Blue Union – An open letter to Bill Kenwright

Dear Mr Chairman,

We believe the time has arrived to initiate a change at Goodison Park; not simply a change for changes sake, we’re proposing a historic change, a change that will act as the catalyst for Everton, our manager and our players, to once again have the opportunity to become a truly competitive force in English top flight football.

We would like to clear up a misconception; nobody believes there’s a magical solution to Everton’s financial situation, nobody believes there’s a stockpile of money or that every penny possible hasn’t been used for the benefit of the team; all Evertonians appreciate that football is a business, a competitive business where owners are responsible for the delivery of funds to the manager through either personal investment or successful and cohesive commercial strategies.

A decade long search for investment has proved fruitless, and what remains inescapable is that during this time Everton’s business performance has resulted in a fundamental decline in the financial position of the club; specifically, a massive reduction in the balance sheet position, a substantial increase in debt and a real decline in operating profit. During this period Everton’s broadcasting income has increased by over 300% yet when it comes to developing our commercial income it is the inability to address the key issue of the stadium that has left us trailing in the wake of our peers. The consequence, of all of this, is there for all to see; despite protestations to the contrary, our club is unable to support our manager and therefore our team. At a time when over £485,000,000 was spent by other clubs investing in their core business activity, football, it is shameful that not a single penny was spent by Everton.

Nobody can refute that attempts to improve our financial performance haven’t been undertaken. Strategies, that have been implemented, by a succession of CEO’s, include, the sale of assets, borrowing, selling a percentage of the club, two potential ground moves and a proposal to build a new commercial centre at Goodison Park. The first two have been acknowledged as unsustainable and clearly cannot address Everton’s underlying financial problems, whilst the remainder have all failed to materialise. Many see the failure to deliver the truly world class King’s Dock stadium as the greatest missed opportunity in Everton’s history; whilst others now see the pursuit of the unfathomable, undeliverable and unsuitable Kirkby stadium as the greatest mistake by an Everton board in over 130 years.

There have of course been successes; yet even successes hide potential problems. Fifty years ago Sir John Moores purchased our then training ground for £26,000; last year it was sold for £9,000,000; sadly, this legacy from Sir John, was used to repay debt. The fantastic replacement training facility, Finch Farm, has been leased from another company for an astronomical amount of money payable over fifty years; this legacy, for future owners, will simply be one of debt.

We began by explaining that we all understand that football is a business, but, Mr Chairman, as a fellow Evertonian, we think you of all people will agree that football clubs are far more than this; they’re cultural assets and their owners are mere custodians who have a responsibility not only to the business, under the companies act, but also to their fans and the future generations of fans who will support our club when we are no longer here. With this in mind we would ask you to have the courage to accept that the performance of the current board has fallen far below that which is required and we are requesting that you should initiate the following action.

We respectfully request that that you, Messrs Earl, Woods, Carter and all Everton shareholders, should agree on a mechanism to appoint an autonomous group of professionals that will undertake the identification and selection of potential buyers of the club who will oversee the sale to the potential owner who can best demonstrate the resources, ability and a genuine desire to take the club forward on both a commercial and football level.

Mr Chairman, it is a long time since the club’s Latin motto has been adhered to; faced with a difficult and momentous decision we would asked you to be guided by another, facta non verba.

The Blue Union

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Comments
11 Responses to “Blue Union – An open letter to Bill Kenwright”
  1. bobtache says:

    Bought my last season ticket and will not go to any more games until this situation changes. My protest is by walking. When Everton put their hands in their pockets I’ll put my hand in mine (again). Bob

  2. Chris says:

    Speaking as an LFC fan & putting rivalry to one side, I wish you all the best in achieving your desired goal.

  3. renepower says:

    I was nervous as to what I was clicking through to here, but it is a very well written and thoughtful piece.

    I’m steering clear of the demonstrations, protests etc this weekend and hope that the fans that do take part conduct themselves respectfully and with dignity. If it degenerates, it will only affect the club further.

    What is sad is that in a decade of investment failure, we’ve seen scores of other clubs achieve cash, stadium and player injections and clubs that really shouldn’t be competing to sign international players from the bigger clubs beat us to it.

    Liverpool had the foresight to bring a heavyweight dealmaker in to remove Hicks-Gilette. I think we need the same.

  4. Growler says:

    If you really care putyour hands in your pockets and buy a stake in the club.

    If indeed you are the people’s club
    Prove it!

    Stop waiting for someone else and do it yourselves.

  5. gedmatthews says:

    Well thought out letter From the outside looking in its seems that incompetant is the key word to decribe the performance of the current regime,kings dock,ntl,fortress,kirkby,gosling etc etc the board must take responsibility for the mess they have made and make the appropriate steps to remove themselves from their positions asap

  6. simon says:

    luckily not everyone is a numpty like you bobtache

  7. Gary O'Flynn says:

    So if hou don’t support it does that imply you are not a “True Blue”?

  8. John says:

    Great article, keep focusing on what is best for Everton. And what is best for Everton is not Bill Kenwright.

  9. An excellent letter giving indepth information of our financial problems However knowing the chairman he will dismiss this letter It is therefore essential to encourage a majority of fans to write to him highlighting their agreement with this letters content and asking him the same questions, pointing out the need for what has been requested in the letter. If he receives many thousands of letters it may make him think twice, which is a difficult task. Good luck
    Brennan Finn My email is pbfinnegan@1yahoo.co.uk

  10. Sorry I gave the wrong email in the above comment. Its as below pbfinnegan1@yahoo.co.uk

  11. camilla bourne says:

    I can not think of anyone with more commitment, more love for Everton than Bill Kenwright. I should declare that I have known him for a long time but have no vested interest in Bill; yet consider it improper not to speak up his defense.

    His passion with Everton, is decades old: his heart has always been with Everton, and he would no more hurt this club, than his own flesh and blood. And I am quite prepared to put my name with this, rather than hide in shameless anonymous hand wringing. Camilla Bourne

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