Everton investment will “inevitably” lead to changes at board level and some of the current members will leave the club out of choice, according to The Times.
Fans have been protesting for weeks against a deeply unpopular set of incumbents, including chairman Bill Kenwright and chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, and with Farhad Moshiri intent on securing investment in order to get the new stadium development done they are candidates to depart.
Graeme Sharp and Grant Ingles could also move on, with the announcement of a deal expected before the end of the current campaign regardless of the relegation threat, so the supporters appear set to belatedly get what they’ve been calling for.
The Times report from Paul Joyce states: “New investment will, inevitably, lead to new representation on Everton’s board, although a changing of the guard would hardly come as a surprise given that the chairman, Bill Kenwright, the chief executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, the finance director, Grant Ingles, and the non-executive director Graeme Sharp have not attended a home game since January because of protests by fans.
“Some of those club officials will leave of their own volition.”
Not before time
Things have been falling apart on and off the pitch over the past year with back-to-back relegation battles played out against a background of discontent towards the hierarchy.
It is hard to point to any area of the club that has been a success in that time, as the finances have become an ongoing concern, star players have been sold, new signings have not delivered and plenty haven’t been secured at all.
At the time time Everton have been churning through managers at their usual rate, the Premier League has now charged the club with breaking spending rules, and the gambling shirt sponsor is set to be banned just over a year after millions in backing from Alisher Usmanov’s companies was cut off thanks to his links to Vladimir Putin.
The relationship between the board and the fans is broken, while the press office is seen as toxic by journalists, and while the new stadium is a great hope in the distance it still requires the as-yet unsecured extra funding and might end up playing host to a Championship side.
How the people who are supposed to be running the operation have all stayed in place as that situation has reached this point is a measure of why the fanbase are at their wit’s end.
New voices from outside to help get things running even half-sustainably are vital, although a note of caution is necessary given that Moshiri has hardly proven himself a great judge of expertise so far.
Fans are often told to be careful what they wish for, but the status quo isn’t working for anyone so change is long overdue, although after the draw at Leicester on Monday night (1 May) left the team in the relegation zone with another game gone that change may now be too late.