EVERTON supporters group the Blue Union today hit back at criticism over their controversial Šmeeting with Bill Kenwright.
The group were accused of a ‘lack of respect’ by the club after they revealed the contents of Šthe meeting, during which the Toffees chairman outlined Everton’s stark financial situation, and Šadmitted the only way the club can generate serious income is by selling players.
Everton had claimed the discussions were taped without Kenwright’s knowledge, and do not believe the transcript properly represents the conversation.
But Union spokesman Dave Kelly said the club have no proof that the meeting at Kenwright’s London office was taped, and insisted the theatre impresario and club officials knew the sit-down would be reported.
The Union have published a statement on their website calling the publication of the talks a ‘means to an end’ to highlight their concerns over Everton’s future, and say they did not publish Švarious exchanges which Kenwright asked to remain private.
ŠMr Kelly said: “The fall-out and finger pointing episode from the club after the publication of our report was a flagrant attempt to divert attention away from the real issues revealed within.
“If the club’s stated position is that the information released by the Blue Union did not properly represent the conversation, why haven’t they specifically explained what wasn’t representative?
“Have our actions damaged the club? No, why do you think Phil Neville was valued at Š£250,000 by Tottenham at the beginning of the year? The football world has long since known of our plight and finally our fan-base has woken up to the reality of our situation.
“Neither have our actions damaged the prospect of a sale; the financial situation would have always been uncovered during due diligence.
Š“We believe we have done nothing wrong.
“Our campaign will continue onwards and upwards and after Saturday’s public meeting it will be in a far more structured and organised fashion.”
Everton consulted their solicitors such was their fury at what they claimed were recorded revelations, revealed on the eve of Everton’s belated start to the Premier League season at home to Queens Park Rangers.
Mr Kelly added: “Many fans are now genuinely concerned for the future of Everton under this Šboard. The fans spoke out about Kirkby and were ignored; they spoke out about the possible Šdecline into the financial difficulty we’re now experiencing and were ignored again; now they’re proposing the club needs a reappraisal of their approach relating to their treatment of supporters Šand the need for a groundbreaking decision to be taken to ensure the future safety and prosperity Šof the club.
“In order to allow the CEO to concentrate on reducing costs, developing our own revenue Šstreams and repairing relations with the fan-base, the board must now appoint a fully autonomous Šgroup of professionals who can effectively develop and implement a strategy to identify and sell Šthe club to a buyer who can demonstrate an ability and desire to take the club forward on both Ša commercial and football level.”
The union held a public meeting at the Casa on Bold Street on Saturday, which was attended by approximately 300 people.
Mr Kelly said that during the event it was decided that there will be a public protest before Everton’s home game against Aston Villa on Saturday.
He said: “The attendance surpassed our expectations, especially as it was our first meeting.
“Everyone present agreed – enough is enough.
“We will go out there and protest because we are not prepared to let our club die on its knees.”