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Monday, April 4, 2016

'Come to me...Come back to me...'

It's been a while, yet, despite appearances, our members have been far from idle.

They’ve spent this hiatus at the forefront of campaigns for reduced ticket prices, they’ve successfully represented the interests of Evertonians on local committees and national organizations; perhaps most significantly is their individual involvement in helping those in the local community who, through no fault of their own, finding themselves temporarily disadvantaged, have been helped through the foodbank campaign jointly conducted by Evertonians and Liverpool supporters.

All these activities are beyond the remit of KEIOC, an organisation which was setup specifically to keep Evertonians informed on the stadium situation along with reporting on those activities of the directors which have a direct affect upon the performance of our football club.

At a time when Everton’s only active director was suffering from a serious hormonal complaint and with the very public charade of Walton Hall Park being painfully played out in the all too customary manner, customary due to Everton’s perennial Achilles heel, a total lack of finance, KEIOC supporter’s activities were clearly best served elsewhere.

But now, with a new majority shareholder in place and the stadium question now genuinely on the agenda, we’ve decided to regroup, put forward some ideas on the stadium and, once again , ensure that Evertonians, and the media, are being kept accurately informed.

Is there still a role for KEIOC to play in this new era? Despite the arrival of Farhad Moshiri and his representative Alexander Ryazantsev at Everton, old habits die hard. Sadly, history shows that misleading fans and media alike is the default position, a strategy which has time and time again proved detrimental to the club’s wellbeing.

Bill Kenwright, with arm strategically embracing a somewhat bemused Farhad Moshiri, recently regaled a romantic tale of the new shareholder taking his time deciding Everton was the club for him. The offshore takeover vehicle used by Farhad Moshiri, Blue Heaven Holdings , was setup eight months ago in August 2015. Advised by specialist lawyers, Appleby LLC, Blue Heaven Holdings was incorporated through the financial service company Bridgewaters who act as nominees for the beneficial owners. Whilst Blue Heaven Holdings currently own 49.9% of Everton’s shares, it is interesting that four charges are held by Blue Heaven, charges registered over the remaining shares of Bill Kenwright, Jon Woods and Arthur Abercromby, which means that, once the put and call options, secured by these charges, are exercised, Blue Heaven will become owners with a shareholding in the region of 75%, as can be seen here.

Whilst it’s understandable that Bill Kenwright and Jon Woods, for continuity purposes, are being left in place during this interim period, that is to say the time between Mr Moshiri taking partial and full control, it remains somewhat disconcerting that Bill Kenwright is claiming to be taking an active role in such major issues as the search for a stadium solution, even reintroducing some of the people who have significantly contributed to his abject failure, that is to say a chairmanship whose tangible legacy amounts to nothing more than an empty trophy cabinet and a dilapidated stadium.

Another surprising move is the elevation to the board of CEO, Robert Elstone, yet, despite another acknowledged debris field of failures trailing in the wake of his tenure as CEO, it would be hard for Farhad Moshiri to apportion total blame for these disasters given the circumstances he was working under, and, given that both are accountants from Deloitte, Robert Elstone could be set to become the day to day eyes and ears of the new owner at Goodison Park.

It’s early days for Mr Moshiri and obviously everybody is going to wish him every success, but, whilst wishing him that success, a close eye needs keeping on what is and what isn’t happening, particularly when it comes to advice being given by retained ‘experts’ on such matters as the stadium; let's be honest, we’ve had some outright idiots in the past and it is this type of 'professional' that Everton can do without.

In the coming weeks we’re going to relaunch our website and publish some discussion papers on stadium location and design; prepared by architects and engineers, these should provide some excellent insight for all those interested in this crucial decision facing our club's new owner, we'll later hold a meeting to discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of some of the options available and some of those options are extremely exciting indeed.

Farhad Moshiri’s entourage won’t be familiar with KEIOC, brief examples of our work can be found here and here. On the other hand Robert Elstone will be fully conversant with KEIOC and he’ll know that he’s going to find it much more difficult to avoid our questions in the way he has recently chosen to ignore others.

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