The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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I’ve had a busy 6 weeks! Back early off holiday and straight into transfer window, EGM, the public inquiry and the ever-present driving on of our business. Fortunately, a priority over the past three years has been to improve our off-field team and I think we’ve been successful. The team has steered us through a demanding few weeks.
Making funds available for David was challenging but clearly, absolutely necessary. One or two key players had been lost and of course, we didn’t simply want to replace, we wanted to improve. Budgets were reviewed and re-reviewed and our forecasts were run and re-run. In particular, we were challenged by the Chairman to consider all sensible ways to maximise David’s transfer kitty. I think we did a good job.
Securing the right players was even more challenging. The Chairman and the Manager, supported by our Football Administration team burned the midnight oil, week after week, reviewing, negotiating and in the end securing three or four players who we all feel excited about. No Club claim closer to the wire than us with the Felliani deal - last minute flights across Europe and broken fax machines are not good for the blood pressure.
The EGM was emotive and pressurised, and quite rightly necessitated an in-depth response from the Club. The Meeting has been widely reviewed and in some quarters, the debate continues but immediately after the meeting, I was grateful to one observer asking are you pleased it happened. At that point, I appreciated more fully that the EGM did give us the chance to explain in more detail why we’re committed to Kirkby, a message that clearly needed re-stating. As I write this, I’m travelling back from a long session with Tesco and Knowsley Council discussing how we approach the Inquiry. What is evident is there’s a lot of work to be done not just to get us through the Inquiry, but also on bringing the Project to fruition, generally. But, if it’s just about the hard work and commitment of the Club, then I’m confident we’ll do it.
I have to comment on this week’s changes to our Articles of Association. The reasons for doing this have been explained but to suggest we’re ‘gagging the fans’ or ‘shutting up any dissenters’ is simply wrong. We are entering into dialogue with KEOIC; we are setting up a Transport Working Group and, on a broader basis, we have one of the best websites in football, we have regular focus group meetings, we have dialogue on ticketing issues and European travel, we have a dedicated fan service department, we have an active and respected Community team, and I could go on. Fundamentally, everyone in our business knows that if we don’t embrace our fans and their views, then, like any other business, we will suffer. We may not always agree but we will listen, and, our actions will always be in what we believe to be the best long-term interests of the Club.
These latter points re-enforce everyone’s commitment to driving the business forward. We have a simple objective here at the Club - ‘More Evertonians, More loyal Evertonians’, objectives achieved by delivering great football, of course, but also by giving you a voice and by encouraging participation, above all, by making you proud to be Blue. Our key to success is simple!
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