Everton CEO On 'Significant' Stadium Progress And £30m USM Deal

Everton Chief Executive, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, says Everton have made “significant progress” with plans for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock [BMD] – and the Club remains committed to its stated ambition of “challenging at the very top of domestic and European competitions”.

Addressing Shareholders at Everton’s General Meeting on Tuesday, Professor Barrett-Baxendale revealed training ground sponsor USM has secured an option on naming rights for the Club’s new stadium – a deal worth £30m to Everton.

She also explained Carlo Ancelotti was the board’s “unanimous” choice as manager – and the decorated Italian embodies Everton’s “nothing but the best” ethos.

Everton last month submitted a planning application for its new BMD home and accompanying redevelopment of Goodison Park and surrounding areas.

 

> Chief Finance Officer Announces £30m Stadium Option Deal

> Ancelotti On Why He Has Found 'Fantastic Family' At Everton

> Brands On Everton Transfer Policy

> Chief Executive Thanks 'Everton Family' Ahead Of Exciting Future

> Ferguson Thanks Chairman And Mr Moshiri For 'Proudest Moment'

 

Professor Barrett-Baxendale, who thanked Evertonians for their consistent and impassioned "support and dedication", disclosed the Club is “cautiously optimistic” about starting work at BMD this year. And Everton will be “prepared to move quickly” on a three-year build if approval of the planning application is passed.

She said: “Research has shown the stadium will provide a major £1bn boost to our economy… create 15,000 new jobs and an additional 1.4 million new visitors to the city.

“In addition it will act as the northern catalyst to Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters development, which would see Liverpool competing with Boston, Toronto and Barcelona in terms of the scale and diversity of its waterfront and associated economy.

“During the next year… the hard work continues.

“I would like to re-emphasise that although we have made fantastic progress there are still a number of hurdles to overcome. And there are no guarantees when developing a capital project of this scale.

“However, the Board is cautiously optimistic. We have a robust plan, we have the right team in place and we have prepared extensively to mitigate all possible risks, giving us the best possible platform to succeed.”

Professor Barrett-Baxendale underlined the positioning of Everton’s stadium plans as a “key strategic target… which will bring numerous opportunities to deliver commercial growth”.

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01:33

CEO THANKS EVERTON FAMILY AHEAD OF 'EXCITING FUTURE'

Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale discusses Bramley-Moore Dock, Annual Report and what's ahead in 2020.


The “single biggest opportunity”, she emphasised, “will be the monetisation of naming rights for the new facility”.

“I am delighted to announce to you this evening that within the past week USM has secured an option on the naming rights of our new stadium,” said Professor Barrett-Baxendale.

“It is a significant commitment of interest and demonstrates the commercial impact the new stadium will afford.”

Chief Finance and Commercial Officer Sasha Ryazantsev subsequently added the details concerning Everton's renewed USM agreement.

Talking on stage directly after Professor Barrett-Baxendale, he said: “Today, we are delighted to announce the Club has entered into a £30m new arrangement with USM, in addition to our existing relationship.

“USM purchased an option that enables them to enter into a naming rights contract for our new stadium in Bramley-Moore Dock at a pre-agreed annual value and term.

“This innovative deal secures additional commercial revenue for the Club and the option premium we are due to receive will be exclusively used as the Club’s further contribution to the project’s equity.”

On Everton’s Goodison Park legacy, Professor Barrett-Baxendale insisted the Club has a “compelling vision”.


The same is true of Everton’s on-field ambition.

Professor Barrett-Baxendale spelt out 12 months ago an overarching desire to “establish Everton as an elite Club, challenging at the very top of domestic and European competitions.”

Former AC Milan and Real Madrid boss and three-times Champions League winning manager Ancelotti was appointed on a four-and-a-half year contract last month after caretaker Duncan Ferguson generated a significant upturn in performances and results during four matches in charge.

"The Board was unanimous in its assessment that Carlo was the best choice to be our next manager and worked incredibly hard to secure his appointment,” said Barrett-Baxendale.

“Carlo’s distinguished record and experience at some of the greatest clubs in Europe, along with his impeccable character, calibre and stature in the sport completely embody the spirit of‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.’

“‘Nothing but the best’ has been the hallmark of Carlo’s time in football to date and we are thrilled that a new chapter of his esteemed career will be written at Everton.

"We are incredibly grateful to Duncan Ferguson for stepping in and bringing the passion, energy and spirit, which helped the team deliver vital results against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

"Football is often about moments and the memory of Duncan celebrating on the pitch with the team after the victory over Chelsea will stay with Evertonians for many years to come."

Speaking later in the evening Ancelotti admitted his excitement over attending his first Everton General Meeting.

60-year-old, who has claimed nine points from his first four Premier League games in charge, said: “It is a new experience for me and really exciting.

“I found a fantastic club with fantastic history and tradition.

“And I found a fantastic family, which is really important for me.”

Barrett-Baxendale acknowledged Everton’s intention to compete for major honours represents an “extremely challenging” task.

She said: “The Club is going through one of the most significant periods of transition and investment in its history.

“We understood there would naturally be short-term setbacks in this process.

“No club has gone through such a significant change without them.

“However, what is important is our response to setbacks and our continued commitment and focus to deliver against our long-term plan.


"It has been a difficult year and I’ve been amazed when I see the fans filling out the stadium and, at away games, packing out the seats.

"We often refer to Everton as being a family and when you do have tough times, families stick together. I would really like to thank Evertonians for their support and dedication to the Football Club. We look forward positively now with Carlo and have a really exciting future ahead of us."

Everton’s “ambitious goals” and plans to reach those targets, revealed Barrett-Baxendale, are enabled by the investment of Majority Shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

She said: “Mr Moshiri’s investment has been vital and impactful.

“It has allowed us to set ambitious goals and put in place long-term plans to deliver those goals.

"However, this investment has inevitably had an impact on our short-term profitability.

“I would like to highlight that these results reflect our position in the early stages of a long-term investment cycle.

“We want to challenge at the very top of the game … but in the modern Premier League-era it is extremely difficult to permanently break the virtuous cycle enjoyed by the richest teams in our league without this period of investment.


“The financial returns from higher broadcast fees, access to lucrative commercial deals and significant revenue from regular Champions League football create considerable financial barriers to entry.

“Upfront investment can help break these barriers and access this important additional revenue.”

Mr Moshiri was unable to join shareholders at the Liverpool Philharmonic due to being "in negotiation, exploring one of the long-term [stadium] funding options available to us", explained Professor Barrett-Baxendale.

Chairman Bill Kenwright spoke, however, hailing Ferguson's impact and the ensuing capture of Ancelotti. "I've always thought, give Duncan that moment and Duncan will not let you down," said the Chairman. "He truly, truly did an unbelievable job.

"I don't think [Carlo] will mind me telling you, he was knocked out by his arrival at Goodison Park.

"He phoned me and said, 'I've never experienced anything like that walking on to a football pitch.'

"He is the best man you could meet. He is terrific as a guy, and I'm so proud that he joined our club and already loves our club."

Lifelong Evertonian and shareholder Tom Kelly presented Mr Kenwright with a memento celebrating 1962/63 title-winning forward Alex Young as a means of expressing fans' gratitude for the Chairman's significant and enduring contribution to the Club.

Ferguson was invited on stage, too, and described being asked to lead Everton as "the proudest moment of my life".

The Scot admitted working with "the best possible teacher" in Ancelotti represented a "fabulous opportunity" and vowed to be the model pupil.

Director of Football Marcel Brands, meanwhile, reflected on his 18 months at the Club and overseeing 63 transfer deals across the trading windows.

The Dutchman vowed to remain faithful to Everton's commitment to developing its own talent as part of a "clear and ambitious" vision for success.


“The most important thing for us is to make sure our supporters are proud of Everton. And there is so much pride in seeing good football being played that wins games - with homegrown players part of that success," said Brands.

"Since my first day here at this wonderful football club, I have had a clear strategy of what we needed to do to deliver the objectives set out in our vision.

"It is an ambitious, but clear vision. And it is a long-term strategy. But from my first day, I was in no doubt that a lot of work had to be done quickly."

Professor Barrett-Baxendale also provided positive news on the Club’s award-winning Everton in the Community charity.

She added: "Everton in the Community is growing in-line with its ambitious expansion plans.

“Last year saw a record investment from the charity into its programmes of more than £4m, helping more people than ever before.

“Every pound spent delivers £14 of social value directly into our local community.

“And in 2020 we will be delivering even more social value in what will be yet another record year for our charity.

“Significant new bids worth several million pounds to run more programmes have been secured and will be announced very soon.”

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03:40

CEO'S GENERAL MEETING PRESENTATION - THE KEY POINTS

What Denise Barrett-Baxendale told shareholders at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

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