Moshiri's Monument to Mediocrity

Gerard McKean 28/01/2019 138comments  |  Jump to last

Not wanting to come across as too negative, I thought I’d wait until the team gains that “momentum” we’ve been waiting for and wins a few games consecutively until I wrote this piece... but I rather wanted to get it into ToffeeWeb this season.

Spoiler Alert: I am going to be critical of the way EFC is run, particularly at the highest level. Now I know this upsets some folk who do not connect nice people like Kenwright and Barrett-Baxendale with the garbage on the pitch but, once again, I would argue passionately that the complacency at the top of the club is a malaise that seeps into its every pore.

My usual detractors are in 3 camps: those who accuse me of writing “diatribes” because I have an “agenda”; those who claim that I am misogynistic when I criticise Barrett-Baxendale; and those who argue that, because Barrett-Baxendale has been promoted twice since coming to Everton, she must be rather good.

I defend my position thus: I do have an agenda: I want to see Everton great again. If criticising someone because she is a woman is misogynistic then, by the same lazy “logic”, I must be racist if I criticise, say, Oumar Niasse... and finally, the naivety behind the idea that people get promoted only because of competence is touching but, as this article will show, utterly at odds with the dysfunctional way this club is run.

Regular poster Don Alexander suffers abuse every time he mentions Kenwright. It is those who scorn him who have got it wrong, not Don. Kenwright is a shrewd thespian. How my heart beats that little faster when I think of him mortgaging his own house to save the club in its hour of need, or I imagine him as a poor boy living in the slums of 1950s L18 (for those not familiar with the city, this comment is meant to be ironic) making his way into the only part of the ground he can afford, the Boys Pen, or of him scouring the planet to find the “right” person to make him even richer.

Well, it seems to me that he found the right person in Moshiri; probably the only person on the planet who’d pay a fortune to buy a majority stake in the club and then agree to keep the former owner on and carry on as though nothing has changed. I need Kenwright to sell my house for me as I have no intention of moving but the money would keep me in beer for a while.

This actually raises some questions about Moshiri. In our collective yearning for a wealthy benefactor, none of us has ever harboured serious doubts about the man or his motives. It is, however, becoming clearer by the day that he’s wandered just a bit too far outside of his comfort zone. He is a man who made millions by acting on behalf of a man who was making billions, and while he was undoubtedly skilled and adept at putting Usmanov’s money to work, he was not required to generate that fortune himself through ingenuity or entrepreneurialism or sheer ruthlessness as Usmanov was. Usmanov must be one hard man. I couldn’t see him allowing Kenwright a free ticket for the match – let alone remaining as Chairman of the Board.

Planning for a new stadium apart, which is how eventually he will cash in his investment, Moshiri has not changed anything and the lunatics are still running the asylum.

The recent elevation of Marcel Brands to the Board was met with near universal approval at the AGM. I read with great interest and admiration Paul the Esk’s dissection of the club’s finances as revealed to the AGM and I wondered, and I’ll not be alone in this, if Paul and his forensic eye should not be on the Board because nobody on it seems to come near to his level of financial expertise. This thought occurred to me as I pondered that the reason they had to bring Brands onto the Board was because nobody else on the Board had a clue about football!

I don’t fully know why but I quite like Brands and I hope he does well for Everton. Having said that, here’s why he should NOT be on the Board: stripped to the very barest essential of its raison d’etre, the Board represents the ambition of the club’s fans to have a winning team playing attractive football and ensuring that healthy profits are available should the team need strengthening. If Paul the Esk were a Board member, he would be able to call to a Board meeting and interrogate the club’s highly remunerated sales and marketing staff as to why virtually all the income comes from TV rights negotiated by others outside the club.

"So what are you people actually doing?" he would ask.. Who on the Board interrogates the club’s transfer policy? It seems now it must be the man responsible for it? This is a structural flaw. You cannot have the questions being put by the same person who must answer them. The solution is to have people on the Board who have clear and prescient knowledge of football and football as a business, and this is the single biggest factor that separates the top six from the rest.

Everton’s fans, especially those who travel all over to support the team, deserve better than the amateur, dare I say thespian, approach to running a club that characterises this Board. With the exception of its newest member, the Everton Board is a football knowledge-free zone.

Imagine for one moment that Daniel Levy (Spurs) was our CEO or Ferran Soriano (Man City) or Guy Laurence (Chelsea) or Peter Moore (Liverpool); they are all either steeped in football/sports business or they are highly successful business people who work for owners who are steeped in sports business specifically. Most of them are both. Typically, of course, Everton has neither.

Imagine any one of them asking questions about Everton’s transfer dealings over the last year or two: so £45m for Gylfi and offload Ross Barkley by refusing his wish for financial parity with Schneiderlin, so how’s that working out, Marcel? Now, okay, Brands is not responsible for the mess he and Silva inherited, but you’ll get the drift. It is the CEO who must be asking the tough questions of Brands, not the DoF asking questions of him because that is the same person!

Imagine, the Chairman invites Brands to speak. “Well Marcel, we’ve invested a lot of money so far in securing the services of Andre Gomes on loan with a view to making the move permanent, is that still your preferred option and how much do you recommend to the Board what our limit should be?”

“Thanks for asking, Marcel, I’ll get back to you on that if I may.”

That is why I have no faith in Moshiri or Kenwright; Moshiri has given free rein to Kenwright who then appointed, actually more anointed, a CEO with zero knowledge of football and with no appreciable business know-how beyond the relatively gentle worlds of charity and schools, and now all 3 of them have had to bring Brands onto a Board to which he should be accountable, not part of.

For those who doubt that my assertion that Barrett-Baxendale is a business lightweight and a football business nonentity, maybe try asking the club’s Human Resources department to release a precis of her CV. Here’s the thing: it is highly unlikely that any such document resides within Everton FC. This is because Everton’s due diligence procedure on her appointment to head up EitC makes Failing Grayling’s checks into a ferry company with no ships before awarding it a £14m government contract look positively thorough.

We tend to cut more slack to charities than most organisations and, while there are many, many decent people working for charities, events over the last few years have reminded us that there are a few charlatans, too. Following an indiscretion at EitC [More specific references to this incident have been removed post-publication by ToffeeWeb], a meeting of the EitC board took the advice of one of its members, let’s call him “Ken” (all names in this article are fictitious, as they say on telly, and no likeness to any etc etc), that he knew someone who runs a charity and he could ask her if she fancied running EitC? The club CEO jumped at the chance to sweep an indiscretion at EitC under the carpet and fill a vacancy all in one go.

Now the small charity that Barrett-Baxendale was running before EitC was called The Fiveways Trust; it had been the brainchild of two mates of mine, headteachers of local schools. There was nothing illegal about this but The Fiveways Trust was set up primarily to access funds that were either only available to charities or were more likely to be given to you if you were a charity.

Whether or not it conformed to one’s conventional notion of a “charity”, I have no doubt that, after paying staff very decent salaries, all money raised was put to good use in the schools. When the two headteachers looked around for someone to be put in charge of their charity, they did not need to look far.

At the time, there was a close-knit group of headteachers in South Liverpool; to call it a cabal would be extremely unkind, and two other heads in that little group – as it happens both close friends of Barrett-Baxendale – were happy to allow her, as the person running their inter-school technology programme, to become “Chief Executive” of The Fiveways Trust. I won’t bore you with the detail, and anyway I’d need to write a book, but both these two latter heads, neither remotely a Blue, by the way, and one with a visceral hatred of EFC, crop up again prominently at Everton in the Barrett-Baxendale EitC era.

You really could not make this up! But, before we get that far, she gets the Fiveways gig and, remarkably, by the time “Ken” recommends her for the EitC job, one of the two heads whose schools are effectively The Fiveways Trust has actually withdrawn his school out of the charity. Interestingly, he was “allegedly” not at all happy with his Chief Executive, Barrett-Baxendale.

Precisely at this moment of discomfort, Barrett-Baxendale must have regarded “Ken” as her knight in shining armour and she was whisked off to the safety of Fortress Goodison. Shortly thereafter, and with more than a hint of surprise in my voice, I asked the one head who had remained with The Fiveways Trust what he thought about all this and what kind of reference he’d written for his erstwhile Chief Executive. “I knew nothing about it,” he replied, “the first thing I knew was after the event, I was not asked for a reference by anyone at Everton.” The look on his face spoke volumes. EitC was all Barrett-Baxendale’s Christmases come together, the gift that never stopped giving.

I do think that EitC has credibility as a charity and, up to a few years ago, I was a regular donor but, when the tail began to wag the dog, my alarm bells were ringing loud and clear. Under Barrett-Baxendale, EitC went from a low-profile charity with its tail between its legs at the time of her appointment, to a high-profile slick operation whose tail made a lot of wagging noise in contrast to the silent prayers of all Evertonians that we might get a team back one day.

Oh, and it was so easy to achieve that transition. Start from the bottom and there’s only one way anyway, but get someone in charge who can see its potential to fuel her personal ambition and advancement, and you have lift-off.

At first, it was all such good fun: EitC have won another award... and another, and another. At last, Everton fans had something to shout about, or did we really? It’s a charity, it’s not Everton FC. But Barrett-Baxendale was utterly determined to make hay while the sun shone; if there was an award for a football-related charity whose name did not contain the letter Z, EitC would be entered. And win. And there would be publicity. Photos, fine words, more photos.

The awards stacked up and, whether or not these awards were obscure in the extreme, the publicity never abated. The tail was well and truly wagging the dog. Too many of us were suckered for too long into believing that good work in the community compensated for ongoing mediocrity everywhere else in the club. And today we are left to wonder where the leaders are, be it on the pitch and in the Boardroom.

EitC gave Barrett-Baxendale a platform. It was not long before she removed herself from the EitC office, tucked into the corner of Gwladys Street and Goodison Road, and installed herself in a small office at the Park End. It was a small office but this was no act of modesty befitting someone leading a charity but rather a calculated move into the office not only immediately next to but with an adjoining internal door into Robert Elstone’s office. Everyone could see what was happening here. Except Robert.

People who would probably have laughed out loud at the power grab, someone like say, Ian Ross, who had mysteriously disappeared after an unfortunate “accidental” email leak, were gone and there was no-one else left who dared say anything.

Things happened fast after that. Robert suddenly began to wonder how he’d ever managed to get along without a Chief Operating Officer. No need to advertise the post nationally, internationally – the right person was right in front of him. No, I mean right in front... because, by this time, Robert had also begun to wonder why he needed such a big office, and a new dividing wall had been erected that simultaneously reduced his office space and provided Barrett-Baxendale with something a tad grander.

If Robert was a pushover for an operator like Barrett-Baxendale, then Kenwright was even easier. I remember a conversation a few years ago between her and the then Secretary of State for Education, Mr Gove, where both tried to outdo the other in gushing admiration for each other.

I was reminded of those small kids at school who have worked out that, in the absence of more obvious attributes, sucking up to people, flattering them, is their route to becoming popular. It was a technique she used to great effect with the thesp and indeed with anyone above her in the foodchain, including at that time Philip Carter and his wife, and “Roberto” and his wife. The wives and partners were important to have onside and Barrett-Baxendale always spoke in almost reverential tones about “Lady Rita”. With friends like these and others in high places, the MBE was not long in coming...

I’d like to think that, in the most unlikely event of me being offered a knighthood, I would have had the courage to turn it down on principle, but maybe I wouldn’t have. However, I do feel pretty confident that, if I were a head of a charity and combining that income with that of a Chief Operating Officer of a Premier League football club, I might well have decided that was ample reward without being given a gong for services to what I’m actually being very well paid to do.

I’d love to carry on and tell you more about how the Everton Free School came about and the people still freeloading off it, the for me far too cosy relationship between EitC and Liverpool Hope, the little scams that were going on in plain sight, the grace-and-favour appointments to join the gravy train, the culture of complacency, the downright nasty treatment of faces that did not fit, the Finch Farm rest home for former bad boys... but I think by now you will have got the drift and I do dread being accused of authoring a “diatribe”.

Anyway, as I’ve said before, I’d have to write a book. Or maybe I should borrow a John McFarlane Snr technique and write a “Part 2” to this article. Suffice to say, for now, that, once Robert left, Barrett-Baxendale was a shoo-in for CEO, warmly endorsed by the club Chairman and ratified by the majority owner, which brings me neatly back to Mr Moshiri again.

The honeymoon is over. Questions are now getting louder. What was Koeman all about and by how much did his golf handicap improve during his lucrative sojourn? Unsworth, really? And was the despicable Allardyce just to show us who’s calling the shots? And if we thought the previous two were bad, wait until you see this beaut?

Was your public lambasting of Silva at the AGM such a clever thing to do? Or did you figure this is now the Everton Way: get the fans onside with teary sentimentality (Chairman) or meaningless slogans (CEO) or tough talk (You)? Talk about undermining the authority of a manager over his players!

Is this a preamble to a sacking because “Silva had lost the dressing room”? You went all out to get this guy and, while I had no faith in your judgement after Allardyce, I was persuaded by the posts of TW posters, who know far more about Portuguese football than I do and whose opinions I respect, to give the bloke a chance.

And I still think he needs more time. Mind you, if I’d known Bielsa or Hasenhuttl were interested in a move to England…. Come to think of it though, why didn’t you know about Bielsa or Hasenhuttl, Mr Moshiri? Could it be because you don’t know football and the CEO you appointed knows even less?

It is said that Christopher Wren used to walk amongst the labourers and artisans who were working on the building of St Paul's Cathederal some 300 years ago and he stopped to ask one man what his job was, what he was doing? The worker took off his hat to reply to the great architect, “Sir, I am just laying bricks.” Wren told the man that he was not just laying bricks, he was building a cathedral – and one day he would bring his grandchildren to see the magnificent cathedral he had built.

Nobody is building a cathedral at Everton, namely a team that wins trophies and aspires to live up to our proud motto; it is more of a monument to mediocrity. And the mediocrity in the boardroom, the lack of passion and intellect, manifests itself in coaching staff being given tenure for who they are rather than what they are, extraordinary long-term contracts being handed out to some rather ordinary players, sloppy loan contracts that surrender control to the player rather than the club, and panic reactions when owners and chairmen and CEOs suddenly realise that actually, no we have no-one on the Board who knows anything about football.

Several TW posters have complained of there being something fundamentally wrong at the club, and until Moshiri finally understands that, he will not get the return down the line that he is planning on if he continues to let Bill fiddle while the flames dance all around his out-of-her-depth CEO and her appointees, nothing off or on the pitch is going to change.

I am astonished that Moshiri does not see the need to protect his asset by root and branch reform and a complete change in its culture. The connection between Boardroom and pitch and everything in between is symbiotic. Every aspect of a modern high-achieving football club has to be exceptional, you cannot settle for anything less than the best; the virtuous circle is that a club cannot have a successful team without enjoying commercial success and commercial success depends on there being a successful team. That formulation is not grasped at Everton, there is no holistic approach, no coherent plan.

The populist rhetoric of the CEO at the AGM will remain just empty words and clichés unless Moshiri actively chops off the deadwood and replaces it with highly qualified professionals who are passionate about Everton Football Club and making it great again. It’s his investment at stake if he doesn’t. Our investment as Evertonians is far more important than just money; it seems this club has forgotten that we are the stakeholders who matter most.

Short Postscript after the Millwall game...

The case for radical change in how this club is run is now irrefutable. Despite the unrelenting hostility and nastiness they knew would be waiting for them, my son and my nephew were there at Millwall to support their team. I just wish the team had gone into the game with the passion and belief in Everton shown by our brilliant away support. But they didn’t and we were bullied all over the pitch.

Whatever level you have played the game, and mine was the lower echelons of the Liverpool Sunday League in the 1970s, if you let the opposition intimidate you, if you don’t win your individual battles all over the pitch you know you have lost before you start. You can also know you have won before you start if you’re walking onto the pitch with players of the likes of Peter Reid and Kevin Ratcliffe.

I said in my main article that I would give Silva patience but after this result and more the manner of it, abject surrender, I’m afraid he’s started to resemble a dead man walking. Players don’t play for managers about to be sacked. Great AGM speech, Fahrad!

Marco Silva’s insistence on talking about VAR and so on sounded like an attempt to deflect attention away from the dire performance of his team, but actually on this point he is correct and it was just that it was said at totally the wrong moment. It did not need VAR; the pathetic Oliver and his officials should have seen and given the handball.

So here’s a question: would that goal have stood against the likes of Man City, Chelsea, Spurs or, especially, Liverpool? I think we all know the answer.

What some might not realise is that the CEOs mentioned earlier at these clubs have the same mentality as I suggested our players need in the previous paragraph. They know how much success on the pitch influences further commercial success and they are going all out to win psychologically beforehand, like the Reids and Ratcliffes, except that their job is in the world of influence and if they need to impress upon Riley, or whoever is currently Head of Professional Referees, every time they see him or phone him, that they will not tolerate bad decisions that could cost their clubs millions, they will not hesitate to do so.

Sadly, it probably came as a surprise to the Everton CEO that you’re not allowed to score goals with your arm. Silva, and anyone who succeeds him, is being hung out to dry by the complete absence of professional support and street smart know-how in the present set-up at Everton Football Club.

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Reader Comments (138)

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Steve Hogan
1 Posted 28/01/2019 at 17:49:14
Wow Gerard, that's a comprehensive rant by any standard. Whilst I agree with most of it, I'm surprised it's taken you this long to get it off your chest.

Much of the article seem's to be quite personal against DBB, you certainly seem to have the 'inside knowledge' about her career to date, much more so than I realised.

I actually responded to one of Paul 'the Esks' recent articles about the missed opportunity in appointing DBB, not that I dislike her, just that it was a MASSIVE chance to appoint an existing CEO from one of the many clubs in Europe or the UK, who already had the commercial/business knowledge to turn around on of the great 'sleeping giants' of english football, with a sizeable budget to match.

I hate to mention the RS, but boy did they make the right appointment when they sourced Peter Moore, check out his CV, he is a real high flyer in the football sense, and has a record of achievement in many related and non related fields, on a global basis.

I would disagree with you slightly about Moshiri. I shudder to think where we would be without his financial imput, probably still waiting for Kenwright to continue his search 24/7 for suitable investment...

Bramley Moore WILL happen, would it happen without Moshiri, I very much doubt it. We would still be stuck in a decrepit, failing Goodison.

If Moshiri is guilty of anything, it is naivity, and probably listening to Blue Bill too much in the early days.

As ever, the buck stops with the manager, if we had continued our upward curve after the Derby, would we still be having this conversation?

I too, am uneasy about the emphasis put on EiTC and it's overbearing relationship with the club. I'm unsure whether or not we have become a football club with a charity attached, or a charity with a Premiership football club tagging on the side?

I guess all this would be mostly irrelevant if this club looked like it was on the verge of success, the manner of the Millwall defeat has cast a dark cloud of every aspect of the club.

Anyway, I enjoyed the article.

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 28/01/2019 at 17:50:58
I will ask only one question about all this. Do I understand that you do support having someone on the Board who knows something about football, but you do not support Brands' addition to the Board? Is that correct?

Jerome Shields
5 Posted 28/01/2019 at 18:28:31
Unfortunately, you are right about the Brands appointment to the Board and the lack of accountability. I was hoping that his appointment would at least make available the football knowledge that was lacking at Board level.

Having worked at a senior management level in a company at organisational level, I can clearly see how problems over transfer policy will arise, with a lack of the necessary accountability.

I also was a volunteer for 20 years for a Community based organisation (assets £25 million) of which I was Director and Treasurer. I am very familiar with the antics you describe when a dominant individual sees a career progression route. The unbelievable events you describe conform to the template I have seen operate so many times.

Clearly the Board, Senior Management and the resulting inevitable dysfunctional backroom operation you describe is a accurate description of Everton FC and explains the increasing apparent inadequacies of the Management and support staff off the pitch, which is reflected on the field in poor management, poor play and poor organisation.

Moshiri needs his mates help as soon as possible for a clear out.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
6 Posted 28/01/2019 at 18:28:52
In the interests of full disclosure, a large portion of this piece that reads more as a hatchet job on the club's CEO than any fair-minded analysis of what she might bring to the table if given some time has been removed post-publication. [Edit: Passages reinstated; see below]

I think we'd all agree that it's fair to ask whether the boardroom has sufficient business savvy and footballing knowledge but the tone and selective nature of the criticism of DBB in particular was unfair, in my opinion, particularly so early in her tenure.

Brian Williams
7 Posted 28/01/2019 at 18:35:11
Quite right too, Lyndon. I'm in the "has an agenda" camp and boy does it come across loud and clear!
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 28/01/2019 at 18:35:32
Mike (#2),

After reading that article, is that the only question you want to ask? If you've read all that Gerard wrote, it is obvious why Brands should be the DOF at Everton and another person with the football knowledge that Mr Brands possesses should be on the board.

Well written Gerard and I for one look forward to Part 2 of this story.

I know you'll be watching for the following Kenwright supporters to come on now and tell you what a wonderful man he is and how we should be grateful he has been looking after the interests of our club all these years...

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 28/01/2019 at 18:42:37
That’s how I read it Mike, and after reading this article, I have to agree with Gerard.

He explains a lot, especially because I usually stop reading long posts, and for everything Gerard says, about the boardroom, I feel the same way about the changing rooms.

Big Duncan, has seen off many managers, but Everton still keep getting bullied on the pitch, and if I lived to be one thousand,I could never understand why this first team coach, always keeps his job?

Jobs for the boys, on and off the pitch it seems, and it all smacks of the slyness of a wily old fox, who scratches the back of those, who look after his own.

Going off thread but how can Evertonians genuinely accept the man who always robbed Peter, to pay Paul, and was even prepared to move us out to Kirkby, once his lies about ring-fenced money, had actually given him more power?

Andy Riley
10 Posted 28/01/2019 at 18:55:27
Why aren’t we regulars in the Champions League playing at the Kings Dock? Why didn’t the Manchester City owners from Abu Dhabi buy us in 2008?
Clive Rogers
11 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:03:21
Tony, #9, I understood Ferguson only coaches the first team strikers?
Jay Harris
12 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:07:24
I totally agree with Gerard and his sentiments but the brunt of the problem IMO is the man who lied about remortgaging his house to buy the club who has outmaneuvered all dissenters including Paul Gregg, Blue Union, Keep Everton at Goodison (or whatever they were called), has had the likes of Philip Green, Robert Earle and a bunch of money grabbing parasites running the club while he watched his money pile grow, has got away with suspiciously dubious accounting and gone through 4 chief executives including Trevor Birch who lasted a matter of weeks because he wouldn't tow the party line.

How the hell he is still chairman of the club is beyond me.

Clive Rogers
13 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:08:22
Moshiri has blundered by appointing his own choices as manager three times getting it wrong. As the OP states there was no reliable football knowledge on the board. I would expect that in the future Brands would have the main input into who becomes manager.
Simon Dalzell
14 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:14:05
In general, an excellent piece, highlighting the crux of our large problems rather than just lumping it all on Silva. (Who is not up to it.)

As Clive rightly says, Moshiri picking the manager is asking for trouble, and Kenwright couldn't help him.

Jim Bennings
15 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:14:26
The three years Moshiri has been here have just seen one blunder after another with no sense of direction on or off the pitch.

I think by 2019, we all thought that there would be some serious shoots of positive progress in clear evidence as a result of this new dawn under the Iranian.

Progress hasn't been made but what's even more alarming is we haven't even stood still, we have gone backwards so fast, it's unbelievable.

What the answers are to these problems... who knows, there's no point pissing millions more out on failed signings that haven't got the full commitment to the cause; but, at the same time, the current squad is lacking at least four really top players to move it forward.

I think we face a long hard summer with many questions to be answered.

Clive Rogers
16 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:15:09
Jay, #12, I couldn't agree more.

It grieves me that that liar is still chairman of our club after giving us 25 years of decline. Even if he is just a figurehead now, we need a dynamic chairman to invigorate the club – not that buffoon a Kenwright.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:22:08
Lyndon #6, agreed.

Dave and Tony, my post was actually longer than that, but Lyndon edited it down since much of it was a response to the parts of the article that were likewise eliminated. (If you follow all that.)

Jim #15, I would point out that while Moshiri has "been here" for three years, he has been in overall charge for just one.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
18 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:24:07
Coming as it does after a dreadful weekend, when a number of our readers have openly questioned the culture and priorities of the club we all support, and some have wondered openly about what is wrong internally, I find the decision by Lyndon to censor this piece from Gerard McKean a little disappointing.

Acting as Devil's Advocate here for a moment, I would dare to suggest, Lyndon, that you are giving Barrett-Baxendale a rather easy pass here, on the basis that it is too soon to formulate strong opinions about her, as one might be tempted to do from the story presented in the original piece.

To me, rather than a hatchet job, it reads more as an informed and instructive anecdote on how Denise Barrett-Baxendale was elevated to the position of CEO of a multi-million-pound Premier League football club, mainly on the strength of her stellar work with Everton in the Community. A path to glory that has (I think rightly) raised a few questions among the fanbase.

Insofar as this tale bears some reflection on the structure and ethos of the club and what it stands for — precisely the issue being addressed on other threads right now — I think you may be overstepping the mark in denying access to our readers.

I would vote for reinstatement of what Gerard submitted. Here we have a rare and precious commodity — someone who has actually seen what goes on from the inside — far removed from the sanitized pap we are drip-fed daily by the club via its website and other avenues of communication that are there to "control the narrative".

Maybe Gerard's tale can be simply dismissed as a hatchet job, or the rantings of a disgruntled former employee. But let the readers judge.

Brian Patrick
19 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:35:03
Lyndon, I don't know who you are but I would say allow us to judge the rest of Gerard's article rather than placing yourself as a self-important ‘Praetor'. You run a football forum, not an ideological think tank. All opinions are valid – even if you don't like them.

And it has been said in many ways before: ‘I might not like what a man has to say but I will defend to the death his right to say it'. We don't have your judicial review on this site – publish the rest of the article and we will be the judge of content – that is the idea of a ‘forum', an agora for ideas.

Barrett-Baxendale contributes nothing to Everton FC and Gerard has an opinion I totally agree with; another example of nepotism at the club, which is killing our club. Oh... is it okay to say that or does it upset your PC vision of the world rammed down our throats every day of the week by the BBC, Sky etc?

I can tell you now I expect you to honour free speech and publish the whole article.

Andy Crooks
20 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:36:47
I absolutely agree, Michael. The censored words should be reinstated. The appointment of the CEO was surprising to me and for Gerard to comment on it is not misogynistic.

When has being fair-minded been the criteria for this site? It is a site of polemic and strong opinion. A powerful and important article has been neutered.

Eddie Dunn
21 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:38:04
Lyndon, I presumed that you pulled some of the above article for legal reasons, if not perhaps you can reconsider.
Barry Cain
22 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:42:37
Is that true about Barkley and Schneiderlin?

If it is that is absolutely unbelievable, even for us.

Dave Williams
23 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:43:27
Jeez – what a rant! We all have a right to our opinion but to slag off DBB so soon into her tenure and for no specific reason is somewhat bizarre. And to continue with criticism that we don't have football people on the board after Brands and Harris being appointed, in addition to the new appointments of senior people in the backgroun,d makes this look like something personal.

DBB is a very impressive lady who should be afforded the chance to show whether or not she is up to the task. Our work in EitC is brilliant but can't be at the expense of the club – is Brands, Silva focussing on the charity or the team? Is Moshiri starving the manager of cash at the expense of the charity?

Who actually knows how good or bad a coach Duncan Ferguson and the rest are? Would a manager put up with them if they were crap?

Some interesting points here but stop attacking people when you have no knowledge of the facts.

John Keating
24 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:46:19

I am afraid I agree with Mike and the other guys.

If it is a legal issue then fair enough but if it's just because you don't think it's fair than it's the thin end of the wedge.

You really should reconsider.

John McFarlane Snr
25 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:48:25
Hi Gerard, I must confess that what goes on behind the scenes is a mystery to me, and I fancy I'm not alone. My main concern is what I witness on the field of play, although I do realise that the efficiency of people in authority is paramount to the wellbeing of the club.

I know that there will be some who will criticise me for what appears to be a lack of interest, but I have always taken the stance of avoiding something I have no control of. In my working life, I was regarded by some as a militant, but the issues were mainly clear-cut.

I trust that the mention of my name in your article was a compliment, and that you understand my position is not one of apathy. As stated earlier, I don't get involved in matters that I have no control over. I do, however, admire your passion in standing up for your beliefs, I think we are similar in that respect,

On a lighter personal note, I have at last passed my fitness test and will be occupying my customary seat for the Wolves game, I have had to make do with Match of the Day viewing, something like 10% of the action which probably made Everton look better than they were. I watched the Millwall game in its entirety and it wasn't pretty.

Brian Patrick
26 Posted 28/01/2019 at 19:52:56
Lyndon, I must apologise if, as some have alluded, you pulled the material for legal reasons which we are not aware of. Poor of me not to have considered that before I penned my message...
Tony Marsh
27 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:01:39
Agree 100% about the nice blond lady who used to run a charity now running EFC. I asked myself "What the fuck?" from day one of DBBs appointment.

Nothing personal but what credentials does DBB posses for such a high profile job as the CEO of EFC? It stinks to high heaven. Would any of the Sky 6 clubs appoint DBB as the CEO of any of those clubs? I doubt it very much.

The trouble with Everton FC is we are all too very nice. Every season, we seem to make ludicrous appointments and continue to fiddle while Rome burns. If it's not Walsh & Koeman buying Klaassen and Sandro, it's Allardyce buying Tosun and Walcott or Kenwright talking Moshiri into giving the nice blond lady a bunk up. It never ends... and never will while Bill pulls the strings.

Don't get me started on the phantom new stadium. Biggest heel-dragging exercise in the history of the club. Bramley-Moore Dock puts Brexit to shame.

John Keating
28 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:01:56

Unfortunately, what goes on behind the scenes directly affects what happens on the pitch. At the end of the day, everything is interlinked.

I would imagine, as supporters of our Club, if what we witness on the pitch causes us concern and that is somehow linked to the goings on behind the scenes, surely we have a right to know?

We slag players and managers off every day of the year. Allardyce was vilified BEFORE he joined us last season. Silva and most of the team are the latest victims. We have called out Kenwright for years for his actions and less than truths.

If it is not breaking any laws and someone has information about behind-the-scenes mischiefs that affect what we pay to see on the park, especially if that someone has been here for a while, then I think that's fair game.

And to be honest – like every thread – if it is of no interest, then don't comment.

Glad you're back for the Wolves game, you've missed nothing!!

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:02:03
Michael (#18), I entirely agree with your post, maybe Lyndon could invite Everton's CEO the chance to reply to Gerard's post.

Mike (#17) I read your post before it was reduced. I've met Gerard, only once, but on that occasion – and on all of his post's about our CEO – he has been consistent in his opinions of how the CEO rose to her eventual position. As Michael Kenrick said, let us judge for ourselves.

Brent Stephens
30 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:08:22
Dave #29 that’s an excellent idea. I would suggest that if TW were to approach the CEO, then it would be made clear that the opinion piece was a personal reflection and not an official TW view nor necessarily representative of the views of other TW contributors.
Len Hawkins
31 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:10:14
A mind-boggling insight into the goings on in the Board Room, but one point is the role of Brands. Surely the very title Director of Football demands that as a Director he sits on the board?

The common denominator in the ongoing lack of ANYTHING let alone SUCCESS seems to emanate from the "Honorary" Chairman.

I always thought Club President was an Honorary appointment but, for someone who has cashed his chips in, Kenwright seems to be prolonging the failure at all levels with very little outlay – except a round of drinks if he remembers his wallet.

Brian Patrick
32 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:17:04
Gerard's article should be printed en masse and handed out to fans outside Goodison... before it's too late!
Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:39:09
Dave @23, that's my argument mate, albeit a very sarcastic one, because if four managers have never had a problem with Ferguson, then why don't the club just appoint him as the manager?

Clive said he's only there to coach the forwards? So he's the first team coach, just for forwards, when it's a fuckin defensive coach we need!

I would prefer to try and get Moshir to engage with T/W, especially because he doesn't need an open letter to anyone now he's got full control of our club.

Dave Williams
34 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:41:57
Just researched DBB on the internet along with Levy and a few others.
She looks well qualified to do her job to me with a DoF alongside her to deal with football transfers, strategy and the like. It could be a good combination – I will be one who gives her a chance.
Dave Williams
35 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:49:15
Tony, heaven knows, mate. He could be a good coach but, like Harvey, hasn't got the aptitude to manage. He could be crap and only there to give him a job.

Does Clive know for sure that he only coaches strikers? I'd expect that to be where he specialises but I just don't get why Koeman, Allardyce and Silva would accept him as first team coach if he was no good at the job because it is their careers and reputations at stake.

Nothing has ever been said in the media about how good or bad he may be but it just irks me when people are slagged off just for being there; I prefer to know the facts before jumping on the bandwagon.

All that said, this business is all about opinions and it fascinates me to read what some people are thinking... it scares me to death at times!!

Mal van Schaick
36 Posted 28/01/2019 at 20:53:26
I suppose that when you have financiers and shareholders and decisions are made about the running of the club by the board members, decisions and conversations have to remain in the boardroom, or else the share price is at risk along with investors money. These facts alone influence what happens at the club.

As for DBB, I understand that she has promoted the club well through the community, and this alone deserves respect and praise.

I believe that all those involved with Everton at a higher level also want to see happen what the fans want to see happen: entertainment on the pitch and if possible, trophies and European qualification. I hope that we can all pull together and make our dreams come true.

Jon Withey
37 Posted 28/01/2019 at 21:17:07
Pretty early to criticise either Brands or DBB in my opinion. Brands especially seems like a decent appointment – bringing in experience.

DBB seems to have the club and community's best interests at heart. We could just as easily have appointed someone who didn't give a damn.

It's apparent that we would rather promote from within – you could see that as a way of maintaining a set of management that have some interest in EFC – or a way of maintaining control, or a bit of both.

John McFarlane Snr
38 Posted 28/01/2019 at 21:29:48
Hi John [28], I think you have misinterpreted a couple of my points, what I posted was: "I realise that the efficiency of people in authority is paramount to the wellbeing of the club." I am long enough in the tooth to appreciate that what goes on in the boardroomhas a massive effect on activities on the pitch.

I never said that the thread was of no interest to me; what I said was "I know there will be some who will criticise me, for what appears to be a lack of interest, but I have always taken the stance of avoiding something I have no control of."

I too will be glad to be back in my Park End seat, and no matter what's served up, it's preferable to listening to a radio commentary.

Rob Halligan
39 Posted 28/01/2019 at 21:46:00
Have just spent an enjoyable couple of hours having a few pints with Ged (I've known him for years and it's what I've always called him) and he was telling me about the article he has posted above.

In particular, he was telling me about DBB and how her appointment of CEO came about, and I'm guessing that this maybe the piece that Lyndon has edited out. Obviously, I cannot put down on here what Ged told me, that's for Lyndon and Ged to sort out between them, suffice to say it's quite an eye-opener as to how appointments are made within the club.

Believe me, Ged knows an awful lot about what happens within the club. Ged had a close working relationship with my brother who was also involved with certain aspects of the goings on within the club, so what has been said, either in the OP, or in the past, comes from a person who knows the full truth.

James Stewart
40 Posted 28/01/2019 at 21:48:50
Staggering piece... if only the powers that be were quite so on the ball, we wouldn't be in such a mess. No-one at the club, bar Brands, is qualified to be doing the job they are.
Don Alexander
41 Posted 28/01/2019 at 21:58:19
Obviously I'm 100% pointing the finger of blame at Kenwright. He's only ever been about himself as far as I'm concerned and for Moshiri to still have him as chairman, and never mind about having openly relied on his football know-how from the moment he bought in (Jeez!) speaks of huge self-doubt in the heart of our so-called Messiah. By now he might just have huge self-doubt in his heat too (and apologies for using the M word as an analogy for our owner, but I've no interest or idea what his religion might be).

As Gerard and Dave Abrahams say, putting Brands on the board may be a very good thing indeed given the football vacuum he's now invading but we now need a different, talented DoF, not Brands. Brands cannot reliably critique himself can he, but he may be well able to critique whoever gets the DoF role? It's what proper top clubs do but we, among the twenty wealthiest clubs on the planet apparently (!) are still trying to spend the least possible by asking one guy to do two very important jobs.

I suppose it probably costs less in wages but it seems akin to demanding that Jordan not only keeps clean sheets but also must regularly make his presence felt in the opponents box.

Amateurish, as ever under the teary-one.

Laurie Hartley
42 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:01:37
Thanks, Gerard, we needed this post.

The buck stops with Fahrad Moshiri. There appears to me to be two separate problems here – both of which, if he is pulling the strings, he is responsible for:-

1. The day-to-day commercial performance of EFC as a business.
2. The performance of the football team.

Because of his track record in Alister Usmanov's business, I have no doubt he can and will sort issue Number 1 out. However, that will take a bit of time; time he won't have if the team is relegated.

He has proven already, however, that he doesn't have the expertise to sort out issue Number 2. He needs somebody else to do that for him. I think he has realised this and hence the appointment of Marcel Brands to the board.

There is a huge amount of money riding on Everton maintaining its Premier League status. It is not just his investment in shares, it's the stadium and all the other opportunities along the waterfront that will flow on from its construction. Moshiri cannot and will not put this at risk.

Moshiri took the big punt on Marco Silva. If Silva can't turn the footballing situation around, starting tonight, I don't think he will sit on his hands.

Clive Rogers
43 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:05:38
Dave, 35, no don’t know for sure but I read that in the press some time ago. Unless he has moved up since then. But isn’t Silva the coach?
Ken Kneale
44 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:19:27
A staggering article indeed.

I know none of the personalities involved but, unless legal reasoning dictates censorship, let us judge on merit, please, Lyndon, or this site is in danger of being a mouthpiece for those that, on face value, are mis-managing what we all love dearly.

I have written on other threads, we're in the gravest danger ever of following Aston Villa – this article does little to assuage my fears.

As for the ability or otherwise of the so-called coach Duncan Ferguson, as I recall, he walked away from football then realised he could get a cushy number by cosying up to Bill Kenwright and came cap in hand to Finch Farm on some voluntary basis – next thing, he is coaching the first team or some element of it.

I would like to have a statistical breakdown of results under his tenure – I suspect they would reassure my view that he is stealing a living good-style, fiddling whilst Goodison burns and we are all heartbroken.

Steve Ferns
45 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:24:04
I have met Gerard and can guess the full story is the one he told me in person. However, I fully support Lyndon in his decision to censor the piece and would strongly suggest he would do so.

It was an eye-opening tale on a very left-field appointment for me. But it was also a piece that is open to legal challenge and could bring the end of this site, in extreme, but possible circumstances. The right call was made there.

Jerome Shields
46 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:29:25
I could have added more to my earlier post @5, but became aware of the legal connotations of doing so. I therefore didn't. I have been subject to legal address, trying to take on such parties. Fortunately, I came out the other side okay.

In my opinion, Lyndon had to censor the article to keep us all right; or else a few us would be attending court with Lyndon.

Ken Kneale
47 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:39:46
Steve – if that is Ferguson's CV then we truly have brought the charity work to the football side. He is one of the problems – not the solution to our woes.
Brian Patrick
48 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:43:39
If it is something of such importance it needs to be in the public domain... for the sake of our football club. For that reason, alone it should be published. You would not be liable for musings on a public forum...
Paul A Smith
49 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:48:06
I don't pretend to know enough about DBB but I agree with everything he says re Moshiri. I think it's been a mess since he came and I will say again and again, selling a top striker to the team one place above us was a terrible message and awful ambition.

Somebody explain to me how we have or ever will recover from that? We basically told Man Utd we won't ever try to leap them.

A ruthless ambitious businessman would have told Lukaku he either stays or goes abroad but not to a rival. It stinks.

We must have spent £20 million on managers since Moshiri arrived.

Paul A Smith
50 Posted 28/01/2019 at 22:56:49
Ken Kneale. I bet the Villa link doesnt even dawn on most fans. Great post. I fully agree it is sad that free speech is a thing of the past.

I will be honest and say I am cautious about negatives against a woman in general but I appreciate somebody willing to point out his concerns for what he sees as the good of the club.

As long as he/she doesn't lie, I don't see the problem, regardless of gender.

Steve Ferns
51 Posted 28/01/2019 at 23:20:25
Paul, sure you have the ability to make free speech, but the laws of libel and slander mean you need to back up contentious accusations. It's nothing new, they've been around longer than free speech, which is not a Human Right in this country (the UK). If you make a contentious accusation on this site, it's ToffeeWeb who get sued / shut down, despite their disclaimer.
Dan Davies
52 Posted 28/01/2019 at 23:43:35
Ok George, I have not read a single reply to your article because it is late and I'm tired. I apologise to the posters I've ignored, I shall read your replies tomorrow!

Ok, George I could not agree more with what you have written I could not have put it across better myself. Top man. Top post.

I've said on here in the past that a team's performance on the pitch over a number of seasons is a reflection of the club's hierarchy above.

At this point in time it's chaos. The sooner Moshiri buys out Kenwright the better he's a dinosaur that's hanging around like a fart in a spacesuit.

We need a new era. I also believe Brands has been promoted to the board because he's talking football stuff these amateur clowns have no clue about and lovely Denise is smart enough to know she needs him to make her look good.

Paul A Smith
53 Posted 28/01/2019 at 23:49:52
Steve I get it mate I just find it sad and I don't believe it should count as Lyndons fault if a poster makes a claim.
Steve Ferns
54 Posted 28/01/2019 at 23:50:10
My post got edited at #45 got edited. Fair enough, I'll leave my comments about Ferguson's role there. It was supposition, and hearsay anyway.

The comments on the Director of Football being on the board were valid though. So I wonder why they were pulled?

Steve Ferns
55 Posted 28/01/2019 at 23:52:16
Paul, doesn't matter what you believe, the law on this is very old and very clear.
Paul A Smith
56 Posted 28/01/2019 at 23:58:57
Steve once again I get it. It also doesn't stop me saying why I don't like censorship. I think you have guaranteed yourself an editor's pat on the back already, mate – you hardly need to try and explain law as well.

On the Duncan Ferguson thing, there are some lovely theories but he has the badges required to coach. Like all other coaches.

Stephen Gerrard once said Jamie Carragher would make a better manager because he studies the game more. I don't think Duncan taking a year out is any substance whatsoever and he's never been the number one coach anyway.

Was Zouma thanking him for being a poor coach when he scored the other week?

Steven Bencz
57 Posted 28/01/2019 at 00:04:05
Thank you for this amazing post! Lots of work ahead and this year is a goner.

I think at this point we understand the team is bloated (43 players) and the wage bill needs to be reduced. It will probably take Brands a couple more years to fix.

At this point I hope we find a path on the pitch and stick to it. For example the latest flavour the Borussia Dortmund model.

Its okay to give some younger players a run. Lets be honest everybody needs a run of games. Lets have players like Lookman, Vlasic, Kenny etc. game time as its not a bad thing to have younger, hungrier players vying for spots. Yes I know Vlasic is on loan ( along with 16 other players) it was an example how youth can help. Lukaku was young as well just Richarlison. Age is just a number.

I just really hope when its time its Brands who hires the new coach. For now Silva can you at least try to motivate the team?!

Steve Ferns
58 Posted 29/01/2019 at 00:11:37
Steven, if you give the decision to Brands, then it's a one man shortlist: Cocu. Philip Cocu the former Dutch great, and the last manager Brands worked with at PSV. Since they both left at the end of last season, Cocu has been to Fenerbache and got sacked. I'm sure Brands would convince Moshiri to see past this. Brands clearly holds his old mate in high regard. Can you see anyone else but him?
Jamie Crowley
59 Posted 28/01/2019 at 00:44:25
Regarding DBB's appointment, the article states:

This is because Everton’s due diligence procedure on her appointment to head up EitC makes Failing Grayling’s checks into a ferry company with no ships before awarding it a £14m government contract look positively thorough.

Before DBB's appointment, my opinion of EiTC was one of pride. I thought all of the outreach endeavors were wonderful. I couldn't have told you, at the time, who was in charge of that, but I thought well done by the Club.

Now, surely EiTC is a business venture on it's own mertis? People to hire, events to coordinate, volunteers to organize, quality control of events, invoices, contracts, logistics, etc. Just about every facet of what it would take to run a good business.

If the powers-that-be thought DBB did a stellar job with her position, and they saw a track record of excellence, and from the outside looking in the track record was darned good, why would they not promote that person in charge to a higher position in the organization?

I wouldn't say an organization has to be overly driven to perform "due diligence" in a promotion appointment if they're happy with the individual in question and their performance?

If you're running a company and the VP of Sales shows excellent skills, business acumen, knowledge of the business workings inside the organization but outside his delegated responsibilities, and you like them? Is it necessary to interview 4-5 other candidates?

I'd say no.

Especially if you're looking to put people in place, promoting from within, and build a "culture".

Now if Bill was solely in charge of DBB's appointment, and we know his business skills could be construed as lacking with his track record, that's one thing.

It's all a very convoluted mess this negativity to my eyes, and not having a single clue as to the inner workings of the Club it's difficult to frankly figure this all out. Especially when you see people post who's opinions you take on board.

But on the surface, to my eyes, we had a capable woman of high intelligence, with an excellent track record, who clearly was well liked and thought of by the decision makers, and they promoted her. What's wrong with that? Open-ended questions are dangerous, but honestly what's the harm or evil with that?

The dynamic of not having a footballing "person" on the board is valid. But for me, the hiring of Denise Barrett-Baxendale doesn't seem nefarious in the least?

I'd say let her do her job. It's been months, and I can't see where she's to blame for our current situation. She's running a business, not choosing who plays, what formation we set up in, etc.

I'd also say I don't see it necessary that the CEO is overly "football knowledgable". That's not her role in this business venture.

I stand to be corrected, but on the surface, I really not sure why she's getting vilified?

I'm not asking these rhetorical questions to stir a shit-pot, or pick a fight. I'm asking because I can't for the life of me, understand the negativity regarding the appointment of Barrett-Baxendale to her current position. If she falters, remove her. But to date, I'm not sure if she's done anything egregious?

Someone please explain. I'm not looking to get skewered here. I might just get ripped to shreds. But I can't, for the life of me, understand why this appointment is met with such derision.

Should we simply not hire anyone from a charity background to oversee the business side of the Club? There's a hell of a lot of CEOs of major companies that worked for very large charity organizations at one time or another. Their title at those charity organizations was most probably CEO. I don't see the transition as problematic, nor do I see the fact the EiTC as a smaller outreach entity is problematic if you have confidence in the individual that they can "make the step up."

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
60 Posted 29/01/2019 at 00:59:02
Not having had the chance to vet or provide an opinion on the suitability of certain portions of Gerard's piece for this website and then having felt compelled to make an editorial decision after it had been published, I'm now in something of a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't position.

Clearly, with the worms briefly out of the can, there is now a suspicion and allegation that there was something to hide or that, as has been incorrectly asserted above, there was a desire on my part to toe some party line or assist in "controlling the narrative."

Firstly, to address one aspect of my decision to withdraw a large portion of the article, there was an allegation that might have been problematic from a legal perspective and that remains redacted. The rest of Gerard's account has been restored as was. As I have been urged both here and offline, readers can now read for themselves and decide how fair or not the piece is.

Far from being a "self-important ‘Praetor'" who merely runs a football forum, as Brian Patrick (19) rather condescendingly put it, I am an owner and an editorial steward of what I think most would regard as an influential supporters' website (based on the fact that ToffeeWeb has been running for 25 years now and we built have a wide readership in that time) and with that comes responsibility in terms of what gets elevated as prominent article content.

As I suggest above, I was uncomfortable with the tenor of what became the central tenet of Gerard's article and, to rebut Brian again, it didn't have anything to do with his "opinions" (it was an account not a comment piece) and everything to do with what I perceived to be an imbalanced critique of the Everton hierarchy.

At the outset the intent appears to be an evaluation of the boardroom as a whole but ends up focusing primarily – and with more than a hint of personal animus – on Denise Barrett-Baxendale and her efforts to rise to the level of being the best qualified internal candidate to succeed Robert Elstone (himself an internal hire) while asserting that as a collective we Blues had all been so blinded by the success of EitC that we couldn't see the wood for the trees. There may be an external impression that Everton have been more successful as a club than we actually have been based on the success of the charity but how many Evertonians were telling themselves that everything was sound because EitC was winning a few awards?

The scepticism of Denise's suitability to the role may all be warranted based on Gerard's personal experiences, I don't know and I appreciate the general point he was trying to make about the internal machinations of the club.

But he has clearly made up his mind that DBB has been promoted above her abilities and is therefore doomed to fail. (It has been my reading of the situation that she was installed to be a more-than-capable operations person, with Sasha Ryazantsev steering the commercial side, Keith Harris the stadium, and Marcel Brands the footballing side.)

I suppose we'll see but If you're looking for the root cause of what you view as Everton's current ills, at best (if you feel DBB isn't up to it) you could argue her promotion to CEO was a symptom but she is not the malaise itself.

If we're going to fully assess the perceived failings of the club (most of which are concerned with what's going wrong on the pitch rather than what is happening off it where, relative to our history over the past few decades – the persistently limited commercial growth notwithstanding – there's a hint at some progress), I'm uncomfortable with throwing so many daggers at a CEO who hasn't even been in the post for a year and hasn't had a chance at all to prove herself.

Jamie Crowley
61 Posted 29/01/2019 at 01:06:23
To that end, someone please enlighten us to what exactly Barrett-Baxendale has done wrong in her short stint as CEO?

What specifically do you take issue with in her role as CEO?

Steve Brown
63 Posted 29/01/2019 at 01:22:10
If I understand the article correctly, it is a case of ‘tail wagging the dog’ when DBB became a hugely successful CEO of EiTC, raising its status and profile of the organisation massively. She then out-manoeuvres the dreadful Robert Elstone to become CEO. Clever old DBB, I admire her more now than ever.

We have in effect replaced an unsuccessful male CEO with a successful female CEO. I agree that the due diligence was dreadful because Everton is an amateurish job, but I am for one she is in charge rather than Elstone.

Don Alexander
64 Posted 29/01/2019 at 01:23:21
Jamie (#59) I hear what you say but in the UK it's been revealed, and never challenged by the charlatans who are CEO of the various charities we have here, that they're taking mega six-figure pay from the donations freely given by gullible but altruistic donors BEFORE any money goes to the needy in the charity concerned.

Now I'm not saying DBB is of that ilk but let's be clear, what does a career in teaching alone, together with some success as the lead in EiTC, bring to the club as a football business?

Add that to the Teary-One describing her as "Our Little Miss Dynamite" (sic) when he so extravagantly started to promote her in 2014 and I start to believe, I'm sorry to say, that she's no more than Eliza Doolittle, selected by a bumptious wanna-be non-entity if you're interested (check Pygmalion/My Fair Lady) intent on glorifying himself by using her, whilst at the same time preserving his totally spent football ideology throughout the club and especially the leeches he's selected for permanent occupation of FF.

It's been almost 30 years of inertia folks, with only one major "character" being the link throughout. To me the chance of our resurrection depends, to start with, on the demise of one single person (and let me make it clear, for the avoidance of doubt as they say in legal circles, "demise" means the full removal from the club, not life itself!)

Jamie Crowley
65 Posted 29/01/2019 at 01:58:17
Don @ 64 -

I completely agree with your disgust regarding the heads of Charity grabbing obscene amounts of money. We have more than a few over here, I can assure you. One cancer charity, who I will NOT name publicly, had something like only $.27 of every donated dollar actually go to cancer research! That's certifiably criminal! And the CEO was on the payroll for something like $650,000 per year!

But I just don't see, nor have I ever seen it reported, that's the case with EiTC.

I completely understand the suspicion of Bill Kenwright and his motives. I'm not sure I agree with it, but I get it. After, "the money's ring-fenced", some questionable oversees loans, etc., there's at least enough material to have a discussion.

But again, I'd ask, what exactly Barrett-Baxendale has done wrong in her short stint as CEO?

Honestly Don, I don't see a single thing!

This smacks of a very frustrated fan base with what they see on the field, extending their anger towards an individual who doesn't deserve the hate.

Here's why this entire thing is so confounding to me. And I'll be as brief as possible.

Gerard writes a piece questioning DBB's appointment. Later in threads, Rob Halligan states he's had a few brews with his man Ged, and talks about the manner of the appointment of DBB not being ideal.

Now I like Rob a lot. By all accounts he's an extremely good person. He loves Everton of that there's no question.

When someone you respect (albeit on TW, but still there's certainly posters you respect, admire, and some you avoid) vouches for the person penning a piece that, on the surface, appears more a witch-hunt at worst, or minimally a very frustrated, passionate fan looking to vent? Part of you says, "hang on a second. If Person A vouches for Person B, and I like Person A quite a bit, surely I can trust the transitive property? Person B wouldn't just spout garbage!"

Well. . . then you get a mystery. A conundrum. Is there more to the story? I trust Person A's take on things, and he trusts Person B, so. . .

That's why I ask - What specifically has Barrett-Baxendale done in her role as CEO to warrant such a negative opinion?

I can't see a single thing! Not one. I've not seen any article suggesting she's ever been involved with anything unsavory. She's preformed wonderfully heading up EiTC. She's not done anything I can see to warrant objection as CEO thusfar.

But! Gerard probably is a good fella if Rob's any judge (and I've not doubt Rob's a good guy), and he doesn't seemingly think the DBB appointment is a good thing.

Head scratcher for me.

Jamie Crowley
66 Posted 29/01/2019 at 02:02:57
By the way, throw in the nugget that Michael Kenrick drops that Gerard worked inside the Club, and you've got a drama fit for television!

I want more information Don! ;0)

Steve Ferns
67 Posted 29/01/2019 at 02:24:41
Jamie, Gerard did work inside the club. You would reconsider your position if you spoke to him, and accepted what he said.

But I don't think ToffeeWeb can publish everything he can say, and I'd advise him about putting it anywhere in writing. I'm sure from what he says DBB wouldn't just brush it off either.

So be careful, Gerard. You're certainly a good blue with his heart in the right place.

Jamie Crowley
68 Posted 29/01/2019 at 02:33:02
And now that's two people I like and respect backing Gerard.

I'll leave this alone. Many mysteries go unsolved. Sometimes solved mysteries leave a bitter taste as well.


Laurie Hartley
69 Posted 29/01/2019 at 02:41:22
I have just read the enlarged version of Gerard’s post.

Having weighed that up, I reckon Lyndon’s decision to withhold whatever he did is best for him and those of us who enjoy ToffeeWeb (even if it is miserable being an Evertonian at the moment.).

As I said above my view is Moshiri has two problems. One football and one let’s call it “corporate”.

The corporate issue if it is exists will take time and several moves to resolve. But here is a clue on where to start. When a business is bought or taken over its former owner and senior executives, unless they are exceptional, rarely remain in the business longer than 12 months.

The football issue in my view is more pressing and looks increasingly to me that it can be solved in one move.

Big test ahead for our majority shareholder.

Don Alexander
70 Posted 29/01/2019 at 02:44:13
Jamie, like you I'm totally in the dark about whatever goes on in the boardroom of our club but whilst DBB's never been exposed, yet, of having done anything "wrong" with Everton what, EiTC aside, seemingly, has she ever done right in the world of football or football/business heavy hitters, such as are on the books of every other "top team"?

If "Radiant Grin Of The Year" amounts to anything she's gold standard though.

Jamie Crowley
71 Posted 29/01/2019 at 02:52:56
I've just, through the magic of the internet, discovered the relationship to the Club Gerard had.

I have to say, knowing no facts, I believe Lyndon's decision to edit the submission is a solid one. And I might add may have been done without only himself / TW in mind.

Good call. I'm not a fan of censorship in the main. Here's a prime example where editorial removals or omissions are often a good call.

At least it would appear so on the surface, not knowing what was originally submitted. But Gerard's position and an EiTC community outreach program would have meant Gerard being knowledgable about a thing or two.

Now I'll truly leave this alone! Promise.

Alan J Thompson
72 Posted 29/01/2019 at 04:33:00
I haven't the faintest idea if there is any truth or objectivity in the article... but, by god, it's a thoroughly interesting and thought-provoking piece.
Gerard McKean
73 Posted 29/01/2019 at 07:38:07
Some time ago I received an email from somebody at EFC requesting a reference on a person who’d applied for a job. To cut a long story short, in order to provide the reference I had to use a different email address. It was only when I started getting phone calls asking for the reference urgently that I realised my address had been blocked and my first attempts had failed to arrive. Nobody had told me about this, and happily the person in question got the job, but I remain contemptuous of what I see as a vindictive form of censorship based undoubtedly on my temerity in speaking truth to power at the club.

Last night I got home to a phone call from a TW poster telling me I’ve been censored again. Personally I would have much preferred the article to have been rejected rather than censored without my knowledge.

It’s your train set, Lyndon, so you make the rules. However, if TW is to remain a fair reflection of different opinions your action here was not helpful. Frankly I can’t be bothered, after taking time to write it and double check my facts, to read your version of my article. Nor will I therefore read the thread it has provoked as some posts may be addressing issues whose nuances will have changed if sections have been cut.

I wish all who read and contribute to TW well, but it no longer has any attraction for me.

Jack Convery
74 Posted 29/01/2019 at 07:59:50
I read it all and good it was - thanks for enlightening me. I hope Ken Loach gets to read it, interview Ged and make a film of it. Can't wait to see BK at the Oscars up for best HR hirer, whilst we set out to play Wednesday away followed by Villa at home ! Tears will be flowing. Now what shall we call it - Everton In The Shit !
Jack Convery
75 Posted 29/01/2019 at 08:02:41
Ged I hope u reconsider . My comment was made before I saw your comment at 73.
Tony Abrahams
76 Posted 29/01/2019 at 08:24:01
Very sad news that Gerard, but a man of your intelligence should have known a closed shop, will always remain a closed shop, simply because life is all about people, protecting their own interests.


I understand why Lyndon, removed parts of the article, but I can’t understand why he never told Gerard, before this was posted though, because when people only have, “half a story” the only thing they are not getting told is “THE TRUTH”

Thomas Lennon
77 Posted 29/01/2019 at 08:54:33
There are more than a few puzzling self-contradictions in this article of which one or two have already been mentioned. If I remember correctly this might be the person who fell out with the club over the setting up of the school? Party politics seemed to be playing a part...anyway I too was a little puzzled when DBB was appointed. Where is the dawn of a ruthless new world for Everton FC when we still promote inward looking people from within?

However thinking about it she may have been the safe pair of hands that both Kenwright and Moshiri would accept? Moshiri takes over further power later this year I understand (July?) so Kenwright may well find his seat less secure - intentionally so, as I am sure he has said he wants to retire. CEO may be a position that will be reviewed in time, others may come on to the board.

That said EitC is a fine attempt to get/keep the local community onside at a time when it is harder and harder to give people a reason to support the Blues. That and £100 season tickets for the kids. It is very good at listening to those in need and to ground the multimillionaire young men we employ. I am involved with a very small charity that asked every club in the Premier League for help a couple of months back and guess who was the only one to respond and actually do what they asked?

Then to criticise the board when it acknowledges a shortcoming by appointing a director with a world renowned knowledge of football? Considering that the previous incumbent 'knowledge base' was a rugby man first and last (as it turned out) I count that as an improvement. He now has the power to appoint his own DoF or equivalent if needed - certainly agree that if we needed a DoF that was fire-able before we need one now too. The role needs clarification.

Where is the heavy-weight business brain to lead all this? It is unfair to run down Moshiri's talents but I still regard him as a front man for you-know-who. We shall see.

It is also unfair to criticise DBB for being a driven, ambitious character. Those are exactly the people we need to drive change through, it is all too easy to sit on the sidelines and snipe away.

Eric Myles
78 Posted 29/01/2019 at 09:05:56
Thomas #77 " If I remember correctly this might be the person who fell out with the club over the setting up of the school?"

I think that was a guy named Richard Knight.

Si Cooper
79 Posted 29/01/2019 at 09:06:54
Jamie C, from your initial post at 59 youseem to have off on the wrong foot so to speak. The failing Grayling / due diligence comment relates to DBB’s appointment to be head of EitC, not her later internal promotion at the club. The gist of that part of the OP is that apparently she might not have been quite as brilliant in her running of The Fiveways Trust project as whoever employed her at the club was somehow convinced she was, and that could have been discovered if they had asked the people who would really know. I don’t know if that is true, but that is how it reads to me.
I am equally in the dark regarding her performance and rise through the ‘ranks’ at EFC but, like Jerome, I have plenty of experience of rampant self promoters bizarrely stealing all the credit for team efforts whilst manoeuvring all potential rivals out of the way. At times, it seems that the ego of the bosses who have done the hiring makes them blind to the failings of their direct appointees, especially if the underling is adept at bolstering that ego.
Gerard Carey
80 Posted 29/01/2019 at 09:24:03
What is an open forum?.
Rob Dolby
81 Posted 29/01/2019 at 09:25:46
A really interesting article and an insight into the background at the club.

I can't say that I am surprised as it has always been the way that the more ruthless alpha types climb the ladder whilst not caring for what they have left behind.

She very probably is out of her depth at the club but so to were the previous couple of incumbents.

Moshiri made a lot of money very quickly on the back of Usmanov and has surprised me at how he has turned himself into the Iranian Kenwright. His Jim White comments are cringe worthy. The fab 4 etc etc.

Results on the pitch mask over all of this type of stuff and Moyes did a great job at protecting Kenwright over the years. Unfortunately the football is dreadful and every inch of the club is criticised.

Over the last couple of days nearly everyone at the club has been slaughtered.

If we were in the top 6 and still in the fa cup would this article be on here.

Where are the Lyons, Reid, Radcliffe's, Horne's, Watson's,Carsleys, Cahill's or Ferguson's in this team?

Derek Thomas
82 Posted 29/01/2019 at 09:40:09
Allegedly; DBB asked one of the Stewards ( big chap by all accounts) to be present when she had a meeting with a big 'rough looking' fellow. When asked, she offered it was, somebody called...Neville Southall.

Football knowledge indeed.

Gerard's post both does and at the same time, doesn't surprise me.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Alan McGuffog
83 Posted 29/01/2019 at 10:06:43
Well, when we roll over tonight and get a right royal shafting from the mighty Huddersfield, I'll know who to curse.
Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 29/01/2019 at 10:15:47
Gerard (73), very sad to hear you will be giving ToffeeWeb a miss from now on, it will be the poorer for
your absense, good luck and good health in the future
and I hope you will reconsider your decision in the future.Very best wishes.
Dave Williams
85 Posted 29/01/2019 at 10:21:12
I recall quite clearly the huge fuss created when Birmingham City appointed Karen Brady who had no experience working in football.
She turned out to be a pretty tough lady who knew her way around business and football circles.
Gerard’s article is fascinating albeit he does sound like he has a huge axe to grind with virtually everyone in power at the club and it would be interesting but probably intrusive to know his background so that some of what he says could be put into context.
I don’t particularly care how DBB rose to her current position- you have to be ruthless at times to progress and as long as she does a good job she will do for me. Give her two years to get stuck in and judge the lady then- she has done nothing to deserve this!
Dave Williams
86 Posted 29/01/2019 at 10:31:16
I recall quite clearly the huge fuss created when Birmingham City appointed Karen Brady who had no experience working in football.
She turned out to be a pretty tough lady who knew her way around business and football circles.
Gerard’s article is fascinating albeit he does sound like he has a huge axe to grind with virtually everyone in power at the club and it would be interesting but probably intrusive to know his background so that some of what he says could be put into context.
I don’t particularly care how DBB rose to her current position- you have to be ruthless at times to progress and as long as she does a good job she will do for me. Give her two years to get stuck in and judge the lady then- she has done nothing to deserve this!
Derek Thomas
87 Posted 29/01/2019 at 10:54:43
Thinking it through a bit in a Devils Advocate-ish way and I credit Gerard is an ITK scource. It could all about perception, spin and to some extent the luck of the draw. No Pickford and the cross bar, then a few wins, Millwall seen off, AFC Wimbledon in the next round, Untd Vs Chelsea...onwards and upwards etc.

Then come May and the same bare bones 'facts', in this post feminist, me too world, are the feel good, making it in the male dominated dinosaur world of football, not quite rags to riches, story du jour.

But it didn't work out like that and the same bare bones 'facts' 'could' be spun to say; how can a local girl, with little or no football and football / premier related knowledge and experience end up as CEO, how did that wonder we're crap.


What with the footballing side of matters mentioned, the permanently employed coaches, Koeman, Walsh, no Lukaku replacement, Rooney's return and subsequent leaving, the Barkley Schneiderlin thing, Allardyce ffs.

IMO, Gerard is within his rights to bring this to our attention and link one with the other as symptomatic of the underperforming nature of the last 30 yr

How it is interpreted may depend on your glass half full or glass half empty quotient.

Jerome Shields
88 Posted 29/01/2019 at 10:57:15

Lyndon has confirmed that the decision for censorship was based on legal conutations. Though the piece was well written and extremely informative the fact that it was written in the first person rather than the third person, meant that it came across as personal, with possible legal conutations, which had they been substantiated would caused problems for you, ToffeeWeb and a few inadvertent posters.

My Oxford English and iPad skills may not be up to scratch, as the ToffeeWeb Editorial team can confirm, but I do know when committing my thoughts in word(writing) to use the Third person, especially where possible legal conutations are possible,

The ToffeeWeb Editorial team have not published and altered some of my posts, where I have headed of on a rant or written things poorly, They have undoubtly done this on other posted, It the right of ToffeeWeb Editorial team to do this and it is absolutely essential they act on anything that has legal conutations. Once any article is submitted it is their right to do this without consulation. . Its the only way they can work, give the large amount of posts and the diversity of opinion. Of course your article is important to you, but all the articles are important to the people that write them, as are the posts.

I think by not arguing you case against the posts to your article you are missing a opportunity to clarify your opinions. Those who write articles and post on a ToffeeWeb have been agreed with, but also challenged.
That is what makes it such a good forum.

I thank you for your article which has given me a incite into the inside story at Everton, which contributes to a Club I want to know more about and through my contribution with the contribution of other ToffeeWebs will make a difference and influence the necessary changes in the Everton FC.

I am afraid you influence will be limited and your resentment and frustration will grow and the only one will suffer is yourself , if you can’t work within acceptable perimeters and won’t engage as a result,

John Jennings
89 Posted 29/01/2019 at 11:31:58
Very, very interesting article Gerard. And please don't stop contributing because of the issues over editorial rights/censorship.

When I was an aspiring Director and aiming to be a Board member of a successful business one day, I watched and listened to lots of clever and driven individuals. I also read a lot of books and one comes to mind just now as ringing very true. It is called 'The Fish Rots from the Head', authored by Bob Garratt. A good read and, as I have found from personal experience, insightful and completely accurate. If your leadership is bad, it permeates every part of your organisation, and your business, no matter what field it is in, will go rotten.

TW readers with long memories may already know where I am going with this.

Our 'Fish Head' is William Kenwright. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will change for the better at Everton Football Club whilst he occupies any position of influence. I wrote an open letter to Mr Kenwright in February 2011 imploring him to go for the sake of the club. I think I posted it on TW, but can't remember (have watched so much shite footy in the intervening years that the brain has frazzled). Of course, no reply was received and the huge underachievement and massive disappointments have continued. And will continue, and may get worse.

As a footnote, I seem to recall that when they who must not be named across the park were going through the Hicks/Gillette agonies (oh how we used to enjoy their discomfort - and wow, how they have turned it around), the hard core supporters mobilised and made their voices heard as one. An example True Blues should follow ? The People's club .??

James Lauwervine
90 Posted 29/01/2019 at 11:56:02
"If criticising someone because she is a woman is misogynistic then, by the same lazy “logic”, I must be racist if I criticise, say, Oumar Niasse"
Try replacing 'because she' with 'who happens to be'. Criticising someone because she is a woman IS misogynistic. Just as criticising Oumar Niasse (add 'because he is black') would be racist.
The article itself raises some valid and revealing points, but for me it is let down by too much hearsay, conjecture and cheap digs at people.
Steve Hogan
92 Posted 29/01/2019 at 13:21:35
Dave (86)

You probably chose the wrong woman in putting Karen Brady on a pedestal as a shining example of a 'non footballing' person rising to the top of her profession.

A little research on your behalf will reveal the extent of her background in the same dodgy lending corporation's based in the BVI that Uncle Bill utilised not so long ago in the Pre-Moshiri era.

Whilst in charge at West Ham she was also a 'director' at one of the off-shore funds lending at exorbitant rates to her own football club!!!

All this is in the public domain so no need for Lyndon to censor me

Dermot Byrne
93 Posted 29/01/2019 at 13:28:24
Part of what Gerard wrote re the club was interesting but just have a sense there is more to the history here with DBB prior to EitC and, as such, not willing to accept it all when only hearing one side.

Relying on my 26 years experience in Charity Sector, I tend think Gerard's understanding of charity law is not great when referring to Fiveways Trust and reason it was set up or could access types of funding.

With length of charity service, I too get irritated by the all image obscessed climbers but I have to swallow when some of these driven folk are brilliant managers. I hate to say it but that is how it is in private industry, government, education, public services, charity sector etc. This is the age of image without needing substance. What is annoying is those without a good image but with great skill still need to dress up and smooze to even get in through a door. Both men and women. Glad I don't have to play that game much longer.

But on the specific gender thing. Well think the character assassination wasn't obviously misogynistic, though DBB was the one most clearly in the firing line for whatever reason. Same accusations and slights could be made of a bloke.

Still let's see what happens when we turn on Michelle Brands!


Jay Wood

94 Posted 29/01/2019 at 13:54:26
Gerard @ 73.

Can I add my own voice to others asking you to reconsider your declared intention to stop posting on TW, all the more so on the grounds that you justify your decision?

Now if you are true to your word Gerard, you won't read this or other posts in this thread, but I'll write and post my opinion anyway.

I'm just reading your opening post and this thread this morning, so I missed whatever was 'censored' in your original post.

As others have already noted, a number of sensible, wise and reasonable posters who have met you in person and heard from you first hand your tales of the inner workings at Everton FC verify your credibility.

From me, you get no argument that under nearly 3 decades of close association with the club, Bill Kenwright's stewardship has been one largely of decay and stagnation (at best).

I also find it astonishing that he has somehow managed to sell the bulk of his holdings to Farhad Moshiri, yet still retain a position of power and influence within the club.

Nor has Moshiri himself acted or spent wisely, on either manager or player recruitment, and some of his announcements on footballing aspects at the club (and the media platform he chose to make such utterances) border on the cretinous.

I sympathise with you that some label you as 'misogynous' for putting DBB under the microscope as you do. I had the same lazy label stuck on me when she was appointed CEO in May last year when I made no reference to her gender, but wondered aloud was she really qualified for the position?

What was clear to me in 72 hours in May was a changing of the guard was long in planning and ruthlessly and efficiently executed. Allardyce and Walsh and their support team went. Brands was appointed. A whole new board of directors were promoted and/or appointed to specific roles, to which, one would hope, they are truly answerable for. Marco Silva followed a few days later.

With this raft of appointments, I was less concerned about DBB's appointment as CEO than you were, Gerard, because 'absolute power' did not rest in her hands alone. Different roles were parcelled off to different people: Ryazantsev became the chief financial and commercial officer, Keith Harris deputy chairman with a special remit of overseeing the stadium development project and of course Brands as DoF.

That said, all these appointments have come at a real financial cost as the recently released account for last year reveal (without going into detail of who gets what): there has been a significant increase in salaries/remuneration paid to directors.

And whatever you can say about Bill Kenwright - and there is plenty! - there is no evidence to contradict his oft-repeated claim that he drew any money from the club, be it expenses or a salary, or the like. That he has seriously profited from selling part of his holding to Moshiri is indisputable, but that is not the same thing.

Now I consider myself someone with an open and inquisitive mind. I don't take as gospel something I read or hear simply because it conforms to some beliefs I hold. I like to confirm for myself, where possible, some claims which may be coloured by an exaggerated leaning to that view.

I am also blessed (or cursed!) with a decent memory, and I recall from previous posts references you made to an official Everton club email you previously had being suspended. I presume this is the email you refer to (but don't specify) in your 'TW Resignation Post' @ 73.

If I'm correct, I also recall you worked in mainstream education as a headteacher and was once a member of the club’s education committee and as such, evidently worked alongside DBB.

Another poster references a meeting of DBB with Neville Southall in which she asked for a 'minder' to be present, because she understood our ex-goalie could be a 'bit difficult'. I am pretty sure the source of that story on TW was yourself, Gerard.

There may well be LOTS of legitimacy in what you write Gerard, with regard to the nepotism and sycophancy you consider deep-rooted in the club that can, and only will be, exorcised when all such opportunists are flame-torched out of the club.

However, I still have some nagging disquiet - reinforced by your 'TW Resignation Post' - that your thoughts and writings are heavily swayed by an extreme dislike of a particular person who has seemingly 'done you wrong' in some way.

You have previously been told by various posters, including myself, that it is perfectly normal practice to delete the email account and any access a former staff member may have to sensitive company information. Yet in your email @ 73 you interpret this (again...) as "a vindictive form of censorship based undoubtedly on my temerity in speaking truth to power at the club."

You evidently take exception to Lyndon's 'censorship' as you see it, but apparently lack the capacity to consider things from his point of view: the possible consequences of what you wrote for the editors and the continuance of this website.

Steve Ferns, a lawyer, in this very thread advises that Lyndon was wise to 'censor' your post as he did. And Steve is someone who has heard your story first-hand.

As far as I can follow, your original submission was posted in its entirety, Lyndon then stepped in to remove (I presume) some inflammatory passages that could have left the editors and the site vulnerable to litigation, then - on appeal by many - Lyndon re-inserted some missing passages from version 2 and also sign-posted where he had taken the editor's scissors to in your piece.

That seems entirely fair to me and not, as you write @ 73, tantamount to you being "censored without [your] knowledge", or Lyndon radically altering your post so it reflects his version of your article, rather than your own.

Sorry Gerard, but that sort of reaction sows a seed of doubt in my mind of tetchiness, a resentment that you are not given total liberty to say what you want, and to hell with the consequences for the hosts on the platform you post your words.

To immediately ramp it up and declare your 'resignation' from TW on this point again suggests to me a reactionary who resents that his version of events is not accepted, unchallenged, without question.

Gerard, you are evidently a learned, educated, eloquent and passionate man, concerned for the well-being of Everton FC.

I can only presume you are a man of mature years also.

Now I would LOVE to sit down and hear from you first-hand what you know about the inner workings of Everton FC, but that is not likely. The next best thing is to continue to hear from you on TW.

Maybe it was all the ales you supped with Rob last night that put you in a grissly mood this morning, but I implore you again Gerard, apply all the attributes you have - and your maturity - and step back from your declared intention to 'resign' from TW.

I for one would most certainly like to continue to hear from you.

Don Alexander
95 Posted 29/01/2019 at 14:07:22
With reference to Baroness Karren Brady, she started as a CEO aged 23 at Brum after enlarging the Daily Sports advertising revenue by £2mill from the age of 20. She also married a professional footballer, so she had insight into both business and football from the get-go. Since then she's made herself always nationally famous, in the public eye, working in football albeit for/with the sleazy Sullivan and King. DBB she isn't.

I too hope Gerard reconsiders his stance. Like all of us, including Lyndon, he devoutly wants what's best for our club but by heck the people who run it would try the patience of a saint.

Eddie Dunn
96 Posted 29/01/2019 at 14:34:29
Gerard, it is a thought -provoking piece and I am very interested in getting this kind of inside information of the inner workings of the club.
Just as we would all like to be privvy to the goings-on at Finch Farm, we all want to know the reasons for all of the decisions made by the club heirarchy.
Whether you have an axe to grind with the CEO or not, this article is interesting and as long as you don't slander the people mentioned then it is important that TW gives space to such articles.
I hope you continue to contribute.
Paul Thompson
98 Posted 29/01/2019 at 15:30:07
I know that we are all desparate about the current performance of the team and understandably anxious to link the short term problems to long standing issues of culture and strategy at the club, but the praise lavished on this article by many posters is, in my view, undeserved. Whtever the merits of otherwise of EiTC and the appointments of DBB, no plausible connections are establisged between such events and wither long or short term problems or long term decline. This mixture of ramble and rant produces only a blue herring.
Dave Williams
99 Posted 29/01/2019 at 15:33:47
I used Brady as an example of a female who had no useful football background or experience at such a young age but who has proved more than capable as I hope DBB does.
Time will tell and in the meantime we will hopefully play well tonight and win because at the end of the day that is the most important thing
Jamie Crowley
100 Posted 29/01/2019 at 16:42:15
Si @79 -

Yes, I misunderstood. It was a hell of a lot to read and take in.

Having done the brief search for Gerard and his link to the Club, that's what started really gaining my attention. In that time, a more full version of Gerard's "lightly" edited post appeared.

When you work the "overnight" shift in the USA, things change on a dime sometimes. ;0)

And I'm not embarrassed to say it was difficult for me to follow!

Intriguing stuff. The initial appointment to EiTC - I've decided to not have an opinion about it until, and if ever, I meet Gerard in person. Which hopefully I'll do with a gaggle of TW people, so it'll be up to Gerard to speak on the matter, if that day ever comes.

Cheers. Thanks for the clarification. Appreciate any and all "assists".

Tony Abrahams
101 Posted 29/01/2019 at 17:03:11
I read things differently, I read it as an attack on the people at the very top of our football club, and that’s why I’d love Lyndon and Michael, to try and get Moshiri, to try and engage with them.

For instance my posts look like a personal attack on Duncan Ferguson, during this thread, but I can’t get my head around that every time we get a new manager, then Duncan keeps his job, because I know football is not run this way.

I know Ferguson loves Everton, but surely that’s not enough, and if anyone thinks Koeman, then Allardyce, and then Silva, all came into the job, saying I want Duncan Ferguson to stay, I’d love to hear this from the man at the very top of Everton FC?

Jamie Crowley
102 Posted 29/01/2019 at 17:14:54
Tony @ 76 and also a wider point on the editing of the submission -

You say,
I understand why Lyndon, removed parts of the article, but I can’t understand why he never told Gerard, before this was posted though, because when people only have, “half a story” the only thing they are not getting told is “THE TRUTH”

I'd argue it's not Lyndon's responsibility to inform posters when he's edited a submission. It's his right to do so, in a responsible manner, which he clearly did here, as Editor and Owner of TW. It's incumbent upon the poster to check his submission for edits, and if feeling aggrieved, take it up with Lyndon. Lyndon has no duty, in my opinion, to inform those submitting any piece, of edits. It's part and parcel of the position and job.

To that end, before an outcry begins in the name of free speech - and I am a massive proponent and backer of unfettered free speech in the main - when a submission may place the site or an individual in peril of legal recourse, an edit simply must occur.

And as I alluded to before, Lyndon should be praised for the fact that he might have, just might have, been looking out for Gerard's safety and well-being inasmuch as his own or that of TW's.

A lawyer suggested to Gerard to be wary of what he writes regarding this subject. It seems to me Lyndon had already considered that. For himself and possibly (probably) Gerard as well.

Lyndon acted responsibly, and dare I say he might have just been looking out for a poster, and not simply covering his own back.

That's my take on this. Your mileage may vary.

Tom McEwan
103 Posted 29/01/2019 at 17:26:03
Wow! Gobsmacked on a few points here! Firstly, well done Gerard for the most interesting and thought provoking piece I have ever read on ToffeeWeb.

Secondly, well done to the editorial team for allowing it to be aired! Although the entire article has not been allowed, I can understand (although no expert) the possible legal implications for that decision.

Therefore, I will bow down to Fernsy's opinion on that topic (though never to his opinion on Portuguese coaches).

But, possibly the biggest shock to me was Micky K's advocacy for free speech!

After saying that however, the biggest gobsmacking I will receive today, is if this post is aired.

In the hope that it is well done to all!

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
104 Posted 29/01/2019 at 18:26:23
I have contacted Ged "offline" to clarify my reasoning for initially removing a portion of the article and to express my hope that this one incident isn't enough to drive him away from the website.

To clarify once more for those who haven't had the time or inclination to read the whole thread, the dozen or so paragraphs that were removed post-publication of Ged's article were reinstated late last night.

One particular unsubstantiated allegation he made was not put back.

To be clear, unless they are put in an offensive manner (or form part of a particularly drawn-out or unproductive slanging match between contributors), no one's opinions are censored on this website; in this case, it was one person's account of a specific chain of events at the club that was removed.

Having not had the chance to review the article before it was published, the decision I took after the fact was an editorial one, not one of censorship per se. That is to say that had Ged's account appeared as a comment or a Talking Points item (for example) there would have been less of an issue than there was with it appearing as the central tenet of a headline opinion piece at the top of the website.

Again, Ged has been a valued contributor to ToffeeWeb and I hope that he can at least understand my rationale even if he might not agree with it.

Dermot Byrne
105 Posted 29/01/2019 at 18:33:07
Lyndon hard job for you. I think to look at your previous sensible editorial stances (including suspending me) it is a wise decision.

I think one poster has an issue and crusade and is unable to give real detail on here...though tried.

Well quite right.

Libel laws, however bad, exist.

Take it forward Ged or it just becomes a rant with no evidence and to ask us who had no connection with those times in South Liverpool is misusing the site.

Darren Hind
106 Posted 29/01/2019 at 18:35:40

Lyndon is a fair minded kind of guy and you are clearly nobody's fool. You presented the guys who give us this platform with somewhat of a dilemma. You know that. They were not even in total agreement with each other.

Step back, look at it from their perspective. this really was a damned if you do/damned if you don't situation. Its all very well the rest of us shouting publish and be damned" we have nowhere near as much to lose.

I put off reading this article until I had a spare hour because I knew it would be a bit of a blockbuster. . .and it was. Even without the part which has caused so much angst.

I'm not going to join the ranks of those asking you to reconsider and come back. You're a big boy and you will make your own decisions, but I will say this; You clearly have an insight and an understanding of the inner machinations of this circus we all obsess about and this was one fucking hell of an interesting piece.

Thank You

Tony Abrahams
107 Posted 29/01/2019 at 18:41:10
Fair enough Jamie, I’m glad Lyndon, has explained his reason in full.

I don’t really know, or understand how to do my own threads, but if I did, I would be disappointed if things were taken out, for whatever reason.

We live and learn, (or at least we’re supposed to) but without trying to sound like a scratched record, why can’t ToffeeWeb, try and get Moshiri, to engage?

Brent Stephens
108 Posted 29/01/2019 at 18:45:15
Dermot #105 wisdom as ever.
Paul Burns
109 Posted 29/01/2019 at 19:18:00
Jesus, when did football become so complicated?
My head's banging with this stuff, its too much to take in. What happened to getting a good manager, decent coaches and building a team?
The obscene amounts of money infesting football and attracting all manner of parasites to the gravy train has turned the whole sorry mess into abject misery to even follow.
I've seriously got to find something else to do, I get no joy from this sh*t anymore.
Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 29/01/2019 at 19:41:47
Money, Paul, it makes almost everything complicated.
Karl Masters
111 Posted 29/01/2019 at 21:17:14
Fascinating article, but I have to say that it only adds to my long held view that Everton FC has been run poorly for a very long time.

We’ve all been impressed and made proud by EitC over the last few years, but I did raise an eyebrow at this appointment, purely down to a lack of football experience.

I guess that time will tell

Keith Dempsey
113 Posted 29/01/2019 at 23:02:07
Wow, and there was me thinking that Brexit and the backstop were hard to understand... and then I've just tried to get my head around that. I need a drink and a lie-down.
Dan Davies
114 Posted 29/01/2019 at 23:50:57
Don @64, very good mate. I think we would get on in the real world!

Lyndon I think you have disrespected Gerard massively hence his reaction. Never mind legal issues. I believe, and I don't care if you don't like me saying this or if you want to ban me- whatever - you have personal reasons for what you did. Like coming across hierarchy of the club in the future? Including DBB herself?

Shame on you.

Don Alexander
115 Posted 30/01/2019 at 00:56:24
For what it's worth I am grateful to Gerard for speaking of what he knows/believes so passionately. To me it's all to the hopeful good of Everton's future.

I am also personally respectful of Lyndon. He and I have have had personal e-mail exchanges on what I've occasionally blurted out on here and I've quickly recognised my OTT'ness as a result.

To me Lyndon and Michael, despite being quite different characters, beyond the all important facet of bleeding blue like Gerard and many of us, deserve huge respect, as do Gerard, Jay Wood - BRZ, Darren Hind, the Abrahams and many others when commenting on our club.

This site is great, informative, and (usually!) amusing. We need everyone to partake though. Gerard, please think again, I'll miss your insight.

Alexander Murphy
116 Posted 30/01/2019 at 04:04:05
As with many above, I'm hoping that Gerard overturns his own decision to avoid TW and want to add my support that he return soonest.

Saying what maybe some are uncomfortable in hearing does us all good now and again. Conformity is complacent. We, Evertonians, have sweet fuck all to be complacent about, do we?

It's abundantly clear that he has issues with a number of characters pivotal to Everton's lack of ambition and consequently success.

Yes, he cites DBB's rise & rise as his "case in point", however, he makes it blatantly obvious that "The Gushing One" is the real culprit in this debacle.

DBB's appointment was, to Me, a damp squib when we should have been signalling our intent with a salvo of rockets. We didn't. We did what Cornershop Billy does second best.

Prior to her appointment amid the boardroom hokey cokey, I'd been genuinely excited at the possibility that Nicola Cortese would be returning to the Premier League as our CEO. A man with a proven record, with football and banking credentials.

DBB gets appointed, Kenwright retained and My response was "Oh well, another missed opportunity to improve the Boardroom Squad", so nothing new.

Then latterly Marcel Brands gets appointed to the board. Hmmm, why ?

You see, for Me, the Board is the very beating heart of the club. The one arena where every single action taken by any aspect of the club must be measured against "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum".

Enough of this "well that'll just have to do".

The Clubs least successful Chairman ever: William "Arkwright" Kenwright.

Martin Mason
117 Posted 30/01/2019 at 04:17:59
Mediocrity is a relative word used incorrectly as an absolute. It is absolutely and incorrectly stated that the club and some fans accept mediocrity while those "in the know" who don't accept it but do nothing differently to the other fans who somehow and incredibly "accept" mediocrity. I say nothing but mean other than demanding rights that they have no right to and which they will never get.

That anybody at the club accepts mediocrity is just nonsense and the same with any fan. The exceptional supporters who "accept" mediocrity do nothing of a sort, they support the club and that is the way to resolve what is incorrectly seen as mediocrity. As a club at mid-level in the top league in the world in a position that would be expected from our revenue and salaries, mediocrity is a total fiction.

Lyndon Lloyd
118 Posted 30/01/2019 at 07:37:17
Dan (114): "Never mind legal issues. I believe, and I don't care if you don't like me saying this or if you want to ban me- whatever - you have personal reasons for what you did. Like coming across hierarchy of the club in the future? Including DBB herself?

Shame on you."

Dan, you can believe what you like but I'm always open and honest with my reasoning, because it's my natural inclination and out of respect for the readers and contributors to this website.

I've provided the rationale behind my actions above and won't bore anyone further by repeating them. Suffice to say, if "coming across hierarchy of the club including DBB herself" were my concern (and assuming they would be unable and unwilling to separate the views of a third-party contributor and the editorial decisions on an open forum), I don't think restoring Ged's piece to its original state as I did would serve me very well in that regard, would it?

Paul Thompson
119 Posted 30/01/2019 at 09:52:24
'Never mind the legal issues' is more like a call to harms than arms. No sensible organisation could possibly be run in that way. Put away the childish accusations of influence seeking and trust Lyndon to carry on doing his fine and fair-minded job.
Peter Mills
120 Posted 30/01/2019 at 10:24:00
I fully appreciate that this comment will make me eligible for the “Spike Milligan/Prince Charles Grovelling Little Bastard of the Year Award”.

But the most (only?) consistent excellence I have found in following Everton FC in recent years has been the eloquent journalism of Lyndon Lloyd combined with his stewardship of this site.

He has had to make difficult judgment calls on this article and thread. I think we need to back him.

Tony Abrahams
121 Posted 30/01/2019 at 11:07:46
I fucking hate grovelling little bastards Peter, but I’m right behind you in backing Lyndon, mate.

I said I thought Lyndon, should have told Gerard, about the editing, but if he didn’t want to upset anyone at the top of the clubs hierarchy, it would have been a lot easier for Lyndon, to have not put this on our screens.

James Hughes
122 Posted 30/01/2019 at 13:06:58
Peter M. will agree with that post sir

Wow, what a thread. I have done my usual skimming during lunch and it is clear this needs more attention. I have avoided this so far as it came on the heels of so many OP's about Silva etc after the Cup exit.

You do have to wonder about the board when we look at our recent managerial appointments. For me, Martinez was a bad move, Koeman even worse, Sam Allardyce – a real "Nooooo! What the Fuck??!?!"

Get to Silva and a shoulder shrug.

Martin Mason
123 Posted 30/01/2019 at 14:05:34
What does this lady have to do with the playing side of the club? If nothing (and I think that is correct), why is she not possibly suitable for running all other parts of the club well?

This article is agenda-driven but the sentiment I can agree with. Moshiri owns and runs the club, Kenwright has his tentacles through every aspect.

This lady isn't the problem; at worst, she is a symptom of it. We aren't the only club to have non-specialists on the board.

Kieran Kinsella
124 Posted 30/01/2019 at 14:20:39
The gist seems to be that she is ill-qualified and talked her way into the top job. That means she is basically like 90% of CEOs, company leaders. Business is full of opportunists and charlatans it is the way of the world.

Football specifically isn't exactly full of "great leaders" in the boardroom. You hear a lot about David Dein and Daniel Levy but, despite financial soundness, their tenures didn't do much for the silverware cabinets.

Them apart you have the Glazers bleeding Man Utd dry, Berlusconi, Bernard Tapie (jailed), Jesus Gill (jailed), clowns like the West Ham owners, the former QPR motor racing billionaires, the faux "wealthy" Middle Eastern owner of Portsmouth, the "unfit" Leeds owner, the well meaning but inept Randy Lerner, Mike Ashley, the Pozzo's, etc etc etc.

So yeah DBB, Kenwright, Moshiri aren't exactly the greatest... but the bar is set pretty low.

Stan Schofield
125 Posted 30/01/2019 at 14:33:49
Everton is consistently midtable, and for a lot of us supporters we consider that mediocre, based on former glories, such as 8 trophies during my time as a supporter.

But we don't need to use the term 'mediocre', we need only the facts that we're still midtable, are unhappy about it, and that Moshiri has been trying to change it by investing a lot of money.

Given those facts, there is at least a 'plausible sense' that there is incompetence or selfish interests at the levels below Moshiri. This 'plausible sense' stems from knowing that it is not unusual for 'cultural problems' in organisations to be due to not having the 'right people' in positions of power. In fact, in my own limited experience, all cultural problems in any organisation have been rooted in this. It's the problem of those in power not having the right competence or goals to achieve success for the organisation as opposed to success for themselves. We see such incompetence and vested interests all the time in politics and business. Perhaps EFC is a particular case.

But the above is just my perception, without any specific evidence (beyond chaos on the pitch) that it's a reality at Everton. What strikes me as different about Gerard's argument is that he appears to have specific evidence of it.

Regarding 'legal issues', I'm no lawyer, but I would have thought that there are no legal issues if what Gerard is writing is supported by evidence, as it appears to be.

Without that evidence, the article could be viewed as just a 'rant'. However, with that evidence, it becomes far more important than that, possibly striking at the heart of Everton's problems in the Moshiri era.

Mick Conalty
127 Posted 30/01/2019 at 20:53:16
Stan #125. You"ve hit the nail on the head there, Moshiri "investing money" Don't worry, he will make sure he gets a good return on his money. Moshiri is not our Saviour – he is just another businessman.

The article by Gerard confirms what I have been thinking for a while now... Are we a football club or a fucking charity organisation????

Andy Crooks
128 Posted 30/01/2019 at 21:52:39
Martin, that is a remarkable post from you. Particularly, "Bill has his tentacles through every aspect..". You have long been an advocate of the notion that fans (supporters) back the club and should leave the management to those who invest.

We have, way back in the day, argued over the emotional investment of supporters (my view) as opposed to your view that this is a business that others run and invest in and that we CHOSE to support.

I also know that you are a careful poster who selects each word. So, your "BIll's tentacles" – yes I know there is a fucking gem of a Carry On joke there – is chosen because you know exactly how utterly malign his influence has been.

Martin, put up an article. Easy to comment on what others say. Stick your neck out.

Andy Crooks
129 Posted 30/01/2019 at 22:15:59
I would like to add, and may I preface my post with a nod to the admirable Peter Mills (hope you are well, by the way, Peter) that this thread is an example of just how good this site is.

Mike K raised concerns over Lyndon' s" censorship", many respond. Lyndon responds. The OP walks off. Jay Wood lays in, and all the heavy hitters have their say. The best fan site in the world, and this mighty thread shows why.

Lyndon, your management of this thread has been like your articles, pretty good stuff. Mike K, what have you to say?

Martin Mason
130 Posted 31/01/2019 at 09:39:15
Andy, I only ever defended Kenwright against some of the more ludicrous comments made against him. That is, I defended him when he was patently the only solution at a time when the club was facing existential problems. That all changed massively when he found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that Mr Moshiri represented. The gift that nearly every other club in the Premier League looked for.

At that point, Kenwright should have gone with grace and with some credibility. By hanging around like a bad smell, he has become the problem, not the solution. His mode of running the club as an effective one-man band ceased to be the correct way the moment Moshiri came on board. He should have insisted on a clear out of all of the permanent club features that had been associated with the club's decline and survival mode period; otherwise, for sure, it will continue.

For sure, we have more emotional investment than most business customers and we can be influential (as customers generally are). I only state the legal position of supporters of Premier League clubs who are PLCs. The days when we were members of sporting clubs are gone and for the worse.

My comment on the OP? (and please note that this is just a personal opinion...) For me, it's a hatchet job which I'd consider libellous, a character assassination. PLCs can and do promote from within as they see fit. The selection criteria, rightly or wrongly, is absolutely up to them.

What needs to be proven is not some kind of imaginary mediocrity or even nepotism but incompetence. Only when that is proven would I care. The club has far bigger structural problems than the Chief Executive Officer.

Michael Kenrick
131 Posted 31/01/2019 at 15:39:28

This sporting club membership thing is a puzzler to me. The only time we have come close, to my mind, is the current membership scheme whereby you pay something to be a member of Everton Football Club and get some purchasing privileges in exchange.

Looking back in time, you were part of the club by either buying a season-ticket or becoming a shareholder (or both). I don't recall any mechanism for the sporting club membership you describe.

If, by PLC, you mean Public Limited Company, Everton FC is not – and never has been – publicly traded.

Everton FC Co Ltd is a private Limited Company. It came into existence back in the dim recesses of time (the 19th Century – 14 June 1892, according to Companies House); it may have existed as a 'sporting club' rather than a business for just a few years before that, but I don't recall anything about there being a membership scheme back then.

Is that the time you are hankering after?

Martin Mason
132 Posted 01/02/2019 at 00:51:43

I don't personally hanker after any past times other than those when Everton were successful. My point is only that there are arrangements where fans are in some way members of a club with the rights that this incurs rather than customers of the product albeit with a heavy emotional attachment.

The "rights" that we have as customers and fans are only those which the club gives us (privileges?) not those that we demand.

As it happens, we do have massive influence in that the paying customers can put intolerable pressure on the club by how they behave and react at the ground having paid to watch. I also believe that people like Moshiri react to fan pressure.

Michael Kenrick
133 Posted 01/02/2019 at 04:36:06

So you say "there are arrangements where fans are in some way members of a club with the rights that this incurs" ???

And I say, I have no idea what you are talking about — there is no such thing at Everton. Never has been, and (I would imagine there) never will be.

The closest you might get would be the Fans Forum. For a select few. Tightly controlled by the club.

Martin Mason
134 Posted 01/02/2019 at 08:54:39
Michael, I didn't say or mean at Everton or any UK PLC (Private) Football Club.

I was referring to arrangements at Sports or Football "Clubs" and at, for example, German clubs where fan ownership and participation is established in the club constitutions. I was only comparing this to the situation at Premier League clubs where, other than shareholders, fans are customers with no rights – only the privileges granted by the clubs, such as the Fans Forum that you mention.

We're lucky in that our Number One fan also has massive influence at the Club.

Dave Abrahams
135 Posted 01/02/2019 at 08:59:06
Martin (@134),

I reckon there are at least 15,000 fans ahead of him in the queue to be Number One fan who have absolutely no influence at the club.

John Daley
136 Posted 01/02/2019 at 09:11:29
Someone put out because they were not approached to provide a reference, another aghast their email address was shat out into the Phantom Zone following a parting of the ways without so much as a polite 'err... soz'?

I could, perhaps, at a stretch, see how it might get a person's back up momentarily, but for them to still be meandering about like fucking Quasimodo over such matters many years later, wanting to ring the bells and warn the masses once again says more about those who have taken unabated umbrage than it does those who quickly trampled their way past and didn't even have the decency to turn back and ask "Why do you have all that steam coming out your ears... Sack O'Spud's Spine?"

To be honest, I think I like Barrett-Baxendale much more now than I did before I started reading. Ambitious, savvy, ruthless, driven, publicity-hound, prepared to climb over those of a more puss-king persuasion to get ahead? Fucking knock yourself out and, please, drag some of those seemingly satisfied to coast along in a perpetual comfort zone along for the ride with you.

If this was intended as a smear piece, it's one more Mr Muscle or Windowlene than mucky arse-to-mitt projectile.

Brent Stephens
137 Posted 01/02/2019 at 09:19:25
#136 amen to that!
Martin Mason
138 Posted 01/02/2019 at 13:49:01
Sorry, Dave, it was meant to be tongue in cheek.

John, I agree with your summary.

Michael Kenrick
139 Posted 01/02/2019 at 16:13:27
Sorry Martin, thanks for clearing that up.

For some stupid reason, I really thought you were talking about Everton Football Club, and not some Germans or other unspecified "Sporting clubs". Not sure how I got that idea...

Perhaps it was this bit I originally responded to:

For sure, we have more emotional investment than most business customers and we can be influential (as customers generally are). I only state the legal position of supporters of Premier League clubs who are PLCs. The days when we were members of sporting clubs are gone and for the worse.

But of course, you weren't talking about Everton, were you? How could I be so stupid?

Dave Abrahams
140 Posted 01/02/2019 at 19:49:19
Martin (138), sorry about that, Martin, it's just that you've always backed Kenwright up to the hilt when you've come on here. Maybe your tongue got twisted in your cheek, it gets that way quite a lot I've noticed.

Nice to see you back by the way.

Martin Mason
141 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:07:35

Sorry, I meant as supporters in general who, when the original "Clubs" formed, financed the clubs by membership fees. When I say that I saw it as worse now, that's because I thought membership clubs are a democratic way for fans to be involved.

What are we now? Nothings, I'm afraid, who have no ownership but who deserve far better. This is especially those who travel to away games which is like being a customer and having to go long distances to pick up the goods yourself.

We have a stronger emotional and "ownership" relationship with the Clubs than any other stakeholders and yet we are as far removed from the people who run and play the game as it's possible to be.

Martin Mason
142 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:24:23
Thanks, Dave. I'm sorry that I came across that way.

As I say at the time, as the owner, he was the only solution we had for how the club would move forward. I would defend him against the stuff that was patently incorrect and perhaps because, in a forum such as this, he can't provide any defence himself.

I was never under any illusion that he was fit to run a successful club with the resources available to do so as a given. He was at the time running a club that I believe was technically insolvent and in danger of going under.

My belief is that it was outrageous of him to stay on when it was essential for the club that he went. He is the problem now and I'd find it difficult to say anything positive about him.

Derek Thomas
143 Posted 03/02/2019 at 09:26:50
Michael & Mason; I believe that, prior to WW2, each Everton shareholder had 1 vote, no matter how many shares they held. This was to stop the big-money-shareholder tail wagging the many-but-small-share-number dog.

Then 'they' changed that rule.

Dave Abrahams
144 Posted 03/02/2019 at 15:18:06
Martin (142), thanks for your reply and explaining your opinion of our chairman; appreciated.
Michael Kenrick
145 Posted 03/02/2019 at 18:20:12
Yes, Mason, I appreciate that you have provided a clearer explanation — and please accept my apologies for any sarcasm and disdain in my responses above.

I still wonder how accurate your characterization of "sporting club membership" really is within the specific history of Everton FC? If it ever existed (which I doubt), it could only have been for a few years between 1878 and 1892. The only reliable reference I know of for that period is the book by Thomas Keates, in celebration of Everton's first 50 years. It's a very long time since I skimmed that work, but I don't recall any such description even coming close.

After that time, it was share ownership, which may have been more equitable as one man, one vote (Nod to Derek @143 – good point!) although the maximum involvement would be topped at 5,000 – being the total number of shares then and far, far less than the potential number of supporters presumably craving the participation you describe.

More to the point, for the modern-day fan, what you talk of can only be ancient history. You are looking for something more equitable for the devoted fan who sacrifices massive time and money to follow their club. An admirable aspiration I just don't think it's possible in this day and age.

In truth, it was never possible once football became a professional sport and football clubs became functioning corporate businesses, back in the 19th Century. Despite romantic dreams suggesting the contrary, this transition happened very very early in Everton's long history. I venture that your craving is nothing more than a pipedream and has no relevance to today's football — which is what it is — no matter how much you may not like it and may want it to be something different.

I have neglected one possibility and that is the fans football trust model of modern club ownership. Something that will quite clearly never happen at Everton. I'd ask the question of fans of clubs involved in this model (of which I know next to nothing): "And how's that working for you?"

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