Welcome to the re-launched Everton FC Shareholders’ Association website, efcsa.org. Whilst our website has been online for many of years the Executive Committee recognised that the website should be regularly updated to address many of the pertinent issues currently affecting the club.

In response, it is our intention to offer the reader a website that not only address’ matters pertinent to the team and the manager but issues that also concern the now all important business side of Everton Football Club.

We hope that the website will prove to be a valuable resource to not only members of the Shareholders Association and other shareholders of the Club, but also the wider Evertonian community who will be able to review and consider the business side of the Club and its impact on team affairs and ultimately the success of the Club.

We hope you find the site of interest and revisit it over the weeks and months ahead as it evolves.

Voting Reminder for Shareholders

We are coming into the final week for you to return your voting slips and would like to thank everyone who has voted so far.

For those shareholders who are still to vote then can we please ask that you return your slips as soon as possible.

If you have still not received or have misplaced your voting slip and require a new form to be sent out then please email the EFCSA secretary and we can arrange to have a form emailed to you.

Alternatively you can download a voting form here.

If you would like to return your vote via email then you can send a scanned copy of the slip to the EFCSA secretary.

Please support the Associations attempts to get the club to discuss the issue of AGMs and return your slips as soon as possible. Let’s stand together with one voice and show the club that they have an obligation to all shareholders.

Thank you

The Creation of Everton Football Club Company Ltd

Fellow Shareholders,

The subject of voting for a reinstatement of AGM’s is not a show of approval or disapproval of the current board of directors; as Bill Kenwright has often said “we are only custodians”. All shareholders of Everton Football Club are in my opinion the very same, “we are only custodians of these shares” you will most probably pass them to your sons, daughters or a friend.

It is now 120 years since we moved from John Houldings Anfield to become the new Everton Football Club Company Ltd at Goodison Park, led by the great George Mahon.

George wanted as many fans as possible to be involved with this new venture and indeed the 1892 Memorandum of Association (which can be read here) illustrate how the Club was created, with a broad board of directors and widespread share ownership. George and his fellow directors were elected onto the board whilst each owning just 3 shares in the new company. They recognised their responsibility as directors to ensure that Everton Football Club progressed and prospered whilst reporting their achievements and plans for the future back to fellow shareholders during General Meetings which were held every year since 1892, up until the last 5 years.

Shareholders and Evertonians can presently go to the records office and research all of our past AGMs and EGMs, as local journalists were present to record the meetings.

I particularly enjoyed reading about the August 1938 AGM, when the chairman at the time, Will Cuff, reported the opening of the Gwladys Street upper stand. He stated “Gwladys Street stand is now complete, we haven’t just thought of building this stand in recent years, we have been planning this since 1912.” This is just a small insight to the board back then, but in the future, your grandchildren will not be able to recount the AGMs if this present situation continues.

The present media say Everton Football Club is a great traditional, English Football club, the AGM is part of the Everton jigsaw that creates this.

David Moyes coined the phrase “The Peoples Club”. 110 years earlier, George Mahon stated “The working men of Liverpool are the backbone of Everton Football Club.”

Shareholders, please don’t let this important part of our clubs history just fade into a distant memory.

Paul Wharton

Shareholder

A Message to Shareholders of Everton FC

It’s a privilege to be an Evertonian; born not manufactured, better not bitter, apparently we did not choose but were chosen; these are among the endless list of superlatives increasingly being aimed at our supporters who want to believe, perhaps who need to believe, that we’re just that little bit special.

Away from this hyperbole, something you have definitely chosen to do is become a shareholder of Everton Football Club and this affinity with the club really does make you special; something that whilst a great privilege, also comes with a great responsibility, a responsibility to yourself, to your club and to the memory of those who attempted to safeguard and encapsulate the club’s ethos of truly being the club of the people.

Whereas the media and football commentators frequently highlight examples of successful fan ownership such as “The German model” and that of Swansea City, they appear oblivious to the fact that Everton has always had an element of fan ownership. Even today, in line with the forward thinking of our founding fathers, who in 1892 were opposed to a concentration of ownership by a few individuals, almost 30% of Everton Football Club is owned by people who are just ordinary fans who collectively hold a greater number of shares than any individual member of today’s board of directors and who, by acting together, can amply make their presence felt.

Indeed, Everton’s last Extraordinary General Meeting in 2008 was called by members of the Shareholders Association, the oldest such association in world football and described by its founder in 1938 as the watchdog of the club, undeniably an apt description when you consider that the 2008 EGM sought the abandonment of a project whose eventual failure would subsequently cost the club many millions of pounds.

Today, Everton FC Shareholders Association are once again calling for an EGM; we’re asking for the AGM’s to be reinstated and we’d like to hear the board answer questions and take responsibility for what has happened during the five years since the last Annual General Meeting was held.

We’d like to hear about their plans to solve the stadium situation, we’d like to hear the chairman explain what has happened with the search for new investment, how the board plans to resolve the impasse surrounding the much heralded Park End development, why Everton’s commercial turnover remains pitiful in relation to our peers who are all in receipt of millions from deals with kit manufacturers whilst we appear to have signed a deal with Nike which favours the company we’ve outsourced our merchandise operation to more than Everton and we’d like to hear what’s happening with our manager’s contract as our performance on the pitch is vital to our prosperity.

We’re told that our chairman, Bill Kenwright, isn’t opposed to having an EGM; in fact, after the last, he explained on TV that he understood the passion of the shareholders and the heartbeat of the club; so join us in making sure our heart beats stronger and that we help facilitate the opportunities that will ensure that we once again challenge for the honours which have eluded us for over seventeen years; a statistic, barring the cessation for World War II, that equates to the most barren period in the history of Everton Football Club.

PR exercises with fans are all very well but never forget that you alone have the responsibility of holding the directors to account for their actions and their performance and we ask you to accept that responsibility by completing the requisition that we have sent you, or that you can download here, and let’s attempt to move our club along off the pitch as much as it’s moved on the pitch.

EGM – Petition and Survey Returns

A big thanks to all those shareholders who have already returned their completed petitions backing the Everton F. C. Shareholders’ Association request for a General Meeting of the company. It is encouraging that you feel strongly enough about this to take the time out from Christmas shopping, following the Blues and celebrating the news about the royal baby!

We know this is a very busy season for everyone, but would ask the rest of you to return your petitions as soon as possible, as we anticipate there could be delays in receiving them due to the Christmas postal rush (assuming folk can still afford to post their cards at 50p a time in the current financial environment!).

The overwhelming majority of the ballots received have been accompanied by completed Shareholder Surveys. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the reinstatement of the Annual General Meeting of Everton Football Club Company Limited seems to be the top priority for most shareholders, but a number of other issues have been highlighted too. As well as counting the returned ballots, we are collating and analysing these responses. We will be publishing the results in the near future and pursuing the highlighted issues with the club in as constructive a way as possible.

However, at the moment the push for a General Meeting is the main focus. It really is vital that we receive your whole-hearted support to pursue this on your behalf. If you agree with your fellow shareholders on this issue, but have not yet returned your ballot, please send your ballot in as soon as possible.

Thanks again to those who have responded, and we look forward to hearing from the remaining shareholders soon.

An EGM – A Worthy 120th Birthday Celebration

Like all Evertonians, success on the pitch is my first priority. Over the 50 years I have been following the blues I have tried to treat success and failure with detachment, and failed. I have attempted to ignore the vagaries of fortune (aka incomprehensible decisions by match officials) and carry on with my life. I still feel a buzz when I walk into Goodison Park, my heart sings when I walk out again after a win, and I feel miserable if we have lost. As a supporter of one of the greatest teams in the world (in my humble opinion) I take pride in our great history, our traditions, and our many “firsts”.

As a shareholder, and Vice Chair of the Everton F.C. Shareholders’ Association, I also take pride that, in 1892, it was decided that shares in the newly formed Everton Football Club Company Limited should be distributed widely among members and supporters, and not confined to the Directors. The “People’s Club” epithet may no longer be as popular as it once was, but it encapsulates the ideals and intentions of our founding fathers.

It seems a sad reflection, then, that it is 5 years since our last general meeting of shareholders. The Directors of any company have a responsibility to take decisions and agree the overall strategy of the organisation, in the best interests of their shareholders. Traditionally the Annual General Meeting provides the opportunity for the Board of Directors to report on these decisions and expound the reasons behind their strategic plans, and for the “ordinary” shareholders to discuss their report and question the Directors on behalf of themselves and other interested parties.

By petitioning for a General Meeting of the Everton Football Club Company Limited the Everton Shareholders’ Association are simply requesting that opportunity, and asking the Board of Directors of the Club to restore the tradition of annual meetings. The Company is 120 years old this year: for 115 of those 120 years AGMs were held.

We feel all shareholders should consider supporting the petition to restore this tradition as a worthy 120th birthday celebration!

– Anne Asquith, Vice Chair

Once a Blue, Always a Blue

“Once a Blue, always a Blue” . . . simple words but with a meaning far greater than anyone outside of Everton can ever comprehend. My wife certainly doesn’t understand but as for my 7 year old son . . . now that’s a different matter.

My name is Keith Seymour and I am 45 years old and have held a season ticket now since I was 15. My first ever game was in 1978 at the age of 11 when I witnessed the complete midfield performance from our King (Andy) in a 3-1 win against Crystal Palace. But if the truth be known I was already hooked. Everton was in my blood and despite what Gordon Lee and Billy Bingham could throw at me I wasn’t to be turned.

Roll on 30 years from those days and I decided 18 months ago to take the plunge and become a Shareholder. The big question is why did I do it ? Well, fierce loyalty to the club for one and a desire to try and make a difference. I wasn’t involved when the last AGM took place but like most I have read and heard about it and I can’t help feel saddened that our great club currently has a divide between those running the club and those fervent fans who are simply the best in the world. My aim now as a supporter, investor, shareholder and an elected officer of the Shareholders’ Association is simple . . . we must bridge that gap between the custodians of the club, the shareholders and the fans. We must come together for the good of our club.

The club has some very important decisions to make over the coming years and a united club is a far better prospect than a divided one.

It won’t happen overnight and it will take dialogue, co-operation and understanding from all parties but I firmly believe that the first step is to bring back the AGMs so I urge all shareholders to put their vote to good use and allow the association to approach the club with an overwhelming mandate of support from the shareholding to request the re-introduction of the AGM.

Thank You,
Keith Seymour.

A Message to Shareholders from Tony Heslop

I’ve been a member of the Shareholders’ Association Committee since 2005, which means that for more than half that time there have been no AGMs at the Club.

It’s all very well having a forum or a chat and a Chang, welcome as these are, but not having an AGM means not having the chance to question the Board closely on matters such as the accounts and ground development or otherwise. An AGM offers the chance of more transparency and also the opportunity for shareholders, as key stakeholders in the Club, to put forward their own advice or suggestions.

There’s a lot of knowledge and talent in the shareholders so why not share it ? It doesn’t have to be a “sack the Board” scenario but a calling to account and in many cases an offer to work together with the Club. Our committee are all regular, matchgoing Evertonians, home and away, and so are large numbers of the shareholders. We want nothing but the best on the pitch, of course, and the same goes for off the pitch, a Club to be proud of. Starting with best practice and a reinstated AGM.

– Tony Heslop

If you’re a shareholder who agrees with Tony, or haven’t yet made up your mind, and you haven’t yet received your copy of the EGM Petition and accompanying letter, you can download copies from this page.

 

 

 

 

EGM Petition – What it’s all about

On Tuesday this week, the Shareholders’ Association wrote to all shareholders asking for their support in calling a General Meeting of the Everton Football Club Company Ltd. If you are an Everton shareholder and have not yet received a copy of the petition and accompanying materials, you can now download them from the links at the bottom of this page.

The Covering Letter sent along with the Petition document gives a little history and explains both the efforts the Association have made to have the board re-instate AGMs themselves, and the reasons we believe AGMs are important. The EGM Petition document itself is perhaps phrased in a rather legalistic manner, but I’m sure you will understand the need for this. However, having received one or two queries about this wording, it is worth taking a moment to explain the structure and the meaning of each part.

The Petition document is addressed to “The Directors/Company Secretary” of Everton FC at Goodison Park, but we are asking that, once signed, they are returned to the Association. Why? The simple answer is that the job of collating and counting the completed forms and of checking the shareholding they represent will not be a trivial one. Since it is the Association which is asking for this meeting, it should be our responsibility to undertake this work. We will keep you updated on our progress and let, and the club know, you know when the 5 per cent threshold has been reached.

The heading simply titles the document and refers to the relevant laws and regulations which govern the calling of this type of General Meeting.

The introductory paragraph, and particularly the first part which says “We, the undersigned, being holders of 5 per cent or more…” refers to all of the returned forms as presented to the club once we have done the job of checking and collating them. Each individual form does not have to represent this level of voting block. This paragraph also makes clear that it has been more than twelve months since the previous General Meeting. This is important as otherwise the threshold required to call the meeting would be 10%.

The numbered items which follow must be on the agenda for the Meeting which will result if the requisite level of support is achieved. The Directors may add to these items at their discretion (though we hope they do not), but neither the Association nor any other shareholder may do so. We would urge  all shareholders, in the event of the General Meeting coming about, to respect the rules of the Meeting and confine their questions and statements to these subjects.

Finally, the document must be dated and each shareholder’s printed name, number of shares held and signature filled in. The number of shares is very important as without it we will not know whether we have the required 5 per cent support. If you are not sure how many shares you have, you can call the general shareholder helpline or register at the shareholder portal on the official club website. Details of both can be found here.

Here are the links to download the documents: the EGM Petition and the EGM Covering Letter.

Completed petitions should be posted to “Everton Shareholders’ Association, 16a Mersey Road, Aigburth, Liverpool, L17 6AD”. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the shareholders who have already supported this petition by returning their forms.

Message from the Chairman

I was born an Evertonian, I didn’t choose, I was chosen and when I got old enough I really understood how much this mattered.  Pride in our club is so very easy to acquire and retain and if you know your history then you can recount the many firsts that our club has created; the first and only great football club in this great city of ours, founder members of the Football League, the first purpose built stadium, the first numbered shirts, the first underground heating, the first electronic scoreboard and founder members of the Premier League.

The list goes on and on, oh, and the first top flight club to remove the right of its Shareholders to an Annual General Meeting to review past performance and look forward to future performance.

I started to take an active participation, serving terms as Treasurer, Vice-Chair and from this year Chairman, of Shareholders’ Association as a direct result of the suspension of the AGM’s by the current majority shareholders. Although this act was perhaps understandable at the time it was nonetheless misguided and failed to recognise the long history of our club. But whilst we’re all entitled to make mistakes, especially in the heat of the moment, this pause in the AGM’s has lasted too long already and should have cooled long ago.

Despite the exhaustive efforts of the Shareholders’ Association membership we continue to be denied access to the custodians of our club in the form of an Annual General Meeting.  The time has come for this anomaly to be corrected and as Chairman of the Shareholders’ Association I urge you all to support the instruction given to your Executive at our Annual General Meeting on August 13th and back the petition calling for an Extraordinary General Meeting that has at its core the re-instatement of the AGM.

Should this petition be successful I look forward to meeting you at the resultant General Meeting in the early part of 2013 and at Annual General Meetings long into the future.

John Blain, Chairman
Everton FC Shareholders’ Association

Petition for a General Meeting of the Everton Football Club Company Ltd

The Everton Shareholders’ Association are today asking all Everton FC shareholders to support their call for an Extraordinary General Meeting of the company to discuss:

  • The re-instatement of regular Annual General Meetings after a gap of 5 years
  • The company’s accounts and financial performance over that 5 year period

The Association has written to every registered shareholder to lay out their case for the move and request their backing.

The Association point out that:

  • The Directors amended the company Articles of Association at the earliest legal opportunity to avoid the need to call AGMs.
  • No prior notice of the change was communicated by the Directors to shareholders, giving them no opportunity to object.
  • No justification for the change has ever been given by the Directors.
  • The abandonment of AGMs breaks not only normal business practice as exhibited by most comparable companies, but also an otherwise unbroken tradition dating back to 1892 when the company was formed to finance the building of Goodison Park.
  • When asked their opinion, the members of the Association and other shareholders have consistently and repeatedly expressed their desire for the return of AGMs.
  • No AGM has been held since the collapse of the Destination Kirkby project, thus shareholders have not been able to hear the board’s plans regarding the ongoing stadium issue or to question the board on financial issues.

Over the last few years, through letters, emails and face-to-face meetings, the Everton Shareholders’ Association have repeatedly asked the Directors to reverse their decision. Responses have ranged from initial promises to give the matter consideration to, most recently, a formal statement from the Company Secretary that the Directors currently have no plans to reinstate the Annual General Meetings.

John Blain, Chairman of the Shareholders’ Association, said “We believe that in addition to being good corporate governance AGM’s are still the most effective way for the Board of the Company to stay in touch with the majority of Shareholders. Established in the 19th Century by the Founding Fathers of the Club the AGM’s continued until the early part of the 21st Century.”

The call for an Extraordinary General Meeting was discussed between Mr Blain and Everton CEO Robert Elstone at a meeting on Friday November 16th. Mr Elstone raised no objection to the action and recognised the Association’s right to raise the petition.

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