Goodison Park marks its 130th anniversary this month. The Grand Old Lady has provided many special memories, with hopefully a few more to come as we know our days here are drawing to a close.
I would like to welcome Todd Boehly and his colleagues as they embark on their first season with Chelsea.
As always, a new season brings new optimism. For everyone at Everton, that optimism acts as a reflection of the scale and quality of work that has been taking place across all areas of our Finch Farm operation. Over the summer we have continued a restructure at various levels of football operations and welcomed some key people into our Academy structure - all under the guidance of our Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell.
The most immediate evidence of change is always in changes to our First-Team personnel - and with four weeks of the transfer window remaining we are working very hard to add further signings to join the quality additions already made with James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil from Burnley and Rúben Vinagre from Sporting.
It has also been a busy summer at our Royal Liver Building business headquarters. We highlighted earlier in the year the need to maximise revenues across the Club, with the strengthening of our partnership portfolio a key priority. Over recent months we have re-focused our commercial team, working diligently not only here in Liverpool but also from our sales offices in London and the United States. I am pleased with the commercial return we are already seeing from the changes that have been put in place - illustrated by the eight new or extended partnerships we have signed and agreed in the past three months alone – all on excellent terms for the Club.
Stake has become our new main partner in a deal that is the biggest in the Club’s history, whilst the most recent addition to our partner portfolio is BOXT as our new sleeve sponsor.
The award-winning e-commerce firm is one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK and has become one of the leading names in the heating and home installation industry. BOXT take up a very important piece of Everton commercial real-estate - one we were not willing to relinquish until the Club’s valuation was met.
This week has also seen us confirm an extension of our successful partnership with Davanti Tyres, as well as the Club entering the metaverse with our new Fancurve partnership. Our Fancurve relationship will see Club digital wearables available for the first time in what is hugely exciting and rapidly emerging new sector. Add to that the confirmation earlier in the summer of Christopher Ward as our new Official Global Timing Partner, and that we will be announcing news of two renewals and another new partner in the coming weeks, and it is evident the work of the commercial team to deliver for our Club is paying significant dividends.
But it is only the start. Exploring new categories is very important as we move towards our new stadium and seek to expand our commercial footprint in innovative, creative ways. Another such example is the launch this week of ‘ALL’, the collection of bars, restaurants and experiences that will be available in our new Everton Stadium. Over the coming weeks and months, the unique concept of ‘ALL’ will become more evident as visuals and plans are shared, demonstrating how our new home is providing an opportunity to implement a revolutionary reset on football hospitality.
That bright future is focused on delivering experiences that reflect the passion and expectation of our fans. Today’s fixture gives us, once again, the opportunity to show the football world why Evertonians are so very special.
I know Frank and his players will receive vociferous support as we embark on our new campaign, but we need to ensure we demonstrate that passion in the right way.
As a club we have supported the Premier League, FA and EFL’s collective stance in tackling anti-social behaviour. And I shared the disappointment of many Evertonians who contacted the Club this week in response to the small number of supporters who entered the playing area following the Dynamo Kyiv ‘Match for Peace’ last Friday.
The Club will take a zero-tolerance approach to pitch encroachment. Stadium bans - and even criminal prosecution - can and will be enforced to punish anyone who enters the playing area before, during or after the game. This zero-tolerance also applies to the use of pyrotechnics (smoke grenades or flares) and the throwing of objects of any description on to the pitch.
Finally, I want to echo the sentiments of the nation and congratulate
England on their magnificent triumph in the Women’s Euros. Five of that England squad have played for
Everton and two of the girls came through our Centre of Excellence. While Everton Women’s season doesn’t kick off until September, I would encourage every Blue to get along to Walton Hall Park this season. Entry for Season Ticket Members and Official Members is free.