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How to change the Everton Board

By Henry Jones :  24/01/2011 :  Comments (78) :
Dear fellow Evertonians,

[Please note that this is not legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.]

I am a qualified solicitor. I, like many fellow Evertonians, am very frustrated at our current predicament. I am especially aggrieved at the way our club is run. I could produce a very long list but what I find totally disgusting (apart from the lies) is the loss of money our club makes from fatal errors. These being:

1. The Kings Dock fiasco (millions lost ? please someone quote a correct figure);

2. The Kirkby ground move (millions lost ? again please someone quote a correct figure);

3. The failure to offer Dan Gosling a contract (approximately £4 million lost on fees);

4. The failure to stop James Vaughan playing for a second team in one season, something most football fans know means that the affected player cannot move to another club (approximately £250,000 lost in a potential loan deal to Celtic).

I am sure there are similar losses but my point is this:

The Directors at Everton are under a legal duty to the company, which is interpreted as meaning the providers of capital, that is the shareholders. As such, a director has a duty of care and skill to the shareholders. I argue that the Board's failure in the above matters (and others) constitutes a breach of their duty. This means that a legal case could be brought by shareholders against the Board. Alternatively, this adds weight to the argument that certain (if not all) of the directors should be removed from office.

Furthermore, the sale of our assets both being land and players suggests that we are in dire financial crisis. Some may even say that we are close to being insolvent. Former colleagues of mine worked close to a former chairman of our Board who was adamant that Everton should be placed in to administration due to the financial crisis. A certain individual (who is still at the club) refused to allow this and forced out the other person. This leads me on to the point that there is a liability for wrongful trading in relation to directors where the company is insolvent and they ought to have recognised that fact. Again this constitutes Court action.


The insolvency issue is harder to prove. However, the first point is much easier to prove and a case of breach of the fiduciary duty of care can be brought by shareholders of Everton. Furthermore, the shareholders can seek the removal of Everton directors. Although I am unaware as to who owns what shares, I assume there are enough private shareholders out there for an action to be brought. The shareholders can either commence a litigious action against the Board for breach of duty (this would create major headlines) and/or the shareholders could seek the removal of directors by Ordinary Resolution at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

I won?t go in to the ins and out for this but there is a solution for change. All it takes is someone to identify the shareholders who support our action and to commence some form of action. Although this will not change the ownership of the club it might force those owning the majority of shares to sell their shares.

Please note that for the sake of my legal career, this is not legal advice and nothing I write is meant to be construed as legal advice whatsoever. If you do require legal advice, I recommend that you instruct a qualified solicitor.

Is there anyone out there who wants and has the time to start some form of action?

Reader Comments

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Tony Stanley
1   Posted 25/01/2011 at 01:09:22

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I predict this will be the start of the snowball effect.
Rob Teo
2   Posted 25/01/2011 at 02:33:18

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From the sounds of it (and even though it's not "legal advice"), it seems like we do have a case on our hands if we do pursue it for removing the board.

I'm based in Melbourne, Australia, and I'm not a shareholder, so in terms of direct action, there's little I can do apart from contribute to discussions here and/or write letters to Ian Ross (Everton's PR lackey) that probably won't change anything.

However, I'd be willing to contribute where I can (editing, internet research, pamphlet design, etc). I don't mean to undermine your comment, Tony, but for there to truly be a "snowball effect", we need to take action.

I think it's safe to say that there are enough fans out there who are sick of the way the current board runs the club, and who'd be willing to contribute to some sort of class action suit or to participate in the removal of the current board in some way or other.

Not only that, it seems like we have the expertise within the community of Evertonians worldwide to really make this a reality.

Lyndon and Michael: is there some way a separate section could be created on the ToffeeWeb website that's dedicated to any action(s) aimed towards the removal of Kenwright and his buddies? I mean, talk of some form of action has been circulating on ToffeeWeb (and beyond) for some time now. It would be helpful if there was a webpage that was easily accessible from the front page of the website and which contained all relevant references and links on past history, ideas, actions, developments, etc, that could assist with the removal of Kenwright and Co.

Nonetheless, I guess the question that needs to be answered by us as a community first and foremost is: Are we prepared, truly prepared, to take the fight to them, come what may (especially considering there's probably a sizeable number of Evertonians who do not think Kenwright should be removed)?
Michael Coville
3   Posted 25/01/2011 at 03:39:39

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Well I am not a solicitor and in fact don't even live in the UK anymore but I can tell you with a high level of certainty that nothing will come of this.

To start with, any litigation would require both time and money. Who is going to provide the funds? And do we have the time for this to go through the courts before we are in serious trouble as a club? Who would pay the legal fees for the Board? Presumably the club, further weakening an already weak situation regarding finances.

Nice idea and has merit but the only way out for this club is for Kenwright to find a buyer. It will happen eventually since Kenwright is not immortal. Hopefully it will happen before the club goes bankrupt.

Eugene Ruane
4   Posted 25/01/2011 at 03:39:23

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My guess (and it IS a guess based on NO knowledge at all) is that they'd get the decision.

However to me the decision is not what's important.

I just like the idea of anything that gets the truth, - see Henry's 1-4 (AND the rest of the list) just for once, reported in the fucking Mirror or on Sky fucking news, or in any of the other putrid news organisations with their tongue up Bill's tea-towel holder.

Anyway, through sheer desperation, I would be happy to throw in 50 nicker into any 'fighting fund'.

"Everton shareholders sue Kenwright for neglect" - got to admit, it's got nice a ring to it and it would certainly wipe that smug, self-satisfied smirk off his fat, sweaty grid.

(Sun readers should look out for - "NIL SUE-TIS NISI OPTIMUM! King Toffee Bill Kenwright was yesterday chewed and spat out by Everton shareholders.." etc blah)
Michael Kenrick
5   Posted 25/01/2011 at 05:03:56

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I reckon there are two impediments to Shareholder action:

1) The impotence of the Shareholders Association.

2) The insurmountable fact that any shareholder-based vote against the Kenwright cartel will always be overwhelmed by the Kenwright bloc, which consistently wins such votes by a huge margin.

At least they did when the club engaged in such democratic tomfoolery, in the good old days of AGMs and EGMs.
Christine Foster
6   Posted 25/01/2011 at 05:43:27

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Over the past 12 months I have thought this through a number of times but can only ever see a scenario where either a board member joins with another and does not back BK and gains a working majority of shares to oust or change things.

For the record, point 1 & 2 are board responsibilities for which Kenwright and the directors are directly and personally responsible.

Points 3 & 4 are bad management issues (operational) for which Moyes and Elstone are responsible.

With respect to fiduciary duty of care, I think actually it is more likely that the directors may find that they are technically insolvent.

Interest rates will rise, as will the jobless numbers, (never mind the standard of football falling) all leading to higher borrowing costs and lower income. We appear to already be cost cutting so cuts in income or higher costs may well force the issue.

All a new owner has to do is wait.. it will get worse before it gets better.
Mike Green
7   Posted 25/01/2011 at 07:33:26

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Henry - at the top of the show you say you are a qualified solicitor then at the bottom you indicate you're not?

Which one is it?

Dale Hathaway
8   Posted 25/01/2011 at 07:49:22

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You want an easier way of doing this without trying to identify shareholders? Everyone avoid one home match! A home game at GP with only away fans will make more noise than a protracted court case and action would be swift!!!
Alan Clarke
9   Posted 25/01/2011 at 07:59:08

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Although there may be a case to answer in court, you'd have a hell of a job trying to convince a judge that pursuing King's Dock and Kirkby is a breach of duty by the board. The reason the board pursued these 2 ventures was to try and improve the financial situation of the club. In hindsight, they were 2 massive failures but what precedent would a judge set if they found the board in breach of their duty to the shareholders? No company would ever be able to pursue another business deal ever again in case it collapses and they're found in breach of their duty to their shareholders.

There is only one way to get rid of Kenwright - protest. Make our feelings known at games and highlight in the press what a mockery he's making of our club. He needs to be completely discredited and the rest of the footballing world need to see him for the bungling buffoon he is.

At the moment Kenwright is under no pressure to move aside. As fans we can put him under pressure. I don't think it will take too much to make him squirm and see him on his way.
Kevin Roberts
10   Posted 25/01/2011 at 08:18:10

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Dave #8 It doesn't have to be all the game maybe the 1st 15-20mins. Don't know if this is possible.
Alan Williams
11   Posted 25/01/2011 at 08:05:25

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Solicitor you say, well obviously not in business law then maybe some useless practice than runs a no-win, no-fee which, let's point out, are probably the gutter of the industry you're in. Doesn?t look good when I say blinkered things doest Henry?

EFC tried and failed on two ground moves for different reasons, the first being we have no tangible benefactor offering us cash as a reasonable rate (Gregg wanted control for SFX and a large return which would have reduced EFC earning potential).

Kirkby was a good business model just in the wrong place, I said it from day one it should have been located in Walton Park but all things considered I would still prefer Kirkby to nothing. EFC can?t loan out due to football rules, he needed match fitness so it makes sense.

You conveniently fall to mention the record transfer buys in three consecutive seasons, massive wage payout to players like Cahill and Arteta £4 million each per year! Sales of players like Lescott, Johnson, Rooney which yielded us revenue close to £ 60 million. The EFC Academy and work in the Community which are copied across the world for its excellence, why not mention positive things about our club?

The fact is simple and I return to your post EFC spends far more money then it gets in so year on year we have to sell or borrow on assets available which to us includes players and infrastructure. Unless this gap is bridged be a new stadium or a wealthy benefactor then our future looks dire it?s a mathematic certainly. That?s the reason why NOBODY both on the board or outside have ever wanted and even hinted in taking over EFC without this issue being solved.

To sum up my defence, the facts lie in the accounts and when published you will see we are sliding even further in to this hole. Changing the Directors doesn?t change a thing, the problem lies we are a big club in our hearts but in reality we are mid to lower Prem at best. EFC problems are far larger than the egos of the current Directors. COYB

Paul Varley
12   Posted 25/01/2011 at 08:29:16

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Whilst a court case may not be the answer. I feel it is time us fans made our feelings publicly known. It may be that I'm in the minority but I'm really not happy with the current state of affairs at the club. I have tried several times to pass comments on the Everton Website and they never post it so a debate cannot be started.

Firstly I think Moyes and Kenwright have previously done a very good job in stablising the club. Now I feel though changes must be made.

15 years since we last had silverware is not good enough. Finishing top 6 for a few seasons, FA Cup finalisits, high attendances at home, some European money and yet one of the poorest teams in the Premier League is not good enough.

Where is all the money going? Why is the debt still getting bigger when we don't spend? Why can Kenwright not attract investors yet over the years Newcastle, Man U, Villa, Leceister, Liverpool, Blackburn, Man City etc etc all have managed it?

I believe the reason we cannot find investors is because Kenwright is holding it up either through greed or something else. There is something drastically wrong at our great club and we don't get answers; I believe it's time now for either a demo at the games or chants for the board and Kenwright to step down. Moyes needs support our club needs investment. With things the way they are it will never improve.

Do you really want to tell your children that Everton were once one of the best teams in the land, in the 80s they helped dominate english football and then tell them that unfortunately we will never do it again? That, by following Everton, they are watching a team that will win nothing???

I'm calling on all fellow Everton fans to join the fight, get the board out, make Everton successful again. Lets not settle for also-rans anymore ? we are greater than this.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum means nothing but the best... Prove it!

Andrew Laird
13   Posted 25/01/2011 at 08:47:02

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As Alan Clarke #9 states it would be near impossible for a judge to set a national precedent for both points 1 and 2. How can these points not be argued equally and as easily as being in the best interests of the club? a non starter for me.

Having said that, something must be done. We as concerned fans who invest time, emotion and money into Everton FC need/want/are owed answers but are treated like the proverbial "shit on the soul of a shoe". A veto of Goodison Park is a start, it sets the ball rolling. This action would have to be publicised somehow so as not ot be misconstrued as an attack on the team or manager instead.

Time for the sleepers to be awoken from their slumber.

Kenwright, you have tried to silence us but now you will hear us roar. You will be made to feel like we do, uneasy, dejected and humiliated.

Tony I'Anson
14   Posted 25/01/2011 at 08:43:27

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I think the major frustration from fans is due to the signals (players out, none in), the silence from the Club, and leaving the submission of the accounts to Companies House to the last minute.

Football fans are not as naiive as people think. The truth will come out in the end, but I pray to our Lord that we have a knight in shining armour to help sort this mess out along with a global fan base, who have obviously been the sleeping giant that is slowly waking up. Fans can be reasonable and realistic as well as passionate dreamers. I fear for those yet to feel the wrath of an angry army of Evertonians who are slowly but surely building up a head of steam that will not be a pretty sight when the top blows off. Again, I pray to our Lord we win on Saturday.
Liam Reilly
15   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:03:08

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Only Shareholders can bring such a legal action as suggested above, but the majority shareholders all stand beside BK, so it's a non-starter.

a large scale match day demonstration however, once peaceful and organised, would attract the right kind of media attention. At the very least it would mean the board would have to answer some difficult questions.
Dave Lynch
16   Posted 25/01/2011 at 08:59:16

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Dave Lynch
17   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:08:06

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The club is not stable.

It is all smoke and mirrors, we havn't got a pot to piss in and my feeling is the fuse has been lit.

We all know the bastards across the park have a bigger debt than us but the one thing they have that we havn't is a solid buisness plan.

The club is a shambles and financialy bankrupt.
Howard Don
18   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:07:36

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Well said Alan (11) All these "board out", "sack the board" etc etc posters never have the answer about what to put in place when their desired coups take place. It's all knee jerk stuff which fails to address the real problem of where the finance is coming from to improve matters to a level above what the current regime achieves.
Alan Clarke
19   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:18:12

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Alan (11) and Howard (18) , if you believe the problem is not with Everton but the wider economy, why are other clubs not suffering the same fate? Sunderland is a grim part of the country with an industry that the arse has fallen out of. Bolton is a club with a small fanbase in a catchment area where far bigger clubs exist. How come they've attracted investment? Up until recently stoke were playing the likes of Macclesfield Town and Lincoln City in the league but they've still managed some big signings in recent transfer windows. And if you think it's all down to the stadium issue, you're completely deluded.

Our club is in a fincancial mess because of the way it has been run. Any other business in such a mess would have it's customers and shareholders asking quesitons of its directors.

I think we're the banking equivalent of RBS. Yes, we've been affected by the wider economy but the business dealings of an inept chairman whose economic gambles have not paid off are costing us massively. If only there were public bail outs for football clubs.

If we are struggling to find investment because of the level of our debt, whose fault is that? Who has run up this level of debt? How can Kenwright not be held responsible for that? He's the man in charge.

Unlike suggesting who might be a better manager than Moyes or might be a better right back than Hibbert, none of us have a clue who is out there who could do a better job than Kenwright. We can, however judge Kenwright on his record at Everton and it is so poor, he MUST be held accountable for it and there MUST be someone better at running Everton as a business than him regardless of whether they're a billionaire or not.
Jim Hourigan
20   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:34:17

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Could a starting point be a number of banners all saying "Kenwright Out" in all parts of the ground all simultaneously raised at a given time when he is in his seat ie 3.05. If we pick a TV match the impact will be immediate and could not be ignored.
Phil Bellis
21   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:34:44

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Howard, it's not our job as fans to "have the answer" - that's the Board's job. Do you agree they are not performing adequately?
I doubt you or I could run the country but equally sure we have opionions of what's wrong with the way it's being run
"...the real problem of where the finance is coming from.."; how about where the finance has gone and is going? On whose watch?
Sam Hoare
22   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:58:07

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Phil, surely thats what all these posts are about...trying to come up with an answer or solution.

I think Howard is right to point out that its all very well identifying flaws in the current regime but unless a better solution can be found then we may end up in an even worse position....
James Lauwervine
23   Posted 25/01/2011 at 09:40:49

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Just a suggestion for any boycott/banner waving - Fulham at home on TV 19 March. A game we will almost certainly draw and far enough away to publicise the event. The boycott idea would have more impact I'd say, particularly with Fulham only bringing their usual 25 people. "Lowest crowd for 30 years at Goodison", etc.
Anyone who has read my comments in the past would know I'm fairly pro-Moyes, though I rarely get to a game as I live in the South. I made the West Ham game though and many things people are saying started to make sense - it was a real shock. There's no substitute for going to the game to judge a performance, the TV often paints a rosier picture.
Alan Clarke
24   Posted 25/01/2011 at 10:01:05

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Sam, how are we supposed to know who is a good business man to take over from Kenwright? It's ridiculous to suggest we should come up with a name of a chief exec or chairman who could take over. Did Villa fans start hanging out banners saying "Ellis out, what about that Randy Lerner as a replacement when none of us have heard of him?".

Did Man City fans start chanting "Shinawatra out, are there any rich oil sheiks out there?". Phil is right, it's not our job. It's our job to realise the current regime is killing our club and demand some change.
Andrew Laird
25   Posted 25/01/2011 at 10:04:34

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Sam, we may also end up in a better position. Just a thought.
Ray Robinson
26   Posted 25/01/2011 at 10:10:31

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Alan, I'm not sure that using Bolton as an example of a club securing investment is a good one as I'm reliably informed that they could soon be the next Leeds - unless we beat them to it.
Amit Vithlani
27   Posted 25/01/2011 at 10:21:06

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Alan Williams - #11 - I think you are missing point. There may have been 60m provided to invest in the playing squad and increases in the wage bill but you cant use these facts in isolation.

On the transfer front, as debated on this site a few weeks ago, stats showed that since 2003 only a net GBP 3m p.a. had been spent on transfer...i.e. out of the entire budget the club was allocating only an out-flow of GBP 3m for the purchase of players...bearing in mind how important players are to the well-being of a club, the club was spending only approx 5% of annual most industries the average capital investment is 10% of sales...

On the wage bill, if I recall correctly we had the 10th highest turnover in the league and something like the 10th highest wage bill (someone please correct me if I am wrong). So whilst we were not under-spending on wages, bearing in mind we were hardly spending any transfer money its not like the Board were saving on transfers to pay out big wages and keep key players tied up - Steven Pienaar a case in point.

I dont believe a legal challenge will amount to much. If anything, it might scare off potential investors.

Real change will come (my guess) in one of 3 ways:

1 - An outward demonstration of supporter discontent, which the publicity hungry BK will be mortified with.

2 - Wrangling between BK and his backers

3 - Resignation of Moyes, who has kept our head above water without demanding more from the Board to match his ambition. I am an admirer of the job he has done over the last 9 years or so but if he was truly ambitious by now there should have been a public ultimatum issued - no one who is seriously ambitious can live with the stagnancy we have experienced this season....
Sam Hoare
28   Posted 25/01/2011 at 10:42:29

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Alan, what is ridiculous is assuming that a change will necessarily be a good thing.

Things haven't been great this season but we are still a Premier League club last time i checked, many clubs that have made the kind of sweeping changes you talk about have found themselves plummeting down the leagues as a result.

History is littered with people who clambered for regime change and got something worse!!

Andrew, i take your point. A change may well be good. I very much hope it would be. We just can't presume to know either way for sure.
Phil Bellis
29   Posted 25/01/2011 at 10:38:32

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I miss the old cushion-throwing days and have no idea how to get the "get real, we know our place, we're skint, we were worse under Johnson" support to take any action against the current Board; or who should replace the directors
I'm a project manager and appoint project colleagues on prior performance, demonstrated ability and availability
As regards helping the club financially, one idea often proposed here and elsewhere is to offer a rights issue with or without a vote at the (now-defunct) AGM
That has always been seen as diluting the existing Board's shares value and, therefore, a non-starter - bit selfish, I think

Howard Don
30   Posted 25/01/2011 at 11:03:15

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Alan (19) Phil (21) Yes I understand your points and my saying I don't believe in knee jerk solutions doesn't in any way mean I'm totally happy with the status quo, far from it. I'm a Moyes supporter, NOT an apologist or acolyte as some would phrase it, he has his flaws like any manager. I'd love to see the guy given a chance with decent funding so I'm not anti regime change, I just think shafting out the existing board (if that were possible, Henry's plan is pie in the sky if you ask me.) is to big a gamble without something concrete to replace it. Knee jerk actions often lead to chaos.
Alan Clarke
31   Posted 25/01/2011 at 11:52:20

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It depends on your perspective. I, and many others, think we're already on the brink of chaos.

It's patronising to say your fellow Evertonians are so ill-informed that they are 'knee-jerking'. This isn't knee jerking, it's been building for years. Ever since we finished 4th, Kenwright has let us down.

There is no way anyone is happy with the state of our club. To not hold our current owner accountable for that makes you as bad as Kenwright. And to use this excuse that we might end up in a worse situation with another owner is crap. I'm surprised anyone with that view ever leaves the house in case something bad might happen. There are people out there who can do a better job than Red Bill.

I feel my duty as an Evertonian is to make sure the club is preserved for my daughter's generation and generations after that. If you just bury your head in the sand and pretend everything's okay then you aren't just letting the rest of us down, you're letting down every future generation Evertonian. I feel sick to the pit of my stomach when I look into the future with Red Bill still in charge.
Sam Hoare
32   Posted 25/01/2011 at 12:18:37

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'I feel my duty as an Evertonian is to make sure the club is preserved for my daughter's generation and generations after that.'

Alan i sympathise with this. Of course i feel the same.

What will you say to the future generations if after a hasty change we end up controlled by a Ken Bates esque figure who bleeds us down to the second division?

I am not saying that we shouldn't consider change but i think we have to do so rationally and with an idea to what the alternatives are. Anything else is rashness.
Daniel Johnson
33   Posted 25/01/2011 at 12:22:47

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WHat we need is for the manager to come out and say he needs to buy and what to know why he can't.

But the problem is Moyes silence was bought by his nice contract from Mr Kenwright.
Dave Wilson
34   Posted 25/01/2011 at 10:48:28

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Some body pointed out that there was genuine anger amongst the Street end faithful on Saturday, this was backed up by another poster telling us how Phil Neville got short shrift from the paddock. I also witnessed quite few people around me (main stand ) directing their anger and frustration towards the Directors box.

The Evertonians have been incredibly patient, but I believe the events of this window will prove to be the final straw.

I`m not sure legal action will be required. a match day crowd is far more difficult to silence than a group of small shareholders.

Anymore days like Saturday will see an escalation of Saturdays unrest. The desperate to be loved Kenwright will not stick around to witness it
Roberto Birquet
35   Posted 25/01/2011 at 12:42:02

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The failure to offer Dan Gosling a contract (approximately £4 million lost on fees);

4. The failure to stop James Vaughan playing for a second team in one season, something most football fans know means that the affected player cannot move to another club (approximately £250,000 lost in a potential loan deal to Celtic).
to be fair, there is a bit of speculation on these two points. Some taken from newspaper reports that you DON'T HAVE TO believe.

Would we have got £4 million for Gosling minus losses on his wages while crocked? I doubt it.

Did Everton actually play Vaughan having forgotten the two-team rule? Maybe it was already decided Palace or no-one. Remember, as yet there is no new satriker, and as such Vaughan should not be allowed to leave.

Those specualtions aside, some fair points. But I would only cite King's dock, and Gosling. For the latter, I doubt it cost us £4 m, probably £2 m - still for us a fair amount; For me, Kirkby was a legitimate venture that was lost. But King's Dock was an unmitigated disaster that potentially will cost the Club far more than the supposed £4 m for Gosling.

Howard Don
36   Posted 25/01/2011 at 12:41:56

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Alan (31) Sorry I thought this was a forum for different views. Mine don't appear to chime with yours is all, no need to be offensive. I can assure you I've had much worse things than BK running Everton happen in my life and still manage to leave the house most mornings.
Paul Bristow
37   Posted 25/01/2011 at 13:01:34

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The first post states this is not legal advice, it should have also stated its not common sense. There is no legal case to answer and thats the end of it. Is the club badly run ? different question and one its impossible to know the answer to without access to all the info and thats never going to happen. Would we better with some fat cat backers, depends if its their money or borrowed ala RS or Manure.

The only thing we can all agree on its been a crap season and we need to buy some proven quality players. Everything else including this post is at best guesswork and at anidle speculation.
Gavin Ramejkis
38   Posted 25/01/2011 at 13:04:48

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Ladies and gents we have a match this weekend that's being televised at least on ESPN and with the visitors being media darlings IT WILL BE SEEN BE THE MEDIA, get your banners to Goodison this weekend. Kenshite Out.

Roberto DK was never a legitimite venture, it had a seriously flawed business plan and was sold on a bed of lies:

World Class Stadium - cow shed
Off Field Capabilities - erm yeah giving it to KMBC for free
Most Accessible stadium - if you walked or cycled ten miles

Others worth noting -

50k stadium reduced to 40 odd strangely because Kirkby only has 40 odd thousand residents so it could not possibly take the throughput, QED could never be expanded

Almost free - last guess was over £70m, where was that going to come from?

It was called in by the government who quite correctly spotted a bad plan when they saw iot and put it's miserable life to the sword.

The project itself cost the club literally millions in consultancy fees, I'd guess more than we have sold Pienaar for.
Paul Varley
39   Posted 25/01/2011 at 12:50:47

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there is a webpage of facebook- Evertonians for change- cast your support it you agree
John Nelson
40   Posted 25/01/2011 at 13:21:12

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For me the best thing to start the ball rolling would be a protest, similar to them dickheads across the park. I admit I cringed and laughed at them for doing it, but there is no doubting the point got across and changes were made.
John Nelson
41   Posted 25/01/2011 at 13:28:26

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Spot on Gavin.

I'll admit now I voted for Kirkby, but after it got fucked off and when the actual truth became evident in the aftermath, I was not only indeed made a complete tit out of for voting, but also my respect and support for Kenwright rapidly diminished from then on.

Time for a change Blues.
David Alexander
42   Posted 25/01/2011 at 13:21:40

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Point 1 your plan is to claim miss management and to change the board at the club - what then? do you have the skills to run the club? do you have the finances to fund us? Do you have any sort of plan for putting those in place? How exactly would everton be better off?

Point 2, If I was a banker responsible for the clubs debt I'd look at that turn of events as a pretty bad one, I might even call in my loans and make the club insolvent.

Point 3 if either you or the banks did push everton into insolvency we loose premiership points and find ourselves bottom of the league at the end of january, then relegated, our best players would leave for considerably less than their market value.
Point 4 is this - aside from a benefactor the only things that will keep everton afloat are a sucsessful youth policy that allows us to develop young players to sell at a profit, or a manager who can identify young talent buy it cheep and develop it for the benefit of the team and ulitmately a profit. That seems to be what this board have invested in with finch farm and what the current manager is very good at. Even if the club continues to be sucsessful at those things it may take years to put right the financial position of the club and the secure the funds for a proper stadium development. In the mean time we will have seasons like this one, and may have to step backward to move forward.
Roberto Birquet
43   Posted 25/01/2011 at 12:48:28

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Alan Clarke
Our club is in a fincancial mess because of the way it has been run. Any other business in such a mess would have it's customers and shareholders asking quesitons of its directors.
er, have you checked out the banks over the past few years?
Gavin Ramejkis
44   Posted 25/01/2011 at 13:51:36

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David with all of BK's track record for mismanagement, spectacular porkies and general shenanigans, who is to say potential buyers wouldn't come out of the woodwork. On literally dozens of postings on this very website the question has been raised time and time again, why West Ham, Blackburn, Man City, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Villa, Birmingham and many other teams throughout the country have all been bought and sold during BK's tenure.

Given the man's audacity and bullshitisms I have less and less reason to believe that Everton haven't been approached about being SOLD, not invested in for some ridiculous non-return but actually SOLD. Football is a globally marketed product especially the EPL, a club with significant pedigree that could potentially be had for a song must be attractive to a potential buyer be they black, white or green with yellow polka dots, as long as they are business people they will have more of an idea of turning coin than BK has proven not having.
Gavin Ramejkis
45   Posted 25/01/2011 at 14:11:31

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Roberto, banking is protected by the state using tax payer's money to prop the economy up it's highly unlikely that there will ever be any significant changes as the controlling powers all have vested interests in keeping banking going. If a customer is unhappy with a bank they have two choices - a matress stuffed with cash and no insurance or move to another bank which will differ in name only from an operating model perspective.

A football club will never be bailed out by the tax payers as they are privately ran companies with little or no effect to the general economy.
Oliver Molloy
46   Posted 25/01/2011 at 14:14:16

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Bill Kenwright is ultimately responsible for the fortunes and finances of EFC, but......we know that in the background we have green & earl who are most likely the guys giving the orders.
It seems that rumours are mounting now in the football world that the club is in serious financial difficulties..
Huge very basic mistakes have been made.
The dan gosling free transfer is inexcusable and no amount of spin from the club can defend losing us a load of money over who was responsible for contracts.

The best way forward is protest and let our board know that what is going on off the field is not acceptable and we should demand to know what the asking price for the club is.
Organised civil protest will do the trick in getting us some answers.
Dave Wilson
47   Posted 25/01/2011 at 14:38:00

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Nobody but Nobody wanted Everton when Johnson did one, thats why Kenwright was able to gain control for a song .

During that Kenwrights tenure our status as one of Englands elite clubs has gone , our stadium has gone into further decline and our debts have soared . . so why are you so convinced somebody wants to buys us now ?
David Stewart
48   Posted 25/01/2011 at 15:02:43

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Great to see that something may be finally up and running to try and organise some sort of change at Goodison.

They way I see it, the main problem is the lack of investment from the board to enable the manager (whoever that may be) to buy any half decent players to compete with the top teams. I accept at the moment that we ain't gonna match United, City, or Chelsea but what Moyes has had to suffer over the last few years is ridiculous.

So, for me, the main issue must be to put pressure on Kenwright and his hidden cronies to back the manager financially to compete. I have despaired of Moyes a lot of the time over the years but I believe if this campaign turns into a "Moyes Out" it will lose a lot of people who otherwise would be firmly behind it.

Let's get the board to back Moyes, if he fails with investment then that's a separate issue. So we concentrate on the board, and this struggle will not be over in a short time. It will be a long struggle. But as concerned Evertonians if we don't start and persevere then I'm, afraid the club will die a death of 1000 cuts.

So big kudos to the computer literate (counts me out) lads who have got this ball rolling. In the beginning we would be thought of as a minority of cranks but I believe that minority will grow to a majority. Early aims must be to get all the fan sites to be united in this action. As time goes by we can target the media and bombard the main board, players websites, Facebooks etc. It is time to go on the attack.

People may say "What's the point?) The point is, if you love Everton football you can't just do nothing and let the club fade away. Our mission statement is along the lines of :"Invest or sell NOW!!!!" Anyone who disagrees with this statement, ask them why? Media flunkies, ex-player flunkies... ask them do they think it's right the financial backing Moyes has had. Put the pressure on them to put pressure on the board we must corner Kenwright on this one.

As the late great John F Kennedy said, "Ich bin ein Evertonian"

Gavin Ramejkis
49   Posted 25/01/2011 at 15:08:18

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Dave Wilson, when Johnson left we only heard about the Kenwright takeover there is no proof whatsoever about alternatives. Since then the global brand and whole Sky re-invention has changed the EPL beyind anything it looked like in 1999. Would you have said back then that Man City would be owned by uber rich Arabs? Would you say today that Blackburn with regular gates similar to Wigan are such an attractive proposition yet they have been sold?

We have a situation where the alternative is what exactly? Doing nothing is what BK has done for over a decade and look at the business, leave BK in control and what will happen Dave? We all know BK is potless, have done for a number of seasons now, just saying it and doing nothing is not the answer, change is the answer no matter how painful as the alternative appears to be bankruptcy which will see Everton out of the EPL with no visible quick return.
David Hallwood
50   Posted 25/01/2011 at 15:57:40

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Have to side with Alan Williams #11, we are in a bad place at the moment with no sign of the 7th cavalry coming anytime soon. It?s bleedin obvious that the club haven?t got a pot to piss in, so why in the dog-eat-dog world of business aren?t the vultures circling? where is the rogue director doing what Kenwright did to Johnson?. All of this leads me to believe that the club is considered toxic and have done the same sums as Alan and come up with the same conclusion.

For the record, if it meant it would take the club on further, like Eugene Ruane#4 I?d donate to a fighting fund or even show my arse in Lewiss? window. But I don?t think I?ll be getting naked any time soon
Dave Wilson
51   Posted 25/01/2011 at 16:01:41

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Jack walker invested millions into Blackburn he gave them a stadium that was always going to be large enough for them and Man City were handed a magnificent stadium on a plate so no, its no real surprise.
But we`re Evertonians so lets just talk about us.

I`m as alarmed as you about the current situation, I would dearly love to see a wealthy or even capable business man step in and solve our problems. The reason I asked the question is the most likely senario doesnt seem to be getting addressed.

People think things can't get any worse, but they can. What if the fans turn on Kenwright, I mean really turn on him, and drive him from Goodison... and then the imaginary que of people lining up to take control doesn't exist? What happens if nobody wants to know?

What would be the next move? ... he`d still have control.
Gareth Fieldstead
52   Posted 25/01/2011 at 17:20:57

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All interesting points and of course I would like to give my opinion! If Everton had of had a better start to this season then frankly nobody would be calling for Kenwright to sell up.

Secondly and I have made a similar point on a different article on this site, when Moyes has had money to spend he hasn't spent it well. The Rooney fee being a case in point: Beattie, Van der Meyde, Krøldrup, Valente and Davies alone cost £20M, we got £12M of that back and not one of those players made any sort of impact.

When Lescott was sold, Bily and Heintinga were bought for nearly £16M yet, when Moyes has a full strength team to choose from, both are on the bench at best.

Most teams only buy when they have sold; Villa were only able to secure Bent's signature through the sale of Milner to City. Spurs' big signings came from the sale of Berbatov to Utd. With the exception of City most clubs no longer can go out and buy whoever they like as they end up like Portsmouth and Leeds.

Moyes could have sold players in the summer for positions he desperately needed, ie central midfielder, winger and centre forward. Instead, he chose to go into the new season with what he had, playing the same old boring negative tactics and we have the results of that decision before us.

If the press and players are to be believed there was proper interest in Jagielka, Arteta, Heitinga, Peinnar, Saha, Yakubu, Rodwell and Billy. All could have been replaced and if Moyes had of bought wisely those positions needed most would have been filled.

I am no Kenwright apologist, in a lot of ways he is as bad as what Marsh and Johnson were but Moyes shouldn't be allowed to hide behind our financial position for his own inadequacies.

Alan Clarke
53   Posted 25/01/2011 at 18:30:02

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Dave Wilson do you really think the investors we've seen go to smaller clubs didn't enquire about Everton first? Do you not think during the whole Kirkby farce Kenwright turned people away so he could make more money selling the club with a new stadium? Do you really think no one has been interested in Everton? You are very naive if you think that.

Also football was different when Johnson went, it was nowhere near as lucrative as it is now hence why only Kenwright was interested.

I really don't think we have any option now, we're fucked anyway if we stay with Kenwright in charge. It's not that we're just going to stay a mid table side, it's that we are heading towards administration. That's why everyone is starting to turn on him. I just don't see what other action we can take than demand Agent Bill goes.
Robert Dunckley
54   Posted 25/01/2011 at 19:33:21

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Sack the board or calls for the board to be removed/replaced.

Are you joking guys, who the hell will you replace them with, if you want them out so badly then provide an alternative to what we already have?

All the conspiracy about rejected bits is utter tosh, where are these people now?

Nothing but conjecture and hearsay from people once again
David Israel
55   Posted 25/01/2011 at 19:42:40

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With all due respect, Henry, I think the route to getting them out is not via the courts.

First, as pointed out above, it would very difficult to convince a judge (unlesse he were a Blue;-)) that serious mismanagement occurred in the instances that you state. Secondly it would take money and, especially, time, and the latter is a commodity in very short supply.

I'm afraid it will have to be an ugly fight, people will have to be prepared to boycott matches, constantly to chant "Out with the Lot!", and similar other methods.

Still, thanks for you interesting piece.
Gavin Ramejkis
56   Posted 25/01/2011 at 20:08:10

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Dave, the trouble with denial or reluctance to change is that if you never try you'll never know.

Jack Walker's millions got them what exactly in comparison to Everton? He bought the title once many many years ago and they've done nothing since, they have a smaller stadium, a lesser squad, despite his spending and donation from the grave they still can't average attendances anywhere near 30,000 yet found buyers.

Robert, the trouble with hearsay as you point out is that its mere conjecture with no compelling evidence. Oddly enough that sounds exactly like what BK has fed the fans for the last decade; conjecture, hearsay, lies, smoke and mirrors and theatrical guff.
Robert Daniels
57   Posted 25/01/2011 at 20:17:34

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When Kenwright takes his seat against Chelsea, we should all bring out banners with "Kenwright Out", at the same time, as someone has already suggested.

And at the same time, turn your backs on him while standing up for five minutes; the media will be interested.
Sam Fitzsimmons
58   Posted 25/01/2011 at 20:32:56

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"A potpourri of conjecture, supposition, innuendo and surmise."
Brian Waring
59   Posted 25/01/2011 at 20:54:05

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Robert (#54):
"All the conspiracy about rejected bids is utter tosh, where are these people now?"

"We are talking to three parties at the moment, but we had talks with people last year and when it came down to it, they didn't have the money." ? Bill Kenwright.

Robert, where are these people now?
David Israel
60   Posted 25/01/2011 at 22:07:27

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One thing which doesn't cease to surprise me is the amount of adulation BK still gets from some quarters. I do not remember any Everton chairman, not even the great Sir John Moores, getting such heaps of praise and worship, as if he were some kind of Joe Stalin waving from the Kremlin Wall (with a gun behind each hysterical supporter's back).

I understand all the recognition and respect BK got for getting us rid of the Agent, and I also cheered when he took over. But the record speaks for itself, and one mustn't forget that your neighbour's new car is also a factor in how poor you feel ("neighbour", in this instance, refers to people like Blackburn, Sunderland and Bolton, all "unfashionable" clubs doing very nicely indeed).

BK himself has said that he would sell, has said that the club needs investment and he can't provide it. We've all seen all sorts of clubs being sold since he's been the chairman, so, not to put too fine a point on it, he's not really a very good salesman, I daresay.

To show him in no uncertain manner that we've had enough will hopefully improve his sales acumen. Let's do it, then!
Ste Traverse
61   Posted 26/01/2011 at 01:23:57

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Garethe Fieldstead. So if we'd had a better start to the season "nobody" would be calling for Kenwright to go?

What a load of shite. Some of us have been calling for Kenwright to go for fucking YEARS lad.
Liu Weixian
62   Posted 26/01/2011 at 04:24:55

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I don't know if you have minority protection of shareholders under UK law, but unless a concerted effort to change things is made using whatever means are available to stakeholders, I am afraid that Kenwright will remain at the helm and continue to destroy the club.

I know that I am going to get lambasted for this, but I sometimes think that going into administration and/or getting relegated will be the next best thing to happen to us, the best being purchased by some benefactor with business acumen. Going 'Pompey' will surely bring all the mismanagement out in the open and force Kenwright and his cronies to answer some very uncomfortable questions.

With regards to the 'Who will buy us then?' question, as long as Kenwright is in charge and 'looking for investment 24/7', we will never find a buyer. If people are willing to invest in Blackburn and Birmingham, I don't see why nobody would be interested in Everton, a club with a proud history and who are superior in terms of league standings.

Meanwhile, I urge all season ticket holders to give the upcoming FA Cup tie a miss. Let's show our useless and unaccountable board that the fans are not to be taken for granted.

Alan Williams
63   Posted 26/01/2011 at 08:16:32

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The problem with these issues is it always becomes a personal attack on BK, that?s why no protest of even a wave of support has ever backed the selfish minority.

Whether you like him or not, this weekend is not the time to protest, first thing we must do is retain our place in the Premier League; thereafter, you can have your protest.

What you must also realise is your actions will devalue the club short-term; long-term... who knows?

BK has made mistakes, even he admits that, but this is about EFC and, unless we have a Plan B or even the wind of a new investor, the whole protest serves no purpose.

I was appalled with the actions of the students in London but at least they had a goal which was to stop the vote in the Commons so their actions could have aided a change of mind. Whereas strikes like the BA staff and London Tube staff are completely motivated by personal politics and selfish greed with the interest of the company secondary, I do hate that red shite Tony Woodley!!

My point is simple, protests are fine but they must have an end product and other than moving BK aside (he would still own 28%) none of us have the answer to solve EFC losses year on year. Everton FC is bigger than any one of us individually; it?s a way of life ? our way of life ? so be careful with it. COYB

Dave Wilson
64   Posted 26/01/2011 at 09:24:12

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I wanted to leave other teams out, especially Blackburn, because they cannot be compared to us, they are a much smaller club in a smaller town. However, Jack Walker left them on a sound financial footing with an perfectly adaquate stadium, two very good reasons why a "smaller" investor would be interested. We on the other hand have suffered over 20 years of inertia.


When your imaginary buyer gives Kenwright his pound of flesh, he will still have a £200M stadium problem to solve and he will of course inherit the ever spiraling debt... at what point do you expect the purchase to become "lucrative"?

It always amazes me how people who claim they won't ever believe a word Kenwright says, suddenly want to hang onto his every word when he tells them he is inundated with inquires... what's all that about?
Alan Clarke
65   Posted 26/01/2011 at 09:39:25

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It's not the selfish minority though Alan. It's the majority of Evertonians who are sick of the situation we're in. This transfer window has really brought it home. Your post reads like Kenwright is blameless. He should be made accountable for this mess and if it gets personal, who cares? It should get personal if that man is ruining our club.

Also, this weekend is the perfect time to protest because it's a cup game, it has nothing to do with the league or "preserving our league status".

To just sit tight and do nothing will still see Everton on the road to ruin. That is why we must take action. To be rid of Kenwright, Earl and Green will see Everton on safer financial footing. Liverpool, Villa, Sunderland, Birmingham and Blackburn are all benefitting from new investment so for every bad example there are better examples. I think at the moment it's worth the risk because we're heading into oblivion anyway.
Alan Clarke
66   Posted 26/01/2011 at 09:54:01

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No Dave, I don't believe bullshit Bill for one minute, but I think you have your head way up in the clouds if you think no-one has ever come in for Everton.

Your attitude scares me because we're screwed if we stay as we are.
Dave Wilson
67   Posted 26/01/2011 at 09:59:48

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Fair enough Alan, You have your opinion... but, in the absence of any evidence whatsoever, I`ll stick with the opinion that successful Businessmen generally steer clear of money pits.

This window is proving the final straw for many Evertonians, a growing number want Kenwright gone... but protest? Na, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

If you believe the majority will participate in protest, you do not know the Evertonian. If you believe banner protest protests will magic up a buyer then go ahead, knock yourself out.

If you are right I`ll be the first to congratualate you.
David S Shaw
68   Posted 26/01/2011 at 10:31:14

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While all responsibility lies at the directors, just like the players can hide under the manager when not doing well, a couple of the above errors highlighted are due to poor staff employed.

The staff at Everton, Elstone, Bowen, Shelston, Ward are not upto scratch, and have about as much go in them as Nyarko or Bilic had as players for us.

Rory Slingo
69   Posted 26/01/2011 at 11:45:28

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#42 David,
If you are accepting of the fact that we might have to take a step backward to move forward, then doesn't getting points docked, relegated, starting from the ground up with a fresh new board, new manager, new players etc. also fall under that category?

I'm all for any course of action that would relieve Bill Kenwright of his trainset. We're never gonna win anything under his stewardship anyway, so what difference does it make either way? I'd rather take a chance on change than put up with the status quo.
Gareth Fieldstead
70   Posted 26/01/2011 at 15:32:42

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What a shame Steven (61) that anybody else's opinion results in you insulting them. There is a great website with people of your mentality that's known as BK ? you may want to try it out.

You say you want BK out but to replace him with who? These so-called rich benefactors just desperate to buy the club and turn us into a successful team are lining up where? Do you honestly think not one of them would have gone to the press to complain about BK? For instance wanting to keep his so-called train set, how much he actually wants for the club, or the numerous clauses that he has inserted for any potential buyer that so many clued-up fans seem to know about?

If Everton were challenging for a Champions League place there is no way these discussions would be taking place. When we got to the final in 09 despite the fact we had so many injuries and the only signing being Fellaini nobody was preparing a protest at his stewardship, other than you and your mates obviously.

Alan Williams
71   Posted 26/01/2011 at 18:14:03

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Alan 65 ? Believe me it?s the minority when it comes to protests. I will state it again ? what do you hope to achieve form it? A loss on Saturday, player morale follows... then we hit a relegation battle... really good stuff isn?t it?

BK leaving GP or not even attending doesn?t change a thing; we still have no cash and no investment so all you would have done is air your dirty washing in public and we all lose. The problem is bigger than BK now and we have to deal with this reality; blaming or even mob rule is just ridiculous and only benefits the protesters feeling better.

Man Utd's owners have been treated terrible yet the company is run well and is moving forward as a successful business but the blinkered fan can?t see that. Man Utd in the next year will own all the land around Old Trafford, about an additional 10 acres, which has cost them £50 million plus, what owners do that unless they wish to expand?

Emotion is fine when we go the match but in business it?s a weakness, all open-minded fans can see EFC issues and we have done ok considering, yes just ok. Things can get a lot worse than what we are feeling today ? just chat with any Sheffield, Leicester, Portsmouth, Leeds, Ipswich, Southampton, Charlton, Middlesbrough fan ? and many more you wish to add.

Be careful what you wish for ? it may come true; on your head be it. COYB

Tommy Coleman
72   Posted 26/01/2011 at 19:28:02

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Alan Clarke,

You are banging your head against a brick wall trying to get through to some Evertonians.

Everything is great, Bill is great, Moyes is great, change is bad. Standing still is safe, is best.

God help us if we take a chance and win something as the rising expectations may undermine the safety.
Dale Hathaway
73   Posted 27/01/2011 at 00:05:56

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You see, here's the deal. We are all lead to believe that our beloved club is up for sale. Where's the proof?

Kenwright has destroyed our club, left a manager in charge who is incapable of taking us any further. Our club will be in ruins.

Why have the accounts taken so long to publish? Scared that we will be the next Pompey? We all want action but of course we are Everton. We don't do anything about it.

Avoid the games, we're in debt anyway. Remember Chelsea were once sold for £1 and look what they transformed into!

Neil Adderley
74   Posted 27/01/2011 at 00:37:47

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Dave Wilson #47:

'Nobody but Nobody wanted Everton when Johnson did one, that's why Kenwright was able to gain control for a song.'

A couple of links for you:
Rod Jarvo
75   Posted 27/01/2011 at 11:09:56

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A rumour, and yes it is only a rumour but apparently the blues are not far of being put into administration.

Anyone else heard this?
David Israel
76   Posted 27/01/2011 at 19:06:30

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No, Rod, no one here has heard about it.
Stephen Graham
77   Posted 27/01/2011 at 21:55:32

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I didn't hear it either.
Colin Fitzpatrick
78   Posted 28/01/2011 at 08:34:18

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Alan Williams [63] "I do hate that red shite Tony Woodley" Really? I'm not doubting that you may hate him for some reason but you will find that he's a staunch blue. I've noticed you often make these errors in your posting, some like the aforementioned are innocuous enough, others I have my doubts about. I?m unaware of your background, your posts have a certain air of authority about them, perhaps you are / were a teacher? I?m often just on the verge of being about to agree with you then you make a statement which defies belief; here are just a couple that I can remember recently: Kirkby was a good model - it wasn?t, but if you care to explain this factually, not using discredited club rhetoric regarding affordability, availability and deliverability I?d be extremely interested. The other mantra of yours that springs to mind is that Everton simply spend more than they earn - they don?t actually, they run a very tight ship or should I say have run in the past, according to the published accounts, but maybe you can also clarify what you mean by this over spending claim?

I get the feeling that you feel the need to subtly defend Bill Kenwright at all costs, all these sound bites such as ?emotion is fine when we go the match but in business it?s a weakness? and ?be careful what you wish for?. I have to admit my belief is that Bill Kenwright shouldn?t be chairman nor should he be on the board, his actions, I believe, have forfeited that honour, I?ve previously explained the reasons in more detail. You?ll never find me calling him names or anything like that, believing he?s the devil incarnate or hating him, it?s just that I fully believe that during the next board meeting if you were to stick your head out of the door and call for Betty the tea lady and install her as chair, nobody would know the difference; in fact she?d be better as she perhaps wouldn?t be taken in by shysters and in doing so cost the club millions!!

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