THE PEOPLE’S GROUP – STATEMENT

Wow, where do we start? It’s been a whirlwind two weeks, and the response and support to our campaign has been fantastic. After setting up email, Facebook and Twitter accounts (currently 5000+ combined followers), we set about sending our first letter (which highlighted our issues and concerns) to journalists up and down the country. We got great help on Twitter with followers also contacting journalists urging them to take notice of our campaign. We got a breakthrough with Chris Bascombe at the News of the World who decided to take up our story. He published an online article which acknowledged how some Everton fans might be reaching breaking point with the Everton board. We hoped this would set the trend but then the NOTW went bust, and we thought this could be a sign of things to come! We were wrong.

Talksport have had us on twice, Brian Reade published a fantastic article in the Daily Mirror, we have set up a website and Dave Prentice at the ECHO has mentioned us regarding the fan unrest. The very least we have done is raise awareness, get people talking about Everton about what is, or is not, happening at the Club. The issues raised in our initial letter have caused debates on forums, chat rooms, and indeed on our own Twitter and Facebook pages. What is also clear is this has split the fans. What it has also done is got the Club to come forward, twice, to try and give their side of the story. Credit where it is due, you might say. However, what the Club have failed to do again is answer the difficult questions. They have failed to look at our issues and concerns, and instead decided to come out fighting and let everyone know what a great job Bill Kenwright and the board are doing. Club PR officer Ian Ross told everyone on Talksport that 85p in every £1 goes to Finch Farm, whilst CEO Robert Elstone released a statement which stated that he said that he and Kenwright would not talk to fans who wanted their jobs.

Some fans have also contacted us to say we should just ‘get behind the team’ or ‘at least Bill is a blue and isn’t as bad as Johnson’ and ‘we don’t want to be a Man City and sell our soul to foreign owners’. Having digested what the board, Club and some fans have had to say, we feel that our points are being completely missed, or in some cases, ignored.

The first thing we want to emphasise is that we fully support David Moyes and the players. Moyes can have his critics with regards to his tactics and substitutions etc.. But overall it is a sterling job he is doing under the tightest of financial restraints. We have quality players that any Premier League side would have including Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Marouane Fellaini, Mikel Arteta, and Tim Cahill.  We have the leadership of Phil Neville, and the young guns including Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman. We support the team 100%. That can never be in question. It is improving on this team and squad that is the issue here.

Our issue is the Club’s inability to answer the issues raised. So without creating any further confusion as to what questions we want answering, here are the points in brief that we want the Club to answer.

  • If the Club is for sale and you are desperate for a billionaire etc… tell us what you want for the Club? There can be no excuses if you really want to sell something so badly for not letting fans know the price. Surely letting us know what you want will open the door to a wider audience. Or is the Club’s asking price too much? Kenwright himself has told us that interested parties tick all the boxes, so he clearly feels there has been ‘the right buyer’. Therefore it is a money issue.
  • What are Robert Earl, Jon Woods and Philip Carter’s input to the Everton board? Earl and Philip Green’s relationship and the BCR Sports Group registered to the British Virgin Islands in particular needs some serious looking into. After all, Earl has no intentions of investing in Everton Football Club, so why is he there?
  • Tell us how you plan to increase revenue streams, and tell us why should a board who in 11 years, having twice failed to deliver a new stadium, having NEVER found investment (despite the admittance of several interested parties) be allowed to continue. Anyone else who fails in their jobs like this would have been sacked or resigned by now. Convince us how you aim to take us forward. It’s not just about this season, it is about the future too.
  • With regards to the interested parties, tell us who they were. Tell us why they got to the last stages and all “disappeared” (Kenwright’s words, not ours). Tell us how all the money goes to Finch Farm but in the accounts £23m out of an £80m turnover, is classed as ‘other operating costs’.
  • If the banks will not lend to us anymore, how do you intend to support the manager not just now, but next year and the year after? How do you intend to pay the banks back, with all our assets having already been sold?
  • If you are serious about selling, and you have had no ‘luck’ so far, why not step down and put an interim board in place with the aim of selling the club. Martin Broughton anyone?
  • If 85p in every £1 goes to Finch Farm, and every penny is “re-invested in the club”, where is the Bellefield money? The Steven Pienaar money?  The James Vaughan money? Not to mention the loan fees we received for Joseph Yobo, Yakubu Aiyegbeni  and Vaughan.
  • What has happened to the farce that is the Park End project? There has been a gaping gap in the wall all Summer, despite the club offering two different excuses as to why no ‘Everton Place’ has been delivered. It is embarrassing.

And in response to Robert Elstone’s blog last week when he said “should we engage with supporters who want us out of our jobs? We think not”. We think this sums our whole point up. We don’t want his job, we don’t want him out of a job. We just want him and the board to perform their jobs properly and answer the difficult questions, not the questions they choose to answer. If they cannot or refuse to do this, then maybe it is time to step aside.

The questions are simple, and it is about time they were answered. It is time for change in terms of the board’s refusal to answer questions. We as a Group do not believe we need a billionaire. The foundations are there thanks to David Moyes. The squad does not need a major overhaul and the ground issue can wait for now. Let us get the team challenging at the top end first, get the feel good factor back, get the ground sold out every week again, and the rest can follow. Moyes himself stated in May 2011

Seventh might be as good as it can get for Everton with the resources and the way teams are spending now. I don’t think this football club needs hundreds of millions it just needs some fresh cash to try to start again and give us some impetus going into the new season.”

Well if Moyes thinks the same as us, we cannot be too far off can we?

We will continue working hard to get the media involved, to take up our issues, and to understand the fans frustrations. We will continue to build a good solid campaign. We do not advocate protests just yet, but if we keep getting ignored, and the Club refuse to engage with us, it may force us to reconsider our actions and aims as a Group. However, we want to remain as professional as can be, and we will stand by our aims for now.

We urge the media to run our story. We urge fans to back our campaign. Most of all, we urge the Everton Football Club Board to answer our questions. In the meantime we will get behind David Moyes and his team on the pitch.

We will not go away, and we will not be silenced.

It’s time for answers. It’s time for change.

The People’s Group

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Comments
19 Responses to “THE PEOPLE’S GROUP – STATEMENT”
  1. Scott says:

    Unless you or your organisation are shareholders, you have no mandate to be asking any of these questions re. cost of the club etc. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t like it, don’t go the game. Everton is their possession to do with what they and the shareholders please, not the fans. That is the simple and uncomfortable truth.

    • barry1878 says:

      Scott,
      You are probably right! and no doubt this has been said before.
      Unfortunately we as a group are not this annoying wasp that can easily be swatted,we are here until questions are answered and things change,we are here for the long haul.
      Blue Bill may still at this moment feel comfotable sitting on his throne,waving to all his servants on match day and telling the media how he is “one of us” and to”watch this space”
      But the feelings and unrest is growing and it won’t be long before more and more realise what this current board has failed to do.
      Blue Bill will then become uncomfortable,will stop waving to his not so loyal subjects and “hopefully” step aside and let someone else run this great football club.
      “The king is dead,long live the king”

    • keep up the good work! Our numbers are growing AND bare in mind a lot of older fans dont use the internet but are right behind this group so you can probably double the figure following! we just want answers!,,,COYB!!!!

    • Steve Halliday says:

      How can the Shareholders have a say when the AGM’s have been suspended / terminated , as Kenwright and Co became uncomfortable at the questions they were being asked and in some cases refusing to answer legitimate questions from disgruntled shareholders . The Questions and issues raised by The People’s Group seem both reasonable and easily answered providing they have nothing to hide !

    • Steve says:

      So we should just put up and shut up then?? No wonder were in the mess were in

    • JIM BROMILOW says:

      scott, you are in cloud cuckoo land, these men are caretakers of our club, and if the fans started voting with their feet, the shareholders would soon get out of their prams and start asking questions themselves, kenwright and his crew do not want to lose money on what they may have invested, and thats fair enough, but we have a right to ask questions, without us, they have nothing !

      it seems to me that if you read this statement, you did not fully understand it !

      COYB

    • andyduff73 says:

      When the darkside were for sale the whole world and their dog knew it. At same time figures were given as to amount.

      Although we are different in that the banks are not YET forcing the sale the same logic applies. Are we for sale? I hear investment mentioned I also remember the club denying it was during Kirkby so is it for sale?

      Similarly if I wanted to sell my house I would advertise the fact and use an agency to sell it. Do we see the club doing this?

      Instead we stagnant with no clear plan.

      As for your comment about not going match. That is just pathetic we are all blues and want the best for the club we love. I believe the peoples group are asking valid questions that all Blues should want answering.

    • Gavin Ramejkis says:

      Scott, BK and his board changed the club’s articles of association to basically stick two fingers up at the shareholders and removed the AGM, if you decide as a shareholder to contact Anne Asquith regarding questions to be raised as a shareholder you’ll get either no response or a token sidestep.

  2. Coakley says:

    @ Scott: First of all Evertron FC refuse to speak to shareholders and have banned AGM’s so your first point is an utter nonesense. Secondly not going to the game is a policy that would go against The People’s Group’s policy of supporting the team first and foremost. Finally, with 3,000 eason ticket holders jibbing it off and many more fans saying they are going to pick and choose their games, I would say that people ARE voting with their feet.

    If the board continue to play hardball with their own fans (disgracefull) there ARE methods that could be deployed to disrupt their businesses (and i’m not just talking about the football club, Earl and Kenwright have main businesses to run that could be brought into this by 5,000 angry blues.

    Then there are stay ins, stay aways (as you advocate) and other forms of protest. Some of which would unfortunately result in the short term health of the overall club being effected.

    Sadly I suspect that direrect action is innevitable, as this board simply will not relinquish control and will not answer all of these questions (because it would humiliate them, to do so). I would prefer the protests to be against the owners other companies in a strategy similar to that employed by that lot over the park, when they hounded Hicks all over the world. Kenwright’s production company and shows in London being the easiest target, reaching maximum publicity. This will at the very least get the national media interested.

    @ The People’s Group: An absolutely brilliant statement reflecting pretty much all of the issues that need addressing. You have my 100% support.

    Keep bringing blues together. Keep collaborating with KEIOC and Evertonians for Change. Don’t get frustrated with certain blues who have their heads in the sand (bring them on board slowly, by convincing them, do not alienate them with bad language and insults, address their questions as best as you can….politlely).

    I comend you for the successes you’ve had so far.

  3. Tony says:

    This is what we are up against,people like Scott who eat what the club shits out. People like him are the reason why this club is run by a gang of gangsters,happy and content just to make the numbers up in the premier league,no chance of winning any honours in the foreseeable future,but hey boys everything’s ok Bill is one of us,he stood in the boys pen with no arse in his kecks,what a load of bollocks.

  4. henry says:

    Nonsense Scott. We are the paying public. Without us there is no everton football club. Wake up and smell the roses. It’s the fans that can sack a manager and get change. We need to unite even if we disagree on certain issues.

  5. Roy says:

    Scott you say “Everton is their possession to do with what they and the shareholders please, not the fans. That is the simple and uncomfortable truth” this in reality is not the case the shareholders and the board of any football club are only the custodians, Everton is not there or anybody else’s possession, Everton is the fans, its the man in row c seat 67 of the lower Gwladys street that has had a season ticket for 53 years, the thousands that buy the merchandise and live to watch the beautiful game on a Saturday at Goodison Park. The same people that want to see this illustrious club back were it belongs at the forefront of English football THIS IS EVERTON!!!!!! THIS IS THE PEOPLES CLUB!!!!!!!!! If these people can not ask the trying questions of a failing board who should have to answer to the heartbeat of the club then who can?????? WE ARE EVERTON AND WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Chris M says:

    Scott they may be the legal owners of the company that owns the assets of the club, but the board are not the club. If that was the case then football would not be the multi-billion pound industry it is. It would be a group of twleve men sitting in the directors box in an otherwise empty ground watching the 22 playing the footie. The Club is not the Board of Directors. The Club is the team and the supporters.

    It’s worse in our case. At least one of our board has allegiances to another club (Spurs), and Kenwright’s main financial guarantor is a self-confessed Spurs fan.

    Hosni Mubarak was the internationally recognised President of Egypt. Did that mean that the people of Egypt had no right to ask questions of his rule, or try to unseat him? Or in Tunisia? In Libya?

    Every time this group gets a new follower, its mandate grows bigger. Do they claim to be representative of a majority of Everton fans? Nope. But I for one am grateful that someone is asking these questions.

  7. Stuey says:

    why shouldnt we be allowed to answer them questions? you see clubs left right and centre being sold QPR, Blackburn and other clubs such as them and yet we cant get an invester into the club? there has been a hole in the park end wall for months and yet it still hasnt been fixed….. if you think that our club has nothing to do with the fans then maybe its you that needs to keep things to yourself mate as it is OUR Club WE pay the players wages by going the games so surely we have some right into knowing those questions

  8. Rutland Toffee says:

    Please keep the pressure on Kenwright and the rest, otherwise it will all carry on as it has done for the last ten years.

  9. Ray Wilson says:

    This business of the shareholders do what they wish is the crux.
    They will NOT answer the questions because as sure as night follows day there IS something to hide but it is vital they are pressed. The day they respond publicly with “we are shareholders – not you” will be the clarion call all supporters will unite behind.
    Keep pressing they can’t stonewall forever

  10. Mike (Knowsley) says:

    Hello there, I’ve read what you’ve outlined and I’d like those questions answered too, so well done. For the life of me though chaps, I cannot understand why a second tier or extention of the Park End Stand has never taken place; there’s plenty of room and other clubs have successfully redeveloped their grounds during the open season. A new stadium isn’t going to be built, so a constructive revelopment of Goodison should now be entered into. I vaguely remember reading that the stand was built with the scope to except an extention or second tier…I may be wrong! Thanks.

  11. J.C. Woodley. says:

    If all we are ever going to move the situation, beyond the crap we get fobbed with, it’s time to make life uncomfortable for those who think we are powerless Realistically, a fan group buy-out is a none starter, but, getting the cash together for a forensic accountant and a private investigater to trawl the financial affairs of the board members, plus EFC accounts, might trigger a change of heart, about blocking a sale …..I cannot say, for sure, that they have anything to hide , but if they do, selling up might seem the lesser of two evils !

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  1. […] response to this, The People’s Group have set out their manifesto, which can be read here, outlining the questions that the fans want […]



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