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Long-serving Everton chairman Bill Kenwright to remain in post during “period of transition”
The future of Bill Kenwright as the chairman of Everton has been a major topic of discussion among fans and pundits alike. However, it seems that he will be staying on with the club for now after being convinced by owner Farhad Moshiri to help guide them through what is being termed a “period of transition.” Despite calls from some supporters for him to step down, his vast experience and knowledge have led Moshiri to believe he is key to helping position Everton for success.
A Long History with the Club
Kenwright’s association with the club dates back more than three decades when he was first invited onto their board. He rose up its ranks over time before eventually becoming deputy chairman after buying a majority stake worth £20 million in 1999. In 2004, Sir Phillip Carter stepped down as Chairman paving way for Kenwright’s appointment into that role which came just one year before David Moyes guided The Toffees into the Champions League qualifiers – an achievement they’d never accomplished before. Despite having only a small stake (of just over one percent) left at present due to various investments made by other stakeholders like British-Iranian businessman Moshiri who became majority shareholder in February this year; Kenwright still holds great respect within Goodison Park walls.
Calls For His Departure
Everton fans have long called for his departure but didn’t get their wish granted yet despite narrowly avoiding relegation last season. Even though Chief Executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief finance officer Grant Ingles along with non-executive director Graeme Sharp all departed recently amid much speculation about internal disagreements at Board level – there were reports indicating that Kenwright had health issues affecting his ability to do the job, which he strongly denied in an open letter.
Protests and Threats
The Everton Fan Advisory Board responded with a vote of no confidence in him last April. Even during recent home games, he has not attended due to what was deemed as “real and credible threat” to their safety and security. Merseyside Police were called upon following alleged death threats sent to Kenwright along with intimidating calls/emails made towards Barrett-Baxendale. Alongside this turmoil inside the boardroom, supporters regularly held protests before home games last season marching down Goodison Road while holding banners and chanting “Kenwright out”. In March earlier this year, a panel featuring a picture of Kenwright that was stolen from outside Goodison Park was found in a canal.
New Faces on The Board
In light of all these events unfolding one after another within the club’s hierarchy resulting into departures by senior members; Colin Chong has been appointed as interim CEO/director at Everton. Moshiri will also be joining John Spellman (an experienced chartered accountant) as new faces on the board – who are both expected to bring stability back into this historic English football club.
This is undoubtedly an exciting time for Everton fans despite having faced turbulent times recently. With new investment likely coming soon through MSP Sports Capital’s exclusivity agreement – they can expect representation in the boardroom too – The Toffees can look forward with renewed hope!
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