At 6pm today (Wednesday 26 June 2013), the first General Meeting of Everton Football Club Company Ltd for 5 years will take place at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. The Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was called after the Everton Shareholders Association received the required support in its petition to request the reinstatement of Annual General Meetings, which were discontinued by the Everton board in 2008.
Anyone who regularly reads my blog will know that I do not like to get overly involved with the politics of the football club. This is not because I don’t care, more a dislike for the infighting and turmoil that has gripped the club since the initial announcement that the club was planning to move outside the Liverpool city boundary and relocate Everton in Kirkby. A football club, united behind manager and board, has far more potential to succeed, than a club that has become fragmented and divided.
The meeting of the shareholders is hotly anticipated and promises to be a fiery occasion, as the activists within the group look to gain answers from the Chairman and his Board of Directors. The agenda, as with any General meeting is tight, with little opportunity to deviate from the matters in hand. Taken directly from the notice for shareholders published on the Official club website, the matters up for discussion are limited to:
1. Obtaining from the Chairman and Board of Directors an explanation for their September 2008 decision to amend the Articles of Association such that Annual General Meetings need no longer be held and their reasons for not calling any General Meeting in the 5 years since.
2. Obtaining from the Board of Directors their appraisal of the financial performance of Everton Football Club Company Ltd over the past five years since the 128th and last Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held, specifically to answer questions from Shareholders concerning the financial performance of Everton Football Club Company Ltd over the past 5 years and to hear the Board of Directors future plans for the club.
3 . To pass a resolution, on receipt of the answers given by the board to the aforementioned questions, to require that the Directors of Everton Football Club Company Ltd amend the Articles of Association to ensure that the longstanding tradition of holding formal Annual General Meetings is permanently reinstated.
My concern is that whatever the outcome of the meeting tomorrow, all sides will use propaganda to further their message. I do not believe the activists will accept the word of Bill Kenwright and Robert Elstone, whatever it is they say, and in fairness to The Blue Union and KEOIC, they have been given very little reason to believe in the Everton board in recent years. The Directors are going to be under immense pressure, not just to promise change, but also to deliver against those promises.
I will follow the meeting with interest and intrigue. I am not a shareholder or privy to the thoughts of any current shareholders, but I am sure through the power of the Internet, the meeting and its aftermath will be played out quite publicly. Where opinions are so divided, I would expect both sides to paint a very different picture of the outcome, but what I do hope is that following the meeting, the Board, staff and supporters all get behind Roberto Martinez, because the place to make the biggest difference is on the football pitch.