This article first appeared on Grandoldteam on 27th August 2015.
So we’ve reached a watershed – perhaps the biggest watershed we’ve ever had.
It’s difficult because we don’t know the real reasons behind Stones’ decision to put in a transfer request. We don’t know how long he’s wanted to leave, the reasons why? and how long the club has known.
So let’s examine the things we do know. The club in public have acted impeccably since the first Chelsea bid – I’ve praised them as I genuinely thought we did not want to sell and he did not want to move.
Now we have to follow through our firm stance and quoted position “he’s not for sale”. Martinez on several occasions (albeit with less certainty as time has gone on), and even John Woods caught on camera on Sunday “I’m not selling, nor is Bill” – I assume he was referring to Stones not his personal holding in Everton….
If we hold firm then Martinez and Stones have to show their professionalism, find a solution and get Stones performing consistently at the level we know he can.
If we don’t stand firm and accept an offer from Chelsea or elsewhere then a huge can of worms are opened.
“We don’t have to sell to buy” – Martinez throughout the summer. The truth, lies or said in ignorance?
If we sell and do not spend, then why? Why do we need to liquidate our prime asset?
If we sell and buy some adequate but not thrilling squad members what does that say about our ambition, our desire to build on what we’ve developed? What does it say to the rest of our young talent about our real ambitions?
What does it say to potential investors? It tells them the club has been managed by asset strippers with limited ambition. That must be reflected in the price of the equity. Allowing Stones to be sold now will be very costly to shareholders as well as supporters that are only interested in the team and performance on the pitch.
It’s a huge few days ahead of the club. The decisions made in this time will say a huge amount about our future direction and prospects.
For the sake of all those that have worn the blue shirt, all those that have stood on the terraces for the last 137 years of our great history, the Board needs to make the right decision. Refuse Stones his move, make the purchases we require for a viable squad this season, seek investment or sell up.