Albert Denaro – From Carter’s Boy to Everton’s Boardroom

The Liverpool-born trade union leader was the founder of the Everton Shareholders Association which, in circumstances that will be feel very familiar in light of the recent protests against the Goodison Park hierarchy, grew out of vocal dissatisfaction with the running of the club in the 1920s and 1930s

David Kennedy 10/01/2024 12comments  |  Jump to last

Albert ‘Alf’1 Denaro is not one of Everton Football Club’s better known historical figures. However, this trade union leader played an important role in the inter-war period helping to found and become Chairman of the Everton Shareholders Association. At a time like the present when there is great dissatisfaction concerning the governance of our club, it seems like an opportune moment to remember a man central to a fight for broader representation within Everton FC. 

Albert Denaro was born in Liverpool in 1876. He was the son of Nicholas Denaro, an Austrian émigré of Italian heritage, and Jane Evans, a native of Anglesey. Despite Nicholas Denaro’s middle-class-sounding job as an interpreter (he worked as a ‘clerk for foreign correspondence’ at a ship brokers office)2 the Denaros were a working-class Everton family living in two-up two-down terraced housing. Their first home was in Lavan Street, Everton before they moved to Bourne Street in the district.

The untimely death of Nicholas aged 55 presented the family with an economic crisis. As the eldest son still living at home with his mother, younger sister and brother, it was up to the 12-year-old Albert to start his working life a lot earlier than expected in order to contribute to the family budget. He took up a job as a carter’s boy, assisting quay carters to distribute produce brought into the port of Liverpool. Thus began a 60-year career in the conveyance of goods in Liverpool. 

Denaro worked as a quay carter until 1911 when, at the age of 35, he became a full-time official of the Liverpool Carters’ Union, having joined the union as an 18-year-old. Within a decade, he had become the union’s general secretary, representing 13,000 members. By this point, the carters’ union had changed its name to the Liverpool Carters’ and Motormen’s Union, reflecting the mechanized new reality of much of their members’ work. 

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Denaro’s promotion to the top job in this particular union was noteworthy. Though its constitution forbade the “taking part or action in any political or religious questions”3, the identity of the Carters’ and Motormen’s Union was that of a Protestant organisation. Dock haulage in Liverpool reflected the discrimination exercised by transport firms, owned by Protestant employers who recruited along sectarian lines. This was the reality of the city’s port economy, where workforces and unions could be divided in such a fashion.

It should, therefore, be seen as testimony to his personality (said to be strong willed but affable) and his reputation as a skilled negotiator that Albert “Alf” Denaro, a Roman Catholic, ascended to the top job in the Carters’ and Motormen’s Union4. Denaro remained as its leader until 1947, successfully carrying through the pragmatic business unionism demanded in its constitution to steady the organisation through the economic downturn that blighted much of the inter-war period5.

These leadership skills were also to the fore in his association with Everton Football Club. Football was Denaro’s passion. A keen amateur player, he turned out for local outfit, Seacombe Victoria. He also became the president of another football club, Oakmere FC, which had some success in providing a springboard to the professional ranks for local players6.

Everton, though, were always his top priority. He had followed the club from boyhood. In 1927, he bought three shares to become part of the fraternity of what was still very much a boisterous members’ club. One can imagine this experienced trade union official relishing the chance to take part in one of the famed Everton annual general meetings of the period to have his say on matters of club governance. 

The Liverpool public, via the local press, knew of the volatility of Everton’s membership, and especially their conduct at annual general meetings. Held at a variety of venues (Picton Lecture Theatre, Exchange Station Hotel or Central Hall, Renshaw Street in the club’s early days as a PLC), club AGMs often became disorderly. The Liverpool Echo’s football columnist ‘Ranger’ remembered the early Everton AGMs as a time when “rather soiled football linen was publically paraded on not infrequent wash days”7 (comparing this with the traditionally more “placid” relations existing between the membership and board of directors at Liverpool FC)8.

Another Echo reporter, Ernest (‘Bee’) Edwards, described the chaotic scenes of Everton’s 1920 AGM: “Last night’s annual meeting started quietly, but then developed into personals, and finally became a riotous disorder, the chairman being called a liar. There was also a threat of violence”. Club chairman, Robert Clayton, vowed he would “not be shouted down by a set of blackguardly ruffians”9

Much of the sound and fury of the early annual meetings appears to have emanated from small groups with particular grievances relating to such matters as team performance and the use made of club finances. Challenges of this nature were abruptly dismissed from the platform of AGMs as the work of ‘cliques’ and ‘syndicates’10.

Although the board of directors were noisily challenged, little progress was made to ensure that the membership’s voice was heard and their concerns acted upon. The seeming futility of the AGMs from the membership’s perspective was captured by Bee: “[the Everton ‘malcontents’] went there vowing murder to the Everton officials… the shareholders fumed about management, about proxies… but it all boiled down to the same thing ‘I declare the election of the retiring directors’”11

In an effort to co-ordinate membership dissatisfaction with the high-handed governance of the club, an Everton Shareholders group was founded in 1927, toward the end of a season where Everton narrowly avoided relegation12. A five-man leadership was elected (described in the press as a ‘council’) consisting of Alf Denaro, Charles Wright, R J Alexander, J H Petty and James Scrimmager.

Initially, this new dissenting group agitated against those on the club’s board they saw as ‘failing’ directors and argued the need for “experienced former directors to help them out of their trouble”13. However, when the club were relegated in 1930, the strategy changed to a more direct challenge to the board of directors. Alf Denaro – by this time chairman of the group – castigated the board’s record as “deplorable”14 and the shareholder’s group put forward candidates for boardroom elections from within its own ranks, but both their candidates in the 1930 election, Charles Wright and Fred Lake, were defeated.  

This challenge appears to have been the high point of the group, and no mention is made in the local press of further public meetings. The board of directors apparently faced no similar organised challenges to their re-election between 1930 and 1938, although Alf Denaro did throw his hat into the ring in 1936 without success.

In March 1938, however, another attempt was made to form a shareholders group with the creation of the Everton Shareholders’ Association (ESA). This time, the project did take root, and the Association lasts to this day. Both the ESA website and Official Everton FC website cite Dick Searle (a long-standing director of the club) to be the driving force behind the Association15.

It is true to say that Searle provided the initial call for a new shareholders’ group to be formed16. However, at the first meeting, held at St Georges Restaurant on Red Cross Street four days later, Searle stepped away from leading the Association, preferring to defer to others and the more experienced Alf Denaro, in particular, who was installed as the organisation’s first chairman17. Denaro should rightfully be seen, therefore, as the driving force behind united shareholder activism at the club.

In its early days under Denaro’s leadership, it was claimed that the ESA was “a militant organisation and a sizeable thorn in the flesh of directors”18. In actuality, the ESA were a reforming body – not one that sought to pitchfork directors doing a perfectly good job. They did, though, seek to unseat any board members they felt were underperforming.

In particular, the ESA were exercised by what they saw as a self-perpetuating and undemocratic club hierarchy failing to observe the club’s own rules.  A prime example of this was the practice of ‘co-opting’ men onto the board of directors with no opportunity for the club’s members to vote on such appointments at a club AGM.

In some cases, the promoted men held no shares in the club. The club’s Articles of Association, though, clearly stated that the “qualification of every director shall be the holding and retention of three shares at the least in the capital of the company”19.

In his first speech to the new Association, Denaro set the tone for democratic reform: “We have nothing against [directors previously] co-opted onto the board, as men. But what we do say is that whether it be Italy, Germany, or Everton Football Club, we object to dictatorship and that we as shareholders ought to be given a fair crack of the whip in regard to placing someone on the Board”20.

The ESA enjoyed some notable early success in this respect: barely 3 months after their formation, they agitated successfully for a previously co-opted board member, R R Turnbull, to be replaced by one of their own committee members, W R Williams. Despite the board’s emphatic backing for him, Turnbull was forced to resign, stating that he had “been placed in an undignified position”21.

The following year Denaro challenged the boardroom position of another co-opted Everton director, the Liberal alderman for Anfield Ward, Alfred Gates. Denaro made his case to replace Gates in the pages of the Liverpool Echo: “We are only out for a square deal, and we say it is entirely wrong for anyone who is not a shareholder in the first instance to be put on the board”22

The local press by now had latched onto the challenge the ESA was posing to the board of directors. Profiles of Denaro and other Association officers were highlighted for interested readers23. In the event, Denaro’s bid to unseat Alderman Gates was unsuccessful: polling 928 votes to Gates’s 1,115. The board had made a stronger case this time around to retain the sitting director, using the local press to appeal to the membership to make their case24.

At this point, the Everton board still had a strong whiff of Liberalism about it, with links to the party through senior directors such as C S Baxter and Will Cuff. This, perhaps, had some bearing on Gates’s invitation to join the board of directors in the first instance, and maybe the outcome of the contest against Denaro.  

In a sense, and as an aside, a Labour man like Denaro and his challenge to Gates could be viewed as a microcosm of political realities in the city at that time, as Labour confronted (and eventually eclipsed) the Liberals as the main municipal opponents to the ruling Tories. A well-known Labour Party activist who had stood for a council seat on four occasions in Breckfield and Croxteth wards, Denaro frequented national party political events in the company of senior Labour figures of the period, such as Ramsey McDonald, Philip Snowden and Ernest Bevin25.

Denaro’s defeat was a setback. However, the ESA under Denaro’s leadership would prove to be a determined force. Numbering well over a hundred members26, it wielded sufficient power to make the Everton board abandon its preferred way of operating via diktat and declarations concerning who would sit on the board of directors.

The ESA were able to force a promise from the board that shareholders would be consulted on director appointments and that they could nominate their own members for boardroom positions. This they did successfully on several occasions, as with the election of ESA officers Dick Searle, Cyril Balmforth, Fred Mickelsfield, Tom Nuttall and, eventually, Alf Denaro himself. 

Denaro’s own ascendency to the Everton board was a drawn-out affair. While other members of the ESA had gained a seat, he was shut out of the boardroom for almost two decades. Why this delay occurred is unclear, but it appears there may have been a prejudicial view of him as being a troublesome presence. While Denaro seems to have had a cordial relationship with the Everton board27, he had fiercely clashed with them on more than one occasion over matters of club governance28.

We might speculate that the board’s ability to direct proxy votes in boardroom elections had been exercised to keep him out. The thought that he was viewed warily by directors and certain shareholders of the club outside of the ESA must surely have occurred to Denaro, as several letters to the local press stated as much29.

Denaro once commented in defence of his own nomination for the position of director: “It has been represented that everything now is running smoothly on the board and, if I were elected, discord would be created. This is quite untrue…and if there was harmony on the board then the election of myself would not interfere with that harmony”30.

Ironically, Denaro’s first attempt to become a club director may have been thwarted not by anyone within the club but by his own trade union executive committee at the Liverpool Carters’ and Motormen’s Union. The union’s historian, Paul Smith, unearthed from the executive’s minutes of 1934 a story concerning the reaction to Denaro’s announcement that he would be standing as a candidate to become a director of Everton Football Club.

Unhappy members of the union’s executive committee demanded Denaro withdraw his candidacy. It appears that his critics read Denaro’s move as a transgression of their rules not to associate the union with political or religious ideals or symbols. Smith speculates that elements of the executive feared that “as Everton, in the eyes of some, was associated with Catholic Liverpool” some members of the traditionally ‘Protestant’ union would think it inappropriate for their leader to be so obviously associated with that club31.

Although a majority of the committee voted the objections down, Denaro’s plans to run for the vacant Everton boardroom position that year were quietly ditched.  He did, however (and as we have seen), run as a candidate in 1936, but was well beaten into third place in a three-way election. 

Denaro contested seven more boardroom elections before and after the Second World War, but it was only in May 1953 that he was finally successful in his quest – the result of there being no opposition to his candidacy that year.  

Unfortunately for Alf Denaro, this was a lifetime ambition realised that he did not get to share with his wife of 54 years standing, Jamesina, who had passed away 6 months earlier. By then, Denaro was 77 years old and in failing health himself. Between December 1954 and May 1955 he was admitted to hospital on three occasions, the first time with pneumonia and then twice more as a result of complications from pneumonia32.

The club’s boardroom minutes underline that periodic comebacks to carry out director duties, such as scouting and travelling with the first team, were short-lived. Alf Denaro died on 30 January 1956 having served just 2½ years in the position he had coveted for so long.  

By the time Denaro made it to the boardroom, the club were effectively entering the John Moores era. Moores began his quest to acquire shares in the club in 1948 and, by the end of the 1950s, had effective control over the club through a combination of shareholdings and a number of large loans the board of directors agreed to take from him33

The shareholders’ fight for a more representative boardroom was to be shattered by this more powerful commercial force making its presence felt at the club, pushing toward the centralization of decision-making. This process at Everton reflected the need amongst all elite clubs in English football for greater levels of financial investment on team and infrastructure if they were to remain competitive.  

Overwhelmingly amongst Evertonians the arrival of John Moores on the scene at Everton is viewed as a massive step-change for the better. In terms of competitive success and ending the club’s decades-long period in the doldrums, it has to be regarded as such. For Denaro and the ESA, though, the greatest threat to the club as a members’ institution had always been the emergence of a single shareholder gaining control of Everton34.

Regardless of any later accommodation they would make with Moores and the new reality he brought to Everton, they viewed the club as being something more than a rich man’s fiefdom, where directors with little or no connection to the club were parachuted in from another company. 

Alf Denaro’s time at the forefront of the shareholder’s movement at Everton – almost a quarter of a century from the late-1920s to the early 1950s – was a period when shareholders abandoned their often-chaotic relations with the club hierarchy and campaigned in a coordinated fashion to gain a greater voice in club governance. This was more especially the case after the ESA was formed in 1938.

It may be an overstatement to declare that a duopoly existed at the top of the club in this period between the ESA and the Everton board of directors, but certainly the ESA were a powerful body for reform, and the elevation of many of its own officers onto the Everton board underlines their ability to have their say.

Not all shareholders appreciated their efforts, with some believing their activism to be unnecessarily confrontational. Such shareholders were perhaps more deferential to that generation of directors – and their immediate successors – who had secured the club’s independence in 1892 and who had enjoyed success in building the club into one of the wealthiest clubs in England.

As the most recognisable figure associated with the ESA, Alf Denaro took a lot of the flak directed at the Association35. Conceivably, his role as a full-time trade union leader persuaded some he had imported the language and tactics of industrial conflict into Everton’s affairs and thereby represented something of a threat to the culture and stability of the grand old club. However, this would be a poor portrayal of Alf Denaro.  

Denaro was no iconoclast. He preferred to work in a co-operative fashion within organisations. Ideologically there is a straight line that can be drawn between his work with Everton and the other local organisations he devoted his life to36.

In a historic sweep of the governance of Everton FC, we could easily make the case that the struggle of the club membership in the late 1880s and early 1890s against the autocratic ways of John Houlding, Denaro’s ESA of the 1930s and 1940s who fought against the club tilting towards the concentration of power, and the latter-day struggles against club owner Farhad Moshiri’s chronic decision-making are historical points on the continuum of an internal tension within Everton.

At root, this has been a tussle between, on the one hand, the monopolisation of power by a few men and, on the other hand, shareholders and supporters determined to resist that outcome and to reassert that Everton FC are a community asset as well as a business. 

Endnotes

1.    Liverpool Echo, 30 January 1956, explains this name as the one he was “called by his older friends”.

2.    See 1871 Census.

3.    P Smith. ‘A proud Liverpool union: the Liverpool and District Carters’ and Motormen’s Union’, Historical Studies in Industrial Relations, Vo.16, 2003, p.10

4.    Liverpool Echo, 30 January 1956: ‘Mr Albert Denaro dies Aged 79: Long Public Service’.   

5.    P Smith,  ‘A proud Liverpool union’. By conceding ground to employers on wage rates, his members’ hard won working conditions were generally maintained and the Carters’ and Motormen’s Union retained the overwhelming majority of its membership through to the end of the Second World War. Importantly, they also preserved their independence from becoming an affiliate of the larger Transport and General Workers Union which represented the dock workers, a key issue for the membership in maintaining their distinct identity.

6.    Liverpool Echo, 4 April 1939. Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper, Alex Scott, and Burnley and Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, Ted Adams, came through Oakmere’s ranks, as did Wigan Athletic and Port Vale forward, Jack Roberts.  

7.    Liverpool Echo, 16 January 1957.

8.    Liverpool Echo, 5 May 1952. ‘Another contested election for seats on the Goodison board’. Other examples of Everton’s club meetings: Liverpool Echo, 26 June 1894 AGM. ‘Annual General Meeting: Lively Proceedings’, Chairman George Mahon turned on a “caucus” within the membership who had “submitted a system of espionage” against him;  Liverpool Echo, 15 May 1914 AGM expected “another hot AGM”. One director, H Allman, retired due to “bickering, petty jealousies and dissension”.

9.    Liverpool Echo, 3 July 1920. Bee’s Sports Notes: ‘Noises and challenges: A loud meeting without a result’.

10.  Liverpool Echo reports of AGMs of 15 May 1914, 3 June 1915, and 3 July 1920 mentions ‘syndicates’.

11.  Liverpool Echo, 16 June 1930.    

12.  Liverpool Echo, 4 February 1927. ‘Everton FC Shareholders Meet’.

13.  Liverpool Echo, 19 March 1927. Everton FC Critics: Council of Five Chosen by Shareholders.

14.  Liverpool Echo, 29 April 1930. ‘Move for New Blood’.

15.  Everton Shareholders’ Association: https://www.efcsa.org/history; Everton Football Club: https://www.evertonfc.com/club/shareholders/shareholders-association

16.  Liverpool Echo, 25 March 1938.

17.  Liverpool Echo, 29 March 1938. ‘Everton FC and Co-Option: Shareholders Form Association’.

18.  Comment made by ‘Ranger’, Liverpool Echo, 26 January 1957.

19.  Rule 3, Everton FC Articles of Association, 14 June 1892.

20.  Liverpool Echo, 29 March 1938. ‘Everton FC and Co-Option: Shareholders Form Association’.

21.  Everton Minutes, 20 June 1938.

22.  Liverpool Echo, 28 April 1939. ‘Everton FC Shareholders’.

23.  Liverpool Echo, 4 April 1939.

24.  Liverpool Echo, 10 May 1939. ‘Everton FC Circular’.

25.  Liverpool Echo, 28 February 1929. ‘Industrial Sunday’.

26.  A figure mentioned by a reporter to an ESA meeting, Liverpool Echo, 28 April 1939. ‘Everton FC Shareholders’.

27.  As chair of the ESA, Denaro would give “a hearty vote of thanks” to the board of directors for their services at AGMs.  Everton minutes. 

28.  For example, when the board circulated a letter to the shareholders and the press “regretting” Denaro’s challenge to Alfred Gates for the vacant position of director in 1939, he stated in reply: “So far as this Association is concerned, we have decided to set our face against washing dirty linen in public”. Liverpool Echo, 28 April 1939.

29.  Denaro, in particular, was criticised and his motives doubted by some non-ESA aligned shareholders in the local press: “Obviously Mr Denaro and his companions are seeking to dominate the affairs of Everton FC by representing themselves as the shareholders’ champions.” Liverpool Echo, 8 August 1938. ‘Seven questions to the ESA’.

30.  Liverpool Echo, 28 April 1939. ‘Everton FC shareholders’; Liverpool Echo, 8 August 1938. ‘ESA chairman and critics’. 

31.  P Smith. ‘A proud Liverpool union’. p.32, note 124

32.  Liverpool Echo, 11 December 1954. ‘Much better, Everton director had good night’s rest; Liverpool Echo, 13 May 1955. 

33.  Moores increased his shareholdings in the early to mid-1950s. His loans to the club were substantial. In 1957 he loaned the club £18,000; in 1960 he loaned Everton £50,000; in 1963 he loaned the club a further £100,000. Everton club minutes, 2 April 1957; 22 Feb 1960; 5 March 1953. Even before that point Moores called the shots on certain matters of club governance, as per the elevation of his personal assistant and life-long friend Colin Askham to the Everton board in 1952. Certain loans from Moores came via Askham who was handed the chair of the board’s Finance Committee. See for example Everton minutes, 18 Feb 1957 where an interest fee £18,000 loan came through this channel. Askham stayed in position until Moores himself took a place on the board in 1960. Everton club minutes, Everton club minutes, 26 April 1955 and 26 March 1960.

34.  The ESA “pursued vigorously the policy of defeating the object of any one man acquiring a controlling interest in the affairs of the Everton club”. Everton 1945 minutes, ESA letter to members.

35.  “Obviously Mr Denaro and his companions are seeking to dominate the affairs of Everton FC by representing themselves as the shareholders’ champions”, wrote one disgruntled shareholder to the Liverpool Echo. LE 8 Aug 1938. ‘Seven questions to the ESA’; see also LE 8 Aug 1938. ‘ESA chairman and critics’.   

36.  As noted, his record as a trade union leader shows him to have been open to work in a cooperative way with employers by carrying through faithfully the Carters’ and Motormen’s Union’s preferred industrial relations strategy of ‘business unionism’. That commitment to cooperation was also to the fore in his involvement with the Merseyside Hospitals Council which ran the ‘penny-in the-pound’ fund that many Merseysiders will remember. As Denaro explained in reference to the scheme to the Liverpool Daily Post:  “Democracy was on trial. For the first time employers, workers, doctors and laymen sat together to devise a sound and practical scheme…Here were the greatest and most extensive interests and influence in the life of Merseyside concentrated on one problem, devoting their united forces to its solution.” LDP 5 Oct 1933. ‘Romance of Hospital Finance: Democracy in Hospital Service’. Denaro distinguished himself as one of the driving forces behind the penny in the pound fund, and for his efforts as chairman and president of the council he was awarded the MBE in 1946. (Second Supplement to the London Gazette, 24 June 1946, p.3127).

Reader Comments (12)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 11/01/2024 at 14:32:16
I'd never heard of Albert Denaro before this article. We must have had some very interesting shareholders and directors during the history of the club.

The mention of Dick Searle being one of the shareholders then a director brings back memories of when Cliff Britton resigned as manager of Everton in 1956; I think he was somehow involved in this. I think Mr Searle was involved in the shirt manufacturing business, he might be a very interesting person to hear about.

Jay Harris
2 Posted 11/01/2024 at 15:39:06
David, I love reading these nostalgic and informative posts, good job.

It seems that the only consistent in football clubs is the constantly changing boardroom.

Derek Thomas
3 Posted 11/01/2024 at 21:24:28
David; top stuff mate. Some real 'truth is stranger than fiction' characters and events there.
Christine Foster
4 Posted 11/01/2024 at 21:57:14
What a brilliant read! The more I read, the more I could see the almost mirror like comparison between now and then.

The times may have been 100 years apart but the way the club was run, well you could substitute the names but the situation is déjà vu, nothing has changed. Injustice, outrage, dissent, a personal plaything, shadow directors, unruly AGMs... all reads like last few years.

What an insight though, just goes to show that the club supporters always strived for success and riled against owners who were less than transparent. Just substitute the names and dates... not much has changed... "And if, you know, your history..."

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 11/01/2024 at 22:03:15
This is a great story, David, of someone whose name I've not seen before.

It's good to read how active the ESA used to be and how significant a role it had in the past. And the tensions and squabbles had me thinking back to around 20 years ago when there was almost a coup staged to make the ESA much more vocal in the early days of Bill Kenwright's regime.

My recollection was that Steve Allinson led that onslaught. Steve had encouraged Evertonians to obtain shares and that's how I first became a shareholder. He got in and was Chairman of the committee for a while with a big agenda for change but, if I recall correctly, the old guard reasserted themselves and turfed him out, and things returned to normal.

Apparently, it wouldn't be Everton without some sort of a bunfight!

Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 11/01/2024 at 22:46:37
That's a brilliant account of Albert Denaro, inspirational. Thanks, David.

What a character, jeez Everton gets more intriguing each day.

Don Alexander
7 Posted 11/01/2024 at 22:56:45
To quote the philosopher, Townshend;

"Meet the new boss - same as the old boss!"

Us fans must never ever be overwhelmed by unaccountable owners or those dangerously dickhead minions they appoint to the boardroom.

We won't get fooled again.

David Kennedy
8 Posted 11/01/2024 at 00:14:41
Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Christine: yes, I agree. The club historically has had a core of people ready and willing to take on those in control of its fortunes. I don't think that will ever change.

Dave Abrahams, re Searle: he was indeed a shirt manufacturer – a managing director of the Star Shirt Co, Pleasant Street.

Searle, was a club director from the early 1940s and was still around as a director into the Moores era. He was involved with the ESA (I think his position as founding father looks ropey in contrast to Alf Denaro's credentials, though!) but by the mid-1940s he seemingly fell foul of the ESA by supporting boardroom candidates standing against the ESA's own candidates.

He later (1950s) was endorsed for a boardroom position by the newly found rival to the ESA, the Everton Shareholders and Supporters Federation.

Michael Kendrick: yes, it was an eye opener for me researching the Denaro story that the ESA was such a radical force in its early period. I suppose In modern parlance they acted as ‘activist shareholders': using their minority stake to deploy a variety of tactics (including media pressure) to force change.

Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 12/01/2024 at 07:56:01
Fascinating article.

Like others have said, I had never heard of Albert Denaro.

Thank you for the detailed research, David.

My interpretation and the reference to the increasing influence of Sir John Moores is that he set the scene for the club to progress with the right investment.

Great article.

Duncan McDine
10 Posted 13/01/2024 at 07:31:34
Dead ringer for Rhino... I'd be amazed if they aren't related in some way.

Thanks to the OP for sharing such a well researched piece of Everton's history.

Jim Lloyd
11 Posted 13/01/2024 at 12:33:30
Our Club eh!!
What an excellent article! It must have taken a good few years of research David, an excellent job, well done mate.
Michael (5) A well recounted that I knew nothing about. A pity that noble attempt didn't work!
Rick Tarleton
12 Posted 14/01/2024 at 12:19:20
Plus ça change…

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