group stages if we were both to qualify."
Even if they do avoid each other in the third qualifying round, both clubs could still be drawn together in the same group. Everton are yet to make any official response to Liverpool's inclusion, which will mean a reduced share of TV earnings should both clubs reach the group stage.

Moyes in talks over move for Inter star
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 13 2005
DAVID MOYES will look to tie up a move for playmaker Emre this week having flown to Milan for talks over the weekend. The Everton manager met with the 24-year-old Inter midfielder as he sought some progress in the transfer market after a frustrating few days. Following the breakdown of Mikael Forssell's prospective move to Goodison, Scott Parker looks set to also go elsewhere - and Moyes wasted no time in reviving his interest in Emre. The Turk, who moved to the San Siro from Galatasaray in 2001 and has two years left on his contract, was targeted by Everton last season but now admits he is "almost certain" to leave after a disagreement with manager Roberto Mancini.
He is currently sidelined by a back injury that forced him out of the first leg of Inter's Coppa Italia final against Roma last night, but is expected to be fit in time for Wednesday's second leg in Milan.
Moyes again faces competition for Emre's signature from Graeme Souness at Newcastle, who is tipped to win the race for Chelsea midfielder Parker. Meanwhile, Moyes is also weighing up a move for Bayer Leverkusen wing-back Diego Placente. The 27-year-old Argentine is available on a free this summer and his agent Vincenzo Morabito admits he would relish a move to Goodison - ahead of current suitors Roma. He said: "Diego appreciates the interest of Roma, but if an offer from Everton arrived we could not ignore it. "With all respect for Roma, Everton will play in the Champions League next season."
* David Moyes admits he will be seeking advice from Sir Alex Ferguson before Everton's Champions League adventure begins in August. Moyes said: "I'm always asking questions and looking to find things out and I'll hope to speak to Sir Alex before the Champions League to see if there's any advice he can give me."

Beattie out to silence his critics
Jun 13 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JAMES BEATTIE has vowed to ram the critics' words back down their throats - and score a bagful of goals for Everton next season. The Blues' record signing struck just twice after his £6m switch from Southampton, the last on February 6, and was criticised for a lack of sharpness. But he plans to work on his fitness even before pre-season training starts - and hit the goal trail again at Goodison.
"I am the same player who scored 14 goals for Southampton a year ago and 23 the season before that," he rapped. "That's the real James Beattie. I have proved that I can score goals. "People can doubt me all they want. They can doubt Everton as well. But I will show them and we will show them. "I feel that I owe myself something this season. Whatever people say about me I will just stuff it down their throats when they see how many goals I've got. That's what I'm going to do. "I can talk and talk about what I'm going to do, but the only way to show it is to go out and score. "The aim for me is to make a mark in the Champions League. Then the England manager will have to look at me. It's a fantastic opportunity for me and that's why I'm going to arrive at pre-season training fit and sharp. "I'm not going to leave anything to chance. I haven't become a bad player over-night. "I will never think that. It's down to me now, but I can't wait to get out there and prove it."

Blues should sign Kewell - Cahill
Jun 13 2005 By David Prior, Daily Post
TIM CAHILL believes Everton should sign misfiring Liverpool winger Harry Kewell if Rafael Benitez decides to offload the enigmatic Australian. Kewell, who is currently embroiled in a libel action against Match of the Day television presenter Gary Lineker, has struggled badly for fitness and form since joining Liverpool from Leeds two years ago. However, Everton midfielder Cahill backed his Australia international team-mate to regain his form and fitness following an end-of-season operation on his long-standing groin injury. Cahill said: "I want to make it quite clear that Harry has nothing to prove to anyone and if Liverpool don't want him then we'll have him. "He's been injured and I think he's been too honest in coming back too early and wanting to play for his club and wanting to do a job for Liverpool. The kid is a great footballer and everyone knows that. If Liverpool don't want him there will be clubs lining up left, right and centre. "What he has done in the game speaks for itself. But sometimes things don't happen for you and I think Harry just needs a bit of a break and he'll definitely come back with flying colours." Cahill is currently in Germany preparing for the Confederations Cup, with the Socceroos facing the hosts on Wednesday before further testing fixtures against fellow group opponents Argentina and Tunisia. The Sydney-born ace is then set to feature in Everton's twolegged, Champions League third round qualifier to complete a hectic summer. He said: "I can't complain about that. I love playing football, whether it's for Everton or my country, and I'd never turn down playing for my country."

Everton to fight for Emre signature
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 14 2005
NEWCASTLE are looking to complete a double swoop of two of David Moyes's top summer targets.
The Magpies are believed to be very close to agreement with Chelsea for midfielder Scott Parker, with chairman Freddy Shepherd waiting on permission to speak to the player having submitted an offer of £6.5million. And last night Newcastle tabled a £4m bid for Inter Milan playmaker Emre, and sources at St James' Park have revealed that manager Graeme Souness and a delegation of club officials are ready to fly to Monaco to meet the players' representatives today. Everton are, however, still confident of seeing through a deal for Emre, with Moyes having been encouraged by his meeting with the player. Inter sporting director Marco Branca confirmed yesterday that at least two English clubs have made offers for the 24-year-old Turkish international, who met with Moyes at the weekend. "We have two or three offers from English Premier League teams for Emre," said Branca. "They are big clubs and they have been reported in the press. We will now evaluate the situation before we take a decision." Former Galatasaray manager Souness' contacts in Turkey have kept him informed of the player's situation, although the Magpies' hierarchy saw him during the 2002-02 season when he played in in Inter's 4-1 Champions League win at St James' Park and the 2-2 draw in the return at the San Siro. Emre himself is due to return from a back injury in time to figure in the second leg of Inter's Coppa Italia final against Roma tomorrow night. Any Everton deal for Parker, however, is extremely unlikely with the 24-year-old understood to prefer to stay in the south. Such a decision would obviously cast doubts on Newcastle's prospects also.

Double celebration after Osman and Naysmith sign
By Liz Byrnes Daily Post Correspondent
Jun 14 2005
EVERTON had double reason to celebrate as both Gary Naysmith and Leon Osman agreed new deals with the Goodison Park club yesterday. Young midfielder Osman agreed a four-year contract that will keep him with the Champions League hopefuls until 2009 with his previous deal on the brink of expiring at the end of this month, while Naysmith signed for a further three years. Osman came through the Academy at Goodison and, despite having been linked with a move away from the Blues, the 24-year-old insisted he had never wanted to leave but instead was looking to build on the form he showed last season. He said: "I never wanted to leave Everton. I had a great season and just want to try and carry that form forward into what is going to be a huge year for the club. "There were other offers on the table, but it would have to be a pretty special club coming in for me that would make me give up what I have got here." After graduating from Everton's Academy, Osman spent time on loan at Carlisle before making his first-team debut against Spurs at White Hart Lane in January 2003. The following season saw him on a four-month loan at Derby but it was the 2004-05 campaign that saw him break through to become a regular in the first team. Osman started the first game against Arsenal before going on to make 35 appearances in all competitions, while scoring seven goals, to become part of the team that finished fourth in the Barclays Premiership and he admitted he was relishing the prospect of playing in the Champions League. Osman said: "There is a great team spirit now and with some big signings to come, hopefully, our fans will be expecting a lot from us. Personally, and I think it is the same for a lot of the lads here, I cannot wait for the Champions League games. "You watch them on TV and see the players and teams involved and we are now two games away from joining them," he said. "It is a very exciting time to be an Everton player." Naysmith had started the ball rolling by agreeing a deal that will keep him at Goodison Park until 2008. The 26-year-old defender, who joined the club in 2000 for £1.5million from Hearts, revealed he was relieved to have finally concluded the negotiations. He said: "I'm delighted to be finally signing because it's been a long time coming. "The negotiations began last summer but for one reason or another things never got done. It all got left until the end of the season and if I'm being completely truthful, 50% of me thought that I would have to leave. "But the negotiations went well and thankfully everything has now been sorted." He added: "I've said all along that I wanted to stay at the club. "I've really enjoyed my four and a half years here and this is my club. It's the longest spell I've ever had at a club as a first-team player. "I'm settled in the area, so are my wife and children, so I didn't want to move away. I'm delighted that it's come to the conclusion that I always wanted."

Blues should look at Francis
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jun 14 2005
Try Francis
DAMIEN FRANCIS of Norwich would be an excellent addition to the Everton squad. He is not the midfield superstar we are looking for but could probably be bought on the cheap. He has a great engine, is good in the air, gets more than his fair share of goals and would probably jump at the chance of coming to Goodison.
B Kennedy (via e-mail)
Placente talk
DIEGO PLACENTE looks a potentially good deal but it's just talk right now. What about Harry Kewell? He does what Craig Bellamy does but on the left-hand side, with less attitude problems. We would need it more with Simon Davies already added to the right. But Mikel Arteta is the priority at the moment though. And reserve player Mark Hughes needs to be blooded through this season to replace Davey Weir? Just a thought, as always though, David Moyes knows best.
B Christopher (via e-mail)
Money worries
I HAVE a gut feeling that once again Everton will have difficulty in strengthening the squad with quality players. We are not in possession of sufficient capital to acquire the best players and do not generate sufficient revenue to pay the wages being asked. I truly believe that the wages being asked are astronomical in relation to the skills being shown by the majority of players in the Premiership. Chelsea's ability to pay such a high level of wages has spoilt football. There is no longer a level playing field and this is so sad for this wonderful game. Players should be paid a reasonable level of remuneration with bonus rewards related to success. Everton need skilful players so it is imperative that Mikel Arteta is retained.
P Rogers (via e-mail)
Costly change
ONCE again Everton have been punished as 'that crowd' has forced its way into the Champions League. So EFC will lose out again - it makes a mockery because the TV rights will be less now. I am still fuming, as are most Evertonians.
D Pyke, Wirral

Moyes has one eye on continent
Jun 14 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON boss David Moyes is scouring the transfer market at home and abroad - but has dismissed an alleged target nearer to home. It was reported today the Blues were planning a £6m swoop for Manchester United striker Louis Saha, but Moyes said today: "There's absolutely no truth in that."
He did confirm an interest in Inter Milan midfielder Emre, but has not made any formal bid yet.
The Blues are still clinging to the hope that Scott Parker may complete an about-turn and choose the possibility of playing Champions League football next season ahead of a wage-cut. But with the Blues' adamant they will not offer more than £40,000 a week wages, it is looking increasingly likely that the midfielder will choose either Newcastle or Spurs, who are both prepared to match his current £55,000 per week package. "We are working hard to try and bring players in," said Moyes "but there isn't much around at the moment, and whenever any quality does become available there are five or six clubs chasing the one player." Moyes wants to strengthen in all departments, with striker Craig Bellamy also on his wish-list. The Blues' boss would prefer British-based players, but may have to spread his search further afield.

Ossie signs for 'love of Blues'
Jun 14 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN has committed his immediate future to Everton "for the love of the club and for the love of football." The 24-year-old signed a four-year deal keeping him at Goodison until 2009 and explained: "It is very satisfying to know the club value me enough to give me a four-year deal. I am here for the love of the club and for the love of football. But I also have a family and it is nice to know I have secured their future as well as my own." Osman, who scored some decisive and significant goals last season, added: "Signing the deal has certainly made it a more enjoyable summer for me but there is no point resting on laurels or getting too complacent because if we don't come back and do the same thing next season then it will have been for nothing. "We are having a good rest but we will be coming back very determined. "I am pleased to sign. I have been at this club for a long time. It is what I know and what I love. "I was desperate to stay here and thankfully it has happened. "When I came back from my loan at Derby last year I wanted to break into the team but I also wanted to play well enough to get a few years security rather than going year to year." Osman only made his senior first-team start three games from the end of that season, scoring within four minutes in the Blues' trip to Wolves following his return from a loan spell at Pride Park. Since then the midfielder has made 40 appearances for the club, providing an impressive return of eight goals to secure the Young Player of the Season accolade. Osman was joined by Scottish international Gary Naysmith, who signed a three-year deal and said: "I'm delighted to be finally signing because it's been a long time coming. "The negotiations began last summer but for one reason or another things never got done. It all got left until the end of the season and if I'm being completely truthful, 50 per cent of me thought that I would have to leave. "I've said all along that I wanted to stay at the club.
"I've really enjoyed my four-and-a-half years here. It's the longest spell I've ever had at a club as a first team player." The 26-year old is currently out of action after having an ankle operation at the end of last season. Persistent discomfort led to the ankle needing to be 'cleaned out' although the player has set himself a target to return to action in time for the new campaign in August.

Bid to ban Blues fan
Jun 14 2005 By Mike Hornby, Liverpool Echo
POLICE on Merseyside have launched a bid to stop an Everton fan from attending football games for the next three years. Officers say Paul Johnson, 36, from Wadebridge Road, Croxteth, is a ringleader among Everton fans intent on causing trouble at football games. He appeared at Liverpool magistrates court yesterday. He denies the allegation. Johnson is fighting the application by police to impose a football match banning order which would stop him from attending football games or travelling to towns where the Everton team are playing. Johnson has never been convicted of football-related violence, although district judge Michael Ableson was shown video footage of several incidents of violence at which he was present. The images showed confrontations and fighting between rival supporters following Everton games against Wolverhampton, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. During one incident, which took place close to Goodison Park after a match between Everton and Manchester United, Johnson was seen confronting a known United hooligan and saying, "come on black man". Further footage, taken outside the Abbey Pub in Walton Lane in September 1999, allegedly showed Mr Johnson in the company of a known Liverpool-supporting hooligan and the pair were trying to intimidate Manchester fans making their way back to Lime Street station. Giving evidence, DC Ian Miller, of Merseyside police football intelligence unit, said that on every occasion Johnson could be seen in the company of known football hooligans. The police will argue that although he has never been committed of a crime, Johnson should be banned because he is a key figure in the violence.

We will attract the right players
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jun 15 2005
ALAN IRVINE has moved to allay fears that Everton are struggling to attract their prime transfer targets to Goodison. The Goodison assistant manager spoke out as Chelsea midfielder Scott Parker prepared to fly in to Tyneside to discuss personal terms on a £6.5million switch to Newcastle.
David Moyes had hoped to make the England international his main signing of the summer as Everton build for their Champions League debut in August. But Parker looks set to move to the St James' Park outfit,, who are without European football at all next year, but who have been willing to match the 24-year-old's £55,000 a week wage demands. The blow comes only a week after Mikael Forssell's proposed switch to Goodison broke down over concerns highlighted in the Finn's medical, although Birmingham subsequently secured the striker's services for £3m. Newcastle are also threatening to hijack Everton's move for Inter Milan playmaker Emre. And despite a transfer kitty of around £15m, just £3.5m of that has been expended on Everton's sole purchase of the summer so far, midfielder Simon Davies, with just over a fortnight until the play-ers return for pre-season training. Irvine, however, has insisted that the club are strenuously pursuing reinforcements in potentially every position on the pitch - but that they won't settle for anything less than the right player. He said: "We're looking very actively for more players - obviously they have to be the right players and it's important that we do all our homework, especially on the characters of players these days. "It's quite easy to see whether a player is a good enough footballer, but you've also got to be sure that he's going to fit in in the dressing room as well as in the team itself. "But we are working very hard to try and bring in some extra good players because everyone knows that we do need to bring in quite a few players at this stage but at the same time we can't just bring anyone in.
"We're looking throughout the team to be perfectly honest and looking to see if we can improve any aspect of the team. "But at the end of the day people will make their own decisions."
On Parker, Irvine added: "Of course he's a very good player and it would be great for the club if someone like Scott Parker was to sign. But we're not close to completing that kind of deal."
Moyes himself admitted yesterday that Everton were experiencing problems finding the right men to build on last year's fourth-place finish. He said: "We are working hard to try and bring players in, but there isn't much around at the moment. "Whenever any quality player does become available there are five or six clubs chasing the one player." Defence does remain a priority for Everton, with Alan Stubbs' likely departure leaving only David Weir and Joseph Yobo as recognised centre-halves.
"Clearly that's not enough," added Irvine. "So we've got to look to bring in someone else in that position." Irvine revealed that the Forssell deal could have gone ahead had Chelsea not demanded so much for a player who spent most of last season sidelined with a knee problem. "Obviously Mikael Forssell failed his medical, and so we can't commit ourselves to spending a great deal of money on a player, and then of course on his wages, if we don't think he's going to be able to play," added the Scot. "Our medical people made the decision that he wasn't fit enough to be as expensive as he was going to be. Perhaps if he wasn't going to be costing that kind of money then the decision would have been different. "But clearly he's had a problem - I hope that that problem doesn't mean he doesn't play football again becuase we all think he's an excellent footballer."

Hemdani a loss to Everton, say Gers
Jun 15 2005
By David Prior, Daily Post
EVERTON have failed in another summer transfer move, it was claimed last night. Scottish champions Rangers announced the signing of Marseille skipper Brahim Hemdani on a four-year deal, with chief executive Martin Bain revealing they had beaten the Goodison club - among others - to the 27-year-old's signature. Everton's interest in the player goes back to last summer, when manager David Moyes and chairman Bill Ken-wright met the French Algerian for talks. Bain has now suggested Everton were back in for Hemdani, whom the Ibrox side were able to sign on a Bosman free transfer. He said: "We have been tracking Brahim for some time. The Bosman market is very competitive and teams like Real Betis, Bayer Leverkusen, Everton and Bolton were interested in securing his services. "We had talks with Brahim last week then he flew to Glasgow to have his medical and have a look at Ibrox and Murray Park. The player was so impressed with the facilities we have."

We came close to losing Osman, admits Irvine
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jun 15 2005
ALAN IRVINE has admitted Everton came close to losing Leon Osman before the midfielder finally signed a long-term deal this week. The 24-year-old, who broke into the first team a year ago having come through the Academy ranks at Goodison, has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal that is believed to have substantially increased his pay packet. The talks have taken longer than Everton had hoped, however, and Portsmouth were understood to have put forward a very attractive proposition to take Osman to Fratton Park. And assistant manager Irvine admitted the club were relieved Wigan-born Osman had chosen to stick at Goodison. "It has taken a long time," Irvine said. "There was a doubt obviously because it took a long time for the deal to be done. Nothing had been agreed until just recently. "But we were always hopeful that he would stay with us and obviously with the type of season we've just had you're hoping that that would be enough for a lad who's come through the ranks. "Clearly it was a very important time for Ossie - he'd just become a regular Premiership player and proven that he could do it at that level and obviously he was hoping he would get a contract that would reflect that. "I think he did do - certainly I believe has been given a very good offer. I'm pleased and delighted that he's accepted and that he'll be playing for us again next year." Osman himself hopes the deal will help him to kick on and finally shake off his 'promising youngster' tag. Eight goals in 37 appearances last year earned Osman the Young Player of the Season accolade at Everton - but now he wants to prove himself on the biggest stage. He said: "Being regarded as a young player has been a little bit frustrating at times because I have just turned 24 and people still consider me as a youngster. "I know I have still got a lot to prove - I have only played a year in the first team - but I am determined to lose that 'potential' tag." Osman's rise to the top has not been smooth. A career-threatening knee injury four years ago delayed his breakthrough, and it was only after impressive loan spells at Carlisle and Derby that he was handed a run in the first team - where he has remained ever since. He added: "Last season was the most satisfying of my career, firstly to be in the first team plans and to be getting a game every week. But then to go on from there to culminate in a Champions League position was fantastic for us all. "It was the kind of season which justified all the tough times. Those injury problems I had earlier in my career are probably the main reason why I have still got my young tag. "But in the last couple of years I have got through all that. But this is what we have all been aiming for and this is where we should be.
"Hopefully it is not going to be a one-off and we are all determined to get back up there and prove it." Irvine, meanwhile, has explained Everton's thinking in handing Gary Naysmith a new three-year deal at the club. The 26-year-old had been widely expected to leave Goodison after a disappointing season largely blighted by injury - with even Naysmith himself admitting "50% of me thought that I would have to leave". Irvine claimed the Scotland international, who joined the club from Hearts for £1.5million in 2000, had been unlucky and still had much to offer the club. "Gary's a proven Premiership player and he's a proven international player," insisted Irvine. "He was a bit unfortunate last season because he's had quite a few injuries. He's a young player as well - it's not as if he's someone coming towards the end of his career - so you wouldn't be looking at giving him a one-year deal or something. That wouldn't make sense as he would just be in the same position next year. "We don't want to just take him one year at a time, and we know for sure that Gary will still be playing at the top level in three years' time. "It has been mainly injury that's been the problem with him - most of the time when he's played he's played really well. "He has had a lot of injury problems and as a result of him being out Alessandro Pistone got his opportunity and as everyone knows he played really well for a large part of the season. Unfortunatley when Gary was fit and available Alessandro was in the team keeping him out. "We always try and make it plain to the players that if they get in the team and play well than they'll stay in the team. Everyone understands that and accepts it to a certain extent although they might not be happy with it."
* 'Champions League - We're Havin' A Laugh', a DVD chronicling Everton's 2004-05 season is available now in the Everton megastore.

Souness closes in on deal for Parker
By Damian Spellman, Daily Post
Jun 15 2005
NEWCASTLE manager Graeme Souness is preparing to start his midfield rebuilding programme with Scott Parker's arrival at St James' Park imminent. The 24-year-old England international's agent was on Tyne-side yesterday after the Magpies were given permission to talk to a player Chelsea signed for £10million last January and who was a recent target for Everton. They are confident they can push through a £6.5m deal within the next 24 hours and foresee no problems in agreeing personal terms and completing the formality of a medical with the player due to fly in from a holiday in Portugal. Newcastle had confirmed nothing yesterday but chairman Freddy Shepherd believes he has finally got his man after a protracted chase which became more convoluted the longer it went on. The Tyneside club were confident that they had beaten Everton to Parker's signature some time ago. But the emergence of Tottenham as potential rivals, particularly after the former Charlton midfielder was mooted as a possible solution to the row between Spurs and Chelsea over the compensation package for the alleged poaching of sporting director Frank Arnesen, proved a sizeable obstacle. However, the deterioration of relations between the two London clubs has allowed the Magpies to strengthen their interest and make a seemingly decisive move despite suggestions that Wigan manager Paul Jewell offered more cash in a bid to snatch the player. "We bid over £1million pounds more than three other Premiership clubs for this one player, but we did not even get to speak to him because he was not interested in coming," Jewell said. "When you are competing with Newcastle and Everton for a player's signature, it is understandable that the boy is more attracted to joining an established Premiership club." Shepherd and Souness are also ready to do battle with Everton over Inter Milan's Turkey midfielder Emre, although his wage demands could yet prove a problem, but the Scot is at least seeing all their hard work bear fruit. Efforts to offload those players who are dispensable at St James' Park are also moving forward with Lee Bowyer expected to let Birmingham know if they have a chance of landing him some time this week and Laurent Robert joining Portsmouth. The futures of Craig Bellamy and Hugo Viana remain uncertain but there is no shortage of interest in either, although Bellamy's wages remain a problem for several of the clubs, including Everton, who are on his trail, while the Magpies are struggling to recoup a high proportion of their investment in the Portugal international.

Ferdinand happy to stay with promoted Hammers
Jun 15 2005 By Jim Van Wijk, Daily Post
WEST HAM maintain they are not looking to cash in on rising star Anton Ferdinand following promotion to the Barclays Premiership. Alan Pardew's men went on an impressive run of just one defeat in 13 games en route to their victory in the play-off final over a lacklustre Preston North End in Cardiff, with Ferdinand and his central-defensive partner Elliott Ward a major factor in that achievement. The Hammers, however, insist the 20-year-old younger brother of Manchester United and England defender Rio is not about to leave Upton Park, having been linked with a £3million switch to European champions Liverpool, and rivals Everton. "These rumours are utter nonsense," declared West Ham legal director Scott Duxbury. "Anton has come up through the club's academy and made tremendous progress this season. "He was a vital part of the side that won promotion, and our aim is to now build on that side and take the club forward on the pitch."

Emre's wages block move
Jun 15 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
INTER MILAN midfielder Emre is pricing himself out of a move to the Premiership. The Turkish target of Everton and Newcastle is believed to be demanding £60,000 a week - which has abruptly stalled interest from both Merseyside and Tyneside. Blues' boss David Moyes met Emre in Milan on Friday and was "encouraged" by what the player had to say. But talks with the player's representatives have been less productive. Everton will not even consider matching the £60,000 a week Emre is on at the San Siro, while Newcastle cancelled a meeting with Emre's representatives in Monaco yesterday in order to meet Scott Parker's agent on Tyneside. Wages have also proved the stumbling block for Everton on that move. Moyes does not want to disrupt the carefully cultivated team spirit which carried the club so far last season and is adamant he will not pay inflated salaries. The Blues offered more than £40,000 a week to Parker and hoped that the possibility of Champions League football would offset the cut in wages. But it looks increasingly likely that the player will opt for the bigger wages on offer at Newcastle, but no European football. Blues' boss Moyes confirmed today he was busily working on numerous alternatives, but that no deals were imminent. "We've one or two things brewing but nothing close to completion," he said. assistant boss Alan Irvine insisted that the Blues' salary structure would not be counterproductive to squad strengthening. "We're looking very actively for more players," he stressed. Obviously they have to be the right players and it's important that we do all our homework, especially on the character of these players. "It's quite easy to see whether a player is a good enough footballer, but you've also got to be sure that he's going to fit in the dressing room as well as in the team itself. "But we are working very hard to try and bring in some extra good players because everyone knows that we do need to bring in quite a few players at this stage."

Everton to reject any Bent approach
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 16 2005EVERTON will resist any attempt by Manchester City to lure away striker Marcus Bent. City manager Stuart Pearce has earmarked the £1million-rated 27-year-old, who moved to Goodison in a £450,000 move from Ipswich last summer, as a prime summer target. Jonathan Macken's departure means City have just Robbie Fowler as a senior striker. No formal approach has yet been made, but Pearce is a known fan of the strong and pacy style that made Bent a surprise hit on Merseyside last season. He also believes Bent may be tempted away by the prospect of Duncan Ferguson, James Beattie and James Vaughan all battling for striking berths next season, with a new frontman - perhaps even Craig Bellamy - tipped to arrive before the new campaign starts. Everton are not, however, prepared to lose Bent unless the player himself expresses such a preference or they are made an offer they cannot refuse - which is extremely unlikely given the fact the Eastlands club are still mired in debt. Manager David Moyes is also loath to lose any players given his current frustrations in the transfer market. Target Scott Parker yesterday completed his move to Newcastle and any deal for Inter Milan's Emre now appears unlikely owing to the midfielder's £60,000-a-week wage demands. Moyes said yesterday: "We've one or two things brewing but nothing close to completion."

Emre will be playing in England - agent
Jun 16 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
INTER midfielder Emre is "90 per cent certain" to be playing Premiership football next season - according to his agent. But Everton are just one of "six" clubs reported to be chasing his signature.
And no decision will be taken on the player's future until he returns from a week's holiday next Thursday. The Turk was left out of the Inter squad which beat Roma 1-0 in the second leg of the Italian Cup Final last night, to win the trophy 3-0 on aggregate and claim the club's first domestic silverware for 16 years. His agent, Ahmet Bulut, said: "Emre has two years left on his contract with Inter Milan, but I have received six offers now from England. "But to say we are going to this club and that club, it is too early. "I am just now speaking with all these clubs. Emre is going on a week's holiday, so until next Thursday we cannot talk about this club and that club. "When he comes back, we can start to talk about which club, but it is 90 per cent certain that Emre will be playing next year in England." The player would have to significantly reduce his wage demands, however, if Everton are to pursure their interest. David Moyes met Emre in Milan last Friday, but while he was encouraged by what the player had to say, he was less impressed by his agent's pay demands. Everton meanwhile, are irritated by reports claiming that Rangers pipped them to the signature of Marseille skip-per Brahim Hemdani yesterday. Blues boss Moyes admitted he did have brief talks with the Algerian born defender - 12 months ago - but the player's name has not been mentioned at Goodison since. "The suggestion that Glasgow Rangers did beat us to the signature of Brahim Hemdani is ridiculous. I met him a year ago and decided then he was not right for Everton. That situation has never changed since," said Moyes Steve Watson, meanwhile, hopes his Everton career has not ended. The 30-year-old is out of contract this summer and wants more security than the one-year deal he has been offered. West Bromwich Albion are ready to offer a two-year contract, but Watson said: "I haven't given up hope of staying at Everton, although I'm flattered by Albion's interest. "I hope I can have another talk with David Moyes when I get back. "I don't know what I shall be doing next and I've come away for a couple of days to relax and think about it. "I've thought about nothing else recently, but I've not made any firm decisions. "I'm aware of Bryan Robson's interest and it's the second time he's tried to sign me, dating back to his Middlesbrough days. "Joining Albion is a move that would interest me if I am to leave Everton." * David Moyes today also dismissed reported links with a trio of defenders. According to reports this morning, he is chasing Bayer Leverkusen full-back Diego Placente, Borussia Moenchengladbach defender Craig Moore, and Austria full-back Emanuel Pogatetz. But the Blues boss denied interest in all three.

I am not a soccer hooligan
Jun 16 2005 By Mike Hornby, Liverpool Echo
AN EVERTON fan has denied being a key figure in Merseyside's football hooligan fraternity. Paul Johnson is fighting a bid by Merseyside police to impose a football match banning order. The police Football Intelligence Unit claims father-of-two Mr Johnson, from Wadebridge Road, Croxteth, has been involved in violence and disorder at Everton games for the past 10 years. Officers have submitted to District Judge Michael Abelson more than 60 police intelligence reports to back up their case as well as a compilation of surveillance videos. Mr Johnson, 36, says he is being unfairly targeted by police who have misinterpreted intelligence reports and surveillance videos to make him look guilty. It emerged at Liverpool magistrates court yesterday that Mr Johnson, who has a clean record, had only been arrested once in his life, when he was accused of being drunk and disorderly at a football game. The charges were later dropped and Mr Johnson made a complaint about his treatment to the Police Complaints Authority. Giving evidence yesterday, he argued this was possibly the real reason why officers were trying to impose the ban. But Judge Abelson put it to Mr Johnson that he had an "unfortunate" habit of finding himself where there is disorder. Mr Johnson replied: "I'm not a football hooligan and I don't know people who get involved in football violence. "I attend every home game and 99%, if not 100%, of away games. "Over the past 10 years there's been more than 400 football matches and I wouldn't say that [disorder] happens on a regular basis, the evidence doesn't show that." Mr Johnson later said he takes his two boys, aged 11 and nine, to football games, although he admitted being in the company of people who later received football match banning orders. If Merseyside police's case is proved, Mr Johnson could be banned from attending organised football games for the next three years. The order would also see him barred from the city centre on match days and prevented from travelling to England national team games. The case was adjourned until Monday.

Watson seeks talks on future at Everton
By Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jun 17 2005
EVERTON'S Steve Watson wants to meet manager David Moyes for talks over his future after being linked with a move to West Brom. The 31-year-old is out of contract this summer but has been offered a new deal to stay with the Goodison Park outfit, who will be playing Champions League football next season. Watson said: "I haven't given up hope of staying at Everton, but I'm flattered by Albion's interest. "I hope I can have another talk with David Moyes. I don't know what I shall be doing next and I'll be taking a couple of days to relax and think about it. I've thought about nothing else recently but have not made any firm decisions. "I'm aware of Bryan Robson's interest and it's the second time he's tried to sign me dating back to his Middlesbrough days. Joining Albion is a move that would interest me if I am to leave Everton." Meanwhile manager Moyes has dismissed comments from Rangers that they had beaten Everton to the signature of Brahim Hemdani.
The Glasgow club completed the free signing of the 27-year-old Algerian from Marseille this week with chief executive Martin Bain declaring they had beaten a number of clubs, including Everton, to the player. But Moyes said: "I did speak to Hemdani a year ago but decided after that meeting he was not right for Everton Football Club. "That situation has never changed since. It is ridiculous to suggest we have missed out on signing him."

Money talks
Jun 17 2005 Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Money talks
WE HAD believed that the opportunity of playing in the Champions League next season would persuade quality players like Scott Parker to come to Everton. After all, it was the desire to demonstrate their skills on the big European stage that had led to the departure of Rooney and Gravesen, wasn't it? Er...no! It seems not. It's still all about money. Parker chooses not to play in Europe at all next season, opting instead to join Newcastle who have agreed to match the ludicrous £55,000 per week he was paid by Chelsea not to play for them for most of last season. How could he possibly be expected to make ends meet on the miserable £40k pittance that Everton are said to have offered him - Champions League or not?
B Wood, Runcorn
Parker's loss
IF ANY player does not want to come and play for Everton and David Moyes, then that's their loss.
Ken Barnes (via e-mail)
Making a stand
SCOTT Parker has already gone to Newcastle and Emre has also priced himself out of a move to Goodison. I totally agree with Moyes. We can't afford 60k per week. Parker's transfer would have cost us over £21m over five years! Parker went where the money is, not where the ambition is.
If Emre wants £60k then let him sing for it.
Phil Jones, Wirral
Going for a song
DAMIEN Francis from Norwich would be an ideal signing and cost £2million maximum. Another Tim Cahill with the right sort of character. Certainly we need a centre back and a quick, pacey striker.
Mark Molyneux, Liverpool
Keep Watson
LET'S keep Steve Watson at the club. I think he's a fantastic servant and is commited wherever he plays. If we are so thin at the back, he will provide useful cover.
C Jennings (via e-mail)
Move for Bowyer
WHY don't Everton go in for Lee Bowyer? Sure, he's got a temperament but that's something we want. He can score goals and can run from box to box. He would only cost a few million.
Fred Finch (via e-mail)
Euro elite
A FEW good signings like Placente, Emre and a good striker and we can be on par with the "Europeon champions". Liverpool may of won the Champions League, but they are far from the best team in Europe. We've got a far better manager and a lot more desire. I trust Moyes to make the signings we need, but please don't consider Harry Kewell.
P Chambers (via e-mail)

Blues net Chang deal
Jun 17 2005 EXCLUSIVE by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have confirmed the most lucrative sponsorship deal in the club's history after agreeing a three-year extension with Chang. The Blues could bank up to #6m over the term of the deal - and will take three of Thailand's brightest young footballers into their Youth Academy. The sponsorship was unveiled at a press conference in Bangkok this morning by Everton commercial director James Powell and Thai Beverages deputy chairman Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi. Blues chief executive Keith Wyness said: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to capitalise and build upon our existing relationship with Chang - and in so doing deliver a deal which I feel will not only prove to be mutually beneficial, but one which represents a significant increase on the previous deal. "We enjoy a healthy, strong and fruitful relationship with our friends at Chang. We value what is a very special relationship and we shall continue to work together to ensure that this partnership grows into one of the Premiership's finest. "As a club, we continue to be leaders in terms of establishing a major foothold in what is the fast-emerging Far East market." An unusual aspect of the deal is the opportunity to take a trio of Thai youngsters to Goodison, as part of an initiative entitled: 'Chang Rising Stars to Everton'. Chang will be holding trials for 16 and 17 year olds throughout Thailand in the next few weeks, with Academy Director Ray Hall jetting to Bangkok to make the final selection.
The extended sponsorship agreement with one of the biggest drinks firms in Asia provides the opportunity to develop the Everton brand over there. As part of that commitment, David Moyes will take his Goodison squad to Bangkok next month to take part in a four-team tournament. Everton's qualification for next season's Champions League and their remarkable Premiership success in the 2004/05 campaign convinced Chang to significantly improve the deal signed last year, reported to be worth 1.5m per year. Sirivadhanabhakdi said: "I am proud to say that Chang Beer on the jerseys of Everton footballers will no longer be confined to the British Isles, but will be seen by all of Europe during the UEFA Champions League matches - another feather in our co-operative cap that will point the way to even greater successes in our future - together." Powell added: "I do not believe there is a stronger relationship between a football club and main sponsor in the Premier League today. "This is why Everton and Thai Beverage have agreed to enter into a new, long term partnership, with strong aims and objectives. "There are obvious, yet fundamental, objectives such as even greater success on the pitch for Everton, and building a worldwide recognition of the 'Chang Beer' brand for Thai Beverage. "However, we both believe our partnership should develop well beyond these objectives over the next three years - and possibly longer." * With the sponsorship deal now confirmed, Everton will finalise plans for the unveiling of a new kit for next season. New home and away team strips wll be launched next month.

Fate decrees a derby showdown
Jun 17 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ACCORDING to the laws of probability, there is a one in 16 chance that Everton's ball will be pulled out immediately after Liverpool's when the draw for the third qualifying round of the Champions League is made on July 29. But you know as well as I do, that Sod's Law guarantees that alarming prospect is a certainty, rather than a statistical possibility . . . Sod's Law, the seeding situation and, of course, UEFA's baffling insistence that "Liver-pool will receive no country protection" in the draw.. So when the phrase 'Everton . . . will play Liverpool' is uttered in Nyon, I hope the UEFA official presiding looks suitably surprised, if not embarrassed. Why the cynicism? Because it is clear that Everton against Liverpool in a pre-season slugfest would solve much of UEFA's problems. Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't for a second suggest that UEFA would even contemplate something so naughty as fixing the draw. But I'm sure Messieurs Johansson, Mifsud, Erzik and co won't be kicking the cat in frustration if such a scenario transpires. Why include the phrase "Liverpool will have no country protection" unless UEFA had already thought, perhaps gleefully, of the possibility of Everton drawing Liverpool? Such a prospect would conveniently solve the problem of the TV market pool being split five ways instead of four, - and it would teach those arrogant Englishmen a lesson for daring to question UEFA's constitution. If you think such a thing couldn't possibly happen . . . it already has. When Liverpool won the European Cup in 1977, they also won the League Championship, avoiding any need for England to have two representatives in Europe's most prestigious competition (only genuine champions were admitted then). A year later, however, Liverpool retained their crown, but were beaten to the title by Nottingham Forest. Shock! Horror! The purity of the European Cup had been tainted by one member country having two entrants . . . until the first round draw pitched the Reds with Forest, and Cloughie's men prevailed. That was as well received then as Everton v Liverpool would be this year. But odds of 16/1? Liverpool were a much bigger price to win the European Cup - and look what happened there..

Cut-throat world of football's Mr Fixits
Jun 17 2005 Liverpool Echo
THE libel action brought by Liverpool's Harry Kewell against ex-Everton star Gary Lineker has again put the spotlight on players' agents. PADDY SHENNAN reports. PLAYERS' agent. It has to be right up there with politician, estate agent and, er, journalist. More a term of abuse than a job description. Yesterday, judge Mr Justice Eady discharged the jury which had been hearing the libel case brought by Harry Kewell against TV pundit Gary Lineker. The case concerned an article written by Lineker regarding the circumstances surrounding Kewell's transfer to Liverpool, which was negotiated by his personal manager, Bernie Mandic. Mystery still surrounds the working lives of those individuals hired by footballers. What exactly do they do? And should they be doing it in a different way? I asked Neil Sang, a licensed players' agent and managing director of Speke-based Sportstar Promotions Ltd, to help shed some light on a much-maligned industry (and don't worry - no money changed hands). Neil, 33, who played more than 100 reserve games for Everton, set up his company in 1999: "One of my ex-Everton colleagues, Iain Jenkins, asked me if I would represent him. My first reaction was 'Me becoming an agent? One of them? No chance!'" A natural response, millions might say. Neil adds: "I asked him why. He said 'You tell it how it is. You've been a player, you can think like a player.' I decided to set up the company because I felt the stereotype of agents was something I could use to my advantage." He has since built up a client portfolio which includes Richie Partridge (about to leave Liverpool on a free transfer), ex-Everton player Kevin McLeod, who's now at Swansea, and the flamboyant Swansea superstar Lee Trundle. But do these players - and does football - actually need people like Neil Sang? Neil, perhaps not surprisingly, says "yes". "A lot players simply feel uncomfortable negotiating for themselves. Also, players, particularly in the upper echelons of the game, now have more and more demands on their time and need help in organising it." "Why can't they just have a PA? "Because," says Neil,, "the vast majority of off-field activity is centred around deals and appearances and so the agent is the best person to have alongside you."
He adds: "Reputable agents are also a good source of information for managers. Many managers call agents to see what they know, who is available, what salary demands would certain players have etc." Further explaining the day-to-day life of an agent, he says: "I take care of contract negotiations, seek sponsorships (boot deals), arrange PR and media appearances, including newspaper and magazine articles. "If players are released or given free transfers I arrange moves or trials, by sending out player CVs, making 'phone calls to managers, meeting managers etc." It does sound like nice work. And it is - isn't it?
"If the player performs well my role becomes easier but if he is playing poorly, or is not in the team, then when his contract ends my job becomes very, very difficult. "I believe that representing a player is made up of 99% support and service . . . the actual time spent on doing deals and contracts for a player, if you represented him for a period of 10 years, would amount to no more than 1%. "Therefore, I take great pride in speaking to the players on a regular basis. I'd rather a player chew my ear off for half an hour than have him argue with a manager." And yet, despite so many good deeds, the image of the agent is pretty poor, to say the least: "It's still not great. As much as this disappoints me I don't feel I am going to change the general consensus single-handedly. "I don't get angry when people criticise agents in general - just disappointed." Yet some people in the game, it seems, only expect to deal with one type of agent. Neil explains: "One Premier League chairman told my father-in-law that he felt I was too nice and needed to be more ruthless!" But he adds: "I feel it would be very unfair to comment about other agents who have been questioned about their conduct as I don't know enough." Neil doesn't believe the game will see a major change in the way agents operate "simply because it is too tough a task for the governing bodies to make and then implement." And he adds: "The current regulations are fine if agents conduct themselves honourably."
Investigation is needed
LIVERPOOL businessman John Hyland, who was last year cleared in court of blackmailing Wayne Rooney's agent, Paul Stretford, after Stretford was branded an unreliable witness, believes there should be a "root and branch investigation" of the agents' industry. He says: "Footballers need agents because of the complicated negotiations which take place between clubs and players, but I believe it's become a cut-throat business because of the amount of money involved. "There needs to be a root and branch investigation. The fans deserve to see where their money goes. It is only right, for example, that if the size of a transfer fee is published then that is broken down and people know exactly who are getting what sums of money."

Moyes eyes move for City skipper Distin
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jun 18 2005
DAVID MOYES will make an ambitious attempt to prise #7million skipper Sylvain Distin away from Manchester City. The Everton manager has made a centre-back one of his top priori-ties for the summer, with Alan Stubbs' likely departure leaving just David Weir and Joseph Yobo as natural alternatives for the role. And Moyes has now identified City's 27-year-old captain as the ideal man to lead the Goodison backline into their Champions League debut campaign next season. The Scot does however face competition from Aston Villa and, once again, Newcastle. Villa manager David O'Leary has made the Frenchman his number one target of the summer, and has been given chairman Doug Ellis' blessing to file an improved #6m offer for the player having already made one approach. Graeme Souness is also thought to have reignited Newcastle's interest in the player, with the club having themselves had a #5m offer rejected back in January. Distin also spent the 2001-02 season at St James' Park in a loan deal brokered by Paris St Ger-main, his club at the time. Moyes, however, can offer Distin Champions League football and is also prepared to put up striker Marcus Bent as bait. Bent is a target for City manager Stuart Pearce, as reported in this week's Daily Post, and Moyes is loath to lose a player who emerged as a surprise hit on Merseyside last season.
However, Moyes would reluctantly sacrifice 1m-rated Bent as part of any deal if it would prove decisive in loosening City's grip on their captain. Pearce is desperate to keep Distin at the City of Manchester Stadium - but also knows Distin is one of his most valuable assets and his departure would release around #6m for team rebuilding. Pearce clearly wants him to stay as his captain. "Sylvain is a good man, a very pleasant man and great man to have as captain of this club. He leads by example and the good thing for City is that he is getting better and better as a player," he said.
"His level of performance has been exceptional. I am very, very surprised that he is not in the French squad. They must have some exceptional centre-halves. The more pressure you pile on him the better he performs." Meanwhile former target Mikael Forssell last night retracted claims he had made regarding his medical at Everton. The Finn, who has now signed for Birmingham, had labelled reports he had failed a medical a "complete fabrication". But Forssell has now offered a clarification of events, saying: "I met Everton to discuss my transfer from Chelsea on June 4. During my discussions I was examined by consultants of the club and discussed my medical records.
"Sadly, Everton withdrew over that weekend but fortunately Birmingham made the bid at that time and, of course, I was delighted to sign for Steve Bruce. "The reason I am saying this now is that David Moyes and Bill Kenwright were the reason I went to Everton that weekend. "Unfortunately circumstances intervened and I don't want Everton fans to think badly of their manager or chairman as this was a unique set of circumstances."
* TODAY is the deadline for existing holders to renew their season tickets at Everton.
The club is urging all fans who still wish to renew their tickets to visit the Goodison box office before noon. More than 85% have already done so. Once the deadline has passed club officials will begin the process of sorting applications for new season tickets, with the club waiting list now in excess of 4,000 names.

Fixture rumour sweeps the city
Jun 18 2005 By David Prior, Daily Post
DERBY fever gripped the city last night after reports claimed Liverpool and Everton are due to meet in the opening fixture of the new Premiership season. Both the Football Association and the Premier League were unavailable to comment on the rumours, which would ensure an explosive start to the campaign at Goodison. The new season begins on Saturday, August 14, but if the early Merseyside derby is confirmed that would most likely delay the game until the Sunday as it would doubtless be selected for live television coverage. The official release of next season's fixture list is not until next Thursday, and fans are now anxiously waiting for confirmation as to whether this leak is merely an internet hoax. Last night Everton claimed they knew nothing of the fixture as yet. Spokesman Ian Ross said: "We haven't heard anything at all about next season's fixtures."

Moyes welcomes chance to play in front of Thai fans
Jun 18 2005 By Alan Easel, Daily Post
EVERTON manager David Moyes believes the Premier League's Asia Trophy gives the Goodison Park side an ideal opportunity to strengthen their bond with fans in the region. Moyes will take his Champions League hopefuls to Bangkok where they will take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy next month. Bolton, Manchester City and the Thai national side will make up the four-team tournament which will be run under a knockout format in Bangkok's National Stadium (Rajamangala Stadium) on July 20 and 23. Moyes believes his side's sponsorship deal with Chang Beer has already helped the Goodison Park club forge strong links with Asia, bonds which can be strengthened during the Premier League Asia Trophy. Moyes told the Premier League website: "Through Everton Football Club's partnership with Chang Beer I have learnt first hand the passion that people in Thailand, and in the Far East as a whole, have for football - it's a great opportunity to play in front of many of our new fans. "This tournament should serve us well as we prepare for both the Barclays Premiership and our Champions League campaigns - Chelsea won the last one and they haven't done bad since."
And Leon Osman says the play-ers are looking forward to the event, too. "It's going to be a fantastic trip," said the midfielder, who signed a new four-year deal with the club this week. "A lot of the lads have not been there before so it should be a great experience." The Asia Trophy will be only the second tournament of its kind to be organised outside England, following the competition staged in Malaysia in 2003 which was won by Chelsea and also featured Newcastle and Birmingham. Representatives from Everton, Bolton and Manchester City will also visit Phuket to meet some of the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. This follows the move earlier this season when the 20 Premier League clubs pledged #50,000 each, a total of #1million, to the disaster relief fund.
Premier League Chairman Dave Richards, speaking in Thailand, said: "We are looking forward to staging our first official club tournament in Thailand this July, the passion and interest in Premier League football meant it was a natural choice. "By holding an event in Thailand we look forward to building on the strong relationships and enormous interest the English Premier League enjoys throughout Asia." "We are also pleased to be sending representatives from the Premier League, Bolton Wanderers, Everton and Manchester City to Phuket during the event. "In addition to the #1million donation we made to the Indian Ocean Appeal, we hope to help highlight the recovery of the region since the Indian Ocean earthquake as well as provide some presents and coaching for local children." Bolton manager Sam Allardyce is excited about the strength of the opposition his side will face in Thailand. "It is always important to face strong opposition in pre-season so that you are ready for the new season," he said.. "This tournament provides Bolton with the sort of competitive environment we will face come August as well as the chance to show the Thai people what my team can achieve." City manager Stuart Pearce is also looking forward to the Asia Trophy, adding: "I'm excited about getting out to Thailand with my squad and playing some competitive games. "It'll also be great to play in front of our Thai fans and show them what a real Premier League match looks and feels like up close." Afterwards Bolton will stay out in the Far East, moving on to Japan to face J-League sides Vissel Kobe and Kawasaki Frontale on July 26 and 28.

Ferguson: I can still do a job for Moyes
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jun 20 2005
EVERTON striker Duncan Ferguson insists he can still perform at the top level after signing a deal that will see the big Scot complete a decade at Goodison. The 33-year-old has confirmed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes by clinching a cut-price one-year extension with built-in appearance and goalscoring bonuses. Ferguson had seemed certain to be on his way out of Goodison when his lucrative contract expired, but a series of impressive performances last season - mostly as a second-half substitute - breathed new life into his time on Merseyside. And Ferguson declared: "I've still got a bit left! I proved last season that I can still do a job for the club and everyone knows what I'm about. "I've been here for a long time now and I don't think the fans are bored with me yet. Goals like the one I got that night against United obviously help. "I may not be the same player as I was eight years ago but I can still do a good job against the best of them."
Ferguson described himself as "made up" to have secured another season on Merseyside, given that the arrival of James Beattie in January seemed to signal his days could be numbered. He agreed verbally on the deal just three days after the end of the season, and added: "I love the club and I love the relationship I've got with the fans. "That's why I've signed. I feel right at home here and Liverpool is a city that has made me really welcome from day one." Ferguson was one of seven players in the last year of a contract when the recent season ended but he insisted the process of agreeing a new deal with the club was as swift as it was possible to be. "The contract had been spoken about for the last six months or so but the manager had always said that nothing would be sorted until the end of the season," he added.. "After the Bolton game on the Sunday, I met with the manager on the Wednesday afternoon and we shook hands on the deal almost straight away."
He added: "We shut a lot of people of up by staying in that fourth position for as long as we did.
"Maybe we surprised ourselves at first but we beat a lot of top teams and we stayed there."
Meanwhile, Sylvain Distin's agent has confirmed that Everton are interested in signing the 7m-rated Manchester City defender - as revealed in Saturday's Daily Post. According to Willie McKay, Goodison chairman Bill Ken-wright and his City counterpart John Wardle have spoken about a possible deal for the 27-year-old, who is also a target for Aston Villa and Newcastle. "Everton are interested in signing Sylvain," said McKay.. "Bill Kenwright and John Wardle have spoken to each other about Sylvain. "A lot depends on the price as I know Everton are speaking to another player and although it is clear they like Sylvain, they may decide to go for a cheaper alternative. "Sylvain is currently away on holiday in Guadulupe and we will discuss things when he returns, but a lot depends on what happens with Shaun Wright-Phillips if they sell him or not. "It is down to John Wardle and Stuart Pearce what happens with Sylvain."

Newcastle hold all the cards in striker row
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 20 2005
EVERTON'S hopes of landing Craig Bellamy could well lie in the hands of a familiar foe this summer - Graeme Souness. The controversial striker has emerged as a leading target for David Moyes after moves for Mikael Forssell and Scott Parker broke down. Bellamy spent the second half of last season on loan at Celtic after his infamous bust-up with Souness, who then insisted the 25-year-old would never feature in his team again. Chairman Freddy Shepherd fully backed the stance taken by Souness after Bellamy branded him a liar in a live television interview. And although there have been hints in recent weeks that the chairman's stance has softened, he is adamant that only Souness can decide to give Bellamy another chance. "You will have to ask the manager that one - that is up to Graeme, but there is a long way to go yet before the start of the season," Shepherd said.. "Everybody will tell you I am a forgiving chap; whether or not he plays for Newcastle again is up to the manager." Asked whether the front-man's ability should pave the way for a reprieve, Shepherd replied: "He should have thought of that when he said what he said on Sky." Souness has already proved himself a thorn in Everton's side this summer, beating the Merseysiders to the signature of Scott Parker and he is also now favourite to land Inter Milan midfielder Emre, whom Moyes had met for talks. Newcastle appear prepared to meet the players' high wage demands, as they were with Parker, as Everton continue to adopt a policy that will not jeopardise the financial stability of the past few seasons. Bellamy's future has been the subject of speculation since he fell out of favour at St James' Park in January. Celtic have not taken up an option to sign Bellamy permanently, and so far no other club has come up with a viable alternative. The suggestion has been that the Glasgow club cannot meet the financial package required, although Shepherd was reluctant to go that far.
"You will have to ask Celtic that one, if they have got the money or not, but at this moment, the option ran out and we have never heard any more from them," he said.. As for Bellamy, Shepherd added: "I think he is lying on a beach at this moment, and good luck to him. "That is what is happening to him at the moment and he is due back on July 4, so we will see what happens then.
"But in football, anything can happen."

Blues swoop for Dane
Jun 20 2005 EXCLUSIVE by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are on the brink of landing highly rated Danish defender Per Kroldrup. The Blues are close to agreement on a £5m fee with Serie A side Udinese - for a 25-year-old centre-half who is a regular in the Danish national side. Personal terms will be discussed in the next few days, with a medical due to be completed on David Moyes' return to England. The Blues' boss is currently in Thailand.
Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright have been working intensely on the deal for the past four weeks. It would be a Goodison record for a defender, eclipsing the £4.5m spent on Slaven Bilic seven years ago. The Blues beat off intense competition for Kroldrup's signature, including a last-gasp bid by Bundesliga side Schalke O4.

Bellamy Moyes' main target
Jun 20 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
CRAIG BELLAMY is still Everton's top transfer target - despite Andy Johnson handing in a written transfer request at Crystal Palace. David Moyes has 'noted with interest' Johnson's intention to leave Palace to seek Premiership football and further his England ambitions. The Blues boss has been alerted by Johnson's decision to go public this weekend on his desire to quit relegated Palace, but he still hopes to lure Bellamy to Goodison. The Welsh international is believed to be keen on a move to Merseyside, but wants to see some evidence of quality arrivals at Everton before committing himself. Moyes is happy to provide that and believes the Blues will be able to parade some new faces shortly. He is also keenly aware that Palace chairman Simon Jordan has slapped a #10m transfer tag on Johnson's head - and publicly stated he will make it very difficult for the forward to leave Selhurst Park. Bellamy is rated at £5m and the Blues do not believe wages would be a stumbling block. But new faces arriving at Everton are unlikely to include Manchester City defender Sylvain Distin or Norwich keeper Robert Green. Moyes was linked with both at the weekend - but has dismissed the reports. Manchester City's French defender has caught the eye of the Everton boss, but any initial interest rapidly cooled when a £7m valuation was reported.
Moyes has no plans, either, to make a move for Norwich goalkeeper Green. "I'm happy with our goalkeeping situation," he said.. "Distin is a good player, but £7m is a huge sum of money for a central defender."

Dunc signs for another year
Jun 20 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON has spoken of his delight at extending his Everton career by another year.
And the influential Scot insists he can still reproduce the kind of performances which which terrorised Rio Ferdinand and co. last season. "I may not be the same player as I was eight years ago but I can still do a good job against the best of them," he smiled. "I've still got a bit left! I proved last season that I can still do a job for the club and everyone knows what I'm about. "I've been here for a long time now and I don't think the fans are bored with me yet! Goals like the one I got that night against United obviously help." Ferguson has signed a one-year extension with a low basic wage, but very attractive bonuses for appearances and goals. "I'm made up to have signed for another year," he said. "I love the club and I love the relationship I've got with the fans. "That's why I've signed. I feel right at home here and Liverpool is a city that has made me really welcome from day one. "The contract had been spoken about for the last six months or so but the manager had always said that nothing would be sorted until the end of the season. "After the Bolton game on the Sunday, I met with the manager on the Wednesday afternoon and we shook hands on the deal almost straight away." Having sorted out his contract, Ferguson is now determined to help prove that Everton's splendid 2004-05 season was no 'flash in the pan'. "We shut a lot of people of up by staying in that 4th position for as long as we did," he claimed.. "Maybe we surprised ourselves at first but we beat a lot of top teams and we stayed there." Player of the season Tim Cahill, meanwhile, can finally plan a close season holiday after Australia gave Argentina a scare in Saturday night's Confederations Cup match, before losing 4-2. Australia cannot now qualify for the semi-finals, and after their final group game against Tunisia can come home. The Socceroos went down fighting, coming back from 3-0 down to make the score 3-2, with 20 minutes remaining, courtesy of two John Aloisi goals. It took a late Luciano Figueroa goal a minute from time to secure his hat-trick to ease Argentinian nerves. Cahill produced an impressive performance in midfield, although the 25-year-old did pick up his first yellow card of the tournament after 49 minutes. And after the game he remained defiant, insisting the Socceroos still had plenty to play for in their final group game tomorrow against Tunisia. "Although we cannot qualify for the semi-finals, it is not over for us," he declared. "In the end we were very unlucky. We lost against big teams, excellent sides who have some fantastic players. "Germany play direct football, while Argentina can pass the ball quickly from one end of the pitch to the other. "But we have learnt a lot during this competition - and football has learnt that Australia never give up." Cahill is expected to be given permission to miss the first week of Everton's pre-season training programme, which begins early in July.

Bellamy's Everton hopes are still alive
Jun 21 2005 By Damian Spellman Daily Post Correspondent
NEWCASTLE have no intention of relaxing their efforts to offload striker Craig Bellamy after dismissing suggestions that they could be ready to welcome him back to St James' Park. The Magpies refused to comment yesterday on reports that they have given long-term pursuers Everton permission to talk to the 25-year-old, who is currently on holiday in Mallorca after the end of his loan spell at Celtic. However, despite suggestions that Bellamy could return to Tyne-side, which were began after chairman Freddy Shepherd confirmed on Sunday that the decision on whether or not he could ever play for the club again would lie with manager Graeme Souness, they moved yesterday to insist that their position has not changed. Souness was adamant after the Welshman's television outburst on him that he could never play for him again, and although Shepherd's view is perhaps marginally less rigid, he is firmly behind his manager. "I am not having a meeting with Graeme to discuss the situation with Craig Bellamy," he said.. "The situation has not changed, it is as simple as that." One player who would, however, be welcome back at St James' is midfielder Lee Bowyer with the recent furore surrounding his future causing a major stir around the country, but not particularly on Tyneside. Birmingham fans have bickered with each other over their club's on-off bid to sign the 28-year-old and it remains to be seen whether the former England international will reconsider his decision to halt talks following a campaign to stop him signing. "Things are still the same as far as Lee Bowyer goes," said Shepherd. "There have been no developments over the weekend, and no deal has been agreed with Birmingham City or any other club who have expressed an interest in signing Lee. "We gave Birmingham permission to speak to Lee last week, and that is as far as it has gone." Souness has once again been linked with Crystal Palace's want-away striker Andy Johnson as he attempts to replace Bellamy and Patrick Kluivert, although he has never been high on the list and his primary targets are elsewhere, although with little movement so far on that front, he may yet have to consider his alternatives. Scott Parker's arrival has not ended Souness' search for midfielders and he remains firmly on the trail of Inter Milan's Turkish international Belozoglu Emre.
Emre, who is also a target for Everton, is on holiday until later this week and will return to survey a series of options including, according to his agent Ahmet Bulut, five other Premiership clubs, although his wage demands, thought to be in excess of £60,000 a week, could prove a problem.
That too could be the case with Real Madrid's Portuguese star Luis Figo, who is understood to be available on a free transfer five years after heading for the Bernabeu from Barcelona in a then controversial world record £37m move. The Magpies have opened talks with the 32-year-old's representatives and done much of the groundwork, but although there is an interest on both sides, the player's annual salary of more than £4m would be a huge outlay, especially after the disappointing return the club got for its investment on a similar basis in Kluivert last season.

Blues are being priced out
Jun 21 2005 Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Priced out
I LOVE Everton FC, but cringe when I hear of a player asking more than £30,000 a week. He would have to be Pele's son or someone for that money. Last year we could have bought half of the players we were interested in for a packet of crisps and two pints of lager. Now, because we have the Rooney money, prices have gone up. If Everton ask about a player, he's worth £6million; if Birmingham, Tottenham and the rest ask he is worth £2m.
Rich Bernard (via e-mail)
Pay for class
EVERTON need class, but class comes at a price. However success comes with class and with it comes the money to pay for the class. It's a simple pattern to follow. The opportunity Everton has right now is one to be acted on, not one to be pushed around otherwise we will finish mid-table at best.
Jacob O'Reilly (via e-mail)
Champion fears
EVERTON should not break their wage cap or throw away cash on players who move for the money and not football reasons. We are not going to finish fourth next season, and with the way Spurs, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Boro have been snapping up players we are going to do well with a top-10 finish. The most important thing is to be sensible about who we bring in, because as Tim Cahill said work ethic is the key. However, with our squad (unless we add around eight decent players to it) we could really struggle unless we get off to another good start. That's why I am a little wary of the Champions League and it's effects on our season.
Peter Jeknins (via e-mail)
Raise the bar
IT IS obvious that a wage limit has to be set, but why is Everton's less than anybody else. To enter the Champions League and hold our own in the Premiership we need at least three high-profile players. The fact that we are strugling to sign Mikel Arteta shows we have no intentions of progressing forward. I think the next big transfer we see will be David Moyes leaving. If we can't attract top players now, we never will do.
J Ferguson (via e-mail)
Remember Leeds
I AGREE with watching the wage bill. Being in the Champions League once doesn't mean Everton can afford £65,000 a week for five years for five or six players. Just look at Leeds. However, it makes you wonder how derisory our offer must have been for two players to turn down Champions League football. Yet, if they are money grabbers opposed to football players, other clubs are welcome to them.
John Jeffries (via e-mail)

Cahill told - take a break
Jun 21 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have ordered Tim Cahill to take a 20-day break - as soon as tonight's Confederations Cup clash with Tunisia has ended. The Aussie international will play his 46th and final match of the season in Germany, a campaign which kicked-off at the Athens Olympics 10 months ago. But Cahill will not now be asked to join the rest of the Blues squad for pre-season training on July 1. Instead he will be told to enjoy an extra 10 days' break, rejoining the party after a training camp in Austria. Assistant-manager Alan Irvine believes the extra rest is essential. "Tim has had to play for a ridiculous amount of time since the season ended because of the Confederations Cup," he said. "But because we will be playing a Champions League game on either August 9 or 10, we need to have him back a good four weeks before that. "So unfortunately for Tim, while we would like to be able to give him more time off, we will not be able to do that. "Tim is a player who loves training and loves playing but the body can only take so much. "And even a small deterioration physically or psychologically can make a massive difference when you have to be at your very best to play in the Premiership week in, week out. "Tim was a very important player for us last season and we want him to be a very important player for us again in the new season. "There is no doubt you can over train and you can over play. If you take the edge off people then, when the margins are so small, it can make a huge difference. "You are only talking about half yards, but if you knock that out of somebody then they may not be the same player they were before." Cahill is not the only member of the Everton squad given permission to extend their summer holiday. Scotland duo David Weir and James McFadden will report back on July 3 after their involvement in World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Belarus, while Nigerian international Joseph Yobo will report back on July 10, having also had to contend with international matches against Rwanda and Angola during June.

Blues to focus on Bellamy
Jun 21 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will now accelerate their bid to sign Craig Bellamy, after agreeing a 5m fee with Udinese for highly-rated centre-half Per Kroldrup. The Danish defender will discuss personal terms over the next few days and undergo a medical early next week. But the Blues will now try to thrash out a deal with Newcastle, for a player Graeme Souness has vowed will never play for the Magpies again. Chairman Bill Kenwright has been in touch with Newcastle counterpart Freddy Shepherd - and is willing to push the boat out to make the transfer happen. Manager David Moyes is sticking by his salary-cap principles, but hopes a compromise can be reached - with the Blues prepared to pay a £5m transfer fee to land the Welsh striker. Bellamy has turned his nose up at Aston Villa and Birmingham City in recent weeks, but is willing to talk to Everton. The attraction of a top-four club and a crack at Europe appeals to him. There seem to be few better footballing options for Bellamy. Celtic, where Bellamy ended the season on-loan, are happy to take him back - but the thought of playing in the SPL is a turn-off for him. Shepherd revealed yesterday that Bellamy's future was down to Souness, who could give him a lifeline if he wanted after the striker called him a liar on TV. But behind the scenes, Shepherd and Souness are working hard to avoid the embarrassing sideshow of Bellamy returning to training shortly. The key will be whether Everton can match Bellamy's wages, which are due to increase next season and take him to the £50,000-a-week bracket. Bellamy's advisers will start negotiations soon, but sources close to the striker say he "won't drop a penny to move". So there is still one hurdle to cross. Souness - back from a short break - will hope Everton can close the deal as it would also give him more cash for his other projects. Newcastle are beating Everton in the battle for Inter Milan's Turkish midfielder Emre. Kenwright has made him an offer but the Italian-based star is on a sky-high deal.

Danish ace will sizzle from start - Molby
Jun 21 2005 EXCLUSIVE by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MERSEYSIDE'S original Great Dane believes that Everton have snapped up a modern day best of breed. Jan Molby, the man whose silky midfield artistry entranced Anfield in the 1980s, is now a Danish football expert. Since his spell as Kidderminster Harriers boss ended last season he has been an expert summariser on Danish TV, and he believes Per Kroldrup is a defender who Blues fans will quickly take to. "He's a big lad - I think he's about six feet three inches tall - and a good defender, but he's also a very good footballer. He can use the ball well," said Molby. "He has waited patiently for his chance in the Danish national side and finally forced his way in in the last 12 months. Since he's got in he has done really well. "If David Moyes is looking for a centre-half with a bit of authority who can go straight into the Premier-ship from day one, he's the right man. "Arsenal were linked with him recently which underlines his pedigree - and I think his three years in Italy will have given him some invaluable experience." Everton have agreed a £5m transfer fee with Udinese for Kroldrup's transfer - after initially being quoted 10m Euros (more than £6.5m). Personal terms will be discussed over the next couple of days, with a medical scheduled for when boss Moyes returns from Thailand. Kroldrup, who is 26 next month, started his career at B93 Copenhagen, before a transfer to Udinese in 2001. He was a regular for the improving Serie A side, who finished fourth last season to qualify, like Everton, for the Champions League for the first time. He made his international debut against Turkey in February last year and now has six full caps. The player himself seems excited about the imminent possibility of a switch to Merseyside - and admits he sounded out international team-mate and former Everton star Thomas Gravesen about the move. "I spoke to Thomas about Everton when we were together recently," he admitted. "Everton's interest was only a rumour then, but he said nice things about the club. "Everton is a very interesting club and the Premier League is one of the best in the world. "They have just qualified for the Champions League and seem to be very ambitious. I will have to wait and see what happens. "It would be a great thing for me to play in one of the best leagues in the world." Molby agreed. "What interests English clubs so much about Scandinavians is their ability to slot comfortably into the Premiership," he added. "With Per having played in Italy, too, he will be well schooled and should be a good signing for Everton."

Dane's delight as fee agreed with Udinese
Jun 21 2005 By David Prior, Daily Post Staff
PER KROLDRUP last night spoke of his excitement at a potential move to Goodison after Everton agreed a fee with Udinese for the talented centre-half. The 25-year-old Dane will begin talks about personal terms over the next few days and could then arrive for a medical early next week, when manager David Moyes is due to return from Thailand. A fee - believed to be around £5.5million - was agreed with the Italians after Moyes discounted a move for Sylvain Distin in the light of Manchester City's £7m valuation of their captain. And last night Kroldrup, who has won 13 caps for his country, said: "Everton is a very interesting club and the Premier League is one of the best in the world. "It would be a great thing for me to play in the one of the best leagues in the world." Should a deal go through, Kroldrup would become the most expensive Everton defender ever, seven years after Everton paid £4.5m for Slaven Bilic. Moyes had watched the player in action during Denmark's World Cup qualifier against Albania on June 8, but was finally convinced to make a formal offer when City refused to budge on Distin's price-tag. The Scot said: "Distin is a good player, but £7million is a huge sum of money for a central defender." Udinese did themselves also demand £7m for Kroldrup - who was also a prime target for Bundesliga side Schalke 04 - but Everton negotiated a lower fee having had their initial £5m bid turned down. Head of communications Ian Ross said: "We agreed a fee with Udinese at the weekend and whilst we do remain very optimistic that Per will be joining us it is important to remember that the player has yet to discuss personal terms and has still to undergo a medical. "All deals take time and effort and, as a club, we have always preferred to do our business quietly, away from the spotlight which tends to illuminate football 365 days of the year." Kroldrup came to full prominence last season when he helped unfancied Udinese to fourth spot in Serie A - and a place alongside Everton in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. He is known as a pacy, attacking player with a good footballing brain who spent his early years at small Danish club B93 Copenhagen before a move to Italy in 2001. A one-time target for Spurs and Juventus, Kroldrup also enjoyed a trial with Arsenal as a 21-year-old. Moyes, meanwhile, has effectively ruled out a swoop for Norwich goalkeeper Robert Green. Everton were linked at the weekend with a £2.5m move for Green, who recently made his England debut by playing the second half of a 3-2 win over Colombia in New York. With the World Cup now just a year away, it is believed Green will need to leave the relegated Canaries to assure himself of a place in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad.
A move to Champions League-bound Everton, with Nigel Martyn in the twilight of his career at 38 and with question marks seemingly hanging over Richard Wright, appears a logical step for Green.
Moyes, though, looks certain to go into the new season with veteran Martyn and Wright, saying today: "I'm happy with the goalkeeping situation we have here."

No soccer ban for Blues fan
Jun 21 2005 By Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
AN EVERTON fan accused of being a key figure in Merseyside's football hooligan fraternity will remain free to attend games. Police wanted an order to prevent father-of-two Paul Johnson from attending matches across Britain. But district judge Michael Abelson decided there was insufficient evidence to suggest Mr Johnson was involved in violence and disorder at Everton games.
Football intelligence unit officers submitted more than 60 reports to support their case as well as video footage. Mr Johnson, 36, claimed he was being unfairly targeted by police who misinterpreted surveillance videos to make him look guilty. Yesterday, Liverpool magistrates' court heard that, in many of the 60 alleged incidents of disorder, it could not be proved Mr Johnson was involved.
In one incident, on September 16, 2000, Mr Johnson was accused of goading Manchester United supporter Sam Smart and shouting "come on black man" at him.. But Judge Abelson said the incident was not supported by the video evidence and that Mr Johnson was not involved.
It also emerged that Mr Smart actually attended a previous hearing to vouch for Mr Johnson, adding that the pair are friends. Labelling the police evidence unconvincing, Judge Abelson said: "There would be no way, not in a million years, that a jury would convict on this evidence. "The burden of proof is on the prosecution - it's not a balance of probability." Judge Abelson added that Mr Johnson has a "habit of finding himself where there is disorder". Outside court Mr Johnson said: "I have no comment to make other than that I'm a person of good character and I am particularly satisfied the allegation that I made a racist remark has been proven false." Mr Johnson, of Wadebridge Road, Croxteth, had faced a three-year ban from all football matches had Merseyside police's case been proved. He would also have been banned from the city centre on match days and prevented from travelling to England games.

Cahill earns a break after 46th game
By Ian Parkes, Daily Post
Jun 22 2005
TIM CAHILL came on as a second-half substitute as Australia lost 2-0 against Tunisia last night - then began a well-earned rest. The midfielder has been told by Everton to take a three-week break in the hope of ensuring he is fit for the club's Champions League campaign. Cahill played his 46th and final match of a season which started 10 months ago with the Athens Olympics when he lined up for his country's Confederations Cup game in Leipzig. The majority of David Moyes's squad are due to return for pre-season training on July 1 as the countdown starts to their Champions League debut.
But Cahill will not report until after a training camp in Austria early next month as assistant manager Alan Irvine explained: "Tim has had to play for a ridiculous amount of time since the season ended because of the Confederations Cup. "But because we will be playing a Champions League game on either August 9 or 10, we need to have him back a good four weeks before that. "So unfortunately for Tim, while we would like to be able to give him more time off, we will not be able to do that.
"Tim is a player who loves training and loves playing, but the body can only take so much. "Even a small deterioration physically or psychologically can make a massive difference when you have to be at your very best to play in the Premiership. "Tim was a very important player for us last season and we want him to be a very important player for us again in the new season. Nigeria international Joseph Yobo will return on July 10 after recently playing in World Cup qualifying matches against Rwanda and Angola, while Scottish duo David Weir and James McFadden will not be back until
July 3.

Sandro silence leaves Goodison guessing
Jun 22 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
GOODISON officials are still resigned to a trio of influential defenders exiting Everton this summer - despite reports claiming Alessandro Pistone has had a change of heart. The Italian full-back, Alan Stubbs and Steve Watson have all rejected one-year extensions, with Watson already having started talks with West Bromwich Albion. A report today claimed that Pistone's planned move to Lecce in his native Italy had stalled over cash and that he now wants to stay at Everton. The Blues, however, have had no word from the player or his representatives. Goodison secretary David Harrison spoke to Pistone's agent on Friday, but was told that Everton's one-year offer was still unacceptable. The Blues are also continuing to haggle with Mikel Arteta's representatives. Both parties are struggling to find common ground and a deal looks some way off. Young goalkeeper Iain Turner, however, has penned a new deal tying him to Goodison until 2009. Talks are also continuing with Danish defender Per Kroldrup, with a view to a £5m deal being completed next week.

Outspoken Bellamy can be Blues hit
Jun 22 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
CRAIG BELLAMY is a great player. He is just outspoken and there is nothing wrong with that - Martin O'Neill had no problems with him. What a partnership it would be with Beattie, they would complement each other and Beattie would really benefit big time. Gary Mulroon,
CRAIG BELLAMY is a bit too volatile for my liking. Usually Moyes finds an obscure player who turns out to be excellent - like Essien two years ago. I'd rather we went with Mido, who he was interested in last year and played well for Spurs.
Howard Johns, Garston
WE need to invest heavily to strengthen the side, and this includes a fast and skilful forward who can score 20-plus goals a season, a robust and skilful midfielder and a proven pacy and highly skilful central defender. We need to retain Arteta and Cahill who are excellent players in a confident and attacking team. To succeed we need to be able to score heavily and be frugal in defence. Above all we have to make teams scared of us. Without a substantial level of investment we will not be able to compete in the modern mad world of soccer where money is king.
Roger Williams, Toxteth
I AM sure Moyes is doing his very best to get the best possible players for the club. He just needs to be given time to start signing the right people, plus we have the disadvantage that we can't afford to pay big money salaries. But then again, who would have thought at the start of last season, after just signing Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent plus losing Rooney to United, that we would even stay in the Premiership let alone get a place in Europe.
Simon Gregory, Aintree
Kroldrup could be the Perfect defender
I HAVEN'T seen Kroldrup play but I trust Moyes would not spend £5m on a player unless he thought he was quality. We need to get Arteta sorted and sign one of the many strikers we've been linked with - Bellamy would probably be the right signing.
Ste Daws, Wirral
PER KROLDRUP is £2m cheaper than Distin, a year or so younger, has international experience and currently plays for Udinese, who did what we did this year - unfancied club getting into the Champions League - but in Serie A. If this turns out to be genuine it could be a good deal.
James Christopher, Upton
Blues offer a lot more
DAVID MOYES is correct when he says the market is crowded, but questions need to be asked.
When there is a battle for players between four to five clubs it usually comes down to one thing, Europe. We can offer the Champions League yet we get snubbed. Newcastle offer no Europe at all and evidence shows their manager is making them worse.
I really don't understand it.
John Price, Liverpool

Net fixtures dismissed as a spoof
Jun 22 2005 Liverpool Echo
THE fixtures for the 2005/06 season are published tomorrow - but the Premier League have dismissed a fixture list on the internet, which includes an opening day derby match, as a spoof.
The supposedly 'leaked' first-day list has sparked widespread interest on the net and includes Everton against Liverpool, Wigan v Chelsea and Manchester United at home to West Brom - on the same day as an Ashes Test match just around the corner. A Premier League spokesman said: "I can confirm that this list of games is definitely not the opening day fixtures. The only way supporters can be sure of who their club is playing is to wait until the full list is out."

O'Leary interest edges Stubbs nearer exit
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Jun 23 2005
ASTON VILLA are lining up a move for Everton skipper Alan Stubbs. The centre-back is out of contract at the end of the month after having rejected the offer of a one-year extension to remain at Goodison. And Villa manager David O'Leary has earmarked the 34-year-old as a potential signing as he seeks defensive reinforcements. Stubbs is believed to have been offered a two-year deal by the Villa Park outfit, which would bring to an end a four-year association with Everton. Stubbs had been hopeful of staying on Merseyside and was optimistic he would eventually be offered an improved deal by the club. But with Goodison officials refusing to increase their final offer, Stubbs has taken the decision to leave his boyhood team, with the Midlands now appearing his most likely destination. Stubbs joined Everton from Celtic in 2001 and has gone on to make 142 appearance, scoring four goals as well as becoming club captain. The defender is one of three Everton players who will be out of contract this summer, with Steve Watson already having opened talks with West Bromwich Albion and Alessandro Pistone linked with a return to Italy. Everton remain hopeful they can strike a deal to bring Mikel Arteta back to Goodison in a permanent transfer, although their continues to be an impasse over personal terms. Meanwhile, young goalkeeper Iain Turner has signed a three-year contract extension. The 21-year-old has agreed terms a year before his previous deal was due to expire, with the new contract keeping him at the club until 2009. The Scotland under-21 keeper, who has not made a senior appearance but has been on loan to Chester and Doncaster recently, now wants to break into the first team. Nigel Martyn is the current first choice for David Moyes, with Richard Wright and John Ruddy also competing for a place in goal. Turner said: "I have signed a three-year extension to my contract. It is great to be offered a new contract by any club. "But when it is a club the size of Everton with such a great fanbase it is good. "Hopefully I can come into the first team and do a job. We now have four keepers at the club but you need that level of competition to push you that little bit further. It is going to be interesting this season. "Of course you set personal goals. There is no point playing football if you don't set targets - it is the same in life. "My ambition is to be Everton and Scotland's number one. But with keepers it is about trying to get your chance. "The two ahead of me will be tough to get ahead of but if I get a chance I will try to take it."

Merseyside rivals could face tough Euro qualifier
By Martyn Ziegler, Daily Post
Jun 23 2005
LIVERPOOL may have to beat Spanish or Italian opposition in order to qualify for the lucrative group stages of the Champions League. UEFA yesterday confirmed the coefficients which are used to calculate each side's seeding in Europe's elite club competition - and although Liverpool would both be seeded for the final qualifying round, there are some tricky potential opponents who will be unseeded. These include Real Betis - who finished fourth in Spain's Primera Liga last season and managed a win and a draw against Barcelona - and Udinese,, who came fourth in Italy's Serie A.
Also seeded, Manchester United could face either of these teams in the third qualifying round.
Liverpool, who have no 'country protection' after being given special admittance into the qualifying rounds of the competition to defend their trophy, could also face unseeded Everton. David Moyes's side were already aware they would have to overcome difficult opposition to progress to the group stages. The coefficients also determine which teams are seeded in the qualifying rounds and Everton's lowly status means they could end up having to beat Inter Milan or Sporting Lisbon to make it into the group stage. And given the rankings of the teams in the competition, it is feasible that, should each team win through the qualification rounds, a group containing Liverpool, Juventus, Celtic and Everton could be drawn. The seedings mean Arsenal and - should they qualify - United and Liverpool are guaranteed to avoid the most powerful sides in Europe in the group stage.
However, Chelsea will be among the group of eight second seeds and could end up facing Real Madrid, AC Milan or Barcelona, with the meeting against Frank Rijkaard's side causing so much controversy last season. Jose Mourinho's side, who like Arsenal are one of 16 teams who have qualified automatically for the group stage, could also be picked in the same group as Liverpool. Everton are ranked 42nd under UEFA's coefficient system and would be among the bottom seeds should they qualify.

UEFA Champions League rankings
Jun 23 2005 Daily Post
Top seeds (if all qualify for group phase): 1 Real Madrid (Spa) 131.326, 2 AC Milan (Ita) 121.191, 3 Barcelona (Spa) 117.326, 4 Liverpool (Eng, title-holders) 115.864***, 5 Man Utd (Eng) 110.864*, 6 Inter Milan (Ita) 101.191*, 7 Bayern Munich (Ger) 97.166, 8 Arsenal (Eng) 93.864.
Second seeds (if all qualify): 9 Porto (Por) 93.739, 10 Juventus (Ita) 93.191, 11 PSV Eindhoven (Hol) 84.145, 12 Chelsea (Eng) 68.864, 13 Lyon (Fra) 81.324, 14 Olympiacos (Gre) 46.715, 15 Schalke 04 (Ger) 44.166, 16 Sparta Prague (Cze) 43.223.
Third seeds (if all qualify): 17 Lille (Fra) 41.324, 18 Benfica (Por) 36.739, 19 Fenerbahce (Tur) 23.872, 20 Panathinaikos (Gre) 70.715*, 21 Celtic (Sco) 63.476**, 22 Villarreal (Spa) 58.326*, 23 Sporting Lisbon (Por) 55.739*, 24 Monaco (Fra) 53.324*.
Fourth seeds (if all qualify): 25 Ajax (Hol) 52.145*, Bruges (Bel) 50.476*, 27 Anderlecht (Bel) 47.476**, 28 Rangers (Sco) 40.476*, 29 Dynamo Kiev (Ukr) 40.200**, 30 Werder Bremen (Ger) 40.166*, 31 Lokomotiv Moscow (Rus) 38.469**, 32 Rosenborg (Nor) 36.665*. Others: 33 Slavia Prague (Cze) 35.223*, 34 Real Betis (Spa) 34.326*, 37 Udinese (Ita) 30.191*, 42 Everton FC (ENG) 20.864*.

Playing it for laughs
Daily Post
Jun 23 2005
Mike Chapple meets an Evertonian who is turning the air blue I DO like to be beside the seaside, Oh I do like to be beside the sea, Oh I do like to walk along the prom, prom, prom, where the brass bands play, - off West Brom!" Ah, yes, the surreal wit of our sometimes foul-mouthed football match chants and repartee which are, like or not, part of Merseyside culture. The above was a personal favourite from the Kop that had no relevance even when conceived many moons ago. However, it is occasionally dusted down and bellowed at Anfield to celebrate its sheer stupidity - whether the Baggies are playing or not. Evertonians, of course, have their own favourite anecdotes and chants many of which have been preserved for posterity in an entertaining (even for Reds fans) new book called Turning The Air Blue. It's compiled by the lads from bluekipper.com - Kipper,, Jogger, Lard, Lavvo, Sausage and Keefer - who dreamt up the idea of a website for Evertonians on a well- lubricated night out five years ago. Unlike other well-intentioned brainwaves spawned during the hours of drink, this one survived the hangover and today the site gets an average 110,000 hits a day.
"Without wanting to knock other sites, I think we get so many hits because we're locally based - we get all the news first and we hit the ground running if you know what I mean," says Kipper, aka 49-year-old Arriva worker and Blues fanatic Steve Jones. He and the other Evertonians - his brothers Paul and Gary, Mike Lafferty, Paul McIver and Keith Davies - only used their nicknames to begin with because it would provide a convenient smokescreen if anyone decided to sue. No one has.
In fact, the blatantly irreverent site has become popular with the fans but more especially many of the Everton players both past and present who, unusually for a football fanzine, give bluekipper their full support. "The players love the chants and a bit of banter - it's a unifying thing between them and the fans," Steve maintains.. As proof, their first player of the season presentation was attended by a welter of players including the then Everton captain Richard Gough - a formative kipper backer - Michael Ball, Gordon West and Brian Labone. The latest, held last month at the Stonebridge Inn in Croxteth, featured Graeme Sharp, Adrian Heath, Kevin Ratcliffe, Gary Stevens and Derek Mountfield on the top table to acclaim the player of the season, Tim Cahill. This was a real coup for Steve and the others, who readily admit they are just ordinary fans who meet regularly at their local - the Valentine in Altway, Aintree. Steve says: "Dave Watson has also been to a few of our do's which is great because they are our heroes." The former Everton skipper even agreed to write the foreword to the book which features around 500 anecdotes about shouts and chants. Some of the best of these are contained in the chapters featuring the remarks of the young and the old. The latter are called "me arl feller's shouts" and Steve enlisted the support of his own "arl feller", his Dad "Sting" Ray Jones, to come up with some of them, Interspersed with these are exclusive interviews with Blues legends including Alex Young, Colin Harvey, Kevin Sheedy, plus the aforementioned Watson, Mountfield, Sharp and Ratcliffe. Watson says pertinently: "As a Scouser and an Evertonian, I can appreciate the humour behind most of the shouts and admit that a lot of them helped me to enjoy my career even more." In one of his own anecdotes he recalls arriving at Goodison on one match day to be greeted by the usual autograph hunters. "One of the lads pointed me out to a young kid saying: "That's Dave Watson, he used to wear the armband for Everton." The kid replied: "Why? Can't he swim?" There are lots of other short tales using more colourful language, hence the tongue-in-cheek warning on the cover about "blue" language: "We do allow swearing on the site and try not to edit anything too radically - but one thing we don't allow is any racist stuff," says Steve..
One other thing that they are also keen to keep out are references to Heysel and Hillsborough.
The kipper plays it for laughs - and here's the book to prove it.
Stands and deliver - a selection of anecdotes
Late '60s Goodison
Brian Labone crunches Mike "Concorde" Summerbee who lies motionless for lengthy treatment. "Hurry up!" shouts one Evertonian while another responds: "Can't. It'll take ages to get his nose out the ground."
Late '60s
When police on horseback were allowed inside Goodison. Officer falls off horse injured in front of the crowd and another races to his rescue to be greeted by a verse from the then current chart-topper Rolf Harris's Two Little Boys: "Do you think I would leave you dying, when there's room on my horse for two . . ."
Late '70s
Ipswich in their pomp giving Everton a drubbing. Ipswich striker Paul Mariner shouts instructions to team-mates as he prepares to take a corner to be greeted with an indignant shout from the crowd: "Ay Mariner, There are women and children trying to sleep here."
Peter Reid advances on the ball with Trevor Steven lurking out on the right. Reid is given instructions by crowd know-all: "Wing! Wing! Wing!" to which a wag retorts: "Will someone answer that --phone!".
Francis Jeffers is brought on at Goodison for Arsenal against his former club to the chants of "One greedy b------. There's only one greedy b------". One overweight man in the crowd already on his fourth pie responds with "Two greedy b-------, there's only two greedy b-------."
Duncan Ferguson flaps in front of goal to which one frustrated Everton fan shouts: "You've done nothing this year Ferguson apart from fight crime!"

Blues to face United on opening day
Jun 23 2005 By Dan Kay, icLiverpool
EVERTON will start their 2005-06 League campaign with a showpiece fixture at home to Manchester United. The first away game is at Bolton on August 20 and is followed by a home game with newly-promoted West Ham (August 24) and an away trip to Fulham (August 27). September sees home games with Portsmouth (10th) and Wigan (24th) sandwiched with a trip to Highbury to face Arsenal (17th). October sees three away fixtures to Manchester City (1st), Tottenham (15th) and Birmingham (29th) - the only home game being against the champions Chelsea on the 22nd.
Everton's festive period gets underway with a trip to Old Trafford on December 10th before three home games in close succession over the Christmas period against Aston Villa (26th), Liverpool (28th) and Charlton (January 2) separated only by a trip to Sunderland on New Years Eve.
The Blues entertain Arsenal on January 21 before making the short journey to the JJB stadium to play Wigan Athletic on January 31. March sees tricky away fixtures at West Ham (4th) and Liverpool (25th) before Sunderland visit Goodison on April 1. The run-in sees trips to Charlton (April 8), Chelsea (April 17) and Middlesbrough (April 29) along with home games against Tottenham (April 15) and Birmingham (April 22) before the final game against Bryan Robson's West Brom at Goodison on May 7.

Rooney returns for kick-off, but Reds face fixture chaos
Jun 23 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo

EVERTON will face Manchester United in another Goodison Park barnstormer on the opening day of the 2005/06 season. Liverpool go to Middlesbrough, before kicking-off their Anfield schedule with a game against newly-promoted Sunderland. And there is a derby day Christmas cracker with the season's first derby match at Goodison Park on December 28. Both Everton and Liverpool, however, could be playing catchup, with Premiership fixtures clashing with the midweek set aside for the Champions League third qualifying round second leg. Liverpool's trip to Charlton will have to be rearranged and Everton's home clash with West Ham also rescheduled. The Reds' home match against Arsenal is also in danger, with the UEFA Super Cup match in Monaco scheduled for the night before, Friday, August 26. That would leave Liverpool with just two Premiership fixtures in August.
The Christmas programme, however, has been kind to Reds' fans. Liverpool will travel outside the city just once in the month of December - and after a New Year's Eve home game against West Brom, will make the short trip to Bolton on January 2. Evertonians will travel to Aston Villa on Boxing Day and Sunderland on New Year's Eve. But it is Wayne Rooney's return to Goodison Park on the opening day which will whet the appetite - in a clash almost certain to be switched for live TV screening. "We are looking forward to it," said boss David Moyes today. "Our preparations aim to have us ready for the Champions League qualifier on August 10, so we will certainly be ready for United. "We had a terrific game against United at Goodison last season and we will be looking for a repeat of that night if we can. "We know how difficult it will be, but it didn't do us any harm to face Arsenal on the opening day of last season so hopefully it won't do us any harm to face United this time." Gary Neville and Paul Scholes were both sent-off in a stormy encounter at Goodison in April, decided by Duncan Ferguson's flying header. Everton also entertained Manchester United on the opening day of the 1999-2000 season. Alex Ferguson's side came to Goodison as treble-winners, but Nick Barmby's late goal earned Everton a draw. The last time Liverpool travelled to Middlesbrough on the first day of a new campaign was in 1996-97, when Fabrizio Ravanelli's hat-trick earned Boro a 3-3 draw.

Villa out to pinch Bellamy
Jun 23 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ASTON VILLA are ready to rival Everton for Craig Bellamy's signature. And the Midlands club are also ready to offer free agent Alan Stubbs a two-year contract. Everton have made Bellamy their number one striking target, after the collapse of the move for Mikael Forssell. But Villa operations director, Steve Stride, declared Everton will not have the field to themselves. "We have not been told by anyone that Craig Bellamy does not want to sign for this club," he said. "As far as I am concerned we are still in there fighting." Villa's interest could spark another two-way wage-war, similar to the auction which saw Scott Parker choose Tyneside ahead of Merseyside. Newcastle also look likely to win the tussle for Inter midfielder Emre Belozoglu. The 24-year-old Inter Milan midfielder was due back from holiday today, with his agent Ahmet Bulut promising a swift answer to the six Premiership clubs he claims have expressed an interest in signing him. The Magpies are understood to have met the player's representatives in Monaco before his summer break in an attempt to gain a head start, although his wage demands - considered to be in excess of £60,000 a week - are at the upper limit of what they are prepared to pay. Aston Villa, meanwhile, are believed to be ready to offer Alan Stubbs a two-year contract. The Blues captain has not responded to Everton's offer of a one-year extension and may have to decide between leading the club he supported as a boy into the Champions League, or the extra security of a further year's contract.

Let's forget about Rooney now, pleads Weir
Jun 24 2005 By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
DAVID WEIR believes Wayne Rooney will no longer be the centre of attention when the youngster returns to Goodison at the start of the new season. Everton welcome Manchester United on the opening weekend of the 2005-06 Premiership campaign with last season's home encounters still fresh in the mind. The Old Trafford side won an FA Cup tie in February amid a powderkeg atmosphere on Rooney's first return to his former club, while Duncan Ferguson's header won an April Premiership clash in which both Gary Neville and Paul Scholes were sent off for the visitors.
But with Everton having enjoyed a successful season and sealed a place in the forthcoming Champions League, Weir insists controversy over Rooney is now firmly in the past. "I think the Rooney stuff's over with," said Weir.. "It's been spoken about for so long now. "Wayne's moved on, Everton have moved on. Everybody seems to be quite happy. "Let's start talking about games of football again." The United clash is a repeat of the 1999-2000 opening game when Nick Barmby's strike gave Everton a 1-1 draw, and Weir added: "It's some start. We've got big Champions League qualifiers at the start of the season as well, so to get a game like that makes it a proper start to the season. "There's a buzz about Everton as it is. "To be honest with you, I always look for the derby, the game everyone looks for, but, when you get Manchester United, that sort of takes your focus."
The United game is provisionally scheduled for Saturday, August 13, but that could change once Sky decide on their televised line-up. David Moyes's side start their season the previous midweek with the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie on August 9-10. Their first Premiership away game is at Bolton the following week, but the home game against West Ham United will be rearranged as it clashes with the return leg of the Champions League tie. The first derby of the season is at Goodison on December 28 during a hectic festive period in which Premiership clubs will play four games in seven days. The Anfield return is on March 25. Everton will face opposition from Aston Villa for Craig Bellamy, although it is believed the Newcastle forward would prefer a move to Goodison provided his wages demands can be met. Graeme Souness's side, having beaten Moyes to the signature of Scott Parker, also look poised to tie up a deal for one-time Everton target Emre. Meanwhile, James Vaughan's agent has denied the striker will be moving on loan to Walsall next season.

Villa won't give up on Bellamy transfer
By Ian Parkes, Daily Post
Jun 24 2005
ASTON VILLA manager David O'Leary has still not given up hope of challenging Everton for the signature of controversial Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy. It had long been anticipated Bellamy would have found another club by this stage of the summer after being informed in no uncertain terms by Magpies manager Graeme Souness he has no future at St James' Park.. A list of suitors have been mentioned, notably Villa, Everton and Celtic following his loan spell at Parkhead over the second half of last season in the wake of his bitter and very public bust-up with Souness towards the end of January. As it stands, Bellamy is set to bite the bullet and return to pre-season training with Newcastle on July 4 unless a deal with another club can quickly be thrashed out. It appeared Villa had fallen by the wayside as the suggestion was that Bellamy did not favour the move, particularly after he snubbed a switch to Birmingham in January. But according to Villa secretary Steve Stride and the player's agent, Stephen Horner, the club remain in the hunt for the Wales international.
"We haven't been informed either by the player or his representatives that he has rejected us, so it is something we are still actively pursuing," said Stride.. "As far as I am concerned, we are still in there fighting." Horner has also refuted suggestions Bellamy has no intention of going to Villa as he said: "There has been no 'turning down', or anything of the sort. "At the moment he is heading back to Newcastle on July 4, but things could change. He has not turned Villa down." Recent recruit Patrik Berger feels with the addition of a number of new signings, such as Bellamy and Everton defender Alan Stubbs who has recently been linked with the club, Villa could be a force to be reckoned with next season. "I went to Portsmouth to help them stay in the Premier League for as long as they could, which I did," said the Czech international winger, who arrived on a free transfer from Pompey.
"For me to come to Aston Villa is another step up, this is another level. Everyone knows that Aston Villa is a huge club and for me this is a big challenge. "It's definitely different if you play at a club where you're fighting against relegation from the first game, compared to playing for a team where you actually have a chance of winning things. "That's where Aston Villa are heading at the moment, where we can win trophies." Meanwhile, Villa goalkeeper Stefan Postma is poised to quit the club for Spain after recent revelations about his private life. The 29-year-old Dutchman now fears ridicule if he remains in this country after a former girlfriend made claims about their sex life.

Walsall keen on Vaughan
Jun 24 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
AMBITIOUS League One side Walsall are planning a cheeky bid to take Everton's record-breaking youngster James Vaughan on-loan next season. But the Blues remain in the dark about any interest.
The Saddlers' boss, Paul Merson, has told sources in the Midlands that he would love to offer the 16-year-old striker some League experience at the Bescot Stadium. He has not made any formal approach to Everton yet, and Vaughan's agent, Gino Culbertson, said: "We don't know anything about it. "I've been with James this morning and as far as we are aware it's totally unfounded. The manager has been away at Everton and certainly we are not aware of any such arrangement."
But with the Blues hopeful of landing Craig Bellamy this summer, and James Beattie, Marcus Bent, Duncan Ferguson and James McFadden all offering striking options, David Moyes could be tempted.
Vaughan became the youngest goalscorer in Everton and the Premier League's history last season with his goal against Crystal Palace, aged 16 years 271 days. He made one more substitute appearance at Bolton on the last day of the season and will be hoping to add to his top flight experience next season. Inter midfielder Emre Belozoglu, meanwhile, was expected to confirm his decision to join Newcastle later today. The Blues had targeted the Turkish play-maker, but were put off by reported pay demands of £60,000 per week.

Euro cup Scott can't get hands on
Jun 24 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
APOLOGIES are due to Scott Parker. We may have scoffed when he chose Newcastle (16th last season) ahead of Everton (fourth). We might have cynically doubted his ambition. And, most importantly, we may have cruelly reproduced his quotes, the ones where he claimed he wanted to join a team playing in Europe next season. So we should point out that European heavyweights Vasas and Dubnica are currently doing battle for the right to face Ankaraspor - with the winners to face Newcastle in the InterToto Cup (the only cup competition which doesn't have a cup) next month. Maybe that's what Parker had in mind. Sorry Scott.

Nightmare nearly over as Li Tie on way back
Jun 25 2005 By David Prior, Daily Post
LI TIE'S 18-month Goodison nightmare is almost at an end. The China international has been given the green light to return to pre-season training next week having finally overcome his shin problem.
Li Tie has not pulled on an Everton shirt since January 2004 having suffered a broken shin on international duty soon after. But now the 27-year-old's miserable run is set to end - and the midfielder himself cannot wait. "On June 29 I will go to the hospital for a final check and if I am 100% I will be okay to train with the team from the start of preseason," he said.. "That is the perfect time to be back. "The last year has been very difficult for me. After the first injury I got back but then injured the same leg again and I was very worried. "But now I feel better. I feel good. I hope I can get back to play in the first team quickly and this season I can play regularly. "I need games now. In pre-season there are four or five games and it would be good if I could maybe play two games." After his injury, Li Tie spent an extended period of recuperation in the Far East. He returned to fitness in January, only to be ruled out for the rest of the season when sustaining a blow to the same shin midway through his first reserve team outing against Bolton in January. "After the first injury I rested in China for months and never exercised so the bone wasn't healing and it wasn't strong," Li Tie added. "But after the second injury it is much better, much stronger. "I have been coming in (to Belle-field) over the summer Monday to Friday, sometimes doing single sessions and sometimes more. "Baz (head physio Mick Rath-bone) has told me I don't need to train very hard all summer. Some days I train hard and some days I do a little work and do some things with the ball." Li Tie proved an instant hit at Goodison, playing 25 times in the 2002-03 season after arriving on loan from Liaoning Baodao as part of the sponsorship deal with Kejian. He signed a permanent three-year contract in 2003, but made only 13 appearances before his injury setback in February 2004.
Meanwhile, Manchester Unit-ed's Quinton Fortune - who could face Everton on the opening day of the new Premiership season - has dismissed recent talk of a move to Newcastle as "speculation".
Fortune is due to link up with his Red Devils team-mates next week at their training camp in the Algarve amid rumours that his time at Old Trafford might be coming to an end. The popular South African has rarely looked like becoming a regular member of Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up since joining the Red Devils for £1.5m in 1999, although he has amassed more than 100 first-team appearances. But, after only making the substitutes' bench for last season's FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal and with new arrival Park Ji-Sung swelling United's midfield ranks, it is no surprise Fortune is being linked with a move elsewhere. "I have heard the stories that Newcastle are interested but it is just speculation," said Fortune. "My manager has heard nothing concrete on the Newcastle issue.
"There are times when you sit on the bench and ask yourself 'what is happening to my life?'"

Wantaway Johnson in the frame for Moyes
Jun 25 2005
By Ian Doyle And David Prior, Daily Post
EVERTON have made Andy Johnson their new transfer priority as Craig Bellamy continues to dither over his future. The Goodison club are prepared to turn their attention to capturing Crystal Palace striker Johnson after starting to lose patience with their prime striking target Bellamy. Everton believed they were in pole position to sign the Wales international, but the player yesterday intimated that he wanted to stay at Newcastle, despite the prospect of little first-team action until reconciling his differences with manager Graeme Souness. And that has prompted David Moyes to renew his efforts of signing Johnson, who scored 22 goals for relegated Palace last season. The 24-year-old has become a wanted man this summer after admitting he must leave Selhurst Park to improve his chances of being selected for the World Cup with England next year. Birmingham, Tottenham and West Bromwich Albion are among those previously linked with a move for Johnson, with Baggies manager Bryan Robson reportedly prepared to offer £4million plus Robert Earnshaw for the player. But the lure of Champions League football would almost certainly make Goodison a more attractive proposition to Johnson, who would command a fee of around £6m-8m. Everton's interest in Johnson comes in the light of Bellamy's comments yesterday, which indicated he will go to any lengths to prolong his troubled career on Tyne-side. He said: "The Newcastle first-team squad are back a week on Monday and I will be there with them. Whether I train with the kids is not up to me. But if that's what I am told to do, then that's what I'll do. "All I can do is act in a professional and respectful manner and see what happens after that. I will be keeping my head down and just getting on with my job." Bellamy added: "I have two years left on my Newcastle United contract and at no time have I ever said that I want to leave the club. "At this moment I am not interested in moving anywhere else. "What I will say is that the summer has flown by and I can hardly believe that it's time to report back for training."

Koldrup arrives for move to Goodison
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Jun 27 2005
UDINESE centre-back Per Koldrup could rubber-stamp his £5million move to Everton today.
The Denmark international arrived on Merseyside yesterday and will undergo a medical this morning before opening negotiations over personal terms. Goodison officials are hopeful discussions will be straightforward with the centre-back having already stated his excitement at the prospective transfer. And should talks prove successful, 25-year-old Koldrup - who was a key figure for Udinese as they finished fourth in Serie A last season - will follow Simon Davies as David Moyes's second signing of the summer. Everton, however, have been warned they are unlikely to succeed in a bid for Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson. Moyes has turned his attentions to the England international after beginning to lose patience with Newcastle United forward Craig Bellamy. But news of an impending £6m offer for Johnson has been greeted with scorn from Palace chairman Simon Jordan. "What does Everton chairman Bill Kenwright think he will get for £6m? Andy Johnson's trainers," said Jordan. "Andy will be starting the season with Crystal Palace. Apart from anything else, it makes sound business sense. "Why even accept £10m for him if the club can benefit to the tune of £25m by getting back in the Premiership." Bellamy has reportedly stalled on a move to Goodison after insisting he wanted Moyes to sign more big names before committing himself to a transfer. The Wales international last week stated his desire to instead remain at Newcastle, but a senior source at St James' Park was quoted at the weekend as saying: "It is too far down the line for Craig now. There is no going back and, as far as the manager (Graeme Souness) is concerned, things are exactly the same as they were." Meanwhile, Everton are close to confirming friendly games in Europe in preparation for their debut in the Champions League. Moyes will already take his side to Motherwell's Fir Park on Saturday, July 16 followed by two fixtures in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Bangkok, Thailand on July 20 and July 23. But with the first leg of Everton's Champions League third round qualifier not until August 9-10, assistant manager Alan Irvine has revealed the club are hoping to schedule a trip to the Continent beforehand. "We were let down on a trip we had planned and so we had to start chasing around looking for a replacement," said Irvine. "It looks like we have probably found something now and we are close to announcing it. We are just waiting for the final confirmation. "We feel we need to have some experience of playing in foreign conditions. "We will be tight for time after we get back from Thailand but we feel we have to have some experience of playing in European conditions."

Kroldrup set for medical
Jun 27 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON expect to unveil their second big summer signing in the next 24 hours. Danish defender Per Kroldrup arrived on Merseyside last night to complete the formalities of his £5m switch from Udinese. Talks over personal terms have gone smoothly and a medical will take place in the next 24 hours. Kroldrup is expected to follow Welsh midfielder Simon Davies in becoming an Everton player in time to start training with his new teammates on Friday. But the Blues are fast losing faith that Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy will be joining him. Goodison officials had received encouraging noises from the player and his representatives during initial discussions but, as revealed in the ECHO more than a week ago, Bellamy wanted evidence of further arrivals at Everton before committing himself to the club. That stance, coupled with pay demands in the region of £50,000 per week, has seen Blues' boss David Moyes become increasingly impatient and resulted in a test-the-water offer of £6m for Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson. That bid has been contemptuously dismissed by Palace chairman Simon Jordan. Speculation suggesting an imminent move for Tottenham's Robbie Keane are wide of the mark. His name has not been discussed. Inter midfielder Emre, meanwhile, has yet to deliver his verdict on which Premiership side he will play for next season. Newcastle believe they have won the race for his signature. Everton are clinging to a faint hope he may still opt for Goodison.

Everton deal for Arteta in balance
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Jun 28 2005
EVERTON'S hopes of signing Mikel Arteta were in the balance last night when the player accused the club of undervaluing him. The Spaniard has voiced his dis-pleasure at the latest contract offer from Goodison officials as the two parties continue to fall short of an agreement. Everton have been striving to secure the permanent transfer of the 23-year-old after he impressed manager David Moyes during a six-month loan spell from Real Sociedad last season. But discussions could now be compromised after Arteta yesterday criticised the club's handling of negotiations. "Everton's latest offer is not what I'm looking for," said the midfielder. "It's not just about money. I want a long contract. "If Everton are going to play in the Champions League they have a certain amount of money coming in guaranteed, so they should make an effort with players' contracts. "Right now I feel closer to starting pre-season training with Real Sociedad than I do to starting training with Everton." Arteta is believed to be asking for the same £33,000-a-week salary he currently earns at Sociedad, a figure Everton are reluctant to match. "If I take the deal that Everton are offering I would be earning less than in Spain," he added. "I can't keep moving from club to club. "If it was just about the fans of the club I would already have signed. I had a sensational time there. "But football is a business and I have the right to get the best deal. I want to feel more valued at the club." Arteta forged a fruitful partnership with Tim Cahill in the centre of midfield, scoring one goal in 13 appearances and endearing himself to the supporters with a series of resourceful displays. Everton remain confident a deal can be struck, and a spokesman last night insisted: "Talks with Mikel Arteta, his advisors and Real Sociedad are continuing." Meanwhile, Per Kroldrup yesterday completed his £5million transfer from Udinese to become the most expensive defender in Everton's history.

Reputation of Moyes sways it for Kroldrup
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Jun 28 2005
RECORD-BREAKING new boy Per Kroldrup arrived at Goodison yesterday and revealed the prime reason behind his decision to join Everton - David Moyes. The 25-year-old has completed the formalities of his £5million move from Udinese to become the most expensive defender in the club's history. And the Denmark international then told how his discussions with Everton manager Moyes - plus a glowing reference on the Scot from former Goodison midfielder and compatriot Thomas Gravesen - persuaded him to sign.. "The manager was a big influence in my decision and obviously he has done very well here," said Kroldrup. "I have spoken to Tommy and he spoke very warmly about the manager. "That was important for me. Tommy was a big influence because he had five very good years here. "I have spoken to him in the last week and he only had positive things to say about David. "That was a big help in making a decision like this. "I am very pleased to have signed and I am really looking forward to playing for Everton." Kroldrup, who has signed a four-year deal, rose to prominence during his spell with Italian side Udinese. He spent four years at the Serie A side and helped them to fourth place last season and Champions League qualifi-cation. The centre-back has also earned 13 caps for Denmark since making his debut against Turkey in February 2004.
Kroldrup will be introduced to his new teammates once the squad comes together for pre-season training on Friday, but already the player has been made aware of what Moyes expects from him in the coming campaign. "The manager spoke to me about what he wants," said Kroldrup. "He wants me to play the ball, in the way we do on the continent, in order to influence the game and the play.
"I am a pretty physical player because of my height and my stature but I am a player who likes to keep the ball on the ground and play it a lot. "That is what I have been doing in Italy. Here the game is different and I will have to adjust my game as well. But I have come this far playing my game and I will try and do it here as well. I want to enjoy the best part of my career here at Everton." Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said: "David identified the player at the end of the season as a defensive addition he would like to add to the squad. "Negotiations have progressed steadily over the last three to four weeks and we are delighted to have made a major signing in Per and we welcome him to Goodison Park and Everton Football Club."

European clash will not be staged at Goodison Park
By Mark Currie, Daily Post
Jun 28 2005
0ShareWREXHAM'S Racecourse Ground is almost certain to host next month's Champions League clash between Welsh Premiership side TNS and Liverpool. Confirmation that the second leg of the first preliminary round tie will be staged in the town is expected today after two other potential alternative venues, Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and Everton's Goodison Park, were ruled out. Millennium Stadium chief executive Paul Sergeant said a hectic event schedule at Wales's 74,500 capacity national ground has proved too big an obstacle to overcome. "It's a fantastic draw for TNS. For them to host the champions of Europe in their first game is incredible and I wish them all the best," said Sergeant. "But from our perspective at the Millennium Stadium, we have the REM concert on 10 July and then the International Watchtower Convention on 15,16 and 17 July. That doesn't leave much time to bring in a pitch for either the 19th or 20th. "We took 48 hours to examine all the logistics," Sergeant added. "We have been known to pull rabbits out of hats in the past and we examined all the possibilities. But there just isn't the time in the calendar for us to bring this event to the Millennium Stadium." TNS chairman Mike Harris had also raised the possibility of playing the second leg clash at Goodison Park in an effort to maximise revenue from the dream pairing. But UEFA have moved quickly to quash any suggestion the Welsh champions could effectively switch countries to England. "The match has to be played in the territory where the club comes from," said a spokesman for European football's governing body. "Moving this match to Everton is simply not possible." The Racecourse is the only practical solution for TNS. Although UEFA's no-standing rule means the Kop end of the stadium cannot be used, the near 10,000 seats should prove adequate for a match that most neutrals expect to be a formality following the first leg at Anfield.

Southall advises Moyes to sign up Bellamy
By Ross Heppenstall, Daily Post
Jun 28 2005
EVERTON hero Neville Southall has backed David Moyes to sign Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy but warned him to forget about trying to tame the fiery Wales international. Bellamy has been linked with a move to Goodison Park following his much-publicised bust-up with Graeme Souness in January when he accused the Newcastle manager of lying. Aston Villa and Celtic, following his loan spell at Parkhead over the second half of last season, have also been touted as suitors. It seems increasingly likely that Bellamy will return to pre-season training with Newcastle on July 4 and attempt to prolong his troubled career on Tyneside. However, Southall has backed Moyes to continue his pursuit of the 25-year-old, before warning the Blues manager that he will not change the temperamental forward. "You either sign him and live with him, or you don't sign him at all - but I would certainly sign him," said South-all. "It's not a matter of Craig finding the right the club - it's about people finding Craig. Craig is Craig and you are never going to change him. "He is a quality player and you can't have too many quality players. He's likely to score you goals and although he might kick off occasionally, what he can give you is something that nobody else can. "And that is such a good brain, a bit of pace and a really good inventive player who can produce that bit of magic that you need. "All you can do with Craig is sign him and say, 'Look, this is your opportunity son', or you don't sign him. "Why do people keep going on about Craig Bellamy? "If you're going to sign him, then sign him, but if you're not interested, then shut up and leave him alone."

Souness is resolute in his policy on striker
Jun 28 2005
By Damian Spellman Daily Post Correspondent
NEWCASTLE manager Graeme Souness has no intention of performing a U-turn over controversial striker Craig Bellamy. The 25-year-old Welsh international has vowed to turn up for pre-season training on Tyne-side as ordered next Monday after failing to win a permanent move away from St James' Park following his very public bust-up with Souness. Bellamy, who has spent the last six months on loan at Celtic, has even declared himself ready to train with the club's juniors if so instructed, and there is a chance that will be his fate. Chairman Freddy Shepherd insists the decision over whether the £6million striker can ever play for the club again rests with the manager. Souness promised the Welsh-man would never play for him again. Privately his stance has not shifted.
It could add up to an interesting Monday morning at the club's Benton training ground, with Portuguese international Hugo Viana also due back from Sporting Lisbon if no agreement on a permanent deal is reached.
Porto and Benfica will not try to sign Viana.
With less than three weeks before Newcastle embark on their Intertoto Cup campaign, against either Turkish outfit Ankaraspor or Slovakian side Dubnica, Newcastle look to have only skipper Alan Shearer and 21-year-old Michael Chopra to lead their line. Patrick Kluivert's disappointing spell on Tyneside came to an end with his move to Valencia, while Shola Ameobi will miss the opening weeks of the season as he recovers from surgery on a troublesome hip injury. In different circumstances, Bellamy's availability would be a boon, but Souness is sticking to his guns and remains determined to offload the former Coventry and Norwich forward. Celtic stepped up their bid to sign him over the weekend and Aston Villa and Everton maintain an interest. Speculation that England midfielder Jermaine Jenas could be used to lure Tottenham's Robbie Keane to Tyneside has been played down, and any cash approach for the 22-year-old - Spurs have been linked with a £6m move for the player - would be rebuffed. Souness is hoping to field the former Nottingham Forest starlet, as well as £6.5m signing Scott Parker and Inter Milan's Emre Belozoglu in the same midfield. Emre has met with Souness, but the two clubs are yet to reach agreement on a fee, and the issue of the player's wage demands remain unresolved. "We still hope to do a deal with Emre - we want him and the boy wants to join us," said Souness. "But we have not come to an agreement with him yet. "He is one player on my list. He can play wide left, through the middle or off the front. He is a good player who can play in a number of positions."

Benny fits the bill
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jun 28 2005
Benny fits bill
SURELY if David Moyes went back in for Benny McCarthy we would stand a good chance against Blackburn of getting him! Yes, he says he'd love to go to Blackburn, but not so long ago he was gutted when his move to Everton broke down in the 11th hour because of Porto. Surely a move to us would be favoured? With his Champions League experience, he could be the man to help get us to the group stages. Moyes obviously has his reasons for not going back for him.
Brian Jackson, Wirral
The Bell tolls
CAN I add my name to the list of people who really, really, really don't want Craig Bellamy at our club?
C Gallagher (via e-mail)
Keen on Keane
I THINK Everton should go for Robbie Keane as he is a proven striker who will hit 15-20 goals a season without a problem. I still think Paul Konchesky would do well at left-back for us but the signing of Per Kroldrup will help strengthen the defence. Other than that I think we need a few midfielders, Kieron Richardson perhaps? We need to seal a deal for Arteta.
Harold Bishop (via e-mail)
Don't miss out
WHAT'S going on with Mikel Arteta? He is like a lost soul. Get him signed now.
Martin Jones (via e-mail)
Laughter lines
I HAD to laugh when I read Emre's comments about how delighted he was to be joining Newcastle because of its 'great tradition'. Of what? Under-achievement! The reason Newcastle haven't won anything for ages is because they pay huge wages for good players, but who are only interested in the big bucks. I am glad that Everton aren't paying over the odds for players like Scott Parker because it means those that do arrive at Goodison are coming because they want to play for the club and not just to improve their bank balances.
Nigel Parry (via e-mail)
Clever ploy
DAVID MOYES is showing business acumen and cunning in allowing Newcastle to pay over the odds!
Colin Kennedy, Litherland

Moyes backing classy Kroldrup
Jun 28 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON new boy Per Kroldrup has been ordered to introduce a new, continental style to Goodison next season. The Blues clinched the £5m signing of the Danish defender yesterday, and he said: "The manager spoke to me about what he wants. "He wants me to play the ball, in the way we do on the continent, in order to influence the game and the play. "I am a pretty physical player because of my height and my stature but I am a player who likes to keep the ball on the ground and play it a lot. "That is what I have been doing in Italy. Here the game is different and I will have to adjust my game as well. "But I have come this far playing my game and I will try and do it here as well."
Kroldrup signed a four-year deal, joining Simon Davies as Everton's second close season capture.
He revealed the lure of playing for David Moyes was a key factor in his decision to join Everton.
"The manager was a big influence in my decision and obviously he has done very well here. I have spoken to Tommy Gravesen and he spoke very warmly about the manager. "That was important for me. Tommy was a big influence because he had five very good years here. "I have spoken to him in the last week and he only had positive things to say about David. That was a big help in making a decision like this." After four years in Italy with Udinese, helping the Serie A club qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history, Kroldrup believes moving to Everton has presented him with the biggest test of his career. "England offers me a balance which suits my strength and the skills I have adapted in Italy. This is my biggest test, to adapt my game for the way they play here in England," he added. "The Premiership is very different from the Italian league in terms of the style and the spectators and everything so it is very interesting and exciting for me.
"But the game has developed a lot in recent years with more continental players coming here, so I think I will settle in fine. "I am really looking forward to playing for all these people - all these fanatical people and this audience. "As a footballer, you relish being able to play in front of big crowds. I have been playing in Italy for four years. "It is a big league, but what it lacks in relation to England is the fans. Here it is always a full crowd and there is always great intensity at the games. It is different in Italy. "I want to enjoy the best part of my career here at Everton." Mikel Arteta's agent, meanwhile, has insisted that his client still wants to pledge his long-term future to Goodison Park - despite comments from the player indicating his frustration at on-going contract negotiations. Inaki Ibanez said: "Mikel's top priority is to become an Everton player on a permanent basis. He very much enjoyed his time at Everton last season and is keen to extend his stay." Arteta, however, warned: "Everton's latest offer is not what I'm looking for. I want to feel more valued by the club. Right now I feel closer to starting pre-season training with Sociedad than with Everton."

Carsley backs pitch plan
Jun 28 2005 By Ben Barker, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON star Lee Carsley is backing a £330,000 sporting facelift for one of Liverpool's most deprived areas. The Blues' tenacious midifelder is an ambassador for the Football Foundation, who are behind a £331,826 investment package to provide the Kensington Community Sports Association with a new junior football pitch and mini soccer pitch alongside a modern and fully equipped changing pavilion on Jubilee Drive, on the site of the former Kensington Reservoir. "This grant is great news for grass roots football on Merseyside," Carsley told Junior Xsport. "I think it's fantastic that money from the top of the game is being reinvested to ensure that a new generation of play-ers have the best possible start. "It's particularly encouraging to see this project linking in with our own community scheme, which has helped thousands of Liverpool youngsters get more opportunities to play football." The scheme is part of a wider sporting regeneration project at the site, which will eventually deliver a sports hall, floodlit artificial grass pitch and a bowling green for use by the local community. This first phase of the project will provide sporting activities for over 30,000 footballers of all ages and abilities every year. Currently derelict, the site will also provide the chance for local women and girls to play the national game. Partnerships with 3 local schools will not only enhance curricular use, but also provide young participants with Mini-Soccer sessions during holiday periods.
The new site will also host initiatives for both Liverpool and Everton's Football in the Community Schemes. Urban Hope (Subsidiary Company of Liverpool Hope University) the developer for this project, recently under-took consultation concerning the utilisation of the land surrounding the sports centre. Chief Executive Dr. Martin Carey said: "Local residents and organisations put the development of new football pitches at the top of their list." The Football Foundation is dedicated to revitalising the grass roots of the game, constructing modern football facilities, developing football as a force for social cohesion and as a vehicle for education in communities throughout the country. Funded by the Premier League, the Football Association, Sport England and the Government, the Foundation is the nation's largest sports charity, having already funded 1,300 projects worth over £300 million. The Foundation's chief executive Peter Lee added: "This outstanding project will create one of the city's leading grass roots facilities and I am delighted that we have been able to play a significant role in bringing community sports facilities to the people of Kensington."

Youngsters on the ball with safety
Jun 28 2005 Liverpool Echo
FIREFIGHTERS on Merseyside are joining forces with Everton Football Club to help promote fire safety among young people. A new partnership between the 60+ Livesafe campaign and the club's Extra Time study support centre, based at Goodison Park, aims to help the fire service promote the importance of fire safety. The Livesafe campaign team already visits schools on a regular basis but the new partner-ship will enable them to speak to even more youngsters. Joanne Hatton, Extra Time study support centre deputy manager, said: "This is a unique opportunity for children and young people to participate in a motivating project, which will enable them to develop important life skills and raise aware-ness of fire safety." The fire service is also organ-ising a sports day at the Blues' Academy in Netherton as an incentive for young people involved in the campaign.
Leading firefighter Denis McCann said: "This partnership will help us spread the fire safety message even further."

Kilbane delighted to prolong stay at a 'special' club
Jun 29 2005 By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
KEVIN KILBANE last night expressed his delight after committing his long-term future to "special" Everton. The Republic of Ireland international has signed a new three-year deal which will tie him to the Goodison club until 2008. The 28-year-old had a year left on his current contract, but made no secret of his desire to remain at Everton. Kilbane follows Gary Naysmith, Leon Osman, David Weir and Duncan Ferguson in agreeing a new deal as David Moyes's squad for the new season beings to take shape. It comes a day after the club smashed their transfer record for a defender by signing Per Kroldrup from Udinese for £5million. With Simon Davies already having arrived over the summer, Kilbane revealed his excitement at the forthcoming campaign and said: "I am really pleased my contract has all been sorted out. I can look forward now to the next few years with Everton.
"I am happy I know where my future is going to lie. It is a special club, anybody who plays here doesn't want to leave and I am no different. "I have really enjoyed my time here and I don't think I have relished a new season more. It is an exciting time and I am glad I can be a part of it." Kilbane has made 76 appearances and scored five goals for Everton since joining from Sunderland for £1m in September 2003. He added: "It definitely helps that the core of the squad is still together. Everybody knows we have got a good spirit within the squad and we have brought in some quality, which is always going to help us. Hopefully one or two more will be coming in and that will be good for the start of the season." Everton could discover today if they have been successful in their pursuit of Inter Milan midfielder Emre Belozoglu. The Goodison club face a battle with Newcastle and another unnamed Premier-ship side for Emre's signature. Newcastle officials yesterday held talks with Inter Milan, and the player's agent Ahmet Bulut said: "I think there will be news tomorrow. Right now, there are three clubs and two of them are talking with Inter Milan. "Newcastle and Everton are two of the clubs, but the other one, I cannot name. Fenerbahce did express an interest, but the player will play next year in England." Moyes has hailed the arrival of Danish centre-back Kroldrup and urged the 23-year-old to continue his career progression. "We are delighted to have Per on board," he said. "He will be a part of a squad that has a big season ahead. He is young and we hope he will continue to improve and develop as much as he has done over the years that we have been monitoring him." Meanwhile Everton last night distanced themselves from reports for a move for Real Madrid midfielder Guti.

Arteta not on way to Anfield
Jun 29 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA does not intend to cross Stanley Park and join Liverpool - but the Spanish midfielder is angry at suggestions he is holding Everton to ransom. Talks between the Blues and the Real Sociedad star have stalled - and rumours circulating the city for the past fortnight culminated in reports today, claiming the Spanish midfielder was set to make a controversial switch to Anfield.
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry dismissed the claim, while Arteta's agent, Luis Ignatio Ibanez, has been angered by comments attributed to his client. "There is no truth in the Liverpool links," he said. "But I read comments yesterday on the internet and in some English newspapers, which Mikel is supposed to have said, and they are not true also. "Mikel has not given an interview to any journalist in the last two months and I am angry with the way he has been portrayed. "It is important that people in Liverpool do not get the wrong idea about Mikel. "He wants to go to Everton, he wants to play in the Champions League next season but he has to be careful about his decisions. "We will have further meetings with Everton, but nothing is scheduled at present. It could be in the next day, it could be in a week - so I cannot say yet whether Mikel will be back with Everton in time for the start of pre-season training on Friday. "But we will have more talks." Everton are struggling to meet the player's pay demands, while reports in Spain today say the Blues have made an inquiry for Real Madrid midfielder Guti. Juventus and Arsenal have also been linked with a move for the 28-year-old, however, and any Everton interest would be optimistic. The Blues made a last ditch bid yesterday to convince Emre Belozoglu to move to Goodison rather than Newcastle, but the Tyneside club remain confident of reaching an agreement. "I think there will be news tomorrow," the player's agent Ahmed Bulut said. "Right now, there are three clubs and two of them are talking with Inter Milan. "Newcastle and Everton are two of the clubs, but the other one, I cannot name." Emre, who played just 19 Serie A games for Inter last season, has also attracted interest from Turkish side Fenerbahce, but Istanbul-based Bulut insists his client will be playing his football in the Premier-ship next season. "Fenerbahce did express an interest, but he will play next year in England," he said. * SKY TV have warned supporters that a list of proposed fixture changes circulating on the internet is false. The confirmed changes will be released at the end of this week.

Kilbane: This club is special
Jun 29 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BLUES midfielder Kevin Kilbane described Everton as "special" after putting pen to paper on a three-year contract extension to his current deal at Goodison. The Republic of Ireland international becomes the fifth Everton player this summer to agree fresh terms, following hot on the heels of Duncan Ferguson, Gary Naysmith, Leon Osman and David Weir. With manager David Moyes yesterday completing the £5million signing of Denmark central defender Per Kroldrup, in addition to the £3.5million capture of Simon Davies last month, Kilbane feels the club is on the rise. "I am really pleased my contract has all been sorted out and I can look forward now to the next few years with Everton," said Kilbane.. "I am happy I know where my future is going to lie. It is a special club. Anybody who plays here doesn't want to leave, and I am no different. "I have really enjoyed my time here and I don't think I have relished a new season more than the one we have coming up. It is an exciting time and I am glad I can be a part of it. "It definitely helps that the core of the squad is still together. "I am really pleased Leon, Gary, David and Duncan have signed to stay here. "These are the players who are the key to the squad and to future progression because when new players come in they find it easier to acclimatise when they are coming into a settled club." Kilbane feels with another couple of additions, and the spirit that exists within the squad, Everton will again be a force to be reckoned with next season. He added: "Everybody knows we have got a good spirit within the squad and we have brought in some quality, which is always going to help us. "Hopefully one or two more will be coming in and that will be good for the start of the season. "There are big times ahead and I am sure everybody will be coming back keen to get going again."

Stubbs' link-up with Wolves is a mystery
Jun 29 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
WHAT is going on with Alan Stubbs? I am not particularly both-ered about him wanting to leave, but why, if the rumours are true, would he want to join Wolves in the Championship? I appreciate they may be offering him an extra year on his deal, but I would not think that he is going to be struggling that much at any time soon given the fact that he has most likely spent the last 10 years of his life earning between £150k and £450k a year - probably more. Even taking the average of that at £300k a year, it takes the average person 12 years to earn what he has been earning every 12 months. True blue, eh?
Neil Colquhoun, Aintree
I CAN'T believe Pistone and Stubbs are willing to miss out on Champions League football for an extra year playing in the first division. Moyes has shown that if players do well he will extend their contracts. I also think that we still need a couple more players, and I'd like to see Kieron Richardson, Henri Camara, Oliver Bernard, who have all shown they are capable of doing well in the Premiership and wouldn't be expensive. We also need another central midfielder as well as signing up Arteta!
James Smith, Liverpool
WHAT a difference a few hours makes! Doom and gloom for weeks then bang! We've signed the big Dane without any hitches, Arteta's agent makes a state-ment saying he wants to sign, and everything's rosy again. Let's just sit back and trust Moyesy.
Phil Jefferson, Wirral
Fame no necessity
WHY doesn't Everton make the leap of faith and sign a forward who is not a household name? Who'd heard of Yakubu before last year? Keane is a fine player - but he's probably on 50K a week. Why not go for Alexander Frei, the 19-year-old Swiss striker who put four past Fabien Barthez this year for Rennes and who was one of the leading scorers in France. He wouldn't be greedy, and demand to know who else we were going to buy like Bellamy has.
Robert Brown, Childwall
McCarthy is the answer
IF Arteta just wants money, let him stay on the bench in Spain. And please skip troublemaker and almost always injured Bellamy. He should buy Benni McCarthy instead!
Steve Clarke, Crosby

Ferrari on road to Goodison, say Roma
By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
Jun 30 2005
ROMA last night claimed defender Matteo Ferrari is heading for Merseyside for talks over a move to Everton. Sources in Italy said the 25-year-old would arrive at Goodison Park for discussions over a possible loan spell with David Moyes's side. The Algerian-born Italian international is considered a stylish central defender who can play on the left-hand side. He has suffered an unhappy year at Roma after moving from Parma, where he established his reputation as an exciting prospect and broke into the Italian national set-up. Moyes had watched the defender as he weighed up his options for the new campaign, but this week's record-breaking £5million deal for Danish defender Per Kroldrup seemed to mark the end of his interest in the Italian. However a loan deal may be appealing if it allows Moyes to persue other targets in the transfer market as he strengthens his squad in preparation for a season which will include Everton's first appearance in the Champions League. Everton head for a pre-season training camp in Austria next week and Moyes will be keen to include as many of his summer signings as possible to give them the maximum time to blend in with their new team-mates. Ferrari was a member of the Italian side that won the European Under-21 Championships in 2000, going on to make his full Azzurri international debut against Turkey in November 2000. Originally signed by Inter Milan from Spal Calcio, he was loaned out to several clubs, including Genoa, Lecce and Bari, to continue his development. But it was after moving to Parma that he really blossomed, helping them qualify for the UEFA Cup while also being handed the club captaincy at the age of 24 to make him the youngest captain in Serie A at the time.

Carsley confident ahead of new campaign
Jun 30 2005 By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
LEE CARSLEY is confident he will be fit for the start of the new season. The Everton midfielder suffered an agonising knee injury just minutes from the end of the last campaign. At first it was feared the 31-year-old had suffered a serious cruciate injury which could have ruled him out for months. However the Irishman was still consigned to a summer-long recuperation programme by the knee injury, but is ready to see his hard work pay off as the rest of the squad report back for pre-season training tomorrow. Carsley said: "I have only had two weeks off. Apart from that I have been in at Bellefield running and doing weights. "It was pretty much a standard injury. It was always going to take six weeks for the tear to repair so it was just a matter of filling in the gaps." Carsley, who played such a crucial role in the Everton midfield as they claimed the fourth Champions League qualifying spot, added: "Obviously, I couldn't play a game yet because I have not done any kicking or turning, but fitness-wise I am fine. And that is the kind of work we will be doing when the lads first come back." Carsley was injured at Bolton's Reebok Stadium in May inside the final 10 minutes.
"When I went down I heard something pop and we thought it could have been the cruciate," he recalled.. "When you hear something pop you fear the worst but the scan showed it wasn't as serious as first thought. "Head physio Mick Rathbone was saying the noise could have just been the ligament coming away from the bone rather than it snapping. It was painful when it happened."
One player who is likely to be missing tomorrow is Mikel Arteta as negotiations continue over turning his loan spell into a permanent deal. A £2.8million fee has been agreed with his club Real Sociedad, but the sticking point remains personal terms. Arteta's advisers insist he is still keen to complete the move to Goodison Park, ruling out links with a surprise switch to neighbours Liverpool, but admit they cannot put a date on when matters may be resolved. Arteta's agent, Luis Ignatio Ibanez, said: "It is important people in Liverpool do not get the wrong idea about Mikel.
"He wants to go to Everton, he wants to play in the Champions League next season but he has to be careful about his decisions. "We will have further meetings with Everton, but nothing is scheduled at present. "It could be in the next day, it could be in a week, so I cannot say yet whether Mikel will be back with Everton in time for the start of pre-season training. "But we will have more talks."

Cash not loan for Bellamy, Celtic told
Daily Post
Jun 30 2005
NEWCASTLE have left the door open for a move by Everton to land Craig Bellamy by telling Celtic there will be no further loan deals for the striker. The Wales international spent the second half of last season on loan with the Hoops having fallen out with Graeme Souness. Celtic were keen to borrow him for another season but United chairman Freddy Shepherd has insisted on a cash deal,
However he says the Glasgow club have first option on the 25-year-old, despite interest from a number of Premiership clubs including Everton and Aston Villa. Shepherd said: "We won't be letting him go on loan again. We played fair with everyone by letting him go to Celtic on loan since the start of the year but we wouldn't and couldn't do that again." A number of Premiership clubs, including Everton, are keen to sign the £6million-rated striker. But Shepherd, who has held talks with Celtic's major shareholder Dermot Desmond, insisted the Hoops were still at the front of the queue. He said: "If Celtic come in with an offer everyone knows we will help them in any way we can. "When they took him on loan I promised them first option and I will honour my word." Meanwhile, Hoops manager Gordon Strachan is close to making his second signing, Poland striker Maciej Zurawski.

4 signings my aim - Moyes
Jun 30 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES hopes to stage a new faces parade when Everton start pre-season training in earnest next week. The Blues boss wants to add at least four new signings to his squad - in addition to new boys Per Kroldrup and Simon Davies, who have already joined at Goodison. Moyes hopes to have at least two of those new faces in place by next week. "I am confident that we will have more new faces - hopefully they will be here before we go to Austria next week. "I am confident that we will have more new faces - hopefully they will be here before we go to Austria next week. "I don't want to put a timescale on anything in case we can't meet a deadline but I hope to have at least a couple more new players in place by next week." The Blues boss revealed, however, that Roma defender Matteo Ferrari is not one of the players under immediate scrutiny. "He is a player we have watched, but he is just one of a number of players we are looking at at the moment," added Moyes. Roma are willing to let the full-back, who was part of Italy's Euro 2004 squad, leave on loan, but Moyes has still not decided whether he wants to take up the Italians' offer. He also dismissed morning speculation which claimed AK Grazer midfielder Rene Aufhauser and Juventus midfielder Stephen Appiah were on their way to Goodison. "There is no truth in either of those stories," said Moyes. The Blues boss was back behind his Bellefield desk today preparing to welcome some of his players back to pre season training tomorrow. Summer internationals Tim Cahill, Joseph Yobo, David Weir and James McFadden have all been given extended breaks but the remainder of the Blues squad will report to Bellefield to prepare for the forthcoming campaign.

How injury kept Carsley on treatment table all summer
Jun 30 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IF a player could plan a knee ligament injury - 10 minutes from the end of the final match of an already completed season would be as good a time as any. But for unsung Everton star Lee Carsley it has meant a summer of lonely toil at the club's Bellefield training ground. Plus an unusual end of season celebration! "It was weird, because after the game we were having a celebration with all the families for reaching the Champions League," said Carsley "but I ended up sitting in my apartment with our physio, Baz, eating a pizza, so it was a bit of an anti-climax!" After the most influential season of his Everton career so far, Carsley felt his knee 'pop' near the end of the final match of the season at Bolton. "I am just glad I didn't miss any important games because the run-in last season was crucial for us," he explained. But it did mean daily visits to Bellefield at a time of the year when most players jet off for a couple of weeks lying on a beach near the sea. "It was pretty much a standard injury. It was always going to take six weeks for the tear to repair so it was just a matter of filling in the gaps. I am running now but I have not done any kicking yet so I will probably be a week behind the lads when they come back. "There were initial fears it could have been worse but it doesn't help when you are carried off. "The scan showed it wasn't as serious as they first thought. I was worried before that though because when you hear something pop you fear the worst. "It could have just been the ligament coming away from the bone rather than it snapping. It was painful when it happened. "I have been with the physios and a few of the lads have been popping in so it hasn't been lonely. When you are injured you have got to be selfish and pretty much do your own thing. "Obviously, I couldn't play a game yet because I have not done any kicking or turning, but fitness-wise I am fine. And that is the kind of work we will be doing when the lads first come back in."
The Blues first team squad - minus the summer internationals - return to Bellefield tomorrow. For one first team player, however, it's just another day at the office . . .

June 2005