Shareholders make another call for AGMs

23/03/2023 27comments  |  Jump to last

The Everton Shareholders Association has issued a press release calling upon the Everton Board to reinstate Annual General Meetings.

This comes on the back of unprecedented actions by EFCSA in January calling for a vote of No Confidence in the Board.

Everton Shareholders' Association is disappointed and concerned that despite the Chair of the Board of Everton Football Club Bill Kenwright and the majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri saying in a Zoom meeting of July 2022 that they have no objections to having Annual General Meetings, no meeting has taken place for more than two years. 

The Club via its Chief Executive has indicated that it has no intention at this time of reinstating General Meetings. The Shareholders Association, Shareholders in general and the wider fan-base are disappointed by the board's decision.

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We respectfully request the Chair, and the majority Shareholder, to exercise their authority, remembering that General Meetings are a decision for Shareholders and not employees of Everton Football Club, to commit to a General Meeting before the end of the current Financial Year.

For many years, the Shareholders Association, through their executive committee, had exceptional access to the inner working of the club they as members share a direct financial interest in. But with the creation of 100,000 new shares for Mr Moshiri last year, both their fiscal stake and their influence have been eroded. 

Annual General Meetings were the traditional method for small shareholders to review the progress and future direction of the football club, under the  requirements of the Companys Act. That was until Chairman Bill Knewright became frustrated with the relentless interogation he and the other shareholders were subjected to each year and unilaterally removed the requirement for holding AGMs from the Articles of Association. 


Reader Comments (27)

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Barry Hesketh
1 Posted 23/03/2023 at 16:15:29
Everton Shareholders Association has published a press release requesting that Moshiri and the board reinstate AGMs. Press Release

The Esk has also tweeted that the Annual Report and Accounts will land on shareholder's doorsteps sometime next week.

Mal van Schaick
2 Posted 23/03/2023 at 18:05:43
The fans protesting are the only voices that have been heard by the board and major shareholders.

Would the minor shareholders have any impact at an AGM, when we have an intransigent Owner and Chairman?

Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 23/03/2023 at 18:16:42
I have mixed feelings about this, Mal @2.

The minority shareholders deserve a voice and the AGM would always have a question and answer session in which shareholders could ask probing questions of the Chairmen and the Board of Directors. Shareholders feel strongly that this is their right, and fought to have the AGMs reinstated in 2013 by calling for an Emergency General Meeting (EGM).

But unfortunately these exchanges never really yielded anything of value, with the controlling persons in the club expert at stonewalling and deflection such that answers sought were never really forthcoming.

And the imbalance of shareholder power has now become so lob-sided that I suspect you are in effect right: the minor shareholders will not have any impact at an AGM when we have an intransigent Owner and Chairman.

Bill Gall
4 Posted 23/03/2023 at 18:38:11
I wonder if there is someone who can explain how it works in companies that are controlled by their shareholders. The major shareholder is unquestionably the owner but don't the other shareholders have a vote on the value of the share holdings?

With Everton, Bill Kenwright only holds 1.3% of the shares while the other shareholders together hold 4.6% so combined they should have more of a say in how the club is being run.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 23/03/2023 at 18:44:49
Chairman Bill has promised Farhad that he will bring along David Copperfield to emcee the show. If there's one word of dissent, or a murmur of grumbling, Copperfield will make Bill disappear in an explosion of light and sound!!

Btw, what shareholders? Moshiri is the owner, boss and puppet master. He doesn't give a toss about Fred Bloggs and the two shares that he's had since 1963.

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 23/03/2023 at 19:31:41
If I understand your question, Bill, I think you're asking about the power of the vote each shareholder has, based on the number (or value) of shares he controls?

They had some fun with this at previous AGMs, whereby those present wanted "one-man, one-vote" (oops… unconscious misogynistic bias there!) rather than "one-share, one vote", which is what Bill and his cronies have always insisted on because it guarantees them complete control.

But votes only happen if the Board want to or have to put something to the full shareholder base. Then, the minority shareholding and Bill's shareholding are both so small as to be an irrelevance in the face of Moshiri's 94.1% stake.

The minority shareholders have no say in how the club is being run. I don't think they have ever had to any effective degree.

Bill Gall
7 Posted 23/03/2023 at 19:43:19
Thanks for the reply, Michael, really what you are saying is that the Everton Shareholders request could just fall on deaf ears.
Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 23/03/2023 at 19:52:28
What most don't grasp is we are still governed by the feudal system – the earls and barons of old are financiers and their ilk today. When push comes to shove, they do what they want when they want and peasants can go hang. No amount of meetings will change that.

History shows change only comes with violence and is usually temporary as today’s revolutionaries become tomorrow’s shithouse elite.

AGMs in this situation are a good excuse for a piss-up – nothing more.

John Raftery
9 Posted 23/03/2023 at 20:05:53
I look forward to receiving the accounts.
Jamie Crowley
11 Posted 23/03/2023 at 20:44:11
I think these AGMs are a microcosm of what's occurred in society the last 15 to 20 years.

The rich get richer, the disparity of wealth grows, and the common man becomes a pawn more than ever.

There's no need for the Board / Moshri to call an AGM. Why? He doesn't have to answer to anyone. Not dissimilar to big banks, big Pharma, politicians, etc.

I don't know what the answers are, but I believe I saw the other day that the modern CEO / CFO makes 60 times what the average American does. Back in like 1970 is was 15 times. Society is moving to a has and has not society at lightning speed, if we aren't already there.

AGMs are just another example, as Barry at 9 points out, of the shrinking power base, the disparity of wealth and power, and the truly gross disproportionate two class system developing.

And I'm conservative. Funny thing to me is anyone being honest with themselves and the situation, liberal or conservative, can come to no other conclusion. And something really needs to be done about it.

Dennis Stevens
12 Posted 23/03/2023 at 21:08:59
Motorhead had the answer, Jamie: Eat the Rich!
Jonathan Oppenheimer
15 Posted 23/03/2023 at 22:00:00
Jamie 12, I read the beginning of your post thinking, isn’t this the hard-core conservative American I know and love (because all of us blues are family, regardless of politics)? How can this guy be highlighting the vast wealth disparities that are surely just a product of good old fashioned capitalism?

I’m heartened that folks on both sides of the aisle can acknowledge that the gaps between the haves and the have nots have become so severe that our society is suffering greatly, each and every one of us. To think what we could do to alleviate poverty and get the people, red and blue and purple, who are so disillusioned with the elites in power to be less angry if the fat cats made only 15 times their workers? And they’d still be plenty rich, but I guess 3-house rich isn’t as glamorous as yachts- and planes-rich!

Thanks, Jamie, for being a sensible man of the right.

Don Alexander
16 Posted 23/03/2023 at 22:12:34
Those bastards now at the top of what used to be Tory/Republican parties have in the last decade been turned into fascistic self-serving supplicants to the mega-conglomerations that dominate the first world.

Kenwright might as well have designed the Tory/Republican modus operandi for them. Get rich, regardless of the consequences to everyone else, and ignore any and every plea for accountability and truth.

Such people will (and have) introduced laws and punishments to ensure their prosperity, but such people can also be toppled by organised dissent and attack.

The sooner the better.

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 23/03/2023 at 23:42:11
Talking of shareholders some Finnish nutter says he will put up 1.5 billion to buy Msn United and expects the fans to
Chip in a fiver each to cover the other 1.5 billion. This based on the notion United have 300 million willing fans. This is the kind of nutter Everton usually attract interest from. But maybe we could tell him to keep a billion, buy us and give us a kitty of a mere hundred million? Or we could get 30,000 season ticket holders to chip in a fiver each to lessen the load and cover Andre Gomes wages for a week?
Jerome Shields
18 Posted 24/03/2023 at 06:18:29
It is good that the Shareholders Association are asking the question regarding the AGMs because thought is provoked within the organisation how to deal with it. Even if nothing is answered, it still contributes to the debate.

Better that than one way blaze PR from the club. Once it contributed to the over all consciousness and narrative the club does have to take it into account in any decisions they take and it takes the edge of the threat of taking decisions without accountability.

I agree with various posters that what is happening is a reflection of English Society, which has an inert class system with the accompanying management style.

This belongs to a long past age and is detrimental to attempts at progressing, society and organisations, for the modern age. Increasingly, executives are running organisation without regard for shareholders. There are now so many actions by shareholders for negligence throughout the world, in England the class system just adds to the problem.

Everton has a lot to answer for, we are all getting far too deep and reflective.

Jamie Crowley
21 Posted 24/03/2023 at 13:59:12
Jonathan @ 15 -

I'm not looking to highjack this thread and turn it into some TW political debate, but I did want to respond to this:

How can this guy be highlighting the vast wealth disparities that are surely just a product of good old fashioned capitalism?

I've often seen Capitalism framed as inherently wicked and evil by many people, and often by a group of (very) liberal friends I have from college - we have a text thread that we chat on almost daily.

My response to anyone who detests Capitalism is elementary, but I think underscores a point if one engages their brain (I don't say this condescendingly) and looks past what I think would be a normal reaction to an example I'm about to give. The example is incredibly non-scholarly and sophomoric, but for me hits the mark.

The best example of Capitalism is seen in the movie, It's a Wonderful Life. George Bailey runs a Building and Loan and looks to make a living through a free market, all the while making decisions that at the end of the day attempt to help others around him and his community. That, for me, is the example of Capitalism done right.

Capitalism and Socialism (or any other distributive wealth model) are both bastardized in society and never executed in perfect fashion, creating problems and issues on monetary and ethical levels.

It simply comes down to what the individual believes is the best model to advance society, with both models mutations in the real world and execution.

But I'd vehemently argue Captialism in and of itself is not an evil economic model, just as I'd argue Socialism isn't in and of itself an evil economic model.

Men (people, women, all folk) distort and frankly fuck up both models. Hence is the way of the world.

The real issue today is how in the world does society regain some modicum of influence back from an ever-increasing micro-minority of power from the "elite".

And the AGM being blocked is a prime example of that in my opinion - how does the common fan reintegrate himself in the running of his / her Club? They surely are, and have a right to be, vested.

Have a good day.

Bill Gall
22 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:17:57
Reading the comments would it be safe to say that the FAB has more influence with the Owner and Board than the shareholders have
Brian Harrison
23 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:37:45
Does anybody know how many Premier league clubs regularly hold AGMs or is our club unique in not holding them every year, only I don't recall an AGM at Man Utd or City but I could well be wrong. Also because in most Premier league clubs the shares are usually held by a few people. Obviously there cant be a law stating football clubs have to have an AGM otherwise they would be happening every year.
Will Mabon
24 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:42:37
"The real issue today is how in the world does society regain some modicum of influence back from an ever-increasing micro-minority of power from the "elite"."

The actual steps are relatively simple, straightforward and effective. The hard part is getting the majority to see what's happening in front of their eyes... and the sizeable group that are in denial.

Will Mabon
25 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:48:04

there was a law but effectively not for over 30 years now.

Gawd knows how many clubs do or don't today. Not many, I'd guess.

Dennis Stevens
26 Posted 24/03/2023 at 15:02:42
It seems to me that Shareholders & supporters have clearly got it all wrong - haven't they seen how well, comparatively, Everton are doing on the supporter engagement front?


Christine Foster
27 Posted 24/03/2023 at 15:14:56
It has been the arrogance of power that has corrupted the need to be held accountable, like Kenwright before him, it (AGMs) became a necessary evil and changed the Articles of Association of the club to remove the need to have them. Thus changing the very constitution of the club to prevent any personal embarrassment of being held publicly accountable for their actions.
Why is that relevant now? Because under Moshiri, the power is effectively absolute, he can do whatever he wants, but he is currently seeking investment which will mean eroding his shares and influence, thus having several players of possible major interest weilding power in the board room and none of them accountable to answer questions to other shareholders. Unless the constitution is changed, there is a very real scenario whereby no one will ever be accountable to shareholders again.
Which is exactly what Kenwright and then Moshiri wanted. An inconvenient truth.
Christine Foster
28 Posted 24/03/2023 at 15:31:36
Dennis, there is a significant difference in fan engagement to shareholder entitlement. A dialog with supporters is lip service when an owner doesn't want, or need to go into details about how a club is run. Dialogue with shareholders is about the management of their interests for the good of their investments. At the moment the total percentage of other shares has little or no influence on how the club is run, but that could change depending on larger players providing investment with different plans or expectations than a single owner.

Removing accountability to shareholders leaves the club open to (further?) Becoming a personal train set again, ? I hate waking up at 3am and checking Toffeeweb for news, ruins my sleep..oh well..

Tom Hughes
29 Posted 24/03/2023 at 15:58:05
The right of shareholders to attend AGMs should be fundamental. They were always an opportunity to publically question the club.

Yes, it's true that Q and A sections were often stage-managed by the club's board, who could also generally carry any vote (unless there were any splits). However, there have been several occasions when shareholders have really ruffled the board's feathers and in recent years helped to expose some of the failings, scheming and quite frankly patent lies in the presence of local and national press.

That's the main reason why they have been cancelled and consequently also why all Evertonians should want them reinstated immediately.

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 24/03/2023 at 17:25:11
After this latest news then I think it's only natural that Everton's current board and majority shareholder should have an AGM and speak to the fans to explain our club's current and desperate situation.
Jim Lloyd
31 Posted 25/03/2023 at 09:40:15
Could you imagine the "The Three Stooges" — Kenwright, Barrett-Baxendale and Sharp — enthusiastically engaging with the Shareholders at an AGM??

Indeed, would they not be advised not to attend, for fear for their very lives!!!

Jerome Shields
32 Posted 27/03/2023 at 23:06:43
Actually what is FAB's current reaction to Everton's situation.

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