Peter Kenyon always wanted to 'paint the world blue' and has credentials to revive Everton

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022 40comments  |  Jump to last

In The Telegraph, James Ducker writes that the former Man United and Chelsea CEO's contacts and experience offer hope of a brighter future for a stricken club who have lost their way.

In an interview with Telegraph Sport just under two years ago, Kenyon explained how he told all prospective owners of clubs that, while it undoubtedly costs money to create good sides, that alone is no guarantee of success.

“It goes way beyond a coach or a footballer,” he said. “It's about a culture that is created.”


Reader Comments (40)

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Paul Kernot
1 Posted 15/06/2022 at 01:56:24
Wait and see – as opposed to us making ill-informed comments on here, I think. Maybe no smoke without fire, possibly more like hype in order to sell news.

Either way, I don't envy Lampard's position in all this. As if he doesn't have enough plates to juggle at the moment. So many ifs, buts and maybes to consider.

Sell Richarlison… don't sell… Who can I buy, and when? On and on.

Charles Brewer
2 Posted 15/06/2022 at 11:06:46
Amusingly, the much insulted T Rex-armed Everton goalkeeper must be laughing his socks off this morning. In the last 20 England matches he played in, he let in 7 goals, of which 2 were penalties, so 5 in real terms. In 20 games.

The "obviously better" Sky/BBC choice, Ramsdale, let in 4 in his second game against a team where Pickford let in, er... none.

Jerome Shields
3 Posted 19/06/2022 at 14:22:18
The problem with 'culture created' is that, for Kenyon to be able to take over Everton, he has to have a line himself with the existing culture at Everton. It is probable that his group is Kenwright's choice, so he may already have sacrificed one of his principles.
Bill Gall
4 Posted 19/06/2022 at 15:57:53
I doubt if Bill Kenwright has any influence on who buys Everton. This will be between Moshiri and his lawyers and any prospective buyers.

I believe Moshiri made a mistake and he will not want to make another one in getting his investments back.

Brendan McLaughlin
5 Posted 19/06/2022 at 00:02:38
Indeed Bill #4
Although Jerome's "Game of Thrones " version is more fun...
Jerome Shields
6 Posted 20/06/2022 at 07:29:45
Bill #4,

If Kenyon is Bill's prefered suitor, would it be beneficial for him to know Bill's thoughts on the situation?

I think it is naive to think that Bill will not try to influence who the purchaser of Moshiri's shares is, given that he is a substantial shareholder, the current and long-standing Chairman, the fact that he controls the running of the club and has loyalists in place at all levels within the club.

Anyone looking at buying Moshiri's shares would also be foolish to ignore that, if they want to be serious contenders to purchase the shares that Moshiri puts up for sale. Another issue is what share agreements exist between Kenwright and Moshiri, unknown up till now?

On top of that is Bill's influence in the Premier League – who would have some say in approving such a takeover and have a further influence via agreements regarding compliance with FFP rules. It has been mentioned that their assurances on FFP would be a requirement by parties seeking to buy Moshiri's shares that are for sale.

Definitely not a straight-forward sale of shares as many are taking just on face value. A situation that Bill thrives in. I do wish it was different but BIll Kenwright will be a player in Everton's future as long as he does not sell his shares.

Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 20/06/2022 at 08:15:11
Interesting Jerome, especially with rumours circulating that Everton will only be sold once an agreement is in place to complete the new stadium.

I don't think anyone would be foolish enough to buy Everton without wanting to change the structure and personnel at the top of the club, whilst also getting into the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

So hopefully this is what happens in the coming months, although nothing much surprises me with regards to Everton.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 20/06/2022 at 08:36:14
Interesting views, Jerome and Tony. I agree with both.

If I was fortunate and privileged enough to be in a position to buy Everton, I'd want assurances that I can bring my own people in. Not be saddled with those imposed upon me and those who have been riding the good ship Everton for decades.

But reading Jerome's point, it is like politics. There is an institution in the club that seems to have surrounded itself with allies to almost make it impossible to remove. And Moshiri unfortunately bought it.

Our Chairman is almost like Putin. Just change the constitution and switch between being President and Prime Minister to stay in power.

Apologies if that is a controversial rant. I digress. I'm not a raving revolutionary. I'm actually quite moderate. But if this takeover (if it happens) ends up being another preserving of the old guard, we need to take to the streets as we did to get that team of ours over the line. We've shown the power of what we can do.

We have a fantastic opportunity in the new stadium We are taking this city back and putting Everton on the global football map. Forget the People's Club. We are the Real Club. Not a tourist attraction.

But we need change. What's happened to the 27 campaign?

It's only Monday morning. Sorry. I'll go and take my pills.

Brian Murray
9 Posted 20/06/2022 at 08:45:15
We have heard a few blues comment saying "You can check out but never leave"... but, if they even think about embarrassing themselves and keeping this inept old guard after a takeover, they will lose a lot of fans, including myself.

Oh, we know the next response by a happy clapper.... Okay, I'll take your ticket. The club adores that divisive stance with the fans. Let's them have yet another stay of execution.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 20/06/2022 at 09:09:42
Danny (8),

Leave those pills alone – you make perfect sense, to me, without them.

Brian Murray
11 Posted 20/06/2022 at 09:21:03
It's looking obvious that Moshiri is so ingrained in the old Everton Way of thinking that he's forgotten what made him a billionaire in the first place. Stop making yourself look even more of an idiot and cull your and our weaknesses, mate.
Ken Kneale
12 Posted 20/06/2022 at 10:59:32
Danny et al,

This is looking very concerning territory if we are not careful – the old adage of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" rings true with Everton of the Kenwright era.

Jerome Shields
13 Posted 20/06/2022 at 12:01:11
Tony #7

I thought the Stadium contract completion in place would be part of the deal. It's the only way Moshiri can realise the best value of his shares. I agree totally that a controlling interest should enable a change in the whole organisation to achieve goals an objectives. But that has to be negotiated and there lies the long grass.

At Everton there is already two factors in the equation Kenwright &Co and Moshiri &Co, Moshiri is to retain 20% of his shares and Kenwright is not selling any shares, so they are both likely to be continuing factors even after a takeover of 80% of Moshiris shares. It could be there is agreement between Kenwright and Moshiri over the sale of the 80% of Moshiris total holdings and the terms of agreement for such a sale. Maybe there has been a search on for a suitable suitor for some time.

Of course we all would like to think that Kenwright with his small, but substantial holding, would become a small cheese as a result of a takeover, but that has not been the case in the Moshiri takeover or in any future takeover. So anyone coming in with a agenda for change will find themselves up against it, for sure. Simply they will not be taking over Everton.

Clive Rogers
14 Posted 20/06/2022 at 12:16:31
Kenwright has 1750 Everton shares out of 135,000 or 1.3%.
Jerome Shields
15 Posted 20/06/2022 at 12:23:15
Clive #14

The same share he had before a takeover was muted

Duncan McDine
16 Posted 20/06/2022 at 12:23:58
“ Our Chairman is almost like Putin”. I can always count on ToffeeWeb. Hilarious 😂
Clive Rogers
17 Posted 20/06/2022 at 12:48:29
Jerome, so surely he cannot have any influence on who we sell to with that small a %.
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 20/06/2022 at 14:25:54
I sincerely hope not Clive. I heard that another man who is possibly doing a similar job to Kenyon, with regards to finding investors, has also been getting together a consortium of Americans, and they have also been looking at Everton.

I also heard this fella, has got no time for Bill Kenwright, and after reading what Jerome has got to say, then maybe Kenwright also knows this, and this is why Kenyon’s name has suddenly been brought to everyone’s attention?

Christine Foster
19 Posted 20/06/2022 at 14:49:12
Jerome, I think I have mentioned on another thread that I doubt Moshiri will be looking to sell his entire holding, and that, like the one before him, he will be looking for "inward investment" the lure of an eventual payday once the stadium is completed is significant, and let's face it, he has fronted up the dosh, putting his money where his mouth is.

New "investors" will want control, and that means effectively 75% shareholding which is required should they wish to change the constitution of the club. I doubt Moshiri wants to deal at that level of sale but it comes down to share value, potential value realization, financial structure of any deal, management of debt and possible purchase models.

It's always about the money in the end, as I said before, there is blood in the water and the sharks are circling wanting chunks.

Brian Murray
20 Posted 20/06/2022 at 15:11:48
Tony. Let's get it right. If any – and I mean any – investors are even half-professional and know what they are doing, they would never entertain the present incumbents.
Jerome Shields
21 Posted 20/06/2022 at 15:23:11
Clive #17,

He will have influence as he has had in the past and I don't think there is fall out between him and Moshiri.

Christine #19,

That's how I see it as well, Moshiri wants to maximise his share value and reduce the risk, which he has been taking on himself up to now. New investors will have access to finance. It's not just their purchase of shares, but what they bring to the table with them. Maybe Moshiri has learnt from Kenwright. My main concern is how this will all play out for Everton on the pitch.

I always felt there were long-term investment objectives in Moshiri's interest in Everton, more a dockland development than a football development. I think this is a continuation of that objective. Sharks in the water is an accurate analogy.

Bill Gall
22 Posted 20/06/2022 at 16:09:45

Question for you: If you had the finances to buy Everton, who would you talk to – the owner or an employee?

The reason Bill Kenwright stayed as Chairman when Moshiri took over was not because it was part of a deal; it was because when he first became owner, he only had 50% of the shares and to have control, as Christine points out, you need 75% of shares to have complete control of the club.

Kenwright only has 1.26% of the shares today. Before the takeover, Kenwright had 26% of shares, Earl had 24% and Woods had 19%.

Kenwright only has power at Everton – not because of any deals made with Moshiri; I think we just have a weak owner that just tries to please everyone.

One thing you may be happy about is, with this takeover, we should not get another weak owner. This is not a dig at Moshiri as I think he has done a lot of good things for the club and should be thanked for it.

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 20/06/2022 at 16:21:11
Bill #22, Moshiri has been outspoken about his affection for Kenwright. Is that what makes him "weak" in your view? He certainly didn't "please" his friend by hiring Benitez over the latter's strong opposition.

I would argue that Moshiri has been too assertive, rather than too weak -- making decisions about manager hirings and player transfers that would have been better left to football people.

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 20/06/2022 at 16:37:44
I heard it was Usmanov who made that decision Mike, and I’d guess that if it wasn’t for the Big Uzbek’s current sanctions, then Moshiri would not be under any pressure or looking to sell the club?

They haven’t done much right since they purchased Everton, and if it wasn’t for this new ground, then I’m certain they would have taken a lot more stick from the fans, so it will be interesting to see how any sale pans out, if we are to be sold, because I also thought it was as much about being part of the regeneration, as it was about owning Everton, something that I think Moshiri, has already confirmed, when he said he didn’t want Everton, to take up to much of his time.

Trevor Powell
25 Posted 20/06/2022 at 17:01:00
If you are old enough to remember the late sixties/early seventies, you may remember Bob Lord, the no-nonsense chairman of Burnley FC. Interviewed on Sportsnight, he made two salient points about the future of football and the role of club owners:

1. Television will damage the game irretrievably; and

2. Why do successful businessmen take over football clubs and forget all the principles that made their main businesses so successful? It seems that a management amnesia takes place in owners' minds!

Bill Gall
26 Posted 20/06/2022 at 19:01:06
Mike # 23.

As the majority of fans on here, when asked about the problems with the decline of Everton since Moshiri took over, the majority said the problem was with the Board.

As Bill Kenwright is Chairman of the Board, it was his responsibility to see it was run correctly. And as quoted most supporters rightly feel the problem is at board level. As you have said, "Moshiri has spoken about his affection for Kenwright" – he is putting friendship before the club, and that as the owner, in my opinion, makes him weak.

Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 20/06/2022 at 21:50:40
Bill, you make some unusual claims @22.

First this 75% threshold for "control of the company" that Christine raised. I'm not sure this is true. The devil is in the detail.

Shareholders holding more than 75% of shares have the right to pass a special resolution. Examples of which relate to significant changes in the company that don't appear relevant to Everton at the time that Moshiri bought in.

You then say Moshiri bought in at only 50% and did not have "control of the company". In fact, he bought in at 49.9%, yet in reality he did have effective control of the company because he immediately became the majority shareholder, with more shares than anyone else. So if anything had come down to a vote based on shares, his will would have prevailed.

Yet I doubt if any of this really mattered because all the appearances are that it was a fully amicable progressive takeover of shares and ownership by Moshiri, while he was never even on the Board of Directors himself!

And I think that's where this idea of an agreement with Kenwright comes in. We know for a fact that Moshiri did not really want to run the club; there are also strong indications that Kenwright wanted to preserve his position in control of the club as Chairman. Again, this appears to have been a fully amicable agreement reached by both parties, with Kenwright's hugely lucrative staged payouts for his shares being an essential part of this.

I think Kenwright still has power at the club because he is the Chairman of the Board and because he is there by agreement with Moshiri, irrespective of Kenwright's 'paltry' 1.26% shareholding. Yes, Moshiri (and perhaps another party that Tony knows about) have interfered along the way. But Kenwright is still the defacto Chairman and it seems he is there with the full agreement of Moshiri.

Mark Taylor
28 Posted 20/06/2022 at 21:53:06
Many of us on here have either owned a business or run one so we know that a shareholding of 1.3% is, at face value, meaningless. You are not in control, you are a passenger.

It is not sentiment that alters that, but maybe clauses in shareholder agreements, that we are not privy to, that could give such a tiny minority shareholding, disproportionate influence. Or you know where skeletons are buried- I'm thinking here of FFP and what BK might know or be seen to know about that. That might alter the power balance.

Otherwise BK has as much influence as Moshiri allows him. That might be more than some, me included, would like. But in the end, Moshiri's exit, which I personally believe he is planning now that Usmanov cannot operate behind the scenes, will probably be predicated on retaining a sub 25% shareholding and a side agreement giving an upside for excess asset realisation. I wonder if that might mean a split of entities- club and stadium.

I just hope Frank is given some operational leeway during these machinations, otherwise we risk a scenario of bald men arguing over a comb...

Brendan McLaughlin
29 Posted 20/06/2022 at 22:13:19
Mark #28

I disagree... not many on here will have owned a business... perhaps slightly more will have run one.

I suspect you've done one or other, if not both, so it's refreshing to have some realism injected into the debate.

Mark Taylor
30 Posted 20/06/2022 at 23:14:48

I've definitely done one – owned a business – and maybe done the other but it's moot who truly runs a business if you don't also own it. For sure, I've had first-hand exposure to ownership issues including shareholder agreements, both as a minority Kenwright-style 'owner', and as a majority shareholder like Moshiri.

I'm not sure if it's realism this injects but thanks for the compliment!

Bill Gall
32 Posted 20/06/2022 at 23:35:19
Michael @27,

This is from an article written by David Conn, for The Guardian, 11 September 2018:

Everton's major shareholder Farhad Moshiri increases stake in club to 68.6%

"Everton's major shareholder and investor, Monaco-based Farhad Moshiri, has taken his ownership of the club above 50% with the purchase of a further 18.7% of the shares..."

"[He] agreed to extend his shareholding, which is held via his... registered company Blue Heaven Holdings, when he first bought 49.9% of the club in March 2016."

"At that time, documents... showed that Everton's three remaining substantial shareholders, the chairman Bill Kenwright, director Jon Woods and long-term shareholder Arthur Abercromby, had agreed to sell further shares to Moshiri."

"The club said Moshiri expected to purchase further shares and take his ownership above 75%, effectively the threshold for decision-making control, by July next year."

Laurie Hartley
33 Posted 20/06/2022 at 23:57:59
Does anyone know how much Farhad Moshiri has pumped into the club to date. My understanding is that it is in the region of £600 million - the same as his valuation of the club. Is this correct? Perhaps Paul The Esk can inform us.
James Flynn
34 Posted 20/06/2022 at 00:26:22
"How he told all prospective owners of clubs that, while it undoubtedly costs money to create good sides, that alone is no guarantee of success.

'It goes way beyond a coach or a footballer,' he said. 'It's about a culture that is created.'"

Is that so? How "innovative". Just what we're missing. Who knew?

Sorry, but my "Danger Will Robinson, danger!" bullshit meter starts heading towards the red when I read stuff like this.

It's not Roberto Martinez-level, swing for the fences bullshitting, but Mr Kenyon is in the ballpark with this "culture" business.

My experience over a long time as a ToffeeWebber, is that the culture of Everton is us — Evertonians.

Not a single event over that time has swayed me from that feeling. Not a one. Even Kenwright getting a round of applause when his face comes on the screen.

The last few weeks of the season highlighted the culture of Everton. "We're going down?", we're going down together! That's my Everton.

The culture is locked, loaded, and ready to engage. We just need better players.

A guy repeating corporate-speak heard at some management-training seminar, makes him suspect to me.

Michael Kenrick
35 Posted 21/06/2022 at 09:15:20
Bill @32,

Thanks for posting your source material: much appreciated.

Regarding the significance of the 75% threshold – "for decision-making control" – I disagree with the way Conn has phrased this. I think I understand what he means, but that relates to a more absolute degree of control over the company which I don't believe was relevant.

I maintain that Moshiri had effective decision-making control from the day he bought in at 49.9%. Not that it matters a jot as it was all done amicably (as far as we know) and he went on to pass the 75% threshold anyway 2½ years later.

I was more interested in your claim "Kenwright only has power at Everton – not because of any deals made with Moshiri..."

I was curious why you think that is the case when most observers maintain that there is an agreement of some form which has enabled Kenwright to extend his tenure and control as Chairman – despite his dwindling shareholding?

Bill Gall
36 Posted 21/06/2022 at 15:25:01
Michael #35.

Thank you for your reply. In answer to your question...

It is my opinion that, when the negotiations to sell the club, that Kenwright as majority owner, with at that time 26% of shares, represented and negotiated for the other 74% of shareholders with Moshiri and his representatives, through the club's brokers, Blankstone Sington.

I don't believe that Kenwright had enough influence "unlike some other supporters" that he had to be kept on as Chairman to allow the sale of his shares or other shareholders' shares for Moshiri to become the majority owner.

As you say, it was all done amicably, and as Moshiri had no knowledge of running a football club, in my opinion, he agreed to allow Kenwright to remain as Chairman.

There had to be a contract signed so there may have been a timeframe involved in that, and that may be the document people say was signed, but not being privy to seeing this, no-one knows what it said. But I am sure Moshiri's lawyers would not have him sign anything that gave someone else more control than him.

In 2019, Moshiri bought the bulk of Lord Granchester's shares. As I said at the start, this is just my opinion, with some facts that are available to find.

Will Mabon
38 Posted 21/06/2022 at 15:49:19
I agree with James regarding the corporate-speak bullshit meter. Please deliver us from this burgeoning garbage, and jettison those that write and produce it, out into space.

Barry Rathbone
39 Posted 22/06/2022 at 18:12:35
The Kenyon quote in the piece is a real worry he concedes building success is about money but then exposes the hubris of Hicks and Gilette, the Venkys, Randy Lerner, Mike Ashley, Moshiri and other balloons who think a bit of business acumen and abstract bollocks like "culture" with will crack it. NO IT WON'T!!

Utd invented the blueprint of success during the Fergie reign buying every Prem star from other teams. Chelsea and City followed all buying duds along the way but it mattered not a jot because they simply went out and bought again.

Our problem going back decades is EVERY incoming has to be a hit and contribute to raising the level of the team an impossible task. Mucho concerning that Kenyon and co are more relative paupers delusional in the belief that others of the same ilk just haven't got the "culture" right.

Give me a nation buyer or give me a Clough/Shankly anything less is wash, rinse, repeat

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 25/06/2022 at 18:00:31
Bill Gall, I'm sure the ‘amicable Moshiri/Kenwright agreement' was akin to the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of 1939 with secret provisions included eg Billy gets to sit in the aisle seat at home games to avoid getting stuck and he gets to choose which games to play on the way back home to London etc…
Jay Harris
45 Posted 25/06/2022 at 18:05:09
Michael, one of my best friends is neighbour and friends with Keith Harris who told him many years ago when the club was put up for sale that Kenwright had insisted on a couple of clauses being part of any deal, which is why many interested parties walked away.

I am concerned that the control Kenwright has been allowed may also play a part in this mooted takeover.

Brian Murray
46 Posted 25/06/2022 at 18:16:47
A few blues on here are a bit cautious and pointing out the potential for disaster which is fair enough because they care about the club. It's got to the stage I'd take the chance on any ruthless professional only in it for themselves shysters than to carry on like this. The reason obviously is we need to be relatively successful on the pitch for any takeover to truly work.

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