Unmasking the power behind the throne

12/09/2015  54 Comments  [Jump to last]
Using more documents and articles excavated from the public domain, the person behind the Watched Toffee Twitter account highlights Sir Philip Green's friendship and past financial assistance to Bill Kenwright and asks whether the retail magnate remains involved in the club's affairs behind the scenes and to what extent.

» Read the full article at Everton Viral

Reader Comments (54)

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Helen Mallon
1 Posted 12/09/2015 at 23:55:23
Wow, I have a feeling that this is going to get very rough for our board members. I also think that the person behind the Watched Toffee account is an ex-employee and I applaud him for bringing this into the public domain.
Andrew Presly
4 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:23:22
Most of the info Watched Toffee obtains is freely available via Conpanies House, just needs to be interpreted properly.

Congrats to him / her for doing it as its a measured and objective critique of the board's dealings. Do Bill and Co actually have to respond though? (If the activity is legal?)

Brent Stephens
5 Posted 13/09/2015 at 10:50:29
Andrew (#2), "Do Bill and Co actually have to respond though? (If the activity is legal?)"

The whole point being made by the Watched Toffee guy is that this is illegal (and he makes a convincing case for that claim).

A very interesting and alarming article.

Barry Jones
6 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:22:39
Another interesting and thought provoking read from Watched Toffee. The allegation that Green is more than Bill's friend and advisor is as old as Bill's reign but now some facts are being unearthed to substantiate what was just an allegation. Will club officials take legal action against what appears to be a whistle blower? Or will their silence provide confirmation that all is not what it appears to be at Everton? After all, if this is true they'd be mad to walk into a court where everything would be exposed.

One last point, a request to ToffeeWeb to give this article a little more prominence like they did the article in Friday's Mirror. The Watched Toffee articles are interesting but not as much as the fascinating debate, the last produced a thread of over 500.

John Keating
7 Posted 13/09/2015 at 11:41:27
Another extremely interesting article. If this is not illegal ,it is without doubt morally wrong and should bloody well be illegal!

Barry 4
If you check probably 400 of the posts in the last thread were generated in response to that one person. Apparently he suffers from something called Confirmation Bias, apparently it was self-diagnosed... He'll be on shortly.

Andrew Presly
9 Posted 13/09/2015 at 12:11:32
What specifically is being alleged that constitutes an illegality? I'm not defending anybody, genuine question as I haven't caught up with the latest details on this and won't get a chance to today.

How Bill oversees the finances of the club might be many things but where's the smoking gun this is eg tax avoidance or money laundering?

Gavin Johnson
10 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:04:32
A big thanks to 'Watched Toffee' for taking the time to join all the dots together and post this article. Keep up the good work. The evidence confirms what many already suspected.

What does puzzle me however, is why wouldn't Green underwrite the money needed for the KD fiasco? Even if he's got the reputation of being someone who spends little to get maximum profit. Surely this location would have been perfect (even more so than DK) for commercial potential.

Colin Fitzpatrick
11 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:28:19
Gavin #8, that's a very good point, excellent observation. Either it's all speculation and Green isn't really involved or there's a very good business reason why he couldn't / wouldn't underwrite Everton's golden opportunity.
Jay Woods
12 Posted 13/09/2015 at 13:42:29
This looks as close as I've seen yet to that forensic deconstruction of the club's true condition many of us have been hoping for. Two things though:

1. He should have waited until we had lost a game before posting it; it will now be largely lost in the noise of a famous victory.

2. He needs to tighten up his writing, just to elaborate / explain his points and dot-connecting a bit better and make the whole thing more accessible.

Graham Mockford
13 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:06:15

What exactly does this 'forensic deconstruction' do that you were hoping for?

I don't see anything that 'proves' anything here. Lots of dots as some have pointed out. How you want to join them up I guess depends on your outlook.

As for your point about writing style being 'elaborate', well that's the point really. Throw lots of stuff about and hope it sticks.

I mean I got to learn Philip Green has a lot of business dealings, sells lots of women's clothes, has a large business network and that corporate financing is a complicated business. No shit Sherlock.

I mean having read it the main accusation seems to be Philip Green is breaking PL rules by being the real owner of the Club and not disclosing it. Even then by his own admission he then hopes investigative journalists will 'search out the truth'. Because quite frankly he has shown nothing yet.

Tony George
14 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:25:44
No lawyer me, but I have always understood that 'fiduciary duty' was about directors answering to their shareholders and the law.

Auditors will 'qualify' accounts if they find anything amiss and risk professional and legal consequences if they ignore such findings.

All these 'revelations' are fascinating and grist for the Everton gossip mill but are, I suspect, not untypical of what goes on in businesses all over the globe. As has been pointed out by one or two before me, hard evidence of malfeasance will be required for the authorities to take more than a passing interest.

Pardon me if I have a few days away from the mudheap of club governance to glory in yesterday's team victory .

Martin Mason
15 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:27:58

This latest "expose?" It definitely has the same seriousness and credibility as the last one.

Mega rich London based business associate and friends acts as guarantor for loan and helps the club to efficiently use offshore financing !! Well still my beating heart, who'd imagine this? I look forward to the next article where, after a good practice fog spraying conspiracy theory everywhere, I hope to see a fact supporting some kind of malfeasance.

Kevin Tully
16 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:38:35
I think we will find it almost impossible to move on until we have one outright owner. The current 'pension pot' model we have in place isn't suitable for a club that requires redevelopment on every level, from commercial deals to the stadium / redevelopment question.

Earl and Woods are quite happy as long as we are on the Premier League gravy train, and Bill doesn't have the financial muscle or the will to take us into the 21st Century. (Unfortunately, his rumoured illness may be his main concern for some time; I hope he makes a full recovery.)

I believe we will be bought out within the next five years, just because of the age or ill-health of those currently on the board. Let's hope any new owners haven't got to start from scratch re stadium issues. We have already wasted enough time.

John Keating
17 Posted 13/09/2015 at 14:57:33
The sad part about all this are the number of supporters that think the position we are in is acceptable. Just drifting on year after year watching the ground get shabbier, selling to buy, more loans, happy to maintain our league status.

Really sad.

Martin Mason
18 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:11:39
No, John, that is an overused and hackneyed myth, the problem is perhaps those who feel that the position we are in is unacceptable given the way that the club has been run not over the last decade but over the last four or more decades.
Richard Jones
19 Posted 13/09/2015 at 15:19:13
Behave, Martin. We were one of the big 5 in 1992 and had recently broken the British transfer record for Cottee!!

Your hero has made us one of the also-rans, you really are making this up as you go along!!

I could go back further to the Mersey Millionaire era but all this has been repeated to you a thousand times and you just keep coming back with the drivel!!

John Keating
20 Posted 13/09/2015 at 16:06:55

I have been going for over 50 years and the Kenwright era has been the most divisive, in my opinion. The missed opportunities and lies during his tenure have been far worse than at any other time I can remember.

Maybe I expect more after watching us win the league in '63 and then onwards; however, the apathy shown in this Board's reign is beyond comprehension.

So Martin, I do not in any way agree with you that my post is an overused or hackneyed myth. My opinion of course.

Jay Woods
22 Posted 13/09/2015 at 16:40:19
@ Graham Mockford: I would have thought the answer to your opening question would have been obvious: it would reveal, explicitly, the true structure of the club's ownership and financial standing. But this is a bad thing to wish for because... ?

And yes, the blogger has "shown nothing (superlatively) yet", but that's not quite within either his remit or his gift; he's trying, from what I can deduce, to lay a foundation for more thorough investigation by those with the resources to do so, specifically, journalists. Just because he hasn't got there yet doesn't mean he shouldn't try, nor does it merit your contempt for his efforts. This is the single most important Everton-centric subject there is at present; it warrants scrutiny, diligence and bloody mindedness because until it is favourably resolved (or the participants at the club retire or expire), Everton FC will continue to fossilise in its intolerable stasis.

Darryl Ritchie
23 Posted 13/09/2015 at 17:24:09
What happens when a director/owner passes? Bill Kenwright is rumoured to be gravely ill, and not long for this world. What is the required process to pass along his shares. Is it a public procedure, or is it done behind closed doors? Does the FA or the league have to be involved? Will they be forced, by law, to take a long hard look at the inner workings of the club?
Bobby Thomas
24 Posted 13/09/2015 at 17:41:33
"Just to say that I won't post again on this post or anything similar. I've said what I needed to really and I'm not adding anything now. Hope that I've at least sown a few seeds of different opinion but I doubt it. Many thanks anyway."

Well what a surprise look who's on this thread, Bill Kenwrights Press Officer, Martin Mason.

Paul Tran
25 Posted 13/09/2015 at 17:55:31
Really interesting piece.

I think the big problem here is that people are confusing our board's investment inertia with illegality.

Everton FC isn't the first business to have unclear ownership, bizarre funding streams and an apparent lack of purpose. It's a business we all love and while I have little time for this board, I can't help feeling that the illegality argument is barking up the wrong tree.

I'd love to know the motives of Green, Elstone et al, but isn't the real issue here the club's lack of ppurpose, direction and leadership?

Graham Mockford
26 Posted 13/09/2015 at 18:29:13

But it doesn't 'reveal explicitly the true structure of the club ownership and it's financial standing'

It justs throws a whole lot of stuff around, makes a whole lot of assertions but ultimately shows nothing that in my opinion would merit any accusation of malpractice or illegality.

And as for being the most Everton centric subject, well not in my life. I'm more interested in Swansea away, when Leighton is going to be fit again and whether if Kiev get knocked out of the CL Yarmolenko might be on the cards again.

And therein lies the nub, I suspect most fans care about what happens on the field and don't really give a shit about who bought what when with whose money.

Mind you I hope they keep flying that plane, it's working wonders.

Tony Draper
27 Posted 13/09/2015 at 18:54:02
"No, John, that is an overused and hackneyed myth, the problem is perhaps those who feel that the position we are in is unacceptable given the way that the club has been run not over the last decade but over the last four or more decades."

Is there anyone able to decipher just what the bloody hell this means ?

Given Jose Mourinho's post match delusional waffle (broken computers etc) I suspect that the two sources could well be one and the same. I certainly hope so, it would be scary indeed if there was a matching (possibly breeding) pair at liberty.

Tony George
28 Posted 13/09/2015 at 19:15:01
Paul @ 21; Don't confuse governance with day to day management. Elstone is an employee - albeit the senior manager - who carries out the strategy laid down by his governors, the board. Green, we are told, is an adviser to the board.

I doubt the two ever have any direct contact although when 'the book-keeper' steps out of line he'll find himself summoned to the Godfather's yacht moored somewhere near Cannes. Nothing personal, just business.

Jim Jennings
29 Posted 13/09/2015 at 19:32:59
Tony Draper,

I had trouble understanding it myself but copied it into google translate from Martian to English and apparently it means:

"The problem is not that some fans are happy to drift along in lower top half to mid table in a dilapidated stadium. The problem is that some Evertonians expect more and don't realise the club has been mismanaged for over forty years. But they're a lunatic minority and don't represent most fans the way I do"

Bobby Thomas - you beat me to it. Laughable and sad in equal measure.

Julian Wait
30 Posted 14/09/2015 at 03:50:09
If the implication is true, i.e. that our directors and shareholders are not the actual owners, surely this represents an existential threat to the club in terms of fines, points penalties and even imposed relegation?

If you remember Leeds and Portsmouth, this didn't end well for other of them.

I am going to bed now, I better check under the bed for monsters I think!!

Tom Hughes
31 Posted 14/09/2015 at 04:31:15
Another very well researched article...... that will hopefully help pave the way to further in-depth investigations into our club's ownership structure, and how it has operated over the past decade or so as a result.

Despite the attempts to trivialise the article or its content (with no specific points ever referred to), there are a whole host of issues and potentially serious ramifications, legal and otherwise.

As shown, if Green is or has been a major and influential shareholder there are certain legal obligations. Conversely, if BK's acquisition of his stake in the club has been part-financed via a third party through profitable loan arrangements..... being paid for out of club funds, then there is a whole change of perception issue.... whereby true blue bill will have carpet-bagged his beloved club. In itself, not necessarily illegal, but hardly the motives of a true fan either.

It would also raise several questions about the activities, and decision-making processes surrounding all of the relocation failures. For instance, if Green is or was a part-owner, or if we were financially beholden to him in any way, was he, as a retail mogul over-influencial on the ilconceived Kirkby scheme? Going back a little further, was Kings Dock scuppered to help facilitate the later retail-led scheme or just preserve BK's chairmanship?

As I said, a whole host of other questions would be generated..... some concerning legal issues. ..... and probably many more concerning how such a structure would be in our best interests...... especially given our resultant track record of failures during the period referred to.

Over 25,000 people read the first article..... and the discussion on this site alone led to 500+posts, which would suggest that many supporters can and do look beyond the importance of the last or the next game, or the next new signing when considering all things Everton.

Eric Myles
32 Posted 14/09/2015 at 07:20:24
Martin #15, so you think that because the Club has supposedly been mismanaged for 25 years before BK took over then it's OK for BK to continue to mismanage the Club rather than attempt to improve it?
Colin Fitzpatrick
33 Posted 14/09/2015 at 08:47:05
John #14 & 17, I have to agree with you, unfortunately some supporters do appear to find it acceptable that we are little more than drifting along, of course we also have to appreciate that there's a sizable number who have little appetite for understanding the reasons behind this, they simply support the club, their club, through good times and bad, go to the game, buy the merchandise; that's their preference and obviously they're happy with that.

However I wouldn't confuse these groups with people who profess not to give a shit about the reasons why we are where we are, only to find them posting on every thread discussing the issue or those that demand proof of a fundamental problem with the club's hierarchy then, once shown, simply dismiss it and continue posting their mindless drivel, these are nothing but wums.

I read Watched Toffee's latest offering on Friday night, read it again yesterday tbh as I was open mouthed after reading it the first time. How anyone can dismiss the allegation that Green organised a special audit at Goodison, that led to the dismissal of a senior figure due to a £3m anomaly is, frankly, beyond me. The suggestion is that these are the actions of somebody acting as either a shadow or a de facto director as described by the 2006 Companies Act and these new allegations appear to be far too specific to be ignored by both the fanbase and the club who must now act to clear their name or as Barry #4 said, "will their silence provide confirmation that all is not what it appears to be"

The High Court has spelt out what this means in practice, "on the question of who must be accustomed to act, this means that a governing majority of the board must be accustomed to act in accordance with the directions or instructions of the alleged shadow director. The purpose of the legislation (CA2006) is to catch a person who effectively controls the running of the company by controlling the board."

In addition to this, Watched Toffee has published which of the Premier League rules these allegations would transgress including the serious consequences for the club if proven to be the case, hardly a matter to simply dismiss once understood.

None of us here have any idea whether what is being alleged is true or not but I can add two things to the allegation, one is that Philip Green definitely paid Paul Gregg for the shares now registered in the BVI and secondly I know that the Premier League has been told before that Green was acting as a shadow but they chose to ignore it.

Getting back to why all this is important, football clubs exist for one reason, to win, to win matches and to win trophies, it's all about winning, that's why people support them, people don't support Everton because they have a free school or they win the award for the best fuckin' sarnie in the Premier League, we only hear of all of that nonsense because it's a distraction away from the fact that fuck all is going on commercially which does have an effect on our ability to win.

Goodison was rocking on Saturday, the St End was in fine voice leaving the fans to go home happy after beating the reigning champions. Winning and taking decisions that allow the club to win are all that really matter to a football club and their fans, anybody attempting to tell you any different is nothing but an apologist for a group of people having your kecks off. Yes the win against Chelsea was great, it was well deserved but with little strength in depth it's almost impossible to sustain performances like this as the season continues and the inevitable toll from injuries and suspensions takes effect.

As the Premier League progressed over the years, as clubs generated untold millions of their own, in addition to the media payments, to spend on their squads, Everton, under this board, fell behind, they've stagnated and no statistic proves this better than comparing their average finishing position for the sixteen years this board has been in power, 9th, against the preceding sixteen years which is also 9th yet at least that was a period when we won eight trophies as opposed to zero trophies in the Kenwright era, so describing Everton as being stagnant is being kind; no wonder the club provided false information to the Mirror's David Maddocks, telling him that the average was 6th, then again, nobody really expects them to tell the truth about anything anymore, perhaps not surprising when it looks like the whole club is built on a lie.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 14/09/2015 at 09:21:32
Graham (22) the fans who don't " give a shit about the way the club is run" will be the losers, like all of us, if this situation is not brought to all Evertonians attention, we are all being kept in the dark.

If there is nothing to hide, then the people running the club have nothing to worry about, is that the true position,I very much doubt it.

Graham Mockford
35 Posted 14/09/2015 at 09:38:47
Dave # 30

If you are going to quote me, at least use a quote of something I actually said.

As I have said many times, I have no problem with challenging the Board's record, we should all want our club to be more successful.

I even understand why people who want this Board out would seek to find evidence of wrongdoing. It would make their position very precarious. But they haven't!

Colin #29

You insist they "must now act to clear their name" but guess what, no they don't. Until there is hard evidence that the PL or other regulatory authorities actually investigate, they have to do nothing. That may piss you off but it's the reality of the situation.

I also find it enlightening that anyone who seems to have a different opinion or interprets things differently to you is a 'wum'.

I have no problem if you think my posts are 'mindless drivel', my English teacher used to give me similar feedback, but it's my mindless drivel which I maintain the right to post.

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 14/09/2015 at 10:57:16
Graham, you are splitting hairs on what I quoted you as saying; you are within your rights to keep posting the way you do. I find it hard to believe that you don't have any doubts about the people associated with having a hand in the way the club is run.
Colin Fitzpatrick
37 Posted 14/09/2015 at 11:11:15
Graham (#31), I'm not pissed off at all, I feel that there's a growing case to answer; you're obviously happy that there's not. That, despite what I would say is quite a substantial allegation with names being named, if you want to hold a view that is wrong, I can assure you that I'm not pissed off whatsoever.

As for your insinuation that I was talking about your mindless drivel you're wrong again, my comments weren't directed at you but obviously that nasty teacher's comments during your formative years must have scared you for life!!! Carry on fella, you're entertaining if nothing else.

Kevin Tully
38 Posted 14/09/2015 at 11:29:40
I would be extremely surprised to find anyone who still believes that Bill Kenwright was able to finance his majority shareholding in E.F.C. from his own pockets. Does anyone on here still believe it I wonder? Does Green still have links to the club? By his own admission, Kenwright has confirmed he is involved.

Is the involvement of Green & Earl good for the stewardship of E.F.C either financially, or from a commercial standpoint? If you are completely honest, and don't want to play devil's advocate, you have to conclude we are just a vehicle for their own personal gain. Clearly, Kenwright is quite happy to be led by the nose by these two, as long as he can hold on to the office of Chairman.

I wouldn't have thought you require a PhD in forensic accountancy to reach the conclusions above.

Winston Williamson
39 Posted 14/09/2015 at 12:04:43
So, confirmation of a leaveraged buy-out by BK. 30mil loan from the bank, which instantly places the club in debt. This is not illegal. The bank loan was even repaid four years later.

It is then it gets murky. As we don't really know who eventually (through the course of many transactions) paid that purchase money back.

This then leads to the 'who actually owns EFC' question. It remains to be answered. However, this article and the previous article are going further than any other into uncovering the many layers.

There's been nothing concrete. No smoking gun....yet. However, many questions are now being asked by many. This can only be a positive thing.

For me, if PG is the true owner of EFC, just come out and admit it.

Jim Lloyd
40 Posted 14/09/2015 at 12:05:49
That looks like what's happening Kevin. What an article! Frightening really.
What Gavin wrote at (7) Is thought provoking as well. If indeed Green underwrote that 㿊 million for Kenwright, then it does make you wonder why a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity went literally floating down the river.

Being a suspicious bugger, I think the article pointed out that Gregg was willing to provide the funds required. I think that would have been with the condition that Kenwright would be required to step down; I think that Gregg was so pissed off at Kenwright's shenanigans that he wouldn't just provide the funds and see Kenwright continue running the club.

That's why I think the deal never got off the ground as Kenwright wanted to retain control so that he had his very own train set. The fact that it was about to crash, never seemed to unduly worry him.

It seems to me that Green couldn't come out and publicly underwrite any funds for the stadium or he'd have been well in the spotlight, rather than just being a "good fiend oops, I meant Friend" to Everton.

It'd be great to have been a fly on the wall during the saga of the King's Dock. I can't help thinking that Gregg knew that Kenwright was a Walter Mitty type and would not just sign up for Kenwright to continue in charge at the new stadium... or anywhere else.

For all Kenwright being a "True Blue" and Gregg not being a football supporter, I think Gregg would have got us that Stadium and would have made a far better fist of propelling EFC into the big time at the Dock.

Now seeing as there's a Billionaire who is a good friend to Everton hovering about with good advice, and two multi-millionaires (don't know if Earl's a Billionaire or not but seems to have a few bob), it makes me wonder what this high-powered team of super businessmen are going to do, if Walton Hall Park goes tit's up. Give Goodison another lick of paint?

Karl Masters
42 Posted 15/09/2015 at 02:46:38
The truth will out they say.

There are so many things that have never added up at Everton and the tiny number of Directors, particularly as one is Robert Earl who clearly has little or no real interest in Everton, is one of them.

If you are looking at possible motives, the current situation gives BK the kudos of being Chairman of something he holds dear, an emotional gain, whilst in the background sit people cold bloodedly watching the asset increase in potential value as the EPL gravy train continues to mushroom.

It explains why they don't really want to sell it unless somebody offers way over the current value. That's obviously very unlikely and explains the fruitless '24/7' search.

In the meantime, no major investment will be allowed. We are net sellers over the last few years too, before anybody mentions Lukaku, just remember the Fellaini money.

I also know of a journalist who asked questions on this subject, discreetly to Club employees a few years back, and was immediately warned off. This was a no go subject, which had to arouse suspicion I think.

Potentially this is very damaging because if the FA do find wrongdoing we could be penalised on the pitch and who knows where that might end?

Laurie Hartley
43 Posted 15/09/2015 at 07:18:56
Winston # 35,

"For me, if PG is the true owner of EFC, just come out and admit it."

I have read watched toffees' article, and my understanding gleaned from the content is that in the unlikely event that Phillip Green did "admit it" or that he is a shadow director, the League would be compelled to ask "since when" or risk being accused of turning a blind eye to a serious breach of the rules - a breach that could lead to the suspension of Everton FC from playing matches. This would be a scandal of the highest order with far reaching effects for EPL.

I would be interested in feedback from other posters with a degree of knowledge of corporate affairs if my understanding is correct or am I way off track here?

Karl Masters
44 Posted 15/09/2015 at 14:59:52
In answer to Gavin's question (7), perhaps PG wouldn't have been able to hide his activities away so easily at a project that had multiple partners involved at the time.

Don't forget the Kings Dock had financial involvement to varying degrees from the EU, NWDA, LCC and plus there was no need for a Retail park down there with Liverpool 1 coming down the tracks.

Who knows eh? But I suspect there is more to be revealed yet.

Tom Hughes
45 Posted 15/09/2015 at 16:18:18
I think you're right, Karl... The Kings Dock had no retail enabling element, so it would've been of little long-term attraction or benefit to Green. Major retailers had been identifying and competing for key strategic out-of-town sites for years, but were being increasingly opposed by new planning legislation aimed at limiting these developments.

That's why the stadium project for Kirkby was dressed up as a community/leisure facility needing a large enabling scheme to help fund it... because there was no other way that the retail development would ever get under the radar without it.

There was little or no concern for the suitability and viability of the site or the stadium itself....... for that was never the main objective for the real drivers of this project.

If Green helped drive that whole process from Kings Dock onwards, at the expense of our best interests, then it sets a whole different tone to how we assess our board's performance for that period... and only highlights the importance of knowing the facts concerning our ownership structure.

Colin Fitzpatrick
46 Posted 15/09/2015 at 18:07:38
Another possibility, Tom (#40), in answer to Gavin's observation and having thought about a scenario which could fit the circumstances, is that Green likes to keep hold of his money, he even likes to keep hold of the money that should be in HM Treasury, he'll use other peoples money when possible.

Look at that example with the BHS properties, all either bought then mortgaged or bought through a mortgage, it's not too clear, then charged rent, that presumably cover the mortgage and yielded a return, which ended up offshore so no tax to the treasury again.

Maybe he wouldn't fund the KD because the joint ownership would have prevented arranging a mortgagor any other type of finance because of title problems? Kirkby was a long lease so maybe that was the plan to make up the shortfall from the wishlist?

Gregg was always adamant that the reverse mortgage would have secured the KD; nobody will ever know if that path would have brought more success or would have brought failure, it did look great though.

Looking at how Green works, it's impossible not to see a certain amount of synergy. I'd concede that it could just be two businesses exhibiting efficiency but this audit, no way would an adviser do all that and the threat to blow the whistle by Wyness? Not easily dismissed, in my opinion.

Jim Lloyd
47 Posted 15/09/2015 at 18:28:54
If Gregg was prepared to fund our share of the Kings Dock, whether on a reverse Mortgage or not, Everton Football Club would have had, in the words of someone not too far away:

"We have the opportunity to have the finest arena, the finest football stadium, in the world. The experts have told us, in no uncertain terms, it can be a success. I'm very excited. We are not going to let this chance pass us by."

Bill Kenwright.

Andrew Clare
48 Posted 15/09/2015 at 18:36:11
What exactly are Green and Earl getting out of being involved in Everton? Is it earning money from loans? What is it?

They are incredibly rich anyway. You would think their long term aim would be to make money from the sale of the club, but the way the club is marketed off the pitch, is it actually worth much?

Kings Dock, Kirkby and now Walton Hall Park... it just seems like nothing is going on regarding a new stadium. Meanwhile, just about every club in England has a new ground.

Karl Masters
49 Posted 15/09/2015 at 18:37:13
Let's just look at our Board of Directors for a moment:

Chairman: BIll Kenwright... Say no more.

Robert Earl: Spurs fan, never attends matches ever. Officially he bought the Gregg shares, although we know Philip Green actually paid for them. Arrived in the Sly Stallone smokescreen. Sly's never been heard of again in nearly a decade. Also involved with companies operating out of the same building as perpetual lender of money to EFC at over-the-odds interest rates, Vibrac, in the BVI... coincidental? Hmmm. Well I really couldn't comment on that, but to me it seems he's either a front for someone else or a carpetbagger.

Have we ever seen an example of his business acumen to drive EFC forward? I can't think of any in over 8 years, unless you count Kirkby, but surely we can't count that now knowing what we know from the Public Enquiry.

Jon Woods: Deputy Chairman. Friend of Bill, by his side in the Directors Box. Rarely speaks publicly, but when he does it's usually with disdain about anybody daring to question the Goodison regime. At least he's an Evertonian, but hardly a driving force in anything it seems. More of a passenger.

That's actually it; three people!

We also have a CEO, Robert Elstone, who was not an Evertonian till he took the job. Often takes flak, he seems to be doing as he's told and doing the day-to-day stuff. I'd expect he's not as innocent as he seems, but possibly he doesn't know all the story either. His predecessors Wyness, Birch and Dunford have all been sworn to secrecy it seems as well.

The Deputy CEO, Denise Barrett Baxendale has overseen the continued rise of the Everton in the Community scheme over the last few years. She appears to have more energy, drive and ideas than the rest of them put together.

Other than that ,we have 1970's Director Keith Tamlin as Vice Life President. The Life President, Sir Phillip Carter, died recently. Both these posts are just advisory I'd say and to pad out the apparent numbers. We also have other workhorses doing Finance, Operations, Secretary etc, but these aren't Board members either.

So really our Board is just Bill and a couple of silent, inactive cohorts (Earl and Wood) as far as I can see. It really is a Dictatorship of sorts. Can this really be so??? Really?

Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 18/09/2015 at 20:26:24
Kenwright was at a memorial service for Sir Philip Carter at The George's Hall yesterday, gave one of his "stirring speeches" in honour of Sir Philip.
Joe Green
53 Posted 18/09/2015 at 21:10:30
Well, Everton's finances seem straightforward compared to ....


David Greenwood
54 Posted 18/09/2015 at 21:23:50
Yes Joe scandalous. Completely different set of circumstances from us in one sense. In another though exactly the same, it does appear that neither club is being managed for the good of the football club.
Dennis Ng
56 Posted 18/09/2015 at 21:33:16
While we're still in debt, are the debt numbers ever officially published? There is an article on cash-in-hand for Arsenal so wondering if we ever were given such details, other than the knowledge our interest payments never seem to get smaller.

Arsenal's article: http://www.espnfc.us/arsenal/story/2618969/arsenal-have-1931-million-in-cash-reserves-as-profits-rise

Tony Draper
57 Posted 18/09/2015 at 21:39:25
Joe @46, I have just finished reading the very same article about Man Utd.

From what I could decipher (because the article is a dreadful piece of composition to my mind) the Glazers have had the kecks off Man Utd, stand to make a fortune and saddle the club with all the liabilities.

The comical thing is that the FA are being cited as not commenting upon the proceedings! Why should they? There must be numerous business models within the EPL alone.

Brent Stephens
58 Posted 18/09/2015 at 22:40:34
As an aside, we and Bill featured in the Guardian cryptic crossword today.
Clue: Wears out wingers from Everton - Bill with disheartened Blues.
Answer: Enfeebles.
Sounds about right.
Peter Lee
59 Posted 18/09/2015 at 00:04:09
I have read both of theses articles, the second of which goes over almost the same ground as the first and the first is replete with "I believe..." , "I suspect..." etc. and short of any evidence of wrongdoing.

The major addition to this second article is the stunning revelation that Bill Kenwright borrowed money to buy his shares. The security for the loan was the shares, like when you buy a house on a mortgage. Football club shares being riskier than property the bank required a guarantor. This means that if BK didn't make the payments then the bank would sell the shares for the best price they could get and the guarantor would make up the difference. BK made the payments, there was no "leverage" as the Glazers did in putting debt on the club.

I bought two shares last year as gifts for family members. After making the payments the sale needed to be scrutinised at a board meeting. This would appear to be standard practice. After scrutiny the share certificates were issued to them in their names posted to their address. This is all recorded by the club. Robert Earl's shares will have gone through the same process.

Earl may have borrowed money to make the purchase and pledged the shares against the loan but ask yourself how likely it is that Earl would need to do that. Were his shares to be transferred to a third party the transfer would need to go to the board and it would be a matter of record.

Robert Earl was interviewed on a US chat show. The interviewer raised the matter of his directorship at Everton. Earl said that we were "America's club" having Tim Howard on board. When asked what he got out of his involvement he said "Death threats." Given the level of comment on here, about Earl and others, and its savage nature, it may be that he wasn't kidding.

Readers will gather that I am unimpressed with the level of "evidence" quoted in the articles and astonished how others can take it all at face value but I shall, in sadness because of what it means for the club, eat humble pie when the cohort of investigative journalists in contact with the author expose the wrongdoings of those associated with EFC.

Finally, it may be that "Watched Toffee" isn't paranoid, they (whoever they are, answers on a postcard) really are out to get him.

Tom Hughes
60 Posted 19/09/2015 at 00:47:29
Board meeting? What's one of them?

By the sound of it I don't think you really read the articles.... or certainly not fully.

Patrick Murphy
61 Posted 19/09/2015 at 00:52:25
Perhaps the caveats are to protect themselves from being sued by the people they are levelling their accusations at, Peter (#51), a practice not so unusual when the evidence is on the whole speculative at best but that doesn't mean the accusers are entirely wrong either.

Also, given the FA seems to behave like a Wild West sheriff on the take, we might never find out the truth... even if 'Watched Toffee' is closer to it than most would like to believe.

Tom Hughes
62 Posted 19/09/2015 at 17:23:27
Yes... The author is merely drawing our attention to various pointers. When viewed individually, any or all would appear to be speculative..... but as they begin to stack up, they begin to all point towards the same conclusions. I'm not sure that you need a definitive "smoking gun" when the same suspects keep appearing at scene of the crime.

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