Jazz Bal steps down as FAB Chair

07/09/2023 42comments  |  Jump to last

Jazz Bal, the Fan Advisory Board Chair, has decided to step down from the role.

The FAB issued the following statement:

The Fan Advisory Board is extremely sorry to lose the services and the invaluable input of Jazz Bal, who resigned as Chair last night.

After several years on the Everton Fans' Forum and 14 months on the FAB, the workload is such that it is no longer compatible with his own work and his family commitments and he has decided to step down. The FAB is grateful to him for the enormous contribution he has made in ensuring that Everton was the first Premier League Club to have a fully functioning Fan Advisory Board.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jazz for all the work he has done on the FAB and wish him all the best for the future. Our former Vice-Chair, Dave Kelly has taken on the role of interim Chair and, in the coming days, we will provide an update on our plans for the open position on the FAB created by Jazz's departure. 

Everton Fan Advisory Board 7 September 2023

Dave Kelly has stepped up to be interim chair.


Reader Comments (42)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 07/09/2023 at 13:27:27
I was amazed at the utter shit he had to deal with from supposed fans who had developed their own ideas about exactly what their 'Fan Advisor' should be telling the Board, including some utter garbage posted on here.

Pity, coz he seemed to have the right personality to do a good job in what is (but surely doesn't have to be) a difficult and thankless role.

Ian Jones
2 Posted 07/09/2023 at 13:36:03
Michael, I agree with your comments. It must be very frustrating.
John Hall
3 Posted 07/09/2023 at 13:42:20
A word of thanks to Jazz for taking on and representing all of the Everton fans in a very difficult period.

Wish you well in the future mate. Just watch now and enjoy the footie and your family for the foreseeable future.

Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 07/09/2023 at 13:46:34

Agreed. I thought he handled the role really well despite unwarranted abuse from some. He handled that interview with Moshiri as well as anyone could have. He's also a nice bloke.

Good luck to Dave Kelly stepping in.

Christine Foster
5 Posted 07/09/2023 at 13:46:49
Outside looking in, I think most of us believed at the outset that the FAB was a PR exercise by the club to show how good they were, but not really intending to interact or even listen to the advisors. In fairness, if that's what the club expected, that was not what they got with Jazz.

Various attempts to get information fell on deaf ears, till eventually a public vote of no confidence in the board. Through it all, Jazz tried as best he could to walk a middle line, but such a thing was impossible given the behavior of the club.

I believe a word of thanks should be forthcoming from all of us for his efforts. So Thank You, Jazz, for the thankless task of holding the board accountable.

Mark Taylor
6 Posted 07/09/2023 at 14:02:06
Sounds like a thankless task if not mission impossible.

Because I am not familiar with the people or the goals of the organisation, I took time to read some of the minutes, both of its own board, but also meetings with the club.

Realistically, none of the critical issues get discussed under the defence of confidentiality. Perhaps it could not be any other way...

Stan Grace
7 Posted 07/09/2023 at 14:12:26
I attended one of the online FAB meetings and found Jazz to be a respectful chairperson, who responded courteously to all points made.

The decision to give a vote of no confidence in the board suggested that the FAB were sufficiently independent too.

Barry Rathbone
8 Posted 07/09/2023 at 14:42:10
Apart from such things being talking shops of the token gesture variety, how on earth do you get agreement between such a range of folk to become effective?

What constitutes Everton doing well ranges from mid-table existence to winning the title – it's like herding cats trying to get agreement on anything.

At least he had a go.

Eddie Dunn
9 Posted 07/09/2023 at 14:59:56
A seemingly decent fellow who has put lots of time and effort into the role. In any voluntary position, you never get any real thanks.

The chasm between the club and its fans is as wide as ever and communication is at a new low.

Thanks Jazz, you tried.

Dennis Stevens
10 Posted 07/09/2023 at 15:01:53
Utmost respect for those who sacrifice so much for the rest of us - & all for no reward & little thanks!

My best wishes to Jazz, & Dave too.

Jack Convery
11 Posted 07/09/2023 at 15:17:13
Thanks for all the time and effort you put into the jo,b Jazz. A thankless task in these dark days of our great club.
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 07/09/2023 at 15:23:51
Jazz managed to turn around the perception of fans, including myself, regarding the FAB and ultimately proved a very effective Chairman with a lot of skill. This was no mean achievement considering who he was dealing with at Everton.

Ultimately he became a respected voice of fans, but found that his genuine efforts were not reciprocated by the Board, who failed to turn up or send representatives to scheduled FAB meetings. In other words, honour their agreed commitments.

Good Luck to Jazz a true Evertonian.

Garry Martin
13 Posted 07/09/2023 at 15:37:48
Wasn't really sure of the job he was tasked with, however, reading the positive comments on here suggest Jazz was a decent guy.

The job he controlled must have been near impossible based on the way EFC board have become in the last couple of years.

Goog luck, Jazz 👍

Jay Harris
14 Posted 07/09/2023 at 15:39:20
I echo other posters' thanks to Jazz for his input in trying to bridge the wall that Kenwright has built around the hierarchy at Everton. It is a great shame the contempt that Kenwright and Co show to the fans but I can't think of anyone better than Dave Kelly to pick up the baton.

Well done, Jazz, and thanks for the time you gave up to represent the fans that Everton Football Club as it stands do not deserve.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 07/09/2023 at 18:03:37
I believe a lot of us were cynical as to what the FAB was going to be empowered to do and how much they would be listened to.

That wasn't aimed at the individuals.

I exchanged a few emails with Jazz, as I wanted to get involved. Nice guy, gave me a few pointers and we discovered we are both ex-Army.

I'll personally message him later and may throw my hat in the ring again.

Michael Kenrick
16 Posted 07/09/2023 at 19:49:30
I don't know how helpful this is but here is a list of the Fan Engagement Plan Goals for 2023-24:

• Align with and, where possible, exceed the Premier League Fan
Engagement Standard.
• Produce an end-of-season Fan Engagement Summary giving an
overview of what has been achieved during 2023-24 season.
• Annual update from the ownership of the Club.
• Regular communication from Board Members, Everton Leadership Team, or Senior Executives across the Club's communication channels.
• Deliver two updates from the Director of Football this season.
• Provide at least two commercial performance updates this season.
• Continue to provide visual and written updates on the Club's new
stadium development.
• Consult supporters on migration from Goodison Park to Everton Stadium.
• New stadium team will provide supporters with a firm update on when
Everton will move into the new stadium.
• Members of the Board and or the CEO will meet with the Fan Advisory
Board four times this season and the Club will conduct an annual review
of the FAB.
• Meet with the Fans' Forum on a monthly basis and help facilitate their key project groups to deliver their aims.

While some of those bullet points may include some of the hotter topics we really want to see discussed with the club, they are simply not going to engage on things we really want to see resolved or changed, like:

• Buy decent players
• Get rid of the deadwood
• Play better, more entertaining football
• Stop wasting money on ridiculous salaries
• Bring in real professionals to run the club
• Provide a clear pathway for U21s to reach the first team
• Get rid of Bill Kenwright

This is a massive part of the disconnect here for the FAB and yer average fan, methinks. Fans really want to engage on these hugely pressing and important issues that directly impact our future.

And yet, no matter how many meetings are scheduled, we all know the club simply are not going to engage on these things.

Jay Harris
17 Posted 07/09/2023 at 20:29:53
And thats the truth of it, Michael.
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 07/09/2023 at 20:30:27
Take notice of Michael's last paragraph before you throw your hat into the ring, Danny, mate, especially when you know that some people will blame you, for not getting the club to engage in these matters!
Paul Birmingham
19 Posted 07/09/2023 at 21:29:01
Fair play and respect to Jazz Bal for making a go of this role.

On reflection and in the current state of the club's administration side going forward, for me to be “real” and “effective”, this should be a full-time paid role, so Everton create a FAB department.

This for me would make it real and accountable and Everton FC would have to fulfill the role and what it means. Like the football side, it takes heart, guts and a can-do attitude.

For me, that's the only viable way, but the state of the Everton Board which maintains radio silence, almost full time, how could the FAB flourish when the club itself shows no respect nor interest?

It's a two-way street and, to work effectively, requires a structure and written commitment from all sides for this to work. In view of the current state of the Everton Board, this will take some time.

Not every one in any aspect is always pleased in matters Everton but to have a FAB working with Evertonians and backed by the Everton Board as part of the club would be a step forward.

Still I genuinely hope that good can come from Jazz's time in the role and the profile of this role can be greatly improved.

The new stadium and profiling of Everton's future must also be taken into account. Massive opportunities for Everton to build for a secure future, accepting that God only knows what's happening in terms of any takeover or buy-ins by single or several parties.

Here's to an injury free international break and Branthwaite gets the all-clear for the Arsenal game.

A free weekend, all enjoy.


Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 07/09/2023 at 23:30:12
I'm off to bed and take on the advice Tony.

I don't know if I can influence,but I care so deeply for Everton that, if given the chance, I'd give it a go.

Everton. Born into it. Bred on it. Live it and breathe it. Okay, that might not mean a lot to those who sit there looking down at us.

The 37,000 who will be at Goodison next Sunday. If there could be more, there would be. The 6,500 of us who are travelling to Aston Villa on the 27th of this month. Sold out at Brentford and West Ham away.

Unbelievable commitment from those who follow this club no matter what. We always have and always will. They can't take our club away from us.

So I would welcome the chance to face up to those who control our club. Our club. If they are serious about the FAB, they listen to those who know Everton more than they ever will understand.

I'm happy to stand in front of them. I've done it with Generals. I've done it with CEOs. I'd probably last about a week, which is longer than Rob Halligan – I'd give him an hour!

I'm tired and off to bed. And getting ready for Arsenal next week. See you all there and then at Brentford.

Colin Glassar
21 Posted 07/09/2023 at 23:51:51
Whatever happened to the “Strategic Review”?
Jay Harris
22 Posted 08/09/2023 at 01:10:49
I think it was binned when they realized what a strategic review would reveal.
Mark Taylor
23 Posted 08/09/2023 at 01:12:38

I think one can frame at least some of those 'impossible' questions in ways that at least could more easily be answered, with a will.

So maybe not 'stop wasting money on ridiculous salaries' but it might be better asked as 'what % salary to revenue do you deem to be viable and what year will we reach it?' You can still refuse to answer that, but at least it's a matter of fact.

Right now, I'd like to know exactly how much we've raised net through transfers this year, where that money is going, and what happens on the stadium if we can't find an investor acceptable to Moshiri (and maybe also the loan sharks).

I appreciate they likely would not answer any of the above, in fact probably would avoid meetings with that on the agenda. I suppose I might have hoped FAB might be acting as a non exec director role, or in Germany, a supervisory board, but clearly that is not on offer.

Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 08/09/2023 at 02:36:47
I stupidly went on Twitter where I'm “friends” with Jazz to wish him well.

For every “thanks mate”, there's an abusive message from a moron calling him a disgrace. a fake fan, a BK plant etc. For fuck's sake, who are these people?

The guy was an unpaid volunteer doing his best to communicate with our loony owner and whacko chairman. Jazz has zero power or authority — he was just an elected representative from among us fans who was willing to sacrifice his free time in the hope he could effect change.

He couldn't as the decks were stacked but he did all he could. I hate to criticize fellow fans but some of these people abusing him are seriously misguided.

Jerome Shields
25 Posted 08/09/2023 at 11:11:30
Colin #21,

A Strategic Plan did not exist to be reviewed. The use of 'Strategic Review' was just words that Barrett-Baxendale attached to her work as Bill's PR.

Everton's current strategy is dictated by financial and regulatory constraints. It is questionable if an actual Strategic Plan of any term exists and that is a big part of Everton's problems.

The necessary change to achieve this is recognised by fans and fan groups.

Jerome Shields
26 Posted 08/09/2023 at 13:19:57
Kieran #24,

It was actually you that engaged with the FAB in a question and answer session and your feedback from that on ToffeeWeb that changed my attitudes to the FAB.

This proved right as we saw Jazz interview Moshiri and with the actions of the FAB that unfolded after that. Obviously the fan on Twitter has not got that insight, if he even bothered to look.

I had the feeling that the FAB was a manipulation of fan support led by Barrett-Baxendale to head off the Fan-led Review recommendation and the #25-year protest. In reality, if that was the case, it failed due to fan leadership including Jazz and the involvement of Evertonians like yourself.

This could explain the withdrawal of club engagement, which our Twitter friend is inadvertently supporting.

Twitter is a good place to find Twits in my experience.

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 08/09/2023 at 18:47:11
I think people are going to get stick once they put themselves into these positions, but I was talking to a very longstanding Everton fan today, and he told me he fell out with Jaz, because whilst they were protesting against the board at Goodison, he said Jaz, was outside the liver building, doing an interview for sky sports, saying he was happy with the board? I don’t know if this is true, but if it is then it explains a lot, and if it’s not, then how can a person win?
Paul Birmingham
28 Posted 08/09/2023 at 18:58:03
Tony, for me it’s a poison chalice unless the club takes it “seriously”, as a very important working department within EFC.

For me, to make the FAB, they the EFC Board do it properly, but this Everton Board, haven’t done sfa, properly for decades.

Brian Wilkinson
29 Posted 09/09/2023 at 19:35:32
I will be a minority more or less on this one, but I find it hard to forgive Jazz for stitching the Everton fans up and taking sides with the Everton board.

We had a protest outside Goodison a couple of seasons back in midweek, trying to get media attention for the way our football club is being run.

He chose to stand outside the Liver Buildings complete with the media, and spoke how well the board is doing a job. If Jazz looks back on that, I am sure he will hold his hands up and admit, he got completely set up as a stooge, for the board.

He has done a lot of good things since, but that night was not one of his finer moments.

Feel free to give me all the stick you like, but I will not back down on the night the fans were let down badly.

Brian Wilkinson
30 Posted 09/09/2023 at 19:50:09
Tony @27,

I've only just seen your post. I can confirm what you were told was 100% spot on.

After the protest outside Goodison, most protesting that midweek were shocked to find the only coverage from Sky from that evening, was Jazz stood outside the Liver Building, saying what a good job the board are doing.

Alex Gray
31 Posted 09/09/2023 at 19:59:24
I don't hold any hard feelings for Jazz. I'm sure the intention was there to try and improve things but in reality the FAB are utterly pointless. The only important communication of note was the interview with Moshiri where he told us we'd get a striker.

The communication the club give them is actually pathetic as seen in recent times. The sooner they all walk away the better sadly and save them the grief.

Like a lot of other positions at our club, they can't do their job effectively whilst Farhad is here giving us all a length up the backside.

Paul Ferry
32 Posted 09/09/2023 at 20:11:21
Alex, why would you hold any hard feelings for Jazz?
Alex Gray
33 Posted 09/09/2023 at 20:16:23

Brian posted directly above me saying he found it hard to forgive Jazz for stitching up the fans (not to throw Brian under the bus!) and I just put my own take saying personally I don't hold any hard feelings or resentment.

I think the FAB have tried to improve the situation but, as I expected, nothing will change when the club don't communicate to us or them. The whole thing feels a bit pointless.

Brian Wilkinson
34 Posted 09/09/2023 at 20:39:53
Apologies Alex, let me reword my comment, the FAB was put in place so that we sat pretty with the Premier League programme of looking to be seen as doing something as an inclusive club and communicating with a Fans Advisory Board.

It also takes out the question of not communicating at postponed AGMs.

The board have on a number of occasions failed to turn up for FAB meetings.

A group of Everton supporters had arranged for a fans gathering outside Goodison against the board. Jazz, for whatever reason, knowing full well he could have turned up at Goodison and given the support of the board, or backed his fellow fans' feelings, and I would not fault the guy one bit.

The fact that he chose to turn up at the Pier Head instead, and give a speech of how well the board are doing, went against what his fellow fans were doing on the same evening. That for me was stabbing his own supporters in the back.

Had he been at the Pier Head and said "I can see how fellow Evertonians are feeling and we just want to try and communicate with the board", I would say fair play, but he chose to ignore what was happening that evening and gave an unbelievable speech of how well the board are doing — 100% set up by the board as a PR stunt, to counteract the protest.

Just like they came up with another media PR stunt in throwing the fans under the bus before an important relegation game.

Jazz was set up like a kipper; he took it, hook, line and sinker that evening.

Kieran Kinsella
35 Posted 09/09/2023 at 20:42:55
Tony and Brian,

That's not exactly what he said. He was asked if they could do the job, or words to that effect, and he said Yes.

He very quickly and publicly clarified his remarks, saying he wasn't suggesting they had done a good job. But with that said what would you have done?

He took it in good faith they'd talk with the fans. If he went in like a bull in a China shop, do you think he'd have been allowed anywhere near them?

Michael Kenrick
37 Posted 10/09/2023 at 15:27:56
Brian's attitude is telling.

You can spend a lot of time and effort committed to something you believe in and think is worthwhile to work toward, but have just one slack moment caught by the beloved Sky cameras, and your efforts are reduced to nought.

Nice one, Brian.

Brian Wilkinson
38 Posted 10/09/2023 at 20:28:35
I am proud of every single Evertonian, who made the effort to try and at least make a stand by turning up at Goodison that evening and let their feelings be known about how our football club is being run.

My attitude is, and always will be the good of our football club, we got outflanked by Sky that evening, we got shafted last season of being labelled as a rent a mob, attacking one of our board members.

I will always defend my fellow Evertonian, what I will not do is sit back and see the board blame the Evertonians, and not at least try to do something, to get rid of the people at the top who have destroyed our great football club.

Again I will say Jazz could have joined his fellow fans at Goodison that evening and showed unity with fellow fans, and not given the board the perfect come back, by lining him up at the Pier Head, when greater concerns by Evertonians, was going on a few miles down the road, at Goodison.

Paul Birmingham
39 Posted 10/09/2023 at 21:11:27
Keep, this level of passion, going on this thread, and Everton, will win the Premier League.

Fumes and smoke, all to their own view, but let's stick together, the next couple of months will be very tough but I believe Everton will be in a good position, or compared to year on year before Christmas.


Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 10/09/2023 at 22:14:37
If anyone is going to work for Everton under Bill Kenwright, then be very careful and don't be naive, would be the only advice I would ever give them.

The master makes the rules for the wisemen and the fools – this is why a few select people will always defend him, along with a lot of what I would describe as naive fools, most of whom have eventually realised that they were being kidded by one of Everton's finest ever players.

Don Alexander
41 Posted 10/09/2023 at 22:42:19
Why would anyone have one iota of faith in the integrity, accountability or football expertise of Kenwright or the owner muppet in the past twenty, never mind 30 or 7, years?

To them "FAB" always has and always will mean, "Fuck All, Believe-us!"

Paul Ferry
42 Posted 11/09/2023 at 03:17:58
Alex (Gray), I really appreciate the reply and it makes a lot of sense to me - thanks.
Larry O'Hara
43 Posted 11/09/2023 at 06:44:17
Paul (19), sadly I think this cannot be a position paid for by the club, would compromise independence. Paid for by the fans in some way, even if not full-time? Yes.

Danny, amazed you didn't get on last time (though I forgot to vote myself ☹️). Surely we have enough TW regulars to swing it… Unless the votes are rigged….

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