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By Tony I'Anson & Mike Owen :  02/02/2011 :  Comments (52) :

The idea of a supporters trust for Evertonians has been propelled forward by the positive response to the original article.

When we showed Supporters Direct the replies you had posted, their first reaction was: "Wow!"

Many thanks for those replies. Obviously, many questions were raised and points made.

Below are our responses to some, but not all, of those questions. But first, some more general points.

We are not going to rush. By that, we mean set up a trust in a week or fortnight. We are not supporters of a small club in a small city or market town. We support one of the greatest clubs in the history of the game and, as a result, we have a large and geographically scattered fan base. That gives us extra problems to address ? and extra opportunities to exploit; rest assured we aim to fully exploit developments in technology in order to address these opportunities.

Please remember we are trying to set up a trust that will become an intrinsic element of Everton Football Club. One of our core objectives is to build an organisation that will secure the future of the club. We intend to build a vehicle and get it on the road in such a manner that many, many people will want to climb aboard and help to keep it on the road. The road may be difficult at times but whoever said being an Evertonian is the easy option.

When the trust is launched, there will be a public meeting in Liverpool, possibly as early as March. In the meantime, please keep the ideas coming. We hope to unveil the trust website a few weeks before launch.

We would like to hear from people with specialist skills. Please email with your name, location, skills, ideas and please tell us how often you get to Goodison these days (for the purposes of arranging meetings). If you don't have a specialist skill, don't feel unloved. You're needed as much as anyone else.

We intend to issue an update next Tuesday, after the post-match discussion has subsided.

Now, for some of those particular responses:

The first point is that the Trust would be equally owned by its members. No matter how much money each member puts in, each registered member would have no more than one vote.

It?s encouraging that many people would like to contribute more than the suggested £2 a month. Such a low figure was suggested to make it open to all Evertonians. We are sure we could have higher voluntary rates.

As for accounting for the money raised, we will publish on the website regular summaries of the number of paying members, cash received, costs incurred, PayPal account balances, Bank Account balances and number of shares bought.

We are aiming to encourage ALL members to sign up via PayPal to avoid handling any cash.

We would like to confirm that no one gets paid for their time and, if the truth be known, it has already cost people a considerable amount of time and their own money to get to this stage.

The Trust would be legally registered as a mutual society and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

The Trust will produce independently audited annual accounts. It will be endeavouring to provide regular updates to members through meetings, newsletters, emails, social networking, podcasts and film.

The Trust would also be linked to Supporters Direct to tap into their years of experience and expertise.

Thanks again

Tony I?Anson & Mike Owen

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

David Hallwood
1   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:35:47

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Gents I was one of the many posters that stated that I would only be too happy to sign up, but obviously you will have to issue a mission statement stating what the trust intends to achieve
John Audsley
2   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:36:35

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Tony and Mike

Great news, very keen to be involved in any way possible and very happy to donate

You are undertaking this in the right spirit and i will help all i can
John Audsley
3   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:41:13

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Also, had to laugh at the WOW comment.............
Kenn Crawford
4   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:45:10

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Tony & Mike although i live in Australia if there is anything i can do out here please let me know. and thanks for all your time and hard work.
Austin Heath
5   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:56:44

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I am whole heartedly on board too - something has tobe done to stop the rot, if not this season, then the next. .
Matthew Lovekin
6   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:50:11

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Sounds great, but it'll be good to have a few definate statements (costs, proposals, membership, etc) BEFORE you start taking money off people.

It needs to be official, factual with proper memberships (PIN numbers?) before fans know exactly what they are letting themselves in for.

Also, it may seem silly, but why does there have to be a public meeting, and in Liverpool? All that seems to do is alienate fans like myself that live 270 miles away. Even worse, fans that live in USA or Australia or anywhere else. We have no chance of appearing at the public meeting. Why not just a properly run website? With modern technology, there can be instant chat messaging or webcams or something similar so fans like myself can join in and not feel like we are being punished.

Apart from those points, I am extremely interested!!!
Neil Millichip
7   Posted 02/02/2011 at 20:54:49

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Fantastic news. Everton FC needs a radical overhaul if we are to survive as a top flight team and the idea of a supporters trust is definitely the way forward.
Bob Parrington
8   Posted 02/02/2011 at 21:39:11

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Having floated this idea on this site about 18 months ago, I'm in! We've done it before with an amateur club (so small scale) here in Australia.

Good Luck. I agree, it's best to take a little time and get the foundations right.
Christopher McCullough
9   Posted 02/02/2011 at 21:48:12

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Sounds good. What sort of specialist skills are relevant?
Glen Anderson
10   Posted 02/02/2011 at 21:51:17

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Tony & Mike - I really appreciate and respect what you're doing. You can count me in.
Steve Guy
11   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:12:05

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Would echo the request you make for specialist skills, what are you looking for and how near to Liverpool do you have to be to realistically apply thee skills ?
Mark Wayman
12   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:12:13

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Thanks for keeping us updated.

I'm still interested.

As long as there are no pretend trips to Hollywood for further investment ;)
Pete Lavvaf
13   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:13:04

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After all that has gone on with our club (especially over the last month), this is finally something to get excited about again. This could potentially be the very start of elevating our club back to it's rightful position and I for one want to be a part of it.
Col Noon
14   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:22:09

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So far so good . I am still more than interested!
Mike Green
15   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:25:06

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Good effort! Well done for taking it steadily - you can do things quickly or properly but rarely both together. Can't wait to see the next instalment,well done.
Tom Fazal
16   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:36:15

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I'm very interested.

However, as Matthew #6 said as someone who now lives in Canada it would be hard for me to get to meetings. As a lifetime Blue who lived in Liverpool for 33 years, near Stoke for another 12 and went to more games than I could possibly remember, my passion for the Blues is undiminished and I feel I care as much about the Club as those fortunate to attend the current games.

It irritates me when it is sometimes suggested on this site, that people like me are somehow second class citizens in conversations about what might be important for the Club simply because I now live abroad.

I try and get to one game a year if I can - met my brother,( he lives in Sydney) in London for the semi final against Man U, arrived Friday back at work on Monday, co-workers thought I was mad, but they are not Evertonians, it was too important to miss.

I support you in taking time to think it through, it's too important. It may help you manage skills volunteers if you could identify what you may need, will probably save you time in the long run.

Long may this idea roll - thank you.
Matt Garen
17   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:55:49

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Great idea and thanks to the Tony and Mike for advancing and developing the ideas that have been bandied around for weeks. Round trips from Cardiff to Goodison are very infrequent do to the usual financial contraints however support, financial or otherwise is something I would be more than willing to help with.
Pete Kelly
18   Posted 02/02/2011 at 23:28:41

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Great idea, and thanks to Tony, Mike and others for putting their time and effort to get this up and running. Something needs to be done to truly revive the fortunes of our beloved club and hopefully this is the wake up call that is needed.
Visits to Goodison are far to infrequent due to the usual financial constraints (livin on the Isle of Man it aint cheap getting to games) but if there is anything that can be done to take things forward, count me in
Lee Courtliff
19   Posted 03/02/2011 at 00:03:37

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Count me in lads.
Jay Harris
20   Posted 03/02/2011 at 01:08:03

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Tony and Mike,

Well done so far.

Very positive beginnings.

Please ensure you take legal and taxation advice especially for whoever the trustees will be as they will be personaaly liable.

IR love to look at any new money streams (but if they know it's for EFC we may well get charitable status).

It's a long and winding road but I'm sure you will see it through.

The amount of positivity it is generating will give it long legs.
David Barks
21   Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:28:08

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Living in the U.S. Might I suggest we look up the Green Bay Packers style of ownership. It is community owned but with majority ownership. Thisis not like an Ebbsfleet United system at all. Not going to go into it but in my opinion this would be an interesting system to investigate.
David Stanfield
22   Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:54:49

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Though a 'sheep-shagger' born in rural Suffolk, been following Everton since 1966, saw my first game, away at Ipswich (we won, 3-0) in 1969. The club's in my blood - ask the missus - and though I now live in the U.S., I would be happy to help in any - limited - way I could, if only to stave off the real sense of apathy/dread I feel descending around the club. Thanks.
Sega Kana
23   Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:46:18

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I'm a Malaysian and there are many diehard supporters here who will join in. I think 100 gbp / year is affordable for us here. My suggestion is to have payment via credit/debit cards as well. I don't know if paypal is used here. And of course online meetings/streaming via SKYPE and Webchat to connect all members as someone suggested earlier. Cheers and good luck.
Roman Sidey
24   Posted 03/02/2011 at 02:55:26

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Our logo could incorporate the letters MOKO! - Moyes, Osman, Kenwright, Out.

This is just a joke. I am only joking.

Full support lads.
Liu Weixian
25   Posted 03/02/2011 at 04:57:17

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Sega has a few good ideas. Paypal may not be available in some countries; having different modes of payment will definitely help supporters contribute to the Trust.

I suggest we set up a main site (linked to major supporters sites) to facilitate communication among all Evertonians. As for the meeting, it can be a physical gathering in Liverpool, with video-conferencing set up for non-UK supporters.
Erik Dols
26   Posted 03/02/2011 at 07:43:18

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I think PayPal can be used in any country as you can put money in your PayPal-account through your credit/debit card. But from experience I can tell you that the more options there are for people how to pay their share, the more people will do so. It won't hurt to put up an option to pay with credit/debit cards.
John Brennan
27   Posted 03/02/2011 at 08:02:46

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Lets hope the snowball slowly becmes an avalanche in terms of a giant pick me up for the club and the fans (and well overdue).
Well done to you both for getting the engine kick started!
Perhaps we can use Toffeeweb somewhere amongst the administration, as we all know how reliable it is. We dont want too many different areas/sites as things could get confusing trying to decide where to go for what info.
Keep things simple and easy to follow. I am a civil servant, and sometimes when new departments are set up, they can have a tendency to mushroom out of control and become too top heavy and unwieldy.
Not in Liverpool, but regard myself just as much an Evertonian as any other, but no objection to a physical meeting there, as our "spiritual home" must be Goodison. Full details of the meeting will no doubt be placed on the web almost immediately afterwards, so I wouldnt regard myself as somehow being snubbed, or "missing out" in any way.
Again, perhaps this is where Toffeeweb can be utilised?
Derek Thomas
28   Posted 03/02/2011 at 07:58:01

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The election of Officers, should, must, IMO, be done by the sort of random computerised method espoused by Frederick Pohl. in ' The Greening of Bed-Stuy '

Any one who actively seeks the election to office automatically disbars themselves.

Also maybe feeder orginisations / to run fund raisers? run by say Dick in Perth, Christine Foster in Brisbane etc etc.

As many as is feasable all around the world, raising as much or as little as the can, but still only one vote so cash is not king.
Mike Woods
29   Posted 03/02/2011 at 08:56:52

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Get it done, "if you build it, we will come"

Can't wait COYB.
Jamie Rowland
30   Posted 03/02/2011 at 09:29:36

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A great idea in principle - flawed by two pouts potentially...

1. Shares, Everton does not (and is not allowed to) trade openly. Shares are limited and not public. How will the trust buy them if nobody wants to sell them? Everton has 10,000 normal shares of 1p, that are fully purchased. Therefore, a current shareholder has to want to sell before they can be bought.

2. What happens if the club, again a limited company and therefore a legal entity in their own right, refuses to acknowledge the existence of a supporters club?
Jamie Rowland
31   Posted 03/02/2011 at 09:33:32

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You have to have answer these two points otherwise I can't see what the trust would do with the money or potential that we are all excited about.

If the club refuses to recognise it, what then? If te trust cant get a share because try are not approved or nobody wants to sell, what then? What of surplus money collected?

I realise that This my sound pessimistic but all of this has to be answered with certainty and not washed over - members will want something, of not shares then at least a channel to the clubs boardroom...

I'm all up for it, I have even offered my services to the cause but fear it could be a non starter without these things being in place
Phil Bellis
32   Posted 03/02/2011 at 09:55:07

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Tom @16 ? Don't ever be concerned about the second-class supporter jibes. No matter where you live, if you're an Evertonian, that's it.

I think what annoyed a lot of us match-goers during the Kirkby Divide was when we were being told by Blues in (eg) Wagga Wagga and Pretoria that they think we should leave Liverpool.
I remember asking one such ex-pat in Westerm Australia, in reply to charging me with being parochial, how leaving Goodison for a shed in Knowsley would affect his match-day experience.

I still remember being looked down on in the 60s beacuse I come from Liverpool 8 (wtf is Toxteth?) and was constantly being reminded by other Blues that "Everton is a North-End club". Now that puts things in perspective! eh Tom?
Anyway, let's see how the Everton family can all help Tony and Mike in their efforts,

Lee Jamieson
33   Posted 03/02/2011 at 11:16:17

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You have the support of the Everton family boys and by god your timing couldn't be better. Still with you and looking forward to the next step!
Stephen Kenny
34   Posted 03/02/2011 at 13:16:16

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It's excellent to see something however big or small it ends up, being done to change the situation.

It would be excellent if the eventual conclusion to this was the trust having a seat on the board for a nominated member!
Dennis Stevens
35   Posted 03/02/2011 at 17:12:39

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Excellent to see this edging forward. However, as mentioned above, please take your time & get it right. For the sake of the club this needs to be seen as a long-term process, as it won't be a quick fix for all that ails or once great club. Best of luck & keep on keeping on!
Micky Norman
36   Posted 03/02/2011 at 17:27:46

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The People's Club. And for that reason, I'm in. One worry, what happened to the Black Watch in the latter days of agent Johnson?
John Crawley
37   Posted 03/02/2011 at 19:29:27

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Great stuff guys, just a couple of quick points. You are going to have to have bank accounts so give people as many options to pay as possible including setting up standing orders etc. Its worthwhile looking at different models of investment/ownership. Keep up the good work this is the most important thing that could happen to Everton Football Club in the long term.
James McGrady
38   Posted 03/02/2011 at 20:44:42

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Jamie @30 "a current shareholder has to want to sell before they can be bought."

That's what bullshitter Bill has been offering since he became chairman!
Kase Chow
39   Posted 02/02/2011 at 22:32:18

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Still interested
Colin Fitzpatrick
40   Posted 03/02/2011 at 21:39:08

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Jamie [30 & 31] ? I can partially understand your concerns but I feel Tony and Mike haven?t specifically committed themselves to simply putting all the trusts money into Everton shares. You?re right when you say Everton shares aren?t traded openly but they?re always available either through Blankstone or other channels. It should also be remembered that simply purchasing shares, as the current directors have done, in the absence of a new share issue, isn?t an investment in the club, it?s simply a personal investment.

My understanding is that, whilst supporters trusts purchase some shares, the modern approach is to utilise the trust's money in a protected asset that will benefit the club and the trust in perpetuity. This could be in the form of financing and owning a section of a redeveloped or new stadium for example. Chelsea fans, through Chelsea Pitch Owners, own the freehold and the pitch at Stamford Bridge.

The club may well have some initial opposition, they?re doing such a great job at the moment why would they consider fans could improve the situation? But this trust idea, where fans unite under a single democratic organisation, can become a movement that simply can?t be ignored; particularly if the members of the trust come up with tangible solutions that the board have clearly failed to do.

Would the board really want to engage the fans in a fight or in discussion? I think the latter and I wish those that become involved all the best. As Churchill once said [not the fuckin? dog] ?It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.?
Kevin Tully
41   Posted 03/02/2011 at 22:06:40

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Go for it fellas.

You will always find some people who are looking for problems with a scheme like this. I suggest if you have a negative perspective towards this, then don't try to put anyone else off.

Any problems can always be ironed out, a brilliant idea and you can count me in.
Jim Lloyd
42   Posted 03/02/2011 at 22:28:21

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Well, I have reservations. I don't think Kenwright and his crew will have bugger all to do with us.
But bugger the reservations, something has to be done. Even with my doubts, for the faith of our fathers who founded our club... I'm in. Good fortune to this enterprise.
Jim Jones
43   Posted 03/02/2011 at 23:00:32

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Well done lads, pleased at response so far from "The family", with you 100%. Waiting for next development.
Jack Henderson
44   Posted 03/02/2011 at 23:59:31

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I'm certainly in, though the level of payment needs to be very flexible and easy to change both ways. For example, I am currently a student and therefore don't have too much available cash. I could afford a few quid a week but would like the flexibility to pay more or less as I please, as upon graduation I will either have lots more expendable cash or simply dole money to live off in this bloody country.
Steve Smith
45   Posted 04/02/2011 at 00:12:54

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I'm up for it, will Bill Kenwright be welcome as a member?
Eric Myles
46   Posted 04/02/2011 at 07:04:47

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Steve #45, Kenwright won't be able to afford the 2 Quid a month subs.
I hope it goes ahead this time and doesn't falter like the initial initiative 2 years ago.
Kenwright OUT.
Vincent Steele
47   Posted 04/02/2011 at 09:43:13

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I'm in.
Liam Reilly
48   Posted 04/02/2011 at 10:50:59

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BK will likely reach out to this Supporters Trust and finally end that 24/7 search for investment.
James McGrady
49   Posted 04/02/2011 at 23:18:54

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Colin @ 40 makes very good points.

I hope people dont think that putting money in and we will soon be owning the club! United and Liverpool fans tried this and didn't even get close.

The trust will be best suited at trying to assist the club with ground improvements.
Derek Thomas
50   Posted 04/02/2011 at 23:14:40

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I know it's a little bit cart before the horse... but what is the exact status of Goodison Park? (Not structurally.)

Is it 'sold' or is it 'mortgaged'? Who owns it or who owns the mortgage?

How much was it sold or mortgaged for?

And more to the point, how much would it cost to 'buy it back'?

So, cart before horse.

Should our major aim be to retire debt, the big ticket high interest drains on our budget?

We've maxed out both our Visa and Mastercard. The trust's 'windfall cash' could pay this off.

On a sneaky note, could we buy Goodison, spiritually our home, our heritage, out from under Bill and the board and waggle 2 fingers at him at the same time?
Mark Stone
51   Posted 05/02/2011 at 11:19:55

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This is a great idea - count me in. I do have some concern with Paypal as a platform for transactions, as I believe that the costs of using it are high (how much would they take per £2+ paid in?). Might it be wise to explore other options that make more fiscal sense ? where hopefully large sums of money are concerned? I'd be much happier setting up a standing order or direct debit to a standard business account.
Dave Brooks
52   Posted 06/02/2011 at 16:49:30

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Still in.

I?m a little busy this week but will try, next week, to send you details of whatever time I could give you (free), my CV (so you can see if I?m better at making tea with sugar or without) and some kind of brain dump regarding what I see (IMHO) as the key points of what you?re doing.

All the best ? Dave.

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