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.