3 Important Chairmen in Everton's History

by   |   02/11/2023  0 Comments  [Jump to last]

As one of the founding members of English football, Everton has over 125 years of top-flight football. Their existence has been a long, decorated one, with very few professional football clubs in England being able to rival their domestic success and longevity in the top division. Just like any top sporting organisation, it isn't just down to the players on the pitch, although they do play a pivotal role. 

The Importance of a Chairman or Chairwoman

For a football club to work and continue to have success throughout multiple generations, there needs to be a commanding presence in the board room who knows how to steer the club commercially in the right direction, as well as effective managers⎯ranging from the team head coach to liaisons who specialise in fan engagement. The chairpersons appoint all these roles so, ultimately, it is their job to steer the club in the right direction. Many of these appointments can change the trajectory of a club, making it a success or pushing it toward irrelevance; unfortunately for the Toffees, it is the latter that has happened to Everton in the last quarter of a century.

While Everton's Premier League existence has been immaterial and futile, the sad passing of lifelong Evertonian and chairman Bill Kenwright has been a sore loss. During his tenure, they have managed to avoid relegation on several occasions. Despite operating with a different level of financial muscle than some of the other teams in the league until recently, Kenwright's ability to keep Everton in the top division has been commendable, and Toffees will miss him.

Two of those close shaves have been in the most recent back-to-back seasons, and it looks like another arduous campaign is already underway. Premier League info enforces that Everton has continuously failed to achieve what their stature suggests. Going from the fourth most successful team in England before the onset of the Premier League, to a club that new-money clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City have entirely eclipsed.

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#1: George Mahon

There's no other place to begin when it comes to influential chairmen than the first chairman of Everton FC, who guided them from Anfield to their new home of Goodison Park in 1892. Mahon was a Liverpool-born accountant who had strong Irish routes, regularly travelling back to his parent's homeland. 

Mahon oversaw the erection of Goodison Park and the day-to-day running of the club, setting a foundation that led to the club's first league title and FA Cup less than a decade later. The Everton-born was chairman up until 1895 but remained in crucial executive roles, ensuring the running of the club went smoothly. 

#2: Sir John Moores

In 1960, British magnate and Littlewoods tycoon Sir John Moores became Everton chairman. Throughout the 20th century, Everton became one of the titans of English football, winning a number of titles and domestic trophies. However, during the tenure of Sir John Moores, albeit a small one, the businessman facilitated a sharp change in Everton's fortunes. 

Appointing Harry Catterick was one of his greatest moves. Catterick went on to win two league titles and orchestrated one of the greatest-ever FA Cup final comebacks when Everton came from 2−0 down against Sheffield Wednesday. While this might have been a small window, it put Everton on the map as one of the best teams in the country. 

Through Moores's tutelage and omnipresence on the Everton board, even after stepping down, he oversaw the Holy Trinity years and remains arguably the most pioneering chairman in Everton's history. He was also instrumental in appointing Sir Philip Carter, who is widely believed to be the most important Everton chairman.

#1: Sir Philip Carter

Glasgow-born businessman Philip Carter had a close working relationship with John Moores and was a former director of Littlewoods. Carter was a commanding and clear presence at board room level. During his tenure throughout the 1980s, Everton were arguably the best team in Europe. Despite bleak economic times, the people of Merseyside were blessed with two of the best footballing sides they've ever had, and the city dominated English football throughout this period. 

Carter oversaw multiple league triumphs, multiple FA Cup finals, and one victory against Watford, and he authorised the signing of some of the greatest players in the club's history. Many Evertonians feel that if the club had a chairman with his presence, authority, and financial muscle in today's market, then it wouldn't be in the dire predicament it has found itself in. There's no doubt that without these three men, the entire history of Everton FC would be a different story, most likely much less of a success.

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