A look forward to what hopefully is a constructive and informative Annual General Meeting of Everton shareholders
Early January, and as has been the case for a number of years since the reinstatement of Annual General Meetings, several hundred Everton shareholders will make their way to the Royal Philharmonic Hall on Hope Street (appropriately enough).
On the face of it, a billionaire owner, plans submitted for a new stadium, a renowned Director of Football, a multi-Champions League winning manager and the most expensive squad we have ever assembled. What is there “not too like”?
The paradox that is Everton is that despite all the above, the feeling we’ve lost our way, our identity, that we are not managed as well as previously should no longer be considered hyperbole. It’s true to say there’s genuine concern over the sustainability of the current business model, let alone the spectacular lack of improvement and advancement on the pitch.
Thus a platform exists for the directors and majority shareholder to demonstrate how we sail to calmer waters, how our business model becomes sustainable, how our stadium is financed and finally and most importantly what is to be done to support Brands and Ancelotti in their quest to take us to new and higher glories than before.
Traditionally at the end of the meeting the Chair opens the floor to shareholders and their proxies.
As an aide-memoire for those attending, perhaps some or all of the following questions may be asked, not to embarrass or trick the board members, but to provide some evidence and substance to the genuine concerns of fans and shareholders alike.
For Mr Moshiri:
- Numerically we have a very small board. Is it unreasonable to suggest that the board requires new members with skills and experiences, particularly in the areas of commerce and a track record of global income generation?
- Your financial commitment to the club is hugely appreciated by fans & shareholders alike. Now that you have complete control of the club (by virtue of having more than a 75% shareholding) how do you propose to treat, in future, the loans currently outstanding?
- You have previously expressed a desire not to dilute smaller shareholders in the club. With significant investment required by yourself to fund, at least partially, the difference between borrowings & the final cost of the stadium, how do you propose to structure the additional stadium funding?
For Mr Ryazantsev:
- The financial results (will) show continued expenditure greater than income. Specifically what are you and the board proposing to do differently now and in the future than in the past?
- The loss of the ICBC revolving credit facility was disappointing. What plans have you to find new credit facilities with main street lenders, rather than rely upon Rights & Media Funding to provide future credit facilities?
- Regarding the stadium, to what extent has the current financial situation caused concern with potential lenders? When the finance is finally agreed, to what extent do you expect restrictive financial covenants which may impact our ability to operate in the transfer window?
For the board:
- The association of football and gambling is thankfully coming under more scrutiny. In the light of the club’s commitment to the local community and the well-being of its citizens, how appropriate is it for us to continue to have a gambling company as our main sponsor?
- In my opinion, the club continues to under-perform in the areas of communications and press-relations. What plans do the club have to change current practices in order to improve in this area?
For Mr Brands
- What are your biggest current priorities? Compliance with profit and sustainability, our scouting structure, or the integration of each playing level across the club to a more unified, singular identity? If time permits could you explain your strategy in each of the three areas?
- I look forward to a productive and informative meeting for the benefit of all attending and the thousands of fans craving for a brighter future.
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum!
Originally published to Paul's blog, at theesk.org and reproduced here with his kind permission.
Reader Comments (60)
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1 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:29:11
2 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:41:57
The Board and Directors will not accept responsibility for poor performance and will cite expenditure as being necessary in the Premier League and fob it of as a trail and error scenorio.
They will try to project some type of Bright Blue Future, with emphasis on the New Stadium and hide behind the hard earned experience of the New Manager, at other Clubs.
The small Board is to maintain control and minimize opposition.
Everton need a clean out at Board level, namely Kenwright and Barret-Baxendale
3 Posted 13/01/2020 at 23:42:19
4 Posted 14/01/2020 at 00:05:44
5 Posted 14/01/2020 at 00:25:13
6 Posted 14/01/2020 at 00:51:58
Do not quote me on the 24 weeks, but I know it was the very minimum 20 weeks turnaround, before we would know.
7 Posted 14/01/2020 at 01:01:29
Because of the sheer scale of the application, we do not expect the Bramley Moore Dock plans to get to the committee stage until late spring/early summer 2020.
The meeting itself will involve a presentation from the applicants - Everton FC - as well as outline guidance given from council planning officers who will make it clear whether they are recommending the approval or rejection of the planning permission.
8 Posted 14/01/2020 at 01:29:53
I also have to agree with Jerome@2, in that I think that the Board/Chair will stonewall the smaller shareholders and respond with positive rhetoric to deflect from the obvious issues with the club. NB and not the playing staff ones.
Regards a clear out of certain Board members, could a 'Vote of No Confidence' be motioned in regards to the Chairman and CEO? Though in doing so, I assume that Mr. Moshiri would have to throw his 80%+ share holdings behind it... Which, if it is true about getting Usmanov (which is doubtful I believe) involved more at the club, it could an historic and pivotal time for the club.
I too believe that the club is at a crossroads, and we need to progress without delay. PL domination awaits! :'d <-- Pipe dream
The problem being the governance, infrastructure and disparate coaching/playing philosophies at the club.
I intend to write my own article regards these matters very soon; something along the lines of Tom Martin's excellent article.
Many thanks again Paul, and please keep up the great work on your site, I really enjoy reading and listening to the material you produce.
9 Posted 14/01/2020 at 04:50:17
I have been back to Liverpool a number of times over the years. In fact my next visit is in March for the Derby.I will be accompanied by my eldest son, John "Everton" and my son in law who I was able to convert into one more true blue.
10 Posted 14/01/2020 at 09:32:33
I would like to know why Everton have a policy of buying young players to supplement the under 23s, and most of the players dont progress into the full squad. Surely, the policy should be to improve young players and let them progress to first team squad.
We paid eleven million for Lookman and he looked like he would be a good investment, only for him to dwindle away to Leipzig. We now have Braithwaite. Will he make the grade? Dowell, Kenny, Pilkington etc. I would like to some youngsters give their chance.
Before, Im shot down, Manure are giving young players a chance as one example.
11 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:03:23
Yes, one share gets you in and you can ask a question when the meeting is thrown open to the floor.
As others have said, getting answers is a little more difficult. Moshiri appoints people to the board so any vote of 'no confidence' will fail as he's extremely unlikely to support it!
12 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:21:42
Is that correct ?
13 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:29:02
Bill, Moshiri has just over 75%, with the other "major" shareholders (there is no one truly such at Everton), I think he can get past 80% of the vote.
Anyway, the minority shareholders have very few rights other than voting and attending. They cannot propose any motions. They can request a copy of the accounts and the minutes of previous general meetings.
In order to do interesting stuff in the AGM, you need at least a 5% shareholding. And sadly no one has that other than Moshiri and perhaps Kenwright (I forget how much shareholding he has left).
My hopes are that the shareholders who go can park the football side of things and concentrate on the big financial questions, the stadium, the funding, the capacity, and all the points raised by Paul above.
14 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:29:49
15 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:41:22
16 Posted 14/01/2020 at 11:47:53
As far as shake up of the board is concerned, don't waste your breath. This kind of thing will be up to Moshiri and his appointee to the board.
Excellent questions Paul, but I wish you good luck in obtaining satisfying answers!
17 Posted 14/01/2020 at 12:05:06
I think your question regarding Everton being sponsored by a betting organisation, well if memory serves me correctly I think 10 of the 20 Premier league clubs are sponsored by betting organisations. I am not saying its right but it seems common place in the Premier League.
Your other question to the board about it under performing in communications and press relations. I never understood why the services of Alan Myers was dispensed with and I and many other Blues follow Alan on twitter.
I think many of your questions over funding may be filed under the folder marked Alisher Usmanov, who seems to have indicated he would be very happy to join the board if asked. But very interestingly he seemed to suggest when interviewed that he could be more use to the club if he raised his sponsorship profile, which would help get round the FFP problems.
18 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:05:17
We should be leading the way on this in the same way Luton are taking a stand in the championship refusing all gambling sponsorship despite the acknowledged disadvantage it gives them against other clubs. The biggest bugbear for me is fact that the official kids kits aren't allowed to carry the sponsor so I have to explain to my lad why his expensive replica kit is different to that his heroes (not many worthy heroes in current team admittedly!) wear week in week out. That fact speaks so clearly that the deal is wrong and sooner or later all clubs will have to confront it and Id like us to be one of the first
19 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:14:07
Only a few years ago Elstone refused to answer a whole series of questions (that he had been given full advance notice of, and had personally accepted only the day before). Then on the night, he tried to turn the audience on the shareholders association (who he had tasked with collating the questions from its membership in the first place), and once again, it was all swept under the carpet. So, never underestimate the powers of obfuscation or the pure brass neck of some of those involved especially when cornered!
Personally, my question hasn't really changed in 15+yrs. but is no longer fashionable. I suppose its most modern incarnation would be something like: Why (How) are we looking to spend £600m on BMD, when getting Goodison to equivalent unobstructed capacity could probably cost less than 20-30% of that, and when an even larger 60k+ might cost less than 35-50% of that. and could be superior on every operational measure? (Especially given our continued strained financial state).
There could be further sub-questions like: How is the transport strategy progressing as the stuff presented at the consultation(s) was practically non-existent, or: How come our Meis design is supposedly costing roughly double that of his similarly sized Roma stadium proposals (which looks more complex both structurally and in terms of corporate amenities), and those costs are also significantly higher than say Feyenoord's proposals, which is also larger and on a location that is technically at least as problematic?
In fact, there could be a multitude of questions on that general subject alone, but I accept that for many present, that horse has already bolted. and would be equally well swerved as most of Paul's in any case.
20 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:21:33
I can't get there this time but my proxy will be able to ask a question if he has the confidence to stand up and speak ! I might have asked about the lack of throughput from the academy myself.
As regards catering I've never had so much as free cup of tea.
21 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:23:20
22 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:59:29
Just about at the upper end of the scale of 12 month losses I forecast in August.
Profit and sustainability not a problem to the end of the last period but in the absence of increased player trading profits and/or increased revenues from commercial and sponsorship will become problematic
23 Posted 14/01/2020 at 14:19:21
Unless 75% of SH's vote for the VoNC, then the motion can and would be ignored, though to quote;
"In the UK, the right of members to remove directors by a simple majority is assured under s.168 CA 2006 Moreover, Art.21 of the Model Articles requires a third of the board to put themselves up for re-election every year (in effect creating maximum three year terms). 10% of shareholders can demand a meeting any time, and 5% can if it has been a year since the last one (s.303 CA 2006)." Seems to indicate otherwise..?
Even so, trying to at least table a motion of o confidence, would/could demonstrate to Mr. Moshiri that in general, the smaller shareholders are unhappy with the Chairman and or CEO.
Regards access, I'll look to see if I can acquire some EFC shares.
Thanks again Bill.
24 Posted 14/01/2020 at 14:22:04
According to the EFC website,Mr. Moshiri owns 77.23% of the clubs shares.
25 Posted 14/01/2020 at 15:07:11
26 Posted 14/01/2020 at 15:27:43
They send you an attendance card which you hand in at the appropriate desk when you arrive. You don't need to give prior notice.
27 Posted 14/01/2020 at 15:43:26
28 Posted 14/01/2020 at 17:29:37
I have been in Canada since 1963. I was born in August1939. My mother always said that I caused the War. I live with my wife in Welland about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls. Prior to 1974 we were in Toronto. My three adult kids were all forced to become Evertonians. I have John "Everton" and Andrew "Goodison". My wife would not let me call our daughter "Gladwys".
If you want to email You could ask TW to give it to you, as it is difficult to communicate back and forth through TW itself. CYOB for ever
29 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:13:32
30 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:17:56
Got applause, but when it came to the vote only one person opposed, which I presume was Canon himself.
31 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:20:03
32 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:23:24
33 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:23:56
34 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:27:49
More detail of the new stadium will come later in the evening, but she mentions it represents one of the most significant transitions in the clubs history. But that we must (wait for it...!) 'expect setbacks'.
35 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:40:05
36 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:40:47
I wonder if that is an allegory for having dinner with Alisher Usmanov? We can but hope, onwards and upwards!
37 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:42:34
Finally, a bit more meat on the bone.
“The board is cautiously optimistic. We have a robust plan, the right team in place giving us the best possible chance to succeed.
“Funds are in place to take us through the planning application process.”
(Funds ONLY for the planning application???!!!).
Ah, wait. There's more.
"Farhad Moshiri is currently in deep negotiations in terms of one of the long-term funding options available to Everton for the stadium."
Here's a possible tear-jerker for some: Goodison may have just 100 hours of PL football left in it before the move.
A quick calculation means the new stadium would be ready to move into in 3.5 seasons for the 2023-24 season.
38 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:44:27
USM has signed an option on naming rights for Evertons proposed new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium.
What a surprise, eh?
39 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:46:10
40 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:46:27
41 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:53:38
Edit: Sasha Ryazantsev said the money is ring fenced for “the stadium development project going forwards”, so cant be used to cover losses or boost the transfer coffers. Still a mechanism for Usmanov to pump some more money in though.
42 Posted 14/01/2020 at 18:59:33
First up he says “We as a board are united, and that is an important statement”
Talks of the important of TV revenue AND the need of European football!!!
Says the deal with Umbro and Fantatics has seen a 73% increase in shirt and merchandise revenue.
Says the stadium naming rights option with USM was signed last week. Eek the spectre of the ghost of Christmas past just manifested itself. Anyone recognize these words and numbers?
"The option is £30m and will be ring-fenced for the stadium development project going forward.”
£300 million we've spent on players since 2016!!!!!!!!!!!
43 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:02:00
Only if we don't get relegated! They're keeping their options open - relegation at the end of this or next season could see the rest of the 100 hours of PL football deferred for a while! Nah!
44 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:02:29
45 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:06:00
106% increase in staff costs from financial year 2015 to financial year 2019.
407% amortisation in the same period.
No mention yet of the whopping losses this year, but nothing to worry about 'cos even though 'capital expenditure' costs are £30 million, and that will grow with the stadium build, Evertons net debt has been reduced to £9.2m. He finishes by saying we are currently FFP compliant and intend to be going forward.
Marcel Brands turn.
46 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:08:03
He very explicitly lays out the objectives of the past summer transfer window:
Brands lays out the goals position-by-position in the last transfer window.
Goalkeepers - create competition and develop talent.
Defenders - Loan out Kenny and find a replacement, Sign Zouma or find another central defender, Holgate loan return, renew contract of Leighton Baines.
Midfielders - Sign Gomes permanently, sell McCarthy and find a replacement, a replacement for Gueye, add experience and leadership
Attackers - Sell Lookman and find a replacement, sign a new striker.
47 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:17:02
48 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:20:24
Confirms efforts were made to sign Zouma from Chelsea. Didn't achieve the objective of generating £80-100 million in sales last summer.
First window he had, 19 deals £59 million net spend. Last summer 31 deals, £35 million net spend.
In this window, still working on 'solutions' for Niasse and Martina. Club to decide whether to keep the returned U-23 keeper Virginia at the club or send him out on loan again. Tosun is described as 'an expensive player', thus his loan. Shorthand for saying we pay him a whacking salary but don't play him.
Looking forward to the day Everton has greater stability when 2-3 players leave and 2-3 arrive to replace them.
Just shown a graphic detailing how the club has two 1st team players for every position. Tom Davies paired with Siggy as an attacking midfielder! Considers we are 'light' on the right hand side so that needs addressing.
Says Anthony Gordon on fringe of 1st team chance.
49 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:24:25
50 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:27:41
3 way chat with Brands, Ferguson and BK with Darren Griffiths inteviewing.
BK immediately all lovey.
“We had a bad day at Finch Farm and we had to say goodbye to Marco. We had a plan. We had the next plan in place and it didnt work. We had several other plans. We walked into the lounge area. This man (Dunc) would probably live in Finch Farm if his missus allowed. ‘Come here and tell Farhad what youd do if you were in charge on Saturday.
“Ive always thought, give Duncan that moment and he wont let you down. He truly did an unbelievable job but, more than anything, a Duncan Ferguson job.
I wonder what the 'next plan that didn't work' was?
51 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:28:38
52 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:30:06
"Only if we don't get relegated!"
I didn't want to go there, Brent!
53 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:33:25
Not sure which game BK references, but he says:
“At 3:20am, a long text (from Dunc) ‘did that just happen. Im walking in the rain Get this club the best manager in the world. I dont think I can take this anymore.”
Brands just said:
“When we had to look for a new manager, you have to be a bit lucky, for the right moment. He was still at Napoli when we started looking. Then he was available. You still dont believe he could be manager of Everton. Everyone is happy with this appointment, I am very proud to have this manager in our club.”
And the man in question, Carlo Ancelotti, is next up.
54 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:42:05
“Thank-you for the reception. Every day it is fantastic. It is still fantastic, It is a new experience for me to be here, I have never been in a meeting like this. It is really exciting for me to be here. I have found a fantastic club…..and a fantastic family. This is really important to me.”
Something lost in translation? Ancelotti on Ferguson:
“Sometimes I have difficulty understanding him!”
He wanted to be back in the PL, so he didn't take long to decide when Everton approached him.
“Im sure he wont mind me saying he was knocked out by his first arrival at Goodison Park (Dunc's last game v Arsenal).
“He phoned me after the next game and said hed never experience anything like that when walking onto a football pitch." (1st game under Carlo v Burnley).
More from Carlo:
“We can have a big ambition. We have to stay together There are all the conditions.
“Goodison Park has to be a difficult place for the opponent to come and play.
“I love my job, I love to do my job at the best of my ability.
“I have a straight relationship with my club, the players and the supporters.”
55 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:47:17
56 Posted 14/01/2020 at 20:04:48
Is there any danger the government call in the planning permission?
Colin Chong answers the club hopes they've covered all bases with the extensive consultancy they did and that the process takes a MINIMUM of 13 weeks.
On getting mental toughness into the team, Carlo the diplomat says Duncan fired up the team, he found a fantastic spirit that he hopes with Duncan's help will continue.
On SportPesa being our main sponsor DB-B acknowledges the conflict of EiTC work and having a gambling firm on our shirts and whilst praising them she adds the club would like a different sponsor.
Next, why have so few PL2 winners from the U-23s stepped up to the 1st team? Brands says it is his policy to get them in front of the 1st team manager and why some train with the 1st team. You need both patience, but also to give young players some minutes with the 1st team. Brands sounds optimistic this can improve and more will come through.
And with BK thanking everyone, that's a wrap.
57 Posted 14/01/2020 at 20:09:30
58 Posted 14/01/2020 at 22:49:13
Recruitment includes more than the players, the manager his staff and the scouting f system all have been bungled to a point.
Certainly on paper an outlay of £500m and not to finish anywhere close to a cup or higher enough for champions league is an unmitigated disaster.
Signings wise, underwhelming is were Im at. Ive been slow to warm to Mina however his improvement this year looks great but I think Keanes regression makes it look gargantuan!
We missed out on some key areas too.
I agree it the manager that makes the difference, so Ill hold off but the comments definitely has an element of truth, put over in a slightly over personal way from Canon.
59 Posted 16/01/2020 at 15:37:52
Bit of poetic license I would imagine on the part of our neighbourhood impresario BK. Or and CA going on a charm offensive.
With the clubs he's managed and trophies won I would guess he has heard receptions heading into the stratosphere on more than a few occasions.
60 Posted 30/01/2020 at 06:54:14
So unless Barcelona have a deal where they get a discount for passing over their fringe players, €100m isn't enough. They'll have unsettled him though, by the summer he will be gone. I've no doubt about it.
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