Upon incorporation as a limited company in June 1892 Everton Football Club Limited consisted of just 2,500 ordinary shares held by 259 shareholders. In an era were Everton Football Club truly was the ‘Peoples Club’ shares in the company were widely distributed amongst the Evertonian community and were traded off market as they are today. No shareholder possessed a significant or controlling interest in the club whilst Company Directors such as George Mahon and James Clement Baxter possessed just a handful of shares and maintained their position on the board through astute and successful leadership of the business. This situation prevailed for many years until the late 1940’s when Sir John Moores’ began to acquire and accumulate a significant shareholding in the club culminating in his appointment as Director in March 1960 and Chairman in June 1960.
The share structure of the company remained unchanged for over 100 years until the Moores family decided to withdraw its influence in 1994 with the introduction of Peter Johnson as Chairman of the club. In order to facilitate Mr Johnson’s arrival the outgoing board of Everton approved a ‘pari passu’ rights issue increasing the number of shares in the club from the original 2,500 shares created in 1892 to 5,000 shares. The majority of the additional shares were acquired by Mr Johnson in September 1994 giving him possession of 2,498 shares, equating to 49% of the Club. In June 1996 Mr Johnson then purchased additional shares from John Moores which resulted in Mr Johnson owning 2,921 shares equating to 58% of the club
Despite already owning the majority of shares and in an effort to build on the success of a 1995 FA Cup Final victory the much maligned Mr Johnson implemented a ‘six for one’ rights issue in July 1996. This involved the creation of 30,000 new £500 shares in the company which would raise an additional £15m for the club. This rights issue was fully subscribed with Mr Johnson acquiring 20,805 of the new shares at a cost of £10.4m. Subsequently Mr Johnson had increased his shareholding to 23,725 shares which equated to 68% of the 35,000 in the company.
By November 1998, having invested heavily in team building whilst witnessing the clubs on-field performance decline, the unpopular Mr Johnson decided to put the club up for sale. After many months of negotiations it was announced in December 1999 that a deal had been reached with the investment vehicle known as True Blue (Holdings) Ltd to acquire Mr Johnson’s 68% of the club.
The main shareholders within True Blue Holdings were Bill Kenwright, Paul Gregg and family, Jon Woods and Arthur Abercromby.
True Blue Holdings was eventually dissolved in 2004 at the request of Paul Gregg and the Shareholders Association following the collapse of the Kings Waterfront stadium scheme and concerns over the clubs finances at the 2004 EGM.
There are currently around 1,500 individuals who own shares in Everton Football Club. The vast majority of those people own a small number of shares (between 1 and 5) and the bulk of the Shareholders Association Membership fall into this category.
A relatively small number of people own the majority of Everton’s shares and until the early part of 2016 the club was controlled by Bill Kenwright (who owned 9,044 shares), Robert Earl (8,146) and Jon Woods (6,622) but they, alongside Arthur Abercromby, reduced their shareholding significantly when Farhad Moshiri (via Blue Heaven Holdings) became the largest shareholder by acquiring 49.9% (17,465 shares) of the club.
This means that alongside Blue Heaven Holdings only Bill Kenwright with 12.2% (4,256 shares) holds more than 10% of the shares.
Jon Woods with 8.9% (3,116 shares) and Lord Grantchester 8.1% (2,818 shares) are the only other shareholders with more than 5% of the stock.
Arthur Abercromby has retained 2.6% (910) of the shares and the estate of Sir Philip Carter currently holds 2% (714) meaning that the remaining shares (5,721) are in the hands of the Minority Shareholders.
Buying a Share
It is always very difficult to state a definite price for an Everton FC share as there are so many variables affecting their value. In present market conditions (Autumn 2011) the current market value of an Everton share is between £1,100 and £1,500.
There are basically 2 ways of obtaining a share in Everton FC;
a) via a Stockbroking Company
Although the availability of shares tends to be dependant on the number of current shareholders willing to sell, Blankstone Sington in Liverpool (0151 236 8200) usually have a good idea of the current availability and price of shares. Blankstone Sington have been used by many people in the recent past to purchase Everton FC shares and are a good ‘formal’ point of contact.
The Shareholders Association does not however recommend Blankstone Sington, we merely point out they are a Liverpool based Stockbroking company with experience in dealing in Everton shares. Other Stockbroking companies may of course, be able to provide an equivalent service.
b) via an individual member of the company.