For the first time in a long time, there was a full board of Directors present at an Everton General Meeting, with Farhad Moshiri making his first appearance alongside Chairman Bill Kenwright.
Kenwright opened the meeting by welcoming shareholders, and by making a poignant tribute to the late Ann Asquith, who passed away last year and was missed from this year’s meeting.
It was then over to Robert Elstone to give his Chief Executive’s report, although everyone was waiting with baited breath for the all-important news on a new stadium. It didn’t come. From the board, at least.
Elstone announced that Everton’s commercial team had signed up with an additional £75m of revenue streams over the last few weeks, including a naming rights deal for Finch Farm.
He told shareholders that the club was working on a major plan for a new stadium, but stopped short of naming the site while insisting their are also other options on the table.
Darren Griffiths then hosted a Q&A style session, first with Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh, and then Bill Kenwright and Farhad Moshiri.
Kenwright told the room how he had met Moshiri and the two had become friends after Moshiri had impressed him with his football knowledge. He then said that “Farhad lives football” and that he made it his goal to make sure he also “lived Everton.”
Moshiri explained that he had been a “small shareholder” at Arsenal and wanted to actually be involved in a football club. He told us that he has found that Evertonians are a “special kind of fan” and told the story of how he was bought beer after beer on a train journey by Evertonians despite telling them he doesn’t drink.
He also said he was more interested in the League than the FA Cup after Kenwright had told Koeman to play his strongest team in the match against Leicester on Saturday.
It was when the floor was opened to the audience that we got our first bit of stadium news, however, with Joe Anderson virtually telling everyone that the Blues were looking to move to the Bramley Moore Dock site before stopping himself with the board laughing nervously.
A supporter reminded the board that fans would not accept a move to the outskirts of Liverpool, while also reminding the board – and manager – that the FA Cup should always be a priority for Everton.