The long-standing requirement that Everton Football Club Co Ltd shall call an Annual General Meeting of shareholders has been cut from the Articles of Associaton provided to Companies House.
For many years, the Annual General Meeting was seen as a means by which small shareholders (numbering around 200 persons) could express their opinions and concerns on how the club was being run.
But things came to a head with a particularly raucous AGM in 2007 when Bill Kenwright was strongly challenged over issues with the previous failed stadium venture known as Destination Kirkby. Kenwright took the unilateral action to suspend AGMs for the next 7 years, denying the small shareholders any voice.
Resolute action by Everton Shareholders Association forced an Emergency General Meeting in 2013, at which AGMs were reinstated and had been operating normally up until the Covid-19 pandemic, with the AGM in January 2021 being held virtually.
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As a result of continuing Coviid restrictions, the club canvassed shareholders last November for future AGMs to be held virtually if necessary. This was met with resistance by a number of vocal shareholders who saw it as a further limitation to the expression of shareholder opinions.
While publication of Everton's Report and Accounts for 2020-21 continues to be delayed and the expected timing of an AGM for 2021 came and went, the club took an executive decision on the issue of AGMs, sending a written resolution to Companies House dated 24 January 2022, rescinding Item 10.1 of the Articles of Association, which read:
1O.1 Once in every calendar year the company shall call a general meeting
However, the rest of Section 10, dealing with Notices of General Meetings, remains in place, suggesting that meetings can be called in the future. The fully revised Articles of Association were subsequently filed at Companies House.
Instead of AGMs, the club is working with selected fan groups already associated with the club — through the Everton Stakeholder Steering Group (ESSG) — to put in place a Fan Advisory Board by the end of the season, as well as instigating some supporter representation at board meetings.
Quotes or other material sourced from Everton set to scrap annual General Meetings as Farhad Moshiri plans 'regular events'
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