Chairman Welcomes Marcel To The Board

Chairman Bill Kenwright praised Director of Football Marcel Brands' impact at Everton as his appointment to the Club's Board of Directors was announced at Tuesday's General Meeting.

Dutchman Brands joined the Blues as Director of Football in June last year, having established a reputation for developing players and building clubs in his homeland, as well as helping guide PSV Eindhoven to three Eredivisie titles in four seasons.

Mr Kenwright said Brands has already played a major role in overhauling Everton's approach behind the scenes and helping the Club strive towards the vision outlined by Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

"We have a great Director of Football who has taken over and changed an awful lot at the club," he said. "He has totally reorganised our scouting. He is a cradle-to-grave man.

"He wants our kids to play exactly the same way as Marco’s first team. We are really happy with the team we have."

Brands added: "It gives me a lot of confidence that I’m a Board member now and I hope to do the best for our Club.

“At the start I had a great feeling but it’s been a better feeling working here. I work with a lot of great people with blue blood and I’m confident we can achieve many good things in the future.”

Professor Barrett-Baxendale laid out Everton's long-term vision to be "challenging at the top of the Premier League and competing at the highest level in European competitions".

Speaking at a General Meeting for the first time since being appointed CEO in June last year, she explained the details of three "strategic objectives" implemented to help the Club realise goals she admitted will take "time, commitment and vigilant focus."

She also stated her belief Everton "is currently transitioning through one of the most important phases in its history" and that foundations laid in the past seven months mean the Blues are now "exceptionally well positioned to build a Club that can compete with the best".

She added that Brands' appointment to the Board will "further cement the importance, and permanence, of the position [of Director of Football] within [the Club's] structure" and thanked Mr Kenwright for his ongoing support.

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"To have such a committed and experienced Chairman working alongside myself, Marco and Marcel has been truly invaluable," she said.

Discussing the Club's immediate and long-term priorities, she added: "It is vital we are ambitious and that we deliver performance on and off the pitch that drives our Club forward to achieve our ambitions.

"It is vital we are ambitious when we set out long-term targets and our vision needs to reflect the high standards and aspirations of our supporters - aspirations and standards that are shared by our Board.

"Our motto is Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, and that is what we want: to be the best."

Amid updates on the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium project, Mr Kenwright, who was joined on stage by majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, also took the event as an opportunity to stress the importance of the Club leaving a lasting mark on the area around Goodison Park.

"Goodison is important to all of us," he said. "One of the first things we decided was, we would not sell Goodison Park to any trader who came along.

"And Denise has come up with this legacy. Liverpool 4 has been an extraordinary address to me. I lived there at my gran’s.

"Goodison Park is my favourite place in the world and it is very important we support Denise and her plans for – not the resurrection of Goodison Park – but the fact we are not going to leave it.

"We are going to create something that is lasting and say, ‘Thanks ever so much Liverpool 4”. And it will be, I promise you, a great, great legacy.

"We are probably the first football club ever to do it – and quite right, too."

Like Mr Kenwright, Mr Moshiri reserved praise for the role Brands has played since arriving at the Club last June and commended the work of Barrett-Baxendale following her promotion to CEO.

"Marco has our total support and we have a professional in Marcel Brands who monitors the progress," he said. "Denise, meanwhile, is our jewel."

Dr Keith Harris, Everton's Deputy Chairman, provided the latest update on the Bramley-Moore Dock project and explained how the stadium will be "flexible" to capitalise on any future changes in safe standing regulations.

"I can promise state of the art, tomorrow’s technology, today’s passion and yesterday’s history will be melded into this stadium and it will be a fortress other clubs will shudder to visit," he said.

“With your support we can deliver that.

"It is a superb site, absolutely outstanding. I have been involved in building and financing a number of stadia and nothing comes close to this site.

“It will be a stadium which reflects the atmosphere and passion we have [at Goodison Park] but includes the benefit of what we have today.

“We will build a modern-day experience which is enjoyable for the home fans and formidable for those who are visiting.”

Manager Marco Silva, another attending his first General Meeting, thanked Club staff and Evertonians for the support they have shown since he took up the reins at Goodison last July.

"Everyone is working with me at Finch Farm every day. I’ve had a lot of help at the Club," he said. "Everyone has welcomed me and we’ve all been working together since the first day.

“We believe we can be stronger in the future and give everyone the better things they want to see.

“We are still fighting for what we want, which is to do better than last season, and give the fans what they want – building a connection with the team. We want more.”

Chief Finance and Commercial Officer Sasha Ryazantsev gave an overview of the 2017/18 statement of accounts published in December and reiterated that the Club is confident it has identified a viable funding model for the new stadium project.

“No stadium can be built without funding, that’s been our key focus for the past six months," he explained.

“Ultimately this is a major infrastructure process in the north west. We are in a good place with funding. Things are looking up on this project. A lot of work has been done but there is a lot of work still to do.”

Mr Kenwright and Mr Moshiri took questions from the floor before the General Meeting closed.

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