“How dare the Everton Shareholders Association call for an EGM”
I don’t normally get involved in club politics. As a businessman myself, I can see the viewpoint of both sides of the story. I agree with certain aims and ambitions of The Blue Union and more so KEIOC, but I also have certain sympathies with the club – but I felt compelled to write this little piece. I don’t always understand all the politics at the club, but I’ve attempted to address them.
“How dare the Everton Shareholders Association call for an EGM”
We have seen this bandied around twitter and various Everton forums by a few ill advised people over the last few weeks. What these people fail to mention is that calling an EGM was one of the last legal options open to the shareholders following the clubs decision to ban AGM’s nearly 6 years ago.
These people have a right to ask the questions of the club like they would do if they were a shareholder in any other business. The EFCSA have been more than patient and they want answers on the past, the present and the future.
If you only look at the things that have happened in the time since the last AGM there are some pretty heavy things that could be addressed or be asked:
- The Kirkby stadium debacle and lack of plan B.
- The continued lack of investors and the revelation that the clubs purchase price is £125m, which is nearly £100m profit on the £22m paid, despite selling major assets and the bank balance going from black (under Johnson) to red.
- The crest decision. Over 25,000 Everton fans signed the petition and many “groups” spoken to, felt misrepresented
- The perceived lack of a plan to move the club forward
- The lack of dealing with external companies such as LEP’s, UKTI, Investment Companies etc..
- The lack of investment or ability to find funds by any of the major shareholders in which not one of them has put a single penny of their own money into the club since they purchased their shares
- The £9m retail development farce
- The leaked emails against the fans
- 2 directors of communications leaving under a murky cloud
- The ongoing management of the clubs £44m debt
- The revelation that the club were paying £1.1m per year for Finch Farm (since addressed by the aid of the council), yet this is only £900k less per year than West Ham will pay for the Olympic Stadium
- David Moyes leaving, without having signed a new contract (Even if it was one that dictated he could leave for a CL club) meaning the club didn’t get a fee for him
- The Sell to Buy policy on players
- Robert Earl (Evertons second largest shareholder) not even attending games or giving 2 hoots for the club. A man holding the club to ransom until they move stadium – What kind of owner is this? He is basically at Everton to make money.
This charlatan should be forced from the club
What is up for discussion?
- Obtaining from the Chairman and Board of Directors an explanation for their September 2008 decision to amend the Articles of Association such that Annual General Meetings need no longer be held and their reasons for not calling any General Meeting in the 5 years since.
I think this is a very simple yet valid question. Why shouldn’t shareholders have a say in how the club is run. Why were the fans banned from having a voice?
- Obtaining from the Board of Directors their appraisal of the financial performance of Everton Football Club Company Ltd over the past five years since the 128th and last Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held, specifically to answer questions from Shareholders concerning the financial performance of Everton Football Club Company Ltd over the past 5 years and to hear the Board of Directors future plans for the club.
Again, a very simple yet valid question. They want answers on the clubs financial performance over the last 5 years and what plans are in place to turn the company around from making a £5m loss per year.
3 . To pass a resolution, on receipt of the answers given by the board to the aforementioned questions, to require that the Directors of Everton Football Club Company Ltd amend the Articles of Association to ensure that the longstanding tradition of holding formal Annual General Meetings is permanently reinstated.
The Shareholders simply want to have their right to an AGM reinstated.
The new badge was about as popular with Everton fans as a bout of anal herpes
Why this should be seen as a positive
The club should view this as a positive. The fans WANT dialogue, they want to know what is going on. The club made a good appointment in Alan Myers for the new director of communications and it’s these types of decisions that will win back the fans.
This should be a new start for the shareholders and the club. They should be more open with the shareholders and keep them involved in the decisions that are being made, afterall the shareholders just want what is best for the club as it is their club. The football club is nothing without the fans.
I have no doubt in my mind that Bill Kenwright wants what is best for Everton Football Club, I do however feel that he has sold his soul to the devil in the past and is bound to other people with money in what he can do with the club. My own opinions are that Sir Phillip Green and Robert Earl Do have involvement are the real people making important decisions on the club to line their pockets.
In his article, ‘Another Spin Of The Wheel,’ an expose of some of London’s most exclusive casino’s, Mark Hollingsworth gives an intriguing insight into Green’s role in brokering Earl’s involvement in Everton Football Club.
‘It is the early hours of the morning at Les Ambassadeurs Club, the Mayfair casino overlooking Hyde Park, and Sir Philip Green is on a roll. Surrounded by envious Arab and Chinese punters, the flamboyant retail billionaire is playing roulette and the winnings are piling up. Nervous managers look on as the wheel spins in his favour. Suddenly, Sir Philip reaches for his mobile and the fellow gamblers are surprised to hear him call his wife Tina. At that very moment she is also gambling at the Casino Monte Carlo near their main home. They discuss their evening’s exploits and chuckle at their good luck.
The billionaire is a prolific gambler and the club’s best customer, although he also frequents The Ritz casino. In one night he can win or lose up to an estimated £8 million. He has incurred losses but wins more than he loses. He also links his business deals to the gaming tables. When his friend Robert Earl paid £9 million for a stake in Everton FC last year with his backing, he half-jokingly described the amount as ‘no more than a bad night at Les A.’
Are Kenwrights hands tied by other people?
Unfortunately, no matter what is said at these kinds of meetings they will be used to suit an agenda. Whatever is said by Kenwright et al will no doubt be used in posters designed by The Blue Union and I don’t think people will believe a word on what is coming out of the club (For good reason to a point). I also don’t believe that the club will trust the shareholders/fans. It’s been clear from recent leaks and viewpoints that they don’t much care about a large majority of the fans and have a very firm mindset that they know best.
The best way to move forward is to follow up on what is promised. IF they promise to find a buyer in the next year, DO IT. Get talking to companies that deal with investment, Speak to UKTI about inward investment, GET the REAL price into the public domain. If you have a plan to increase the sponsorship amounts we have or rename Finch Farm, then let us know. I would be straight onto the people of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talals people about how he could build a revolutionary football stadium, because this is a man that wants to build a mile high building.
The club should speak to external agencies to attract investment
Don’t hold a failing business (losing £5m per year) to ransom over unrealistic prices. If I had an xbox and I needed to sell it due to pressure from the wife but didn’t really want to. I would tell her it was for sale, but put the price of it at £10k. That seems to be similar to the Everton situation.
Want to have your say on the EGM, come to The Everton Forum and discuss it in our EGM thread: http://www.theevertonforum.co.uk/thread6318.html