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Crowdfunder for Everton FC

by   |   19/07/2014  Comments (31)  jump

Over the last 100 years or so, many people have talked about fans buying Everton Football Club but, to be honest, the logistics were unmanageable.

Now, however, websites like Crowdfunder would make such a buyout feasible. You could set up a Crowdfunder campaign to raise £300M, with say every £10 spent getting the investor one share in the club. If it fails, no-one loses anything; if it succeeds, I'd like to see Blue Bill argue his way out of selling to the fans.

All it really needs is a group of people prepared to take up the challenge who would instill enough confidence in the fanbase to make them part with their money. I would want to see a legal brain, a business brain and a PR brain at least.

Could Crowdfunder be a pathway to fan ownership of EFC?

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Reader Comments (31)

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Jim Knightley
1 Posted 21/07/2014 at 01:46:11
It's utterly infeasible given the amounts involved, and the logistics.
Derek Thomas
2 Posted 21/07/2014 at 01:16:52
To be honest, this was what I thought Tony l'Anson's Trust Everton was going to be like and, despite all the work by Tony and the others involved, it has, for many reasons, edged it's way in to the 'Too Hard' basket.

The theory (as I saw it) was great, the big picture tempting: 100,000(+?) Blues put in as much or as little as the can afford, but with 1 man 1 vote (as used to be the case I believe up to 1938) and in no time at all 'We' would have a significant wedge and not to put too finer point on it, fuck Bill and Green and Earl and all the others right off good style — sounds great in the pub or on the live forum at 6 pints past 10 at night...

But then, as Tony maybe found out, in the cold light of day, it isn't feasible. We're talking Hollywood here, but there would be no Jimmy Stewart to sell the dream to us.

So we do get (think of a number) and we do pay out the supposed 𧵄M; what do we do then??? Well, I don't know jack about running a Multi-Million-Pound business, I would like to think I could, I mean how hard can it be? If Bill can bluff it, why can't I.?? So we hire people... no, but I know a man who can... It's all spiraling out of control as I type.

Short version: It 'could' happen; I would like it to happen... I want to believe, but...

Si Cooper
3 Posted 21/07/2014 at 02:02:29
Wouldn't that allow a consortium of very wealthy self-interested individuals to piggy-back on the funds provided by masses of true supporters to gain control of our club?

May as well just get fans to pool their money for a transfer pot and hand it over to the current board with strict proviso that it be used to bring in top quality players voted for by those who have contributed. That way, at least you would be making sure your money was used to increase the competitiveness of the team.

Chris James
4 Posted 21/07/2014 at 02:01:20
I think buying the club outright would be nigh on impossible, these sites usually top out below $10M, but I think it's not impossible that we could look to buy a chunk of the club back for a fans trust.

A group could for instance look to acquire Goodison Park or potentially raise enough for a stake in a new stadium.

I think you need to get to 㿀-50M to make any really serious dent though, so if you averaged out at 㾶 a fan you need 2,000,000 fans. If we had 2M fans prepared to pay at least 㾶 a share then we'd likely have more money in the first place.

Terence Leong
5 Posted 21/07/2014 at 05:44:26
Much as I'd like it to happen, this can only be driven by a team with dedicated resources, to put out a framework and to provide leadership on the whole process.

Immediate key areas (no expert on this, but the fact that I can think of this means that there are probably countless other issues):

1. Even if we collect the money, who forms the trustee/board to decide how to use this money?

2. The monies collected cannot be a one-off, as the oneoff is good enough to only settle the immediate, ie, buy the club from the owners. There must be a steady stream of monies collected every year, to fund your transfers, upgrading of facilities etc – The very things we are expecting our board to do each year. Can we do that, and do we have a leadership that works this out?

3. We need a leadership to decide who/when to hire/fire. So if we decide the current CEO is not doing his job, there must be a due process for someone to make the decision etc.

Tony I'Anson
6 Posted 21/07/2014 at 08:01:28
If you can make it, come along the EFCSA forum on 4 August. The Trust Everton presentation will cover how it proposes to use this type of technology as part of its infrastructure.

Derek #2, please take a look at www.trusteverton.com: Trust Everton wants to act as the club's landlord, not take over the club. The rationale for this is also going to be covered on 4 August.

And it's not Tony I'Anson's Trust Everton. It will belong to each and every Evertonian who joins.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 21/07/2014 at 09:44:36
Tony, due to false expectations, guilty on all charges, my bad as they say; you deserve a medal for even attempting it. I know it's 'Ours' and not 'Yours', sorry about false labeling, lazy writing. Though I, in my arrogance and ignorance, DO want to take over the Club (fat chance)...so much for world domination.

[Sends back white Persian cat to Blofeld.com]

Gavin Ramejkis
8 Posted 21/07/2014 at 10:49:01
Little bit of a naïve pie-in-the-sky article. you can't buy something that isn't for sale. Black Bill is looking for investment – not to give up the trainset, no matter what crocodile tears he shows or utter melodramatic guff about his blue credentials.

The majority shareholders also have it stitched up in that, if one of them wanted to bail, the others need to vote to agree the price. We know these carpetbaggers are only interested in a massive profit. They have had enough money out of the fans and Sky already for their pet project with nothing from their own swollen coffers in the meantime.

Not a hope of me helping them to a bigger retirement than they already have; for those reasons, I am out, my friends.

Peter Laing
9 Posted 21/07/2014 at 13:03:17
I have to share Gavin's feelings on this issue. Somebody once called Bill Kenwright a snakes oil salesman – I wonder why?
Paul Andrews
10 Posted 21/07/2014 at 13:12:23
Peter Laing,

I believe the Snake Oil Salesman's solicitor is considering legal action for that slur on their character.

Ste Traverse
11 Posted 21/07/2014 at 13:24:42
The 'Trust Everton' bollocks was an absolute flop so I couldn't see this Crowdfunder thing taking off and raising 𧷤M.
Edmund Burrows
12 Posted 21/07/2014 at 13:29:51
A friend of mine who knows Bill Kenwright is sure that Bill does not own Everton. He thinks that Lady Grantchester owns Everton and that Bill is her man. Any one else heard this?
Mick MacManus
13 Posted 21/07/2014 at 13:53:42
What happens when the raised money has been spent? Do you envisage further rounds of funding or hope the club will be self-sustaining after for ever more?

A better target to it raise money to set up a trust and buy Finch Farm, thereby freeing the club from excessive interest payments / rent.

Phil Walling
14 Posted 21/07/2014 at 14:01:42
Limitless funds can be raised via a BVI Trust at a mere 15% interest rate. That way you know the guys you are dealing with!
Jay Harris
15 Posted 21/07/2014 at 13:58:25
I think Trust Everton was set up with something like that in mind Mick.

It is to Tony I'Anson's and colleagues' credit that they have shown initiative and put quite a bit of legwork in but my feeling is there is not enough trust in Kenwright for many supporters to be willing to put their hard-earned into the club while he is in charge.

And as Gavin said, there is not a cat in hell's chance that Bill and cronies who have the controlling interest in EFC will sell up to supporters.

Paul Gregg stated that Bill had set up the acquisition of the controlling interest in EFC in such a way to make it very difficult for a takeover.

They even set out to discredit and destroy Blue Union and banned Dave Kelly from a meeting.

With over 㿀 million a year going into unexplained "other operating costs" and their 㿀 million initial investment now being worth arguably more than 𧶀 million, why would they want to sell up to supporter?

Alan Williams
16 Posted 21/07/2014 at 14:19:59
I actually find the concept quite interesting but sadly Premier League football has moved on so much that the concept is redundant if you want to compete at the top.

Trust Everton dealing with tangible assets such as Finch Farm and Goodison Park is a practical approach but I don't see how you can sustain investment from the fans after their initial donation. Yes 'donation' as you're likely not to get a return short term so it's more a sentimental investment that most of us would definitely consider as a one-off.

Finch Farm is now owned by the Council so it's unlikely they will sell and Goodison Park is the only fixed asset the club has so I can't see them selling that as the money raised is only an equivalent of Ross Barkley's lower leg... so again not enough capital to make a difference. What is there to stop Everton owners doing a Coventry if times got hard? Then trust Everton would be left with low-value land that would need millions spent on it just to make it available for re-development.

I think it's great what Tony and his team are looking into... but football as a business at the top level is completely floored because 80%+ of all its revenue is paid in wages to its staff and this causes massive problems when you need to set aside large Capital Expenditure over a 5- to 10-year period as the "wages investment" lends itself in theory to how much you have spare and the better you do on the field the more that expenditure eats in to any "Cap-Ex" expenditure, hence why having rich owners is a benefit as they Cross Guarantee that difference – be that in player purchase or new Stadia.

So, basically, in my opinion, owning the club ourselves would put us in exactly the same crossroads as our current custodians face. Everton need to go the next level and this concept in my opinion is more suited to a football club facing administration as opposed to one that is looking for a new stadium and Champions League footy. Great idea but a decade too late.

Patrick Murphy
17 Posted 21/07/2014 at 14:44:20
Edmund (12) I don't think that is very likely at all according to the 'Wikipedia' pages

In 1994 Lady Grantchester and her sister Janatha Stubbs were given a 40% stake of Everton Football Club by their brother Peter Moores who had inherited the shares from their father Sir John Moores. She sold her stake in the club to Peter Johnson in 1997, the same year she retired from the board of Littlewoods.

Gavin Ramejkis
18 Posted 21/07/2014 at 14:35:56
As much as I admire the concept of a helping hand landlord for Bill and his crew, I worry that – even if that came to fruition – it would merely ease the spotlight on them and strengthen their grip, freeing up more money to disappear into the BVI shaped "other operating costs".

Edmund (#12), that sounds like an urban myth story which just clouds the fans' minds, I have had to remind plenty of fans and supporters when they rage about Grantchester just sitting on the board and doing nothing, like the other millionaires, that he isn't on the board and is just another shareholder, and one that doesn't even have majority shareholder status.

Likewise, the likelihood of Lady Grantchester, the family matriarch, owning the club is pure fantasy given BK borrowed from Anita Gregg via Paul Gregg to buy the club, then shafted Paul whose shares were bought by Earl purportedly using a Green funding mechanism in the BVI namely BCR Sports.

Other than numerous calls to Knowlsey Council during Desperation Kirkby, Earl hasn't shown the slightest iota of interest in Everton and hasn't been to the ground in at least 5 years.

If you want to see any change at Everton, you need to cut the cancerous Chairman and board loose first; all else is just a bandaid.

Phil Walling
19 Posted 21/07/2014 at 16:12:53
Reports today indicate that Randy Lerner has now reduced his price for the sale of Aston Villa to 𧵎M - stadium included.

That news seems to indicate that any hopes BK had of getting a similar sum for his beloved Everton have evaporated.

Looks like we are stuck with him for all time !

Paul Andrews
20 Posted 21/07/2014 at 16:18:13
Jay Harris,

Great post.

Gavin,

On the button, as always.

Joe Clitherow
21 Posted 21/07/2014 at 16:39:11
Jim KnightleyÂ’s first post is the correct one.

There are no problems buying shares in Everton FC, you just need to find a buyer willing to sell. You can do this through Blankstone Sington who can purchase shares for you.

There is nothing at present to stop fanbase investment buying into the club. At 㾶 a "share" though, you need between 135-150 fans clubbing together to buy a single real share in the football club, of which there are 35000.

There are about 23000 or so season ticket holders, some of whom (like me) are also shareholders, which I would suggest is the core group who in real terms actually put cash into the club on a regular basis. In terms of the percentage of nominal Everton "fans" (i.e. those who declare their club is Everton when asked) who are prepared to actually put cash into the club in this new way, I have no idea what this is, but to get the figures you quote, I donÂ’t believe there are the total numbers in the world.

On a much smaller level of fanbase, but also with a much smaller target figure, this same proposal has just failed to raise the required funds to purchase Doncaster Rovers, and you can read from that episode all of the other obstacles that a scheme of this nature has to overcome to satisfy all of the requirements for purchase.

The main reason though, in my opinion, is the maths simply donÂ’t stack up against the fanbase. In fact, in lots of ways, the average turnstile-turning fan is way down the priority list in terms of generated revenue for a Premier League club, Sad, but there it is,

David O'Keefe
22 Posted 21/07/2014 at 17:07:18
Jim Ryan, a plastic surgery millionaire, was using crowdfunder to buy back Doncaster Rovers. So that method has been tarnished.

I'm not opposed to the establishment of a supporters trust. I am against paying Bill Kenwright's asking price.

David S Shaw
23 Posted 21/07/2014 at 17:42:24
A more reachable goal would be for fans to raise money to rebuild one stand at Goodison Park, perhaps the Main Stand or the Gwladys Street. Buy up any necessary houses on the street to begin with.

Still not an easy project, but surely easier. I reckon with a good transparent plan for all fan investors, we'd do quite well.

People see buy Everton FC and just dismiss it as unfeasible from the off and therefore don't pledge.

Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 22/07/2014 at 00:55:25
Phil Walling, maybe we should raise 𧵎M to buy Villa and then change the name to Everton. Wouldn't be the first time in history the team and fans en masse have fled a shitty owner.
Brian Hill
25 Posted 22/07/2014 at 06:12:01
David O'Keefe,

Didn't someone from One Direction just buy Doncaster? Perhaps there is an Everton supporting boy band billionaire out there somewhere..........

Matt Traynor
26 Posted 22/07/2014 at 07:01:07
Brian #25, apparently he didn't. He was trying to raise ٠m by selling off access to himself for 㾸,000 a pop for 10 mins, 𧶲 for a "selfie" with him. Surprisingly he got to 50% of the target – didn't think prepubescent fan girls were into football, but I guess they pressured their fathers etc.

Unfortunately for Mr Tomlinson, he hadn't realised that a failure to reach the target was a condition of their purchase, and so Doncaster will have to go in Another Direction.

Brian Hill
27 Posted 22/07/2014 at 07:18:45
Thanks Matt,

Maybe now my three girls will support Everton! If they could tell the difference between football and a barrel of fish. However, the good news is that we shall be seeing Mr Tomlinson in the flesh at the Cape Town Stadium next year. Can't wait!

Patrick Murphy
28 Posted 22/07/2014 at 07:44:28
I was thinking about the amount of money that FIFA has spent on white elephant stadiums in South Africa and Brazil and that led me to the idea why don't the fans who are involved with Trust Everton approach FIFA and ask them to help rebuild Goodison Park.

FIFA could own the stadium but let the club use it on a permanent basis. Now I realise that this plan is doomed to failure but given the historical importance of Goodison Park as the first purpose built football stadium in the world and its role in the 1966 World Cup etc it has to be one of the few places in the world where it has a legitimate call on FIFA's funds. What's the old saying if you don't ask you don't get. Probably a silly idea but you never know!

Brian Hill
29 Posted 22/07/2014 at 15:36:01
Patrick, what do you mean, "White elephant stadiums"?!! Didn't you read my previous post - I am going to see One Direction at the Cape Town Stadium!! To what better use could it be put!?
Patrick Murphy
30 Posted 22/07/2014 at 15:56:54
Fair enough Brian - but you get the gist of my meaning, some of the stadiums in Brazil and possibly South Africa are going to be white elephants unless of course a top boy-band decide to use it as a venue to warble away to the young pop fans like yourself! :)
Brian Hill
31 Posted 22/07/2014 at 17:17:35
Patrick, on a more serious note, I do agree with you. The Cape Town Stadium is virtually useless. One of the local teams uses it for their home games and is lucky to attract 2000 fans.

It was built at the insistence of FIFA, otherwise Cape Town would not have been awarded a semi-final.

The maintenance costs generally exceed the income. Hence One Direction and others. Our eldest girl went to see the delightful Mr Bieber there last year which I managed to avoid at the last minute.

But I can't wait for 1D just to see my girls excitement.


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