FAB Zoom call Recap

by   |   12/01/2023  36 Comments  [Jump to last]

The Zoom meeting began with 10 minutes of introductions from the people running the call. This included members of various groups: Disabled Supporters Association, Fans' Forum, Heritage Society, Norwegian fans group (seriously) on behalf of the international fans group, Women's supporters, as well as four reps from the Fan Advisory Board who included Jazz Bal (Chairman), and a fellow from KEIOC who started off by scolding people for making "unsavory comments about individuals on social media."

Then we had a run down from Jazz about the things they've been talking with the club about including price caps on tickets. He then said part of their remit is to respond to the current fans' protests about our predicament. He stated the FAB are not here to defend the club but are gathering info.

He said they will "structure our questions" for delivery to the board in terms of format, etc since they have "more knowledge" than the rest of us due to their access to the club. Lastly, he said the club have committed to having a meeting with the FAB to discuss topics being raised here. [I would have thought that was a given, right?]

Then we went into the free-form forum where a guy called Kurtis reiterated the point about fans basically being polite with regard to the process. He then went on to point the finger at Moshiri for his lack of communication via means beyond Jim White.

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Then he said Moshiri needs to hold the board accountable as well as the DoF and manager. He pointed out the internal Strategic Review was done by the board and excluded a review of the board itself. Jazz then jumped in to say the review was limited to football and not the business side of the club.

Kurtis then asked how the board's performance is reviewed. He then said the club is on track with the stadium but has failed in every other respect. Curtis criticized Moshiri's defense of the board today and said the standard for the board should be Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

While he was continuing to focus on the board, Jazz jumped in and said "We aren't presenting this to Moshiri, we are presenting this to the board." He then said that Kurtis's question about being accountable should be restructured to ask "What are the specific roles of each board member?" Kurtis insisted on the accountability part but Jazz didn't like that word so said they'd change the wording to ask "How are their roles measured?" 

Kurtis kept talking until he was 15 minutes along without really adding much at all and Jazz eventually tried to hurry him along.  Unsuccessfully.

Finally, at the 20-minute mark, Amit from the Nairobi supporters group got to talk. He complained that the club has had zero follow-up in terms of marketing since the tours of East Africa in 2018 and 2019. Jazz responded that the FAB raised this issue in July and have an answer but cannot share it yet!

Amit followed up by asking about a possible sale of the club to which Jazz responded (unsurprisingly) that the FAB don't know but, as far as he knows, the club is not officially up for sale. 

Amit then asked about the stadium costs of £760M quoted today by Moshiri, wanting to know why the price has gone up, what the actual costs are etc. Jazz agreed to ask about this although Dave Kelly said they (FAB) were told the total cost would be £500M just 6 months ago by Barrett-Baxendale.

Amit, like Kurtis, rambled on for 20 minutes, mostly reiterating the point about lack of engagement in Kenya, and then asked if we can have a fan on the board of directors? At this point, Paul Rigby complained in the live chat that Amit was using up all the time.

Amit continued regardless with a weird question about changing ownership structures to be more like in Germany or something to that effect. Jazz indicated it would be unlikely to work with Moshiri owning so many shares but Amit wasn't having it.

In quite a patronising way, he started talking about having a share split and how he works in finance so he could educate Jazz about this offline. But he continued to ramble on about it online bringing his time on the floor to 25 minutes. 

James Flynn (who posts on ToffeeWeb) spoke next. He asked if the FAB had seen the 120-point plan? Jazz said "No" but Kevin Thelwell had shared a summary, but they had to sign a confidentiality agreement "due to competition concerns" though a briefer summary will be published soon. James then succinctly wrapped up his spot to allow time for others. Take note, Amit. 

A guy called Peter Finn spoke next, reiterating the call for fans to be polite before querying Jazz's prior statement that he was "content with the board."

Jazz clarified he meant "at that moment," before Peter apologized for raising it. Peter then rambled on for a minute before yawning really loudly, before his sound disappeared for a minute, and he eventually returned to vaguely ask about how the club need to engage more.

I can't really summarize his points as he said a lot of words (when his microphone worked) but without really any particular point. He then said he would stop talking so as to avoid repeating himself ... but did so anyway. 

I then asked (under my pseudonym which is Dan Mainwaring – I meant to use my own but forgot I was logged into the Zoom profile I use for my writing work) precisely what I said I would here earlier which is: 

How can Bill Kenwright remain in his role after 30 years during which time we have had our worst on-field performance in terms of trophies, record financial losses, and lowest ever points totals whilst numerous players, coaches, managers and minions have been held accountable and lost their jobs. The buck stops with him. Moreover, he himself said he would retire by age 70 due to health issues, and 7 years later he is still here with regular reports of his ill health.

Jazz said they'd tweak the question on health to be "Is there a concern with having someone in ill-health aged 77 at the club." Before Julie(?) jumped in and said we can't ask about age/health due to employment law. Jazz did say that they will ask how Bill hasn't been held accountable for his performance. How exactly that will be phrased, I don't know.

They quickly moved on from me to the next guy, who wanted to know whether the board actually does much work for Everton or if they're too busy with their other business activities. Another guy came on saying the issue is a lack of engagement.

The accompanying chat was full of comments about lack of engagement too. Part of the engagement issue was that people didn't know who to blame for the issue. 

By this time I had a headache, mostly thanks to Amit, so I logged off.


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Reader Comments (36)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 12/01/2023 at 20:22:47
"Kieran, once the zoom kicks in and a few questions have been discussed, ask them do they think the board should go, see how many say yes, or turn into a politician and swerve the question."

Hey, keyboard hard-man, I'm on the Zoom meeting right now. Excellent input from everyone, either out loud or in the chat room.

There's another Zoom call due.

Join it and ask that question yourself, tough guy.

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 12/01/2023 at 20:27:15

I was just on the call though my zoom name was “Dan” my writing name. I asked about Kenwright resigning.

James Flynn
3 Posted 12/01/2023 at 21:57:30
Kieran – That was you? Okay. It was a good question?

Kenwright doing a Jack Benny imitation, he stopped counting his age at 65!

Great meeting, by the way. Only recognized Amit on there from when he used to comment in here on business matters.

Gonna hand it to Jazz. When that fellow "Tarscouseki" was giving it to him for a "Yes-Man", Jazz sat and took it.

Interesting that after Jazz stood neutral on declaring his personal feeling about the Board, Dave Kelly and Julie Makin made no bones about their wanting the Board out. And another FAB member, I think Richie Gillham from EHS (Or maybe it was Kelly) stated that all the FAB members were dissatisfied with the Board. I liked that.

Overall, a great meeting and experience. I definitely recommend ToffeeWebbers join the other Zoom meeting. Passionate and informative.

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 12/01/2023 at 22:07:57
Thanks for that, Kieran.

I thought Jazz Bal did a remarkable job keeping order and summarizing the scattergun stuff that I suppose you'd expect from a meeting like this. Most speakers were pretty much on point (give or take) and stayed within the bounds of common decency until well after you'd bailed.

Pity you did though because, if you had concerns with Amit (who actually spoke very well), I'd've loved to hear you try to summarize the lad at the end who went off pretty much half-cock with all the gripes you could think of. Went under the great name of Tarscouseki.

There were some really good questions and information posted in the Chat, which I saved. I'll pick out a few and put them up tomorrow.

Brent Stephens
5 Posted 12/01/2023 at 22:28:33
I suspect Amit is the one-time ToffeeWeb contributor, whose posts I haven't seen for a while. His TW contributions have always been informative and his questions incisive. An accountant as I remember it. I can't comment on his contribution tonight as I was not logged on.
Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 12/01/2023 at 22:36:50

Maybe I was harsh on Amit but 20 minutes in a 2-hour call is a long time.

Also, selfishly not being from Kenya I didn't see that angle as a priority in terms of why they felt pushed to have this call right before the protest. Also the whole share thing…

Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 12/01/2023 at 22:54:41
Yea, the East Africa marketing/follow-up stuff right at the start seemed a bit inappropriate considering the primary concerns.

His comments about the stadium cost and raising the possibility of creative funding that would also give fans ownership of the stadium, I thought was quite innovative (although apparently Arsenal did something along those lines with The Emirates).

It raises a question which I should know the answer to: Who owns Bramley-Moore Dock and the new stadium? Is it the main company, EFC Co Ltd? Or did they create a subsidiary or separate company, à la Goodison Park Stadium Ltd? Or does Moshiri own it (probably via a holding company) as he is paying for it?

Buying Everton Shares at £3,500 each is out of the question for most fans, even if they were available, but if it was a different company, perhaps individual fans buying a stadium share for £350 and getting their name on a seat could bring in some of the additional funding needed while providing the fans with "ownership"?

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 12/01/2023 at 22:57:51
Kieran, I don't think you're being harsh on Amit; I don't think he'd mind my saying that his contributions on TW were sometimes lengthy - but informative.

I suspect Danny O'Neill could speak more informatively on ownership and decision-making structures in Germany (greater fan involvement).

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 12/01/2023 at 23:35:04

I think Jazz did OK too. There was a loud chorus on ToffeeWeb of people saying don’t participate it’s a white wash. One poster even saying he’d close his curtains if it was in his back yard But if no one participates there’s not a lot for Jazz and co to report back to the board. I’d have liked to have seen more from ToffeeWeb participate. I felt like a few on there were beating around the bush a bit being overly broad perhaps afraid to get into specifics. But Christine, Brian, Simon et have all made very good, non offensive posts on here in the last few days that address the issues clearly. Hopefully a few like that attended the other meetings

James Flynn
10 Posted 13/01/2023 at 01:01:18
Brent (8),

I found Amit as articulate speaking and he's been in here in print. To Kieran's observation, Amit was up 2nd, me 3rd. By the time I was called, between Amit and this fellow Kurt who went 1st, we were up to 50 minutes of a 2-hour call.

So I only asked about the "120 points" our CEO trumpeted about after the management review. Kieran summarized Jazz' response.

Kieran (9) - Agree with all that. Especially for more TWers to participate in the next call.

Just send a request to: Chair@efc-fanadvisoryboard.com. That's Jazz and he WILL respond. Or Secretary@efc-fanadvisoryboard.com. That's Julie the FAB secretary.

And "Tarscouseki"!?! There was a guy with a bee in his bonnet.

Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 13/01/2023 at 01:31:59
Esk had a Twitter space tonight discussing the resignation of the deputy chair of the Everton Fans’ Forum as well as other members of that group tonight in protest at Moshiri’s statement.

The deputy chair released a statement calling on Kenwright to resign.

Kim Vivian
12 Posted 13/01/2023 at 12:18:12
Great feedback guys, thanks.

Michael - I never actually posted it it, but I started a comment, slightly off topic, on one of the threads yesterday about the Bramley Moore ownership being mindful that if the worst was to happen and we drop (and God forbid possibly drop again) the spectre of administration would be raising it's head.

I was asking if the site, development contracts and building were owned by Moshiri himself, EFC Ltd or possibly a third party vehicle of some description in respect of the implications of that. Was Usamov maybe a party initially? etc etc.

So your points @7 are striking in reference to my ghost post. Thank you.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 13/01/2023 at 14:21:08
EFC Fan Advisory Board on Twitter:

"Unfortunately we've had to cancel Sunday's meeting for security and safety reasons."

Lots of people giving them dog's abuse on Twitter. Tarscouseki Tweeting threats to assassinate the EFC board. Has the world gone mad?

The FAB are fans like the rest of us. How does the fan base go quickly from apathy to some absolute lunatics hijacking the whole thing?

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 13/01/2023 at 15:03:27
I've enjoyed reading this 13-post thread, much more than I've enjoyed reading anything else on ToffeeWeb, for a while, (I'm even fed up with my own monotonous contributions) and this Tarscoueski, sounds like an absolute belter, although I'm certain he won't be a lone wolf!!

If Bill Kenwright is a genuine Evertonian, then he will know more than anyone how mad some of our fans can be.

I had a book on Everton years ago, and in it, it said that Evertonians, were responsible for football clubs, issuing tickets for rearranged games. The game got abandoned and the fans wanted their money back but the club officials were not having it.

The fans got on the pitch and ran across to the Main Stand side of the stadium. Then the shout went up, “Torch the stands!” – leaving the club secretary to tell everyone he couldn't give the money back, but he would issue tickets for everyone to get in the rearranged game for free.

I personally think Moshiri has lit the blue touch paper the other day, and maybe the club see no point in having any more FAB meetings, simply because they now know that a lot of these members are actually against this current board?

Jerome Shields
16 Posted 13/01/2023 at 16:32:56
Thank you, Kieran, for the informative summary. Both you and James asked very good questions. It seems the FAB representatives will genuinely put them forward as best they can. Hopeful the Board will reply similarly.

I have been in Nairobi 4 years ago and I am not surprised that Amit will come from a different perspective, finding this in conversations I had with people there. They were all chuffed about having two Presidents at once.

James Flynn
17 Posted 13/01/2023 at 17:58:46
And FAB Vice-Chair Hana has resigned in protest.

And after yesterday, nothing Tarscouseki says would surprise me.

Jerome Shields
18 Posted 13/01/2023 at 20:01:49
You are going to get these headcases that jump on the bandwagon, of genuine protest and argument, which is very difficult to deal with In the present context.
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 14/01/2023 at 10:58:06
You asked me a question on another thread that is now closed John Daley, I think I was talking to Brian, because it was his phone number, and I was replying to his WhatsApp, and spoke to the same voice I have always always spoken to before.

Has the one armed mechanical man, got a one eyed mechanical brain John?

Neil Copeland
20 Posted 14/01/2023 at 11:33:23
Kieran, thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. As others have said already, yours and James questions were well put and very appropriate.

Interesting and reassuring that a few of the FAB members have the same feelings about the board as the majority of the fan base.

Does anyone know when we will see a response from the board to the questions/feedback from the FAB?

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 14/01/2023 at 12:08:04
A shame that the face-to-face is cancelled. When is the next Zoom one?

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 14/01/2023 at 13:36:54
If the club reads ToffeeWeb then I’m certain my post@14, will have helped the board, make their ridiculous and cowardly decision not to attend today’s game.
Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 17/01/2023 at 08:00:39
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that, Kieran having re-read your experience.

Always a danger that some individuals will use a platform like this to rant and can't be succinct in getting their questions or point of view across.

My gut instinct is that this FAB is being kept in the dark as much as we are.

It feels like a thankless task for them. Of course they ultimately won't tell the board what decisions to make based on supporters' opinions. But gathering views and presenting it in the right manner could influence.

Genuine question; have any terms of reference, roles and responsibilities of this FAB been published publicly?

Found them.

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 17/01/2023 at 08:43:57
So, a few observations on the FAB Terms of Reference:

1. An Evertonian only being considered "live" if they are registered and hold a supporter number? That rules out thousands who can't afford it or aren't members for geographical reasons. I do have one and I am a member, but to suggest anyone who doesn't have one is not an Evertonian is, well, offensive and derogatory.

2. The terms talk about being consulted rather than consulting. I may be overthinking but that suggests a one-way conversation with little power to influence.

3. Interested in these sub-committees. I know it's early days but that would be good to know about. Also that there are vice-representatives that holders of the reserved positions can choose to appoint.

4. Fans' Forum rep. I take it this is a collect of fans' forums and not just one or a select few?

5. They may have already filled them, but 2 x vacant Evertonian non-reserved positions with no eligibility requirements. I might throw my hat in the ring. If I can find their website. I've read this off the club's.

6. Meet with a member of the board at least quarterly? At least? That should be a given. Anything less dilutes the engagement.

Look, I think it's a good initiative and I appreciate it's early doors. But it needs to be influential, not just a messenger, otherwise why have it?

Michael Kenrick
25 Posted 17/01/2023 at 09:31:26
Hi Danny,

I'll have a go at responding to your points:

1. I understand the revulsion but, in practical terms, for the club itself, it makes complete sense to restrict the definition of an "Evertonian" in this way within the context of the Terms of Reference for the FAB. Geographical reasons are no excuse, and it really doesn't cost that much. I was a member for many years from 8,000 miles away.

2. Agreed. This is very clumsy (or intentional?). Instead of "the FAB will operate independently to be consulted about", they could just as easily have written "the FAB will operate independently for consultations about:". But the scope should not be restricted as it is by the list of bullet points that follows.

3. Just hang tight regarding sub-committees. They probably haven't set any up yet. Vice-representatives just help toward better attendance at meetings for each of the reserved group positions, in case of absence.

4. The Fans' Forum Rep is from the Everton Fans' Forum, a separate body that was reformed in 2018. If you really want to bore yourself stupid, pull up any of the so-called Meeting Reports from 5 years worth that are freely available on the club website to see just what enthralling stuff they get up to!

5. I think you're a bit late to the party... but then again, they've just had a slew of resignations that I haven't followed... Danny — this could be your big chance to make a difference!!!

6. One recurrent theme of the Fans' Forum Meeting Reports is the number of times apologies are proffered for the non-attendance of senior executives and even a Board Member (Sharp, Barrett-Baxendale?), as a I recall. So actually getting them to a meeting is a whole other ball of wax, methinks.

Jazz Bal did mention that their website has taken ages to set up, but that it is nearly there.

What I'm curious about is what happened to the other FAB public meetings they had planned? I think the one at the Hot Wok on Sunday was cancelled... what about the virtual meeting online last night? Did anyone attend or was that cancelled too?

Seems the highly regrettable civil war between club and fans that has erupted over "Headlockgate" may have completely derailed this effort.

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 17/01/2023 at 17:58:21
Thank you, Michael.

I know I ramble and I try not to be too critical most of the time, but I appreciate yours and everyone else's feedback.

I was suspicious of this initiative from the onset even though I had hopes for the concept. I agree, the recent events may have unfortunately put this one in the shredder.

I too have followed the Blues from thousands of miles away Michael, even when I never had access. It's why I am quite passionate about inclusion to all even when they can't always be included by a rule. And I understand rules; I've lived most of my life by them!!!

Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 17/01/2023 at 20:48:36
"I was suspicious of this initiative from the onset even though I had hopes for the concept."

You were obviously not alone, Danny.

Attending this effort with an open mind, and just wanting to monitor proceedings, I was disheartened by how so many on here were so quick to condemn the whole exercise as a Kenwright-controlled flannel job.

These were genuine fans who genuinely believed that their free-gratis voluntary participation in community-led consultation with the club over many issues could lead to greater understanding and less mistrust.

Only to be rapidly overtaken by events that seemed to fully justify the cynicism and suspicion of those who so knowingly slammed it beforehand. Indeed it is a sad sad day for Everton Football Club if the naysayers are given this victory as the whole process now seems holed below the waterline.

But I guess it's just so much pissing in the wind now until the latest furore dies down (if it ever does!) and what dialogue there was can perhaps resume between Fans' Representatives and the Club.

Kieran Kinsella
28 Posted 17/01/2023 at 21:19:59

Not sure if the other meeting happened by I saw on Twitter last night FAB posted they've concluded the meetings now and will publish their findings and questions for the board shortly.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 17/01/2023 at 21:29:26
You can kid some of the people, some of the time,
but when your whole tenure has been based upon lie after lie,
and you have always appeared to be more interested in yourself,
rather than the club you profess to love,
then it’s only natural that you will one day be found out,
and this will completely tarnish the legacy, that you had planned for yourself.

You had some good times though, you told us this yourself,
even though the club stopped genuinely competing to win,
and incredibly became plucky little Everton instead.

I don’t know how this was ever allowed to happen,
but it does look clear, that your nepotistic nature,
has played a massive part in the demise of Everton Football Club,
and the club has been cursed by a manipulative liar.

This ain’t goodbye - it’s Au-revoir, and if you will pardon my French,
then fuck off Bill Kenwright, and finally rid us of your rotten curse!

Christine Foster
30 Posted 17/01/2023 at 00:08:04
Michael, it's really hard not to be cynical with respect to the club setting up the FAB, that's not to say that any of its members of its committee's did not believe they were part of a hopeful change. But given the previous interactions with fans and cancellation of AGMs, to suddenly have a change of heart and invite fans to be part of the club and its decision making, would be a 180 degree turnaround if it was to believed.
If it was not led and initiated by the present encumbered board, then many of us would have been more welcoming than suspicious. As it turns out, sadly for the FAB, my fears have been realized in the latest events.
As a fanbase, we have lived the past 28 years living and hoping that each corner we turned was it, but after so many turns, so many lies, so much deceit, faith has disappeared, truth lost in PR games. FAB are another set of fans used instead of valued by the club. They had belief in what they where doing, but I am not sure the club has any credibility with any fans now.
Don Alexander
31 Posted 18/01/2023 at 00:32:35
I suspect that the FAB is regarded by Moshiri and his boardroom as about as significant as a zit on OUR club's arse.

They tolerate it to distract from what emerges from their lying mouths.

End of.

James Flynn
32 Posted 18/01/2023 at 05:36:09
The FAB site is up and the Club response to the questions from the Zoom meet last week.


Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 18/01/2023 at 06:26:40
Thank you for the link James.

I agree Christine. I was always a bit suspicious.

I wanted the FAB to be a meaningful platform to convey supporters' opinions and maybe, just maybe, influence the mindset of the club's leadership.

I'll try to be a bit more conciliatory.

As I keep saying, I never for one minute was naive enough to think they would be in a position to make decisions. I just didn't want it to be a gimmick; a token gesture to quell the native rebellion.

Unfortunately, many of those natives are now raging with frustration, torches lit and marching on the fort.

I don't doubt or question the FAB members' Evertonianism (is that a word?). It takes a lot of personal time and effort to work on secondary commitments outside of our day jobs. In their defence, they are in an impossible place right now. But it doesn't mean we should dismiss it. The concept remains valid.

It's early days and like anything, it was going to take time to establish it and turn it into a meaningful platform. As you say Michael, maybe sadly for now, it's been overtaken by events. But thinking ahead, it can still be something that we supporters can use to good effect if we shape it.

Anyway I'll have a look and contact them.

Vote Danny!!

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 18/01/2023 at 07:08:04
I’ve been very dismissive of this FAB, because of the points that Christine, has made, but I agree with Danny, and think that once we get rid of the present regime, then this group could become very important, and might even be able to forge a much needed respectable link, between the club and its fans, instead of one that is currently viewed with a lot of cynicism.
Eric Myles
35 Posted 19/01/2023 at 15:30:30
James #32, I get a FAB headed wbpage at that link with the message

"The page can't be found"

James Flynn
36 Posted 19/01/2023 at 16:14:34
Eric (35) - Yes, I see. Not sure what happened.

I tested it when I posted it and it worked. Let me look.

Here's the page again: Link

If not, here's the Home page: Link

Click "News" at the top, then scroll done to the article.

Ok, I just tested both and they work.

James Flynn
37 Posted 19/01/2023 at 16:27:15
Couple of interesting responses from the Club on Fiance and Revenue:

"While large accounting losses have been the focus, it is important to note they don’t translate into large cash losses." Any fiance gurus want to explain that one?

And this one regarding if Usmanov wins his court case to get his assets unfrozen, would Moshiri do business with him. The response refers to the relationship with USM as, "indefinitely suspended". I assumed the relationship was cut permanent-like, but apparently not.

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