To clarify the heading, thanks to many different factors, Everton Football Club still face an existential threat to their continued existence.

(nb: I am not being a ‘doom-monger’ or ‘naysayer’ regarding the club, I am making an observation from the current situation / predicament we find ourselves in.)

Just at a time when Everton actually started to produce a winning formula of football, “It’s not old-school, or new-school, it’s the right school!”, as Sean Dyche himself has recently said and after years of under-performance and disenchantment; as per Everton (That's Everton, that!), the ownership, Executive leadership, and the financial issues surrounding the club once again come to the fore!

By doing so, they're dousing the fans with what is akin to a 'reality check', much akin to an Everton version of the ‘Ice bucket challenge’, i.e. it’s pouring ice-cold water over what should be an uplifting and enjoyable footballing period for the club, no matter how nascent.

All of the following points are causing me to have a feeling of dread (as I commented elsewhere on different threads recently):

    • In Farhad Moshiri, we still have (had?) an absentee owner who clearly didn’t have a genuine grasp on what was happening at board level during his tenure as owner.  Hence why he appointed himself initially as a Nonexecutive Director on the EFC Board, so he would have access to the Board meetings and minutes.  Which he did not have as just merely (sic) the 94.1% shareholder.  NB Again note, he did not appoint himself initially as an Executive Director, just as a Non-executive Director, which meant he did not have a vote at the Board meetings.  Though he could clearly indicate the way the Board should vote to ‘please’ him. However since the passing of the Chairman, Mr Moshiri is now an Executive Director.   (After listening to the Toffeeweb Podcast with Pablo from the FAB, it would seem as of 15 September 2023, Mr Moshiri has an agreement to sell his shares to 777 Partners subject to approval from the Premier League, FA and FCA.  Until that time, they cannot take over the running of the club.)

    • Which then leads us on to the current composition of the board since the passing of William Kenwright CBE.  According to Companies House, the Company (Everton FC) currently have just three Directors (The minimum legal requirement); Mr. Colin Chong, Mr. Farhad Moshiri, and Mr. John Spellman, along with the Company Secretary who is currently Ms. Katie Charles.  There is no mention of the Interim CFO James Maryniak, CEO of the Women’s team Alan McTavish, nor DOF Kevin Thelwell, being on, or associated with the Board.  Therefore, one can only presume that the Board has been streamlined again since Mr. Kenwright’s death?  In plain English, this current Board does absolutely nothing to give me confidence that moving forward, Everton have the necessary experience, expertise or willingness to plan for a progressive and constructive future for the club either on or off the pitch.  It is exactly what Mr. Moshiri said it would be following the departure of the previous incumbents, an Interim Board.  Here is a definition of ‘interim’: “1. an intervening time; interval; meantime: 2. a temporary or provisional arrangement; stop-gap; make-shift.”  That does not sound very inspiring to me, and the communication from the club is as we now expect, ominously silent.

    • It has been stated that the stadium has not only increased in price from a ‘fixed’ £500m cost, but to a cost of £760m during the tenure of the previous board.  Though, other than delays in starting the project, they did not directly cause the stadium costs to increase.  Unfortunately though these figures are set to escalate further, due to a rise in material and construction costs.  However there is no figure available yet in the public domain as to what they will be? (Or at least I haven’t seen one)  Any significant increase in these costs will undoubtedly cause an immediate additional strain on the financial day-to-day running of the club, whilst obviously pushing operating costs higher than the reported £20m+ per month currently being bandied about.

    • As has been posted elsewhere on the site, 777 Partners LLC take-over off the club, from a purely external and uninformed position, seems to be increasingly unlikely to happen.  However, even that view is being disputed now.  The public domain contends the main issue with approval of the take-over is the reluctance, or indeed, refusal thus far, for 777 to provide the FCA with their (presumably) audited accounts.  This apparently hasn’t dissuaded the FA from declining to give their tacit approval for the proposed takeover.  Whilst the EPL seem to be hedging their bets by delaying their decision regards the ‘Fit and Proper owner’  (F&PO) (sic!) test for 777.  As alluded to by Michael Kenrick elsewhere, maybe the EPL are trying to avoid getting egg on their faces by passing 777 as F&PO, only for the FCA to refuse them; which may provide the Government further ammunition to rush the Independent Regulator into being.
    • The last point is one I’ve had to add since the news ‘broke’ that 777 Partners LLC loan funding of the club, to provide resource to allow the club to resource operational running costs on a ‘day-to-day’ basis, is threatened to be discontinued unless the proposed take-over is completed by January 31st.  Though 777 have stated, that if their take-over is imminent, then they would continue with the loaning of funds.  This news does give rise to the worry of that ‘Existential threat’ Mr. Moshiri mentioned in the January of 2023, to the continued ability of Everton FC to survive as a ‘going concern’.  This means that ugly, unwanted word, Administration potentially could rear its ugly head again.  Unless of course a new suitor appears from the shadows, as Keith Wyness seems to indicate that there are other players in this game, IF he is to be believed himself.  If the club does unfortunately go into administration, that leads to two questions. 1. Could we avoid relegation with an additional nine point deduction? and 2. If we get relegated, would that mean the club would have to go into liquidation?

The club already has a 10-point deduction which is being appealed.  This is due to the fiscal mismanagement, negligence, lack of oversight, incompetence, wilful misdirection (read into that what you will), or just plain unrealistic (unachievable?) key performance indicatrors, eg, planning to finish 6th in the league table.  Take your pick, or mix or add to that list as you wish. 

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Fundamentally the Everton Board's performance prior to and since Moshiri’s arrival at the Club, has been nothing short of, using a kind word, inadequate (maybe abysmal?).  Could the club manage to extricate itself from the relegation if another 9-point deduction was levied on us as a result of administration?

However, the fact we could all navel gaze and kick the can of blame about will do nothing for the aspirations, future and survival of Everton Football Club.  What is desperately required is a strategy for Everton to get out of its current financial woes, and provide a solid base to move forward.

In all this maelstrom of madness, there is Kevin Thelwell in circumstances where other more heralded characters have wilted or failed to navigate the almost Byzantine corridors of power, and the Machiavellian machinations of our departed Chairman and former CEO.  Between them, I have had relayed first-hand experiences of how they managed to split the work force at the club into two separate factions, which caused internecine squabbles within the club, and made everyone 'duck for cover' in case they stood out as a ‘tall poppy’.

Yet, now with less interference, and with a ‘looser grip’ from the (possibly now disdained) 'owner', Thelwell appears to be able to at least keep the football operations running positively, albeit on a shoestring budget.  No matter how chaffed that shoestring is!

For insight into how Kevin Thelwell has developed into the role of Sporting Director or Director of Football, here is a link to an excellent video.  It is long (1 hour and 18 mins) but it is a rewarding watch.  Especially towards the end when he explains some of the current issues at Everton and how he is trying to move the club forward.

VSI Sporting Directors’ Podcast: Everton! With Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell

Additionally, I feel that Sean Dyche must be commended for getting the team to gel as well has it has in such a short space of time.  Mitigation is there for the early season disappointments, again down to ultimately the financial issues I.e. not being able to bring a striker into the club sooner.   Yet, since the squad's injured and/or unfit players have started to regain fitness, (and form) their introduction into the playing side has caused at least this Evertonian, to sit up and take notice.  Whilst also putting some of my critiques of Dyche on the backburner.  Long may that continue!  Dyche has his limitations, but for now, he is to my mind exactly what the team and the club need.  A charismatic presence to uplift, galvanise and drive the club forward to better things.

You can see that the manager has brought the players onboard too, and their collective efforts and will is so refreshing to see.  To me, it is the first time in a long-time (Martinez's first season maybe, or Marco Silva's first?) that I have enjoyed (sort of) watching the team play.  At least we are starting to win more, and hopefully these performances can be maintained in spite of all the off-field 'noise' as Sean would say.

I'm sure everyone is aware of just how much Everton need our support over the next few weeks, and probably beyond.  I fear that until the current state of uncertainty is over, and matters have become resolved regards the take-over and ownership issues, all we can do is cheer on the lads in Royal Blue and hope and pray for a much brighter and healthier future for the club.

Hopefully there is finally light at the end of this tunnel, and it isn't just a light bulb with a note saying "Turn off after use".

UTFT and in my best Gerard Butler voice "This... is... Everton...!!"

Reader Comments (23)

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James Lawton
1 Posted 15/12/2023 at 09:38:38
"Dyche has his limitations"! Well, everybody has limitations, but how can anybody judge what they are? We can't. It may be that he becomes the best manager we have ever had. We tend to classify managers and people seem to see Dyche as belonging in the "avoid relegation, and keep us in the Premier League" section. However, his ability to win trophies is unknown. Moyes was in the "glass ceiling" section for years, but has now won the Euro Conference league Trophy (please don't scoff) showing that we never know what the future brings.

When I played golf, people would ask me if I was any good. My stock reply was "That depends on who you compare me with". Comparing Dyche with other managers at present shows him in a very favourable light. Let's be grateful for the work he and his staff have done with the team, and be optimistic for a journey to the top of the tree with him.

Belief is a common theme on these pages. let's believe in our manager, and not prejudge his abilities to get us to where we all want to be.

Mal van Schaick
2 Posted 15/12/2023 at 11:57:23
There are clear dividing lines on ownership of the club, members of the board, and team management.

Dyche knows his role in all of the palaver that goes on above his pay grade, and that is coaching and team affairs on the training ground and on the pitch.

We now know of the clear and present danger, on the very existence of our club, as a result of Premier League investigations and sanctions on the club.

What happens after that is outside of the control of the fans. All we can hope for is an true Evertonian owner, who has the same passion and aspirations of the fans.

Simon Harrison
3 Posted 15/12/2023 at 12:25:04
James [1] You're absolutely correct to call me out. As you say, everyone has limitations. Including, and not in the least myself!

The reason why I said that Dyche has his limitations, is that in his near 14 year management career, he has not thus far demonstrated a wide variation in tactics, or achieved outstanding success.

Yes, he got Burnley into Europe, yes Everton when he took over were in deep trouble and we stayed up, but... Did he use the perceived weakness on the EPL that season to get to 6th with Burnley or was it outstanding management? Did Dyche's influence keep us up, or did the players actually realise that they needed to perform better? Who knows, who cares in reality. Bygones...

The past is what it is. I support and believe in Dyche. For me he has to use that horrible phrase, "credit in the bank" and he is earning interest on that currently.

However, what happens if we lose (what I feel is a must WIN game) at Burnley. Followed by getting nothing in the Spurs (A), City (H), Wolves (A) and Villa (H) games?

We're stuck on thirteen points pending a decision from the appeals board. With other teams having some easier fixtures around us. Also, until we get there, who knows what January will bring? NB I don't mean in terms of incoming players, I mean about the future of the Club.

Dyche has undoubtedly got the team up to pace since the first game of the season.

Performances have improved (unfortunately finishing hadn't improved at the same rate, or we'd be on 'Cloud 3rd='), the players have clearly demonstrated that they have a togetherness and collective will now.

Individual players have been coached and handled correctly, and are showing improvement on the immediate previous seasons E.g. Dom's fitness, Myko's form, the upturn in Dwight's and Douc's performances.

I think you did however, misinterpret what I was trying to say James. Yet, you also made me think, how far can Dyche take us..?

As you say Moyes had his perceived glass ceiling which was reaching Europe and a Cup Final.

However, until 'Dyche's Act' has been played out, none of us truly know. Though that still allows us to opine and comment on what we see being played out before us.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you James for at least reading the article, and I appreciate and have learnt from your comment.

Everyday is a school day.

Simon Harrison
4 Posted 15/12/2023 at 12:28:53
Mal [2]

Just plain and simple, "Well said that man!"

Thank you.

James Lawton
5 Posted 15/12/2023 at 13:00:40
Simon @3.

Thank you for your polite and measured response. Please don't think my post was a criticism of you, far from it. I have no intention to ever criticise any poster willing to express their views on this forum, and I agree with all the points you make in your response. As you put it, we will only know when "Dyche's Act" is played out, which encapsulates the point I was trying to make.

I sincerely hope Dyche is the man to take us to the promised land. I am very impressed with what he has achieved at Everton thus far.

Best wishes, and thank you for your excellent article.

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 15/12/2023 at 13:31:02
I like the combination of Dyche and Thelwell but I have doubts about 777 Partners. I hope the firms waiting in the background come in and take over the club if/when 777 Partnerss are knocked back.

Part of a few club combination? Swerve that.

Barry Rathbone
7 Posted 15/12/2023 at 13:35:29
We're just so vulnerable – skint with a colossal new ground bill to pay and prospective Glazer-lite Americans coming in.

Without real money, we're locked into the sell-to-buy straightjacket and such clubs eventually go down.

Hard to see a way out, to be honest.

Kevin Molloy
8 Posted 15/12/2023 at 13:56:30
Things do look very tricky, but then they often do for football clubs at various points.

Liverpool were a whisker away from going out of business less than 20 years ago; look at Man Utd, Leicester… you get used to it after a while, and we've been in this hole now for what seems forever but we're still here.

Maybe it's the new normal.

Something will probably turn up, it always has so far.

Michael Kenrick
10 Posted 15/12/2023 at 15:48:33
Simon,

Where did you source the information on Moshiri in your first bullet, specifically this:

"… he appointed himself initially as a Nonexecutive Director on the EFC Board."

As a Shareholder, I've kept an eye on the membership of the Board and this is at odds with my understanding. Moshiri was never an Everton Director or Board member until earlier this year.

Simon Harrison
11 Posted 15/12/2023 at 17:37:53
Michael [10],

It was in the initial Presser from the club. The three execs were Maryniak, Chong and Kenwright, whilst Spellman and Moshiri were non-execs.

I'm pretty sure the article was used on here for a thread..?

When the news was initially announced, it made me raise an eyebrow, until you realised he just wanted information about the board directly, whilst not having to commit (time and energy) to anything. I.e. he could stay in Monaco and just Teams the Board meetings if necessary.

I'll have a little dig again for you on the official EFC site...

Here you Michael, it is on the Official Website archived, but here is the Echo's article dealing with it;

Inside Everton's interim board changes

"The length of time between the two announcements caused concern around the process, which ended with Chong taking on the role of interim chief executive - and director and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and chartered accountant John Spellman becoming non-executive directors. Bill Kenwright remained as chairman while James Maryniak, previously the director of finance, became interim chief finance officer."

I hope that helps? I dunno, call yourself a shareholder!! ;/) hehe Just kidding, Michael!

Simon Harrison
12 Posted 15/12/2023 at 17:51:04
James [5], It was you're initial exclamation mark! Hehe

Don't worry, I'm pretty thick-skinned, and I didn't take it as a 'criticism' per se, but I understood that I might have touched a nerve regards Sean. Hence the polite and measured response, while I tried to explain my reasoning without trying to come across as snarky or slighted.

I meant what I said, everyday is a school day, and you made me think about my preconceived notions about lots at the club, including Sean.

Good wishes to you and all on here.

Chapeau!

ps: Michael, when I said initially, I meant initially with the composition of the interim board, not when he initially joined the club.

Is that how I have caused the confusion?

Simon Harrison
13 Posted 15/12/2023 at 17:54:42
Stephen [7] Thank you so much for taking the time to post that.

It is genuinely appreciated.

Thank you,

Simon

Brendan McLaughlin
14 Posted 15/12/2023 at 18:11:53
Simon

"Every day's a school day" is a very refreshing attitude.

So in that spirit:

# Moshiri is still a non-executive director
# Non-executive directors can vote at board meetings
# Maryniack was not appointed to the board

Michael Kenrick
15 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:06:12
Yes, Simon, I think what threw me was the word 'initially'. Then there's the change from non-executive and all the false things you claim there.

Sorry but we need to take a scalpel to this:

In Farhad Moshiri, we still have an absentee owner who clearly didn't have a genuine grasp on what was happening at board level during his tenure as owner.

Is this an assumption or a fact? How do you know he was not kept fully informed of all board meetings throughout his ownership? That seems the more likely operating model to me, so I'm curious where you're getting this information.

Hence why he appointed himself initially as a Nonexecutive Director on the EFC Board, so he would have access to the Board meetings and minutes.

Incorrect. Strictly, he cannot appoint himself as a director. He can only be proposed as one, and has to be approved by an official vote of the shareholders. They used to do this at AGMs but of course they got ditched.

He did not appoint himself initially as an Executive Director, just as a Non-executive Director, which meant he did not have a vote at the Board meetings.

Incorrect, as Brendan says, Non-Executive Directors can vote at Board Meetings. My understanding is that 'Executive' means that, as well as being a director, they hold an executive (typically C-level) post with the company, Everton FC Co Ltd, so CEO, CFO, etc.

However since the passing of the Chairman, Mr Moshiri is now an Executive Director.

Again, incorrect. Morshiri is a non-executive director because he does not work for EFC.

Please be more careful with what you post. If I had previewed this, it wouldn't have got through until all this misinformation was removed, but unfortunately Lyndon is a little more lax.


Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:20:22
Michael (10),

As a shareholder you might be able to give me some advice for a friend.

My friend's dad died recently and she seems to be having problems getting her dad's shares transferred to her name.

Her dad had no problem when his wife died getting her shares transferred to his name.

Apart from that, would you advise her to hold onto the shares (7 in total) or sell them? With the state of the club, I told her it was a gamble either way, stick with them or selling.

Simon Harrison
17 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:21:57
Brendan [14] Yes, I have a very open mind to learning.

Firstly, I'd always been under the impression that NEDs couldn't vote, but as you and Michael have corrected, and I've just increased my knowledge by reading the duties and roles of the various positions, I am well and truly schooled. Another lesson learnt. Thank you both.

Secondly, on the official website, it now states that Mr. Moshiri and Mr. Spellman are Directors of the club. Whereas previously, if I recall correctly, they were listed as NEDs..? However, as the Companies Handbook says, there is NO distinction made between an Executive Director and a NED. Both are listed as just 'Director'.
I will bow to your knowledge and accept that they are both still NEDs. Unless proved otherwise.

Please could I ask how you know that they are both NEDs; is it because neither are employees of the club?

Lastly, the ECHO showed a photo of Maryniak amongst the exalted company in the Directors box, and listed him as a Director of Everton. However, I have looked at the People listing on Companies House for Everton FC and he has never been listed as a Director for the company.

Therefore, I took what I read at face value and incorrectly reported him being a Board member. Where it appears he just got a promotion to 'Interim' CFO — not as a Director.

Boy, have I been to school today.

Thank you, Brendan, 'tis genuinely appreciated, as it helps my understanding to deepen and my knowledge to widen as they say.

Thanks to you too Michael.

Brendan McLaughlin
18 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:35:06
Yes Simon #17

I was aware that Executive Directors are also employees whereas Non-exec's aren't. I would have included that on my list above but I thought three learning points on a Friday in the festive season was more than enough for anyone.

Keep posting... keep learning!

Simon Harrison
19 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:40:27
Michael [15],

This is a tough day at school day I feel... *Gulp!*

Your first point is an assumption on my behalf based on the performance of the board, and during his tenureship, how out-of-touch he seemed to be to myself as an external observer.

As I'm aware, he also stated that he didn't want to spend more than 5% of his time involved with the club. Hence why I believed, and was lead to believe via the media, that Sasha Ryazantsev was his man on the board to report back to Moshiri, before he was sacked.

Thus enabling Moshiri to have an 'inside track without being a director'. Alas, unless you are a Board member, you still do not have legal access to Board meeting minutes and agendas. So, just maybe Moshiri was getting some information, but not the full picture..? Again, an assumption I'm afraid.

Moshiri was appointed to the board whilst there was only one Director on the board, which was Bill Kenwright. I am also aware of the procedure to appoint Directors.

As you say it should be thru an AGM, but as AGMs and EGMs were effectively banned or pointless to call. Moshiri as the majority shareholder, could as his his right, vote off Bill as Chairman in a heartbeat (or following a period of notice) he then could vote for whoever he wanted on the board including himself. With 94.1% of the shareholding he could effectively do what hewanted regards board appointments etc. So here, I'm going to beg to differ. You say tomato, I say tomatoe... As it were.

Points three and four have been covered, and all I can say is "Mea Culpa" and I can only apologise for my inaccuracies.

My only defence (if allowable) is 'ignorance' (NB I've been called worse!) Hehe

Simon Harrison
20 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:47:50
Thanks Brendan, I feel like I've been dragged before the head...

Anyway, I think I've had three of the best, and told to pull my socks up!

To be honest, Brendan, I feel a 'lurking' period coming on, as I think I have posted plenty enough recently, and I don't feel to any positive effect at that...

It seems to be me who is full of conjecture and supposition. Back to the drawing board, or school desk as it were... I'll be back.

I'm just pleased that Christine Foster is back posting again. A much more rewarding experience.

**As I shuffle off to the cloakroom, to quietly sob and reflect on my school work** ;/)

Simon Harrison
21 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:50:15
PS Michael please feel free to take the scalpel to the article(s) and trim the inaccuracies and unnecessary verbiage.

Good wishes to all...

Michael Kenrick
22 Posted 15/12/2023 at 21:46:58
Sorry if we appear brutal in our corrections, Simon. That is not the intent. Please don't take it the wrong way!

I did think about about your major shareholder self-appointment point, and that raises a question: What is the correct procedure now for appointing directors in lieu of AGMs.

The answer is hopefully buried in the Articles of Association, the last iteration of which was added to the Companies House account in February 2022. But they make for a horrible reading assignment!

Michael Kenrick
23 Posted 15/12/2023 at 22:05:59
Dave @ 19,

There's a Shareholder Portal here:

Welcome to Signal shares for Everton

Unlikely that her dad registered an account there but she should be able to, I would think, and ask for the shares to be transferred to her. She will probably need the share numbers off the paper copies of the shares.

Under Documents, there is a Register the death of a shareholder with Link Market Services download link.

I don't know if Blankstone Sington are still the 'official' traders in these privately held shares but they would have an idea of the going rate and could arrange a sale. It was as high as £3,500 but may well be tumbling drastically in light of recent concerns….

Uh-oh... I'm just seeing they went into administration in October! Eeeek!!!!

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 15/12/2023 at 22:14:46
Michael (26),

Thanks, I will pass that link on to her.

Being a bit nosey, are you inclined to sell or hold on to them?


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