NSNOW campaign releases open letter to Graeme Sharp

10/03/2023 44comments  |  Jump to last

The NSNOW campaign, agitating for change in the boardroom and ownership of Everton FC, have penned an open letter to playing legend and current non-executive board member, Graeme Sharp, appealing for him to communicate with supporters and fill what the group say is a vacuum of leadership at the club.

Additionally, the campaign asks that Sharp join them in demanding of owner Farhad Moshiri that he make the necessary changes to strengthen a board that currently boasts the minimum four members required by the Articles of Association.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Graeme,

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We write this open letter as Everton Fans to you as the only current non-executive director on the Everton board.

Given your illustrious Everton career, winning two League Championships, an FA Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup, it must pain you deeply (as much as it does us, the fans) since your appointment as non-executive director in January 2022, to see Everton languishing in the relegation zone for the second season running.  

As one of our greatest centre-forwards and our second-highest goal scorer of all time with 159 goals, you must be aghast about our current total goalscoring record. Looking through English football league tables down to the Southern League, Northern Premier League, Isthmian League etc, none have scored fewer than the 19 goals that Everton have scored this season.

The selling of Richarlison last summer, and the failure to bring in a striker (or indeed any new players) in the January transfer window – despite the sale of Gordon and the owner promising that the club would sign a striker –  demonstrate how deep our problems run. 

The prospect of relegation continues to haunt us. As you must be fully aware, relegation would be absolutely catastrophic for the Club, the fans and for the city of Liverpool. There would be a fire sale of our better players, and we would be left without a viable squad for the Championship or the financial resources to rebuild it, given FFP limitations and the cost of completing the new stadium. The Championship is extremely competitive, and there would be a high chance that we would not be able to bounce back, instead languishing in the Championship, or even lower divisions, for many years. 

There would undoubtedly be a loss of Everton’s cultural identity and many especially younger supporters, plus the disintegration of supporter groups both in the UK and worldwide.  There would be significant job losses amongst long-standing and loyal Club employees, and a reduction in the invaluable support that EITC provides disadvantaged communities on Merseyside.  Relegation may also put the completion of the new stadium in jeopardy, or at the least, significantly risk the Goodison legacy project. Indeed some commentators have suggested that Everton may not survive relegation.

Regardless, Everton have lost our proud reputation as being a well-run club, with our unbalanced squad and our inability to compete despite the hundreds of millions of pounds spent on players over the last 7 years under Farhad Moshiri’s ownership. We all suffer the indignity of pundits now branding Everton as the worst-run club in the Premier League. 

We have reached a position where the owner has not attended a home match since October 2021, the board including yourself instructed (by whom?) not to attend home matches, and we, the fans, believe that our reputation has been deeply damaged by the Club. As you know, there have been shocking allegations of the CEO being put into a headlock by a fan, which have neither been substantiated nor withdrawn.

Despite all of this, the Fans remain committed to putting their full support behind the team. However, there is the danger of becoming completely exhausted after our efforts last season to pull Everton out of the relegation zone and the recent attacks on our reputation. 

Yet, despite the deep crisis that the Club currently finds itself in, we have heard nothing from the Chairman, CEO or board of which you are a member.

We desperately need real leadership from within the Club.  We, as the Fans, ask you as the board’s sole non-executive director to rise above all of the turmoil and accusations and provide the necessary leadership the club desperately requires. 

The role of non-executive director is an important and demanding one involving acting independently and challenging the direction, performance of the company and its board in the interests of the company’s shareholders.  It carries significant legal obligations. We recognise that taking action could be very difficult given your long-term relationships with fellow directors and your current isolated position as the sole non-executive director.  

  • Accepting the non-executive director role means accepting responsibility.  We urge you to fill the leadership vacuum and to personally communicate with fans now and regularly until the Club is on a more stable footing.  

  • We ask you to ensure that the board issues an immediate communication to clarify and bring to a close the allegations that have been so damaging to the Fans’ and the Club’s reputations and in particular the alleged headlock incident.  

  • We also ask that you formally request the majority shareholder to strengthen the board – with a current board of only three executives and yourself, it is difficult to see how we compete.

  • As part of this, we ask that you formally request that additional non-executive directors are appointed alongside you to broaden the board’s expertise and provide independent oversight to the running and management of the club.

We hope that you, as one of our most illustrious players and now non-executive director, will answer our request and take the necessary urgent leadership action. If you do, we, the club’s fans will be fully behind you supporting you to make Everton a better club, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

Yours Sincerely

NSNOW — #AllTogetherNow


Reader Comments (44)

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Paul [The Esk]
1 Posted 10/03/2023 at 14:55:55
Thanks Lyndon & ToffeeWeb for publishing. Whilst we don't anticipate a meaningful response we feel it is important to remind him that as a director he has responsibilities and obligations.
If nothing else it maintains the need for change and the issues surrounding the board in the public domain.

Thanks for reading and please share if you are in agreement with the points made

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 10/03/2023 at 15:23:29
I think NSNOW will get a response from Sharp as soon as Kenwright tells him what to say.

Not having a go at NSNOW, it it is right they are telling Sharp what his obligations as a non- executive director are but he has been a well paid lackey of Kenwright for far too long to go against his master now.

Paul [The Esk]
3 Posted 10/03/2023 at 15:37:46
I am sure you are correct Dave
James Hughes
4 Posted 10/03/2023 at 15:46:50
Mr not the sharpest knife in the drawer is now sitting on his hands.
This after changing his phone to incoming calls only, samshing his laptop and throwing away all pens and paper in his house.

we have more chance of Maupay bagging a hat-trick tomorrow than getting a response.
He could prove me wrong and I will eat humble pie

Peter Mills
5 Posted 10/03/2023 at 15:58:08
Paul, I agree. Furthermore, it gives Graeme Sharp, a club legend, an opportunity to edge out of a corner he has boxed himself into. Will he take it?
Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 10/03/2023 at 16:12:37
I would imagine if he breaks silence, it will be something akin to a party political broadcast or a Politician being interviewed on BBC Breakfast rollling out the party line of messaging.

He had his chance. He seems to have decided to stand by his masters and witnessed the supporters who worshipped him get slammed and accused without evidence, yet said nothing. Going with the flow and staying away from our home that he once graced. I'll struggle to forgive that.

We will be there tomorrow. As we always are. Thousands around the globe will be up at ungodly hours to follow and willl the blues to victory.

I recently said they, the Board, should have the balls to show up. I'm now more of the opinion that I'd rather they didn't.

Its now all about us. The supporters, the team and the manager, because those cowards won't help us.

None of that board have our desire or passion. They couldnt even imagine or dream about it. But they could at least care and communicate.


We can do this blues. Stick together and with the players.

Apologies if I sound overly emotional. Long day tomorrow.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 10/03/2023 at 16:18:43
Peter, having had my emotional rant, you make a good point. He still has an opportunity to re-engage.

Sorry, just coming down from Sunday and getting wound up for tomorrow!

Will Mabon
8 Posted 10/03/2023 at 16:48:42
This may have a usable symbolic effect whether or not a reply is received. Other than that, how would anyone expect Sharp to respond?

If he was at odds with the board or others and had something to say, he'd already be gone and would've likely spoken out. So that's probably not the case and therefore no reply or a predictable reply will follow.

Whilst all anecdotal and observed evidence appears to show him as ineffectual and subservient, maybe he has designs on an involvement in what might emerge from the other side of this debacle when Pinky and Perky are gone, and is playing a shady long game.

Either way, if there is a reply, expect something tepid and neutral, in the vein any of us could knock up almost to the word.

Will Mabon
9 Posted 10/03/2023 at 16:51:51
Peter and Danny (@7),

agree - but then he would likely be permanently gone.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 10/03/2023 at 17:25:25
An olive branch for a club legend, but will his boss, the man who has finally been found out, let Graeme Sharp speak, and begin to build bridges with a set of fans, who once idolised him for his footballing skills.

A good letter, and if there is to be no response then the silence just keeps getting louder. If on the other hand there is a response, it will be very interesting to see what words Sharp uses.

Nick Page
11 Posted 10/03/2023 at 17:45:42
Fully bought and paid for. However, I do feel a bit for Sharpy. Kenwright has simply used him like he does with everyone the despicable twat. Not sure what response he can give. He’s nothing more than a figurehead. Of course, he can always volte-face, turn on his paymaster and tell us what he really thinks of this shit-show but I won’t hold my breath.
Allan Board
12 Posted 10/03/2023 at 18:30:12
He won't say anything in a reply unless Uncle Bill has written it. I agree with others, he's had his chance to put himself in a favourable position with the fan base and bottled it.
Just a paid up Lackey of Kenwrights Circus.
The question is- whats he gonna do when Blubbery Bill has been ousted? Same goes for the other two Lackeys. Probably end up sweeping the stage in London in some crumbling theatre of Bill's!
Baxendale can be the Confectionery Girl and Ingles can be the Caretaker.
Just go- the lot of you. Please. You've had your day in the sun, ripped us all off for dough, ruined an institution and made it a laughing stock. Go take a long walk off a short pier. Please.
John Keating
13 Posted 10/03/2023 at 18:45:16
Far too late
Ernie Baywood
14 Posted 10/03/2023 at 18:48:11
Paul (1), I don't know much about the legal obligations a non-exec Director holds, but surely it doesn't cover any of the things we've asked him to do in this letter?

Maybe it will just appeal to his decency and blue blood but I can't see him breaking rank now. And it's not like the Owner and Board don't already know how we feel. - yet they've not acted on any of this to date.

By the way, I applaud the effort, and the continued pressure. It's about all the fans can do.

John Keating
15 Posted 10/03/2023 at 18:48:47
Not sure what happened there?
Far too late.
Sharpe is as big a shithouse as the rest of the Board. In a way even bigger than the rest.
Judas has nothing on him. If he never steps foot in Goodison again he won't be missed.
Joe McMahon
16 Posted 10/03/2023 at 18:56:53
He won't care, but I've had no time for him since he chose to ignore my question in one if the lounges about 17 years ago. He can't say he didn't hear me, I was sat right next to him.
Jerome Shields
17 Posted 10/03/2023 at 21:20:12
Better to ask him questions, rather than him get away Scot free.
Paul Tran
18 Posted 10/03/2023 at 21:34:10
That's a cracking letter. Gives Sharp an opportunity - wouldn't put money in him doing anything, but it does expose him
Paul Birmingham
19 Posted 10/03/2023 at 22:33:27
Paul, a very good letter, and it’s going to be interesting to see the response from Graeme Sharp, or a proxy response via The Board, -BK.

If Sharp, responds it will be interesting to see how he does it, via email, Twitter, public letter to NSNOW, or a press interview.

But fair play and due care shown by NSNOW, and I hope that Sharp, responds, but no doubt it will be carefully doctored, if he does.


Ken Kneale
20 Posted 11/03/2023 at 08:47:15
Bill Kenwright has systematically destroyed Everton's football standing and reputation over his tenure. Sharp has allowed himself to be aligned to such action and, in doing so, destroyed his own reputation in the eyes of many of the fanbase.

This is an excellent letter and a method of engagement — it will be interesting to see what if any response is forthcoming.

Shaun Laycock
21 Posted 11/03/2023 at 09:59:32
If only Everton were as transparent as my other team:

Harlequinns: The State of Play – Your questions answered

Alan McGuffog
22 Posted 11/03/2023 at 10:01:57
Sadly, I feel this letter is now cut into neat squares and hanging on the door of the cludgie…
Jerome Shields
23 Posted 12/03/2023 at 20:33:20
Come on Sharpy it is your week to reply. You will not be at Chelthenam.
Jim Lloyd
24 Posted 13/03/2023 at 01:32:42
I think Sharp has made his bed, and I think he must lie in it. I think he despises us rif raf. He's a club man, as the club pays him and has done for ages.
I looked at his face at the last home game he attended. Couldn't look any less interested and wait to get out.
None of that board are Evertonians. Not one of them would stand up and not support the players, alongside us.
The players are fighting for the club's survival.
The supporters are giving our best to suppory them at home and away.
I think our Club's motto could do with a slightly different meaning.
Only Your Best is good Enough
It should should apply to every employee and I"ll bet they give their best.
It should apply to every supporter, and I bet it does.
Does it apply to the Board members.
They shame us all, they shame the Club they are suppose to guide.
The bunch if them are a Disgrace
Only Your Best is Good Enough?
Every One of You Should be Ashamed of Yourselves!
Pete Clarke
25 Posted 13/03/2023 at 01:58:21
Sharp was never that good with fan communication, as I witnessed during a pre season tour of Holland in the early 800s and as my brother told me a story about bumping into some players in Melbourne when Everton were in Australia many years ago.

He's a bit up himself and now that he's been locked in to Bill's ethos and being well paid he is arrogantly standing by his master. Absolute greedy coward.

They work for Bill and he controls them.
Moshiri, who does have the power to act, does not want any responsibility for running the club, so making changes doesn't suit him. Bill is happy to take the responsibility and try to deflect all of the flak onto those around him — hence why we're stuck in this cycle of chaos and may need to wait until Moshiri gets a good offer to sell or Bill's time on this earth is up.

Our club has no way of moving forward towards a brighter future unless one of these things happens soon.

Kieran Kinsella
26 Posted 13/03/2023 at 03:04:03

Not only that but really Sharp had one good season – before which he was useless and after which he was a big fat lump who seldom scored.

Heath, Gray, Clarke were all better finishers, as were Cottee, Saha, Yakubu, Lukaku – maybe even Newell. He got lucky.

He was a big old lump from Dumbarton who had one flukey season and has lived on it for 40 years.

Pete Clarke
27 Posted 13/03/2023 at 05:48:11
I loved the very young Sharp who would strike a ball from anywhere when given half a chance. He was coached well to become a better all rounder and team player but, as I said in my earlier post. I was put off by his reluctance to engage in any chat outside the pubs in the Dutch towns we played at. The rest of the lads were great.

There was one game at Goodison when it was obvious he was not pulling his weight and myself and my mate were getting stuck into him about it for all to hear. He then goes and scores a header from the edge of the box and duly turns around in our general direction and puts two fingers up. I wish this modern mob could respond to criticism with goals like that.

Bit harsh on your assessment of him but we all have our favorites and I guess a few of us will now be soured by his behavior to turn his back on the supporters once again.
Derek Thomas
28 Posted 13/03/2023 at 06:37:04
Sharp literally and metaphorically made his choice years ago when he cuddled up to the Panda.
Danny O’Neill
29 Posted 13/03/2023 at 08:09:14
I've said it countless times, Peter. For the younger generation and those who were not fortunate enough to watch Graeme Sharp, draw parallels and comparisons with Harry Kane.

As you say, he could hit a ball from anywhere and was good in the air. An all round striker once he settled and established himself in a very good team.

A shame that he now seems to have distanced himself from the supporters that idolised him as a player.

Alan McGuffog
30 Posted 13/03/2023 at 08:16:54
Kieran, forgive me. My senses are dulled by man flu and the treatment of it (copious amounts of Writers Tears).

You are being sarcastic.? Aren't you ?

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 13/03/2023 at 08:24:44
I heard that Kenwright told his board they were all leaving last week and then 2 days later, told them to wait because nothing had been fully decided yet.

I wonder if he's at war with Moshiri? He tried to throw the fans under the bus so I don't think he would have any reservations about doing the same to any individual but maybe I'm just guessing and getting ahead of the story.

Kunal Desai
32 Posted 13/03/2023 at 08:35:53
I think it's now gone beyond the point of trying to get any of these people to engage with the fans. A response is unlikely to happen.

The protests must continue for the remaining five home fixtures and it has to continue over the summer and into next season until the point that a meaningful outcome for the fans has been reached.

These people have no regard for the fansbase, never have done and never will do.

Colin Glassar
33 Posted 13/03/2023 at 08:46:20

Bill is preparing for his Gotterdammerung (don't have umlauts) grand finale. The old drama queen wants to go down in flames and is quite happy taking the rest of us with him.

Jerome Shields
34 Posted 13/03/2023 at 08:52:02
Bill will probably see the opportunity to make Sharpy the next scapegoat. Sharpy in for a lesson.
Joe McMahon
35 Posted 13/03/2023 at 09:03:45
Kieran, that's a bit harsh. I'm not a fan of him at all, but he could strike from distance.

But I do agree, by the late 80s he was way past his best… but as usual, we keep players to long. He did score some very good goals, but was never prolific. At his best, he never managed 20 league goals in a season.

Jerome Shields
36 Posted 13/03/2023 at 09:12:50
Tony #31,

Bill will always be looking for an angle, especially if Moshiri's negotiations are at a critical stage. I think he is very resistant to a professional investor with board representation. There were reports, in the usual PR speak, that Moshiri was looking at board changes.

NSNOW have to sustain pressure regarding the board. I have always thought that Moshiri was susceptible to fan pressure. Sure he even blames us for not giving managers enough of a chance.

The good thing about your rumour imo is that Bill believes Everton are going to survive relegation, since he seems to think regaining power by relegation is not an option. Most of the Board are obviously dependent on his patronage.

John Pickles
37 Posted 13/03/2023 at 09:58:28
Sharp is making a fool of himself nowadays but, if you want to slag off Sharp the player, you are just making a bigger tit of yourselves.
Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 13/03/2023 at 10:50:05
I don't think many who watched him are doing that, Jim @37.

That's why it is important to differentiate between Sharp the player and Sharp the current apparent lapdog, although I'll caveat that I don't know what goes on behind closed doors.

As well as being a goalscorer himself (I think he got 30 in one season, all competitions, Joe), he was a dream partner for the likes of Gray and Heath to play off. I think a lot of our forward players and midfielders would like a Graeme Sharp right now.

He is just in danger of damaging his legacy. I will always remember Sharp the player. The goal at Wembley in front of my eyes. The screamer at Anfield. I'll never forget those moments and countless others he gave me.

But he's chosen his side and is letting down those who idolised him by not speaking out.

I'm guessing they weren't at Goodison on Saturday. I'm assuming they will accept the hospitality at Stamford Bridge this coming weekend.

Brian Harrison
39 Posted 13/03/2023 at 11:14:54
I think the problem for long-standing Premier League clubs is the fans expect them to be competing for trophies; if that's not happening, then ultimately the board or the manager comes under greater scrutiny.

As I have said before on here, many clubs' fans have called on owners or boards to step down, but very often it's because the team isn't competing for trophies.

Arsenal fans have been wanting Kronke out of their club but, because at present they are top of the Premier League, the protests against Kronke have subsided. Man Utd fans have campaigned against the Glazers for a long time but, while they are performing better under the current manager, the protests are not as vociferous as they have been.

Also, it sems the Glazers are prepared to sell the club but a large section of the fans don't want the Qatari Royal Family to own their club. Which is very commendable considering the unlimited wealth they would bring to the club.

Yet at Newcastle, they have welcomed the Saudi money who have probably a worse human-rights record than any owners currently in the Premier League.

Now we know the fans have very little say in who buys their club, and maybe the common denominator is, if it turns out to be successful, then many fans are quite happy to turn a blind eye to the owner's shortcomings.

I know NSNOW have called for the removal of most of the board members, but haven't been quite as vociferous in demanding that Moshiri sells the club. But then we have to ask what type of board members and owner do we want?

Most of the managers under Moshiri have been given money to spend but, in most cases, it hasn't been spent well. I hope whatever happens we drastically reduce our wage bill because 95% of our income going in wages is completely unsustainable.

I hope that we stop behaving like we are a side that qualifies for Europe every season, and start to produce some home grown talent along with bringing in young improving players from outside who we won't be paying silly wages to.

Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 13/03/2023 at 11:45:16
Very sensible post, Brian.

I don't necessarily have issue with Moshiri. He's been naive, which is surprising given how rich he is.

He can run the club from afar. That isn't uncommon in business. But he should have put his own people in, not left it with the incumbent telling him that he's got this.

We can't question his investment. He just gave the cheque book and credit card to the wrong people.

As I have said year on year, it's not always about how much you spend, more about how you spend it.

Joe McMahon
41 Posted 13/03/2023 at 12:25:35

"It ain't what you do, it's the that you do it" ....and that's what gets results.

Brian Harrison
42 Posted 13/03/2023 at 13:42:00
Danny @40,

You are correct that many clubs' owners do so from afar; our neighbours certainly do as I think Moshiri has been to more games than John Henry, FSG's owner. Joe Lewis at Spurs is another absentee owner, and the Glaziers at Man Utd.

I have long held the view that Usmanov and Moshiri thought, "There's Everton with little or no money yet are always in the Top 7 most seasons. We pump in a couple of hundred million and they will be competing for a Champions League spot." — which on the face of it, looked a good plan.

But because neither Usmanov or Moshiri had ever ran football or sporting clubs, they didn't have the wherewithal to hire the right people.

Also, for most of the seasons when we finished in the Top 7, we had Moyes in charge. Now, while some castigate Moyes, he practically singlehandedly kept us in the Top 7 by buying some cheap but very talented players. This allowed us to keep afloat financially and, despite what some of his critics said, he managed to keep us on the fringes of Europe.

Time is a funny thing… we all now say what a great job Frank is doing at Brentford, and Potter was doing at Brighton —keeping sides with little or no money in the top half of the table. But when Moyes was doing that on a shoestring, many thought we were under-achieving.

As you rightly say, Danny, it's not always about how much, but how you spend, and most seasons Moyes got that spot on. But the fans wanted the trophies even though that was unattainable for the money we had to spend. And now, some 7 years since Moyes lef,t we all crave a few seasons of finishing 7th.

I think when Usmanov & Moshiri took over, the majority of us believed that we would emulate Man City and Chelsea, and get the best managers and players. But we certainly never bought the best players.

Other than Ancelotti, we hired managers who had won nothing and done nothing — unlike Man City and Chelsea, who bought the very best managers and the best players.

Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 16/03/2023 at 20:13:03
It’s nearly a week since Graeme Sharp was asked to “speak to the fans” but sadly the man’s silence has been disgracefully deafening.

Don’t speak for us – just speak to us – why such disdain for a very loyal fan base that deserves answers?

It wouldn’t surprise me if the board turned up on Saturday.

Jerome Shields
44 Posted 22/03/2023 at 10:43:06
Tony #43,

He was at Cheltenham and Dublin at the weekend. Surely he will get back to us Thursday or Frisay after he has recovered.

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