• Premier League

Everton missed out on Mansour's riches - Kenwright

ESPN staff
October 6, 2011
Sheikh Mansour could have been waving to Everton fans, according to Bill Kenwright © Getty Images

Bill Kenwright has revealed that Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour would have bought Everton had the chairman been "in the right place at the right time".

Since taking control of City in August 2008, Mansour, who is thought to boast a personal fortune of roughly £20 billion, has spent more than £300 million in new signings. According to Kenwright, Everton could have been the benefactors of Mansour's wealth had the Abu Dhabi group not have been put off by the club's failure to acquire a new stadium.

The cash-strapped Merseyside club are on the lookout for a new owner, with Kenwright admitting the global financial crisis has hampered his attempts to attract new investors.

"The main thing that's happened in the last three years is the recession," Kenwright told the Times. "A football club is a trophy asset and you buy a football club not to make money, believe me, I am living proof of that. There's not huge money in the world.

"Of course you can throw Manchester City at me but Manchester City had the stadium situation and they had, I believe, a lot of lucky manoeuvring going on. Had I been in the right place at the right time, which was very important to that deal, then yes [Mansour would have bought Everton]."

Disgruntled Everton fans have expressed their frustration at the club's inability to make quality acquisitions - only Denis Stracqualursi and Royston Drenthe arrived on transfer deadline day on loan deals - by forming the Blue Union. The Toffees' supporters were also not happy to see star player Mikel Arteta move to Arsenal for £10 million, although Kenwright insists the club, who are about £45 million in debt, had little option but to sell the Spaniard.

"Part of the problem is the history that Everton brings with it," he said. "These fans, the ones who are making the loudest noise, are young and they see where we have come from. Our history is second to none and maybe they don't accept what's going on in the world financially.

"Always as a chairman you have to take on board that Evertonians eat, sleep and breathe their football club but what I would say to these guys is that until I find the right man - and I will find him - then you are better off with me."

Regarding the sale of the popular and gifted Arteta, Kenwright added: "It's a fallacy to say that we have the sword of Damocles hanging over us. It was a footballing decision."

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