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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The colour of Everton's money is Green

 28 Comments: First  |  Last

Those fans who continue to support Bill Kenwright would be wise to refer to the following article that appeared in the London Evening Standard in October 2006. The million dollar question that needs to be answered in the coming weeks is: "What role does Philip Green have in the running and operating procedures of Everton FC'?

The various campaign groups that are attempting to elicit this information need applauding in their attempts to unmask the truth. In the five years that Green / Earl have had a 23% stake in the Club we have stagnated in terms of progress and can only thank David Moyes and his backroom team for maintaining any semblance of stability in the face of such facts.

Billionaire rag trader Sir Philip Green is the secret power broker in the bitter, multi-million-pound struggle for control of Everton Football Club, the Evening Standard can reveal.

Green played a major role in the acquisition of a key 23% stake in the Merseyside club by Planet Hollywood tycoon Robert Earl from Everton board member Paul Gregg, the cinemas and leisure multi-millionare.

However, it is understood Green's involvement in the deal ? at a time of unprecedented interest in the ownership of top Premiership clubs ? is just the culmination of a long-running relationship with Everton's other major minority shareholder, impresario Bill Kenwright, which also saw Green play a key role in the controversial sale of England superstar Wayne Rooney to Manchester United.

Green admitted to the Standard: "Paul Gregg's stake in Everton was offered to me. I have always made it clear that I do not want to own a football club so I introduced Robert Earl, a good friend of mine. It is no secret that Bill Kenwright is a good friend of mine too."

Evertonians are horrified that a king-making stake in the club has seen sold to a self-confessed Tottenham Hotspur supporter, and they have until now been unaware of Green's role in the deal-doing of club chairman Kenwright.

Quizzed on the part he played in the £27m sale of Rooney two seasons ago when the club was in dire financial straits, Green replied: "I have no comment to make on that. That is none of your business." Green's involvement at Everton was first revealed by the Standard in the summer, but the retailer, who yesterday reported a slump in profits at his Arcadia High Street empire, has previously denied any interest, even telling the Daily Telegraph this week: "It's nothing to do with me."

The Everton power struggle comes at a time of massive takeover action at the top of the game. Following the acquisitions of Chelsea, Manchester United and Aston Villa by Russian and American billionaires, British football is awash with speculation of further big deals in the offing. Middle East and Far East investors are reckoned to be stalking a number of clubs including West Ham United, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool.

The acquisition of 23% of Everton for around £9m by the mysterious special purpose vehicle BCR Sports which is being fronted by Earl, values the club at around £80m including debt.

Analysts reckon that Everton boardroom infighting - which has seen one-time friends Kenwright and Gregg part company as sworn enemies ? have helped to stall attempts to revive the club's fortunes. For instance, plans to relocate the club.

Peter Laing, Liverpool     Posted 17/07/2011 at 18:52:05

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Jay Harris
1   Posted 17/07/2011 at 19:37:10

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Peter, a far more pressing question is why operating costs have risen from £1.3 million a year before Kenwright took over to around £25 million a year now.

It is one thing to lack commercial income development but the unexplained and questionable mega-rise in operating costs surely needs some explanation.

It begs the question: Is Green being paid vast sums back following the failure of DK?
David Chait
2   Posted 17/07/2011 at 19:45:02

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Nothing new to see here. It's like they blew the cover on the worst-kept secret in Everton Football Club.
Karl Masters
3   Posted 17/07/2011 at 19:37:56

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We are never going to get much help from a pair of Spurs fans are we?

Clearly Bill is far too embarrassed to admit that since 2004 his castle has been built on sand from White Hart Lane.

There are 3 questions that need answers:

1/ Why did Green and Earl get involved? The answer I suspect, especially as this got revealed in 2006, is Destination Kirkby and they stood to make a killing. Thankfully, the Government threw that useless plan out before it ruined our club forever.

2/ Why are they still involved? Answer I suspect is that they still think they will make money eventually when either a billionaire buys us or a pay-per-view TV deal comes about.

3/ What the hell are we going to do in the meantime? No transfer budget, major shareholders who won't put any more money in (this might well explain the reluctance of somebody like Lord Grantchester to put money in only to feather the nests of Bill and the two Spurs fans) and a Chairman so up to his neck in lies and spin that we will always be kept in the dark.

I think that perhaps the latest fans' initiative to bring things into the open may be the only thing that will smoke these people out when the whole world finds out we are being controlled by these two and the puppet Bill.

All conjecture, of course, but it would explain a lot.
Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 17/07/2011 at 20:05:54

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Jay those mysterious operating costs include expenses for the board members but are yet (and will they ever?) be broken down on a line by line basis? Rising from £1.2m since Kenshite took over to over £23m in the last filing ? god only knows what they'll be at come the 2012 books, what the hell does a quarter of the clubs income go on that's not broken down by detail?
Charlie Percival
5   Posted 17/07/2011 at 20:23:39

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If you're against the Everton board, join this group on facebook:!/thepeoplesgroup?sk=wall
John Daley
6   Posted 17/07/2011 at 21:24:36

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Bill already explained all this back in 2008, and Bill would never lie would he? Philip Green is merely a 'friend' to all Everton supporters:

"KEIOC has in their possession emails between Paul Gregg and Philip Green which discuss share ownership within the club. During a meeting, with Paul Gregg at The Lowry Hotel in 2008, KEIOC learnt that Sir Philip Green paid him for his shares. If true and if Philip Green has supplied the money for both of these investments there is a strong possibility that he could be Everton?s largest shareholder, the de facto owner of the club and explain why Keith Wyness cited outside influences interfering with the club when he suddenly and unexpectedly left Everton in 2008 and why Green and Earl made a Hollywood movie style dash across the Mediterranean in a powerful yacht to confront the since silent Keith Wyness on Majorca. Certainly the level of Philip Green?s apparent interest in Everton would appear to extend to something more than just helping an old mate out. Of course it doesn?t explain why Bill Kenwright told shareholders at the 2008 EGM the following:

BK: You want to talk about Phillip Green; I'll talk to you about Phillip Green. Phillip Green was there when a lot of you were behind me to buy this club. He was my friend, he still is my friend. He's there 24 hrs a day for me. If you could find any fault in Phillip Green, one of the greatest businessmen in the world giving me advice that I pass onto this football club, I can't see it. He is not a silent shareholder.

Shareholder: Does he hold any shares?

BK: He owns no shares in this football club. Nil. He is my friend and consequently your friend.... [Loud laughter from audience] I don't know why you think that's funny but he's a great friend to this football club. I promise you.

Audience: In what way?

BK: If you have a friend who is one of the greatest business brains in the world, who is available for you 24hrs a day, will give you advice, would you not use that friend? Because I certainly do; he's been there for me and consequently for you through six very difficult years, even years before the six years. He became my friend in 1998 when we in big trouble. He quickly latched onto my passion for this football club and he's been there, through thick and thin ever since. He's my friend."

So he's basically Bills bezzy mate and that's all there is to it right. Let's hear no more about it. I'm bored of your question.
Trevor Mackie
7   Posted 17/07/2011 at 21:09:50

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Kenwright to all intents and purposes has bankrupt this club financially and morally.

If he wasn't ashamed of what's happened he wouldn't be doing such a good impression of a shifty tin pot dictator bunkered down in desperation.

Chickens are coming home to roost Bill, you can lock down the official site you can send your man Elstone out with platitudes and bluster, but you're being found out as we speak.

I'd get the shredders working overtime mate.
Michael Kelly
8   Posted 17/07/2011 at 23:31:29

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How come the murderers kick out poor old Roy after 6 months but the moment we question Moyes's or BK's perfume pig it's met with a surprise response from the RS / media etc...
Dick Fearon
9   Posted 17/07/2011 at 23:21:20

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Karl # 3, According to yourself and other Twebbers, Kirkby would have brought the ruination of Everton. If that really was the case can you explain how Earl and Green would have made in your words, 'a killing'?
Tom Hughes
10   Posted 18/07/2011 at 00:02:35

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Dick they got their shareholding (Earl/Green?) for a song. They would've probably sold that as soon as the stadium and their new shops (which they couldn't possibly have without a stadium, or so they thought) were built... only then would the true effects of a medium/low-quality stadium, in the middle of nowhere and with pitiful public transport be fully played out... ie, long after they'd got what they wanted.
Dick Fearon
11   Posted 18/07/2011 at 00:47:47

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Tom, #11, thank you for answering, yet I am still puzzled. You infer that Kirkby would have been a failure... at the same time you suggest that Earl and Green would have no trouble selling it at a huge profit. Something doesn't make sense in that scenario.
Ste Traverse
12   Posted 18/07/2011 at 01:04:21

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Dick, a brand new stadium, however inadequate for a club of our standing,bwould have boosted the value of the shares of the likes of Robert Earl.

It doesn't take a genius to work that out.
Eric Myles
13   Posted 18/07/2011 at 04:34:32

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The 'mysterious' rise in undocumented operating costs is brought up a lot and while the Club should provide the details to the shareholders, it seems they don't.

My question is then "How does our level of expenditure on these operating costs compare with other teams?" (Either totals or percentages of income/expenditure or however they can be best compared.)

Gavin Ramejkis
14   Posted 18/07/2011 at 06:55:12

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Dick a little more detail in that Green owns the Arcadia group of shops, including the likes of Top Shop (clothing) its very likely the retail park at Kirkby could have included at least one new store for his group. Earl's shares look to have been paid for by Green. Desperation Kirkby was a seedy property scam.
Peter Laing
15   Posted 18/07/2011 at 08:32:39

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What astounds me is that this information has been clearly in the public domain for quite some time, circa (2006). It also demonstrates that the vast majority of Evertonians have been prepared to tolerate such interference in the affairs of the Club from poisonous outside forces, either that or they have been blind or unwilling to take Kenwright to task on such issues. Thankfully the worm appears to be turning as the momentum builds, I for one would love to hear Keith Wyness' account and what was actually said by Green and Earl when they issued their golden silence.
Andy Callan
16   Posted 18/07/2011 at 09:29:06

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Truth is that we need to either totally redevelop Goodison or move somewhere else. Simply accepting the way things are isn't a solution...

The current board either need to dig deep (if they have any cash) or sell the fuckin' club to someone that does have the spare cash to fund a decent spending spree on some new players.

Until we change the staus quo we're going to go backwards.

I've given up worrying about it, becuase no matter how much we worry, fuck all will get done about the way the club is run.

Take up golf; it's less stressful than watching Everton.....
Tony J Williams
17   Posted 18/07/2011 at 09:17:47

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Where are these people defending Kenwright? I haven't seen many. There are loads saying that his biggest fault is that he is skint and are not prepared to call him all the names under the sun but I have yet to see one... except Doddy, actually say he is doing a good job.

I certainly don't think he is.
Dennis Stevens
18   Posted 18/07/2011 at 16:36:23

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Andy, this Board will move us to pastures new - just as soon as they can foist DK Mk II onto us - that's their exit strategy.
Peter Laing
19   Posted 18/07/2011 at 19:33:49

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Tony believe you me there are plenty of supporters out there beyond toffeeweb and the more impartial websites, take a look at bluekipper once in a while.
Gavin Ramejkis
20   Posted 18/07/2011 at 19:54:24

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Peter would that be the same bluekipper that has always been pro club so much so that it regularly gets interviews with anyone it wants and beyond some childish bits and pieces never rocks the boat.

Tell us about the sites and lets see if they truly are impartial.

Maybe the replies to Prentice in the RS Echo were impartial, maybe the callers to Talksport were impartial.
Gary Hughes
21   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:45:37

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I've always wondered why BK, being such a massive Evertonian, didn't do something like Sir Jack Haywood did at Wolves and sell the club for a tenner?

I think all of the above is the answer, he isnt the major shareholder nor can make any decisions on his own regarding the club. Keep the faith.

Dennis Stevens
22   Posted 18/07/2011 at 20:57:07

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Gary, I think that in his desperate haste to avoid handing control to Gregg, Kenwright managed to sell both the club & to some extent himself down the river. I suspect he's now the figurehead Chairman without having the real control that should go with his position.
Nick Taylor
23   Posted 18/07/2011 at 21:53:36

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I am suprised the media haven't paid more attention to the ownership issues at Everton. Given the current climate for exposing corruption, there could be a lot of mileage in this taking into account the personalities involved.

My personal line of attack would be to conflate the murky under-the-table silent partner offshore goings in the Everton boardroom, with the practices in the financial industry that nearly destroyed the global economy.
Tony I'Anson
24   Posted 18/07/2011 at 21:59:35

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Peter Laing
25   Posted 18/07/2011 at 22:32:10

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Agree Gavin, my comments were lost in translation, the comment about bluekipper was with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek as I gave up on that website year's ago; too cosy and close to the club (for what ends?) in my opinion.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
26   Posted 19/07/2011 at 02:49:37

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One of the reasons, Peter (#25) that we sail under the tag line 'Independent' and not 'unofficial' ? a term we've been using since the earliest days. Interesting that many now follow...
Gavin Ramejkis
27   Posted 19/07/2011 at 09:01:34

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Fair play, Peter.
Paul Knox
28   Posted 19/07/2011 at 14:21:39

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I hear all this, but what can we do? To many around me have been brainwashed into believing both board and manager are right for us. And they are doing a good job with the money we have!

An example when we reached the Cup Final a supporter from ESCRA said "Just getting here is good enough for me, enjoy it". I remember the Watford Final and their supporters said the same thing ? have we really stooped so low?

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