EGM Report – Kevin Campbell to the rescue?By Ian Phillips • Jun 27th, 2013 • Category: News |
This evening the first general meeting of Everton Football Club since 2008 took place at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. In attendance were Chairman Bill Kenwright, CEO Robert Elstone, Deputy Chairman John Woods and Life President Sir Philip Carter however only Kenwright and Elstone acutally spoke.
The proceedings began with Kenwright apologising on behalf of Robert Earl who unsurprisingly was absent and the manager Roberto Martinez who is currently in America working for ESPN during the Confederations Cup.
The first issue to be discussed was the re-instatement of AGMs. Kenwright stated that he did not change the articles of amendment to stop these meetings rather than company law changed removing their requirement. Kenwright said that he used to enjoy them and there was always a good atmosphere and he enjoyed the banter, however after the Kirkby debacle they started to take a turn for the worse, with one meeting named “Kill Bill 3”, the decision was thus taken to hold shareholders meetings at the end of the season rather than hold AGMs. “I had no intention of stopping these meetings,” Kenwright said “however, I no longer had the intention of being there”, in fact he even mentioned that he’d considered not going to this meeting. Speaking of his meeting with the Blue Union in 2011 Kenwright said “Something happened to me which left me feeling raped, bruised and betrayed”.
A video documenting Everton’ success over the past 12 months was then shown before Robert Elstone took to the stage to deliver his financial report. Elstone started by pointing out his blog from January 2012 where he attempted to explain Everton’s finances and told those in attendance how well received it was. Elstone then moved on to the “Other Operating Costs” and stressed that he does not understand why they have been such an issue, he showed us a breakdown of where the money goes on things such as bills, insurance and travel expenses etc… and then showed us that this figure has been decreasing over recent years and is much lower than our peers. Talking about Finch Farm Elstone called the new deal with the City Council a “win-win-win” deal as the previous owners wanted to sell, the Council can make money and Everton can save money, however he did not explain why it was sold in the first place. Elstone then talked about our commercial deals stating how he’s worked hard to stick with Chang and had recently been over to Thailand to discuss extending the deal further. He maintained that the Kitbag deal was fantastic for the club and that limiting the distribution to just Everton One, Two and Direct was the price we have to pay for that deal. He went on to state that we can not compare our deals with the “big clubs”. One of the more bizarre parts of the presentation was when Elstone started talking about 48 hours that should make us proud to be blue, we were shown a video which started with April 15th and the Hillsborough Memorial where Bill Kenwright spoke so magnificently. I was scratching my head wondering what else happened in those 48 hours that would make us so proud and then realised it was a 0-0 draw at the Emirates that Elstone was so thrilled about.
After the presentation Bill Kenwright opened the floor to questions. A shareholder asked if a shared stadium was still on the agenda, Kenwright, bizarrely given Liverpool have no interest in the matter, said yes it was despite him not being overly keen on the idea, he then went on to say that a site not far from Goodison has been identified and is being looked at thoroughly. Kenwright was asked why the board haven’t invested a penny into the club, he then looked at Woods and Carter and said “I haven’t got the money, have you?”, to which both shook their heads. After being pressed on this Kenwright stressed that not taking a wage from the club was his investment and a “colossal” one at that. Kenwright was then asked about the possibility of a new share issue to raise capital to which he bizarrely responded that Kevin Campbell had put him in touch with someone in New York about that very same possibility.
Much to the discontent of the room, and myself who had many questions I wished to ask, Kenwright then stated that was the end of the Q&A session. Despite this having lasted less than half an hour and Kenwright only having listened to 8 of the 250 odd shareholders in attendance he insisted that that was enough before eventually allowing one final question which was about the involvement of Robert Earl. Kenwright insisted that he does attend board meetings and attend games and he had spoken to him as recently as last night when Earl was having dinner with Roberto Martinez. This was followed up by a question about Everton’s academy and why Everton have not been involved in the NextGen tournament, Kenwright said that Moyes was against it but he has just given Alan Irvine the funds to allow Everton to compete in the competition next season.
After that there was a show of hands on the re-introduction of AGMs to which the majority of the room, including Kenwright, raised their hand and at that point the meeting was over.