Everton Fan Advisory Board publishes supporter questions for club

21/01/2023 10comments  |  Jump to last

The Everton Fan Advisory Board has today published a summary of the questions raised by supporters in a series of open meetings held earlier this month.

The FAB, formed last year to act as an interface between the club's fans and its Board of Directors, held 3 meetings held at the Blue Base Community Centre and via zoom between 11 and 16 January to give Evertonians an opportunity to share their views and concerns about the Club’s current predicament.

More than two hundred Evertonians took the opportunity to attend and a wide range of issues and themes were raised during the meetings, including concerns about the club’s performance on and off the pitch, Board operations, finance, commercial performance, ownership and future strategic direction.

The questions are detailed below and have been submitted to Everton Football Club. The FAB say they will be meeting with the club to receive responses, which will also be published in full.

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Jazz Bal, Chair of the Fan Advisory Board said:

“There’s widespread concern amongst Evertonains right now about the situation we find ourselves in. Evertonians care deeply about our Club and we wanted to give supporters an opportunity to have their say and ensure that the senior leaders in the Club understand the strength of feeling and respond to the many questions fans have.

I want to thank all those who took the time to attend the meetings. It’s been clear throughout that Evertonians want and deserve greater clarity about the Club’s plans.

We’ll be publishing the Club response in full.”


Questions Submitted to Everton Football Club

EFC’s Strategic Vision and Objectives

  • Why wasn’t there any external involvement in the Strategic Review of Football?
  • Why has the strategy not been shared?
  • Did the Strategic Review of football operations include player recruitment?
  • Why was the business side of the Club exempt from the strategic review?
  • We were making inroads in Africa, where there is a market of 150 million. Since Covid and the end of the SportPesa sponsorship, it all seems to have been left and we have missed opportunities, which other premier league teams have taken up. What is the strategy for Africa?
  • Is there a back-up plan, in the event we get relegated?

 

EFC’s Plan for Broader Supporter Engagement

  • The Club needs to be aware that fans are tired and feeling like their appetite to fight for the team has gone; how has it got to this!
  • There needs to be face-to-face dialogue between EFC and the fanbase.
  • Will key people within the Board/Club agree to be interviewed by an independent journalist (e.g. Alan Myers)?
  • Why doesn’t the Fan Advisory Board meet with the full EFC Board of Directors?
  • Is the Club using the FAB as a point-scoring exercise?
  • The FAB are modelling what honest engagement looks like right now. Why don’t EFC do meetings like this?
  • What is the Club’s communications strategy, apart from surveys that ask about food and parking?
  • Will the Club reinstate General Meetings?
  • Can the Club assure the fans that, following the strategic review, they will bring in further help to improve communications?
  • Would the Club be prepared to initiate quarterly video updates from EFC Board members, to put on the website?
  • Will the board authorise having a fan at press conferences, who is able to ask a question?
  • What are the Club’s Engagement Team doing to connect with fans?
  • What can you do to offer more communication for overseas fans?

 

Stadium Relocation and the Goodison Legacy Project

  • Is the new EFC stadium owned by EFC or a holding company? (So, if Moshiri sold the Club, he could still own the stadium; potentially putting us in a Coventry City situation.)
  • Is Bramley-Moore Dock financially separated from the Club’s finances?
  • How has the cost of the new stadium risen by 50%?

 

Finance and Revenue Generation

  • Why doesn’t the Club have any money to spend?
  • Is the Club under-funded? Has the club considered funding streams that include fans, such as Arsenal’s debenture scheme?
  • Is there any truth in the rumour that the club has been placed in special measures by the Premier League?
  • Are the Board going to come out and be open an honest about our finances?
  • Where is the money coming from to keep the Club afloat? Is it only from the owner, or are there other investors? Does Mr Usmanov have any financial interest in EFC?
  • Will the Club enhance revenues by taking catering/retail ‘in house’?

 

EFC Board

  • There has been consistent failure from the Board, you need to go.
  • Our directors should have a football background.
  • There are two Chartered Accountants at the top of the Club (Farhad Moshiri and Grant Ingles); look at the accounts. You need to go!
  • Who runs EFC (Chairman or Owner)?
  • What is the point of having a Board, if FM makes all the decisions?
  • Why won’t the Chairman relinquish the Club?
  • What is each Board member responsible for?
  • Are the Board numbers set so low to prevent a high turnover?
  • What was the process that led to DBB being a director on a Premier League Board of Directors?
  • What was the process that led to Graeme Sharp being given a non-executive director role on the Board of Directors?
  • The Board of Directors seem to have members fulfilling multiple roles and they are spreading themselves too thinly. Are the Club considering bringing others in, to share the load and allow skilled people to dedicate themselves to their specialist areas?
  • What would the Club do if a Board member’s health prevented them from being effective in their role?
  • What are the Board doing for the betterment of EFC and what does a typical day ‘look like’?
  • We live in a digital age, but the Club is run like an analogue business; how will the Board of Directors bring the Club up to date?
  • If the CEO is looking for a new role, how is she doing her job?
  • Our board are said to be the 2nd highest paid in the Premier League, so why is the club so badly run?

 

Football

  • How much has been spent on players under each manager?
  • Why is transfer business left until the end of the transfer window?
  • How does the transfer process work at our club?
    • Who is responsible for manager recruitment/dismissal? And, who has the final say when there is a disagreement?
    • With player recruitment, does the Director of Football report to the manager with recommendations? And if there is a disagreement, who has the final say?
    • Has the Board been buying players from a particular agent?
    • Who is responsible for players’ contracts? Specifically, wages that have crippled the Club when it comes to Premier League Profit and Sustainability rules?
    • Why is our transfer business efforts so mediocre? Who is in charge of transfers?
    • Will FM stop interfering in the football, transfer decisions and manager operations?
  • We are on a managerial merry-go-round at the moment, so does the Board have a contingency plan in place [cited Brighton HA]?
  • Is it true that Mr Usmanov was present during interviews with potential new managers?
  • Why is Frank Lampard still at the club, when Chelsea, for instance, will sack a manager straight away if they are not getting results?

 

Questions for Owner

  • You said that you have faith in the Board of Directors, but some supporters question their competence and ability. Where does your faith in them comes from and how do you measure their performance?
  • Will you consider adding more football/business expertise to the Board?
  • Will you consider putting a fan on the Board?
  • What are your goals and ambitions for Everton?
  • Is there a plan to get out of the situation we are in?
  • We have had three Directors of Football in six years. Is this a role you still believe in and have they been allowed to do their jobs?
  • Are you committed to delivering the new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock?
  • Supporters have been frustrated by engagement and communications from you as the owner. Some of that fan frustration has come from interviews being done with Jim White, can you understand why fans would rather you communicated directly? Will you commit to more face-to-face communications? Within that Jim White interview fans felt like they were being blamed for the Club’s current predicament. Can you explain what you meant by that?
  • Is EFC up for sale?

 

Questions for Chairman

  • When you said “You’ve had good times”, what have they been over the past 28 years?
  • Under Moyes and others, you said that you would leave when you were 70. We have recorded financial losses and our largest period without a trophy, so how can you carry on at 77?

 

Other

  • What is Mr Prentice’s role and will we ever hear from him?
  • Did Sheikh Mansour make an offer to buy EFC? Was there a requirement for Bill Kenwright to remain as Chairman/on the Board of Directors?
  • Have/Are the Club going to launch an investigation into the assault on the CEO?
  • Will EFC provide evidence of the CEO assault, or if not, retract the statement released shortly ahead of the Southampton match?
  • If the security classification of the Southampton match was High, why bring players in collectively by coach and allow them to leave individually?
  • Were Board members advised or ordered not to attend the Southampton fixture on 14 Jan, and was this by an EFC employee?

Quotes sourced from Everton FAB


Reader Comments (10)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 21/01/2023 at 14:51:21
All questions will be answered whenever the Board get together after a match at Goodison.
Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 21/01/2023 at 18:22:14
Do you remember that time when I think it was the Shareholders Association came up with 41 questions for Bill Kenwright to answer at an AGM?

He gave them short shrift, as I recall. I think he characterized the questions as "insulting".

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 21/01/2023 at 18:27:02
To their credit FAB have put forward the legitimate questions asked by fans in the meetings including myself and James Flynn. There was no white wash or attempt to water things down or avoid tough topics. Now as to whether this makes any difference? Probably not but FAB took a lot of criticism from conception as supposed yes men and Bill’s cronies. For any remaining skeptics, this is proof they were anything but.
Peter Hodgson
4 Posted 21/01/2023 at 19:26:58
Waste of time if they are seeking answers to those questions if Kenwright is going to answer them.
Eric Myles
5 Posted 22/01/2023 at 01:57:31
I expect the answers to be classed as 'commercially sensitive' by the Board and brushed aside.

Don't want all those other clubs that ask "what would Everton do" copying our business model.

Jerome Shields
6 Posted 23/01/2023 at 00:42:18
Actually the FAB is forcefully putting forward very telling and thorough questions. I think the Board will be quite surprised at the above questions and will find it very difficult to reply. I suspect they didn't imagine that, in the formation of this channel of communication, such a forceful result would be coming down the tracks at them.

The problem that the Board have with this is it is an official channel of communication set up by them, so they will have difficulty if they ignore these questions or try to give a stick answer to try a brush over the issues raised. They will repeatedly get these questions recycled at them if they do not answer them.

Jerome Shields
7 Posted 23/01/2023 at 00:55:23
Kieran #3,

I for one find myself eating my words in relation to FAB. Thank you for taking part, I am very glad you did.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 23/01/2023 at 01:01:19
Jerome

Cheers. As I said, who knows if it goes anywhere but I’m impressed with the job Jaz and co have done.

Larry O'Hara
9 Posted 23/01/2023 at 01:10:31
Fantastic and detailed set of questions: which will not be answered but should be. Well done!
Alan J Thompson
10 Posted 23/01/2023 at 05:08:19
I imagine the Board's response will be along the lines of that used in Yes, Minister:

"These are all very good questions but what you should be asking is..." and then probably a remix of JFK's, "Ask not what your club (Board) can do for you..." and how difficult it is to work under physical threat.

Leopards and spots.


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