Everton in the Community

by   |   28/04/2023  4 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton in the Community is a force for good. It has benefited many people in various ways. I applaud it but I have an issue with those running it.

The Everton website boasts EitC has benefited the community with an average of over £50 million per year in societal benefits. Denise Barrett-Baxendale and Bill Kenwright have lapped up the praise for this project. Indeed, they seem to have focused more on this than the fundamental business of running a football club. 

But, while they lap up the adulation and no doubt Barrett-Baxendale — a career fundraiser — has it prominently on the resume that we are told she’s been passing around for 2 years. Is it actually something for them to bask in the glow of?

Consider this: the project is funded by donations from the public. The monetary benefit includes man hours worked by 160 unpaid volunteers. Good, decent ordinary people donating their money and time to help the community. Their unpaid man-hours are calculated as being paid to reach that stated figure of societal benefit. But they’re unknown and it’s Barrett-Baxendale and Kenwright getting the spotlight and adulation for this cause.

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If our owner, Farhad Moshiri, was that bothered about worthy causes, he could easily write a check for £10 million to Alder Hey that would be tax deductible and not subject to Profit and Sustainability Rules. The same sized check he wrote for stubbornly hiring and firing Rafa Benitez against the advise of all. Kenwright himself is no pauper. Having injected zero into the club and made tens of millions from selling it, he too could easily toss a few million to good causes.

As I said, EitC is a force for good. I support it. But it’s built off the backs of anonymous donors and volunteers. The narcissist and the job seeker have cynically used it to promote themselves and highlighted it as the one thing they got right.

In truth, while it has a positive outcome, they’ve used it for self-serving reasons and the actual people funding it and working for it who don’t seek the limelight are the actual heroes of this great project. Support EitC as thousands do but don’t let these leeches claim it as their positive legacy when in fact it’s from the community, for the community. 

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Reader Comments (4)

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Andy Crooks
1 Posted 29/04/2023 at 22:58:41
Good article, Kieran. Great work is done by ordinary folk, like many charities. Unfortunately leeches gain.

There's a charity near to me that does great work carried out by hundreds of young volunteers. The chair and her husband who is CEO, both earn six-figure salaries. They are opportunistic thieves.

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 29/04/2023 at 23:59:21

We see that so much here. Lots of people leave finance for charity as it's more lucrative, perversely.

Jerome Shields
3 Posted 30/04/2023 at 16:30:30
When you see a dominant figure in a voluntary organisation, they are normally there for their own ends. There will be genuine people who work hard in the organisation who are the main reason for its success. They will be on less renumeration than what they are worth. The top ones making sure they are well-paid.

As well as work and owning a business, I have a certificate for 18 years voluntary work. I've seen the above many times and had to sort out the mess they created on three occasions..

I would say that Barrett-Baxendale is a classic case of such a person, who found a similar kindred spirit in Kenwright. It was a lucky day for EitC when Denise got the Everton job, because the regulator would be knocking on their door rather than Everton's.

What you have at Everton is that self-serving leadership that is the bain of the volunteer and charity sector. Those working at EitC are doing a good job. The further Barrett-Baxendale and Kenwright are away from it, the better.

Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 13/05/2023 at 12:53:41
A lot to admire about EitC.

I do wish they would expand it beyond to L4 boundary and reach out to the rest of the city and region.

Also, make it Everton in the Football Community. Dig in and get into grass roots football.

If this is what Denise is good at, leave her to it. But CEO of one of the biggest football clubs in England?

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