At the end of what has been by anybody’s standards a bitterly disappointing season, a lot of debate and argument has centred on whether Roberto Martinez should be manager of Everton Football Club moving forward into next season. I, like most fans, have my opinion. However, an issue that has surely not helped the Spaniard during his struggles against increasingly vocal criticism this season is the deafening silence from Bill Kenwright. Other than a fleeting disagreement with Roy Keane in the autumn, the chairman has notably abstained from commenting on any of the fans' concerns arising from the worrying decline on the pitch.
Also, with the recent indication by Robert Elstone that the Walton Hall Park project is likely to be nothing but another unachievable and unrealised pipe dream, and the unfortunate comment from the manager (in a recently publicised meeting with the club’s major independent fan sites) that there is unlikely to be any sort of expenditure this summer like the £28M outlay required to sign Romelu Lukaku – despite a record TV windfall – fans are rightfully inclined to ask what is happening at boardroom level to prevent the perception that the club is being left behind by its peers?
Most people in the football community are very much aware that Bill Kenwright is a lifelong Evertonian. He has often regaled the press and wider public of his time in the Boys Pen, his admiration of the ‘Cannonball Kid’ Dave Hickson, and his declaration that there is “no bigger” Evertonian than him. Not even his biggest critics could question that he has a long and deep rooted love for the club. However, the argument by many of his detractors is that there are plenty of Evertonians that have an equally impassioned love for the club, but this doesn't necessarily qualify them to run it.
Nobody associated with the club will forget the optimism amongst supporters when the True Blue Holdings consortium took over from the heavily derided ‘Agent’ Peter Johnson. The hope was that, with a clear and progressive business plan and more openness from the new owners, the club would be able to strive towards being more competitive, much more forward-thinking, and eventually recapture some of the relatively recent glory days of the 80s by winning trophies. Unfortunately, after 20 years without winning anything (15 under Mr Kenwright’s stewardship), no developments towards either relocation or improving Goodison Park, and no real investment, a lot of the fanbase are fairly questioning the direction of the club under Mr Kenwright’s leadership.
A growing perception of Mr Kenwright, regarding his dealings with the media during the tenure of both the current and previous manager, is that he is happy to tell the stories and gush about what a good choice he made in appointing the manager when the team is winning. However, when there are elements of unrest amongst supporters he is happy to slip into the shadows and hide behind the manager and CEO, becoming increasingly defensive, secretive and full of denials if pushed for answers. Quite frankly, he is in danger of being exposed as no different than the man he ousted in order to supposedly usher in the bright new future.
With a large amount of criticism circulating recently regarding many elements of the club, a focus should be on facts and clear evidence. I’ve picked out a few quotes from Mr Kenwright that will hopefully explain the frustrations of the fanbase and can illustrate why there is once again a growing distrust towards the club’s board.
1. “I want to make Everton number one again…I’ve seen how Arsenal run their club, with honesty and intelligence and burning ambition. I’ve always seen us as the Arsenal of the north.” (Andrew Longmore – The Independent, 6 December 1998)
Admittedly, this quote was taken from before Mr Kenwright took control of the club. However, it clearly shows his implied intent which directly led to the swell of fan support which helped to push through his takeover approximately 12 months later.
Since this declaration, Arsenal have:
- Moved into the 3rd largest stadium in England, funded without any public subsidy. According to Deloitte, this is currently the 2nd most lucrative stadium in the world.
- Won 2 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, and have continually qualified for the Champions League. Despite this, they are widely considered to have underachieved by the sports media.
Have spent approximately £91.8M net on transfers.
Whilst Everton have:
- Stayed at Goodison Park without increasing the capacity.
- Won no trophies and got no further than the qualifying stages for the Champions League, achieved for the only time in 2005.
- Spent approximately £28.1M net on transfers in the same period. (History of transfers)
How exactly, when comparing against a club that has come in for its fair share of criticism for not winning trophies and spending enough to improve its playing squad, can Mr Kenwright consider this making Everton number one?
2. “We absolutely have to move… We’ll soon not be able to pass safety tests.” (ITV4, Safety test admission, 5 December 2007)
This was nationally televised, where the issue of Goodison being potentially ‘unsafe’ was put firmly into the public domain. We are now a further 7 seasons on from this admission, and the club has seemingly made zero actual progress towards achieving Mr Kenwright’s desired option of moving grounds.
With no real prospects of a viable move anywhere on the horizon, where does that leave the club? How soon is soon? How would season ticket holders be affected if a stand were to be closed due to safety concerns? Are match going fans being endangered by a refusal to modernise or redevelop Goodison Park as a short or medium term measure? These are all relevant questions that haven’t been adequately addressed by the board since these revelations.
The statement was issued as a response to opposition towards Destination Kirby. Assuming that (at the time) the statement was made genuinely and not intended to simply sway undecided supporters who were unfamiliar on the matter, why has Mr Kenwright and the Everton Board of Directors seemingly avoided the issue of redeveloping Goodison Park? As far back as the Kings Dock ballot, options were available to develop Goodison’s capacity to either 45,000 or 55,000. Even if redevelopment is not the preferred long-term option of the Board, a small improvement whereby facilities can be modernised as well as increasing the capacity incrementally would allow supporters’ fears to be addressed and the club to improve an ageing ground for as long as it takes to source a realistic and achievable option for relocation. As such, until this option is explored publicly, Mr Kenwright will continue to be asked to answer questions like the ones above.
3. “No one can sell the club better than me…” (Transcript of Blue Union meeting 12 August 2011)
"My desire to find a person, or institution, with the finance to move us forward has not diminished… we remain positive and determined.” (Sky Sports News interview, 3 January 2013)
The club has supposedly always been for sale. These are just 2 of many quotes regarding the search for potential investment, encompassing NTL, Fortress Sports Fund, and the supposed Head of ICI in the Far East. The truth of the matter is that the search has so far been fruitless. Mr Kenwright has apparently failed to attract any additional investment in 15 years, despite it being a ’24/7 search’. Large aspects of the fanbase believe they are entitled to know why this is?
The board does acknowledge the concern. Robert Elstone, in conversation with Phil Kirkbride in the Liverpool Echo (24 May 2015) states: “The question remains – why haven’t we found the investor? And the simple truth over the past two years is not many deals are being done; it appears there aren’t many buyers.”
However, this is slightly misleading. The club has supposedly been looking for investors ever since Mr Kenwright took control from Peter Johnson. To put it into perspective, all of the other current 19 Premier League clubs and each of the 3 promoted clubs have either received investment or have been taken over since Mr Kenwright took control of Everton. This is the same for most of the current Championship clubs as well.
This fact goes somewhat against Mr Kenwright’s continual insistence that people aren’t investing in football clubs. Even now, American billionaire Josh Harris is apparently doing due diligence for a 70% investment in Crystal Palace... West Brom are negotiating with investment groups from China, America, and Australia... Tony Adams is leading a consortium looking to takeover Aston Villa... The interest is patently still there.
This, along with the boards refusal to publicly name their price, means that large numbers of fans aren't inclined to believe CEO Robert Elstone when he reiterates, “It is worth stating again, and very clearly, there are no unreasonable conditions on the sale of Everton.” (Phil Kirkbride, The Echo, 24 May 2015)
The current price being rumoured is £200M (Matt Law, Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2015). In 2013 on his TalkSport radio show, Stan Collymore quoted £125M from an un-named club source. In 2011, Keith Harris quoted in the region of £150M live on SkySportsNews. In the space of 4 years, how can the valuation fluctuate around £75M (approaching half of the highest reported asking price) without there being any investment from within?
The opportunities for ‘game-changing’ investment have been there, even before Mr Kenwright. Peter Johnson is rumoured to have rejected Joe Lewis’s approach of £60M for his portfolio (Ian Ross, The Guardian, 9 August 1999). Mr Lewis went on to purchase Spurs, has continually invested large sums of money on the playing squad, and the development of a new stadium able to potentially house a British NFL franchise is now scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2018-19 season.
However, for Mr Kenwright, most famously there was interest from Sheik Mansour before he turned to Manchester City. The fortunes of Manchester City on the pitch since this takeover have included 2 league titles, a FA Cup, a League Cup, as well as continual Champions League qualification. Off the pitch, millions of pounds have been invested into the club's youth programmes and infrastructure so as to try and provide the club with a more sustainable future. Surely, as a ‘custodian’ of the club, it is now time for Mr Kenwright to acknowledge that it might be someone else’s turn to take responsibility for finding the much needed investment (and publicly appoint them) so that any further opportunity like this is not allowed to be exploited by the club’s rivals?
4. "We have the opportunity to have the finest arena, the finest football stadium, in the world - it's mind-blowing…..We are not going to let this chance pass us by.” (Christopher Davies, The Telegraph, 23 July 2001)
In hindsight, the swell of support for Mr Kenwright from his fellow Evertonians probably began to dissipate gradually following the failure to secure the Kings Dock site for a new stadium. It certainly sparked the end of his working relationship with Paul and Anita Gregg. Any proposals for relocation after this, namely Destination Kirkby and Walton Hall Park, have generally paled both in appeal and support. Arguably, the club have failed to prosper since this missed opportunity and have been left further and further behind their peers in terms of revenue generation. In terms of corporate revenue this is undeniable.
The club’s proposal included 70 executive boxes and 2,750 ‘Business Seats’. Additionally the venue would have had a 5,000 seat capacity for conferences, a 3,000 seat Restaurant/Banqueting capacity, as well as 10,000 m² of exhibition space. It would also have doubled as an entertainment arena with a varying capacity of between 5,500 to 24,000 thanks to a retractable roof and pitch. All this for a relatively modest £30m investment from Everton. The club wouldn’t have owned the stadium outright, but the prospect of being involved in a heavily subsidised, world class development would surely be a ‘no-brainer’ in taking the club forward.
So why did the club squander this opportunity? The unfortunate truth is, despite repeated claims that the clubs portion of the money for development was “ring-fenced”, Mr Kenwright was unable to provide the proof of funds in the 18 months Everton were awarded preferred bidder status to turn this prospect into a reality. 12 years on, the club is no further forward.
With building costs now far more expensive in today's economy, and a clear reduction in the access to public funds, Mr Kenwright should really answer:
- Why was proof of funds not provided by the club when it was supposedly ‘ring fenced’?
- Who was ultimately responsible for the failure to grasp this opportunity?
- Why has no ‘Plan B’ been actioned in order to take the club forward?
5. “If I didn't think I could make this club successful I wouldn't still be here.” “I don't think you can break into the Champions League without money.” (Martin Samuel, Daily Mail, 9 September 2011)
Whilst the sentiment in the first statement is admirable, the fact is that the 4th most successful club in England has not won anything in 20 years. For Mr Kenwright to have overseen only one cup final appearance during his tenure of ownership is surely cause for concern when considered alongside this. Since these quotes, Everton have at no point looked like winning anything. At best they have occasionally flirted with breaking into the utopian riches of the Champions League places, but ultimately this has ended in ‘gallant failure’. Whilst Mr Kenwright can’t be held completely responsible; after all he doesn’t pick the team or step across the whitewash, he should surely consider whether he is creating a culture that cultivates success or one that is happy to accept mediocrity?
All too often, Everton are portrayed as ‘punching above their weight’ when they finish 5th, 6th, 7th. Is that in line with the expectations of a successful club? The truth is that the board are unwilling to alter that perception, as the spotlight is then cast on them as to whether they are providing the finance and infrastructure needed for success in the modern game. With an estimated net worth of £33M, unless he can unlock further investment from the more affluent other major shareholders, Mr Kenwright is realistically not in a position to do that. This is something he recognises, illustrated in his second statement. So how exactly can he honestly expect the fanbase to trust him to deliver success with little financial clout and a track record of falling short?
6. “I cannot see any negatives in this, I can see only positives. He (Robert Earl) is a very clever man. He works on a world stage and I think he can help sell Everton’s brand.” (Jessica Shaughnessy, Daily Post, 23 October 2006)
Although Mr Kenwright seems to take the brunt of the frustration from the fanbase, there are other directors whose intentions are being called into question. Robert Earl, the Planet Hollywood ‘mogul’, has been a major shareholder since 2006. He officially owns just over 23% of the shares, only 2.5% less than Mr Kenwright, which he purchased for approximately £9M from Paul and Anita Gregg via the unofficial ‘brokerage’ of Sir Phillip Green. He is reportedly worth £240M, making his net worth approximately 8 times that of Mr Kenwright.
He arrived with great fanfare... yet, other than arranging a personal appearance by Sylvester Stallone at Goodison Park, he appears to have done very little for the club. Mr Earl has every right to be a silent partner, not dissimilar to Jon Woods, but it is his links to the British Virgin Islands that causes mistrust from sections of support. The company he set up to purchase his shares, BCR Sports, is based in the same building as Vibrac Corporation. Vibrac have provided Everton with bridging loans since 2011 at an interest rate of approximately 9%.
Considering that Everton have satisfied and renewed the loan year on year, the assumption is that Mr Earl has links to Vibrac and is using this facility to indirectly take out an unofficial dividend from the club. This train of thought is given weight by his apparent disappointment at the collapse of Destination Kirkby, which is apparently the reason why Mr Earl is being prevented from ‘cashing out’ his investment in a sport and a club that he appears to have no interest in. He indirectly issued a statement to David Conn (21 January 2009), writer for The Guardian, stating:
“A spokesman for Earl said he had contributed financially by providing personal guarantees so that Everton could extend their bank borrowings and sign new players. He does not, the spokesman said, intend to put further money in until Everton are in a new stadium, when the club could be in a position to attract further investment.” (Appearance on NBC)
Ultimately, until Mr Earl and Mr Kenwright publicly address the situation regarding Mr Earl’s intentions, BCR Sports, and Vibrac, the conspiracy theories will persist. Either way, it is doubtful that media appearances like this will “help sell Everton’s brand”.
The quotes in this article hopefully explain that, whilst his love for the club is never in question, Mr Kenwright’s comments on a number of issues regarding the running of the club have left fans feeling confused and concerned when presented with the facts. In less detail, a few more confusing quotes from Mr Kenwright include:
- “I’ve not got the big money, but I promise to find investment” (January 2000) — Nothing in 15 years.
- “The NTL deal is secured” (September 2000) – The deal collapsed.
- ”I wouldn’t sell Rooney for £50M” (June 2004) – Rooney was sold 2 months later for a deal worth £27M.
- “The Fortress money will be in the bank in the morning” (EGM, September 2004) – The investment deal from Fortress Sports Fund collapsed without explanation.
- “Kirkby will be a world class arena, effectively free and with the best transport links in the UK” (AGM, November 2006) – The proposed move did not materialise due to funding issues.
Alongside this, the club is yet to hold its 2015 AGM despite a publicly recorded vote in the 2014 AGM hugely in favour of holding a yearly meeting. This once again creates an impression amongst supporters that the club’s board is hiding away from answering the uncomfortable questions that sections of the fanbase feel they are owed answers to. It is also worrying to hear a hugely popular ex-employee of the club in Alan Myers explaining his sudden and mysterious departure by saying “Nobody forced me out of Everton, nobody told me to go. But if you’re not happy somewhere, you’ve got to do something about it.” (Paul Wheelock, Lancashire Telegraph, 8 March 2014).
It is worth noting that, in recent weeks, rumours have circulated regarding Mr Kenwright’s health and that he is potentially suffering from a serious illness. Whilst no person with an interest in the club should wish anything other than for Mr Kenwright to be in good health (a lifelong Evertonian should be afforded no less), the feeling of uncertainty around the future of the club is festering and will continue to grow until these issues are formally addressed.
A growing feeling amongst sections of Evertonians is that Mr Kenwright is happy to kill the dreams of the club’s support so that he can live his own as Chairman. Suggestions of protests and demonstrations are once again being mooted. Hopefully Mr Kenwright will chose to address the fans' concerns before his dream turns into a living nightmare.
Reader Comments (155)
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1 Posted 27/05/2015 at 19:29:25
2 Posted 27/05/2015 at 19:27:27
However, he is not a businessman in the technical sense as he relies on his good nature and charm to elicit funds from other rich people to fund his theatre productions. Hard nosed businessmen may part fund his shows but there is no way they would be prepared to bankroll his personal hobby without them having full control and that is what BK appears to have been asking for since he first took over the club.
The other official board members may as well be cardboard cut-outs as their combined input is nil apart from being major shareholders. If Bill canÂt raise his own capital to buy-out the other shareholders then it looks like the club will be left in limbo for as long as the major shareholders are content to continue this mystifying state of affairs.
Everton in effect are triple-locked into mediocrity and inactivity and even if a rich group or individual came-a-calling they would have to deal with three individual shareholders in order to proceed, they didnÂt get rich by wasting time and therefore are unlikely to hang about waiting for those three separate people to make up their minds.
If I was in BKÂs position, I donÂt think that I would be very happy to be the front-man taking the flak unless I owned all of the shares and you have to ask apart from the kudos of being the Chairman what is in it for him as itÂs not a cash reward.
As the club donÂt pay out dividends what is in it for the other major shareholders, Woods is perhaps similar to Kenwright in that he supports the club. Earl is someone we know very little about and surely he canÂt be in it purely for the love of all things Everton.
The dream world that has existed for Bill and perhaps the supporters that a takeover by some perfect owner with deep pockets has never really been on the cards at any point in the last fifteen years but it has inestimably hampered the club because it has during that period never felt that a long-term plan has existed because everyone thought that somebody else outside of the major shareholders would solve the pressing issues, that is not the way to run a non-league club never mind a club that has been in existence for nigh on 140 years
Some famous names in the business world have failed to plan ahead and paid a heavy price for thinking that something will turn up and the spirit of Mr Micawber is not enough to sustain a club with such a rich history as Everton F.C.
Who really owns Everton FC? what are they prepared to do to advance the club? We think we know the answer to the first question we have no idea about the second.
3 Posted 27/05/2015 at 20:12:02
Thanks Chris for a thorough and illuminating article, itÂs apparent you care deeply, like many of us do, about Everton FC more than the people who own the club.
4 Posted 27/05/2015 at 20:08:36
A mate of a mate worked in the financial side of the club until relatively recently and he maintained that Kenwright was Everton mad but as daft as a brush and absolutely clueless when it came to the money side of things......
5 Posted 27/05/2015 at 20:19:11
"Dreams undelivered" or alternatively put "Bullshit baffles brains".
If only Paul Gregg had managed to oust BK.
6 Posted 27/05/2015 at 20:36:42
7 Posted 27/05/2015 at 20:02:20
Over the 16 years of his tenure, Mr Kenwright has always somehow managed to keep the majority of match-going fans on his side, despite the totally incompetent manner in which he has run the club. However, the appearance of a large protest banner at West Ham and Goodison last Sunday may hopefully indicate that enough is enough.
20 years without a trophy is actually 3 years more than the worst previous run in our history, from 1946 to 1963, and we have just finished in our lowest league position for 10 years.
What sort of legacy does the self-styled No 1 Evertonian want to leave? Does he want to be remembered as the man who led the fourth most successful English Club into permanent decline or will he finally wake up to reality and sell up to someone who can revive our great institution before itÂs too late?
8 Posted 27/05/2015 at 20:48:22
9 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:03:38
10 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:13:44
11 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:15:47
12 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:32:31
HeÂs been proven to be a liar and a romancer for years, none of this is new to us and we all know the club will never ever move forwards whilst he is at the helm.
Have you noticed how the WHP build has vanished now that the early bird season ticket deadline has gone.
He treats us like dickheads...
13 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:32:00
Would that be Jesus picking cherries from the garden of Gethsemane?
Just asking like...
14 Posted 27/05/2015 at 21:39:51
For example we still seem a real family club, looking after old pros, Everton in the Community, our support of JFT 96 the way we applaud skill / performances from opposition sides, supporting our managers and the fact we get vociferous with cheating (albeit not so much our own players anymore).
I think this class sets us apart but also is something weÂre clinging onto and over egging because of our starvation of success. For example, IÂm not sure Distin needed a cameo and thought Moyes send off was OTT.
I think support of Kenwright is only so strong because he is a blue and many want this romantic notion of being a "proper class club". I think thatÂs right and agree with it but donÂt believe that just because Kenwright stops being chairman that we would lose that class.
It is beyond doubt that if heÂs not a liar that he is at least full of bullshit. This is not part of what EFC should be. However, potentially if we sold we could lose this class and I think this is a lot of people are scared of Â– rather than being overly supportive of Kenwright.
15 Posted 27/05/2015 at 22:05:57
Nice teams do not win trophies, nasty win at all cost teams do.
IÂll take the later any day over the nice pushovers we are at present.
16 Posted 27/05/2015 at 22:09:57
I actually believe that nobody wants it at much more than 㿼M and BK wonÂt let it go at that Â– particularly to the carpetbaggers who buy the likes of Leeds Utd and Blackburn. Thank God.
18 Posted 27/05/2015 at 22:22:11
19 Posted 27/05/2015 at 22:52:03
20 Posted 27/05/2015 at 22:38:11
I would heartily agree with you if the current owners were doing rather more than sitting on their hands and stopped believing that some Fairy Godmother will build us a new stadium. Where do you see Everton in five years time if the present regime continue to perform in the same way that they have in the last decade?
If we continue to be run the same way then clubs even as small as Bournemouth may begin to become more attractive than Everton, a slight exaggeration perhaps but not a totally unrealistic idea.
21 Posted 27/05/2015 at 22:49:20
22 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:15:09
23 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:23:11
24 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:26:07
25 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:30:58
26 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:28:23
27 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:34:15
No of course that doesnÂt count as a serious bid, does it, Paul?
28 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:34:55
How many times have we broke our transfer record with BK? Three that I can think.
29 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:33:47
30 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:39:51
31 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:30:26
I was there that day and...well...30,000+ ÂHappy ClappersÂ surely ...surely just can not be wrong???? Well, can they???
Power to the people and all that shite???? ThatÂs why all these luvvy soundbites keep satisfying the masses...
The Happy Clappers have been whitewashed by this tool for too long... like some tinpot dictator who everyone goes along with for the ride.
At long last, those chaps with the banner at West Ham tried to make a point. I sadly imagine that if they had tried to unfurl this at Goodison the following week, all hell would have broke loose... and not against Kenwright. That, I guess, is why they did it in London.
Take the piss out of our lovable Red Cousins but at least they make their voices loud and clear against what went on. Oh hang on... I keep reading it here: We Are Above All That Type Of Caper... arenÂt we???
(Great Piece, by the way.)
32 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:41:53
Bill open to offers 2008:
33 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:25:49
34 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:47:50
If anyone was to offer 𧴜 million, I bet BK would sell.
35 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:46:11
36 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:47:51
It was one bad year under Johnson when the shares in his company collapsed. In the four years before that, we won the cup, and were signing top players like Kanchelskis and Barmby. We have had 16 years of serious decline under this lying clown.
37 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:58:41
38 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:45:34
39 Posted 27/05/2015 at 23:34:57
By the same diametric analogy, I simply cannot believe how in the last 15 years we fans have done virtually bugger all to reign the Âshyster supremeÂ in.
The Blue Union quickly found out that we fans avoid confrontation to the extent of skirting round the literature/mags from Grey Skies etc on matchdays like they were Hari Krishnas!
The facts are simply this:
1. Like before, we will do nothing if things go well on the pitch.
2. So, it will have to get worse before it can get better.
3. It may be summised by the historical academics etc that Everton arenÂt Âlike thatÂ but it has to be said, and I/we know it to be true, that the Reds would never, ever of put up with our situation with this penniless, clueless ill-run commercially third-rate spectre for one season... let alone 15.
Wake up we are being strangled by intransigence from the bottom as well as the top.
40 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:03:47
Instead of pissing about with Walton Hall Park, make a decision now to redevelop Goodison, before we get left even further behind.
41 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:02:04
If you are taking 1994 and 1998 as benchmarks for the club on the pitch, then yes, it could be argued that we have been on a general upward trend.
If you look at the financial clout of the club compared to our rivals and not only the monied elite, it could be argued that we are in fact in a period of decline and that will be accelerated as others begin to use the TV money to bankroll their progress whilst we use ours to stay afloat.
42 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:10:37
43 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:15:53
44 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:20:28
45 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:13:15
WeÂd all love a new monied owner, of course, but thereÂs no guarantee heÂd be any better than this bugger, is there?
Now, if we had a decent manager, maybe...
46 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:15:53
I donÂt have a solution to the problems that beset the club but simple economics say we need to grow the business or sell off our top players. Selling our top players would seem to be the most obvious way of squaring the circle which in turn will lead to a decline on the pitch and put us in a similar situation in which Leeds, Blackburn and all those other clubs who had ÂbadÂ owners find themselves in.
47 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:24:25
Okay, it's not great... and we havenÂt won a trophy since 1995... but thatÂs the manager's job surely.
48 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:30:09
This isnÂt a 'Get Kenwright Out' because he is a buffoon or a personal attack on the guy it is a considered opinion about where our club stands at the present and where it likely to stand in the next few years. The only people that can alter the situation are those who own and run the club and they seem to be content with the situation as it is. We will have to trust that they know what they are doing and dismiss any evidence which suggests otherwise.
49 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:37:14
50 Posted 28/05/2015 at 00:48:40
In fact anything other than he is an Everton supporter, he is one of us, heÂs Blue Bill, and be careful what you wish for.
Having a proper Evertonian as chairman is a big deal, it really is. He never needed to lie, he probably doesnÂt think he has. A straight talking, honest Evertonian would do. It could nearly have been him.
51 Posted 28/05/2015 at 07:28:00
BillÂs stupidity is in saying what he thinks people want to hear, yet what he canÂt deliver, and which some fans irrationally believe that he not only can but should deliver, on the ridiculous grounds that we were once a top club, and our stupid motto. That is a club now being strangled by its history.
The board are slated because they donÂt waste their own money by throwing it into the bottomless pit of a football club that would never repay a cent of it. They should get some credit for how the club is run in reality rather than dreamland.
IÂm an Evertonian and I desperately want to see the club do well but success for me is that they are entertaining to watch, that they stay in the EPL and that they reach their maximum potential. This isn't a top 4 position for me, we canÂt achieve that under any circumstances. Our peers now arenÂt the top four and possibly not even the top 6 or 7.
I will never support the ridiculous contention that the board are bleeding the club, that we should expect them to guarantee us success or that they should do what the vast majority of fans wouldnÂt do themselves which is "Investing" in the club. This is 2015 EPL soccer not 1968 Division 1 with a sugar daddy Pools owner.
Getting rid of Martinez? For sure but you have to admire BK for his loyalty and his wish.
Do you want a Mike Ashley billionaire "clown" club or to become a lifeless franchise club like Liverpool or Manchester United? I certainly donÂt.
52 Posted 28/05/2015 at 07:21:06
Also, we all saw the demise of clubs who borrowed too much in pursuit of their dreams. Pompey and Leeds arenÂt doing so well. Leeds, a one-club city, a big population, and a wealthy one at that, and a succession of muppets vying for ownership in recent times.
The point is, Bill is not a professional Chairman, it is a bit like being a Dad. No-one tells you how to do it. He was bound to make wrong decisions, bound to say things that he now would regret. If any of us were subjected to a resume of Quotes from our past, we would cringe, I am sure.
His problem is, he is stuck really. He and his fellow board members, may be hoping to come out showing a profit for their initial input, and so have to wait for an offer to achieve that.
I think he realised a dream leading our club, and it got him valuable publicity for his other job. He would never appear on the TV News on behalf of yet another second-rate musical. His hands are tied. Decisions to take out loans in the past may have been poorly advised, but we are stuck with them now.
The fact is we are like one of the old clubs from the sixties still run by the butcher, and the local masonic lodge. We have a nice little golf club arrangement, and the Sky money just allows them to toddle along, not making any choices as there is always more money next season.
When the gates meant something, and a stand was about to fall down, you would fix the stand because you needed it open to earn your money that week. Now, you could close all of the stands and it would not make a lot of difference.
The board are waiting to make a profit, and BillÂs hands are tied.
I expect that pretty soon (if he is poorly or not), he will have had enough, and we may well look back on a decent man, who tried to help, but was out of his depth.
53 Posted 28/05/2015 at 07:51:07
This board doesnÂt have a plan, any business sense or ambition whatsoever. Despite the attempts by Martin Mason there to continually defend this board, weÂve heard all this Âno moneyÂ, Âcareful what you wish forÂ, Âwe have no right to win trophiesÂ, accept it, with anyone who advocates protest, wanting the best for this club is somehow a Kopite because ÂweÂre a classy clubÂ.
If you want to be a classy club with no assets, no hope of success, playing in a crumbling stadium where apparently itÂs only a matter of time before it fails its safety requirements, fine.
If however, you want us to be a successful club, with a regular opportunity to win trophies, with a clear and realistic plan for the future, we need to act.
54 Posted 28/05/2015 at 08:12:31
If you know where we wouldÂve ended up under Hamperman and his cronies, then get on the lottery for a few weeks and save the club yourself.
55 Posted 28/05/2015 at 09:18:22
To add a little more to the calibre of this fluffer, he reckons he took Elvis for a night out in London Â– despite the fact Elvis never set foot in England in his life; his claims to have been at Wembley with Eddie Cavanagh in 1966 and the many items in the article itself.
Find yourselves a copy of the Penguin Modern Book of Playwrights, Zigger Zagger and Mooney and his Caravans (http://www.amazon.com/Zigger-Zagger-Caravans-Penguin-playwrights/dp/0140450092) and youÂll find an interesting quote saying the ex-NYT student and avid RS supporter demanded YNWA was used in the play as the anthem of the Kop. It was added at his request and remained in the play for years until copyright had it removed. This book was published in 1970; I have a screenshot if you want it.
56 Posted 28/05/2015 at 09:27:38
Going back to 2003-04, the fans were in uproar and BK managed to control the situation with the Fortress Sports Fund initiative. The cheque was never dropped into the bank in the morning and Moyes saved BK with a superb backs-to-the-wall season. Then any investment/takeover was forgotten about once again.
Nothing will change at Everton until BK and his friends declare the club is genuinely for sale and ask a reasonable price.
It's a superb article and the saddest thing for me is that it could have been written 10 years ago.
57 Posted 28/05/2015 at 09:39:58
HereÂs an example for you Â– Hull, QPR, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion all receive more per year than Everton do from their kit suppliers. There are several others who use Adidas that may also receive more per year but Adidas doesn't publish their figures on a team-by-team basis. It doesn't actually incur a single penny of their own money to secure commercial revenue.
Likewise our marketing and sponsorship: throw in non-matchday revenue streams and your defence that they don't throw their own money into a bottomless pit becomes hollow and meaningless.
Spin that argument into the realms of investment in the form of Director loans and a second tier on the Park End would have secured over ١m a year in ticket sales which is 150% more than we get a year from Umbro and Kitbag Â– a loan which no-one would begrudge the loaning Director to seek reimbursement at a profit.
ElstoneÂs latest blog eludes, with plenty of smoke and mirrors, that the club are looking for donations to pay for the new stadium, even having the cheek to imply LCC should help Â– odd that a taxpayer funded council would fund a private business owned by multi-millionaire mingebags.
58 Posted 28/05/2015 at 10:29:47
Champagne tastes; lemonade money.
59 Posted 28/05/2015 at 12:17:46
I didnÂt say I knew where we would be with "Hamperman".
Would you prefer to see Peter Johnson at the helm then?
WhatÂs your solution? Apart from me doing the lottery that is.
60 Posted 28/05/2015 at 12:41:14
Know one is sure if BK is looking to sell or simply wants investment.
It could be the case that he is asking for too much money. When you look at all the cash it would take to either redevelop GP or build a new ground it might just be the case he and his cronies are asking for way too much.
Know one sane will simply invest either.
I don't want or expect BK to name his price on Sky News but it would be good to know whats really going on.
All these years without anyone putting a penny into the club has stripped it bare.
If it wasnÂt for the Sky Sports cash we would be fucked.
61 Posted 28/05/2015 at 13:13:41
You canÂt sell what you donÂt own.
62 Posted 28/05/2015 at 12:45:09
You donÂt have to write War and Peace to see BKÂs failings Â– it all comes back to the fact he isnÂt wealthy enough to take us forward. Why are you comparing us to Arsenal? They have about three billionaires on the board already, season tickets start from ٟ,000-1,200 per year, and the working class fan has been driven away; kids tickets are 䀋 at EFC!!
Why donÂt you mention in your notes all the failed takeovers, liquidation and relegations to all those lucky fans whose teams have had those takeovers??? Why? I will tell you why: Because the majority fail... yes, fail.
Chris, wake up and smell the coffee. Only the current top 4 have bettered themselves under new ownership; Spurs has potential but in reality they havenÂt done much more than us.
Kings Dock was his biggest mistake but, as I said above, he never had the funds; he needed support and Gregg offered him that at a massive price that would have seen most, if not all of the arena non-footy revenue going to SFX. Now, in hindsight, we should have taken that deal... but, at the time, he thought Gregg was holding us to ransom, so he wouldnÂt play ball; that was a mistake, I agree.
Why do you not mention the Grantchester family that could have at any point bridged the gap between BKÂs lack of wealth and the club moving forward? But no, nothing. A 㿊 million guarantee for Kings Dock could have been agreed in days by the Grantchester family.
As, like the BU, you are making the massive mistake of assuming Bill Kenwright is the problem, let me tell you he is only part of the problem. Go and study how much matchday revenue we make and how much we could potentially make based on the demographic of our fanbase, then look at the capital expenditure needed to deliver such a project and your answers will tell you all day long that we sadly arenÂt a viable purchase.
We need somebody that will write off that investment, either over a very long time, or hold it against the club as a secured loan... but Financial Fair Play will then hurt us.
We havenÂt even mentioned the playerÂs wages in the modern game...
Getting rid of Kenwright doesnÂt change our problems, in fact the percentage of failures will tell you its more likely to get worse than better. Nothing wrong at all with wanting change Â– it is definitely needed at present Â– but just highlighting his alleged weaknesses achieves nothing whatsoever.
Be constructive and look at the bigger picture: we canÂt change the past but we can influence the future and thatÂs where we should be focusing.
63 Posted 28/05/2015 at 13:33:56
Most of the conjecture on ToffeeWeb as a whole, is down to us not really knowing very much about what goes on at Everton.
From the money side, to the coaching,from the fitness issues, to the transfer policy.
It is the same at most English clubs.
In Germany, I believe it is different, and some shares lie with the fans, but someone else will know more about this than me.
At the end of the day, Everton is a business. To run a business, you put some money up at the start and if it is viable, it pays itÂs own way.
With all of this tv money, we should not need extra investment.
If we do, then we are paying everyone too much.
Our heroes, the players, managers and their agents are the ones bleeding the club dry.
64 Posted 28/05/2015 at 13:58:06
65 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:06:55
Kenwright made his money from being a theatre producer which is not the same as being a businessman at all. The business side of EFC has been a complete shambles under Kenwright. He has sold all the assets off and even mortgaged the stadium, for which we now pay rent to the Prudential. At the same time we are tens of millions in debt.
66 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:09:49
I suggest you check the facts before proclaiming Saint Bill as a saviour from PJ.
At the time of buying Johnson out for 㿀 million, BillÂs house was only worth ٟ million and there is no evidence that it was remortgaged.
Everton were consistently profitable and had a net asset value under Johnson whereas, in the first year of Kenwright's reign, the accounts mysteriously show a 㿀+ million shift. Ring any bells there?
And from that day forward, with the exception of one or two years, we have consistently sold assets, become debt ridden and made a loss. All that at a time when the Premier League was awash with "new" income.
I might also add that Johnson was the last director to invest any of his own money into the club, being responsible for the new Park End stand and the last trophy won by the club.
True Blue, my arse.
67 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:30:58
You cant seriously be suggesting that being a Producer has nothing to do with understanding how a business would and should run.
"He has sold all the assets off and even mortgaged the stadium"
Has he? I understand that he could only drive through change like that if he owned 51% of the club; which he does not.
HeÂs a figurehead; face of the club if you will but heÂs not the chief decision maker.
68 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:29:58
69 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:37:48
70 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:45:06
71 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:54:12
72 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:45:13
With the cash cow that is the Sky revenue; they stand to make a sizeable return on investment without having to put any more dollars in that they did all those years ago.
Seems a slam dunk to me. Watch my investment rise whilst I sit back and do nothing and let the face of the club take all the shit.
73 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:54:35
That includes agents, players, managers, owners, money and fucking dodgy off-shore accounts. IÂm sure I will enjoy the whole experience a lot more, rather than getting excited because Bill has said for the 93rd time there are Âinterested parties.Â
Try it, it feels liberating.
74 Posted 28/05/2015 at 14:32:36
I think not only do we face a chairman & board who wonÂt engage with the supporters, are secretive/clandestine about investment & selling the club, but (certainly BK) have the support of the media.
How many times have we heard pundits on National TV questioning or criticising anyone who publicly criticises the way the club is run? Until the press openly come out & start questioning the manner in which the club is run, we will face an even harder battle to get the club truly moving forward, because too many fans in my opinion are happy with the status quo at the club.
And while their opinion isnÂt being challenged by media articles, they will continue to back the mediaÂs presentation of BK & the board as running the club well, with a true fan at the helm, who only has the best interests of the club at the forefront of the manner in which he runs the club.
75 Posted 28/05/2015 at 15:09:27
One of the "combination" of decision-makers you mention does not officially hold any Everton shares. Are you suggesting Bill has entered an under-the-counter deal with Sir Phillip Green?
76 Posted 28/05/2015 at 15:05:30
77 Posted 28/05/2015 at 15:10:45
WeÂre not mainstream news and wouldnÂt get the same coverage that Liverppol got with Hicks and Gillette and so for now (or at least until we can break that glass ceiling) weÂll continue to be patronised about how lucky we are to be governed by a true supporter (which is not true).
78 Posted 28/05/2015 at 15:31:19
It might only be a start, but hopefully this leads to supporters getting the answers from Messrs Kenwright and Earl that allow them to either put their concerns to bed or allow people to form their own opinion with all the facts to hand. If the truth and facts can support Mr Kenwright, then why doesnÂt he break his silence and share them with everyone?
79 Posted 28/05/2015 at 17:05:54
YouÂd be naive to think the Green doesnÂt have an interest in Everton. He brokered the initial Kenwright deal and was instrumental in Earl's purchase using a Virgin Islands SPV.
He didnÂt do that because as some would have us believe that he is a good pal of BK.
DidnÂt Wyness say that it was actually Green that sacked him and not BK. Also heÂs rumored to be involved in transfer negotiations at the club.
Of course none of this can be proven but the best trick the devil ever played was making us believe he doesnÂt exist.
80 Posted 28/05/2015 at 17:07:12
Yes, his share value has increased but good luck to him on that because they could easily have gone like Gilette and Hicks did too so you pay the money and takes your chance. Go to Finch Farm and look at the playersÂ cars: Tony Hibbert driving a 𧵄k Porsche, Mirallas in a gold Bentley, and you wonder why a team with very little match day revenue streams has to sweat its assets to keep theses people happy.
Just sit back and take out the emotion and look and what we pay out and what we earn. ItÂs clear as day, there is no 㿀 million hole in the accounts they were just consolidated. BK owns just 26% he, canÂt leverage his share purchase money back on the club. There is no way other board members or shareholders would allow it, its pure fantasy. The club doesnÂt even pay a dividend to my knowledge.
BK canÂt take us forward, thatÂs certain, but stop trying to manipulate every issue as BKÂs fault. Football has changed big time, sadly we have been left behind as a top 6 outfit but so have many other teams. Until we find a wealthy backer, the status quo is what it is. He has made many mistakes but the biggest is his lack of wealth. He is out of his depth and he openly admits this.
81 Posted 28/05/2015 at 17:53:18
82 Posted 28/05/2015 at 18:04:29
"I didn't say I knew where we would be with "Hamperman""
Except you did. ItÂs right there in black and white at post #52:
"Bill Kenwright saved this club from the dreadful Peter Johnson. We would most likely be in League One by now if he had not taken the reins."
83 Posted 28/05/2015 at 17:50:53
I understand what has happened with Agents and Players costs but that has no bearing whatsoever on the immediate cashflow out of the club when BK took over.
Even an eminent accountant at the time analysed the accounts and said the 㿀+million hole looked like a leveraged buyout and that article was published here on ToffeeWeb. BK is a law unto himself as evidenced when he cancelled the shareholders annual general meeting because he didn't want to answer awkward questions about the finances.
Why was Dunford suddenly let go and we bring Wyness in on four times his salary? Then when Wyness goes there is a mad dash in Phil Green's yacht to gag him before he could talk to the media. Why did Trevor Birch resign after a matter of weeks as CEO?
It is symptomatic of BKÂs reign that the accounts are all smoke and mirrors.
I also remember when he was asked how other operating costs had gone from ٟ million to over 㿀 million since he took over his response was "what do I know about accounts I am only the Chairman".
Why did we sell our training ground and mortgage GP and then lease Finch Farm at an exorbitant amount of money?
Why are we continuously paying 9% interest to an office in the BVI that conveniently one of our directors operates out of?
I think you are being extremely naÃ¯ve to believe Bill when he states the directors take nothing out of the club.
I know you like to deal in commonsense and hard fact but there are too many who have rumbled Bill for him to be considered truthful and honest. The evidence is there for all who are not blind to see.
84 Posted 28/05/2015 at 18:16:49
"This article misses the main point: Bill Kenwright saved this club from the dreadful Peter Johnson. We would most likely be in League One by now if he had not taken the reins. Bill is a blue, and preferable to any Sheik or Oligarch."
Do you have any proof whatsoever of this claim?
85 Posted 28/05/2015 at 15:33:18
Question I have is: How long does one get to rest on his or her laurels for "saving" a club, if true, before legitimate questions as to the future must be addressed?
Everton are in debt and not from a new stadium, or developing an academy grounds, but from the limitations of the current ownership. Posters are correct that a moneybags owner is not the only answer.
The other answer, a coherent and aggressive youth and player development system to identify players, sign them, loan them, and sell them, to fund your own senior squad players (Chelsea model) coupled with a brand development campaign and strategy is another. I do not see Everton doing either.
It does seem that BKÂs statements, even if cherry-picked" are contrary to his actions. Treading water waiting for a buyer in order to make a profit (no objection to someone making a profit) while the attractiveness, and therefore, the value, of the product decreases seems not likely to occur. Meanwhile the club by not moving forward actually is moving backwards in relation to the other clubs.
86 Posted 28/05/2015 at 18:25:55
ItÂs unbelievable; itÂs like Stockholm Syndrome Â– the captives love their captor!!
To those of you ranting about Peter Johnson being ousted by hero Bill Kenwright. What YOU are failing to see is Bill Kenwright SAT on PJÂs board for THREE YEARS before taking over!!
I canÂt bring myself to speak to Kenwright supporters anymore. For years they have called me a kopite and told me to go and support the RS. They are faced with facts and still choose not to believe. And they call me a Kopite!!
Only Kopites want him to stay, they love him. They think heÂs doing a great job, just like Hicks & Gillette were loved by Blues!!!!
87 Posted 28/05/2015 at 18:51:04
88 Posted 28/05/2015 at 19:06:09
Personally, IÂm happy to accept that the item really refers to the ever-increasing cost of grass mowers, line machinery and WHITEWASH!
89 Posted 28/05/2015 at 19:37:31
IÂve had no time for him in a long time and I have always referred to him as the Dear Leader ever since THAT game v Villa: with a chance he was finally being called to account by concerned activists, he played to the Big Screens at Goodison and got his round of applause. An astonishing moment. Where are Blue Union now?
90 Posted 28/05/2015 at 19:56:35
But yes, "if" he remortgaged his house to buy Everton shares, then that money would have gone to the owner of those shares (Peter Johnson), not into the coffers of the club.
On the other hand, if True Blue Holdings indeed secured a leveraged buyout (as Jay Harris suggests above) with the cost of the shares being borne by the club through a strangely coincidental 㿀M hike in "other operating costs", then the opposite would ironically be true: money would have been taken out of the club coffers to secure the dawn of the Kenwright era that we now live in.
91 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:27:01
92 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:18:04
The second scenario in your post is accurate.
93 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:30:36
He wont even address the shareholders questions.
94 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:37:40
BillÂs answer along with the Fortress Sports Fund cheque will arrive in the post tomorrow!!!!
95 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:36:02
It would always amuse me, back in the day when we had Q&A sessions at the annual AGMs, how people would thrill with unbridled anticipation at the chance to Âget answers from the ChairmanÂ and build the thing up to some ridiculous reveal that was going to solve all our problems and bring about World Peace.
What the BU did in their interview was far more revealing... and plenty felt it gave them new insight as to who exactly was leading our club. But look at how many of the fanbase rejected what that revealed about the man.
TÂwas ever thus, as dear old Colm Kavanagh used to say...
96 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:41:23
On here he can hide behind a keyboard but give us a straight answer. HeÂd have no time for Boys Pen anecdotes, crocodile tears or any other histrionics. He could just shoot straight from the hip like his idol, the MilkyWay Kid.
97 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:32:37
I would be happy to volunteer to record the whole thing on a mobile phone secreted about my person, although it couldnÂt be my own mobile.
The truth is I havenÂt really moved with the times re mobiles.
DonÂt get me wrong, the model I use (The Whitworth & Arkwright Marvel Steam-Talker) does the basics, but itÂs far too big to be successfully..um..secreted.
Specially (does sort of down and behind eye-roll) there.
98 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:58:47
99 Posted 28/05/2015 at 21:18:26
ThatÂs about his level and cooking (the books).
100 Posted 28/05/2015 at 20:59:56
26 years later, since the Premier League was created, we havenÂt got a pot to piss in and only won one trophy, the FA Cup in 1995. WhoÂs to blame, not us fans who still turn up home and away our thousands every week, not the players, they still seem to Âget itÂ not the Manager, despite what we might think of Martinez.
So who does that leave? The Tea Lady at Goodison? The fella who cleans the bogs at Finch Farm? No, the people to blame for our fall from being Mersey Millionaires in the 1960s to 50 years later being not being able to rub two pennies together is the Board of Directors and Kenwright as Chairman especially.
There is more money in the game now than ever with the TV Deals, there was a quote earlier on this season that by the time the season finished, Burnley would be richer than Ajax!
So whereÂs EvertonÂs money going? Martinez has already hinted that we wont be signing another 㿈 million pound player this summer, we donÂt pay stupid wages, nor have a ground that is costing us a fortune, so WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY GOING?
101 Posted 28/05/2015 at 21:28:56
102 Posted 28/05/2015 at 21:30:21
103 Posted 28/05/2015 at 21:49:48
See ColinÂs excellent post #100.
104 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:41:15
105 Posted 28/05/2015 at 22:45:56
ItÂs not rocket science.
The club has sizeable debts and is paying extortionate interest rates to a clandestine entity year on year. Its business model is only sustainable by player sales year on year. Does BK own this entity; nope.
Happy; no. Me neither.
106 Posted 29/05/2015 at 00:29:21
That means what it says. It is not a certainty, it is a probability Â– in my opinion.
107 Posted 29/05/2015 at 02:24:00
For those of you who are wondering, apparently BK and Green have had a falling out leading to the latter trying to force a sale to a consortium led by the owners of the Spanish retail giant, Zara. Facilitator/broker for the deal is ..... Toshack!
Eee, I love a good rumour, me!
108 Posted 29/05/2015 at 05:25:23
What the heck is Bill, "True Blue" "BoysÂ Pen" Kenwright doing?
109 Posted 29/05/2015 at 09:10:28
When the chickens come home to roost (and they will), we will all have to take a good look at ourselves and our Evertonian behavior. The funny thing is it hasnÂt always been this way. I remember Johnson Â– now that ousting of a chairman was Evertonian style to me. Come on, boys Â– let's find our balls we once had.
110 Posted 29/05/2015 at 08:41:02
Leveraged buyouts are common place in all businesses. Philip Green did the same when he bought Arcadia but the accounts stated this when published, EFC's don't and the question is why?
Jay (#83), I agree mistakes have been made and most are because we have very poor cash flow: we take short term loans over short periods to keep cash flow in the company; we sold off Finch Farm to a deal which makes Gordon Brown PFI fiasco look like good business; we took ١ million cash per year off Kitbag to cover interest payments Â– all classic mistakes made by businesses that have a very poor EBITA, No cash in the bank. We live hand-to-mouth so we always need a step up which leaves us completely vulnerable and that's why most of the mistakes have been made.
If Kenwright or True Blue Holdings leveraged the buyout then we should be able to see this via company house or at least via the auditors report, like we do with every other company that does this practise. We have no hard evidence at all. I find that strange and it makes me feel they haven't done it because we/other shareholders would know.
111 Posted 29/05/2015 at 09:44:16
112 Posted 29/05/2015 at 10:16:22
117 Posted 29/05/2015 at 14:18:37
All the crap about "we have no money" and "doing the best we can" and "it's not fair... blah blah blah" is absolute bollocks. Where would Bournemouth be now if their board and manager believed that??
You need a vision and strategy with the ambition and balls to make it happen. Sadly we have none of the above under this regime. We must have change soon or accept our fate.
118 Posted 29/05/2015 at 15:27:15
If all auditors did the job they are supposed to do with the utmost ethics and diligence we would not have seen some of the financial disasters to hit the economy at various times especially involving football clubs.
As you know, auditors get directors to sign to declare that they have provided the information on which the accounts are based.
We all know Bill has a penchant for the odd fib??
Ask yourself why Michael Dunford was ousted after being such a loyal servant to EFC and Wyness was brought in at 4 times his salary?
Why did Earl and Green find it necessary to hunt down Wyness and pay to gag him?
Why did Trevor Birch resign after only a few weeks in the job?
Why appoint a glorified accountant (with no previous Chief Executive experience) to the CEO position of one of the top Premier League clubs?
Why does Bill surround himself with yes men?
When you look at these questions and ask yourself why it wasnÂt this way under previous Chairmen, you will get why John Moores must be turning in his grave.
119 Posted 29/05/2015 at 15:59:45
120 Posted 29/05/2015 at 16:06:07
and even TerryÂs Tesco had to admit to deceitful accounts.
121 Posted 29/05/2015 at 16:08:52
Our fanbase is as loyal as it comes, the board should recognise that and start treating us with a bit more respect. Stop taking the piss with the price of food and drink inside the ground, why outsource it in the first place?
The main concern at the club should be the Bullens Road. It needs to be pulled down, how do we get a safety certificate for it?
We need to build the top tier on the Park End then demolish the hazard that is the Bullens Road and rebuild to 21st Century standards. Easier said than done, I know but the wages that we have paid out to Alcaraz, Kone, McGeady, Hibbert over the previous couple of season would have covered it.
122 Posted 29/05/2015 at 16:58:17
This is enough for enough people to maintain the status quo. Stop going to the game and buying the shirts and this changes quickly.
Hurts more to the generation of fans who recall Everton in their pomp and canÂt equate "good enough" with "nothing but the best." The crime here is the time. HeÂs put so much distance between current performance and previous glory that the modern Evertonian accepts less.
IÂve no solution Â– same as Bill.
123 Posted 29/05/2015 at 17:11:00
124 Posted 29/05/2015 at 17:15:14
125 Posted 29/05/2015 at 17:18:30
We do not need Billionaires to become a competitive club again we need competent people running the club with a vision and a plan how to get there.
126 Posted 29/05/2015 at 17:43:16
If BK and his backers were explicit that they will sell the club AND named their price, then we might all despise their greed but at least respect their commercial nous. What makes fans sick,is that they masquerade their intent by claiming they are acting in the best interests of the club and securing its future.
They are simply going to wait out for an investor who buys them out at their price, clears our debts and finances a new stadium. Strangely, no investors have materialised to add that load of debt to their balance sheet. As for a leveraged buy-out now, what would it leveraged against?
127 Posted 29/05/2015 at 18:26:27
If you have, why do you believe that Everton are in a safe pair of hands with Bill Kenwright?.
128 Posted 29/05/2015 at 18:11:06
Over here in the States it smells. Someone is doing a great deal hiding the profits imo. If the club wasnÂt a cash cow for the board, why did they rebuff the Shiekh?
129 Posted 29/05/2015 at 19:37:41
IÂm utterly sick with the tired old line ÂheÂs an EvertonianÂ pathetically being used in his defence.
So many fools confuse his support for the club with him being the right man to run it.
130 Posted 29/05/2015 at 22:21:50
131 Posted 29/05/2015 at 23:42:55
Peter Johnson, while not being the best chairman we ever had, and certainly not the most popular, was the last director to put his own money into the club, built the Park end stand and delivered the last trophy we ever won.
It is also a fact that he left us profitable and in a net asset position which Kenwright very quickly turned around to a regular loss and a net liability position having cashed in on all of our assets including future season ticket sales which were also mortgaged.
So in fact it is Bill taking us to the brink rather than Johnson.
132 Posted 30/05/2015 at 06:09:37
Do we just idle by season after lousy season? Yes, we do!
We are served by this gang of gobshites because we do nothing, Or let me put it another way: We accept what is going on...
We need a collective force in the undoing of the Board that is draining the life out of you, me, Everton Football Club.
If we keep standing by and not acting in a useful, active manner, then the slow decline will continue...
133 Posted 30/05/2015 at 08:11:02
134 Posted 30/05/2015 at 07:58:07
The players, the board, even the Bullens Road stands are temporary. We are the disenfranchised, and like mushrooms, we are kept in the dark and fed shit. I keep on saying that we need proper fan ownership, at least in part, with transparency in the clubÂs affairs.
The Premier league is becoming more predictable, Financial Fair Play is a half-hearted attempt to placate us with the illusion that a more level playing field exists.
We have just seen FIFA re-elect Blatter, with the biggest scandal ever to hit football going on around him. The game we all love has moved away from itÂs working class roots, and is now the plaything of the super rich. The Premier League is serving the big four, and Uefa is serving the big 10. Money and greed dominate and only the odd chink of light pierces the gloom.
We need to be involved in our club. Everton in the Community should be more than a few well-meant initiatives for the under-privileged. We need shares in the club, and a voice on the board, perhaps a rights issue.
135 Posted 30/05/2015 at 09:16:03
136 Posted 30/05/2015 at 20:14:52
Eddie, us fans are here for good, but ItÂs such a Catch-22. Dammed if we go the game, dammed if we donÂt.
I personally think that I can only continue to watch Everton away from Goodison at present, until we get rid of the cherry picker!!!!!
137 Posted 31/05/2015 at 13:39:27
"And like mushrooms, we are kept in the dark and fed shit."
Kind of sums it up for me.
139 Posted 31/05/2015 at 14:17:36
LetÂs say, for instance, that they wanted to issue new shares to raise 㾻m. ThatÂs basically increasing the number of shares by around 10,700. ItÂs really difficult to see how we could hope to raise more than that given that essentially you are asking fans to buy the shares. Financial institutions rightly wouldnÂt be interested.
That therefore means that the underwriters would have to be the major shareholders. Therein lies the problem. TheyÂd have to spend their own money just to maintain their position in terms of %age ownership, with the added bind of potentially having to spend more to increase that %age if the take up amongst shareholders was low.
ThereÂs absolutely zero incentive for them to do that.
140 Posted 01/06/2015 at 09:03:30
Firstly, you can't compare Tesco and a major utilities company who turnover billions. Tesco was due to a property valuation issue; this year, they marked property down ٤ billion but still made ٟ.4 billion profit so they are massive. Auditors do snapshots of a company's accounts and for EFC to hide or leverage a debt of 㿀 million against it in a company that turned over I think just 㿨-70 million at the time and not be noticed or commented on is highly unlikely. I ask again, where has that debt gone? Man Utd is visible every year yet ours has allegedly disappeared.
Staff leave businesses all the time and, as part of their agreement, if they choose to go on a compromise agreement, they take a payoff in lieu of terms and conditions, which I suspect will include a gaging order this is pretty standard practise in all senior management roles. Having external senior people leaving like we did isn't great but after such a time again it's not uncommon to seek an internal person to fill that gap and the Financial Director is normally a smart choice, after all that's no different to how Terry Leahy progressed in Tesco.
Every issue at EFC can't be a conspiracy leading back to what you think has happened; it's not impossible for what your saying to be correct but I would say its highly unlikely considering the size of EFC Co Ltd. It isn't a big company with lots of transactions to hide things in.
Looking at how diverse and intelligent our fan base is, if you dug properly, it would come out and other than some speculation on websites, we have never seen any hard evidence at all to my knowledge to back this up.
Getting rid of Kenwright doesn't change our position as a club at all, unless we have somebody much wealthier who will cross-guarantee or give us the investment we all want so much. Shouting "Kenwiright Out" with nothing behind it will only damage us short term Â– no matter how many mistakes you think he has made in the past.
141 Posted 01/06/2015 at 14:55:01
142 Posted 01/06/2015 at 15:25:29
Point being we are in this mess not just because we had no money and made poor decisions as a result; go back one step, had no investment, borrowed badly, allowed a couple of hawks on the board who have all, in unison, contributed not a cent, nor brought in a solution or strategy for the future.
So I ask you (or them for that matter), why are they here? Bill may be an Evertonian living his dream, but why are the others there? Answers on the back of a postcard please...
After Peter Johnson left, the club spiralled financially and commercially and has never recovered. The fact that we are still existing is not due to a progressive, innovative financial or investment strategy that the board has arrived at, but the hike in value of Sky which shows no sign of abating.
The ONLY way this club will be sold is if it is relegated; until then, it's more likely that, one by one, the board members will relinquish their shares partly or complete. But that will not mean a change in ownership.
143 Posted 01/06/2015 at 20:13:41
IÂm not quite sure how to interpret this Mystic Meg vision: one by one, the board members will relinquish their shares partly or completely. But that will not mean a change in ownership.
When you say "relinquish their shares"... do you mean "give them away"? ThatÂs the only thing that makes any sense if the result is no change of ownership. Although IÂm struggling as to why in the world of high football finance they would do such a thing? These shares could be worth anything from ٟ,000 to ٤,000 each, depending on the perceived ÂvalueÂ of Everton Football Club.
But that canÂt be right either. If they give the shares away for nothing, the new shareholders become the ÂownersÂ provided they have enough of them.
As Groucho Marx might conclude: If the current owners no longer own the shares that give them ownership of the club, then they no longer own the club. Or will it be sufficient to just a have a "badge of ownership" in this new shareless future you foresee?
144 Posted 01/06/2015 at 23:20:20
So, for example, if the club is said to be worth 𧶀M, then it would take a minus investment of at least 𧴜M to gain control. This means at least 3 directors would have to sell to allow it to happen. In theory, of course, BK could still keep a significant shareholding whilst others sold off... At the moment, all the others are waiting for is a pay day.
145 Posted 02/06/2015 at 00:04:52
You need 𧴰-150M to get Everton. With a debt of at least 㿀-40M, a destroyed balance sheet & the stadium issue.
I'm sorry but it's time for Evertonians to kick off en masse. They either need to state a concrete plan to progress the club commercially, grow the club & solve the stadium issue, or reduce their price & allow new blood into the club.
If this goes on, in 10-15 years, we are out of the Premier League; doubtless we would be playing in the same ground & there'd be no way back.
It's that serious.
146 Posted 02/06/2015 at 06:19:50
When you consider that there are quite a few shares in private hands Â– the small shareholders that make up the membership of the ESA Â– it means those shares have been effectively neutralized as far as the future is concerned. So the effective stakeholding by Kenwright is increased, and I firmly believe that he (or Green acting as a shadow director behind him) will continue to operate it as a controlling bloc that maintains the status quo.
It canÂt go on forever, of course, but IÂm convinced thereÂs something going on that letÂs them siphon money out of the club, by hook, crock, or through criminally high interest rates and perhaps penalty payments on loans...
IÂm not sure what we can really do, Bobby, in terms of Âkicking off en masse" Â– even the small shareholders acting as a single bloc (it would never happen) could do nothing.
If the shares really are worth the numbers being touted, at some point, the major shareholders must find someone to sell the club on to, so they can realize their profit. But the mug who buys them will be bound by the ÂFair PlayÂ rules, and the need to do something about the stadium...
Meanwhile, another year passes, and things seem to stay the same, but in reality we are slipping further and further behind on many fronts. We need change... but thereÂs simply no sign of it.
147 Posted 02/06/2015 at 08:18:42
To answer your question, I would imagine you buy large lumps of shares to make money, EFC don't pay a dividend as far as I can see so, other than the emotional value then the value of the sell-on has to be your motive. This isn't a negative situation at all Â– it's just the reality of share ownership and generally if share values have increased the business value has too, which should be positive.
In my opinion, EFC's and Kenwright's failings all come back to the same reason: he is out of his depth and needs to go cap in hand to many people, therein is the problem. Again, unless we have another option in the wings, we have to put up with what we have.
So, based on that scenario, constructive dialogue with our custodians is the best way forward Â– not forcing them out, in my opinion. Forcing them out wouldn't suit the creditors, as much as we may not approve of where we have sourced the loans from.
The truth is, we need the short-term loans to boost cash flow unless we decide not to invest in the club (players) or sell off some players to fund this gap, which is a tricky gamble depending on how far you cut your operating costs. I'm afraid it's more complicated than "Kenwright Out" Â– Â he isn't the main problem, he is just part of the problem.
148 Posted 02/06/2015 at 10:39:07
Mr Kenwright is never going to convince the whole of the fan base that he is the right man to be responsible for taking the club forward. However, this is potentially another watershed moment for him. If he wants to nip in the bud this developing surge of discontent, he should publicly address the concerns of the growing masses with openness and honesty (if he can). His continued vow of silence, after a large number of quotes that have been contradictory and duplicitous, implies that there is something for him to hide.
The national media should be made clearly aware that the opposition of the board is not just from a radical and insignificant minority. There is a general distrust developing at how the local media seemingly refuse to report on the club's failings, and why the board are not being taken to task over the plethora of unfulfilled promises they have made publicly. However, until the acknowledgment of the desire for change comes from a respectable and credible source, the likes of Andy Dunn and Martin Samuel will be able to keep deriding the truth in order to stay at Mr KenwrightÂs top table.
149 Posted 02/06/2015 at 11:29:56
Even if Goodison was half-empty, it wouldnÂt change much because the TV money dwarfs the gate receipts, but it seems that the majority are happy to renew their season tickets.
What I would advocate if no progress is made by February / March 2016, is that fans give the early bird deadline a miss and they hold onto their money to see what sort of reaction it gets from the board. It will cost the individual fans a few bob extra but what price we keep treading the same path for another five years?
150 Posted 02/06/2015 at 20:58:35
Paying above commercial costs on loans to a third party with other directors interests is difficult to hide in the UK, hence offshore loans... at every step there will be "legitimate" fees charged by Directors assisting the club with advice, projects, acting as a guarantor etc..
Money makes money. Those with money never use their own to fund anything without a ring-fenced watertight, risk free guaranteed return plus. They offer a third-party solution and take a cut... ThatÂs how they make the money out the back door.
Alan, as it stands you are correct but thatÂs the current status quo. Imagine when the stadium was built a follow-up to which (could/should) have been to list the company on the stock exchange. Then the current rules go out the window, dividends paid, the clubs price is inflated, the directors sell off shares for listed value.
ThatÂs how the future will be played out once a stadium, no matter who builds it or funds it Â– the future would be not as a Limited Company.
151 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:18:39
152 Posted 12/06/2015 at 08:34:10
For the sake of clarity, it should be noted that directors are appointed by the shareholders of the company to run the day-to-day affairs and manage the company on the shareholders' behalf. Whilst in very small private companies it is common for the shareholders and directors to be the same people, that is not true in most larger companies.
I have recently (at a cost of ٟ) downloaded the last annual return submitted on behalf of "The Everton Football Club Limited" to learn that there are only four directors of that company; one of whom (Sir Philip Carter) died in April 2015. I am unsure if he has, as yet, been replaced.
There are 35,000 shares issued in the company. Unfortunately, the details of the shareholders are held on CDs and as I am currently living in Dubai I cannot get access to the information via that source.
My point in making these comments is that any actions taken by Bill Kenwright in relation to his directorship of the company has no direct correlation to the size of any shareholding he has in the club.
Having reviewed the annual return made to companies house, I would say that greater concern to the supporters of Everton FC should be the fact that, of the three remaining directors still on the board, the youngest is 64 years old. Where, in the management of the club, is the new blood going to come from?
We clearly need a leadership that is young, vigourous and inclined to be in touch with modern methods of business, communication and marketing, not to mention footballing ethos.
Of course, the Companies Act recognises the possibility of people operating in the capacity of directors behind the scenes (called shadow directors in the Act), who are not actually officially appointed as directors. It may be the case that this is happening at our club, but I for one, am not aware of it.
To summarise, what has happened has passed and there is little we can do about it. The future however is a different matter and it concerns me that the three people at the helm of the club going forward are either already collecting their old-age pensions or the last to know is due to do so next year.
153 Posted 12/06/2015 at 14:41:46
I like your quaint idea of the shareholders appointing the directors Â– makes it sound like Bill and his mates were actually chosen by the hoi polloi like me who own the odd share in 35,000. Sadly, not so.
It was BillÂs own shareholding (among other things) that got the then members of the board to appoint him back in 1989. Yes, there was a formality at the AGMs where the shareholders would confirm board appointments of directors by voting their shares but, given the large majority of shares always held collectively by the other members of the Board, their bloc vote has always held sway over the paltry efforts of the ÂsmallÂ shareholders.
You say that that directors are appointed to run the day-to-day affairs and manage the company on the shareholdersÂ behalf. Unfortunately, thatÂs a bit of an oversimplification. The Board sets the direction for the company and seeks to protect their larger investment in shares, but does not usually get much involved with the day-to-day management Â– expect where individuals from the management team are also Board members (Robert Elstone as CEO is the case in point).
And itÂs your main point I have to disagree with: "Any actions taken by Bill Kenwright in relation to his directorship of the company have no direct correlation to the size of any shareholding he has in the club." I think the opposite is true: all his actions as a director (and as Chairman, donÂt forget) have a direct correlation with the size of his shareholding in the club Â– as it is this, along with the large shareholding of his fellow directors who support him, that gives him the mandate to rule the club in effect as a sole dictatorship.
I agree with you about the age of the directors, but that I believe makes them more inclined to let Bill lead the way (see above).
Now the thornier question of shadow directors. Many who observe the Everton Board and its doings have concluded that the involvement of Sir Philip Green is tantamount to that of a shadow director. Difficult to prove if you are not inclined to believe it, but the indications do seem too strong to ignore.
Yes, the past is indeed behind us... but we ignore it going forward at our peril. Only by understanding the past, and specifically the actions of the large shareholders who make up the Board of Everton Football Club Co Ltd can we gain any insight their thinking in terms of setting a future path for the club.
My pet hate is quotations but I think this one is all too apt in summing up the scepticism of EFC Board watchers that perhaps prompted your explanations, Hugh: "A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future." Â– Sidney J Harris.
154 Posted 12/06/2015 at 16:07:44
I am more concerned with the poor performance of the directors rather than their age.
Michael is totally correct that Bill seems to act more like a dictator than a collective board member and we donÂt see any clear vision or strategy from the board apart from BillÂs oft stated 24/7 mission which to say the least is unproductive.
We have no clear plan to get CL or win a trophy apart from Bill telling us the new manager promised it.
We have not reinvested in GP nor planned for a new ground unless itÂs free.
We have no clear transfer policy and apparently no clear squad building plans.
We have sold off or mortgaged all of our assets.
We stumble along with amateur commercial deals and no vision.
OMG... I am thoroughly depressing myself. How it hurts to be an Evertonian under Coronation StreetÂs finest.
155 Posted 13/06/2015 at 09:15:48
I agree with all that each of you has said and am not suggesting that we ignore the lessons of the past. The main point I was trying to make (but seemed to have failed), was, how can we expect the future to be different if the guy(s) steering the ship remain the ageing bunch currently in charge?
As we get older, most people inevitably become set in their ways and resistant to change and the three current directors are cases in point.
The point I was trying to make was, where are "tomorrowÂs men", at board level for Everton? Because, until some younger blood is appointed, I canÂt see anything changing until, the present incumbents die due to old age. Nowadays, that could conceivably be at least another 20 years.
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