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Another Idea.... update

By John  Hughes :  18/08/2008 :  Comments (36) :
I?ve been looking into this over the last few days and I have been trying to condense my thoughts into something readable. I?m bloody excited and scared too as this really seems to be a viable Idea.

Right, just brief information on how this can work. My suggestion is that we set up an Industrial & Provident Society (IPS). An IPS basically has the following attributes:-

Community orientation ? intrinsically part of the framework of the Trust.

  • External Regulation ? the Financial Services Authority will not register rule changes that conflict with the requirement to operate for the benefit of the community.
  • Robust Constitution ? crucial rules such as the Objects, Powers and Application of Profits, may only be altered if there is a 75% majority in favour.
  • Effective and versatile ? experience has shown the model to be adaptable and powerful in varied circumstances.
  • Not For Profit motive ? Safeguards against ?carpet bagging?.
  • Growing Supporters? Trusts movement ? offers additional ?political? weight and influence in the wider world of football.
  • Community of Mutuals ? offers opportunities for additional funding and partnerships with other co-operatives. Provides affinity with other organisations committed to benefiting the local community; and offers a reassurance to the supporters and the club of the community orientation and not-for-profit objectives of the Trust.
  • Start-up Grant funding ? Supporters Direct pay for legal costs and expenses subject to eligibility criteria.
  • Limited liability for members ? no need to put your financial security on the line; members are protected.
  • Financially responsible ? Effective in circumstances where significant sums of money have to be raised by public offer.
  • Rather than have a ?shareholding? we have a ?membership?
  • Memberships are renewable and there is no limitation on numbers
  • Renewals would be at a lower cost then the ?initial? cost of membership. For example:
  • Year 1 memberships = £1000 at £100 per month for 10 months.
  • Year 2 Memberships = £500 at £50 per month for 10 months.
  • Year 3+ memberships = £250 at £25 per month for 10 months.
  • You can be a member for 1 year or for ever. The choice is yours. You would have still done your bit.
  • All board members would be elected
  • A dedicated website (with member log in) will allow you to vote for the most important decisions
  • All information including payments will go through the website
  • All members will have the opportunity to make decisions
  • All membership money will be used to run the trust on a day-to-day basis and to obviously invest in the stadium.
I calculate that about 8% of contributions will be needed to fund the day-to-day activities of the IPS company. This is admin and advertising and general up-keep. Remember, there is a lot of work to be done and no-one on the board should use this as a means to personal gain.

These will need to be advised but if they can be done as I have mentioned above but I have seen no reasons why it can?t be done as above.

I have contacted Supporters Direct today to find out what we have to do as they have helped Celtic and many others start this type of thing up. If any of you want to have a look at this then they can be found at:

But is Everyone OK with the basics of this idea so far?

Michael, Lyndon, can I ask that you forward or provide me with the e-mail addresses of everyone who has expressed an interest in this please. I have added my e-mail address in the correct field on the form.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 19/08/2008 at 05:22:01

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A great idea, John. And we’re fully behind you. Best, though for people to e.mail you directly, if you don’t mind your e.mail address being up on the net???
Mike Jones
2   Posted 19/08/2008 at 06:53:14

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Sooner we have a way to contact each other the better.

Great idea.
Michael Hunt
3   Posted 19/08/2008 at 06:56:14

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As Destination Kirkby is now being looked at again much quicker than expected (LESS THAN 3 MONTHS FROM NOW!) i.e.November 2008, it is obviously imperitive to act quickly: Realistically I think it would be easier, more cost effective and transarent to just set up a simple ESCROW account (as mentioned by another poster i n previous thread), held in trust by a Liverpool based solicitor.
This way we can see if we can raise the cash before commiting to extra complexities, costs and admin issues. If we fail to raise the cash then we can just close the account and refund the money. Going a more complex route could prove a waste of more time, effort and hard earned money.
A bit like the sceptism of the board in shareholders being able to get enough support for an EGM, I think mass EVERTONIAN support will back this simple method and force an excellent re-development of GOODISON, financed substantially buy the EVERTON PEOPLE for the people of the people’s club.
TIME IS A REAL PRESSURE HERE...the board have messed about for too long but in 3 months Kirkby may be on the verge of getting a green light...he who hesitates is lost, WE NEED TO ACT NOW.
If we adhere to the KISS method (Keep It Simple Scousers) we could be remaining at Goodison in a re-developed stadium that is in keeping with both the traditions AND aspirations of EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB quite soon! NSNO.
Ps. I will be pleased to support whatever structure but I think the simpler the better and we need to act quick...Have we checked out the simple ESCROW account route yet, I’m sure a local law firm could sort it cleanly and cost effectively really quickly :-)

Albert Dock
4   Posted 19/08/2008 at 07:32:14

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Wouldn?t worry too much about the lawyers? fees.

If we are as skint as everybody says we are then we are entitled to legal aid.
Peter Benson
5   Posted 19/08/2008 at 08:57:11

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I’ve followed Everton for 25 years years. 15 of which I followed them everywhere. The past few years since getting on the property ladder I’ve had to cut down loads on how often I see Everton. I’m now only able to afford Cup home games and that is a big test on my finances. I am lucky enough to work but on a low income , I have a large mortgage to live in house the size of a shoebox that needs a lot of work doing to it that I cannot afford, and because of this I will have no say on Everton’s future?

Like many in this same position I hope to get back on my feet in a couple years. I know a great deal about stadium requirements but because I cannot come up with the cash that’s it is it?
John Hughes
6   Posted 19/08/2008 at 09:08:49

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If your interested in helping on this e-mail me at

I’m looking into the ESCROW account today. I’ve got someone looking at a website so you can register your interest on the site too. Once this is up and running I will let you know the web address so you can dive on and have a look.
John Hughes
7   Posted 19/08/2008 at 09:12:12

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Peter Benson - Your free advice would be contribution enough. Join in mate. I don’t want to discard anyone which is why nothing is written in stone yet but we also have to be realistic about how much we request in order to have enough funds available. Have a look above and e-mail me.
Alisdair Denny
8   Posted 19/08/2008 at 09:12:05

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I have read this a couple of times but I must have missed something. What is it you’re trying to do? Buy Everton?
Peter Benson
9   Posted 19/08/2008 at 10:05:39

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Thanks John. I’m touched!
Mike Cheshire
10   Posted 19/08/2008 at 10:12:32

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Count me in. I may not be able to get to many games due to family commitments and work stuff but I’ll be buggered if I stand by and watch the club move to Kirkby when there seem to be a viable option on the table.

I’ll email you right now.

Good work.
John Hughes
11   Posted 19/08/2008 at 10:41:26

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Alisdair - No mate not buy Everton that would be far to complicated and would need far more resource than we would hope to have. It is to create a trust to enable build/redevelop a stadium on Evertons behalf. As a member you would be entitled to vote on the stadium design and facilities and would have a say in the major stadium decisions.
simple hey! (haha!!)
John Hughes
12   Posted 19/08/2008 at 10:44:40

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Peter Benson - Think I’m bloody touched mate....I’ve created a monster....
Mike Cheshire
13   Posted 19/08/2008 at 10:36:58

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Is that e-mail address case sensitive? I.e. does it have to be or can it be

Michael Dawson
14   Posted 19/08/2008 at 10:13:53

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It’s never going to happen.

The vast majority of people will be in the same situation as Peter - I know I am. As much as I would like to change certain things about the way the club is run, I just haven’t got the spare cash. If people are faced with the choice between spending their hard-earned wages on membership of this scheme or on actually going to watch the team play, there’s only one option they will choose.

You will obviously have some success, I would imagine especially with exiled blues throughout the world, who have no chance of getting to the game and will see this as a good chance to get involved. However, when it comes to actually parting with the money, you may find people will think twice.

The idea of voting for the ’most important decisions’, through a website throws up all sorts of problems. Of course I have strong opinions about the direction I want our club to take, but just because I pay my £25 a month does this make me qualified to make these decisions? Of course not. Expressing an opinion through clicking an online poll is a long way from studying the relevant information before making an informed decision. If these ’most important decisions’ are anything less trivial than ’What colour should we paint the new stand?’, then I see big problems.

Although I admire the idea in principal, I just can’t see it being successful, especially in the current economic climate. Finally (and I apologise if this sounds sickeningly trite) - if I could get to the end of my working month with a spare £100 still in my pocket, then I don’t think I could justify putting it into this scheme when there are numerous charities who would get far more benefit from it.
John Hughes
15   Posted 19/08/2008 at 10:52:44

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Michael Dawson - I realise that the money part of this is the problem and I am looking at ways to make it affordable and fair to everyone. I also realise what is affordable to me isn’t necessarily affordable to anyone else (I am in the same boat as you by the way) but should we just give up on this or should we carry on? This is about contributing towards an interest. I’m interested and many others are. There are also others who think it’s a good idea but don’t want to contribute. That’s fine but if we don’t at least try we’ll end up never knowing. There’s an estimated 1 million blues the world over. if only 30,000 (or 3%) contributed the 1,500 i originally suggested then thats 45m in the bank. Enough for starters isn’t it?
James Cadwaladr
16   Posted 19/08/2008 at 11:07:48

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John, fully behind you and happy to assist in any way I can, I hope Michael and Lydon forward me contact details and you decide to get in touch.

John Hughes
17   Posted 19/08/2008 at 11:16:32

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James C - see comments above I have set up an e-mail address you can contact me on. cheers John.
Michael Dawson
18   Posted 19/08/2008 at 11:24:00

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John, I’m not sure where that estimate comes from but it’s nice to think there’s that many of us out there! However, I would imagine that the majority - although not all - of the people with a real passion for the club would live locally, and yet we still don’t sell out Goodison on a regular basis. Aside from the restricted view seating issue, this is also because people simply can’t afford to go to the game every week, despite the fact that a season ticket only costs half as much as the first year’s membership to your scheme.

I think this has been mentioned previously, but there’s also the issue of our wealthier supporters. I’m sure there are a number of passionate blues who can afford 10 or 20 times the sum you suggest, and when you’re looking to raise cash, is it feasible to refuse their money? If not, these people who are paying for 10 memberships will then expect to recieve 10 votes on any issue, giving even less motivation for others to sign up ,knowing that their vote is only worth a tenth of someone elses, simply because they are not as wealthy.

Anyway, I’ve decided I won’t be contributing so I’ll stop posting on here and leave you to it. Respect to you John for trying to get this organised and fair play to anyone who decides to get involved. I really do hope that something good comes of it.
John Hughes
19   Posted 19/08/2008 at 13:07:25

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Just an update on this and something which I think we need to have a serious look at.
I’ve got 41 names of people so far who are willing to stump up the cash for this (myself included) so if for no other reason we say each of us are willing (which I know these 41 are) to pay 1500quid each the fund so far has potentially got £61,500
Incase nobody else thinks that this is a goes that a fantastic figure already. So well done to those who have said they’ll contribute hopefully it won’t be long before I have an ESCROW account up and running to where I can put our money.
Al Reddish
20   Posted 19/08/2008 at 13:19:25

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Hi John, call me thick but I am not sure what the intention of this is and what happens to the money being invested. Any chance you can give us a quick laymen's guide. Thanks
John Hughes
21   Posted 19/08/2008 at 13:30:14

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Basically Al - Can I call you Al???

Sorry, right basically it means that you become a member of a society. That society is being founded to raise funds to help build/redevelop a new stadium for Everton FC.
The money you invest will be held in an account by an independed third party and is protected until suck time that enough money is in the account to seriously carry out the plan. (Build or redevelop the stadium) As a member of the society you will be able to vote on decisions made. The society will also be regulated by the FSA. If after a certain period of time (say 12 months) there is not enough interest in the society then you will get your money back. if there is enough money in the "kitty" then it will be used to either build a new stadium or redevelop Goodison. The trust will own the new stadium and run it on behalf of Everton FC or it will take ownership of goodison with the intention or redeveloping.
It’s actually in the process of being deceided exactly what the funds can be used for and if you contribute financially you will have a say in what they are used for.
Hopw that’s ok for you.
Colin Laphan
22   Posted 19/08/2008 at 15:18:00

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Great idea. Ian Martin and myself did a lot of work on an ST a few years ago. Ian would be a good person to bounce ideas off.

Think it is a great improvement on the idea to go for a "building" fund. Will it be "The People's Trust?"

Very important that the principles and Constitution are strong/well written.

Think you have to set a more conservative target of building a stand as opposed to a stadium. However if it could be done for just a stand, with an enabling development for another stand the club could then afford the third stand. Which would fit with some of the things Trevor S. has suggested.

Al Reddish
23   Posted 19/08/2008 at 15:58:40

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Thanks for the explanation, it's a lot clearer now and as Paul Simon would say... yes, "you CAN call me Al"
John Hughes
24   Posted 19/08/2008 at 16:08:42

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Colin - get ian to e-mail me at
thanks for your comments.
Eddie O'Neill
25   Posted 19/08/2008 at 16:07:30

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Hi, kinda sounds like a good idea to me... but would?nt the club have to agree to this??? No point setting all this up if the club/board are not interested?? Correct me if I?m wrong.

Colin Laphan
26   Posted 19/08/2008 at 16:29:37

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With regard to the club agreeing.

It’s a chicken and egg situation. If you don’t set up the ST and start the ball rolling you can’t approach the club at any level of seriousness.

As it is the club are going to want to see that there is a willingness by the fans.

If that happened then it would gain its own momentum....

What the club doesn’t need is any more hypothetical suggestions without any tangible side to them.
Tom Hughes
27   Posted 19/08/2008 at 17:01:16

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"What the club doesn?t need is any more hypothetical suggestions without any tangible side to them."

Like Kirkby you mean? ;)
Derek Turnbull
28   Posted 19/08/2008 at 20:30:45

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Just an advancement on Colin Laphan’s idea earlier to just start of with one stand. Would it be an idea to just concentrate on buying up the houses etc behind Bullens?

That way if nothing comes of it then we could sell the houses and we could all get our money back with profit, with all profits going into the former players foundation or something?
Jimmy Ianson
29   Posted 19/08/2008 at 21:29:52

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Just a thought but if we cannot manage to raise the whole amount,how about Everton pay for half of it.Something in the region of say 78m. Has this amount not already been "ringfenced" for Kirby.
James McGlone
30   Posted 19/08/2008 at 23:09:05

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I’m wondering - would there be a dividend payout if any form of profit was made. The only reason why i’m asking this is because that may entice the non-Everton supporting public to get involved, or am I ’way out there?’

Great idea by the way. I think the monthly payment option may make it viable for a lot of people.
Andrew Mackenzie
31   Posted 20/08/2008 at 00:09:12

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John - great idea but will not be straightforward. I’ve recently left the Isle of Man financial services regulator where I worked as a bank regulator and looked after institutions licensed under equivalent Acts/regulations which were pretty restrictive and outdated. You need to seek good advice before going down this route as you will be limited on use of capital and borrowing.

I’m not being negative as I applaud your efforts and would support them if they cam to fruition. Don’t also rule out the benefits of having an offshore company. The Isle of Man currently offers a zero, yes ZERO corporate tax rate! This would be useful for overseas earnings not brought into the UK and could be used to finance overseas expenditure on players/merchandise etc.

Since leaving the regulator I work for a law firm that manages trusts/company structures so I’m available if you need help... this would not be an easy path... regulators are a pain in the ass... and I should know!
John Hughes
32   Posted 20/08/2008 at 11:56:28

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Andrew Mckenzie - Can you e-mail me at

Paul OHanlon
33   Posted 20/08/2008 at 13:07:47

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would we need to pay the £1,500 in one go or could it be paid in installments (if so how many installments?) If it does have to be paid in one go when is it needed by (obviously ASAP would be nice but what’s the deadline?)
John Hughes
34   Posted 20/08/2008 at 14:09:05

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Paul O’Hanlon - This hasn’t been decided yet. It’d be silly to issue a dealine or even comment on how it could be done until the legal structure is established.

This projects needs credibility not only in terms of the amount it can raise but also in the professionalism it shows in handling it’s proposals. For this reason I am distributing information on an almost daily basis about where we are and what we have to do.

You can keep up to date with whats going on at the minute by joining the mailing list. Just email and I will include you in the list. That goes for anybody interested in whats happening.
Amit Vithlani
35   Posted 21/08/2008 at 12:22:52

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Dear John Hughes

I am happy to make the £1500 contribution, but before I get in touch directly with you could you please for my benefit confirm the following:

- Will this become a public campaign i.e. are contacting other fan-sites to publicise the fund-raising / contact Liverpool echo etc?

- I would like to applaud you on the time you are investing, but have you got a team of volunteers to help out? I appreciate you are working full time so are you looking for the society members to help out? I am a London based blue and maybe able to provide some advice on matters financial (I work for a bank) but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to volunteer to do the running around

- Process: I am sure you are a genuine supporter but just to get this through my wife(!). Consequently, I assume before we pass on any monies presumably you will distribute the ESCROW account agreement along with the Charter for the Society?

- Start-Up costs. Every society / institution has start-up costs to be registered etc. Will you be funding these yourself before claiming the costs back from the funds raised after the Society is registered?


John Hughes
36   Posted 21/08/2008 at 12:56:00

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Amit -
In answer to your first question this will become a public campaign once the details are ironed out.

There are people who have contacted me helping on this as I write this. I do work full time and can only put so many hours in myself.

Once the ESCROW agreement and account are set up this will be made public. A website is under construction for this right now.

I will be funding these myself when we get to that stage. I won’t be taking any money out of the account unless the "members" say it is ok to do so.

Hope this helps Amit.


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