Green accused of being 'shadow director' at Everton

Monday 17 October 2016  53 Comments  [Jump to last]
Embattled tycoon Sir Philip Green was today accused of once being a shadow director of Everton in the House of Commons in a Culture, Media and Sport Committee on the governance of football.

The notion was put forward by Chris Matheson MP, the Labour MP for Chester, a season-ticket holder at Everton and one-time regular poster at ToffeeWeb before he ran for political office.

Addressing Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football Association, Matheson raised the subject of the murky "offshore entities" involved with football clubs that have been regular fodder for discussion on these pages in recent years, particularly since Everton began taking out loans with Vibrac Corporation.

He went further by suggesting that Green was involved in other financial matters at Goodison Park, including player transfers.

"However, a previous director and, in fact, the previous owner of those shares, Paul Gregg, says he wasn't paid for those shares that were transferred to Robert Earl, by Robert Earl or even by BCR Sports... by Sir Phillip Green who was not registered as a director at Everton.

"And I understand that Sir Philip Green had something of a role of shadow director at Everton, including having PWC conduct an audit of the club and summoning the chief executive and the team manager to BHS headquarters to discuss transfer budgets.

"If someone has paid for some share through someone else and through an entity in the British Virgin Islands, but isn't a director, would that a problem?"

Two videos of the committee are available at

» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (53)

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Peter Laing
1 Posted 17/10/2016 at 22:36:47

Matheson said Philip Green met with former Blues manager (Martinez or Moyes ?) and chief executive Robert Elstone to discuss transfer activities. Matheson brought up the subject of offshore entities involved with football clubs.

The Club have always denied having any undue involvement with Green and at last year's AGM in November Elstone rebuked a question on the matter, seen by many as an all time low in his stewardship of Everton.

The whole sordid affair of Green and the Vibrac arrangement will continue to leave a stain on Everton and all those connected with it, namely Kenwright and Elstone. How both individuals remain on the board given the influence of Farhard Moshiri is anyone's guess.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 18/10/2016 at 01:02:00
The truth will out; it's taking it's time but I long for the day when everything's revealed and people get whatever they deserve, good and bad. Roll on that day.
Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 18/10/2016 at 10:24:52
Looking at those clips, it would seem that the guys who are supposed to 'look after' the game are at best naive and have no idea about the financial side of the game. Delegation of powers is usually management speak for abdication of responsibility if things go pear-shaped.

The FA are more interested in selling the product than governing the sport and that has created a wild-west type environment where anything goes as long as it benefits the profitability of the 'game'.

As for Everton FC, whilst everything is probably legitimate and above board, there are questions to be answered as to who paid for Robert Earl's shares and perhaps even about our new 'owner' Mr Moshiri who appeared at a very opportune moment, given the situation surrounding a certain yacht-owning, retail magnate. I hope that Mr Moshiri is the real deal and not another 'vehicle' that Mr Kenwright is using to maintain his hold on the club.

Chris Williams
4 Posted 18/10/2016 at 16:41:21

Have a look at because, apart from some good well research articles, there is one 'the power behind the throne' which gives a fair bit of detail about this matter. Then make your mind up.

I've been told he's been doing the same stuff at West Ham since Kirkby failed and they were going for the Olympic Stadium.

Colin Glassar
5 Posted 19/10/2016 at 08:21:48
Will we see our Eternal Leader and Sideshow Bob behind bars some day?
Dave Williams
6 Posted 19/10/2016 at 10:02:19
I don't quite see the issue here – if we have borrowed from an offshore company and if Green is behind that company, what are we supposed to have done wrong?

It is not illegal to do that and if we did it, then the money borrowed was presumably used as working capital by the club, which again is totally legal.

Green's reputation has taken a battering lately but I don't understand why EFC is being dragged down by some fans as a result of an alleged association with him. There are far more dubious characters around clubs than him!!

Thomas Lennon
7 Posted 19/10/2016 at 14:12:27
At a guess I imagine that, if loans are taken out by a board member without his fellow directors knowing about his connection with the loan company, that would be dubious– possibly fraudulent. But a matter for the board rather than the police.

If Phil Green had influence over a football club without declaring that interest, he would at the very least have broken current FA regulations but what else? If he invested money and made a profit, did he pay all his taxes? If he conspired with another board member to achieve that profit, perhaps that board member is a conspirator... but, if all was done in the (private) full knowledge of the board, it isn't easy to see a criminal offence being committed?

The answers to this, and many more questions, may never be arrived at (paraphrasing SOAP 1977).

Patrick Murphy
8 Posted 19/10/2016 at 16:29:11
Nothing to concern ourselves with then.

Paul Brown ✔ @pbsportswriter
Premier League insist looked into ownership of #efc when Moshiri bought stake, found no evidence of Philip Green acting as 'shadow director'
3:47 PM - 19 Oct 2016

However, this report by Gregg O'Keefe in the Echo states that Sir Philip had no comment to make when asked about his role at Everton.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 19/10/2016 at 17:51:48
Thomas it is not just against FA regulations to act as a shadow director, it is against the Companies Act guidelines.

It is more serious in insolvency situations but nevertheless still puts a cloud over the club but more so the individual.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 19/10/2016 at 18:24:32
Didn't Kenwright call Phillip Green a magician in that infamous meeting with the Blue Union?

Silence is golden, and I wouldn't expect Green to break the golden rule just yet!

Darren Hind
11 Posted 19/10/2016 at 19:23:06
He is a magician, Tony.

Have you ever seen a more polished now-you-see-it, now-you-don't?

Deceitful, underhanded fucker. No wonder Bill admires him so much.

Martin Mason
12 Posted 19/10/2016 at 20:45:50
And which laws did he break in his dealings with Everton? Perhaps we should understand the financial benefit he gave to Everton when we were in an existential struggle. Crooked tax avoider, shady dealer? More the better for me.

Shadow director? Of course he was and so what?

Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 19/10/2016 at 20:51:53
Martin (12) That's an interesting view, but I don't think too many would agree with you.
Darren Hind
14 Posted 19/10/2016 at 20:56:59
Wish somebody would talk me through the "financial benefits he gave to Everton"...
Martin Mason
15 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:02:53
True, Patrick, but we tend to discuss issues based on emotion rather than knowledge of what actually went on and very few have a clue about what actually went on.

I say only one thing. If laws were broken, then let's know about it; if Green did anything to the detriment of the club, then let's know about it. If he provided finance at good rates, then let's praise the bloke for helping get us where we are now from a hopeless position.

Patrick Murphy
16 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:07:43
Martin (#15),

It was a hopeless position that Bill found himself in and it was allegedly Green who helped him out. That doesn't mean it was a completely hopeless position for Everton FC.

Thomas Lennon
17 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:10:00
You said it Jay. Companies Act guidelines... Not actual rules then?

(Paraphrasing Pirates of the Caribbean 2003)

Chris Williams
18 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:15:53

Have a look at

The power behind the throne.

It may give some insight...

Peter Laing
19 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:19:39
Martin – why the secrecy then? Why was Robert Earl installed as a proxy director? Why did Wyness sign a silencing agreement? Why did Elstone refuse to answer questions on Green at the AGM last year?

Sir Philip Greed, no friend of Everton. The local Echo reporters have been complicit to the cover up, tragic really given the vehement campaign that they endorsed and supported to rid Liverpool FC of the Cowboys Hicks and Gillette.

Andy Crooks
20 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:22:07
Martin, I know you like facts before you will reconsider your views and I doubt that anyone here can provide them. However, I will not praise Green. If he helped get us out of a hopeless position then I would suggest that it was not without benefit to him.

Now, I expect that you will think that he is entitled to benefit from his investment. Fair enough, but I will not praise him for it.

In my view he is an odious creature and I believe he will be brought down.

Martin Mason
21 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:30:42
Peter @19, there was no secrecy; you had no right to know. That isn't meant to be argumentative, only fact.
Jay Harris
22 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:38:00
Perhaps if someone looked into why unexplained operating costs jumped from £1M to over –20M a year and why Wyness was given hush money, we may be a little more enlightened.
Martin Mason
23 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:44:33
Andy, Green won't be brought down, believe me. He has upset the elite but he's still massively rich and very much one of them, that is why we call him 'Sir'. He was very instrumental in our survival, we take it for granted but it wasn't guaranteed.

EFC, like all football clubs, has been run by rogues and Green is just one of them.

Peter Laing
24 Posted 19/10/2016 at 21:58:37
Martin, as of tomorrow, old Mr Greedy may no longer be referred to as 'Sir'.
Ciarán McGlone
25 Posted 19/10/2016 at 22:26:39
Martin "the facts" Mason... Please lay out in detail the "facts" you use to come to the following conclusion:

"He was very instrumental in our survival."

Phillip Green is a parasite.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 19/10/2016 at 22:48:03
So, if Green is a rogue, Martin, what does that make Kenwright, if he was secretly in bed with him?

Did he sell his soul, because his other sole had holes in them?

Bobby Thomas
27 Posted 19/10/2016 at 23:01:51
Martin Mason,

You have no knowledge of the inner workings of the club. You therefore cannot comment.


Garry Corgan
28 Posted 19/10/2016 at 23:29:06
Common sense prevails here. If Green had no involvement, both he and the club would simply say "Philip Green has no involvement." Neither party have ever made a straight denial.

Common sense also says that if everything was completely 100% above board, he would have been a registered shareholder and probably a director. It's the hiding of his involvement that stinks.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 20/10/2016 at 15:37:06
Chris Williams (#18), thanks for that link which led me to Colin Fitz. Part two, if anyone hasn't read this, then I urge them to, especially Martin Mason and others who agree with Martin. Not many, I know on this particular issue, and if any Everton fan, in the future, tries to tell me that Kenwright was for the good of Everton's future, I will refer them to Colin's article.

Thanks again to Chris Williams and for Blue Union and their supporters for their fight against the Kirkby ground proposal. Without them, it is quite likely we'd be stuck supporting Everton at this God forsaken hole in Kirkby, not the town I assure you, but the football ground in Kirkby.

Chris Williams
30 Posted 20/10/2016 at 17:28:05
It's quite a website, Dave, with some interesting and well researched articles. The one about Philip Green, or the Billionaire Spiv as he was called in Parliament today, is extremely well researched and documented. I have little doubt that he was the driving force behind Destination Kirkby to turn a few bob once planning permission was granted and the club increased massively in value.

Nice man.

Jamie Crowley
31 Posted 20/10/2016 at 18:43:19
Listening to reports here in the States, this guy sounds like pond scum.

Just sayin'.

Martin Mason
32 Posted 20/10/2016 at 19:41:39
Peter@19, there was no secrecy. There was no right to know so there could be no secrecy

Ciaran @25, you really do struggle with comprehension don't you? We survived and he was part of it. Can you join the dots? For personal gain of course but that's no law breaker.

Please, please don't reference Colin Fitzpatrick's rantings as fact. He's a sensationalist and he has no more access to the inner workings of the club than any other fan.

Seriously, like all of you, I know nothing about the financial shenanigans associated with EFC over the years but, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it was all above board... and if it wasn't, then who gives a shit. Who are we to moralise?

Green and Kenwright have faced no court of law over illegal dealings and are therefore still innocent of any crime. We have recovered from nearly going out of business to being on the verge of a new ground and successful team. Somebody has been doing something right.

Peter Laing
33 Posted 20/10/2016 at 19:55:04
Martin, with the greatest respect, Colin Fitzpatrick has repeatedly called you out time and time again. People like Colin shed light on the whole murky Destination Kirby deal; without the diligence of such folk, I fear for where Everton Football Club would be today.
Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 20/10/2016 at 20:12:46
Martin (#32) have you read the articles pointed out to you?

If you still believe that Kenwright and Green had Everton's interests at heart and not their own, it will not surprise me. I think you will agree with me when I tell you I think they were a very devious couple, out to make a lot of money out of Everton FC.

I think they are worthy of a much longer look at the way they have dealt with affairs concerning the club. You think they have done nothing wrong; there is no crime in me thinking they done plenty to line their own pockets.

At least tell me you have read the articles.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 20/10/2016 at 20:20:24
Martin, I know it won't bother you but I forgot to add Colin Fitzpatrick is worth one thousand Evertonians like you who add nothing to Everton's support, vocally or financially.
Chris Williams
36 Posted 20/10/2016 at 20:34:06
I believe it might be interesting to outline the chronology of Failure of Destination Kirkby.

Sale of various assets round about that time, for example, the sale of Arteta and others.

Other things which went unexplained at the time.

For those who have still not looked,
"The power behind the throne" – Just for interest.

Martin Mason
37 Posted 20/10/2016 at 20:40:50
Peter@33, being called out by Colin would be like being savaged by a dead lamb.

David@34, can you point me to the laws that say making money is illegal? No, I don't think they did nothing wrong; I just think that it's nothing to do with us. For both of them., the only way they were going to make money was by Everton becoming stronger so their aims were the same as ours.

Dave@35, I don't agree that Everton FC has to be kept in the City of Liverpool because most Evertonians live outside of the City so what worth does Colin have? KEIOC is nonsense in 2016 and the Blue Union is no more than a joke. I have a song for them called Sing when were Winning, we only moan when were losing. You know the tune.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 20/10/2016 at 20:56:02
Martin (#37), I should have known better than to try and have a sensible conversation with you, but at least I tried.
Ciarán McGlone
39 Posted 20/10/2016 at 21:05:01
This thread has been Masoned...

Abandon ship.

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 20/10/2016 at 21:13:48
Should have known better, Dave. Are you sure you haven't been reading someone else's posts?

Martin, you rejoice because Everton could be on the way back up, but say that KEIOC is a nonsense in 2016?

I know I call you the Duke, Martin, but maybe we would already be playing in a soulless stadium in Kirkby, if it wasn't for people like Colin Fitz?

Chris Williams
41 Posted 20/10/2016 at 21:37:05
Back to Philip Green

Winston Williamson
42 Posted 20/10/2016 at 21:40:16
Making money is essentially legal, it is the method of making money which can be illegal. I'm not stating any former directors (or friends) have broken any laws, as there is no proof. However, this can also be argued by both sides.

However, it is wrong to simply say it is legal for a board of directors to make money... it's the manner which is of legal debate.

Is it anything to do with us? Ordinarily, no. However, like in so many other facets of football, how a club is run and who makes money does have something to do with supporters.

I consider myself to have morals and values (like many on here, I presume). Should the club I support be guilty of morally corrupt behaviour, then that would have serious impacts on my support... (maybe other supporters too)... thus impacting on the club (and local community – Everton in the Community??)

Tony McNulty
43 Posted 20/10/2016 at 22:11:59
Slight change of subject. But this gives me an excuse for a minor rant.

Don't you all just love the honours system? Does it have any honour left?

In the unlikely event that anyone ever tries to anoint me, I will refuse (unless of course the War Department insists, as allegedly happened to a Labour luminary).

So you can all relax. You won't have to address me as Dr Sir Antony of Crosby.

Brent Stephens
44 Posted 20/10/2016 at 22:15:46
Tony - OBE - Other Buggers' Efforts.
Mick Davies
45 Posted 24/10/2016 at 19:28:00
The whole world knows what a scumbag Green is; it takes a lot for the elite to turn on one of their own, but this snake has made billions out of misery, and lost thousands of people their livelihoods. For him to be associated with our great club makes my stomach churn, and one man's lust for power is to blame... the great Boys Pen Adventurer, Bill Kenwright.
Colin Fitzpatrick
46 Posted 25/10/2016 at 14:04:31
It's difficult to have a serious debate when you have the village idiot entering the fray and immediately inserting his foot firmly in his mouth by saying “Shadow director? Of course he was and so what?”

So what? Well for a start Everton would be in contravention of the 2004 Premier League requirement that all owners and directors undertake a test to determine their suitability. Then there's the unanswered questions regarding Kenwright's initial funding of his shares, specifically when and by whom this money was repaid and then the frankly bizarre situation over the sale of the Gregg family's shares and how they ended up in the BVI, which leads to questions over the annual declaration identifying the ultimate beneficial owners of shares held by significant owners.

Despite Everton being named in Parliament I don't think the dcms are about to launch a club or, in the case of Allardyce and Warnock, a manager witch-hunt, the MP's are simply highlighting the sheer inadequacy of the FA when it comes to governing the game. The squirming Greg Clarke, with his off the peg excuse of just being in the job for just five weeks, was visibly uncomfortable when Christian Matheson was asking him about Vibrac and JG Funding, preferring to shake his head in answer to knowing who they are which was surprising as these companies were prevented from lending money to Watford by the FL and the league fined Reading over the consequences of their Vibrac loan.

The FA delegate their responsibility for governance to the PL and FL, and to highlight just one problem with their accepted level of due diligence it's worth looking at the loan Everton obtained from JG Funding, now known as Rights & Media Funding. Within the loan there's a declaration to the PL that confirms JG Funding has no association with James Grant Holdings. It takes you two minutes to discover that David McKnight, one of two shareholders at JG Funding, is an active director of James Grant Holdings, it makes you wonder if these governing bodies undertake anything more than a cursory tick box exercise.

Greg Clarke became slightly more comfortable when the offshore company Moonshift Investments who financed Bolton Wanderers to the tune of £180m. He recognised this name and was happy that Eddie Davies was the beneficial owner who had subsequently written the loan off. Perfectly legitimate you'd think until you discover that it is highly unlikely that Eddie Davies was in such a financial position to write off such a huge amount of money which begs the obvious question who else was involved in Moonshift? Did that question pop into the heads of the FA or did they just, once again, accept the first thing they were told?

Only a complete fuckwit could fail to understand that to know the true sources of money entering the Premier League is very important. If I have time later I'll post an explanation for Martian.

Returning to Green, and here I am sympathetic to Greg Clarke's plight, allegations involving offshore entities are notoriously difficult if not impossible to prove unless the governing body concerned has the power to do so and I think it was very relevant that chair Damian Collins repeatedly asked Clarke did he need extra powers.

Everton's prospects, under Farhad Moshiri, have never looked better, our major debt with Prudential has been settled, it looks like a land deal with Peel has been successfully concluded and whilst far from perfect the team building is underway. Lets hope the disaster of the past won't come back to bite us; in my opinion the sooner Kenwright gets packed off to the back of the director's box and gets given the title president all the better.

Chris Williams
47 Posted 25/10/2016 at 16:05:21
Regarding the background to some of Colin's comments above please see my post @36, where someone has thoughtfully inserted a link to the article "The power behind the Throne". Worth a read if you're interested in the links between Green and Everton .
Kevin Tully
48 Posted 25/10/2016 at 16:41:16
I'm fairly sure most football clubs in the Premier League would have issued a statement refuting claims made by an MP of what could be construed as fraudulent practices?

The silence emanating from the boardroom & CEO suggest there is in fact some truth to these accusations. After all, this isn't some daft fan's forum circulating rumours around the Winslow is it? A member of Parliament has called out the directors & CEO of EFC for telling some rather large porkies, and possibly worse.

They may want to wait until the AGM to answer the accusations put forward, but if we don't hear any reply, you can only assume that Green did in fact pay for Earl's shares.

Who knows how much influence Green had over the years if he was making money from supplying loans or other financial instrruments? (All perfectly legal of course, apart from breaking numerous Premier League rules & Director's duties and responsibilities) How many sales could he have blocked while we had to sell player after player just to keep afloat?

The worst part of all this is the fact some supporters think it's OK for us to be duped by the main protagonists. Strange.

John Keating
49 Posted 26/10/2016 at 19:43:14
I see Martin Mason is up to his old tricks again.

And, as usual, disappeared when put right.

Thomas Lennon
50 Posted 27/10/2016 at 15:18:43
I have read most of the articles mentioned above in the hope of getting some idea what interest Green has in Everton. What I understand is

1. He underwrote a 㿊 million facility to help buy the club off Gregg on behalf of TBH.

Underwriting just enables a loan – it isn't a loan in itself and the loan was paid off within 4-5 years. HOW that loan was paid off is an issue I remain interested in but all Green has done is enable a loan – rather like a guarantor he was the person the bank would go to if the payments weren't met – but apparently they were so this is a non-issue. This point therefore is a non-issue.

2. Subsequently a 㾻 million payment was made to Gregg using a similar facility. It sounds like he got wind of a potential problem with payments so sent in his own accountant - it is difficult to see what is wrong with that. Again he has enabled a loan, not provided it.

So what is a 'shadow director? He certainly exerted some influence over finances and may well have profited from the loans he supported – reasonably in my opinion. He didn't actually make club decisions but he may have encouraged payments to be made which triggered other decisions such as player sales. Again, if his money was indirectly at risk then fair enough and not difficult to see why a CEO would be frustrated by it.

It sounds to me that his only interest was likely the safety of money he had underwritten, not in influencing specifically how Everton was run. No point in him being on the board then (especially as he couldn't be on the board) but asset stripping and wholesale profiteering? Sorry, no.

Tax avoidance – another story.

Other stuff – haven't read it yet.

Did he help Everton FC – yes.

John Keating
51 Posted 27/10/2016 at 16:03:16

There's a lot more but just for one thing pulling the manager in to discuss transfer budgets – not influencing specifically how Everton was run???

Thomas Lennon
52 Posted 29/10/2016 at 23:32:45
If he is the underwriter, he is entitled to protect his risk. He can object to a cash flow problem, but can't make the final decision as to how to fix it. His 'power' rests on his only lever – withdrawing his guarantee to the bank.

This is not the same as someone who owns part of the business or site on the board. He is more of a shadow financier than shadow director.

Richard Jones
53 Posted 31/10/2016 at 08:54:56
Thomas, he once said he bought the club for Bill Kenwright!

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