Online AGM goes to Shareholder Vote

Wednesday, 17 November, 2021 18comments  |  Jump to last
Everton are canvassing their shareholders to approve a change in the Articles of Association that would allow future Annual General Meetings to be held either in person, or as virtual meetings online.

The last AGM of Everton Shareholders was held online as provisions allowed under Covid-19 lockdown restrictions back in January. The proposed change would allow the club to set the mode for future meetings.

The last meeting allowed a number of participants from across Britain as well as more remotely in countries overseas to access the proceedings and submit questions. It is expected that this vote will pave the way for the next meeting to be held online, when the date is eventually announced.  

Reader Comments (18)

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Brian Wilkinson
1 Posted 16/11/2021 at 17:17:28
Is there any truth I am hearing, that future AGM will go ahead but just online, instead of in a meeting room?

I hope not.

Barry Hesketh
2 Posted 16/11/2021 at 17:28:23
Brian,

Paul (the Esk) tweeted the following earlier this afternoon:

Everton shareholders have received notification that the next AGM will be held online. The AoA will be amended with Blue Heaven Holdings approval to allow future meetings to be held online.

This IMO, is not a welcome development. It reduces further the accountability of the board.

Paul [The Esk]
3 Posted 16/11/2021 at 22:00:50
Have to say my comments re governance are being brought to the fore with the decisions re the Annual General Meeting.

Nothing to do with openness or engagement, sadly.

Barry Hesketh
4 Posted 17/11/2021 at 12:47:53
Although, as a private company, Everton is not obliged to hold an Annual General Meeting, the Club’s Articles of Association do state that a Shareholders’ meeting should be held once a year, and this proposal will not alter that commitment.Source Everton FC OS

I never realised that the club wasn't obliged to hold an AGM, I always believed it was par for the course to have one, you live and learn.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 17/11/2021 at 13:05:46
Kenwright must have checked with the corporate lawyers when he decided to ditch them so he didn't have to handle the scrutiny from the rowdy minority, Barry.

But personally, as a shareholder who is perfectly happy to participate online, I don't understand the angst from Paul on this one. Perhaps I need to be edumacated.

The reality is that the fact we have AGMs at all if it is not a legal requirement – and with Farhad and Kenwright now owning 93.88% of the shares issued – is a minor miracle. It's a remarkable acknowledgement of the minor shareholders, where all you get in return is posturing and venting that is simply ignored.

But, if we use the figure Paul quoted to me of £3,000 per share, the joint share capital represented by this runt is around £18M – which is not to be sneezed at. But the reality is they have no power or influence.

Small beer for Farhad, but he has consistently provided assurances that he would not buy us out.

Mike Owen
6 Posted 17/11/2021 at 13:56:35
If online AGMs are done the same way as the one in January, it means that there is no possibility of minority shareholders raising questions on the evening, possibly after a significant announcement by the club.

And am I right in thinking that the whole thing in January was pre-recorded? Or were some of the answers given live? I don't think they were, but I would be interested to know.

Either way, the event becomes very, for want of a better word, sanitised.

And with the in-person AGMs having a certain element of spontaneity, they also offered the opportunity to observe the interaction between the people on the stage, which sometimes arguably told as much as the spoken answers.

As a result, I am disappointed that the AGMs are going online only.

Although they do offer the majority shareholder the opportunity to address fellow shareholders directly, whether he is away on business or not. It would be good to hear from him.

Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 17/11/2021 at 14:01:27
Mike,

I don't have the letter yet but here's what the Echo says in regard to your fears:

Critics of the club's decision say virtual meetings reduce the ability of shareholders to hold the board of directors to account, in person, but last night the Blues were strongly rejecting any claims they were trying to avoid scrutiny and, instead, said the changes would help open the hierarchy to questions.

In a statement, Everton committed to a live question and answer section during a virtual meeting, said questions submitted in advance will also be answered on the night and confirmed that voting will continue to be done in real-time.

At last year's meeting, the club said every question that was submitted was answered.

And the decision to go online relates to the next AGM in light of current concerns over Covid. The vote is about having the flexibility going forward to hold them in person or online.

Jay Harris
8 Posted 17/11/2021 at 15:12:15
I'm with Paul on this. It avoids awkward questions from the floor as questions can be sanitized before the meeting.

I don't know why they are asking shareholders to vote on this as it is entirely Moshiri's decision due to his shareholding.

Mike Owen
9 Posted 17/11/2021 at 15:25:59
Thank you, Michael, I hadn't seen that.
In fairness, I did get the impression that in January the club answered all questions received, although if I remember rightly the deadline for submitting questions was quite a way ahead of the meeting.

The commitment to a live Q&A is to be welcomed and it will be interesting to see how they do that.
I think it be much easier though to get everyone in the Phil'.

Re Covid, most of the shareholders who attend appear to be aged over 50 and will have had their booster jabs by then.

And would it not be possible to have an in-person AGM broadcast online? I suspect the turnout at the Phil would be good.

Brian Murray
10 Posted 17/11/2021 at 15:38:38
There is really only one plea or suggestion to make at any AGM:

Stand down if you love the Blues.

Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 17/11/2021 at 15:39:41
He'd have stood down years ago if that was the case, Brian.
Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 17/11/2021 at 16:47:05
Tony (11),

Did you mean he should have stood down years ago or “He should have been put down years ago”?

Richard Jones
13 Posted 17/11/2021 at 18:27:02
Dave 12,

I think he has led us to believe that was on the cards on more than 1 occasion.

Brian Wilkinson
14 Posted 17/11/2021 at 19:01:17
If the supporters can travel both home and away, sometimes changed at the drop of a hat to a night game, or a Sunday afternoon... if those very fans have to abide by turning up to support Everton, then the very least the shareholders should have, is the option to turn up at a pre-agreed meeting.

I hope the shareholders vote to hold a live AGM in person; otherwise, an online meeting allows them wriggle room, to side-track any awkward questions asked at an attended meeting, where you cannot silence a voice, but the alternate, you can silence a question submitted online, that can be answered by filing it in the bin with just one press of the button.

If supporters are expected to, week in & week out, turn out and follow our great club, the very least the club can do in return is to once a year, be able to hold an AGM with shareholders in attendance.

If you are a shareholder and have a voice, do the right thing and vote to have live AGMs, with shareholders in attendance.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 17/11/2021 at 19:26:11
Richard (13),

I think I have read it on ToffeeWeb a couple of times that his demise was imminent, posted in by Billy's supporters.

Brian (14),

Making these AGMs an online affair stops proxy voters from attending in person and asking searching questions, although the last one I attended, not long after Allardyce was appointed manager, was mostly a boring affair, broken by a well known Evertonian (no, not him) trying to get Mr Brands his comics and his P45: the only person in the house who voted for the proposal was the proposer!!

Then we had Little Miss Dynamite, Brenda Lee Baxendale, boring me stiff with a long speech ‘til I thought my brains were coming out of my ears.

And this was in the January of the season when Koeman, Walsh, Kenwright, and Moshiri tried to outdo each with the ridiculous buying of mostly No 10s and not a peep out of all the shareholders who were there and proxy voters like myself.

I might force myself to go to this one if it is held in The Philarmonic Hall with a live audience.

Allen Rodgers
16 Posted 17/11/2021 at 19:33:42
As a minority shareholder, I was quite looking forward to going to the Philharmonic Hall for the AGM. Not that you get so much as a free cup of tea but it does make you feel part of the club for a couple of hours.

Anyway, it's not happening and the vote is pointless as Denise has said in her letter: Farhad Moshiri is in favour of online AGMs.

Derek Thomas
17 Posted 17/11/2021 at 22:36:41
Many, me included, think it's a bad thing, but 'Many' is a relative number.
92+% of the ownership think it isn't – guess whose view will prevail?

Handy things, Pandemics, sometimes. I'm also shocked we're all so shocked – this is, after all, Everton, The People's Club.

https://youtu.be/9cWnubJ9CEw

Derek Knox
18 Posted 18/11/2021 at 05:45:01
Brian @10 &Tony @11, has Tiny Tears been to Lourdes recently?

All this talk of standing down due to ill-health! Or was that another line from his very rare appearances in Corrie?


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