I want to make things clear, I have no real allegiance to Kenwright, other than I think he’s an honourable man trying to do his best, I also don’t particularly side with the Evertonians for Change movement, although I admire those who question the status quo. I am however an Evertonian, and an optimistic one at that, which many would probably deem to be an oxymoron, I’m sure.
My personal opinion is that too much emphasis is being placed on Bill Kenwright, he should not be vilified, nor mentioned in the same breath as Peter Johnson, Tom Hicks et al, he is the right type of person to have as Chairperson, but the club should be generating funds to support their manager, as it stands they are not. Peter McPartland, co-founder of the Followtonians Podcast, shares a similar view “I think his time has come and gone, I wouldn't mind if he had an honorary title but the fact that the club does not make any money other than through Sky and Season Tickets speaks volumes”.
In a recent letter to Robert Elstone, CEO, Evertonians for Change enquired about widening communications between Everton FC and its supporters, giving insight to the future and working with the fans on strategy in an oversubscribed market, which sounds reasonable enough. I do question though whether any business of note openly discusses these matters in a public forum? The likely answer being no, it would be seen as potential threat to any ongoing partner or aspiring new investor. The response from the Chief Executive was as to be expected, in my opinion, focussing on what they are doing rather than not, a steady sales technique. To be fair to Elstone, he answered all the questions put to him but the responses were perhaps not the ones that were required by the group.
We should not forget, Everton Football Club is a limited company, I understand people’s awkwardness with this term but it is a business not a social club, that is immediately a stumbling block for Kenwright, his board and any new investor\owner. Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and West Ham are all Public Limited Company’s, making their purchase far easier in the eyes of take over legislation. Buyer’s know the cost of the shares and how many they need to take control, ( I purposely left Arsenal PLC out of the afore mentioned list as Stan Kroenke is a prime example of an investor playing the market). In a limited company they are worth as much as the holder is willing to sell them for. However, I would not expect Bill to be involved in any sort of aggressive take over, this is a Club he both loves and cares about as much as the rest of us.
Speculatively, the asking price for Everton is somewhere in the region of £180m inclusive of current debt, which many believe is off putting for a new buyer, but my question, and I’m sure Bill’s, would be if they can’t afford that, how can we expect them to afford the up keep of the current team, new personnel, Stadia etc going forward?
I do worry that those shouting the loudest, those who speak on behalf of the masses yet actually represent the minority, will cause undue unrest amongst the easily influenced. Murmurings of post match protests and “Kenwright Out” campaigns are beginning to pick up pace, with the less militant of us having accusations of passiveness to contend with. I for one am not passive, I just want the best for Everton Football Club, at this present time I do not believe any sort of boardroom unrest, dethroning of Chairman or chanting from the terraces, will benefit our team whilst it struggles in a division it has so recently regularly thrived in.
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