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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The sound of one hand clapping.....


...is all you'll hear in answer to these.

Q1. The shareholders of the club aren't being provided with up to date financial information. Under John Moores the annual accounts were published in July, two months after year end; in recent years the accounts have been published in October or November following the year end. We are now in January of 2011, where are the 2010 accounts and why haven't they been published?

Q2. All clubs have to pay their players and either renew contracts or dispose of these players within the term of their contract; in this respect Everton are in the same situation as all other football clubs. It's widely acknowledged that Everton's manager, David Moyes, has operated on one of the smaller budgets in the premiership in recent years and in the past three transfer windows has had nothing to spend whatsoever. What is the correlation between this lack of activity and the demise of Destination Kirkby?

Q3. The stadium situation is central to Everton's inability to compete with their peers within the Premier League. Since the, all too predictable, demise of Destination Kirkby, over twelve months ago, what have the individual directors done specifically to address this situation in terms of stadium redevelopment or a plan to relocate to a stadium that meets the requirements and aspirations of a premiership club? The directors in question are Bill Kenwright, Robert Earl, Jon Woods and Sir Philip Carter. If they haven't done anything why are they on the board?

Q4. The new Park End development, comprising 900 square metres of retail space, museum, cafe, hospitality lounge and office space, has been described as having no cost whatsoever to Everton; it has been explained that the £9m cost of the project is being met entirely by our commercial partners Kitbag and Sodexo; another way of putting it is that it is effectively free. Evertonians have learnt the harsh lesson that there is no such thing as a free lunch, stadium or anything else. What increases and concessions have been made to our outsourcing contracts with Sodexo and Kitbag that encouraged them to part with £9m? If improvements in future payments receivable by our partners have been negotiated isn't it more accurate to say Everton is paying for the development? Who will own the building when the partners contracts expire? What annual increase, in terms of contribution, has been forecast for this new development ?

Q5. The total cost to build Finch Farm and the land on which it stands was less than £10m. Why did Everton decide to pay five times this amount and in doing so line the pockets of Sir Alex Ferguson and other Premiership players?

Q6. It is widely acknowledged that Everton's chairman has a business relationship with high street billionaire Sir Philip Green, the chairman himself acknowledged this at the club's last AGM in 2007. What has been Sir Philip Green's role in the running of Everton Football Club prior to the demise of Destination Kirkby and since that event in November 2009? Since this latest failure by the board, to produce a deliverable plan, Everton have demonstrably had even less money available. Why does a former CEO openly claim he was sacked by Sir Philip and why did Sir Philip pay a former Everton director for the shares allegedly owned by Robert Earl that are registered in the name of the secretive British Virgin Islands off shore company, BCR Sports?

Q7. In the years that Everton have managed to publish annual accounts it is noticeable that since the formation of the Premier League the club's total debt has steadily increased from less than four million to approaching £80m whilst the club's assets have measurably declined. In the past ten years the club posted net assets of £18.5m, this figure has now declined to a truly awful £26.7m of liabilities. One figure that is mysteriously increasing is the figure posted for "other operating costs"; less than £2m when the premiership began, the latest, or should that be last, figure posted was over £21m, more than 25% of the current turnover and the vast majority of shareholders don't know what it's being spent on. What steps have the current directors taken in the past twelve months to address this decline in Everton's financial performance?

Q8. The sale of the club to a suitable buyer is perhaps the next important decision to be made; perhaps the most important decision ever if sales of other clubs are anything to go by. Due to the failure of the majority of the current board to deliver the proposed stadium on the King's dock and their involvement in wasting millions of pounds and many years supporting Tesco's pursuit of a retail park on which Everton would have had a championship style stadium providing championship style contributions, can we place our trust in the directors who ducked and dived and finally disappeared when the awful truth emerged? What skills have they demonstrated as directors of Everton?

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