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.

Walton Hall Park – Partner Meeting

On November 16th last year we wrote to each of the partners in the proposed regeneration of Walton Hall Park. Our reasoning for writing to Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH), Liverpool City Council (LCC) and Everton in the Community (EiTC) was quite simple.  We completely understood that these are early days in the project and so details are likely to be quite sketchy at the moment.  However, and recognising previous failures with The King's Dock and Destination Kirkby, we were keen to gain an early understanding of the involvement of the partners and how they would contribute to a successful outcome for all stakeholders. Readers may recall that we had previously discussed the project with Robert Elstone in one of our regular meetings with him and his team and we were impressed with his enthusiasm.  In that meeting, and in public statements, the intention to submit a planning application before the end of 2015 has remained consistent and it was this time-line that we were keen to explore in the requested meetings. Steve Coffey the CEO of LMH was very helpful and quickly responded to our meeting request and after having to cancel the original meeting we convened in his offices at the Observatory on January 19th.  Steve had told us in advance that he thought  having the other partners in attendance would be helpful and so he invited representatives from the Council and the Football Club in addition to his own colleagues. At the time of writing we are still hopeful of meeting with Everton in the Community and the Mayor of Liverpool has committed to meeting with us towards the end of February. The notes from the meeting with LMH can be downloaded from here ... Partner Meeting

A Great Evertonian – Tony Heslop

A week ago we suddenly lost a truly great Evertonian in Tony Heslop. In a tribute to Tony the Liverpool Echo referred to him as a Super Supporter.  This like many similar phrases can be over used but it is always the exception that proves the rule and Tony truly was an exceptional man and undoubtedly a super supporter of all things Everton. An Executive Committee Member of the Shareholders' Association, a Founding Member of the Everton Heritage Society, a Trustee of the world famous Everton Collection and a Founder of the Ruleteros Society Tony passed suddenly and will be greatly missed. Tony's life will be celebrated this coming Friday in St. Peter & Paul RC  Church in Crosby at 12:30pm when all are welcome at the Service which will be followed by a private family burial. Angela has requested that donations are made to McCallum, Tritton & Sons Funeral Directors, 46 Mersey View, Brighton-le-Sands, Liverpool, L22 6QB Tel: 0151-932-2002 who will ensure that they are distributed to two charities that meant so much to Tony; Jospice, which is a hospice in Thornton and where Tony's father was on the founding committee, and Everton in the Community. Tony Heslop RIP

Members’ Visit to Finch Farm

Following a request at our 2014 AGM, the Shareholders' Association has arranged for a limited number of members to visit the Everton training complex at Finch Farm for a tour of the facilities. The first visit is to be held on Wednesday, 28th January 2015 in the early evening (starting about 6:00 pm.) If you would like to be entered into the draw for the visit please email the Vice Chairman via vice.chair@efcsa.org as soon as possible, and by 23rd January at the very latest. Please include a telephone number so we can contact you as soon after the draw is made as possible.

Minutes of EFCSA Quarterly Meeting with EFC

Minutes of the September meeting between members of the Shareholders' Association Executive Committee and club officials  are available for download here. Subjects discussed include:
  • The Away Fans Initiative and Ticketing in general
  • Upcoming changes to the Fans' Forum
  • Scheduling and management of future Company General Meetings
  • New Stadium Plans
 

Prestigious Award for Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley started only two league games in season 2012-2013.  Ross-Barkley - Everton & England He followed this up last season by appearing in all but four of our Premier League games in what was a superb season under Roberto Martinez.  His six league goals included the first of the season away at Norwich, superb strikes against Swansea and Man City and of course his wonderful dribble and goal at Newcastle. His emerging talent was recognised internationally too, he made his full England debut and was one of the few England players  to perform with distinction at the World Cup. On Sunday, at Leon Osman’s Testimonial, he’ll be honoured by the Shareholders’ Association when Executive Committee Members Dave Kelly and Ian Seymour will present him with the Ena Jones Trophy.  The winner of this award,  for the Outstanding Young Player of the Year, is selected by our manager Roberto Martinez and Ross follows current holder Tyias Browning and other previous winners of this prestigious award such as Seamus Coleman, Jack Rodwell and Wayne Rooney.

How Everton FC might benefit from a Supporters’ Trust

How Everton FC might benefit from a supporters' trust is to be discussed at a forum held by the club’s Shareholders’ Association on Monday 4th August. Three guest speakers will lead the discussion.
  • Andy Burnham, an Evertonian, MP and Shadow Cabinet member, played a key role in setting up Supporters Direct, the independent body which has encouraged the development of fan trusts at clubs, large and small, up and down the country.
  • Kevin Rye is Campaigns and Communications Manager at Supporters Direct. He’s been with the organisation for 10 years and has taken a keen interest in the work of the embryonic Trust Everton and recently met with the Blue Union.  He will travel up from the Supporters Direct headquarters in London to join the Forum.
  • Tony I’Anson will speak on behalf of Trust Everton which has spent three years researching in detail what would be the best framework for a trust and what should be its goals.    He will describe the blueprint developed by Trust Everton volunteers over the past three years for a supporter-owned co-operative community interest company (CIC) to be the landlord for the key real estate assets of a football club.  Tony will be supported in his presentation by Richard Atkinson, a member of the Supporters Direct Council in Scotland.
Tony said: “The challenge facing any supporters’ trust, particularly those linked to clubs in the top divisions, is how to make a significant, long-term and sustainable difference to a club that is not in a financial crisis and without simply duplicating the work already carried out by existing fans’ groups and other organisations.  Trust Everton sees the CIC model as one way of achieving that goal. "The aim on 4 August is to inform the trust debate by describing the characteristics that have led to a CIC-based approach here and at other clubs such as Hearts and Rangers, and describing how a pilot project might be put together for Everton FC.” The Everton Shareholders’ Association, thought to be the first of its kind and formed in 1938, represents the smaller shareholders who, between them, own around a quarter of the shares in Everton Football Club Ltd.   John Blain, Chairman of the Association, said: “The evening is an ideal opportunity to understand how fan ownership can make football clubs more inclusive and sustainable” Tea and Coffee will be available from 7pm in The People’s Lounge at Goodison Park and the Forum will start promptly at 7:30pm.   Free parking is available for all at the Park End and whilst attendance to the Forum is free for EFCSA members a small donation to cover costs is expected from other attendees. More info at www.efcsa.org | www.andyburnham.net | www.supporters-direct.org | www.trusteverton.com          

Key Stakeholders to attend EFCSA Forum

  The latest in a series of forums hosted by the Everton FC Shareholders’ Association will take place in The People's Lounge at Goodison Park on August 4th from around 7pm.  The meeting will discuss the merits of Football Trusts and bring into focus the ownership of our football clubs. We are delighted to announce that confirmed speakers include Tony l’Anson of Trust Everton (www.trusteverton.com), Andy Burnham MP (www.andyburnham.net) and Kevin Rye of Supporters Direct (www.supporters-direct.org). Admission is free to members of the Association and their friends,  non-members are very welcome, but as refreshments will be available we would welcome them making a small donation to our costs. Additionally;  members of the Everton FC Fan's Forum and representatives of the club are scheduled to attend. This is expected to be a well attended event and so if you would like to reserve your place please contact  tony.heslop@efcsa.org    

General Meeting Proxy Submission Deadline

Shareholders who are unable to attend Tuesday's General Meeting and wish to send a proxy in their place are reminded that the deadline for submitting the paperwork to the club is 7 PM this Sunday (April 27th). Following queries from some of our members, the club have confirmed that the Park End reception will be open from 9 AM to 7 PM on Sunday and a staff member will be available to collect all proxy forms.

Stadium Update at General Meeting

With both Everton and the side from across the park enjoying this years on field activities these are exciting football times for our great city. Additionally both clubs appear to be making significant progress off the field, most notably with their intentions to improve stadium facilities. The other side is intent on developing their existing stadium having abandoned the previous option of a new build. Indeed only this week artists impressions have shown the size of their ambition for a 54,000 capacity stadium. For our part our CEO Robert Elstone spends up to a third of his time working on our new stadium scheme - one he described, back in December 2013, as phenomenally exciting.  From The Kings Dock and Destination Kirkby disappointments to now the Club has been, and remains, committed to a ‘new build’ as  they consider Goodison is not viable for development. Stadium location and securing funding are critical to the Everton project. Whilst rumours and opinion abound about the potential location, staying within the city is a must; our Chairman Bill Kenwright favours Walton Hall Park.  Very little else is known about the detail although  Mr Elstone has said that it will be a new design, not a Destination Kirkby rehash, have an atmospheric home end and a high standard main stand. Beyond that we know very little. However, that is about to change as Mr Elstone intends to cover the new stadium opportunity at the forthcoming General Meeting.  Pretty much everything that can be said will be presented on the evening when Mr Elstone will update Shareholders with the current status of the search for a new stadium and happily take questions on the subject. These are exciting times indeed, a progressive manager leading a progressive team being backed by real progress off the field. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum A General Meeting of Shareholders will take place at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on April 29th from 7pm.

We’re gonna win The Cup …. Erosion of a Dream

“We’re gonna win The Cup …. We’re gonna win The Cup …. and now you’re gonna believe us …. and now you’re gonna believe us ….. We’re gonna win The Cup” What true football fan hasn’t sung that song dreaming and hoping that it would come true ? As we enter Semi-Final weekend read here why The Cup might never be the same ever again. When Everton had their ticket allocation for the 6th Round Cup game against Arsenal reduced back in March it became clear that both Everton and The FA were pretty impotent in trying to gain the full 15% allocation of tickets.  This was an experience that both Liverpool and Spurs had endured previously but curiously not Coventry. An EFCSA meeting with the FA confirmed what we all feared that despite the competition rules dictating that away teams should enjoy a 15% allocation of capacity the FA could not enforce this rule.  Much has been said about whether the FA couldn’t or wouldn’t enforce the rule but the facts are that the locally licensing authority (Islington Council in this case) has the final decision. Of course the most significant input to the decision maker (actually the Safety Advisory Group) is the football club with all the vested interest accusations that can, and have, ensued. As can be seen from our recent post ( http://www.efcsa.org/2014/04/04/meeting-football-association-april-2nd/ ) the FA has been very approachable about this issue and Everton Football Club has been wholly transparent in their opinions both publicly and privately.  Sadly, despite many assurances, Arsenal in the guise of their CEO has yet to reply to the letter the Association sent on February 20th and so we don’t know their opinion on the matter. The Cup is adored by football fans the world over and yet in recent times it has been treated with a lack of respect by some managers, or is that football clubs?  The huge financial incentives associated with the Premier League and Champions League mean that The Cup is in danger of going the same way as the Football League Cup and becoming little more than a distraction for clubs in the top flight. The Association became aware of a desire by the “big clubs” to dilute the charm of The Cup and address the challenges of away match ticket allocations by reducing them!  We understood that some clubs would raise a discussion point at a Premier League Meeting to have the away team allocation reduced from 15% to 10% and bring it in to line with the other domestic competitions operated by the Premier League and the Football League.   It also appears that many clubs (Arsenal?) find satisfying the current allocation problematic and ‘inconvenient’ as all their systems and processes are set-up for the lower allocation. We brought this to the attention of Everton and Robert Elstone who made it very clear that this was not something that our club would support.  Indeed when the matter was brought up in the subsequent Premier League meeting Mr Elstone led a minority of clubs in opposing such a change, a position that has been reported in the local media by Liverpool Echo sports journalist Gregg O’Keeffe  (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/robert-elstone-well-fight-tickets-6941068).  What’s not clear is how successful he was and if, and one fears it is when, such a change will be made.  What we do know is that this matter will be discussed at the end of the season by the FA Cup Committee. Furthermore the Association understands that these same “big clubs” also want to eliminate replays from the competition with all games being settled at the first time of asking with extra-time and penalties if needs must.  Apparently the reasoning behind this proposal is primarily fixture congestion and the UEFA rule about games being played in proximity to the Champions League. Finally, one rule change that will take place next season is that only the winners of The Cup will gain a place in the Europa League.  If the winners have qualified for the Europa League or indeed the Champions League via league placing then an ‘extra’ place will be made available based on league position as is currently the situation with the League Cup So, maybe the apprently parochial activities of Arsenal are part of an erosion of the most famous cup competition in the world, indeed throughout this article I’ve referred to it as The Cup as no further explanation is necessary. Football is nothing without fans and so maybe, for once, football clubs and governing bodies could think of us first, it’s not a lot to ask is it ?  
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