The streets of London must be littered with toys today – after the sheer amount of them thrown from the prams of Chelsea fans everywhere when they learnt the strange, utterly incomprehensible news that Everton aren’t willing to sell a star player for £30m. Shocking stuff!
There seems to be confusion about how little old Everton can possibly refuse the “big” club here, so I thought I’d detail my opinion as to why this is.
1. The message sent to the young spine of our team would be disastrous.
Everton have assembled a developing side with young talent running right through the spine of it. This includes Stones, but also includes Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley, as well as the lesser-known Ryan Ledson. There are a few others too.
These are all players who in all probability will be subject to big bids in the future. If Everton capitulate on Stones, it sends the message to these players that staying at Everton and developing as a club is futile.
2. Selling would indicate a lack of personal ambition for the club.
Everton don’t splash cash every transfer window – in fact we do the opposite most of the time. What we do is build a club up gradually.
Selling Stones this close to the end of the transfer window would indicate we are abandoning any pretence we want to develop the club on the pitch in the right way.
It would not only demoralise the players (as detailed in point one), it would demoralise an already restless fanbase. We’d become, by definition, a selling club.
3. It’s too late in the transfer window.
Losing a player like Stones and not re-investing that money would be… erm… “interesting” in terms of the repercussions for the Everton board.
Also, selling and panic buying wouldn’t satisfy Evertonians, who aren’t stupid and would recognise it for what it is. We’ve seen it before.
As such, it is now too late to spin it as selling on our terms, barring a stupid “simply can’t refuse” bid (and believe it or not, that would be substantially more than £30m!!!)
Not only that, the public nature of the bid has meant even if we did sell and try to reinvest, clubs would ask for more money than they otherwise would for players.
4. After the way Chelsea have conducted themselves, Everton fans generally don’t want to sell now out of principle.
By making a stupid bid off the bat to try and unsettle the player and force the move, Mourinho has annoyed the club and fans alike.
The dignity and stature of the club has to come into play – we’re not a feeder club for anybody.
Chelsea have behaved even worse than United did with Rooney, or City with Lescott. That takes some doing.
5. We don’t need or want to sell John Stones this summer.
I think this is what most Chelsea fans can’t grasp. We’re not a small club, despite what Sky keep telling you. We are not on the verge of bankruptcy. We have no need to sell John Stones.
This is a player with a four year contract who is happy at the club and his development has been stellar at Goodison.
This is also a player who has an international tournament coming up next summer, and even more money pours into the league at that time. Stones’ value will only go up. From a business perspective, there are more reasons not to sell Stones this summer than to do so, unless the fee is astronomical.
Chelsea fans, ask yourself this; if someone came in with a bid of £40m for Eden Hazard right now, what would your reaction be?
6. The sell-on fee to Barnsley reduces the fee we’d receive.
The least important aspect really – but a £30m bid isn’t going to mean Everton receive £30m. It’d be closer to £24m. Not that either of those figures is anywhere close to his worth mind you.
There is no reason whatsoever for Everton to ‘take the hit’ on that sell-on fee.
7. Selling improves a domestic rival.
Not a rival for the title – but a rival in the league nevertheless. Chelsea sold Lukaku at a premium because of this, despite being a wantaway player the manager didn’t want who had barely played for the club.
John Stones is a player we very much want, and a key player for us. Therefore, the premium will correspondingly be even higher.
8. You’re desperate to sign him – and have made that clear.
Your manager, for some reason, didn’t just play a card… he played his entire deck right off the bat. Everton aren’t desperate for the money here; but Mourinho is desperate to sign this particular player. It’s a business we operate – we’re not going to sell you a car for a fiver just because you asked.
That leads on to why you’re desperate…
9. There’s no like for like alternative available to John Stones.
You’re looking for a John Terry replacement. You want a leader on the pitch; a composed, domestic, potentially world-class England & Chelsea captain for the next decade.
You keep talking about going for the likes of Varane instead; good luck building a club around him. He’d “De Gea” you inside three years at best.
In 2002, Rio Ferdinand cost £30m from a club with no money who were on the verge of bankruptcy. In 2015, with the explosion of the Premier League, do you honestly think John Stones – a full England international with two years of top flight experience at a very high performance level at a solid Premier League club – is worth less than that?
Evertonians don’t begrudge Chelsea bidding for Stones – you should be, as he is top class.
10. Everton cannot replace John Stones.
Every bit as much as you’re trying to comprehend replacing a talisman like John Terry, it would be difficult, if not outright impossible, for Everton to replace John Stones. The money, in many ways, would be meaningless; every bit the same as Bale leaving Spurs and Suarez leaving Liverpool – didn’t work out too well in those instances did it?
Our squad depth is not the same as the top four or five clubs in this league, so losing a player late in the window and panic buying replacements would have a far larger effect on us than it would for, say, Chelsea. We have a manager with his job on the line this season – he won’t jeopardise his chance for success for no good reason.
So there you go – 10 reasons we’ve obviously turned down a bid of £30m; simply put it’s because we’d be braindead to accept it. They are also the 10 reasons that, for me, John Stones is what he is – and that is ‘Not For Sale’.