With all this focus on the internal management of Everton FC, I've been taking a look at the executive members of the Board of Directors. I make no comment in this article regarding Bill Kenwright, other than to say that he needs to go now.

Unlike many posters, I have a lot of time for Denise Barrett-Baxendale. While she is clearly out of her depth as CEO, I do believe that in other circumstances she would be a valuable member of Everton’s Board. However, she finds herself in the unenviable position of trying to lead an organisation devoid of commercial talent.

How she got this role is another question altogether. I believe that the primary role of our CEO should be to lead the development of the club’s short- and long-term strategies and policies, to oversee quality throughout the club by setting goals and visions for each department, and to direct the club in line with these goals and visions. Clearly none of this is happening.

So, to the third member of the triumvirate: Grant Ingles. How has he escaped our wrath so far? Like our owner, he is a Chartered Accountant. In common with the rest of our Board, he has no commercial experience in the real world.

What then has Mr Ingles done? Well, he has worked for major accounting firm Deloitte in their Sports Division, from which he was seconded to Everton in 2006. He then went to Australia and was Head of Finance at Sydney FC for 2 years.

He returned to Everton in 2013 as Finance Director, a position he held until he moved to the club across the park in 2017 as Head of Finance. He lasted less than a year there, returning to Everton again as Finance Director in 2018. He was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2021.

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So, if like me you are looking for some commercial expertise on our Board, once again you will be sadly disappointed. Like Bill Kenwright, his tenure at the club spans the acquisition of the club by our current owner. Yet unlike Kenwright, he seems to have escaped criticism and blame for the current state of our finances. But I believe he is equally culpable.

According to the club website:

“As Finance Director, Grant has been responsible for all financial aspects of the Club, including the regular communication of financial performance to the Board, driving the profitability of the Club, overseeing all banking and funding arrangements, managing the Club’s cash-flow position, supporting and maintaining governance structures that ensure the financial assets of the Club are protected, and ensuring that the Club complies with all statutory regulations.”

From what I can see, he is in major dereliction on at least four counts, namely:

  • Driving the profitability of the Club.
  • Managing the Club’s cash-flow position.
  • Ensuring that the Club complies with all statutory regulations.
  • Supporting and maintaining governance structures that ensure the financial assets of the Club are protected.

This man has surely outlived his time in a position of responsibility at the club. How on earth has he escaped the public vitriol that his fellow Board members have endured? And finally, why on earth, when this man has presided over the most financially disastrous period of the club’s history, is he still in post?

When calling out the Board, we need to remember this chronic incompetence.

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Reader Comments (40)

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Lyndon Lloyd
1 Posted 16/07/2022 at
Money men are supposed to be invisible. They're not public-facing figures that we should expect to hear anything from, really, or know much about.

And I think any assessment of Mr Ingles' performance should be taken with the words of one Marcel Brands at the forefront of mind where he explained how he was trying to negotiate down the salary of prospective signings while the owner was telling agents Everton would pay almost four times as much in wages.

We unquestionably need fresh blood in the board room and genuine commercial expertise at the top of the club but if I'm wielding an axe, the "pounds and pence" chap isn't the first on my hit list!

Jay Harris
2 Posted 16/07/2022 at

The man is only the bean-counter and, for all we know he may have raised fears with the Board and been told to shut up.

We all know Kenwright has a penchant for dodgy dealing by the departure of Trevor Birch – a highly respected finance guy who wouldn't stay beyond 6 weeks,

Who could try and account for almost £400M in losses over 3 years – Covid or no Covid? Those sort of numbers have to involve Moshiri and Kenwright.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
3 Posted 16/07/2022 at
If it is all down to Moshiri and Kenwright, and he is letting it happen, then unless he is happy to pick up one final paycheck he should be resigning.

Obviously will go to the highest bidder as he was prepared to cross the park. I am but a humble management accountant and deal in the nuts and bolts and not high finance but there is not a salary in this world would make me cross the park, unless it was to make them bankrupt.

Brendan McLaughlin
4 Posted 16/07/2022 at
Stephen #OP

I don't really feel you justify levelling a charge of "chronic incompetence" against this guy. All I can see in this article is "guilt by association".

Steavey Buckley
5 Posted 16/07/2022 at
There's me thinking that football should be about the love of the game.
Jerome Shields
6 Posted 16/07/2022 at
Stephen, I think you are expecting alot from the Financial Director. Although on the Board, he is there to offer advice, work on the financial side of transfers, supervise account preparation, and make sure that tax is paid in a timely fashion. He basically mops up the financial side of the running of the club by others.

In business, the running of the club is the ability to trade. The legal and accounts end is the mopping up operation after that. So the performance of the club is determined by those that are trading. In Everton, that is the Chairman and the absent owner.

At Everton, there does not appear to any budget, performance targets or accountability function. So the Financial Director does not appear to have that remit.

Ian Bennett
7 Posted 16/07/2022 at
David Gill was a chartered accountant, and probably oversaw the biggest dominance in footballing history in the UK from the business side as CEO of Manchester United.

A fifth of UK CEOs are chartered accountants. Hell, even J D Rockefeller was a bookkeeper.

The profession isn't the problem, it's the tit with too much money and zero sense that's the problem. We've just all kept quiet whilst he builds the stadium.

Brendan McLaughlin
8 Posted 16/07/2022 at
Yes but Ian #7,

"Once an accountant, always an accountant."

Jerome knew a guy once. Obviously not David Gill...

Jerome Shields
9 Posted 17/07/2022 at
Brendan. Some accountants can manage businesses, but they are rare. Some are better as beancounters and some know they are, like Grant.
David Ellis
10 Posted 18/07/2022 at
I am sorry but this is a ridiculous OP. This is a personal attack based on no information at all other than the fact that the club is losing money - with no insight as to how this is the fault of Grant Ingles.

The assertion that Ingles has no commercial experience is self contradictory as the article describes him working at Deloittes for years - as if Deloittes was somehow not a business (and a much bigger business than Everton FC).

Danny O’Neill
11 Posted 18/07/2022 at
I'll take your judgement on Barrett-Baxendale, Stephen. That seems a balanced view. Perhaps she does have something to offer the club, but as you say, not in her current role.

Without knowing the ins and outs, she most definitely doesn't appear to be operating as a CEO. More like someone that's been given certain projects to run.

Reading your post and taking it at face value, it strikes me that the Financial Director (should he not be a CFO if on the board?) may also have had his wings clipped and suffered either having his advice ignored or being overridden. A common theme that has parallels to how we have conducted our transfer "policy".

I don't know enough about it, other than we need change.

Jim Lloyd
12 Posted 18/07/2022 at
Not being into high finance, I wouldn't be able to unravel the knot about profit and sustainability rules. But nevertheless, it is blindingly obvious that our club has been in an awful financial position for donkey's years.

I don't know what the role of this bod, or his predecessors, has played in our glorious Board's history for the past 3 decades. However, I do remember our former illustrious CEO who outsourced everything, including our shirt sales and even the scouse pies, till he went to the Rugby League who parted ways with him pretty sharpish.

I don't know if our Finance Bod then was responsible then, for those six little words... driving the Profitability of the club.

We had been up Shit Creek without a paddle for donkey's years until Mr Moshiri came. I seem to remember a couple of CEOs shooting off in superfast time when they joined EFC years ago. Can't understand why!

As for the Director of Finance's job, didn't Moshiri's chosen man do a runner within a couple of years! I wonder why?

Anyway, back to the Director of Finance and his responsibility for "driving" the profitability of the club. That seems to me to be a lot more than just being a pounds and pence feller who just sits there, tots up the ins and outs, and then sits back and collects thousands of pounds a week.

I think there's a lot more to his job re the driving bit. You can't drive anything if you're not at the wheel; and are just a passenger, as some have pointed out.

Stephen Vincent
13 Posted 18/07/2022 at
David #10. It depends if you regard Deloitte as a normal business or not. They are a top four firm of accountants and auditors and by and large operate on the coat tails of their clients. In any event, had Mr Ingles been Managing Partner or even a Partner I could agree with you, but he held a very niche role as a Senior Advisor in their Sports Business Department.

I would have thought that "ensuring that the Club complies with all statutory regulations.” must include advising on our position in relation to FFP. If, as has been suggested, he advised the Board of the risks we were running and they ignored this advice, then surly his position became untenable and warranted resignation, similar to Keith Wyness' resignation following his disagreement with BK over his financial links with Phillip Green.

If he failed to spot the FFP risks we were running then this must be regarded as gross incompetence and he should be dismissed.

Barry Rathbone
14 Posted 18/07/2022 at
The board attacks are almost pointless – I can't think of a single club (maybe Spurs) with a board who, by dint of astuteness, have transformed the outfit. So why do we do it?

I say Spurs because, at the outset of the Premier League, they were arguably below us in status but, over the period, have left us for dead.

FSG perhaps??? They got it right eventually with Klopp but prior to him were roundly condemned as useless and enemies of the fans by their own.

So we are left with the 2 trophy baggers, Chelsea and Man City, who just throw money at the project, leaving the rest a homogenous gloop of non-entity clubs (us included) looking for scapegoats.

It's lazy just to blame the board – we have no idea of what goes on and, given fans of all non-entity clubs push this solution no matter who arrives (outside of real money), it's become a parody of fan critique.

I'm very disappointed, tbh.

Jim Lloyd
15 Posted 18/07/2022 at
There's a club over the park who managed it.so it can be done.
Barry Rathbone
16 Posted 18/07/2022 at
Jim Lloyd 15

If winning the title is akin to climbing Everest the shite have only ever been 100 yds from the summit since the 1960s. We visited a few times then retired to a tacky bed and breakfast back at the airport.

The real story about the shite is why have they only won the prem once despite their galactic spending?

They have done next to fuck all relatively speaking but ultimately being 100 yds from the summit were always likely to land a Klopp. FSG got lucky

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 18/07/2022 at
Barry #53

I think this will be the League Table Moshiri will be focusing on, trying to get to midtable. But it is more than ones seasons work.

Brendan McLaughlin
18 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Stephen #13,

Don't think you understand the role of the chief finance person in an organisation. They don't prescribe the way forward... they simply paint the financial consequences of the various options available and then others make the choices.

Why they should have to resign when the club opts for the most high-risk option and then fails is beyond me?

Brian Murray
19 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Robert. Those opposing that project will cling on until we are relegated as long as their jobs are safe.
Stephen Vincent
20 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Brendan #18, I am currently a CFO, although part time. I have been CFO of an organisation substantially larger than Everton, I have been Finance Director for a fifth tier football club and I have reported directly to the CFO of a Premier League Club, so I think I understand exactly what the role of a CFO is.

Two of a CFO's key responsibilities are Risk Assessment and Management and Compliance and Consequential Liability. FFP must have been included in both of these areas and as such was / is the responsibility of the CFO to keep his Board appraised. Assuming he did and his Board chose to ignore his considered advice, he should surely consider his position since his Board no longer has confidence in his advice.

Brendan McLaughlin
21 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Stephen #20

Thanks for your considered reply and having read your impressive CV please accept my apologies for my rather curt opening line #18 above.

You make a good point about the FFP rules but in my opinion Moshiri's strategy was to go for broke and throw money in terms of managers, players and DOF's in the hope of achieving Europe. Sadly we fell short by some distance.

The fact that Ingles financially oversaw this strategy but at the same time kept the club on the right side of the FFP rules could be regarded as something of an achievement on his part.

As Ingles hasn't been sacked nor felt the need to resign it may well be that Moshiri and he are very much on the same page with respect to the financial situation at the club.

Stephen Vincent
22 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Brendan, No problem. As coincidence would have it I have been sitting at a desk preparing a Financial Risk Assessment for potential investors in my new charge.

If you read Everton's most recent accounts they make no mention of FFP and it will be interesting to see what our Auditors BDO have to say in the next set, if anything. Surely they must have been approached by our CFO and maybe even the Premier League.

Let's be honest all we can do is speculate.

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 19/07/2022 at
I think the only thing that is going to stop Everton being sold probably relates to there being no mention of FFP in the accounts, Stephen?

This possibly indicates that the seller's reluctance to include the results in our recent accounts is going to be a massive stumbling block when he sits around the table with potential buyers?

Although I am definitely a person who knows very little at all about these things, and it's why I ask, or is it to continue with the speculation?

Stephen Vincent
24 Posted 19/07/2022 at

“Speculation is a parasite feeding upon values and creating none.” — Andrew Carnegie

This site would be a pretty boring place without it though.

Bill Gall
25 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Danny #11

Re your comments on Denise Barrett-Baxendale, I agree that she does not appear to be operating as a CEO. But your other comment, she seems more like someone that has been given certain projects to run.

Statement from the club, 26 July 2019:

Denise Barrett-Baxendale will oversee the work of Stadium Development Director Colin Chong and take responsibility for the new Stadium Project, including the delivery of a community-led legacy at Goodison Park.

It is still no excuse for a poor showing as CEO but is in line with your comment.

Brian Murray
26 Posted 19/07/2022 at

Ah well, that sheds some light on what her remit or strength is. The Goodison Legacy.

As for her involvement in any stadium issues at Bramley-Moore Dock... No chance, that's well out her league and she probably knows it.

Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Dear me, Bill, I wasn't thinking overseeing the stadium development. Not at all.

I was thinking more the Everton in the Community stuff and ambassador role. In some businesses, they call it an evangelist role. A promoter.

Only she's not that public from what I've seen. I've not heard a lot from her publicly.

Bill Gall
28 Posted 19/07/2022 at
No chance and that is well out of her league. What do they say/ never criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes, she is just overseeing the clubs commitment to the development not helping Laing O'Roarke build it.
Brian Murray
29 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Bill. I was thinking along the lines of her adding her world wide contacts and business acumen to create money for the club at bmd. Let her oversee the goodison legacy and help the community which she is obviously comfortable with. Would of thought that was obvious.
Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 19/07/2022 at
It’s a good job EITC, has done something positive then Stephen, because that quote could have been made for the man, who creates more speculation than anyone else.
David White
31 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Stephen 20.
Taking your veiw points on CFO's. Surely this just proves that moshiri is either blind to incompetence around him or he's willing to have weak members on the board who he can ride roughshod over and are willing to let him. Either appointing people and not letting them do their jobs (DOF) or disregarding financial implications of his actions which should be explained by CFO (profit/sustainability)
It all just goes to show how shoddy a run club we have been.
I'm no expert but don't other top clubs have boards made up of alot more people?
Experts or Experienced the their positions at the club? Hope someone can give me some comparison to our board ?
I keep saying wouldn't moshiri be better spending some of his money on quality members of staff at this level instead of mediocre players ?
Brendan McLaughlin
32 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Stephen #22

On FFP & the accounts if I were Ingles I'd be arguing with BDO :

- FFP rules (guidance?) aren't statutory
- Everton have remained within FFP
- Everton can comfortably remain within FFP
albeit by selling some of our high value players

I don't think BDO could reasonably insist upon an FFP note forming part of the accounts. As you say it hasn't appeared in the financial statements to date and I'd be very suprised if we see anything in the 21/22 accounts.

Michael Kenrick
33 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Coming to this late, sorry, but strictly it's not FFP they'd be concerned about as we haven't qualified for Europe.

But the Accounts do say this:

Based on our understanding… we considered the risk of acts by the Group and its subsidiaries which were contrary to applicable laws and regulations… These included but were not limited to those that relate to the form and content of the financial statements… those that relate to the payment of employees; and industry related such as regulations impacting football club operations including the Premier League Profitability and Sustainability rules whereby throughout our audit work we remained alert to any possible non-compliance especially in relation to player acquisitions.

[Emphasis added]

Brendan McLaughlin
34 Posted 19/07/2022 at
Interesting Michael #33

(And of course I'm using a very broad definition of the word interesting!)

But it's the bit after the section you choose to highlight that struck me:
"whereby throughout our audit work we remained alert to any possible non-compliance especially in relation to player acquisitions."

I read that to suggest we've been given a clean bill of health on the Premier League's Profit & Sustainability rules and the Premier League have instructed club's to ensure that their auditors comment specifically on how they treat player acquisitions in their accounts.

Doesn't alter the fact, however, that the new strip is dreadful!

Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Or the club has been dreadfully run and needs a complete reset.
Jim Lloyd
36 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Barry Rathbone (16) I mentioned Liverpool because, not only have they won something in vrtually every season, even if not winning the League; and sometimes, double winners, European cup winners (I don't count the ones since the format changed as the European cup...its a bleedin league!)
So for 60 years almost, they have outperformed our club (I effin hate saying it) on the field and off it!
What I'm talking about is our performance on the field and equally importantly, off it! As for Spurs, they'd an owner who for the same number of decades that we've had ours, they have been able to outspend us (when we didn't have the Profit and Sustainability conditions strangling any clubs attempt to compete with the so called Big Six.)
Now I'm not sure how league titles Spurs have won since 1961/62 (or even since the football league started) but we have well outperformed them in league titles.
What we didn't have, is a multi Billionaire Joe Lewis, funding them from his island home in the Carribean, since 2000, and Levy who is part owner,Chairman since 2001 every year since 2001.

But really, the spotlight ought to be on the performance of our own club, before Mr Moshiri came (and after, of course) off the field. I would make a bit of a guess here and say that we've been out performed on this aspect for years by around half of the Premier League clubs.

I think that, before Mr Moshiri came, our Commercial Performance has been consistently dire. Leading to lots of club activities being outsourced during Robert Elstone's tenure as Chief Executive. I think it included our shirt deal with Kitbag which as been poor for the club for yeas.

It is this bloke now, whose performance/responsibility in "Driving the Profitability of the Club", is part of the debate. Is he responsible for the oversight and direction of the Commercial Activites, or is he just a number crunching accountant who's been given a fancy title?

Robert Tressell
37 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Jim # 36. All very good points. In essence, to succeed on the pitch you need effective club management off the pitch.

We have not appeared to move on in our thinking or approach for the entire Premier League era.

It is, in all honesty, only the result of luck that we have not followed Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest down into the depths of the football league and stayed there.

The club needs to modernise and innovate off the pitch, it needs to be better commercially and work out how it gets hold of the right players at much lower cost.

The stadium will finally make us look like a modern Premier League club: hopefully we start behaving like one too.

Jim Lloyd
38 Posted 20/07/2022 at
Robert! Hear hear! Your final sentence is what all Evertonians hope that we will become a Club worthy of it's history, but fear that we won't.

Yes, We have sailed close to the wind, haven't we! And the luck we've had was massively subsidised by the supporters on all three occasions when we looked down... and out of the Prem. The horrible fear, like you've said, is that we'd sink like a stone.

a) Improve the performance of the team by selecting good value players and bringing quality youngsters through

b) Make a massive, massive improvement in the publicising and enriching our Club by making massive strides, in our Marketing and Commercial activities,

is absolutely vital.

We won't achieve any of this without top class professionals on the board...not croneys!"

Howard Sykes
39 Posted 21/07/2022 at
Every chartered accountant in the world can read a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement. We have two here – Moshiri and Ingles – who can't do this.

A first-year economics undergrad could do it by the end of his first semester – never mind his first year – and this pair would never get past the first year.

Stephen Vincent
40 Posted 23/07/2022 at
Thanks Michael, I read those damned accounts 3 times trying to find that bit, really got fed up reading 'Chairman Bill' and Denise.

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