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Philip Green...

By Barry Scott :  05/10/2008 :  Comments (35) :
The following is an extract from the EGM Question and Answers section where a fan asked Bill Kenwright about Philip Green's (the owner of the Arcadia group) involvement with the club:

Fan #1: [...]My question was to ask have you got a potential buyer for Goodison Park, have you got a potential buyer or bidder for the naming rights or are you going to be relying on the clubs sleeping partner and proxy shareholder, sir Phillip Green, to go guarantor for any future loans?

Bill: Sorry, I object to that. Phillip Green is a friend of mine. You want to talk about Phillip Green, I'll talk to you about Phillip Green. Phillip Green was there when a lot of you were behind me to buy this club. He was my friend, he still is my friend. He's there 24 hrs a day for me. If you could find any fault in Phillip Green, one of the greatest businessmen in the world, giving me advice that I pass onto this football club, I can't see it. He is not a silent shareholder.

Fan #1: Does he hold any shares?

Bill: He owns no shares in this football club. Nil. He is my friend and consequently your friend.... I don't know why you think that's funny but he's a great friend to this football club. I promise you.

Audience: In what way?

Bill: If you have a friend who is one of the greatest business brains in the world, who is available for you 24hrs a day, will give you advice, would you not use that friend? Because I certainly do. He's been there for me and consequently for you. Through six very difficult years, even years before the six years. He became my friend in 1998 when we in big trouble. He quickly latched onto my passion for this football club and he's been there, through thick and thin ever since. He's my friend.

Another fan was curious enough to ask about the Arcadia Group's involvement:

Fan #2: Will the Arcadia group be a partner in the retail side of this development?

Bill Kenwright: No is the answer to that question as far as I know.

Fan #2: Can you categorically state that the Arcadia group will not be part of..[ ]

Bill Kenwright: I cannot categorically state that but as far as I know, no it's never been..[ ]

Fan #2: But there's every possibility that the Arcadia group could benefit from the retail development in Kirkby?

Bill Kenwright: No

The following two extracts are taken from

"[...]indeed the fact we have received support from major blue chip retailers such as Marks and Spencers, Next and Arcadia supports this case."

It is not commercially realistic to expect any of our initial key target tenants such as M&S, Next or Arcadia to locate north of Cherryfield Drive from day 1 or indeed at any time in the future as these traders are key to the overall success to the scheme and rely on trading proximate to other types of retailers.

The question has to be asked; why did Everton chairman Bill Kenwright not know of his "close friend" and a "close friend of this football club's" involvement in the Destination Kirkby project ? a project that Everton are an anchoring tenant of?

Reader Comments

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David Kiely
1   Posted 05/10/2008 at 14:24:03

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"It was all Wyness’ fault!"

Bill trades on the point of view that amongst many blues that ’he’s just a luvvy, you can’t expect him to know these things. If you buy a dog, why bark yourself?’ He knows these connectons, alright. He’s as calculating a character that’s ever been in that boardroom.
Stephen Stuart
2   Posted 05/10/2008 at 15:19:27

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Message removed for offensive content
Karl Masters
3   Posted 05/10/2008 at 15:23:19

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I am not BK’s greatest fan, althoughI think he’s done reasonably well in many ways bar the ground move.

However, this is ridiculous.

Arcadia is the umbrella for 7 high street brands - TopMan, TopShop, .Wallis, BHS, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Burton I recall - so any major Retail Development is going to be courting Arcadia and getting up to 7 tenants in to their units. Hardly suspicious!

Just what is it you are trying to say? Kenwright isn’t perfect, but neither will foreign owners be. His biggest deficiency is not being a billionaire - not a crime - added to appointing that fat buffoon Wyness who did a lot of damage to the Club’s PR with its fans and ultimately left BK up to his neck in brown smelly stuff this Summer.
Paul Gavin
4   Posted 05/10/2008 at 17:00:16

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WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Michael Brooks
5   Posted 05/10/2008 at 17:59:06

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After what I have just seen, which was to be frank piss poor! We need something and not soon but now! Cos if we can hold a two goal lead against Newcastle at home we are in real trouble! Forget europe, forget top half finsih think the unthankable!
Neil Pearse
6   Posted 05/10/2008 at 18:08:38

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What the fuck is wrong with you people? Philip Green, one of the richest and most powerful businessmen in the UK, is a friend of Kwnwright’s, and has clearly helped out club in various ways in the past? This is a BAD THING?? We get this idiotic conspiracy nonsense above. Do you guys think it would be BETTER if we had NO rich and powerful friends??

Sorry, I have just watched us draw with Newcastle. But I am tired of fantasy conspiracy crap like this.
Alan Kirwin
7   Posted 05/10/2008 at 18:41:25

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Neil, Karl:

Some people need bogeymen, otherwise there’d be little to gossip or winge about (other than how Moyes has got the team playing this season).

One wonders just how much time these people spend pouring over so much meaningless rubbish to find....what? Shock, Arcadia group involved in large new retail development. Dear me.

Amusing, if it wasn’t so sad.
Tom Hughes
8   Posted 05/10/2008 at 19:03:51

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There we go again, "Green is one of the richest businessmen in the world", before that we had "Tesco are one of the richest retail companies in the world".

So what? What benefit have we gained? How come we are still having to find over 78% of the "construction costs" when we have such rich backers? The implication being that their wealth has meant anything to us. Or are they really just in it for themselves? Will any of their involvements solve the ridiculous transport strategy conundrum for future generations of blues? NO!

"Richest this" and richest that has been used inside out and is the only skewed justification of KD remaining despite the distinct lack of real contribution of substance...... NO CONSPIRACY THEORY required.
Rich Jones
9   Posted 05/10/2008 at 19:11:15

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Karl, Niel Alan for christ?s sake wake up and smell the coffee, you really are mugs.
Neil Pearse
10   Posted 05/10/2008 at 19:17:51

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More than rumour has it Tom that in the real world Green / Earl enabled us to buy Yakubu, Baines and Fellaini. Would you like us to send them back? It’s a simple question and I look forward to your answer.
Neil Pearse
11   Posted 05/10/2008 at 19:20:12

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If you would like to send them back too Rich, feel free to answer.
Rich Jones
12   Posted 05/10/2008 at 19:28:26

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I'll take your word for it, shall I, Neil?
Neil Pearse
13   Posted 05/10/2008 at 19:33:03

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Believe what you want, Rich. Believe that Kenwright is some sort of satanic figure surrounded by devils, determined to destroy Everton Football Club in the interests of enriching himself and his friends. Believe that he is the only thing standing between us and a £300M stadium in Liverpool and a place in the top four. Believe whatever the hell you like. Since you live in a world completely removed from reality, you are free to believe whatever your fevered imagination conjures up for you.
Rich Jones
14   Posted 05/10/2008 at 19:44:04

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Oh well allow me to retort Neil, you believe that Bill is some kind of Gandolf, the great figure in your little dream world, and just ignore all his lies and bullshit. You just carry on and see where we end up, some of us are just a little more street-wise, my friend.
Brian Waring
15   Posted 05/10/2008 at 20:00:03

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Neil, if Green / Earl enabled us to buy the players you state, then surely Green has a lot more involvement in the club, than ?just a good friend? who BK turns to for advice, etc?
Stephen Stuart
16   Posted 05/10/2008 at 20:24:25

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Our Bill:,-says-union-president.html

maybe he needs friends like Green and Earl .....
James Cadwaladr
17   Posted 05/10/2008 at 20:29:19

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so what if arcadia do want to benefit from kirby they are a retail business, and of course all retail groups will have looked at the project and see if it is worthwhile puttting a shop on the site.

Greene has only been a benefit to our club, what harm has he caused, lay off kenwirghts back on this one he is using an acquantaince to help him in what, overall has been very successful six years for the club.

look at the six years prior!!!!! Get some brains lads all isnt great at the minute but overall kenwright and his friends have gone a great job.

He has said hes trying to sell to someone who can take the club forward as he cant. Instead of mock this man, you need to salute hiim for what he has done and look forward to the next chapter
James Cadwaladr
18   Posted 05/10/2008 at 20:38:55

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Brian, Neil, your both full of shit and I will argue the toss with you on this one.

Any points you would like tor raise?.
James Cadwaladr
19   Posted 05/10/2008 at 20:44:11

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sorry neil. mistaken identity, not you just brian
Damien kennedy
20   Posted 05/10/2008 at 20:53:40

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And according to Graeme Sharpe on Radio City after todays game the story in the Mail today about suitors to invest in the club is categorically "Rubbish" Great to be a blue dont you think ????
Steve Williams
21   Posted 05/10/2008 at 20:44:25

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Now most of you will recall that I have been vocal in my opposition to Kirkby. For the record, my stance hasn’t changed, however:

If I were to believe that Kirkby was the right choice (and BK clearly believes this) why should I not surround myself with people who could:

- help get this off the ground,
- agree in principle to underpin costs by becoming anchor retail tenants,
- assist with player acquisitions (like everyone else, I don’t know this for sure, but there are many strong indications floating around)?

If the quid pro quo in all this is that there is something in it for them, why the hell does that make any difference. This is the way of the business world.

If anyone thinks that Tesco and Arcadia are charities whose role is to bail out EFC, then they need their head examined.

As I say, I fervently believe that Kirkby is a mistake and I BK has made decisions that I disagree with but the criticism that he has done a ’I’ll stractch your back if you scratch mine’ manouevre is laughable.

This is exactly what he should be doing; I just wish it had a different outcome than Kirkby.
Jamie Rowland
22   Posted 05/10/2008 at 23:34:53

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I think that a lot of you are missing the original points, perhaps!

The original post by Barry Scott (didn?t he do the Cilit Bang ad?) was aiming to point out that yet again we, as fans, are being lied to and more to the point they are bare faced lies.

Bill Kenwright has answered, directly, that Arcadia are not involved in Destination Kirkby, when clearly they are (or, more to the point, will be).

Although he asks the question "Why doesn't Bill know what his ?close frined? is doing?" he is actually pointing us all to the lies that we are being told.

I?m a fan of Bill Kenwright's in a lot of ways but at the same time he is terrible at public speaking and knowing what to leak and when to leak it. This is a great example of him not doing his homework and being honest with the fans! It really isn?t a slur on who?s mates with who and who funds the players... it's more to do with what ramblings occur behind the scenes. Truth us, none of us know and none of us will ever know (unless, like Valente, we think our lucky numbers will come on on the next roll over!).

Steve Williams
23   Posted 05/10/2008 at 23:57:05

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Whilst I?m no apologist for BK (see above - I disagree with almost everything Kirkby), I would be hugely concerned if any of my clients told the ?truth? all the time. There is something that is more sacred than keeping the public informed on every development ? that is confidentiality to ensure that which you believe in actually happens.

Now I reiterate, I am totally against Kirkby, but I would be horrified if someone I was advising cocked it up just becaise he was ?honest? with everything!

Clearly everyone who believes that BK should come out and tell everyone every last detail, has never done a major deal in their life. Just think ? when you bought your house (the biggest investment you are ever likely to make), did you tell the seller everything you were thinking ? no I guess not!

You hypocrites!
Tom Hughes
24   Posted 06/10/2008 at 01:02:55

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Are you saying that we should now go to Kirkby to help out Green’s retail ambitions because he "may" have helped underwrite loans for one or 2 players (which I assume we are paying back in any case)? Fact is, we are the enabler for their ambitions to the tune of a development that is 400-500% larger than planning legislation will otherwise allow. A development which has yielded the equivalent of only approx 20% of the construction costs, hardly the lucrative earner promised. Who is the real winner here? We get a stadium that NO transport strategy can support for over 3/4 of the build cost. They get something that they haven’t a "cat in hells’" chance of getting without us without any real contribution, and probably a major slice of the action should we then sell up. Even if this was to cost nothing what would be the point if thousands can’t access it easily. Throw in the fact that it isn’t costing us nothing and you have to wonder how we could ever justify it at all.
Lee Smith
25   Posted 06/10/2008 at 06:40:09

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Steve Williams, I agree with what your saying, but why did BK have to lie, when a simple "that’s condidential" would suffice. I mean, it’s not like Robert Elstone didn’t play that card all night was!
Brian Waring
26   Posted 06/10/2008 at 09:03:33

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Yeah James, one point. Why did BK lie, when asked at the EGM "But there's every possibility that the Arcadia group could benefit from the retail development in Kirkby"?
BK answer, "No"
So is that not a lie?
Barry Scott
27   Posted 06/10/2008 at 10:20:46

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Jamie Rowland is spot on with what my intentions were. Some people have missed the point completely. I had hoped to show that Bill Kenwright misled the shareholders at the AGM (regardless of whether it was deliberate).

"Clearly everyone who believes that BK should come out and tell everyone every last detail, has never done a major deal in their life."

Karl Masters and Steve Williams - The Morgan Williams letter has been in the public domain on the Knowsley Council website for several months now and has been in existence for 5 months. It was not confidential nor a secret and Bill Kenwright had no reason to deny Arcadia’s involvement. That is the where any debate starts and ends.

Bill Kenwright considers both Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Philip Green as close friends; they are all working on the same project together - you would expect that Bill Kenwright would have known because of two reasons; he is a friend of the businessmen driving the project and secondly he is a business partner for the project!

He should have known which companies where to be involved because Everton would be expected to know where the £52million enabling fee from.

On the night of the EGM, Bill Kenwright was under pressure to explain to the club’s links with Sir Philip Green due to several newspaper articles suggesting he was involved in the club he was asked outright whether his company Arcadia would be involved in the Destination Kirkby project, he said they were not to the best of his knowledge.

He should have known this regardless of how many companies are under the Arcadia umbrella because the owner of the Arcadia group is Bill Kenwright’s close friend, the former Everton CEO resigned because of that close friend’s involvement in the club if newspapers are to be believed.

One theory is; had he admitted to the involvement of Arcadia, the shareholders would have questioned him further along the lines of Tom Hughes’ post above. He chose not to acknowledge Arcadia’s involvement because he did not want to be questioned further about Sir Philip Green and chose to play dumb to avoid pertinent questions from shareholders ? it would have opened Pandora?s box with questions relating to rumours of Sir Philip Green acting as a guarantor for the club?s player transfer signings and how Everton were only moving to Kirkby so Green could be paid back etc. This could have even instigated an investigation into his running of the club from the relevant authorities.

Paul Bristow
28   Posted 06/10/2008 at 10:01:13

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If anyone ever needed proof why being the chairman of a football club is a lose/lose situation then this thread would provide the proof. 100% damned if you do, 100% damned if you don?t. Kenwright's a long way short of being perfect but he?s the best we have got (ditto DM) so I would rather give him the benefit of doubt and get on with moving forward rather having to listen to what at times amounts to a load of playground name calling.

I don?t care and nor should you if other people who might've helped Everton, might, at some point in future gain from helping Everton. Let's be clear, no-one is going to make a fortune from us moving to Kirby, even at the height of the property and retailing boom, Kirkby was the cheapskate option and now as property prices tumble, and retailers are going to the wall even the most cynical of you must see that?s true..

I know who needs to wake up and smell the coffee and its not who you think it is, Neil & co.
Steve Williams
29   Posted 06/10/2008 at 12:10:05

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I think that some people are getting worked up about what in essence is a nothing point.

So what if someone gets something out of a marriage of convenience as long as we get what we want.

As I’ve said ad nausiem, I don’t want Kirkby, never had, never will, (so no hidden agenda from me) but BK does and therefore no-one should be surprised if he has used whatever leverage he can to realise his goal.

In fact I’m sure all of you would be screaming blue murder if BK missed a trick to achieve a goal you did believe in.

Really this is not about whether BK has misled anyone or even if he should do deals with anyone for mutual benefit, it is simply a further demonstration against DK. If it was almost any other location then this post would not have seen the light of day.

By all means protest against the location (hell, I know I have) but be honest about it - don’t fall into the same trap that many accuse BK of.
Michael Tracey
30   Posted 06/10/2008 at 13:06:14

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Neil, Bill Kenwright is a lying fucken toad! I think its embarrasing after all his bullshit you still try and defend him. I had a lot of time for you when arguing about Kirkby but now you just sound like a lapdog.
Denis Richardson
31   Posted 06/10/2008 at 13:40:36

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This will no doubt set people off but BEFORE you reply take a deep breath and try to keep the abuse to a minimum.

With all the stadium arguments and discussions over the last few months (and years) I always wonder why people are SO against simply having one big stadium in the city and having both clubs share. Why not?

The only answer I ever hear is just "We don?t want to fucking share with the RS". For me, this answer is not good enough. I know the feelings of fans are important but I?m also pretty sure that the fans of AC/Inter, Juve/Turino, Genoa/Sampdoria, Lazio/Roma, Bayern/1860 etc etc were all equally against the idea of sharing a stadium with their main rivals UNTIL it actually happened and they just got on with life.

Think of it, what do you get with one stadium:

- 50,000 - 60,000 capacity state of the art modern stadium
- costs are halved (as both clubs share)
- stadium would be in Liverpool city
- would be one of the top stadiums in the country and so would host other events (e.g. England matches, Champions League/Uefa Cup finals
- would bring in more money for Everton (and the RS)

Could even make it like the Allianz Arena and have it lit up in blue when Everton are at home and Red with the RS are at home. For all those immediately saying that it would be empty for Everton games - well try, cannot see it being full for Sunderland at home but you?d think it would be for the derby, Gooners, Chelski, Manure etc. This would also be a couple of years away at least anyway.

I know that many fans on both sides are against it, but I still think its a great idea and people would get used to it anyway once (if) it actually happened.

So for all you people wanting a solution for not going to Kirkby that would be viable (financially anyway if not with the support of most of the fans), please give me a reason other than "we don?t want to share with the RS".

EJ Ruane
32   Posted 06/10/2008 at 14:09:22

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BK is a proven liar.

However, regarding those of you still making excuses for him, let me say I understand TOTALLY your responses and consequently have no intention of raging against you.

And why not? Because you?re Homo Sapiens. And arguing in the face of overwhelming evidence is something ?HS? do.

So even though the following response would be the CORRECT one: "You were right all along, I was wrong. The facts and/or evidence was all there, I simply lacked the mental wherewithall to absorb them and come to the right decision. I now fully accept I was wrong and you were right".

I don?t expect for one second to hear it.
Jay Harris
33   Posted 06/10/2008 at 18:15:37

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I?ve said it before and I?ll say it again: Kenwright is a compulsive liar. Even when he has little to fear from telling the truth, he just can?t. That is why I?ve got no time for the man.

He cowers under the cover of "I?m just a fan like you" or "I?m only the chairman". His taste for lies and bullshit has set the tone at the club where you can't actually believe ANY statement the club makes.
Joseph Moore
34   Posted 06/10/2008 at 19:53:26

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Denis Richardson : Lets have a shared stadium debate. It’ll be the same negatives who vote against it.
Guy Wilkinson
35   Posted 07/10/2008 at 00:06:36

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Barry, this is the lamest conspiracy I?ve ever wasted my time reading.

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