EFCSA stonewalled in quest for answers to infamous AGM questions

30/01/2016  121 Comments  [Jump to last]
The Everton Shareholders Association have expressed their frustration over the Board of Directors' refusal to budge on answering a series of questions specifically related to the club's ownership from last November's Annual General Meeting.

The EFCSA canvassed shareholders for the issues over which they would wanted to see more transparency at the AGM and a list of prepared questions was submitted to Chief Executive Robert Elstone prior to the event.

While the CEO answered a few of the queries on the night, he refused to broach others — presumed to be in relation to speculation on social media regarding the involvement of retail magnate, Sir Philip Green — describing some of them as "disrespectful" and "disappointing".

The Shareholders Association has since pressed the club on what they describe as "numerous occasions via letter, email and telephone" but without success.

"We have attempted to find common ground with an underlying objective of getting answers to the questions that were asked in good faith by Shareholders," a statement reads on efcsa.org

"The Club has refused to meet or engage with the Association.

"[W]e hope that fair-minded people will respect that we have tried to engage with the Club on a timely basis and that we are being as transparent as we possibly can. However, it is very clear that for whatever reason the Club does not want to answer the questions.

"We at the Association do not accept that their reasons, as presented, are valid; we believe that our fellow shareholders on the Board, acting in the best interests of all Shareholders, should ensure that all these questions are answered."

EFCSA have subsequently tweeted that the club have ceased all dialogue with the shareholders' representative body.  

Reader Comments (121)

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Peter Larkin
1 Posted 30/01/2016 at 00:25:56
Disgrace this. Until we get sorted at the top level of the club, everything else is doomed to fail.
Don Alexander
2 Posted 30/01/2016 at 01:26:03
Who knows the true situation?

That said, a board desperate with something to hide, in a big way, might behave as our current board do.

And have.... for years.

Karl Masters
3 Posted 30/01/2016 at 02:43:37
Must be hiding something. That much is obvious. Question is: what exactly?

Maybe Bill actually did sell to a fella in a one bed flat in Manchester and doesn't want to admit it!

Derek Thomas
4 Posted 30/01/2016 at 03:20:54
Shock horror! Goodison secrecy, ceased dialogue... no change then.
Jamie Crowley
5 Posted 30/01/2016 at 06:04:39
Due diligence? Confidentiality papers signed?

Maybe legally they can not comment on matters of ownership?

That or they are securely in an ivory tower.


Rob Hooton
6 Posted 30/01/2016 at 08:34:14
It just makes you think something is seriously amiss with the slippery buggers...
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 30/01/2016 at 08:41:03
The Italian mafia practice omerta; the Goodison mafia practice "no comment". Will we ever get rid of this mob?
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 30/01/2016 at 09:29:34
Most of us will not be the least surprised by these revelations.
Helen Mallon
9 Posted 30/01/2016 at 10:08:52
Well, what were the list of questions that the shareholders wanted answering? It would be nice to know.
Phil Walling
10 Posted 30/01/2016 at 10:31:49
The EFCSA are as secretive of the questions they asked as the Directors are reluctant of replying to them!

I have a sneaky suspicion that the sale is near to 'a done deal' which will alleviate the need for us ever to know who really owned the club. The VI mafia can rest in their beds.

Clive Rogers
11 Posted 30/01/2016 at 10:35:13
It is unbelievable how the club has treated its own shareholders under Kenwright's tenure.
Eric Holland
12 Posted 30/01/2016 at 10:54:15
Commence operation Goodison exercise...
Liam Reilly
13 Posted 30/01/2016 at 11:11:21
If they wanted a professional response then they should have engaged more professionally with these questions; the Earl one is a disgrace and got the answer it deserved: none.

Some of the other questions are also misguided; paraphrasing but 'confirm that Chang was the best deal available at the time'. Seriously, how are they expected to answer that.

Others would be detrimental to the club to be answered.

Ian Jones
14 Posted 30/01/2016 at 11:45:41
Eric. "Commence Operation Goodison defence" would be a good one to announce
Michael Williams
15 Posted 30/01/2016 at 12:25:20
I saw the list of questions. Which ones did they not answer?
Ged Simpson
16 Posted 30/01/2016 at 12:40:49
What is the list, Michael?
Teddy Bertin
18 Posted 30/01/2016 at 13:43:38
The questions are naive and disappointing, but the BoD have to accept that fans are not happy with the transparency of the clubs dealings and want answers as to why the EFC has been left in limbo all these years while clubs like Stoke and West Ham overtake us (having not even performed better in the league).

This is a waste of a question: "Could the CEO confirm that none of the Directors have directly or indirectly benefited financially in any way from any financial dealings between the club and any 3rd party?"

What business man in their right mind would give a transparent answer about something like that? Does "indirectly" include dinners or 5 star hotels whilst meeting with Chang? Free crates of beer? Free sports wear? No ones going to answer something like that in public. Especially when the fans are already angry. Opening with a question like that puts the BoD on the defensive from the start.

Jay Harris
19 Posted 30/01/2016 at 14:04:04

Given that Bill consistently maintains none of the directors take any money out of the club and yet other operating costs rose from £1 million to over £20 million and interest payments to the BVI of around £8 million a year are being made without explanation, I think that's a perfectly reasonable question to ask.

Helen Mallon
20 Posted 30/01/2016 at 14:21:29
Liam Reilly, it does not matter how they where put – they should have bloody well answered them. You know and I know that if they had been professionally put, they still would not get answered.

I'm bloody sick of people sticking up for this board. What have they put into this shitty stinking ship.

They are billionaires (Earl & Green) and they have put zilch in, the bastards, and if it's true that they own the bank that lends us money and then charge us interest, then they should be hung by their balls.

Denis Richardson
21 Posted 30/01/2016 at 15:11:42
Anyone know where we can see the list of questions?

Given some were described as 'disgraceful', I am curious to see what was actually asked...

Paul Kossoff
22 Posted 30/01/2016 at 15:13:55
Well said, Helen, and if long-term Everton supporters in what ever category, can't ask questions about the club they follow, then who can?
Brent Stephens
23 Posted 30/01/2016 at 15:26:02
Denis, there's a link in the above News piece. Some poor questions in there.
Mike Hayes
24 Posted 30/01/2016 at 16:15:31
As most think these questions were a waste, unprofessional and a disgrace, as fans what questions would you ask and if you were shareholders what questions would you want answering?

Whether it is our business or not to know it's pretty much insulting to the fans the way the club has been, is being run both from the board down to players

The only good coming out of the club regularly is the work of Everton in the Community, Former Players Foundation, etc. We pay bloody good money to go to the ground... we'd like to know something of what is going on.

Jay Harris
25 Posted 30/01/2016 at 17:16:16
Bill's smoke-and-mirrors act continues unabated while those who ask questions are treated with contempt.
Colin Fitzpatrick
26 Posted 30/01/2016 at 17:22:25
Whilst I'm not a shareholder and therefore unable to question the board, I have to say the naivety exhibited by some posters on here is astonishing.

Questions to Earl are completely justified as here is a man whose shares are held by an offshore entity, not uncommon, but they were paid for by Sir Philip Green!

As for the questions regarding financial beneficiaries, directly or indirectly, have you not considered that these could be worded purely to obtain an official response? It's a long game but things have changed now, but not to worry, our directors will see everything is alright.

Kevin Tully
27 Posted 30/01/2016 at 17:47:37
I wonder if the question over shirt sponsorship had something to do with the fact the club were offered a more lucrative shirt deal, but turned it down?

"Everton's Thai beer sponsor Chang has been on their shirts for almost 12 years, the longest running association of that kind in the Premier League, and there is a story that tells you much about the club that when it last came up for renewal around three years ago, there was the potential for a bigger deal elsewhere.

"The new party was offering more money and they desperately wanted a Premier League shirt deal. Their corporate colour was blue. Although the market trend for shirt deals is that changing brands obtains greater value, Everton decided that they rather liked Chang and the familiarity that had developed with the Thais and did not pursue the alternative offer."

Dennis Ng
28 Posted 30/01/2016 at 17:53:53
Kevin, do we know who the other guy is? I would be very unhappy if it is a reputable company that wanted to advertise with us and we just took the easy way out.
Kevin Tully
29 Posted 30/01/2016 at 17:59:15
I'd ask Mark at #17, Dennis. He seems to know everything....
Bill Gall
30 Posted 30/01/2016 at 18:15:30
I have just read the questions that the EFCSA wished to have answered using the link above. The majority of questions are basically questions that I have seen asked on TW by numerous supporters..

Yes the shareholders do not have as many shares as members of the board but surely the committee on behalf of their fellow shareholders should be answered on questions on how the club is being run, as we expect as supporters, that the club is being run honestly and with the best interest of Everton FC first.

Martin Mason
31 Posted 30/01/2016 at 19:13:39
I prefer threads that don't involve conspiracy theory, fantasy and guesswork. The questions were framed and put extremely badly for a board meeting. The club should have been more tactful in their response but they were correct to reject most as they implied wrong doing and asked for information that minority shareholders weren't entitled to know. I blame the fans now as much as the board, they are often hostile.
Andy Walker
32 Posted 30/01/2016 at 19:23:19
Does anyone actually think that, just because you own some shares in an institution, the governing body is obliged to answer all your questions? That's not the real world. Of course the righteously indignant may feel differently.

If EFCSA had been a bit smarter and started by asking one or two questions, maybe they might have got somewhere – you know, win some friends, gain influence first. I read the list of questions and it wasnt exactly subtle, a clear agenda was broadcast loud and clear, is it any surprise EFC have broken off engagement?

There may well be some genuine questions to answer here but the approach adopted is at best amateurish and ultimately counter productive and hence doomed to failure.

Colin Glassar
33 Posted 30/01/2016 at 19:39:32
I thought shareholders had a right to ask questions concerning their investment? Silly me.
Winston Williamson
34 Posted 30/01/2016 at 20:11:55
Martin (31)
I don't usually agree with you, as you know, but on this occasion I do.

There are questions which need to be asked and answered, but those questions need to be considered, concise and relevant.

If the questioning is being led or weighted with either an agenda or obvious pre-conceived notions then the board are not going to answer.

The questions must draw the board into answers which will cause more questions, thus allowing to:

a) get the (non-dodgy) truth
b) tie the board in knots (the perjury effect)
c) establish beyond doubt of wrongdoing...

I personally do not think (until evidenced) that there is unlawful aspects to the clubs ownership. I believe it's simply run by amateurs who have made numerous mistakes.

Accusations without proof are counter-productive...

Tony Hill
35 Posted 30/01/2016 at 20:25:05
Yes, I agree too that these questions were always going to be swatted away I am afraid. I think there are issues surrounding our indebtedness, especially the Vibrac lending (and what may lie behind that convoluted trail), which require scrutiny – but that has to be done carefully if it is to be effective.

Let us hope that a successful, well-judged takeover renders all this largely irrelevant....

Andy Walker
36 Posted 30/01/2016 at 20:32:49
Of course they can ask Colin, but they have no right to answers. Do you really think if you buy shares in any Plc you can just fire off some questions to the board and expect to get answers?
Martin Mason
37 Posted 30/01/2016 at 21:10:01
The problem is that EFCSA are amateurs and the EFC board are professionals. They should have submitted the questions via professionals.
Patrick Murphy
38 Posted 30/01/2016 at 22:30:59
Martin (#36) The "EFC board are professionals", that's weird because I thought none of the board members took a penny in fees or salary from the club, so how can they be labelled professional?
Winston Williamson
39 Posted 30/01/2016 at 22:38:27
Martin, I don't think it's the party submitting the questions. It's the style(?) or technique of questioning which is the issue.
Tom Hughes
40 Posted 30/01/2016 at 22:46:06
Members of the EFCSA are not amateurs.... collectively and individually our membership covers the fall range of professional endeavour..... and some are involved with institutions and businesses that dwarf EFC.

Some people seem to be missing the main points here. The association was set up as a watchdog by some very historically important Evertonians.

The association was asked to formulate a list of questions posed by ordinary shareholders... All in order to help the AGM pass as efficiently as possible. The association invited questions and the resultant influx was collated to counter duplication etc. These questions were then given to the club and passed as suitable via their own vetting process –I mean how more accommodating do they need to be – only for the CEO to then reject them on the night... having accepted them days before.

Please don't forget that this was the same board who became the first in the club's 125-year history to stop AGMs.

The EFCSA passed on the questions in good faith at the request of the club... The club couldn't answer them. That should be sufficient for the ordinary blue to ask: What's going on?

Ignore the usual sycophants. They're not interested in the best interests of the club... just their own cushy relationships with the perpetrators of our mediocrity. If the questions are offensive or amateur then they should be easily dispelled. I bet they're not!!!

James Flynn
41 Posted 30/01/2016 at 22:52:12
Tom (39) - Well said. Good man.
Teddy Bertin
42 Posted 31/01/2016 at 00:10:47
Jay (#18), I completely agree, I just thought the question was never going to get a response and so was wasted.

This question was more testing:

The Board have always said they have not taken any money out of the Club. Given that the CEO is not a Director of the Company can they explain for whom was the Director's Remuneration of 𧸖,000 in the accounts of 2013-14?

Derek Thomas
43 Posted 31/01/2016 at 00:55:40
Having read through the list of questions, the silence comes as no surprise.

If we ever did get them under the spotlight, there would be a hell of a lot of... commercial sensitivity / pleading the 5th

And your questions on Everton Football start - Now...Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass. Now we know why they hired Roberto.

Christine Foster
44 Posted 31/01/2016 at 01:40:36
I think Tom Hughes nailed the context and background superbly. It's worth stressing the point that this board created the issue in the first place with not just a lack of transparency but with its outright intention of misleading the rest of its shareholders and supporters on an ongoing basis.

The continuing lack of trust that forced the questions to be raised in the first place is entirely due to the board's actions regarding Destination Kirkby and the subsequent enquiry that exposed the con it was.

One has too hope that any new owner clears the boardroom and senior management and starts a fresh, inclusive and reasonably transparent approach in order to, finally, consolidate the fan base. There is no way back for the current board and management.

Jack Mason
45 Posted 31/01/2016 at 02:20:42
Plausible deniability, the black arts of Psychology, silence when confronted with questioning, black budgets. Are we talking about an Alphabet agency here? Oh right, yeah Everton's board. Dontcha know you're a tinfoil hat, Kool aid drinking, conspiracy theorist to question them.
Jay Harris
46 Posted 31/01/2016 at 04:25:15

As far as I am aware that is Elstone's salary and he was made a director just prior to the release of the accounts and is shown to be on the board of directors on the official site.

I am more concerned with the £2M Other Operating Expenses and the BVI loan.

Matt Traynor
47 Posted 31/01/2016 at 05:27:34
Tom (#39) – I've had the pleasure of meeting you personally so please don't take any affront from this.

The questions posed by EFCSA were amateurish – If I had to guess they looked like it was a committee-approved long list from a longer list. I don't doubt the credentials of any of the membership – sometimes you are better speaking with one voice rather than several.

But I appeal to you – please don't ever put me in the position of agreeing with Martin Mason again!

Helen Mallon
48 Posted 31/01/2016 at 08:05:12
Martin Mason, please can you pen questions on here you think would be okay to ask the board. I have read most of your posts and you never slag the board off, even though they are a bunch of twats. Yes I have swore because I like using swear words when I'm angry.
Tom Hughes
50 Posted 31/01/2016 at 08:34:22

The Shareholder's Association were simply asked to collate the questions and pass them on. They had no say in their content or quality except perhaps to sift out duplication.. .... so yes, some may appear less than professional, but the association had little choice but to include them in the final submission.

The bottom line is none of this should detract from the actions of the CEO at the AGM. He had every opportunity to address the offending questions before the AGM, but chose a general rebuke to avoid answering practically all of the pertinent questions listed.

That is the real issue imo.

Matt Traynor
51 Posted 31/01/2016 at 09:21:15
Tom (#48),

I agree about the real issues, but the behaviour of the Board and the contempt shown by the CEO to EFCSA should surprise no-one. Turkeys voting for Christmas etc. etc.

The divisions created by the Board over the Destination Kirkby fiasco have remained to this day. I don't follow other clubs fora, but I certainly don't remember the RS fanbase being split over wanting the Texans out. Their banners asking Dubai Investment Corporation to save them (which showed their stupidity given it was after 2008) were amusing.

Eric Myles
52 Posted 31/01/2016 at 09:26:10
I'm wondering if this bunch of EFCSA amateurs are the same bunch of amateurs who took the Club to the cleaners in the Desperation Kirkby inquiry??
Tom Hughes
53 Posted 31/01/2016 at 09:26:14

The Shareholder's Association were simply asked to collate the questions and pass them on. They had no say in their content or quality except perhaps to sift out duplication.. .... so yes, some may appear less than professional, but the association had little choice but to include them in the final submission.

The bottom line is none of this should detract from the deplorable actions of the CEO at the AGM. He had every opportunity to address any offending questions before the AGM, said nothing, then chose a general rebuke to avoid answering practically all of the pertinent questions listed.

That is the real issue imo. Yet another AGM allowed to pass with more unanswered questions..... and the EFCSA are not only right to highlight the issue, they are obliged to.

Tom Hughes
54 Posted 31/01/2016 at 09:29:50
Apologies sent before I'd finished.....
Eric Myles
55 Posted 31/01/2016 at 09:38:52
The 'minor' shareholders own something like 34% of the shares don't they? More than anyone on the board.
Martin Mason
56 Posted 31/01/2016 at 09:42:00
Eric@50, definitely not, those people don't exist outside of the imagination.

I'm not defending the board by the way, I'm criticising the way the questions were handled.

Helen, I have no questions for the board. I'm not a shareholder and what they do is none of my business. Like you I don't have a clue what they actually do but I don't need to invent stuff to fill my knowledge gap. I can comment but not demand, I can raise an opinion but won't do so unless I can back it up.

Phil Walling
57 Posted 31/01/2016 at 09:51:38
As one former Club Secretary was prone to say, 'Bloody shareholders, you'd think they owned the Club!' Not much has changed, has it?
Helen Mallon
58 Posted 31/01/2016 at 10:10:28
Martin Mason once again.
Tom Hughes
59 Posted 31/01/2016 at 10:11:29

Your comments are as ever irrelevant. At the time of Destination Kirkby you continually called KEIOC amateurs.... it's your favourite retort when you can't mount any kind of real argument. At that time you asked who Evertonians should believe: this group of concerned amateur blues, or the combined 'professional" resources of EFC's board, Tesco and Knowsley Council. Guess who won that particular argument hands down? After which you weren't seen on this forum again. Where was your concern over the multiple lies you put your unending support in?

Then, as now, several members of that group were shareholders. Now the whole shareholder's association have been left in little doubt as to the way our club operates and the complete lack of respect it has for its small shareholders...... Yet your only concern is the "amateur" nature of the questions?

Phil Walling
60 Posted 31/01/2016 at 10:40:24
With the timescale for 'due diligence' coming to an end, I have spent some time attempting to place a bet on its outcome. But no bookie seems so apprised of the situation to offer odds.

I must confess that my money would be on it being a done deal – thus the derisory treatment afforded to the EFCSA – but is anybody wised up to the progress of the deal?

Martin Mason
61 Posted 31/01/2016 at 10:44:07
Tom, sorry but that doesn't rate a response to you personally, fact-free and bitter I'm afraid.

As I said, some of the questions were put in a hostile manner and they were asking questions that they had no right to know the answers. If asked properly they would have got an answer from any reasonable person. Some of the questions were as brain dead as "wheres the money Bill?". Well, maybe not that bad.

Don't be too angered by the use of the word amateur.

Patrick Murphy
62 Posted 31/01/2016 at 10:56:29
Martin (#59) "I'm not a shareholder and what they do is none of my business" – so why do you insist on making it your business to shoot them down at every given opportunity?
Tom Hughes
63 Posted 31/01/2016 at 11:13:54
Fact-free? Care to elaborate..... ?

You were the one to engage in a fact-free campaign against KEIOC despite the overwhelming evidence eventually fully vindicating their stance. Which has rendered you the embittered one.....

"Don't exist outside their imagination"..... Are you sure? How did something that didn't exist collate the largest body of evidence at the public inquiry, took the club, Tesco & Knowsley to the cleaners and received glowing commendation from the authorities.... I'd suggest it is you with the vivid and even revisionist imagination.

Shareholder's have "no right to the answers"? I'm not sure if this is a legal or philosophical argument on your part.... but suffice to say that shareholders are perfectly entitled to ask any questions they wish..... The point is, this board NEVER answer the searching questions – as we have seen repeatedly over a whole host of issues – and that is apparently okay in your world. I wonder why?

Tony Hogan
64 Posted 31/01/2016 at 11:41:03
Going slightly off topic, do the then supporters of Keioc still feel the club is better off now without that new stadium as we don't seem to have any other positive alternative.

Just asking, would we be better of with it or without it?

Kevin Tully
65 Posted 31/01/2016 at 12:17:58
If I remember correctly, Martin, by his own admission, (and this isn't a criticism) lives & works in Kazakhstan or some other outpost, doesn't attend Goodison Park, and doesn't have any sources inside Goodison Park.

Now, that doesn't mean he isn't entitled to his opinion, but I would say it probably means he isn't as well informed as the the likes of Tom when it comes to all the things Everton.

In fact, if I were Martin, I would be embarrassed to even debate with some shareholders who continue to be involved with the workings of EFC on a daily basis, and who are privy to factual information that hasn't been bastardised through Chinese whispers on an Internet forum.

No offence meant, but sometimes you have to listen to the most qualified opinion – and that certainly isn't Mr Mason's.

Tony I'Anson
66 Posted 31/01/2016 at 12:24:27
As a shareholder, and having met those shareholders who make up the EFCSA executive committee, I concur with Tom Hughes (#39).
Philip Roberts
67 Posted 31/01/2016 at 12:37:29
Tom, I think you're wasting your valuable time with him. Ignore him and, with a bit of luck, he'll go away.

Martin Mason
68 Posted 31/01/2016 at 12:57:47
Kevin, what an execrable load of old Pony. I have watched Everton for nearly 60 years, I can and do read avidly especially things Everton and I have some intelligence. While I work abroad now and again I run my own Company. Don't try to influence a discussion by stupidly trying to discredit me.

Tom knows as much as the vast majority of fans how Everton run and for most that is very little. Just about the same as he knows about the DK inquiry. As I say, I don't try to justify the things the board do but I'm obliged to defend them against some of the rubbish that is thrown around here.

When Tom learns how to discuss things in a civilised manner I'll correct his fact-free assertions.

Kevin Tully
69 Posted 31/01/2016 at 13:41:43
Apologies, Martin. As per my original post – no offence meant.
Martin Mason
70 Posted 31/01/2016 at 15:50:27
None taken, Kevin, and best wishes.
Andy Walker
71 Posted 31/01/2016 at 16:47:13
Tom relax, you can't expect a group of directors to spend their time answering a load of questions from shareholders in writing. Even if they weren't loaded questions, the Board wouldn't respond to so many as you know what would happen if they did, there would be another load of questions sent back about their answers and on it would go.

You have to accept that being a shareholder simply does not give that person the right to answers to whatever questions they may have.

If EFCSA had been a bit more savvy and tried to probe for answers to a one of two questions maybe they would have got further. The aggressive tone of the questions simply discourages a response, this is human nature.

Of course this may all have been part of EFCSA's strategy, send the questions in knowing full well they would never get a response and jump on this lack of response to try and further discredit the Board.

Either way it's futile, you get nowhere by aggression in business if the 'other side' holds all the cards.

Christine Foster
72 Posted 31/01/2016 at 17:08:29
Martin, you are a legend on this site, many avid readers roll their eyes in frustration at your undoubted ability to make comment and opinion to a new, baseless level. That cultured ability of off-handed opinion designed to wind up rather than contribute is renowned and yet in the best traditions of Teflon kitchenware, nothing sticks. I wonder if you will ever have a Damascus moment or will you forever be cast into the wilderness?

ToffeeWeb is a place where we all can venture an opinion, but rarely can such opinion be based solely on a staggering dismissal of facts by a sheer lack of acceptance of a collective reality, Your ability to add nothing while fueling contention is testament to your status as legend, it's a real shame that someone with so much to say, says nothing at all. Legend.

Martin Mason
73 Posted 31/01/2016 at 17:36:51
Christine, please, sarcasm doesn't even rate as wit.

Martin Mason
74 Posted 31/01/2016 at 17:38:26
Thank you Andy @69, that is exactly my point.
Amit Vithlani
75 Posted 31/01/2016 at 17:48:00
To be fair to Martin Mason, there is a valid point he makes (sort of).

EFCSA represents a minority group of shareholders in a private company whose board is primarily made up of appointees made (I assume, and this is a key assumption) by the majority shareholders of the private limited company.

Whilst a listed company will more likely have a board that is independent of its majority shareholder (should the minorities be freely floated on a regulated exchange), in a private company, it is rare that such independence is on display.

Ergo, all that has happened is the minority shareholder is probing the dealing of the majority shareholder as far as the club is concerned.

Stonewalling is therefore predictable and, in the eyes of the board, justifiable if they believe answering the questions would have compromised the interests of the majority shareholder.

Just saying, like.

Martin Mason
76 Posted 31/01/2016 at 17:57:13
Thank you, Amit. Not only that, but there are ways to ask for information and ways not to ask for it, ways to put the board on the spot and ways to give them a good reason to get away Scot free.
Tom Hughes
77 Posted 31/01/2016 at 19:56:52

I am a shareholder and a member of the Shareholder's Association executive committee. A committee that was instrumental in reinstating AGMs in the first place, and which has regular quarterly (and other) meetings with the club. I have attended a few of these and several others relating to other issues before that. I suggest you read into the history of this association and the reason for its formation in 1938.

On this issue the committee was entirely compliant with the board's request for questions..... and they were allowed to vet them at meetings prior to the AGM..... at no point were any questions contended.

The Shenanigans that followed were entirely engineered to once again avert important questions. Simply history repeating itself as we saw with AGMs that fillowed the various contentious issues that have littered this board's tenure..... from Fortress, Samuelson, KD, DK and now WHP (and others inbetween).......... with the latter issue still live, so to speak.

As far as the public inquiry is concerned, you were one of the clowns who said it wouldn't even get called in in the first place, because mighty Tesco always got their way..... so you're hardly equipped to talk about it, are you? You can deny everything now, but unfortunately for you everyone's got your number.

Martin Mason
78 Posted 31/01/2016 at 20:09:17
Tom, total nonsense, I wasn't anywhere near these boards or even this country when the DK stuff was going on so don't come the nonsense about me saying an enquiry wouldn't be called.

Why should the board contend the questions you tabled? They must have laughed their heads off and blessed their luck.

Bill Gall
79 Posted 31/01/2016 at 20:49:55

You and the executive committee are doing first class work in representing not only the EFCSA, but I imagine a fair number of supporters, who have asked before, for the answer to a number of the questions that were tabled for the AGM.

The people who are criticizing both the board and the questions could they please answer the question; What are you doing to find out what is happening to our proud club? Unless you believe the club is being run perfectly and as supporters we should just accept anything that the board says.

On another note, Tom, give my regards to the Chairman of the EFCSA. He knows who I am.

Tom Hughes
80 Posted 31/01/2016 at 21:43:10
Again you're talking in riddles. You can be anywhere in the world and be on these boards.... so being in the UK or not is a complete irrelevance, as you stated in your previous post.

Actually, I also wasn't in the UK for much of the inquiry proceedings as I work abroad too, but I was for most of it and certainly discussed it on these boards..... and with Trevor Skempton and the KEIOC people throughout.

As far as the board laughing... I don't think there was much laughter at the AGM to be honest – as I am sure there wasn't when their hand was forced in to reinstating them – or at the EGMs that preceded them over the years. In fact, I don't remember laughter featuring at any of these events... a lot of nervous backtracking and gnashing of teeth perhaps... but very little laughter.

As ever though you are completely missing the main point, and if you read and understood the full chronology of proceedings, you would see that the SA simply carried out the club's request for shareholder's questions, so that THEY could formulate the answers. Those questions are now in the public domain, and the fanbase can judge for themselves why virtually none were answered... very few are contentious or aggressive, and in any case can be readily answered if they are. The point being that this is not the first time that this board have refused to answer Shareholder's questions and their treatment of the EFCSA (a respected body set up to act as watchdog to club's activities by people who were very influential in its history) is nothing less than deplorable.

Ian Smitham
81 Posted 31/01/2016 at 21:49:44
Jay, all the way back at #18. Can you, or anyone else show me anywhere where the interest is recorded as £8m PA??
Tom Hughes
82 Posted 31/01/2016 at 21:50:36

Thanks, I will pass on your regards. I can't claim much of the praise tbh, I only submitted a couple of the questions. The others had to sift and categorise the rest... and attend meetings with the club to discuss them all... All done transparently and in good faith.

Martin Mason
83 Posted 31/01/2016 at 21:52:52
Tom, I wasn't posting on these boards or any other UK boards at the time and any insinuation that I was, or did as claimed is bollocks.

I'm sure that the SA acted in good faith and do a great job. All I'm saying is that the questions were naive and the board were well within their rights and correct to tell them to mind their own business.

Tom Hughes
84 Posted 31/01/2016 at 23:40:46
As part owners of the business... it is by definition their business to mind. As I said earlier if you knew and understood the process to date and the history of the association and the reasons for its formation, then you might understand their obligations.

Furthermore, which of the questions do you consider naive? Most are quite simple and straightforward... and precisely the type of questions you would hear at most AGMs.

If you weren't involved in those discussions or the public inquiry at the time then how are you so qualified to comment now?

Eric Myles
85 Posted 01/02/2016 at 04:16:43
Amit #73, the board own collectively about 67% of shares and BK himself the largest single shareholding of 27%. That makes the 'minor' shareholders the largest group of shareholders.

Andy #69 "You have to accept that being a shareholder simply does not give that person the right to answers to whatever questions they may have." As a shareholder you DO have the right to an answer.

Christine Foster
86 Posted 01/02/2016 at 08:38:32
There you go, Martin, alas no sarcasm intended, just an opinion based on your previous submissions.

If I wanted to be sarcastic I could have mentioned your in depth contributions based on your opinions rather than the one line put downs offered with such dismissive arrogance. You really should have gone into politics as you have many similar attributes to offer.

Amit Vithlani
87 Posted 01/02/2016 at 08:41:56
Eric #83, let me clarify. EFCSA does not represent BK or those Board Members who control EFC. It represents the smaller shareholding group.

Since the board is controlled by the majority shareholders, of whom BK is a key figure, the board of Everton Football Club will not act independently from its majority shareholders. If it is questioned by anyone that sits outside this majority shareholding group, such as EFCSA, it is as good as questioning BK and his chums directly.

What response do you expect from them to the questions they were asked? Stonewalling was an entirely predictable, if depressing, outcome. These are private shareholders who are under no compulsion to divulge any more than they need to under the constitutional documents of the company in question or the Companies Act.

This is what, I believe, Martin was alluding to (and one I agree with), although I stand to be corrected if he had a different point.

Martin Mason
88 Posted 01/02/2016 at 08:54:21
Thanks again Amit
Ian Robert
89 Posted 01/02/2016 at 09:38:33
I think, if I was accused of having my fingers in the till... I wouldn't engage either.
Pete Edwards
90 Posted 01/02/2016 at 13:45:29
Looks to me like some of the questions are fine to be asked, whether or not they are restricted by legalities on answering some is a possibility.

On the flip side, regardless of what people think of Elstone, question 6 is a very childish question to ask or at least how is is written.

Bill Gall
91 Posted 01/02/2016 at 14:52:27
Amit (#85),

If, as you say, the board do not have to answer the questions asked by EFCSA, then why did they ask them to provide a list of questions prior to the AGM? Is it not feasible that some of the questions that will be asked relate to what is happening at the club at the (a) financial level, (b) the future of the ground, or (c) the general running of the club and its employees?

As you say, it is as good as questioning BK and his chums directly and if they do not have to answer, "What is the use of an AGM'?

Being majority shareholders running the club, surely should not allow them to run the club and be unanswerable to decisions that supporters feel are detrimental to the club's future.

Shareholders are allowed to attend the AGM but instead, of all minority shareholders attending, they provide their executive committee with the questions. Therefore, by refusing to answer the questions from the EFCSA committee, they are refusing to answer the questions from its shareholders and this is no way to run a professional club.

Eugene Ruane
92 Posted 01/02/2016 at 15:00:37
Martin Mason (71) - 'Christine, please, sarcasm doesn't even rate as wit'

Oscar Wilde: 'Yes it does....Nob-head.'

Martin Mason
93 Posted 01/02/2016 at 15:21:13
Eugene, Oscar Wilde never said "Yes it does.....Nob Head," and anyway surely you'd expect me to disagree with him about it even being the lowest form. I imagine it must be hard for you being such an intellectual giant?

Wouldn't it be great if people like yourself and Christine could discuss the issues like adults rather than like children in the playground?

Brent Stephens
94 Posted 01/02/2016 at 15:31:12
Martin 'Oscar Wilde never said "Yes it does.....Nob Head"'.

Eugene almost had me there! I was about to look it up.

John Daley
95 Posted 01/02/2016 at 15:36:09
Ahh, if only the opportunity presented itself to vault the playground wall and step manfully into the adult arena, where debates and disagreements can be resolved via such Mason-approved 'mature' methods as sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "I'm not listening", "prove it...prove it....go on then, prove it" or "I'm going home".

The laughs we could have.

Ian Robert
96 Posted 01/02/2016 at 16:29:38
'Guys....is it Nob or Knob? Im all for childish insults but can we check the spelling please?
Tom Hughes
97 Posted 01/02/2016 at 16:58:38

"Discuss the issues"........ You purposely rarely if ever focus on "an" issue, nevermind several. Just sweeping generalisation is your staple.... apparently the Shareholder's questions are all naive, end of story.

Strangely, not a single question is mentioned in any of your posts. Why? Because the FACT is, the vast majority of questions are entirely pertinent and standard fayre, and you know it. They have even been grouped in categories for clarity, and to enable the club to produce seamless or combined answers in response...... ie, the efficient AGM process they apparently wanted.

Some people are stating the obvious that an AGM is not a court of law, or public inquiry and that therefore the board does not have to answer everything... and if anything is naive, it's to believe that the EFCSA committee expected ALL of the questions to get full and comprehensive answers. Between them, the SA have a collective experience of hundreds of these events, and not just Everton AGMs. However, the association was obliged to include all submissions from their members, with the club afforded the controversial luxury of an opportunity to vet and/or reject anything in the next phase of the process. This, they failed to do as they formally accepted each individual question.

Of course, while pleading the 5th amendment, or protesting fake outrage to random questions on the night is our board's classic response, on this occasion they had already accepted those questions, and the converse is that unanswered questions also always have their own value... Especially as they cover so many important issues, and mount up at an alarming rate year after year. After all, the old adage of "if you've got nothing to hide", always applies.

However, importantly on this occasion, the club's insistence on written questions has meant that those questions do not disappear into the ether of the vacuous auditorium at the Philharmonic Hall, or get swept away in lost meeting minutes. They are there in perpetuity for all to read and think about, and for them (and the lack of responses) to be judged.

Then of course there is the information that can be gleaned from the general dynamics of the AGM. In the past, when quizzed, the club has dropped the occasional howler at these events. Quite often loose glib comments have opened up cans of worms and come back to haunt them.... hence one of the reasons for the cessation of AGMs for several years, and the outright rejection of questions on this occasion...

Yet, even then Mr Elstone managed to drop a clanger with his unsubstantiated reference to LCC..... only to be pulled up almost instantly by the head of the council, just as another board member was several years ago by the then council leader who was, unknown to them, in attendance. More unanswered questions and more loose ends have been generated.

Needless to say, if Elstone wouldn't respond to Joe Anderson's put-down, then who are we to expect any answers? However, that particular question (just as many before) WILL not go unanswered forever.

Amit Vithlani
98 Posted 01/02/2016 at 16:58:39
Bill #89

The outcome of the silence is predictable, given that it is one group of shareholders effectively questioning another.

I cannot tell you why the Board made the offer to receive questions. Maybe it was to try and achieve a better ride at the AGM. Or, perhaps their intentions were genuine, but events (such as the take-over talks) over took them.

My point still stands. It is completely at the discretion of BK and Chums what information the board reveal to EFCSA unless the information is required to be divulged by the Companies Act or Constitutional Documents of the company.

Regarding whether this is a professional way to run a club or not, this needs to be set against whether (a) minority shareholders in other football clubs can access information from their board far more easily than EFCSA and/or (b) whether the practice amongst private companies in the UK is to be more transparent than our board.

If it is entirely in keeping with what happens elsewhere, you will find it difficult to change practices of our board. Even if it is not in keeping, I would hazard a guess that the board will only release answers at opportune moments with, for example, PR value.

Christine Foster
99 Posted 02/02/2016 at 02:43:33
Amit, whilst I fully understand the perspective you are laying out, I would point out that shareholders have every right under the Companies Act 2006 amended, to question the board, and receive a reply in relation to a number of documents submitted to an AGM by the board, in particular the Statement of Accounts and in relation to directors, requirement by them to state any conflict of interest such as ownership of an institution loaning money to a club without disclosing said interest.

The follow-on questions from those two particular issues, I have no doubt could cause significant embarrassment, irrespective of level of share ownership. The club can request written questions in respect to these questions and they must be addressed at the meeting having been cleared prior, which I believe was the case in point.

Continuation of the failure to address shareholders' legitimate concerns can only be interpreted as the board showing other owners of the club two fingers. Furthermore, the Shareholders Association should consider reporting the club in its failure to repeatedly address these. and other justifiable concerns.

The club elected to change its constitution and forego AGMs to prevent the need for transparency and keep the affairs of a small band of men who aim to make a significant return on investment and will leave behind a club bereft of assets and a very soured relationship with its fan base. Irrespective of any new owner, I will personally welcome the door closing behind the current encumbents.

Jay Harris
100 Posted 02/02/2016 at 03:41:38
Amen to that, Christine.

I am constantly amazed at the naivety (or in Martin's case, sheer provocation) of some of our supporters.

They never learn or listen.

From the "I remortgaged my house to save Everton" through "The cheque will be in the bank in the morning" and "Goodison will fail it's safety certificate" and "DK will have the best transport links in the country" and "DK will be an effectively free stadium" supporters have constantly swallowed this smoke and mirrors routine from BK.

The man is a proven liar and I cannot understand why people refuse to see through him.

Brian Wilkinson
101 Posted 02/02/2016 at 08:47:54
Jay@98, add to that, teary-eyed Bill on Sky Sports, "I was gobsmacked Moyes told me today he was going to Man Utd." – Bill knew months ago; say what you like about OFM, he would have told Bill months ago.

What Evertonian would not have remortgaged their house, if they were getting 27% of the club for peanuts?

One of the few truths Bill has told, was being in the Boys Pen travelling to Goodison, via his uncle Cyril's crossbar, with his arse hanging out of his kecks, and a grease-proof Mother's Pride wrapper, with his jam butties wrapped in them.

Everything else you stated spot on. What our shareholders should have asked via DK is, why are you putting people's lives at risk? If Goodison Park will fail its safety certificate, why are we still here, and why hasn't the ground over the years been modernised to a safety standard?

Martin Mason
102 Posted 02/02/2016 at 09:16:40
Jay, I'm more amazed at the naivety of a small group of supporters who can't understand that BK is the owner of the club and that as customers (as against or even including significant shareholders) it is nothing to do with them how he decides to run the club. The club becomes ever healthier under this board and they (not RM) have assembled the strongest squad we have had in years.

Remember that BK knows how to run a high turnover business and football club and the small group of fans who irrationally criticise him know absolutely nothing about either. The vast majority of criticisms of the board are tittle tattle, corridor whispers and outright crazy conspiracy theory. There are valid criticisms but the biggest and least valid is that the board is bad because they can't deliver the pot winning success that the great fans of a big club feel they deserve of right. I mean, it's 20 years ago and just look across the park.

For me the club weak link is the manager and the board need to rectify this otherwise the board are doing well, they also take no money for the work that they put in and as you notice they are showing massive ambition in the purchase of players who'll improve the squad. We are a great club and apart from a tiny minority we have the best supporting fans in the world.

I'm not trying to provoke you for the sake of it only to challenge your mainly baseless criticism of the club, your closed minds and often rudeness of response. I always look forward to criticism that's actually has some basis and would love to discuss these issues.

Brent Stephens
103 Posted 02/02/2016 at 09:40:18
Martin "Jay, I'm more amazed at the naivety of a small group of supporters who can't understand that BK is the owner of the club and that as customers (as against or even including significant shareholders) it is nothing to do with them how he decides to run the club."

Most organisations these days talk about and consider their "stakeholders" not just shareholders, considering it naive to consider shareholders only. Stakeholders might not have any legal rights in determining decisions in an organisation, but naive to think the running of the club has nothing to do with them.

Dave Abrahams
104 Posted 02/02/2016 at 09:41:42
Martin, think very carefully about that part of your thread: "Closed Minds".

Christine – thanks for your post; I always learn something when you post in.

Winston Williamson
105 Posted 02/02/2016 at 09:46:56
"The club becomes ever healthier under this board" – due to the increase in Sky money. This applies to every club which stays in the league. So their achievement in this regard is avoiding relegation.

"Remember that BK knows how to run a high turnover business and football club and the small group of fans who irrationally criticise him know absolutely nothing about either." – that's a mighty big assumption you are making there Martin. Do you know the education levels and career experiences of all the people involved??

"they also take no money for the work that they put in" – there is no established proof of this from either viewpoint. Yes, you take the word of the Board members, but there is no definitive proof to say they do not. Just as there is no proof that they do. However, some of the questions (unanswered) asked by the SA relate to this and the matter could be ended if some of those questions were answered (even though there is no legal obligation to do so). It appears the main sticking point is whether any board members are profiting from the BVI loans we take out annually??

"as you notice they are showing massive ambition in the purchase of players who'll improve the squad." – as most clubs of our size are splashing the new Sky money in the same manner, it is hardly an amazing achievement. It is just about keeping up with the Jones's.

"We are a great club and apart from a tiny minority we have the best supporting fans in the world." – this implies that any Evertonian with opposing views to you, Martin, are not as good at being an Evertonian... which is quite a rude response.

Just saying....

Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 02/02/2016 at 10:56:15
Martin, if as you say that Bill Kenwright is indeed the owner of the club, why won't his board answer the questions?

Did you ever read the transcript of when The Blue Union, unfortunately taped their meeting?

What's Phillip Green's involvement, was answered with nothing, he's just a friend. He then proceeded to call Sir Phillip, a magician, and then said, anyway let's talk about something positive, let's talk about Finch Farm.

Finch Farm the worst ever deal done by a football club on Merseyside even when taking into consideration, that Liverpool paid £35 Mill up front for Andy Carroll.

One thing I will say in your favour, though Martin, is I'm glad that your transfer that was reported on ToffeeWeb, yesterday, broke down. It wouldn't be the same without a balanced argument off THE DUKE!

Jay Harris
107 Posted 02/02/2016 at 14:57:03
You say "Remember that BK knows how to run a high turnover business and football club and the small group of fans who irrationally criticise him know absolutely nothing about either."

May I advise you that I ran a 𧷤m a year turnover division of a FTSE top 100 company very successfully for over 5 years. I have also followed Everton for over 55 years. So I feel qualified to judge the management of EFC under BK.

I do not criticise them for not winning trophies I criticise them for the constant deceit and poor financial performance since BK took over. For example under Peter Johnson, who most supporters think was a disaster, we were reasonably profitable and had a net asset position.

Within two years of BK taking over, we were loss-making and in a net liability position such that if we hadn't sold Rooney we were technically insolvent.

There are far too many questions unanswered under this veil of secrecy he has created. Does a highly successful chairman who runs his business well answer a question about other operating expenses which went up from ٟ million a year to over 㿀 million a year reply by saying "How should I know what other operating costs are I am only the chairman.

If I had ever answered a question like that I would have been forced to resign.Such are the ethics at boardroom level but not apparently at EFC.

For the record, there is no evidence that he ever remortgaged his house which was only worth £1 million at the time anyway.That is another myth he perpetrated.

I could go on but given your penchant for ignoring the facts and throwing up smoke screens of defence, I will rest my point here.

Bill Gall
108 Posted 02/02/2016 at 15:05:53
Question: if you purchase shares of Everton FC, does any of the money go directly to Everton FC?

If I was to buy all of BK's shares. As majority shareholder, would I become owner of Everton FC?

Robin Cannon
109 Posted 02/02/2016 at 15:13:50
Bill, you'd own a majority of Everton FC. Everyone who owns a share in Everton FC is a part owner.

If you had a majority of shares then you'd obviously be able to choose the direction of the club, as you'd be able to outvote all the rest combined on any matters that required a shareholder vote.

No, if you purchase shares of Everton FC the money doesn't go to Everton, it goes to whoever owned the shares and sold them to you.

Jack Mason
110 Posted 02/02/2016 at 16:10:27
Martin, I'd be interested to hear what improvements, in your opinion, the board could have made during their tenure.

As for the questions, they had every right to be asked but they were never going to be answered. The labyrinthine financial structures are in place for a reason and engineered for purpose. Which is what I would suggest the questioners knew all along.

Ian Smitham
111 Posted 02/02/2016 at 21:37:11
Jay, noting your interests in your post at 105 and I refer to the last paragraph, regarding facts, I wonder if you would be so kind as to address the point I raised at 79 please?

Additionally, if anyone else is reading this, has anyone any sort of transcript of Mr Elstone's presentation at the special meeting of three years ago, as, at the time, I believe the issue of the running costs of the club were fully explained to the assembled shareholders and on the night there seemed no dissent either at the meeting or on here. Maybe even the ToffeeWeb script of the nights' events could be dusted down?

Jay, over to you.

Bill Gall
112 Posted 03/02/2016 at 14:24:12
Robin (#107),

I put this question out to show that even if the rumors were true, that BK mortgaged his house to buy Everton shares, this was done to give him control of Everton FC without any financial gain going to Everton FC.

Could the reason be that with his suspected illness BK was unable to attend the AGM. and did not trust his CEO to answer the questions correctly, and that EFCSA may have to wait until he is able to attend before they get answers?

This may be the stumbling block at Everton FC. where one man has overall control and his illness is causing some of the problems.

Hopefully if we have a successful takeover, the new custodians will put in effect a new board and management staff that do not rely on one man to make to make all the decisions, and engage in discussions with the EFCSA whose mandate is to simply get Everton FC back to one of the top clubs in the Premier League that is run efficiently.

Phil Walling
113 Posted 03/02/2016 at 15:18:29
It has always seemed to me that in football the line of responsibility as between management and governance is obscured. My understanding is that in 'real' businesses, the EXECUTIVE directors (only Elstone in Everton's case) are responsible for running the business whilst the NON-EXECs (Kenwright, Woods and Earl) provide strategic direction.

In football, and particularly at Everton, the Chairman/ majority shareholder is seen as being solely responsible for EVERYTHING or, perhaps, wishes to convey that impression. Of course, it may well be that in show business that's what usually happens too !

Our leader's enforced absence has only served to cloud the issue even further.

Amit Vithlani
114 Posted 03/02/2016 at 15:21:18
Christine #97

Let us seperate breach of the 2006 Companies Act versus good practice.

If the board, in stonewalling EFCSA's efforts to seek answers to written questions, is in breach of the 2006 Companies Act, then they have broken the law and should be prosecuted, or be sued through the civil courts.

I do not have all the facts to hand, and do not have access to English Law attorneys (I am based in South Africa) so cannot say if they have broken the law but I very much doubt it. Martin inferred that if EFCSA wanted to press home the matter they could have sought advice – seems like a reasonable point to make.

Your post #97 speaks of a lack of transparency, and curtailing of disclosures. These are indeed poor practices by the board and in the event EFCSA finds a breach of its rights which would be protected by the 2006 Companies Act, then I believe the courts would view the behaviour of the board and the majority shareholders quite poorly.

This is my point. Stonewalling was predictable because the board was staying inside the law, in my opinion. We know the board is not providing as much transparency as it should, but if its behaviour is in line with other football clubs and other private companies, I do not see this changing.

Amit Vithlani
115 Posted 03/02/2016 at 15:37:44
Phil 111 it is not that straight forward, even in business, in my experience. A company can have swathes of matters which are deemed "shareholder reserved matters" where only shareholders can decide and even execute.

The management of Everton will ultimately depend on the extent to which there is delegation of authority to Elstone, in his capacity as Executive Director and/or CEO. It may appear to us that Kenwright is doing everything but in reality his actions (such as opining on John Stones transfer request) may have fallen out of Elstone's delegated authority or within Kenwright's shareholder reserved matter.

Matters such as buying the fabled lawn mowers on the other hand could entirely be within Elstone's remit. Indeed, items under "other operating expenses", in my experience, usually fall completely within a CEO's remit (hence the lack of disclosure requirements in the Accounts of the company).

Given that we signed Niasse, however, for a large outlay, and sold Naismith, it does seem to me as if Kenwright is either still participating heavily in decision making or has delegated his authority sufficiently to allow the club to operate normally in key areas such as transfers.

Tom Hughes
116 Posted 03/02/2016 at 17:38:01

I am not a lawyer so I'm not sure of the legal issues or ramifications of the board's actions........ or of its absolute relevance to the issue tbh.

The thing to remember is that the SA are pursuing an ongoing process, and the latest press releases are merely the initial phase of that, whereby all members of the Association, other shareholders and importantly ALL Evertonians can see the whole sequence of events and the subject matter surrounding it, in full detail.

We have all attended enough AGMs and EGMs to know how searching questions have been been brushed aside or dispelled by our board over many years.... so we were under no illusions on this occasion too. However, on this occasion, an initial process has been well-documented via minuted meetings and a whole paper trail, whereby the questions were initially formally accepted, and an understanding in place... and this adds to the whole issue.

The questions themselves stand up to discussion alone, and the whole process that led to their submission adds a further contentious element that will also stand up to scrutiny... Therefore, the SA are perfectly within their rights to now highlight all of those issues for everyone to judge.

This is a live process, and some outstanding questions that arose from the ensuing discussions at the AGM are very much live and pending.

Amit Vithlani
117 Posted 04/02/2016 at 10:42:33
Tom (#114), absolutely no problem with you highlighting the lack of a response, and believe me I admire your efforts.

However, let us call a spade a spade, whereby 1) this board has shown a tendency not to co-operate with minority shareholders except where they have to legally and 2) when you question the board you are questioning the majority shareholders – it becomes less a shareholder/board discussion and more a shareholder – shareholder discussion. This will only change if you find the directors in breach of their Fiduciary duties, which takes us back to point 1 – i.e. co-operating only within the minimum requirements of the law.

Are you surprised at their response? It may not be good practice, but it must come as no surprise. There may be legitimate reasons why they changed their approach to answering the questions, or there may less legitimate reasons, we may never know.

Highlighting it definitely serves a purpose and I did not for 1 second want to discourage you from doing so (see my posts on the articles in respect of the club’s funding structures which really are puzzling in the vacuum of information). For me, however, the fact remains that unless they are not in breach the law, they will continue to indulge your direct requests at their discretion. This is the sad reality.

We must continue to use forums such as this to highlight awareness, and with that in mind I congratulate you on your efforts.

Ian Smitham
118 Posted 05/02/2016 at 22:06:49
Phil # 111, where have you got that information about Executive and non execs from please?

Amit/Tom, I have a few shares in a big PLC Company, for the shareholders meeting, if you have a question then it is submitted prior to the AGM for consideration.

Tom Hughes
119 Posted 06/02/2016 at 03:25:06
That is precisely what happened on this occasion. The club requested questions from the shareholder's association to help make for an efficient AGM. The SA requested questions from its members. A list of questions was later submitted and discussed at a meeting with club officials.

No objections were raised during that meeting, nor in the time before the AGM.

Very few of the 40+ questions were addressed at the meeting. Many on very important current and/or long term issues. Yet another AGM was allowed to pass with many Shareholder's concerns unanswered or simply ignored.

Ian Smitham
120 Posted 08/02/2016 at 00:22:12
Mr Tom Hughes' thank you for the reply and the clarification.

Mr Jay Harris, I have seen you have commented on a thread elsewhere, and implore you to let me know the source of the information you put on here earlier on this thread. We need to know.

Phil Walling, you raised a great point in terms of the titles of the people involved. Just so that I understand the phrases, and the source of how you got to find them, can you help me out by advising same.

Cheers guys

Ian Smitham
121 Posted 01/03/2016 at 00:12:57
Jay Harris, sorry to be tiresome, but according to the Report and Accounts to 31 May 2015, the interest payable for the accounting period in question was factually £3,476,000. Alas, I think you have fallen into the trap of adding that year's figure to the sum for the year before.

I believe that is what you demonstrated in the post you made on the other thread. Still, who cares? It is still a lot of money and a lot that will be saved, I hope, with developments.

Ian Smitham
122 Posted 05/04/2016 at 22:49:26
Anyone else just been watching the news about BVI?
Ian Smitham
123 Posted 28/04/2016 at 20:40:04
Just wondered if I am barking up the wrong tree? Is it a coincidence that the "friend of Everton" is right under the spotlight regards BHS and money and am I wrong to link the sale of the club shares to the need for that friend to raise a lot of money?

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