By Ian Parker, PA
The Everton Fan Advisory Board has called for club chair Bill Kenwright to be replaced, saying it has no confidence in his leadership.
The statement from the group, which was formed in 2021 and is officially recognised by the club, comes a day after the relegation-battling Toffees suffered a 4-1 Premier League home defeat to Newcastle to drop to 19th place, and reflects long-running issues between fans and the board.
The FAB has repeatedly wanted increased communication between the club and supporters during a second consecutive season fighting against the drop, and also one in which Everton has been referred by the Premier League to an independent commission over an alleged breach of financial regulations.
Kenwright angered many fans with a letter to supporters last week in which he defended the board’s actions, a statement seen by many as being tone deaf considering the club’s predicament.
Members of the board have not attended fixtures at Goodison Park since January, when the club said there were concerns for their safety.
Friday’s statement from FAB said: “The chair of any organisation has a core responsibility for leading the board, ensuring its focus on strategic matters and direction, overseeing the company’s business, and setting high governance standards.
“We were therefore hugely disappointed at the chairman’s statement last Friday.
“At a critical time for our club, when we most needed leadership, understanding, accountability and a recognition of the strength of feeling and concern across large parts of the fanbase, we got the absolute opposite.
“The situation as it stands is not sustainable, not befitting of our great club and as Evertonians we do not deserve it. After careful consideration, we are therefore making a call of no confidence in the current chair of Everton Football Club.”
The statement went on to demand that majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri implements broader changes in the boardroom.
“The FAB is also calling on the majority shareholder to urgently take charge of securing stronger expertise, experience and more appropriate leadership for our club and ask that he be ready to explain to fans the action and timetable for making this happen,” it said.
“Finally, we want to acknowledge the work of those doing the day to day work within the club in what must be extremely difficult circumstances, as well as Evertonians who have shown time and time again that they will stop at nothing to support our club.”
Kenwright has been on the Everton board since 1989, acquiring a majority holding in 1999 and becoming chair in 2004. He remained in the post following Moshiri’s purchase of a 49.9 per cent stake in the club in 2016, which he increased to 94 per cent in 2022.