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Colm Kavanagh provides a response to Michel Durkin's latest pompous and condescending blast at the Everton Shareholders' Association


 Response to Michael Durkin


It is with a sense of disappointment that I read the latest comments from Michael Durkin over on the Bluekipper website.  This is an Everton website which asks the question of us all "call y'self an Evertonian?" and then allows one opinion to be spun, as fact, with the right of reply from various others (i.e. those elected to the Executive Committee) buried deep within the Kipper site, most definitely behind the many prompts for Evertonians to part with their shillings by swelling the coffers of Bluenose Productions.


Every Evertonian is entitled to an opinion; I have no qualms about that whatsoever if anything, I would actively encourage it.  However, when that opinion is, in the view of others, a twisted version of events to suit a personal agenda, then not only do you rub people up the wrong way but you draw a response.  When that response is not afforded the same viewing or exposure as the original article, then you simply want to cry foul!

Mr Durkin wrote this piece (and then further updated it) for Bluekipper days before the ESA AGM on Tuesday 1 June 2004.  The sole intent of the article was to highlight his perception surrounding Mr Allinson's share dealings.  Like a dog with a bone, he won't let this one go and refuses to accept the decision reached by the Executive Committee, who deemed Mr Allinson's business a private matter and not a "conflict of interest" as some have intimated. 

I find it very strange to find that Bluekipper and I quote, "the great majority of supporters couldn't give a flying f**k who is on the SA committee" continues to promote heavily the view of Mr Durkin whilst offering very little promotion to any alternate views.  Two sides to any debate, surely?  Also, professing a desire to have teeth extracted instead of attending an AGM and then allowing the boot to be firmly "put in" seems a bit odd.

And so to the version of events at this year's AGM, according to Mr Durkin:

We'll start with the cry of "the election being every bit as farcical as last year's jamboree".  He further adds, "incredibly, the very election process many members had complained about for years the block method that safely returned incumbents was used yet again.  Even members who had voted solidly for change last year were baffled, and some outright furious.  It was appalling." 

My understanding of matters is that the re-election of all outgoing officers (and committee), under the old constitution (applicable to this AGM) has always been a procedural requirement of the night.  Last year's AGM was the first time in the history of the ESA where the call for re-election of officers (and committee) was defeated by democratic means, from the floor.  This year, the floor democratically chose to re-elect those officers (and committee), in their existing positions. 

After some confusion and debate over the re-election of Steve Allinson and Anne Asquith (both went into the AGM as Acting Chairman and Acting Vice Chair), as Chairman and Vice Chair respectively, it was agreed to hold another vote.  Again, by democratic means, the floor chose overwhelmingly to support the existing Officers.  Nominations were then submitted for places on the committee some accepted; some not.  All those who chose to stand for election were successful and their presence on the committee is welcomed.  Not quite the politburo approach suggested by Mr Durkin.

Durkin's comments about myself "basically appeared to say he didn't care how much money was made since it made him the only shareholder in Ireland and he wouldn't have bought a share otherwise" is pure mischief and a twisting of words to suit his own agenda / vendetta against Mr  Allinson.  I'll express my sentiment from the night here once again, for clarification:

I stood up and spoke, to defend Mr Allinson's dealings.  I think I am like many a die-hard Evertonian living abroad, eating and drinking Everton Football Club twenty four hours a day at work and at home.  I live for the Club.  Always have done, always will Blue to the bone. 

Like many others, I've had a yearning for years to get my hands on a share mainly so I can then say (to myself!) that I actually own a small piece of Everton Football Club all trivial in the grander scheme of things.  Would I actually get off my backside to get in touch with a broker in Liverpool who deals in Everton shares?  Highly unlikely I'll admit, though I appreciate those who might ask "Why not?" if the desire to acquire a share is so strong. 

To even suggest that I couldn't care less how much money was made in order to make me the only Irish shareholder, and that I wouldn't have bought one otherwise, is grossly insulting from Mr Durkin - and, yes, I do take offence.  I most certainly did NOT buy a share in Everton Football Club to acquire that 'title'.  I did it for the plain and simple reason that I love my Club nothing sinister, no more than a love for MY Club.  If, as a result, I can contribute in any small way then great I'm chuffed to be able to do whatever. 

Everton Shareholders Association needs new blood AT ALL TIMES, Mr Durkin.  Without new blood coming into the Association, it remains stagnant.  I say that with the greatest of respect to those who have served before, and who retain a great affinity with the Shareholders Association, but the truth of the matter is that it needs to continually attract new people and move with the times.  I firmly believe that Mr Allinson has acted as the catalyst to those changes seen these past two years and he is to be highly commended for his deeds, not shot down at every opportunity available.

The changes to the Shareholders Association that the Reform Group sought have now all been achieved.  Though never invited to become a member of the Reform Group, I echo many of their aims.  They have now ALL been achieved.

Whether people like it or not, the Shareholders Association remains the ONLY vehicle available to the fan if they really want to have a voice where it matters.  It's all fine and dandy to suggest the match day crowd has a voice but, in reality, no matter how bad things become on the pitch, we still turn up in great numbers week in, week out.  Why?  Because we call Everton OUR CLUB.

We love Everton Football Club.

When you love and care dearly for something in an irrational manner, you will always hold an opinion that can be somewhat clouded.  I am no different from the next Blue!

Now, more than ever, we need unity in the ESA.  Continually sniping from the safety of Bluekipper is not the answer, Mr Durkin and deep down I believe you know that Mr Allinson has done what he's done for the simple love of Everton Football Club invoking a change in the Association where change was needed.

Mr Allinson could walk away from the Shareholders Association chair in the morning if this nonsense was to continue ad nauseum Mr Durkin.  That might suit those who do not see the bigger picture.  However, if your relentless pursuit of Mr Allinson's head was to succeed, he could then sell the remainder of his shares to all and sundry and not necessarily to those who care for the greater good of our Club!

 Instead, please please please accept Steve's argument that his dealings have never been profit motivated.  The majority of members in the SA have backed Mr Allinson overwhelmingly even some of those who came from "the old school" and were initially averse to the changes now in place.

We can't all be wrong, surely?

As ever, the warm hand of friendship is extended.

Colm Kavanagh
4 June 2004