EVERTON shareholders association want to meet with the club’s owners to discuss its finances and push for the return of annual general meetings.
The group, which has around 1,200 members, has written to all of the club’s 1,705 shareholders asking them to support its bid for an extraordinary general meeting with Bill Kenwright and his fellow directors.
They insist the five-year absence of AGMs is unfair because they were never consulted about their scrapping, and are eager to put the spotlight on Everton’s progress with their search for an new stadium.
Association chairman John Blain said: “We believe that in addition to being good corporate governance AGMs are still the most effective way for the board of the company to stay in touch with the majority of Shareholders.
“Established in the 19th Century by the founding fathers of the club the AGM's continued until the early part of the 21st Century.”
Everton are understood to believe that their current policy of talking to shareholders, and other supporters, outside of a formal AGM is a better way.
But in an official statement released yesterday, the association claim the club moved too quickly to side-step their obligation to hold AGMs.
It says, ‘The directors amended the company Articles of Association at the earliest legal opportunity to avoid the need to call AGMs.
‘No prior notice of the change was communicated by the directors to shareholders, giving them no opportunity to object.
‘No justification for the change has ever been given by the directors. The abandonment of AGMs breaks not only normal business practice as exhibited by most comparable companies, but also an otherwise unbroken tradition dating back to 1892 when the company was formed to finance the building of Goodison Park.
‘When asked their opinion, the members of the association and other shareholders have consistently and repeatedly expressed their desire for the return of AGMs.
‘No AGM has been held since the collapse of the Destination Kirkby project, thus shareholders have not been able to hear the board's plans regarding the ongoing stadium issue or to question financial issues’.
The statement adds that the club have previously promised to consider their request, but more recently insisted they have no plans to reinstate AGMs.