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Special Shareholders' Forum

Head Goodison honchos answer shareholders' questions

9th August, 2001

Tonight Everton Chairman Sir Philip Carter and Deputy Chairman Bill Kenwright hosted a special forum for Shareholders to answer questions principally about the Kings Dock but also on other important issues, including the future of the youth setup and club finances.

Unfortunately for the Everton Internet community - who have been passionate in their hopes that this meeting would be used to tackle some burning issues on behalf of the fans - the representatives from ToffeeNet were thwarted by traffic and had to abort plans to attend the forum. Many of the questions that we hoped would be asked never came up, and those that did were, as usual, neatly dodged and deflected by Messers Kenwright and Carter.

As such it represents another missed opportunity for the fans to land some telling questions to the Board in an effort to establish just where all the money from gates, Sky TV and player sales is going if, as Sir Carter says, the club is in the same situation financially as last year. Furthermore, the slew of complaints about the club's merchandising and public relations problems went largely unaired, but it is likely that those issues would have been dodged too.

Of course, the club cannot reveal everything that is going on behind the scenes, particularly sensitive information, but there clearly are a number of what might be termed smaller issues causing irritation among the fans that aren't being attended to.

We at ToffeeWeb were fortunate enough to receive a first-hand summary report from the Forum:

"I do not know if any of your guys were at tonight's meeting, if they were, maybethey might want to share their views of what went on.

"In my opinion it was a big waste of time, Bill Kenwright went on about the failed media deal and mentioned (with the help of Philip Carter) about the possibility of a fans share issue, along the same lines of the Celtic one.
Apparently the idea was talked about at length some six months ago, but was put on a back burner. God only knows why. Pressure needs to be applied to force something like this through, or we will still be in this situation in 5 years time, or maybe worse, we could be in the Nationwide League.

"Walter [Smith] was not there, at the request of the Shareholders Committee because they thought issues might get deflectedto the subject of how bad the team really is. Everytime someone mentioned about Walter not liking to use the youth, the question was ignored or side stepped. The sales of Jeffers and Ball were mentioned quite a few times, particulary Ball, because I don't think anyone gives a s**taboutJeffers.

"BK [Kenwright] talked about the Ball contract talks and that Ball wanted a deal that would have made him the highest paid player at the club, something that Ball failed to mention whilst saying that he wasn't holding the club to ransom.

"PC [Carter] spoke about the financial side of things and said that the current situation was still the same as last year, even though we sold a load of playerslast year andreceived millions from Sky and season tickets etc..butcould nottalk figuresbecause they are not ready yet. Someone asked where had the money from the sale of Jeffers, PC just sidestepped by waffling on and on.

"On a brighter note, we seem to have appointed someone with an ounce ofmarketing know how, at this time his name escapes me [presumably Andrew Oldknow? - Ed], but he gave a pretty good account of his plans for the next couple of years, up until we move stadiums. This man is the hirer and firer who has just fired the old merchandising guy and taken on the 3rd in charge at Wade Smiths.

"Next they brought on the youth boss, who talked about the development of the academy, at which point BK butted in to point out that by spring next year, they hope to have a site for the combined training facilities of both youth and senior setups. I don't know where the money is coming from.

"Michael Dunford was next up, to talk about the Kings Dock developments, basically he just went through all the questions that were posed, I think from the website mail in. Thirty minutes into MDs talk, I'd had enough and got off.

"What the meeting needed was a group from website like your own to come up with some decent questions, that were strong enough not to be fobbed of or spoken down as BK and PC were doing all night.

"We all know BK and PC are Blues, but that is not enough, they cannot afford to get us out of this mess."

True Blue


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