AGM Report

10/12/2007 The Alex Young Suite, Goodison Park December 4 Viewed in advance by many as being the most important AGM in Everton’s one hundred and twenty nine year history, with a firm focus on debating the issues surrounding the Kirkby move proposal, an attendance in excess of three hundred and fifty people filled the Alex Young Suite for the one hundred and twenty eighth Annual General Meeting of The Everton Football Club Company Limited. The meeting opened with chairman Bill Kenwright reminding all present that the format for the evening would be “as usual” with the formal business on the agenda taking place first, “after which the AGM will close and you will have an opportunity to ask questions to the Board, and the manager.” The media were then formally invited. The Director’s Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31st May 2007 were approved, a simple procedure each year. Mr Kenwright went through the process of explaining the accounts as published in the Annual Report. He then asked for questions from the floor, with one shareholder asking him about the outsourcing — “Chairman, you did say that the turnover would drop, and it did drop, I’m just wondering why the creditor position which last year was £9m is now up to £16m — shouldn’t that have dropped as well?” “Good point,” replied the chairman, who ‘passed the baton’ to Company Secretary Martin Evans to field the query by stating that “the increase isn’t related to the outsourcing, especially in relation to player transfers — some of which are deferred and paid over a period of years — clearly with significant investment in new players in the last year, that would go up as we have more payments deferred into the future on those players, that’s the reason.” The re-appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as Auditors to the Company and to authorise the Directors to fix their remuneration was merely another formality. Jon Woods found himself re-elected to the Board though there was a significant show of hands opposing his re-election. The new man on the block, Robert Earl, was elected with little opposition. The fun and games then started with Item 5 of the Agenda (“the formal business”). Item 5 — “To transact any other business which may be transacted at the Annual General Meeting of the Company.” One shareholder demanded to know why the official minutes of the meeting would not record what was said with the commencement of the questions and answers session between shareholders and the Board. The Chairman, with one eye on legal advice nearby, offered that the meeting was now closed. Finished. Which, in layman’s terms, meant that the one hundred and twenty eighth annual general meeting of Everton Football Club had ended in less time it takes to watch an average episode of Coronation Street, despite the fact that Item 5, listed on the Agenda, clearly indicated that any other business would be transacted.

Quite simply, it wasn’t. Something perhaps for the Shareholders Association to consider for next year perhaps? It may have been a wise tactic on the part of the Board this year to run straight into this questions and answers session. We were not treated to a PowerPoint presentation from Mr. Wyness. In previous years we had both Mr. Wyness and his deputy Robert Elstone using pie charts, and bubbles, to indicate Everton’s financial well-being — and where we need to be. None of that this year, and for good reason too most of us suspect. As ever, with these meetings, it only got going with the Q&A session between the floor and the top table. Media reports have suggested it was a feisty affair with animated comments aplenty from the floor solely on the hot topic of relocating outside the City boundary, to Kirkby. Personally, I thought the comments from the floor were relatively restrained, considering how divisive this issue remains amongst Evertonians. The Board wheeled out a Mr Chris Potts, from Savills, planning consultants working with Everton Football Club. We were informed by Mr. Potts, a Director of Savills, that Goodison Park could not be developed in such a way to accommodate a capacity in excess of 37,500. Bill Kenwright added that it would cost more to develop at Goodison than at a new ground. The claim from Mr Potts was instantly challenged by shareholders, one pointing out that the current chairman had been part of a group that had paid Terry Ward, the man responsible for the redevelopment of Twickenham, to draw up plans proving that Goodison Park, on its current footprint, could indeed be redeveloped to accommodate a capacity in the region of 55,000. And furthermore, that was over ten years ago! Mr Potts continued to struggle, informing the meeting that the Bestway / Loop proposal was also too expensive, citing the necessity to build a plinth and the required infrastructure changes as but two reasons for it being a non-runner. Some shareholders tackled him over his comments on the Bestway / Loop proposal after he re-iterated that it was not feasible. Mr Potts admitted he’d not seen HOK’s report, on the Bestway / Loop proposal. Both Bill Kenwright and Keith Wyness stated likewise, they’d seen no HOK report. The shareholder asking the question, tackling Mr Potts’ considered opinion on the Bestway / Loop proposal, produced a copy of the report and offered to give it to the top table! Both Mr Potts and Bill Kenwright claimed then to have spoken with HOK, with the chairman saying that he had been told (by HOK) “it would be hugely hugely hugely costly to build a stadium like this.” He added, “if what you’re saying is — we need a plan B, and we need a plan C, and a plan D, I’m more than happy if plan A doesn’t work, we will obviously revisit Goodison.” Asked why we (the shareholders and the fanbase in general) were not given the option at the time, the chairman stated, “we (the Board) were asking you to vote on Kirkby.” He added, “on behalf of the Board, as a plan B, Goodison, as a plan C, if you want to, we’ll look at the Bestway again…” Another shareholder then queried the chairman’s comments from last year’s AGM, whereby the chairman, then, had stated he would require a 60% mandate ‘to go to Kirkby’. “You’ve got a 40% mandate to go to Kirkby,” he claimed, adding, “Where Keith Wyness is talking grandly now about 75,000 — you must be concerned that

11,000 couldn’t be bothered to vote. You’re going to fill a new stadium on that? We’re one of the big clubs in the country — we want to be an Arsenal, we want to be a Manchester United — Arsenal have just moved across the road, United have redeveloped Old Trafford; Tottenham have just declared they are going to redevelop White Hart Lane. The clubs that have moved out of the area, like Bolton, Coventry and Leicester, are all struggling away. I honestly feel that this will be the death of Everton — your main legacy here.” The following shareholder, on a similar theme, stated that Everton Football Club deserved a greater stadium than what was being proposed. He said, “We’re going to end up with a ground like Coventry’s ground, Pride Park, St. Mary’s. Evertonians deserve something better than that. If Stanley Park is going to cost £300 £400million, if the average cost is something like that, how can we build one for a fraction of the price and then hold ourselves up, what future does that give the club? If we set our standards with such a low quality stadium in comparison to the big four or five clubs, when David picks his team he aspires to be as good as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United etc., you’ve got to set that same standard with the stadium, because this is the biggest decision the Club’s going to make as we’re going to live with this over one hundred years; if we muck up on the team it’s a ten / twenty years transition possibly. You can’t afford to mess this one up.” The chairman replied, “Couldn’t agree more…” The next comment from the floor came from a shareholder who didn’t want to be talking about directors “ripping the heart and soul out of the club, moving the club out of the city.” Expressing an interest in Mr Potts’ comments about the HOK report, the shareholder opined that it was probably only the Board of Everton FC, and Mr. Potts, who had not yet seen this report. The shareholder agreed with the Board that it (The Loop) would be very expensive but he countered that by claiming, in his consideration, that it would be “more expensive to build a stadium on a landfill site that was full of toxins and other poisons, costing millions to decontaminate that site.” Mr Potts replied, in agreement with the shareholder, that the proposed HOK Loop development would need a plinth built, “the cost of the Kirkby project have been assessed in terms of ground conditions; there’s a detailed ground investigation report; there’s a remediation strategy. That’s all been costed and put into the business plan. So, certainly, in terms of has it been looked at, has it been factored in, the answer is yes.” Bill Kenwright interjected, saying “I understand the emotion, but what I would like you to do, what I would ask you not to do is belittle the work of the people who are trying to sort this club out. You mightn’t agree with it and I understand that. I absolutely understand that. But, an awful lot of man hours, extraordinary man hours, we’ve had a long long meeting today with architects — have gone into what we think should be our move and we have a fantastic team behind us who are working very very hard, Chris is one of them and I think he deserves our applause and not brickbats.” The shareholder, from the floor, who asked the initial question, replied, endorsing the chairman’s comment but stated that the point he was making was that he knew that the HOK proposal for the Loop was “very expensive to build on the Bestway site because it needs a plinth. It’s common knowledge, everybody knows that, but equally it will cost a fortune to build a stadium in Kirkby on a landfill site that’s lying dormant. We know you have factored it in but the question is (for Chris

Potts) that I would actually suggest it’s more expensive to decontaminate that site for Everton to build a stadium on and that was the point I was making.” Mr Potts, somewhat unbelievably, replied saying, “Certainly construction costs are not my discipline.” The shareholder jumped in saying “you’ve just said it will be very expensive to build a plinth and now you’re saying you’ve no experience?” Mr Potts rallied citing once more the cost of the Bestway / Loop proposal and furthermore it wasn’t big enough a site. He claimed that after visiting the presentation of the Bestway / Loop proposal (at St. Georges Hall) the costs would prove to be too expensive for such a small site, “a very bespoke design” that “certainly won’t be as good as at Kirkby.” He ran through the potential costs of the Loop proposal but the shareholder returned oncemore to his initial query: the cost of decontaminating the Kirkby being potentially greater than the costs involved at the Bestway proposed site. The next shareholder laid it out plain, “you said it yourself, Bill — Everton, Scotland Road, The Loop, has a ring to it; Kirkby, Everton, Tesco, has no ring to it; Everton, Goodison Park is the only ring that we’re interested in, Bill.” “I would acknowledge what has just been said,” said the chairman, “I’m not quite sure where the badge of dishonour that Tesco is getting in this. I’m not, I’m being honest with you, a great Evertonian met me at the Manchester City 5 Everton 1 game and he said he’d like to help us if he could. A few years later he came up with a scheme that he believed would help us, as simple as that.” The next question from the floor came from a shareholder who wanted to ask Mr Earl about naming rights. “Would you get more money from naming rights in Liverpool city centre, Goodison Park or Kirkby?” Mr Earl, in reply offered, “I’m afraid that the answer to that question won’t please you. The answer to that question will be determined by the sponsors…. in the context of attendance, how many times the name is going to be written, how successful David and the team are on the pitch, a lot of different factors determined whether Emirates Airline wanted to pay x million pounds a year for the shirt and the naming rights to the stadium. It wouldn’t have been the geography. It would have been the attendance — a lot of people have commented that the attendances outside of the city would be lower. If that were the case then of course the sponsorship would be lower. But obviously the belief here is that we’re going to do the business on the pitch and that the attendances in this brand new stadium over 51,000 — I don’t know where the figure of 75,000 comes from — the quality of the stadium that Bill Kenwright obsesses on every single day. He added, “I’ve personally had meetings with Warren Bradley, you can see my phone bill to see conversations I’ve had. I know Malcolm Carter as well; I’ve had conversations with Carter. I’ve had conversations with John Kelly who knows a lot more than Councillor Bradley and he’s the gentleman who controls the purse strings and he says they are not — repeat, not — available at this moment, over a series of years. There might be grants available and I don’t know why Bill is not sharing all that but he has exactly the same emotions as you — this is the most heart-wrenching thing; and when he hears from you guys, which I fully fully understand how you feel, it is breaking his heart as he shares the same view. But he’s made this decision….” The shareholder interrupted Mr Earl, “sorry Robert, the question I asked — the main income in any football club is the marketing income. This County Road is a major

arterial road into Liverpool city centre. Scotland Road is a major arterial road into Liverpool city centre. If you could place an advert — I don’t know the number of cars that drive along this road (County Road), every day of the week and look up this street, and there it says, ‘Everton Football Club’. Where do you think from your experience you’d get major income?” Mr Earl replied saying “neither of those factors would be a determinant, I’m afraid, in the investment. I know you won’t like the answer again. But, Emirates Airline are having an orgasm over the amount of press because Arsenal are top of the League and Emirates Stadium is mentioned every single hour in press everywhere — globally - and because the name is on the shirt and they’re getting an enormous amount of TV time and so it goes around the world. So whether you like it or not, those are the factors that determine it. Yes, I agree, the geography, but that is just local regional advertising and that isn’t the reason that multinational and national corporations will put the type of money in that the club is now expecting. I’m sorry, but that’s my view on that.” A Kirkby resident was next to stand and question the Board. She informed the meeting that she was resident in one of the seventy three houses, and a nursing home, earmarked for demolition, to make way for car parking spaces. The next shareholder tackled the top table, saying, “when we were given the vote you said we were dying if we stayed at Goodison Park. That’s what we were being told, and maybe the vote would have been different. You should be ashamed, you should resign. The City is absolutely booming. There’s one billion pound being spent by Grosvenor. Would they spend that in Kirkby? They wouldn’t spend it. The City is booming. Terence Leahy, in the Echo last night said that ‘he can’t believe the transformation in this city since he left in the seventies.’ The City is on the way back up, Bill, and everyone’s going towards the town, and you want to take us to the moon? You may as well take us to Mars as you’re going to erode future generations of Everton supporters. The West End of London, to the outskirts — why do you put on shows in the West End? Because it’s a catchment area — and the centre of Liverpool is a catchment area, and the centre of Kirkby town is not.” The chairman responsed citing he takes far more money “in Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool….” He was interrupted by calls, from many, that they were cities! The next shareholder asked the chairman to answer the previous question from the Kirkby resident who highlighted how her home and another number of properties were due to be demolished, to make way for a car parking facility. The chairman claimed he did not know about the proposed demolition of the Kirkby houses, and nursing home — “no, I wasn’t aware of it.” The next shareholder highlighted the drawings presented at St. Georges Hall, detailing the projected redevelopment of Goodison Park. “I don’t understand why you don’t have a set of plans for it (Goodison Park), and you should have a set of plans for it. I think that Goodison Park has got the footprint of the Emirates,” he offered. Mr Kenwright replied, “as I said five minutes ago, we have a team of experts — and if you think we haven’t that, you’re wrong. It does not have the footprint of the Emirates. We could never get to 60,000 at Goodison Park. We could, on our latest investigation, get to 37,500 if we included the kind of things that we would want to do over a period of four years and it would be massive income on the way, and costing of

more than if we move to a new ground. Once again, guys, I know what you’re saying. I get your letters, I understand you, but you’re wrong.” The next shareholder highlighted the potential car parking problems arising in Kirkby, casting doubt over the number of parking spaces being made available to matchgoers in a parking area cateringly mainly for shoppers. Mr Potts fielded this question. “The club have taken quite a number of feasibility studies on obviously Goodison Park, what’s the potential, what’s the opportunity, what can be done — but certainly if the club is going to make a major investment, it wants to make sure it has the best facilities, of Premiership stadia. It has to have the right hospitality, the right players facilities, and the spectators’ facilities. We go to a lot of stadia now and the quality of the benchmark is forever being raised. If the club are going to spend this amount of money they have got to hit a satisfactory benchmark, there just isn’t enough room within the Goodison Park footprint to achieve that and as Mr Kenwright’s indicated, the latest study we’ve had which has been done in recent months show them applying all the latest guides that you would apply, putting in the hospitality you’d need, putting in all the Premiership facilities you would expect, with sub 40,000 capacity. Add to that, any redevelopment that would be done, as the gentleman indicated, stand by stand, as and when it’s needed, the implicational cashflow of taking out a stand year by year is phenomenal. Plus you’ve got no enabling development; it’s all coming out of the club’s funding itself. So actually, the financial equation looks very very grim. The club have looked at it. I’ve certainly seen reports by architects and cost consultants etc. over the years and I can assure you that the latest one which is done to see what can we do, how can we take this forward, on cost and design, we can’t get above 40,000 so that we can give you a Premiership stadium for the players. So, we have done the work.” A shareholder questioned these reports, mentioned by Mr Potts, asking him precisely what he’d viewed, at the club. Mr Potts replied saying that “the most recent report has been produced by a company called KSS Design who are…they transformed the Commonwealth Games stadium in Manchester for Manchester City. They are the designers for Spurs. They’ve done work in the past for Chelsea and Fulham.” The shareholder, in response, said “but things have moved on since, haven’t they, because the council have basically said that the footprint can be extended. Now, the reports you’re referring to are talking about the existing footprint as it is. Now, just before you answer me, I was privileged to be part of an opposition group, which confronted Peter Johnson with the help of our present chairman Bill Kenwright to stop similar moves to Kirkby, and Bill was very much behind us at that point in time. We proved at that time, we got an architect in called Terry Ward from Ward McHugh, based in Sheffield, who obviously you know, and he worked on Twickenham, as you all know, and we proved here, to Peter Johnson, that given the footprint extended you could build easily 50,000 and 55,000 here on this wider footprint with all the corporate facilities you’re talking about, with all the first class Premiership facilities you’re talking about - and we didn’t do it last week, we didn’t do it last year, we done it ten years ago. And the club have had that document sat there collecting dust and pushing it under little papers every time we change chief executive, or chairman, or another member of the Board, because — let’s be honest — we’ve had no ambition at this club, since we won the trophies and then we had a lull there’s been no ambition at all to move this club forward. We missed the bubble, for other reasons, but we’ve let this

ground crumble, deliberately. It’s a ploy, I don’t know why, but I want you to realise that we should’ve done a Manchester United, we should’ve done an Aston Villa, we should’ve done a Newcastle United, and we should do what Tottenham are now doing — and rebuild Goodison.” No comment forthwith from the top table. Richard Lewis, from the Everton Shareholders 2005 group, wondered where we were going to find the money. He said, “In the heart, we’d all love to stay here. It would be my wish. I’d also, in an ideal world like to stay in the City of Liverpool. But the reality is, somebody has got to pay for everything and I’m hearing everything being spoken tonight but nobody is saying ‘well, the guys down here, or us as a group of shareholders, are we going to pay for it?’ The club are attempting to produce a deliverable option circa £75m, which I presume is going to be funded. But say, you in an ideal world, want to go to the Loop site and we build a stadium on a plinth, God help all the commuters from the Wirral, of which I am one coming into Liverpool every day. However, how much would that cost? £400m? Are we going to pay for it? Reality is we can’t pay for it. Our club, sadly at the moment isn’t popular enough, that’s maybe why we’ve gone behind other clubs over the years. Revenue is not as high. We have a football stadium that can’t produce enough income per match, we’ve got to do something about it.” Trevor Skempton took up the baton, so to speak, and told Mr. Kenwright and the top table about Newcastle United — “If I can just come back on the stadium issue, with a little bit of history, I was working in Newcastle for the city council in 1990. At that time Newcastle had 4,000 seats and an average attendance of 23,000. Their ground was the worst in the old Second Division. The Magpie Group took over the club, but before they took over, the old Board issued a document, which I have at home, saying that they could only accommodate 33,000 in a stadium at St. James’ Park. We were asked to look into it and we said that they could expand the ground — even as far as 80,000 if they were prepared to do it in certain ways. The club was taken over and I don’t see anybody having poured money into a black hole in Newcastle. Average attendances are now over 50,000. This has been built up, gradually, by a business plan. Sound business principles. It’s a pity they haven’t got a manager like David there or there’d have been no stopping them. The fact is that they’ve built up their fan base, everybody talks about them being a big club but they’re no bigger than Everton. They were averaging 23,000 in 1990. Kevin Keegan started taking them forward; they built it up bit by bit by bit. In the next few years they are building another stand at the Gallowgate, to take their capacity up to 65,000. That is a club that has not been bankrolled by a sugar daddy, it is a club that is run on aggressive but sound business principles.” Mr Kenwright replied saying “I know all about Newcastle United, I agree with a lot of what you say. Their success came actually on the pitch first before they started moving into business…” Mr Kenwright at this point was tackled by many from the floor for the comment about Newcastle’s supposed ‘success’ on the pitch first before any ground redevelopment at St. James’ Park. The next shareholder wanted to know about the exclusivity agreement with Tesco, how much of a done deal was it. He said, “the last time I attended an AGM one Christopher Samuelson was in attendance and we were in a similar sort of exclusivity period with him, which appeared to be an elastic one that seemed to stretch on and on and then disappear. You may recall I said to you that night Mr Chairman that I didn’t believe he was an Evertonian, he was lying about that, what else was he lying about.

Just after that AGM, myself and a colleague, in private conversation with a Board member, were told that no such exclusivity agreement existed and it was merely a smokescreen to avoid awkward questions at the AGM. Can the Board provide evidence, perhaps to the Shareholders Association, that this exclusivity agreement that seems to have been used throughout the last few months to bat all the other proposals aside, I’ve heard more solid argument against the alternative plans tonight than anything I’ve seen in the last few months because it’s all been down to ‘we’ve got an exclusivity agreement with Tesco, we can’t discuss it, we can’t discuss this, we can’t discuss that’, and I’m wondering if that’s a similar ploy to deflect alternative proposals, and for us to basically just say ‘we’re not going to entertain anything else because it’s a done deal’. I’ve spoken to people who have said they’ve been involved on Kirkby throughout the last eighteen months, at stages where they would normally expect not to be looking at the feasibility of it, to be looking at it as a done deal, as something that is going ahead no matter what, way before a ballot was even mentioned.” CEO Keith Wyness, took this question, saying, “If I could address the exclusivity agreement directly — when this first cropped up, the whole Kirkby concept, I went to Warren Bradley in the City and I said ‘this is the situation, this is the offer we’ve got — I’m going to have to go and seriously look at the Kirkby option but I want you to again address what are the options in the City and see what there is.’ Three months went by and we finally got a report back from the City, that addressed the two options at the time that they looked at — Edge Lane and North Liverpool - sorry, three: Long Lane, Edge Lane and Speke, those were the three that they came back with and all three were not feasible, and that’s the opinion back from the City’s own professional team. So, I felt I’d been very open with the City and told them everything before we went into any exclusivity agreement. But in order for us to actually get Tesco and everyone else to take us seriously, and Knowsley as well, they understandably wanted us to sign an exclusivity agreement. Otherwise we would’ve been used as a stalking horse. Such an exclusivity agreement did not stop the City from still doing further work on any other option and bringing forward any options that were viable and real. And that’s what’s not what’s happened. We’ve not had one piece of paper that has given us detail, or anything that’s realistic about any other option that the City have got. Our exclusivity agreement did not stop them from doing that work. They could have come back. They could have gone ahead. Any time we’d have been happy to discuss with them what’s going on, to keep them updated. We’d encourage them to try and do that. That’s really as far as it has got.” The shareholder, in reply, said, “Can I just come back to you on the details and things like that? All that I have seen of Kirkby are pretty pictures and Alan Stubbs telling me how great it’s going to be, when he’s retired. There’s no numbers and that brochure that went out was Andy Johnson saying it’s going to be great, Mikel Arteta, David and Bill — there’s no numbers in it. The plans that I’ve seen for the Loop and for the redevelopment of Goodison have got engineering drawings, they’ve got things like that. Kirkby’s got a few pretty pictures, a Tesco, and no transport plan. Where’s the detail in the actual plan we’ve been presented with?” Keith Wyness cut in, saying, “There is a great deal of detail that will be available shortly, in the planning application.” “After we voted for it?” replied the shareholder. Mr Wyness added, “we were still working on the detail at that time, and we asked for, the ballot was to

actually ask us to go ahead and carry on negotiations on the Kirkby Project, which is what we did.” The next shareholder reckoned a 40,000 — 45,000 stadium would be sufficient for Everton. He wanted to know, from Mr. Potts, if anyone from the transportation consultants was here tonight, as although “Kirkby may be a deliverable stadium” he was unsure about the ability to transport 40,000 supporters there. Mr. Wyness confirmed no one was present from the transportation consultants, but said, “Steer Davies Gleave, who are the best transportation consultants in the UK, have told me they believe that the solution that we have for the Kirkby stadium may make us the top transportation-wise delivered stadium in the north west.” Amid an outbreak of mirth the shareholder replied, “you should try and get a bus from one side of Liverpool to the other — and if you can, I’ll eat my hat!” Another question from the floor commented on the presence of Mr. Potts at this AGM, “wheeled in to talk about expense and trying to convince everyone that the Loop is not an option, Goodison is not an option and Kirkby is the only option for the club.” He added, “With all due respect to him, he just does not understand the heartbeat of this football club. I sense in this room tonight so many people of don’t know how many generations who are all anti-Kirkby for a start. I meant to start by saying, I know we’re outside the meeting but I would like it minuted that we all wish the very best to Davey Hickson in his recovery, I meant to start by saying that, I wish him the very best. Chris (Potts) just would not understand what it is to be an Evertonian. I am now an out of town Evertonian. I have been following, living, breathing this club for forty solid years. It’s perverse in its irony that in a season where Mr Moyes has produced an absolute cracking team, I — just but one — have stopped coming to games because I am anti-Kirkby. I will reassess that if we redevelop Goodison or stay in the City. We must stay in the City. This is the heartbeat of the Club. Ironic I am following the last shareholder, as two years back he expressed an opinion saying he didn’t want to see Samuelson owning the club from overseas. It was a charade. What was it, Mr Ross - ‘A means to an end’? A charade to fool all the shareholders here on that night. Mr. Earl, and his company BCR Sports, based in the Virgin Islands, you own almost 24% of this Club — I would love to know who is behind that, I won’t expect an answer but that’s almost a quarter of this Club that’s owned on sunnier shores. Is that a valid concern? Kirkby is so wrong.” Mr. Earl was happy to answer, saying, “The beneficiaries (of BCR Sports) are the Earl family.” There was a call for the official minutes to recognise “the more pertinent stuff that will go down the plughole now, because everyone will forget about it. The press are not going to write about it and it should be minuted and I’d like for next year that you reassess the way you conduct these meetings. We need to know what you said tonight. I’ll remember it, a lot of these people here won’t and the press won’t report it and I think it’s very very wrong. This should be minuted. I’m sorry, it’s wrong.” The chairman replied, saying, “I’m sure you will read about it. I’m concerned the press always report what goes on!” The last shareholder paid tribute to the chairman, saying, “I’d like to conclude, we’ve heard what you’ve done and what you haven’t done. What you have done is made the Disabled Club a very happy enclosure and we must thank you for it. If you watch us on a Saturday night, at half ten as Arteta’s taking a corner kick in this corner here

(Gwladys Street) you’ll see me waving my hands…the other week, there was seven goals and they were all at this end!” The Chairman, in closing this part of the meeting, revisited words from a few years back. Speaking about Mr. Potts’ presence at the meeting, he said, “One thing I do want to say is, I’m glad that Chris wasn’t wheeled in at all. Chris was at a meeting and I said to him, ‘do you want to come along and answer any questions’ and he said yes he would like to. He maybe doesn’t understand the heartbeat of the Club but I do.” Mr Kenwright then called upon representatives of the Shareholders Association to speak before the meeting. Richard Lewis, of the Everton Shareholders 2005 group, acknowledged the regular contact they’d enjoyed with the Board. He then said, thinking aloud, “If you’re in a stadium does it really matter where it is?” He went further, “Seriously, a home is who is in the home, and a home isn’t a home….” He got no further than that before the time honoured “get down, sit down” cackles won the day! “Oh, Anne, sorry” commented the chairman, as the Chair of the Official Everton Shareholders Association, Anne Asquith, was due to speak. She began by congratulating the team and management for qualification for the latter stages of the UEFA Cup, adding that the good name of Everton was being enhanced in Europe. “Tremendous so far, long may it continue,” she added. Closer to home, she expressed “delight at the news that the National Lottery funding, for The Everton Collection, is an excellent reward for all the hard work. We’d particularly like to congratulate Tony Heslop, our vice-chair, who unfortunately cannot be with us tonight because of work commitments, who has recently been appointed as a trustee to The Everton Collection Trust, and has worked very hard. We’d like to also congratulate the club on something that’s not been mentioned tonight — the provision of the world class training facility and academy at Finch Farm. I’d also like to say thank you for the opportunity granted to some of our members to tour the complex and I must say we were extremely impressed. It was incredible. We feel that early problems with some ticketing issues have led to an increase in transparency and we hope that this will continue. We’re also extremely pleased with the pricing policy for European matches which I think has ensured fantastic support at those matches. And perhaps put in a little plea that this policy could continue for other matches, like FA Cup? Looking forward very much to the celebrations which were initiated by some Shareholders Association members, and they’re now taking shape for the eightieth anniversary of Dixie Dean’s sixty goal season. It’s encouraging to have support of various organisations, not least the Club, and perhaps we could have a mention for Robert Elstone and those who have been extremely helpful, so please say thank you for us. It is very appropriate that this does coincide with the capital of culture and we do hope that all supporters and shareholders will support these celebrations. It’s been a sad year in many ways. Again, we’ve already remembered so many but we’re very proud with the way that the Club, and everyone concerned, paid tribute to Alan Ball. And also with the sad loss of any other Evertonians over the year, it has been very impressive to see the respect and attitude of the Club, and of the supporters, and I think this shows the Everton family at their best. We were sorry to lose the services of Alan Irvine, he has been a good friend to the Association, and would like to wish him well in his new post. Very sad to see the effect of divided opinion on Kirkby, which I think has been

so evident tonight. Shareholders, supporters, everybody really — there’s a split down the middle — we did ask the Board last year if they would keep us all onside. I know, probably, you tried your best, but it obviously isn’t happening. It’s all very sad, the bitterness and mistrust amongst Evertonians. The opportunity to vote was very much welcomed at the time. Unfortunately, the result of the vote — not the outcome — the result of having the vote, in a way, has just exacerbated the whole thing. We would just like to say that we do hope that bridges can be built, that we can be reconciled and I’d be very happy to offer as shareholders, if there’s anything we can do to help to heal these rifts, please let us know. Finally we would like to echo the comments sending our very best wishes to Dave Hickson, and his family. I think the whole city was absolutely stunned by the news, very concerned. Thank you very much.” The chairman of the Everton Former Players Foundation, Laurence Lee, asked then to say a few words. He began by saying; “I’d like to thank not only the Board but all those who come to the dinners, for the former players. I just want to say a few things about what we’re about in case anybody doesn’t know. We’re the only club in the country, in fact, probably beyond the country, Europe-wise, that has its own registered charity that looks after, primarily, the needs of footballers, former players of Everton, who have played a minimum of one game going back as many years as they survive, who have fallen on hard times. Although most of them remain confidential we look after all their needs whether it’s physical needs, new knees, new hips, rehabilitation after strokes. More and more of our former players have suffered Alzheimer’s and we look after them as well.” He then went into greater detail, highlighting one individual case of a former player. He thanked the Board again, “I don’t know if everyone knows this, but every other season the pre-season friendly at Goodison, all proceeds go to the Former Players Foundation. Now, that is tremendous, that is unique, I don’t think there’s another club in the country that would do that for the former players. Not that many other clubs have a former players foundation as strong as ours. Not only are we at the forefront in Britain but also we’re at the forefront of Europe. We’ve joined forces with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Leverkusen to be on the executive of the European Former Players Association — and I can assure you that I put the name of Everton forward, particularly in Barcelona, all the Board have got Everton scarves, they love us over there and I put forward every year the work we do for our former players and everybody envies us. But it wouldn’t be possible without the support of all of you here, give to us, and all the Board gives, and we will do our best to keep that going.” The chairman then invited the manager David Moyes to speak. Mr Moyes began, saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to talk about football for a change here,” much to the amusement of all. He continued, “I’ll try to bring you up to date, where we are now, where we’ve been. Some changes, some improvements, and also some bits of other news, which we’ll hopefully, if you don’t go there, I’ll bring you up to date. Let me start with last season — last season was another strong season, a sixth finish saw us reach the UEFA Cup, magnificent effort from the players. I’m really fortunate with the group of players we’ve got. They’re right behind the team, they’re right behind the club. And as you can see, you know, recently, by the amount of people who are deciding to stay longer and sign longer, shows you the ambition of staying at Everton Football Club. The big part of last season, obviously, was the finish and the enjoyment we all got from reaching the UEFA Cup. What we’ve now got is a real stable football club.

"When I took over we had ten thirty year olds in the side, I think now we’re down to four or five. And I’ve got to say, they’re all very good the ones that I’ve got at the moment and they do play their part. But what we have been trying to do is change the age group around. We’ve now got an average age of twenty five years in the Premier League. For me it’s not low enough yet, I think we’re probably about fifth or sixth in the Premier League. So my aim is to keep bringing in young players, keep improving them and when we came in here five and a half years ago, my plan was that we had to change it around. And I did say to most of the people that I don’t expect to be given time, no manager can come into a football club and expect to be given time — especially a football club of this size. But, along the way, you’ll need a little bit of patience, and I think you only need to see the way management’s going at the moment in football. In a lot of ways I hope that you think that you’ve got a good football club and a stable football club and you might have your diverse opinions on different situations — but you’ve got a great football club here. And never forget that. I think partly the Board have to take credit for that as well because they had moments I’m sure where they could have thought differently, but hopefully the rewards for them are bearing fruit now. "There’s some changes I needed to take place with the scouting department. What we’ve done over the years is, we’ve tended to look mainly at home for our players. When I took over the important thing for Everton was to stay out of the bottom six. That’s where they had been for nearly all of the campaign, whatever Premier League (season) that they’d started, they’d always been in the bottom, the bottom ten of the Premier League. So the players we were buying was really to make sure we weren’t in the bottom six. What’s changed since then is that we’re now buying players to try and get us into the top six. So that is change, my scouting department I’m having to increase — we’re having to look in a different pool. We’ve done an awful lot of our fishing in the lower leagues in England — Joleon Lescott, Tim Cahill, Andy Johnson, to a lesser extent, so we’re now having to start spreading our wings much further afield to make sure we get the right players in. That’s not to say that we still don’t prefer to buy from our home ground, our homeland I should say, but we have to make sure we get the best in. So there will be extensions to that department and hopefully you will see that in the future bearing fruit as well. "One thing I think we have done is, we’ve been very prudent in the transfer market, you know I keep hearing about spending, we’re not big spenders but we’re good spenders. Hopefully we’ll be careful with everything we do. I’m a Scotsman (laughs!) and I’ll treat the money like my own, that’s what it is — but don’t think for a minute that I don’t push Bill Kenwright every day to give me every penny I can to try and get better players or more players that we need. To be fair, I’ve got to say that the Board have been excellent any time I’ve come to them regarding that. What also happened, I must mention, from last season that I missed out from my notes — the emergence of two young players, and they were already out but the likes of Victor and James Vaughan, who were already know, already seen bits of them, I think their emergence coming through as well as another two of our young boys….which leads me on nicely to the youth, and what we’re hoping to do with the youth. "As I said before, we need to keep continuing bringing young players in because it is the future and we need to make sure we keep lowering that age. Partly because we want to have resale value on the pitch and as Bill mentioned earlier on, when I came

in here five years ago, there was no sale on the pitch. We were very fortunate we had Wayne Rooney here, and it moved on and we did have money and that — but apart from that we had no other value in the squad. I would hope you’d all think that it’s different now from what we’ve got on the pitch. But that’s taken time, which I asked for, well I didn’t ask for but I mentioned earlier, which would happen. The other part of the youth side is the academy. The academy continues to produce players here, as we mentioned the two before. We’ve got one or two others who we think in the future….and not forgetting to mention the likes of Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman, who have been here five or six years now, and nearly becoming experienced players. When they’ve come through their own ranks as well. It’s something we should be proud of, because the boys we can bring through ourselves; they get to know the heritage of the club. They get brought up; they go to a lot of the do’s that I go to, they get to see what it’s all about so it is important to bring our own players through. One of the things which will help us in that is the new training ground. The new training ground is fantastic and I’m really fortunate. "Again, five years ago, I was only in the job a week and I had a great opening week here but I got taken to a farm, whish is now Finch Farm, and they said ‘this is where we’re thinking of having a new training site’ and I thought ‘yeah, heard this before — if I’m here in five years time, well it’ll be a miracle.’ Nevertheless, the club fulfilled it; we’ve got a facility here that will match many. There’s lots of bits to get done, it’s not all complete but you know what it’s like when you go into a new house, it’s never all there. But I’ve got to say that the players have had a great thrill from it. It’s moved everybody on. I’m sure the press would tell you that the facility we’ve got is fantastic. I do hope that shortly we’ll try to give you a little bit more information, when we finish off all the jobs we need to get done down there. Let me finish off by saying, this season, this season started really well for us. Again, we brought in players in the transfer market. We’ve added to the squad, there’s people went in the summer as well and we’ve got a strong squad and the players now have real competition for places, they’re playing well. We missed one or two players in the earlier part of the season through injury. "What I would say at this point of the season, we’re still in the cup competitions, I hope that that is still the case after the New Year because if it is we’ll have qualified for, hopefully, the semi final of the League Cup. We’ll also, hopefully, be through in the UEFA Cup as well, into the qualifying rounds of that as well. And as well as that we have to keep our league position really strong. It is important that we have an Everton Football Club that, as I said, isn’t in the bottom six but here in the top six. What we have got this season, is twenty four points, it sounds okay. Last year, at this time, I stood here and we’d twenty one points and we finished sixth. So it gives you an idea of the strength of the Premier League, that teams like Manchester City, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Blackburn are all in good positions and many of them above us — so it’s going to show that it’s going to take a strong team this season, it’s going to be a tough year. It’s going to be very hard to compete with all there but I do feel confident with the players we’ve got. Let me just reaffirm my aims for Everton FC — my vision for Everton. "When we took over five years ago there was a plan that went in place — reduce the age, get a better team, don’t be relegation fodder, try and make Europe if we can. Most of that hopefully has come to fruition. We know there was one year that wasn’t

as good as it should have been but I think when you’re trying to change a club like Everton Football Club around, that’s certainly isn’t going to happen in one or two years unless we were going to throw lots of money at it. We’ve not. What we have done, we’ve put our own plan in place, and I think it won’t be long before other clubs are wanting to follow the plan of Everton. Because it can’t keep going on, where people come in and they’re spending and spending and spending, so I think there’s a lot of that I think where the Board should get credit for the way they’ve gone about and handled that as well. I’m very respectful of your views, I’m very grateful of the support I get from you and I’ll never ever take that for granted — but what I will say, there was somebody said earlier, and I listened to it and I wrote it down, ‘there’s been no ambition since the 80s to move this club forward’. Well that’s not talking about David Moyes, and that’s not talking about the team because that couldn’t be further away from the truth from what I think. The desire for me to make this club better will be there until the time’s up and you think it’s no more. "But at the moment, we’re getting there, we’re getting stronger, we’re getting noticed. And the big part of Everton Football Club is the fanbase, and I spoke to a manager today who joined a new club and the reason he went to the new club was the fanbase. I tell you what, we were in Nurnberg and the players, we had a room in the hotel and it was over the street. And we could hardly have this sort of final team talk, obviously we’d been talking a lot about Nurnberg but we’d the final meeting about a quarter to six at night before we went to the game, and you could hardly speak. So we done the final bits of the tactics, corner kics etc., in the room. And then I said to the players, ‘do you want me to say anything or do you want to listen to what’s outside?’ We then went on the bus, we went and won 2-0. Your behaviour was tremendous, which is really important when we go abroad in Europe. So I have to thank you and say, one of the reasons this football club is great is because of the fanbase. If you go away it’s not as good, we don’t attract the players. So, keep coming in your numbers, keep filling it for the European games, keep coming in the Saturday’s. If you do that then it makes my job easier, it makes the club’s job easier, and the players have got no excuses when they’re out in front of full houses. Thank you, hopefully we’re going to finish on a great note this season, lined up with something at the end of the season. That’s my aim, that’s my ambition and there’s plenty of it here. Thank you.” After a great round of applause, questions for the manager began. The first shareholder wanted to know where next summer’s pre-season tour would take place, in order to book his holidays! “I always say, I always want to give you that information as quick as I can. I do the same every year. Last year, Keith will tell you, we thought we were going to South Africa. We got gazumped at the last minute. It actually caused me a horrible summer, trying to plan at the last minute. So, as soon as we know, as we did discuss it for five minutes, as soon as we know, we’ve always favoured going to America because we tend to go there and do well when we come back so that’s probably my favourite choice.” The next question for Mr Moyes was in relation to January’s transfer window and the effect of the African Nations Cup on our squad, potentially losing a number of players. Mr Moyes replied saying, “I’ve got plans to bring in more than loan signings, it’s actually getting them that would be the thing, the availability. The January market is normally not the best but you’re correct in what you say that loan signings tend to be the best way around, to get things through. We will lose Stephen Pienaar, I’m

nearly sure of that. We will lose Joseph Yobo. I’m a little unsure whether we’ll lose Victor Anichebe or Yak at this present time. But certainly I would expect to lose two. The bigger concern, I think we can probably cover defensively, regarding Joseph. I don’t know if we can cover through the middle of the park so that would probably be an area, if we were going to strengthen, especially with the loss of those two players.” The shareholder asked the manager about Aiyegbeni Yakubu and his reported differences with Nigerian manager Bertie Vogts, with news reports offering conflicting reports. “I spoke to the press earlier,” said Mr Moyes, “they say he had a meeting. There was a meeting with all the Nigerian players, I think because they were all playing in our game on Saturday (laughs). They’d a meeting in Portsmouth after the game and as far as I know I’ve not heard anything to say any different, so I couldn’t really answer that, as I gave the same answer to the press today.” “What qualities will you be looking for in your new assistant manager?” asked the next shareholder. “I’m glad you’ve said that. I have an apology in my notes here, as you well know, people who stand up and speak sometimes you don’t remember everything you should have. And written down here is to mention Alan. Alan Irvine was an excellent assistant manager, extremely loyal, conscientious, hard working, all the things anyone who’s a boss would want from a number two. But Alan always had an ambition to be a manager and he was forty nine years old and if he didn’t take that opportunity now, it might never have come for him. So I have to apologise for not mentioning him but I also have to say I have to give him a big thank you for the period he has been here. We are now actively looking to bring somebody else in. I’ve got varying different views on it. I’m not going to make a rush appointment. The only thing I will say is that I’ve got a busy period coming, as you supporters have all got a busy period coming as well, so it might be something I look to try and get in the next few weeks. Again, we’ve got several different avenues which we’re pursuing.” The meeting then ended and all were invited to attend the buffet upstairs.