Kenwright ushers in the winds of change

As with any new chapter in the club’s history, Farhad Moshiri's investment in Everton is a step into the unknown that requires faith and patience but it could mark a turning point at the club in all the right ways.

Lyndon Lloyd 28/02/2016 111comments  |  Jump to last
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It may have taken many more years than Evertonians might have hoped but Bill Kenwright has finally delivered on his promise of attracting investment to Everton Football Club.

Its a key word because while there has been talk and speculation of billionaire buyers and takeovers by foreign consortia, the Chairman has, in the main, talked of finding an investor to help push the club forward. Its a vital distinction and it might go part of the way to explain why, as clubs up and down the Premier and Football Leagues have changed hands during Kenwrights 16-year stewardship at Goodison Park, it has taken this long to achieve.

Of course, there must surely have been more than an element not only of selectivity but also reluctance on Bills part, a reflection of his desire to remain at the helm to steer his Blues to the brighter future we all want or to ensure that the club remains in the right hands should he sell up, that served to prolong the search. And as uncertainty has grown around Kenwright's recent health problems and their potential severity, fears have built in tandem among many Blues that he might be forced into a rushed sale not necessarily to the first bidder to come in with the requisite cash but perhaps to a party less ideal than might have been the case a few years ago.

Quite where the Moores-Noell consortium fell along that spectrum we might never know but the hesitation shown by Swansea Citys supporters trust when it came to their proposed investment in their club last year, coupled with a general unease about the track record of US venture capital vehicles in Premier League football in general, meant that was plenty of apprehension around what it would mean for Everton were their proposed bid to go through.

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Ultimately, whether it was due to their insistence that they rather than Kenwright called the shots or some other more finance-related reason, the Americans' negotiations did not end with a successful takeover at Goodison. Instead, Iranian-born billionaire Farhad Moshiri has acquired a 49.9% stake in Everton, one that makes him by far the clubs largest shareholder and the overriding vote in the boardroom but stops short of giving him complete control.

By negotiating those terms, bringing in a new shareholder with the promise of further investment, and keeping himself at the wheel in terms of remaining Chairman, Bill gets to have his cake and eat it too. He also safeguards the club, at least in the extreme case, from the whims of a single shareholder and retains Evertonian influence as the nominal face and head of the club.

There will be plenty of fans who are sceptical over Bills continuing chairmanship, his stock with them having fallen precipitously over the course of his rein at Everton not least because of incidents like the failure of the Kings Dock, the Fortress Sports Fund charade, the Destination Kirkby controversy, the paucity of Robert Earls presence in the boardroom, and the opaque nature of Sir Philip Greens involvement with the clubs affairs. The new structure at the club is a win-win in many ways, however, particularly for those who retained their faith and support in the Chairman throughout. The importance of keeping a Blue with a hand on the tiller shouldnot be underestimated, not least because the owner of that hand was responsible for almost all of the transfer negotiations that helped assemble the promising team we watch week in, week out. It certainly beats the flying leap into the unknown that would be a wholesale takeover by a foreign buyer or buyers with no attachment or affinity to the club at all.

Moshiris arrival doesnt herald an overnight transformation of Evertons prospects in the way that, say, Sheikh Mansours billions did at Manchester City; indeed, there's small chance of him bankrolling a spending spree on players and its unlikely there will be any radical change in the short term. Given the relative financial stability afforded by the current broadcast revenues, there isnt any pressing need in that regard.

What it does offer, however, is what many have been calling for and what the club desperately needed fresh blood, the promise of fresh investment into the clubs playing staff and (crucially where the stadium issue is concerned) infrastructure, plus the addition of experience in business and investment to a boardoom that had become sparsely populated and stale. All without Everton FC becoming the plaything of a foreign oligarch.

Furthermore, Moshiri brings precious knowledge of the inner workings of the Premier League from an association with one of Englands most stable and well-run football clubs. While he may have only owned 15% of the Gunners personally, with his longtime associate and partner Alisher Usmanov he owned almost a third of that club with an apparent desire to increase that stake to eventually acquire overall control at the Emirates, something that majority owner Stan Kroenke has remained steadfast in resisting.

While frustrated by Kroenkes desire to remain in control of Arsenal and deny the pair a seat in the boardroom, Usmanov and Moshiri have refused to rock the boat or take any action that might damage the club.As an open letter to the Arsenal board of directors from 2012 published on the BBC website and co-signed by the pair illustrates, however, they had a keen understanding of the issues facing the club and were very much aware of the concerns being voiced by supporters, particularly on social media and Internet forums. Their call for the Gunners board to address fundamental issues likethe financial model, the lack of investment and the Club's future strategic direction and their vision for a debt-free club should strike a deep cord with Evertonians.

That kind of focused ambition tempered by a measured approach are qualities that should sit well with Blues fans apprehensive about Moshiris assumption of the mantle of largest shareholder at Goodison. Unable to achieve his goals in football at Arsenal, he has found a new avenue with our club amid a new ownership structure that allows him to get his feet under the table and lay of the land without having total control. Everton could well be the beneficiary of Moshiri's pent-up energy.

There is plenty we dont know for sure certain yet, of course. For instance, how much did Moshiri pay for his 49.9% holding in Everton? Was it as little as 30m, as was suggested yesterday, in order to give him the bandwidth to plough investment straight into the stadium issue or was it closer to 85m which would value the club at around 175m? Whose shares did he buy and how many do the remaining directors hold?Has that long wait for Bill to make good on the pledge he made all those years ago been worth the drawn-out saga?

Those are answers that will be forthcoming in due course but while these winds of change won't sweep the boardroom clean in the manner that some would have been hoping for, the feeling is that there is much to be optimistic about given the sound impression one gets about Moshiri from his past dealings and those who know him personally. As with any new chapter in the clubs history, its a step into the unknown that requires faith and patience but it could mark a turning point at Everton in all the right ways.

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Reader Comments (111)

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Alex Doyle
1 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:18:43
Congratulations to all at the club. Looks, on the surface, an excellent piece of business that will bring investment and retain control over the direction in equal measure.
Brent Stephens
2 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:24:57
Nice piece, Lyndon. "There is plenty we don't know for sure certain yet, of course."

Yes, the actual facts about what has happened so far are thin on the ground. And there seems to be much speculation as to what has happened and what will now happen, short/ medium term and long term.
Brian Sephton
3 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:34:02
I totally agree with Alex and I am really happy with the deal on the surface. That is not to say I have a fear of an undercurrent of deceit far from it, I just don't know enough to comment further.

I think Bill has really come up with the goods and we should be grateful having a true blue at the helm and Roberto as manager.

No-one or nothing is perfect but this seems close to the ideal given all our wishes

My only worry is where to improve the team! Given a little more luck this team of players could set the place alight

Onwards and upwards, Blues.
Eric Holland
4 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:40:11
An excellent piece again, Lyndon.

We can only sit back and wait for the fireworks or more likely watch the flowers sprout and bloom.

IMWT (That’s Moshiri now, you understand!)

Thomas Lennon
5 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:49:16
In the cold light of day, this looks like as close to a perfect evolutionary step, albeit a major step. I would guess that our American shareholder has taken his profit and it seems reasonable that our Evertonian shareholders have sold at cost or thereabouts to bring the money man in.

Conspiracy theorists may well point to Russian money behind this with a Putin - Usmanov - Abramovic axis building to resist the US funded teams in the Premier League. We can only hope we receive some of that cash flow.

Regardless if we can now clearly move structural plans on independent to squad plans it will ensure our Premier League future for the next generation.

nb: If, as has been suggested, Kenwright & Woods have taken little out during this transfer of control, then we owe them both a huge debt of thanks. How many of us would turn down tens of millions for far less – though still a fortune? We await confirmation.

Eric Holland
6 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:58:07
After reading the letter to the Arsenal board, I wonder if Alisher Usmanov has become tired of waiting to get overall control at the Gunners?

Could this be his first move in taking overall control at Everton? It’s obvious that they like to work together as partners and have a proven long-term relationship as friends.

Thomas Lennon
7 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:59:14
On our team, it needs:

a. Keeping together; and
b. Strength in depth.

The wage bill needs to expand over the next few years – a few Russian sponsors with deep pockets should sort that out.

Darren Hind
8 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:02:16

Plenty to take in.

So much speculation and discussion. It's difficult to believe the deal was announced less than 24 hours ago.

Going forward; we will at least know who is calling the shots. That has to be a step in the right direction.

Eric Myles
9 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:02:30
"Farhad Moshiri has acquired a 49.9% stake in Everton, one that makes him by far the club's largest shareholder and the overriding vote in the boardroom but stops short of giving him complete control.

By negotiating those terms, bringing in a new shareholder with the promise of further investment, and keeping himself at the wheel in terms of remaining Chairman, Bill gets to have his cake and eat it too. He also safeguards the club, at least in the extreme case, from the whims of a single shareholder and retains Evertonian influence as the nominal face and head of the club."

I disagree there Lyndon, previously with 3 shareholders on the board each owning 27%, 25% and 23% (approximately) respectively then any 2 combined could out-vote the third (admittedly unlikely given the set up of our board).

Now though, there is 1 single board member with a majority of shares who can dictate what he wants and cannot be outvoted by the others combined.

Ste Wallace
10 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:23:34
This news is just what we have wished for, I can see us fulfilling the stadium, and Champions League dreams. Keeping Rom is now certainly a possibility.
John Hodgkins
11 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:46:47
It will certainly be very interesting to see the share make up when it is announced. It will certainly give, potentially, more sway to Lord Grantchester with his 8% holding as he could hold the balance of power in any board dispute, however unlikely.

My view is that Messrs Kenwright and Woods have pulled off a masterstroke of enormous proportions, brought in a first class investor with clout, whilst retaining an input into the future. Well done, Bill and Jon!

Eric Myles
12 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:50:53
John #11, Lord Grantchester is not on the board so he holds no balance of power.
Wayne McNee
14 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:52:14
I imagine. With my limited business knowledge. That Moshi has purchased his 49.9% under the actual value, on the condition he invests immediately at a good level. They have the promise of the TV billions as back up to his investment and he obviously sees the commercial mess that can be improved on – Chang, Kitbag etc.

I think there’s good times ahead but ultimately it's down to the boys on the pitch. Let’s add quality to the squad, send out the right messages, keep our stars, off-load the tired.

Peter Murray
15 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:58:30
Lyndon, thank you for a detailed, balanced analysis.

At last the situation is settled and in the type of deal that Kenwright has long advocated. Now let’s get on with the playing. A good start would be winning the FA Cup.
Jim Lloyd
16 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:02:57
A really good article, Lyndon. It was especial;ly interesting to see the open letter that he was co author of. I think all of this bodes well for our club. I think that Lord Grantchester will play a more active part in the club now, as he’s as good an Evertonian as anyone else.

All-in-all, I can’t help feeling good (at long last) about the future for Everton. I can see a plan of action being begun and it being carried out methodically and steadily. Not splashing cash like there’s no tomorrow but in a way that shows just what a great club we have always been.

Brin Williams
17 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:07:24
’LL ’Everton could well be the beneficiary of Moshiri’s pent-up energy.’

That’s the most telling thing ’energy’ – after all we have heard Colin G describe the players as ’lethargic’ – that has also been how I would have described the Board – ’lethargic’ but now we have new blood, a new broom and ’pent-up ENERGY’


Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:09:12
Brent Stephens. @ (2) sums it up best for me: none of us know enough about then ins and outs of this deal to either praise or criticise this deal, although ironically Brent goes on to praise Kenwright for the deal.
Mike McLoughlin
19 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:13:27
A really good and well thought-out read, Lyndon, given the lack of information given out. This can only be a good thing for Everton in a couple of ways.

Firstly, Robert Earl has gone as I saw him as someone who was just waiting for a payday and didn’t really offer anything to the club.

Secondly, Moshiri appears to have a grasp on everything financial and obviously has a desire to run a football club. There are a few theories about wondering is it a prelude to a bigger investor coming in if he doesn’t progress at Arsenal.

Alternatively, if Usmanov does gain control at Arsenal, where would that leave Moshiri in future dealings between the clubs?

I hope this is the start of a productive era for the club and I will watch developments with eager anticipation. Well done both, Bill and John, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Kevin Tully
20 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:34:46
The best thing about this deal, is the end of the Earl / Green axis of evil that was inextricably involved with he financial dealings of this club. For those who don’t know, Green & Earl sacked Wyness from their private yacht, Green gave Moyes the use of his private jet, and if you don’t believe these two were profiting from those off-shore loans then I’ve got a nice new bridge to sell you in the Runcorn area.

I would put money on this being a slow, 18-24 month transition to full ownership for Mr Moshiri. A sensible plan given our tangled financial / commercial approach that will need to be simplified by an injection of capital.

We don’t yet know the full breakdown of who has sold what, or what profit has been trousered, but maybe Kenwright & Woods could buy back the training facility they sold? If they want their egos massaged, they can name it after themselves. After all, they did sell Bellefield rather than inject their own money into the club. It’s only right & proper they should give something back. It was a club asset they flogged, which has now made them a fortune.

A great day, the club was screaming out for someone who can deliver on the potential this club has to get back to the very top. We have been ran like a corner shop competing with Tesco in this League. I believe the only reason Bill has finally given up total control is due to his health problems, but better late than never. Let’s hope someone else can take the strain and BK can concentrate on recuperation and getting back to good health.

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:38:04
Dave (#18) – I didn’t quite get the drift of your last line?
Phil Walling
22 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:44:01
Jim, why do you think Grantchester will be any more interested in Everton than he has been in the past? After all, he's literally had a lifetime 'to bring something to the table' and has never chosen to do so. He is more of an irrelevance today than he has ever been.

I wish the new shareholder nothing but well and hope that he will be able to refresh the fortunes of our great Club as well as those in Bill's pocket.

Iain Love
23 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:45:18
I hope that this will allay my fears that the club would not be able to hold onto our better players at the end of a disappointing season. We have to my mind our best squad in many years and the keeper situation and a suitable long-term replacement for Barry being our only pressing issues. Keeping this group together and two or three additions and we could mount a serious challenge to the upper echelons.

This will only happen if [a] We win something this season or [b] We get serious investment to appease our better players. This news certainly sounds like [b].

I wonder if long term I might be able to pick up an Everton shirt from any sports shop?

David Milner
24 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:53:20
A well written piece, Lyndon, & a good reply Kevin @20. None of us know the full ins & outs, hopefully we will find out in due course.

The £200 million banded around always seemed as paper talk. Anyone who has that kind of money does not part with it easily. Maybe we can do away with the British Virgin Islands funding, unless of course there is an early repayment clause hidden away somewhere.

No American buyers means we can do away with Tim Howard once & for all. No pressure on us keeping him for commercial reasons. Let's all start celebrating the new era. I for one will be down the pub having a skinful lunchtime before watching Shiteah stuff the RedShite.

Dean Peamum
25 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:05:31
Exciting news. Really hope this extra investment and financial clout can help this "best group of players in 20 years" push on to challenge and possibly overtake the Big 4 of West Ham, Southampton, Stoke and Watford.
Liam Reilly
26 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:09:41
Can only be good news if it gets the club shot of Green and Earl; two vultures.

As for Bill keeping his train set is just nonsense. It's a common sense approach from the new guy. You can't talk about understanding a rich heritage and the sack a true blue .

Dave Ganley
27 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:10:27
Well this is definitely a step in the right direction. I was hoping for a complete takeover and get rid of all the deadwood but this is definitely a positive move.

I am excited to see what transpires over the next 12 months. Although I don’t expect major changes, I do expect to see progression on and off the field. Hopefully Martinez will feel some pressure now to get results and hopefully we can start to feel optimistic that we will hear some good truthful news on the stadium issue rather than the pack of lies we have been drip fed over the last 10 years.

As I say, not the complete takeover that I hoped for but good news all the same.

Derek Thomas
28 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:14:16
Covers all the bases, Lyndon, well done. Time will tell, signs looking good, though early days yet. etc.

Strange times indeed; A poster over on RAWK is saying much the same (and more ) but from a slightly worried rs perspective, as in – Ay up, somebody might just be getting their shit together.

Alan Bodell
29 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:17:18
Phil, agree about the annoyance but you missed an in depth discussion about Moshiri when you switched off, as a Blue you should be used to being neglected by the media.

Loved the bit about the possibility of Moshiri releasing his ’pent up energy’ after being somewhat muzzled at the Arse.

Mark Tanton
30 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:17:53
So is Martinez on borrowed time if next season starts with the same mistakes and issues?
Paul Andrews
31 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:21:54
Dave Abrahams,

You are right. In out, in out... we don’t yet know what it’s all about.

Surely though, Dave, he will be an improvement?

John Jones
32 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:24:03
I have slept on it on. Woke up this morning Very Happy! (A Great Read, Lyndon.)

There are a couple of things that are key for me.

The Youth – we currently have maybe 5-6 players in our youth set up that will be knocking on the door first team in the next season or two, Dowell, and three central midfielders in Ledson, Walsh and Williams plus Connolly and Kenny. Kenwright has said that he loves seeing local lads in the first team as I think most Blues do. What would have happened if we had been bought by someone with no understanding of this?

He has a knowledge of funding and building a state-of-the-art stadium and not putting the club in financial jeopardy, A new ground for Everton is not going to cost anywhere like Arsenal's.

He has a great knowledge of Football and he Financial Brains. It has pissed off the British media, Sky Sports have said nothing really, Merson said it was "worrying"... Even Ray Parlour has called us a Sleeping Giant. A little bit of investment on the playing side and a new Stadium in conjunction with our Great Youth system. We could see a few noses getting pushed out of place.

Overall, having a true blue (for all his faults) in Kenwright and Fresh Footballing Knowledge at Director Level it is truly.....

Exciting Times.

Paul Andrews
33 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:25:10
Kevin @20

Don't hold your breath waiting for them to buy FF.
As you well know mate

Phil Walling
34 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:27:18
David @ 25; Like you, I can as yet find no mention on official press releases about Moshiri's investment amounting to £200M. Is this figure just speculation based on what he is believed to have realised from the sale of his Arsenal shares?

Perhaps Bill and Co just sold at Friday's price for Everton shares – god bless them – and are HOPING the new man will invest funds into the club itself?

Or, perhaps, he's got a wedding to pay for!

John Otway
35 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:29:29
So I agree with Kevin (20). How nice to clear the club of the stench of the potty mouthed Green and his lackey Earl.

Just trust that Bobby Elstone and his boys are all sat at their desks with freshly sharpened pencils and shiny shoes come 9.00 am on Monday.

Paul Tran
36 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:49:12
Lots to ponder. Good combination of money, business acumen and a bit of a football track record. The way the deal is presented looks more like stable evolution.

Just like on the pitch, I think we'll be getting a message of steady off-pitch improvement.

I'm taking this as good news, without expecting massive immediate change. I suspect we're going to need the same level of patience as we're having with the manager.

Maynard Hanna
37 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:11:05
I have been following ToffeeWeb for several years and have always looked to see just what the author has had to say on any given topic. Lyndon Lloyd is a sensible, cautious, intelligent writer, who gets to the heart of the matter and never indulges in unhelpful negative conjecture.

This is again an excellent read. Our new investor is a businessman of some standing. He has considerable football and financial experience. He is recognised as a success by his peers. He will have looked at Everton and he knows just what our needs are and the problems that we face and it's my belief that nobody puts a substantive amount of their own money into any company that in effect represents 49.9% of that company and in reality gives the individual a huge say in the well being and future planning and direction of that company without having a personal goal or desire to improve that company.

I am confident that this is a man who is a confident, knowledgeable, determined and football-ambitious individual who will prove to be a winner for Everton FC.
Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:12:13
Brent (21) sorry Brent just got back in, I owe you an apology, reading quick I got your letter mixed up with number three, I thought you were praising Kenwright after saying we didn’t know enough about the buy out. My error, sorry once again.
John Raftery
39 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:13:06
Your analysis is spot-on, Lyndon.

My feeling is the new man will bide his time while assessing his options for moving the club forward. This certainly looks to be a better outcome than we might have anticipated a few weeks ago.

Once the honeymoon period is over we can be assured contributors on ToffeeWeb will have someone else to blame for the club’s perceived woes. The actors may change but the script will be the same.

Hopefully we will see evidence of an ambition to make progress but it will not be straightforward. Catching up with the mega rich clubs will take many years and require patience.

Rick Tarleton
41 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:15:18
The key to the future is in two things: One the issue of a new ground needs to be addressed quickly. Where? Whether it’s revamping Goodison or building on a new site within the city has to be decided .

Secondly, the poor commercial performance of the club under Elstone and Kenwright needs to be analysed and developed quickly.

It may be that the ground issue inhibits spending on the players, but Arsenal managed it; Liverpool are managing it at the moment.

The new ground is key to all future progress.

Wayne McNee
42 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:15:36
Hopefully in this new regime, no one will be safe. Under performers will be taken to task. Roberto won't benefit from the lazy directorship of BK like DM did. I reckon he's got a season to sort shit out before the axe falls and personally I hope he can. I don't see anything negative about this announcement. So much better than the yanks.
Brent Stephens
43 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:18:25
Dave #39 - no problems, squire.
Raymond Fox
44 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:44:28
While we are better off with Moshiri on board, it's not what I was hoping for. I said much the same yesterday: we want an owner such as Moshiri as an outright owner.

In my opinion, for him to start investing serious money into the club, he’s going to want the other 50.1% of shareholders to put in an equal amount, maybe that’s what will happen. He’s not going to risk his hard earned money alone to make the other shareholders rich, if they wont also invest in playing staff and the infrastructure of the club.

Maybe BK wants to see how Mr Moshiri shapes up before the majority of the remaining shares are sold to him?

As it is now, we have only seen a change of shareholders.

Rick Tarleton
45 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:52:42
True, Raymond, and a lot depends on what happens next.
Brian Harrison
46 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:58:06
I would imagine the only people who know exactly what the deal is will be our board members. But, whatever the deal is, I think it's hard to find anything negative about it. Yes, the devil will be in the detail, but I don't get the feeling that Moshiri is here to asset-strip the club, as I suspect that's what the Yanks may have done.

We have all said this club needs a new owner or new investor so that has partly been addressed. There is no doubt from his open letter to the Arsenal board he certainly wanted Arsenal to be more proactive in certain areas.

Some might ask: Why only 49.9%? Why not buy the club outright? Maybe that is some way down the road and maybe he wants to asses everything before going the whole way. Maybe BK wanted to see if Moshiri's deeds were met by actions; either way, I don't think it's a negative him being the major shareholder for a while.

As I say, pure speculation from me but could the other 50.1% be purchased by Mr Usmanov further down the line? He seems to be as frustrated with Kronke as the Arsenal fans are, and maybe – if he thinks that he will never get control of Arsenal – he might join his friend at Goodison? Maybe that's why Merson wasn't happy when he heard that Moshiri had become our major shareholder. Merson might think that Usmanov might follow...

David Johnson
47 Posted 28/02/2016 at 12:25:33
Joe Anderson has just said that he met with BK last week in London, which seems to suggest assurances on the stadium issue were being sought prior to sale. Let’s hope it’s a revamped Goodison and it’s high on the agenda.

Why doesn’t Bill just fuck off? I just can’t seem relax and enjoy this while he’s still there and for good reason given his track record.

Mark Gardiner
48 Posted 28/02/2016 at 12:31:36
Now all that we need is a competent manager and we are set for great things in the future.

My fear is that with Martinez in charge having a billionaire investor won't make much of a difference in terms of on the pitch success. His money might be able to buy us better players but we don't have the manager who knows how to use the players properly.

Barry Stevens
49 Posted 28/02/2016 at 12:56:53
Well happy with the news. The guy has come out very publicly and stated his intent straight away. From what I’ve read about him, he’s very sensible. And to a sensible man with money our club is a potential tresure chest of success on the field and off it.Another plus side, any players thinking of going in the summer, may well give it another year.

Might even join in the applause when Kenwright's next at Goodison. Yes he’s done plenty wrong in the past but he came through in the end.
Mike Powell
50 Posted 28/02/2016 at 13:02:12
Spot on Mark, I think we’re stuck with Martinez till the end of the season, then hopefully we can start a fresh with new manager and owners. COYB
Jay Harris
51 Posted 28/02/2016 at 13:20:25
Great article, Lyndon, pointing out the potential benefits and highlighting the unknown.

I agree with Kevin Tully: great to see the back of Earl and Green. I just wish some posters would knock off the "yank" bashing and speculation that they are asset-strippers.

For all the plaudits being given to Bill we should remember he is the one who asset stripped the club, got Earl and Green involved, and clocked up some serious interest payments to BVI besides pushing the move to Desolation Kirby based on some very hefty lies.

You may think of him as one of us but he is one of him first and foremost.

David Chait
52 Posted 28/02/2016 at 13:49:50
Question: can we buy Kings Dock and develop it? Or is that out of the question?
Mark Melton
53 Posted 28/02/2016 at 13:54:31
Our old CEO, Keith Wyness, seems to think David Dein is behind all this and could be a surprise appointment to the board. Surely Elstone's days are numbered?
Colin Glassar
54 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:06:29
Great article Lyndon, I feel a lot better now after reading that. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Moshiri sits down with Elstone.

M - "So where are we with the stadium plans"?
E - "Errrm, there aren't any"

M - "Any plans for an improved shirt deal"?
E - "Errrm, nope"

M - "What's going on with kitbag"?
E - "Errrm, nothing. We're happy with it"

M - "Any other commercial prospects to improve revenue streams"?
E - "Errm, we were thinking of charging more for season tickets and pies"

M - "Robert, do you think you've done your best for the club to reach its full potential?"
E - "Absolutely. We've been overachieving for years, knife to a gunfight and all that"

M - "Robert, you're fired!!"

Rob Halligan
55 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:15:02
David Chait (#53). Unfortunately not, mate.

Paul Columb
56 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:26:17
If I were involved with negotiations to buy Everton over the past 18 months, knowing that a new stadium or Goodison refurb was key to the club’s advancement, I might just have crept under the radar pre purchase (and therefore decreasing the likelihood of getting fleeced) and secured desirable land.

Any scousers noticed chunks of dockland property being snapped up over the past year?

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:26:48
Mark (#54), Kenwright was always good friends with David Dein so there might be something in that.
Chris Jones [Burton]
58 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:29:19
At the risk of repeating anything said by others above, I would draw people’s attention to the closing three paragraphs of the open letter Messrs Usmanov and Moshiri sent to the Arsenal board back in 2012.

If what was said there expressed sincerely held beliefs – and I have not a shred of real evidence to doubt their veracity – then these are precisely the views any football fan would dearly wish the owner(s) of their club to espouse and adhere to.

I was particularly encouraged by this sentence: "We, as the co-owners ... will proudly retain our holding in the Club as a long-term investment for ourselves and our family members to benefit for generations to come."

The foregoing being the antithesis of the asset-stripping mentality we feared US-owners might bring with them, a la Gillette and Hicks et al.

I do now harbour a firm hope that in Mr Moshiri we may have found a major shareholder and potential future outright owner who will do right by the club. By design and patience (or by luck) Mr Kenwright might just have done this club a massive service.

Colin Glassar
59 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:37:50
Dave, there’s definitely a whiff of Gooner all over this. Like I said earlier, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Usmanov, and David Dein, make a move in the next few months if they can’t budge Stan Kroenke at Arsenal.
Ged Simpson
60 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:53:53
My kopite mate texted me on hearing Iranian background and suggested we could now be the People's Revolutionary Club. Like it.
Alan Bodell
61 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:59:56
Colin (#55), knife to a gunfight, love it.
Phil Walling
62 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:02:08
Chris Jones, you may be well impressed but I bet Moshiri's family will be well pissed off when they find his undertaking to keep his Arsenal shares for the benefit 'of future generations' meant bugger all!

Arsenal's loss but our gain. We hope.

Phil Walling
63 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:15:05
People talking glibly about the newcomer purchasing the other 51% but aren't many of those shares held in families who have had them for years?

It's a private company so there can be no compunction to sell... so I guess many of us will want to keep our holdings 'to pass on to future generations'!

Don Alexander
64 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:20:52
Having read the open letter to the Gooners board, I’m impressed. To me it’s what I’d expect the likes of Lyndon or any of us to write to our board if he/we had billions and wanted a position of power.

Yes, Mr Moshiri has sold his shares but don’t find fault with him for that. We all sometimes make promises for the long-term but if they eventually become unsustainable due to the antics of the other party, it doesn’t make YOU a bad person.

As I said yesterday, I just hope Mr Moshiri can blow the clouds away from our future in the sunshine.

Oliver Molloy
65 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:21:35
Colin @ 60,

If you are suggesting that David Dein would join Everton in some capacity , I hope you are wrong.

Dein, while at Arsenal made a load of money by selling. Basically he did what BK is doing at Everton, but at least Kenwright is an Everton fan. I would say Kenwright has probably learned quite a bit from Dein...

Darren Hind
66 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:22:29

There's a certain Editor (not a million miles from here) who will relieve somebody of their hand if the price is right.

I suspect he ain't alone.

Colin Glassar
67 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:31:22
Just rumours about him "advising" BK, Oliver. I thought David Dien had a whiter-than-white reputation? The man who built Arsenal, Wenger’s right man and all that...
Frank Thomas
68 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:36:41
Although initially against any sort of takeover, I think this is a better fit than the Americans only because Mr Moshiri has vast experience of Premier League football and finances. He has shown he is keen on a longer-term investment.

I expect Mr Moshiri will meet with Roberto in the summer and ask him one question: Can you finish in the top 4* and qualify for the Champions League – if not, why not? You have a more valuable team than Leicester, West Ham, Stoke and Southampton? Then Roberto’s target will be set; if not met by 2018 then he is gone,

Mr Moshiri will also push for a new stadium to safeguard his investment and seek a contract of £4 to £6M* from Chang based on European Qualification. Ditto for the shirt suppliers*.

These simple things* should generate at least an extra £30M per season to propel our team forward and to reduce the club debt.

Paul Andrews
69 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:41:11
Frank 69,

Can I ask why you were against any takeover?

Oliver Molloy
70 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:46:42
No such thing as whiter-than-white in the world of business... If you dig round the net, there are plenty who have stories and strong views on Mr Arsenal.... very similar to our own chairman.

Yes, he improved the club WITHOUT investing a single penny of his own money and making a fortune when he sold his shares and was chairman of Red & White Holdings.

Arsenal fans were spilt down the middle, just like we are with BK. The general opinion was that making money became Dein's main influence at Arsenal which is the reason he was chased out in the end.

He certainly would be advising BK in how to go about things, let’s say!

Frank Thomas
71 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:48:17
The reason Paul was that all the recent investors in clubs other than Arsenal have all saddled the purchased club with debt and have later ridden off into the distance with a terrific return. Mr Moshiri comes from the only top six club that has produced a profit year after year and that comes mainly from entry into the Champions League and careful control of costs.
Paul Andrews
72 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:53:37
Thanks Frank.
Much like our present board I suppose.
Pete Cross
73 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:54:34
Reading the 49.9% may have cost £35M, and Robert Earl sold his holding does this make him a hero rather than the villain.
Karl Weaver
74 Posted 28/02/2016 at 16:22:28
I really hope this is all Phase 1 of a plan that sees Usmanov come too. Paul Merson was heard to say ’worrying’ on Sky Sports News when they broke the story. Wonder if that possibility is what he found worrying...
Jim Lloyd
75 Posted 28/02/2016 at 18:30:20
It makes him gone Pete, and I’m extremely happy with that. If Green has disappeared as well then I’m doubly happy.

Phil, I think Lord Grantchester may well get involved again, as I think he decided to have bugger all to do with the Board once Kenwright brought in Earl. Could be wrong of course but I think this man Farhad Moshiri will be a catalyst that will see our club begin to make serious strides towards becoming a top respected club as Arsenal are, and that we once were.

Phil Walling
76 Posted 28/02/2016 at 18:42:55
Frank, I note your view that the new regime will wish to keep OPM in place until at least 2018. Pure speculation, of course. But I wonder where Moshiri stood in the 'Wenger's time is spent' debate.

I'm sure I've read that his Russian mate did not endear himself to the Arsenal Board by agitating for a change of manager some time ago. That was on the grounds that they'd won bugger all for years.

Rob Hooton
77 Posted 28/02/2016 at 18:49:20
Frank, 72 - Arsenal have also managed this by fleecing their fans by more than most clubs. That is the thing that worries me most, that to increase the club's revenues, most of this will have to come from the fans in one way or another.

I'm optimistic but not counting my chickens. I certainly hope it works out well for our beloved Everton.
Kieran Kinsella
78 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:31:39
If this doesn't pan out then our best bet is on a merger. Wednesday being the obvious choice. Ready made fan base in Sheffield, bus in 30,000 from Liverpool and we can fill a 60 or 70 k seat stadium.
Nicholas Ryan
79 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:41:46
To quote Winston Churchill after the battle of Britain "....This is not the end; nor even the beginning of the end .... but it is the end of the beginning...."!!
Dave Abrahams
80 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:42:44
Rob (78), hopefully the action Liverpool fans took recently will make the clubs think twice before the even think about increasing prices, including season tickets.

We have been paying well over the odds for the last 20 years and I don’t think fans have properly started the protests against the pure greed of the Premier League clubs.

Terry Aylward
81 Posted 28/02/2016 at 20:09:13
With Mr Earl departing, does this mean Sly is no longer a Bluenose?
Martin Luther
82 Posted 28/02/2016 at 20:12:39
Not that I believe they ever are, but we have hopefully learnt something yesterday. We have been told by the "I know someone" brigade that "the Americans have bought the club" – it’s a done deal... Oh yeah?? So Lesson One: don’t believe that guy at the pie counter!

We have a new and wealthy majority shareholder. This is good, I think, and time will tell. Now the press has written a lot of "guess work" on this, especially regarding percentages of shares. Less than 50% means he doesn’t have to buy the wee guys out??? I’m sure there are clever people out there that can confirm or exclude this. They have Billy selling all his shares... really?? Lesson Two: the press haven’t a clue. (Refer to Lesson One; they also had yank takeover imminent.)

The idea of somebody making an aggressive takeover would appear to be fiction. It would appear that the major shareholders have been "courting" several potential owners over the last year or so. The main parties have worked out a way of getting Farhad his shares – possibly removing at least Earl from the pie – but we don’t know until they tell us. Lesson three: we really don’t know anything of the details.

And finally, he obviously decided to keep Bill Kenwright on board. It will be his choice, not (as perhaps the press and the anti Bill campaign would insist) because it’s Bill’s blue train set. He must see a plus in keeping him on board (no idea why... but ours not to reason). Lesson 4: trust the billionaire with running his own empire!! Maybe we have been placed in safe hands?? In which case, I would like to thank the board for finding the right guy and stepping aside.

Even if we don’t trust Bill with running the club, we don’t doubt he loves her? So he must have faith in Farhad Moshiri? It would be just our luck for the Premier League to step in and block it!
Chris Jones [Burton]
83 Posted 28/02/2016 at 21:47:06
I’d truly be shocked if this share deal was ’blocked’ by the authorities. Presumably they were okay with him owning a significant slice of Arsenal. It’s not like he’s an Italian with a criminal record...
Ian Smitham
84 Posted 28/02/2016 at 23:21:44
Jay (#51), deary, deary, me. Asset stripping, so tiring, either put up or shut up. Facts not fiction.

Yes, it's me again, when are you going to reply to my question to you around the interest rates and amount of interest that the club are paying? Check the search stuff above, in case you have missed my asking you to clarify a point you made.

Credibility, shot.

Andy Crooks
85 Posted 28/02/2016 at 00:01:57
Ian, if we had the figures of what Bill has invested in our club, and then looked at what he is getting from the sale of his shares, I suspect he has got a better return than he would had he invested the money in, say, a building society or perhaps a post office account.

Of course he is perfectly entitled to do that, but in doing so he might consider refraining from gurning his fucking lamps out to Z-Cars.

Julian Wait
86 Posted 29/02/2016 at 00:09:02
Well, it’s not really like the Berlin Wall down but let’s not get shy of hyperbole here .. it’s the biggest thing to happen in 21 years ...

"Down to (Goodison) Park
Listening to the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams (share their dreams)
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night (the glory night)
Where the children of tomorrow dream away (dream away)
In the wind of change (the wind of change)"

Credit: Scorpions (yes, I thought it was crap music too, but lyrics seemed to fit the article title).

Note: As for why Moshiri would keep Blue Bill, well he may prefer not to the figurehead and get the additional press that garners. Would make sense for man with diverse and perhaps somewhat sensitive business interests. Plus Blue Bill can be his introduction to the club and the people and provide a level of continuity and stability.
Jay Harris
88 Posted 29/02/2016 at 03:53:24
Ian, You are getting very tiresome.

It is a well known FACT that Kenwright inherited a net asset position and within a couple of years transformed that into a net liability position by selling or mortgaging all the assets including but not limited to GP, Netherton and Bellefield training grounds and future season ticket sales.

As regards the ridiculous levels of interest, you don’t need me to tell you – just look at the club's accounts.

Michael Polley
89 Posted 29/02/2016 at 04:00:22
Positive news. Let’s hope this will mean keeping our key players in the summer, and having the funds to strengthen the squad.

Oh! And a new Stadium would be nice...

Kevin Turner
90 Posted 29/02/2016 at 09:23:06
Early days and the lack of any interviews and statements from the new guy is frustrating as we’d all like to hear his plans but better that than some flash sod making rash promises.
Bill K has his critics to put it it mildly but this to me looks like the deal he promised and searched for over the God knows how many years. Credit where it’s due, well done Bill.

This time next year I’d hope we will have agreed a new stadium (don’t think we can do much with the Old Lady sadly and it’d take donkeys years to buy houses,roads etc) and kept all our "stars" (Barks and Rom but Stones can go if the cash is north of £35m) and added a few more quality players who can add immediately to performances and not just great prospects.

Time to be positive and stop bitching. Good times ahead.
Paul Kelly
91 Posted 29/02/2016 at 11:40:07
"Bill Kenwright has taught me what it means to be an Evertonian and I look forward with excitement to working with him to help deliver success for Everton in the future."

So he’ll asset-strip, cancel AGMs, get high interest loans from BVI based companies, and lie to the fan base? Welcome to Everton, mate.

Bob Parrington
92 Posted 29/02/2016 at 12:00:49
Lyndon, Thanks for your dissection of this. IMO it is a very well written article. We are Everton! IMO there has never been another club to compare with us. I started to support the team in 1955 and travelled all over UK and Europe to watch us play before I departed good old Blighty for Australia 30 years ago. My love of all things Everton continues unabated and, every chance I get, I come to The Old Lady to watch a game (Arsenal will be next in a few weeks time).

Following Bill Kenwright over the more recent years, this move might well vindicate delays and errors of judgement (supposed). Maybe we will live to Hail Bill. Some say, The view from the top of the mountain is the same no matter how long it takes to get there.

Ooops Final Call for QF9 so I have to go!

Brent Stephens
93 Posted 29/02/2016 at 12:04:27
Paul (#91),

"So he’ll asset strip, cancel AGM’s, get high interest loans from BVI based companies and lie to the fan base".

Do you actually believe that? If so, then we’re really in for a rough ride.

Daniel A Johnson
94 Posted 29/02/2016 at 12:18:52
The odds on Martinez getting the chop are pretty high not sure what the figure is but a lot of managers rarely last more than a season when the new owner comes in.

I just hope some pressure and expectation are placed on Martinez.

Lordy Hughes
95 Posted 29/02/2016 at 12:50:39
Spot on. Good well balanced article My Lloyd.

Pragmatic and optimistic without indulging in the idleness of barren speculation.

Got a spring in my step, that’s for sure!

Paul Kelly
97 Posted 29/02/2016 at 14:08:21
Brent, I quoted Mr Moshiri, and that’s what Bullshit bill has done for the past umpteen years (what I listed). It was a bit tongue-in-cheek but if BK is a blue and has the club's best interests at heart, I shudder to think what he’d teach someone who didn’t stand "in the Boys Pen" as a blue.
Brent Stephens
98 Posted 29/02/2016 at 14:19:16
Paul, I'm no Bill fan but I think it'll be interesting to wait and see what actually comes out of all this. I think there's a lot that Bill can be criticised for; on the other hand, that often seems to lead to anything he does or says being questioned, without any actual knowledge of the facts. I'm a pious bastard, always one for the truth!
Paul Kelly
99 Posted 29/02/2016 at 14:24:36
And to be honest, all I want is the new custodian to kick the charlatan that has been plying his trade as a manager of our once great club as far as humanly possible from all things Everton.

Surely you wouldn’t pump that much cash into a business and let a clueless idiot carry on as your manager?

I truly believe, with a half-decent manager, we’d be much higher, and for those who’d rather keep El Bob than have Mourinho (hypothetical of course)... what effing planet are you on?

Paul Kelly
100 Posted 29/02/2016 at 14:33:48
Don’t know many who are BK fans to be honest (Martin Mason excluded), Brent, but like Helen Mallon posted earlier, would we be so apologetic to numb nuts Bill if he was a red, was Peter Johnson as bad? Careful what you wish for.
Martin Mason
101 Posted 29/02/2016 at 14:36:00
Kenwright has done exactly what he promised to do and has done it well with perhaps the exception of Martinez. This isn’t controversial; he said that he would be nothing more than a stand-in looking after the show until the correct offer came along that was beneficial to the club.

He tried and failed with two attempts to find alternative Stadiums, one was never going to happen and one was turned down on planning review. Being disappointed as a fan by either or both doesn’t indicate any incompetence or malfeasance on behalf of the owners.

He has at all times maximised the amount of money available for investment in the team by borrowing and selling assets; he has done this without taking any money out of the club for his services. What the fuck does this man need to do to avoid this baseless criticism? He didn’t win us a trophy? Is that it?

Paul Kelly
102 Posted 29/02/2016 at 14:39:24
And as sure as the sun rises in the East! Bang on cue, Blue Bill's secretary posts on TW. Laughed so hard, I cried.
Dennis Ng
103 Posted 29/02/2016 at 15:28:32
Paul, I hope (for a manager change soon) too, especially when there are at least a few good names out there we can hire right away. I think it will take until end of the season for us to know and god knows if we manage to win the FA Cup, he might get at least another year.

I can only hope Moshiri is far more proactive and ruthless than BK in managing our club’s success on the pitch.

Jay Harris
104 Posted 29/02/2016 at 17:13:43

Unlike you, most Blues haven't got their head stuck so far up BK’s arse that they see what he is and what he has done.

There is no disputing the litany of lies, deceit, failed ground moves, sale of the family silver, huge interest payments and losses most years of his tenure.

He was lucky with Moyes who was recommended by Walter Smith and unlucky with HIS choice of Martinez.

However he has come out smelling of roses if Moshiri leads us to the promised land and he and his cronies have cashed out big style.

Martin Mason
105 Posted 29/02/2016 at 17:41:23
Jay, you patently haven't the faintest idea what he's done believe me and every one of the points you've made have been rubbished in the past and are very easy to do so now.
Tony Draper
106 Posted 29/02/2016 at 19:26:24
Really enjoyed this article, and for me it’s solidly underpinned by the link to the open letter that Alisher Usmanov and Fahrad Moshiri penned to the Arsenal FC Board in July of 2012.

Apart from a couple of technically worded paragraphs, most of their letter is written in a style typical of a matchday programme. But what their letter spells out in plain terms looks precisely what all Evertonians would wish for as a manifesto for an incoming owner/major shareholder.

PLEASE, if you haven’t already then just read the letter.....

Peter Morris
107 Posted 29/02/2016 at 19:54:20
A balanced and rounded article from Lyndon, and I share the sentiments he has expressed. I would not be at all surprised if Bill has traded off some of the headline value of his shares in return for the promise of further investment from Mr Moshiri.

For all his shortcomings, no-one can doubt the commitment Bill has shown to his beloved Everton. I’ve said it before and repeat it now. This guy mortgaged his family home to raise money to buy the club. How many of the ’nay-sayers’ would do that?

I’m sure that after a few visits to Goodison, Mr Moshiri will become well and truly smitten and will realise what a unique and fantastic institution he has become involved with. Good luck and welcome to the Everton family.

Chris Leyland
108 Posted 29/02/2016 at 20:15:06
The best part of the open letter to the Arsenal Board is this...

What is Red & White’s vision for the Club? It is simple. A debt free Club, with a big enough war chest to buy top talent players who can hit the ground running and who can complement the Club’s long tradition of developing young players and homegrown talent. Together they can help the Club win the most prestigious trophies – because it is the trophies which are the crowning achievement for everybody at the Club. The trophies are also key to the commercial success of the Club – they increase the value of the players, the value of the brand, attract the best sponsors and maximize the value of our commercial contracts which should in turn mean that the Club does not have to squeeze any more income from hard pressed fans.

Paul Kelly
109 Posted 29/02/2016 at 20:42:38
"This guy mortgaged his family home to raise money to buy the club. "

No he didn't.

Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 29/02/2016 at 20:56:18
Peter 107, that is a very irrelevant question, if it's either true or not. I know plenty of people, who spend their last pound on Everton, traveling wherever our team are playing. It's probably cost some people their marriage down the years, because Everton FC, have got as many fanatics as any other club in England, I'm sure.

If you would spend your last pound on Everton, then if you was in a position to improve them, how many people would'nt, I ask?

Bill Gall
111 Posted 29/02/2016 at 21:11:14
Peter (#107) He never mortgaged his home to buy Everton FC. If it is true, he mortgaged his home to purchase the shares that gave him control of Everton FC. The same shares that he has allegedly sold some of to Moshiri.
Eric Myles
112 Posted 01/03/2016 at 02:21:53
Peter (#107), BK’s shares cost £7 million, just how much do you think his house was worth 12 years ago??

He mortgaged his house 4 years before purchasing Everton.

Trevor Lynes
114 Posted 01/03/2016 at 17:08:56
Looking at the moves that have been made in recent times, we have brought in a flow of talented youngsters who should be the future of the club. Mainly defenders with just a couple of promising foreign players who can play more attacking roles.Perhaps these moves have been made to help influence investors as a show of optimism.Let us hope that this new investor can give a kick start to future success and not expect instant dividends.Considering the money spent over the past years we have done well enough in attaining top half finishes and better despite the money lavished by our competitors.
Michael Polley
115 Posted 04/03/2016 at 17:19:37
Optimistic about this guy. Hope we can now progress on a new stadium and start moving our club to the next level where we rightfully belong.
Brin Williams
116 Posted 04/03/2016 at 17:40:29
I find all this talk about Bill’s money, his house, his mortgage his inside leg measurements really obnoxious.

What the fuck, if anything has all this to do with Everton? The man has supported the club, kept it in the Premier League, bought and sold players that have mostly made us a better club and certainly in a better position than when he bought in.

So, good luck to the lad – all in all he’s done a pretty half-decent job and the sooner some on here get off his back, the better.

Good luck to him, his money, his house and his fucking mortgage.

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