Woods and Harris leave the Everton Board

Friday, 26 July, 2019 36comments  |  Jump to last

The Club have announced that Jon Woods and Deputy Chairman Keith Harris are leaving the Board of Directors.

Everton say the changes have come about following a period of "review and strategic planning".

Dr Harris had been charged with leading Everton's plans to relocate to a new stadium Bramley-Moore Dock.

CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale will now oversee the work of Stadium Development Director Colin Chong and take responsibility for the new stadium project — including the delivery of a community-led legacy at Goodison Park — with Sasha Ryazantsev responsible for finalising the funding for the schemes.


Reader Comments (36)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Alan McGuffog
1 Posted 26/07/2019 at 08:52:41
In years to come we'll remember where we were when we heard this news. Bit like when Kennedy was shot.
Steve Hogan
2 Posted 26/07/2019 at 08:59:49
At last the club showing some commercial 'balls'. We need to jettison all the freeloaders and appoint people who can bring in much needed additional revenues.

Hopefully the end of the 'jobs for the boys' culture.

Derek Knox
3 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:17:55
Steve, I think we would all endorse that, but now you have brought the subject up, I was under the impression Bill Kenwright was going to step down from any involvement with the Club, due to deteriorating health issues. That was about two years ago!
Len Hawkins
4 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:23:11
I hope Keith Harris takes that bleeding green duck Awful with him.
Brian Williams
5 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:29:41
Derek I think Bill Kenwright has been "retained" because Moshiri has neither the time nor the desire to be the "voice" of the club.

Bill Kenwright loves a show and loves to be centre stage. That suits Moshiri as he doesn't.
His continued chairmanship is in more of an honorary position and one which I believe would have caused "bad press" had he been replaced at his particular time.

I know the very mixed feelings about him throughout the supporter base, and I'm not going to get into ANY arguments about him (honest) but he's well respected in a lot of areas of the media and I think if the club had ousted him just when the stadium announcement was made it would make us look bad in the eyes of the outside world.

Yes, he could have stood down but I don't think he has that in him to do.

Stephen Davies
6 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:32:05
Brian # 5.
Whats the role of Chairman.
Does he have the deciding vote in a 'show of hands'?
Bob Parrington
7 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:38:24
Brian, Very profound.

Stephen - it ain't necessarily so! Chairman often has no casting vote. I am a company Chairman with no casting vote!

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:43:10
I think I've stated many times that I've got very little time for William Kenwright but, if he's staying on, then I hope to hear him speak often, simply because he usually talks more when Everton are doing well, and isn't that what we all want?
Stephen Davies
9 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:49:52
Bob #7
Very interesting.
But in this particular instance, does Mr Bill Kenwright have the Casting Vote on the Board?
Steve Hogan
10 Posted 26/07/2019 at 09:53:47
Derek (3)

Your right about Kenwright, he's the last of the 'old brigade' still remaining I guess. I can only speculate about his past health issues, but he doesn't show any sign of 'stepping back' at this stage.

I'm not even sure how much involvement he has in transfer dealings anymore,I believe Brands has taken over that role completely.

The new BMD development actually gives the club the opportunity to review ALL roles at the club and rightly so, it's been long overdue.

In a kind of ironic way, the financial pressure now involved in securing the new stadium brings added responsibility on all board members and senior management at Everton to secure new revenue streams simply to ensure we can repay our new lender(s), and also compete in the transfer market to enable the club to push on in it's objective to break into the top four/six.

Interesting times ahead.

Bob Parrington
11 Posted 26/07/2019 at 10:00:31
Stephen #9. Don't know but, like you I would be interested to know. Gut feel tells me "No" but that's just because I think it would be wrong for him to have the casting vote.

Anybody out their remember (I think Joe!) Forte. He stated that the best board would be an odd number and preferably less than three! Made me chuckle.

Steve Ferns
12 Posted 26/07/2019 at 10:33:43
Do any of you actually think that the board convenes and votes on any matters of importance? Any vote will simply be ratification of previously agreed plans. In other words, the board does what Moshiri wants them to do.

John Woods is clearly leaving as he has sold his shares to Moshiri and is now on the periphery of things. I didn't know a lot about the guy other than he owned Ocean Software, which was big in the computer industry in the 1980s. He's well into his 70s now and maybe he wants to just enjoy the football rather than the business side of it.

Dr Keith Harris was meant to the stadium guru wasn't he? Is he leaving as the stadium has been delivered to the point where we no longer need his specialisms? I recall his skillset was queried by those who know far more than I do at the time of his appointment. The club had given him a bit of fanfare and then people in the know questioned his credentials. So this raises the question, was he "found out", had he completed his task or was it a difference of vision?

Anyway, back to the transfer worrying and looking at the new stadium video to cheer me up.

Clive Rogers
13 Posted 26/07/2019 at 12:28:08
Keith Harris is an investment banker and associate of Moshiri. His role was chiefly to raise the funds for the new ground. Presumably he must have fulfilled that role. Hopefully!
Clive Rogers
14 Posted 26/07/2019 at 12:31:18
Kenwright stated to the Blue Union some years ago when they met in his London office that he would have stood down by the time he was 70 as his doctor would not let him continue any longer. Add to the list of lies.
David Pearl
15 Posted 26/07/2019 at 12:45:55
Hardly a lie is it. Sure it was more tongue in cheek at the stress it was causing him.

Also Hardly a surprise that again it all turns around to BK. F me.

I'd of thought more people would question if our CEO is the person that should be overseeing the construction of BMD. Shouldnt that be Meis.

John Raftery
16 Posted 26/07/2019 at 12:53:33
Woods has generally been in the background throughout his long tenure on the Board. It is no surprise he is going. Harris has been with us for nearly three years which is longer than average for someone who tends to flit in and out of roles, like most consultants. So it is no surprise he is leaving.

The timing suggests that having reached a significant milestone, the second consultation stage, the club is now getting ready to move forward with the planning application and delivery of the new stadium.

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 26/07/2019 at 13:08:55
This is the real story. Everton may still get a 60, 000 capacity stadium and not the rehash of leaked Stadium plans with balloons as a PR covering stun.

Woods and Harris shareholder ageements have come to a end. Kenwright has still control of the board having two votes, himself and Barret Baxendale, and the Chairman's casting vote in a tied 2 to 2 vote. Can only speculate on Kenwrights shareholder agreement, but it must stipulate the Chairman position and limited Director appointment rights. The time limit on Kenwrights agreement is different than Woods and Harris and there must be something regarding a buy out clause for Kenwright's Shareholding.

Barret Baxendale has been given a PR role, her Chief Executive role is looking more hazy. Everton in the Community interestly have a PR stadium connection. Barret Baxendale sort of, has not left Everton in the Community

Moshiri had to get control of the Stadium project. The appointment of Chong had done that and the money end is being dealt with by Rayzantev. To have any of those other twits near it would have been a disaster.

Moshiri is heading in the right directions. I am confident that Silva and Brands will do likewise on the field

Gary Edwards
18 Posted 26/07/2019 at 14:09:01
Given Harris's involvement in the debacle that was the building of the new Wembley, his departure has to be seen as good news. I trust that the club will now appoint someone who has a good track record of delivering successful construction projects.
Jerome Shields
19 Posted 26/07/2019 at 14:31:57
Steve# 12

It is unlikely to come to a show of hands, but the maths and voting rights and the view of those that hold them would be given consideration, before the actual decision comes to a vote.

Jay Wood

20 Posted 26/07/2019 at 14:55:51
You have to say the timing and manner of this announcement is interesting.

There was the usual TW babble ahead of yesterday's new stadium reveal that it was all contrived to 'bury the bad news of Lookman's and Gueye's [still-to-be-confirmed] departures'. Conspiracy theory at its best. This appears to be the story the club is 'burying'.

Wood has long been an anonymous moustache in all his time on the board. Any holdings he had have long been reduced to minimal after selling out to Moshiri, so no great news story there.

More interesting is Keith Harris' departure and the way it is reported on the club site. To find the story - released today - you have to click on the News and News Archive tab and when that opens it doesn't appear in the 'top of the fold' - the screen view you see on opening a web page. You have to scroll down and find it as the 8th listed news item, even behind such news items as who the Everton ladies have drawn in one of their cup competitions and ticket details for our home game v Wolves on September 1st!

The stark statement reads as per the opening post, with two additional lines:

"Marcel Brands, who was appointed to the Board in January 2019, will continue in his role as Director of Football.

"The Club remains under the leadership of Chairman Bill Kenwright and Majority Shareholder Farhad Moshiri."

It doesn't explain if Keith Harris is leaving the club completely or WHY his designated role is now redundant, or if his Deputy Chairman title will pass to anyone else.

It does explicitly say that CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale will now oversee the work of Stadium Development Director Colin Chong AND take responsibility for the new stadium project.

In addition to her existing responsibilities, that expands DB-B influence at Everton and makes her a very powerful figure within the club. She must be impressing someone.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 26/07/2019 at 15:44:39
I came across a statement on New Now shortly after the Stadium PR release that stated that Barrett Baxendale was to have the role of Stadium Development Director and Chong was to head the Stadium building projects. There was no reference of him being responsible to Barrett Baxendale. I based my previous post on this. If this is not correct I would not be happy with Barret Baxendale in this role.

Quite frankly I find Jays # 20 findings on the Official Everton site quite disturbing in content and process.

Jay Harris
22 Posted 26/07/2019 at 16:12:21
Keith Harris was originally appointed by Kenwright to find an investor and was around long before Moshiri came on the scene.
It was rumoured in financial circles that he had lost his edge a few years ago.

It is difficult to know whats behind these "resignations" but the appointment of Brands to the board together with Sasha Ryazantsev would appear to strengthen Moshiri's hand in the boardroom and with the exception of DBB should reduce Kenwrights influence although I will only be happy when that man can no longer influence anything at Everton.

Jack Convery
23 Posted 26/07/2019 at 16:29:52
Does something smell in the state of Denmark or is my nose too near to my ass. Very cloak and daggerish to say the least.
Brian Williams
24 Posted 26/07/2019 at 17:31:38
Simply another move to make the running of the club more professional and efficient.
Why does something always have to stink or be underhanded or somethig of that ilk?
Paul Tran
25 Posted 26/07/2019 at 17:55:22
I'm not exactly in the know up here in the Highlands, but I'm hoping this is two water treading board members leaving to be replaced by two peoole who are dynamic, results-focused and creative.
Bill Watson
26 Posted 26/07/2019 at 18:10:49
Paul #25

Sorry, mate, but I'm not available!

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 26/07/2019 at 20:12:32
If things where done right and straight forward Everton would be in the top four by right, but they are not.
Brian Williams
28 Posted 26/07/2019 at 20:15:16
Perhaps they're beginning to be done right.
Eric Myles
29 Posted 26/07/2019 at 21:35:12
As Woods is no longer a shareholder then it is not unusual that he is no longer part of the board, despite his long family relationship with the Club.

Saying that though, it was in the Club rules that board members be shareholders, although that seemed to have been forgotten about when Wyness was on the board. How many of the current board qualify under this rule.

As for Harris, his association with the Club was always surrounded in speculation. He was supposed to be tasked with finding a buyer in an informal 'friend of the Club' manner.

If his remit on the board was to find the finances for the new stadium we can only hope that his departure is because he was successful, and not because he failed.

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 26/07/2019 at 21:41:51

Hope so.

Joe Corgan
31 Posted 26/07/2019 at 22:20:10
You know what I take away from this story? Nothing.

We don't don't really know what Woods or Harris did, or how good they were at doing it. All we know is that they've gone and we don't really know why.

Still, it's fun to speculate I guess.

Karl Masters
32 Posted 27/07/2019 at 00:26:36
Jerome, why is there a chance Everton will change the stadium design and capacity now these two have gone? Seems a rather odd conclusion.
Derek Knox
33 Posted 27/07/2019 at 00:49:22
Clive @ 14, & David @ 15, that's why when Bill was younger in his 'acting career' he was always first choice to be Pinnochio! :-)
Jerome Shields
34 Posted 27/07/2019 at 04:32:32
Karl #32

The recent PR launch Public consultation is a rehash of the previous leaked plans and appears to have been used as an attempt, for whatever reason, to cover up the announcements regarding changes at Board level. There is still a possibility the plans can change.

A 60, 000 capacity stadium could be a possible change given the projected financial benefits of such a capacity, once stadium proposals are hardened down and a updated financial plan and projections is in place. It also looks like that different and more professional people will be looking at the p!an and making decisions in Everton regarding the new stadium project.

Previously, Everton have had PR launches by past members of the Board of stadium plans at other locations that have come to nought. This stadium maybe be actually built.

Laurie Hartley
36 Posted 27/07/2019 at 08:08:00
Éric # 29 - or someone else has offered to finance it ;)
David Ellis
37 Posted 27/07/2019 at 19:39:13
Jerome. I really don't know where to start with your conspiracy theories. A "possible" change to 60,000 not really. We're progressing with 52,000 so not likely.
The comments that the shareholders' agreement must contain this and must contain that...well not really. Most likely Moshiri controls everything and the majority of board members serve at his pleasure, other than possibly other substantial shareholders, but they can be outvoted. I've seen a lot shareholders' agreements in my time and they are without exception structured like that.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads