‘Deeply hurt’ - Bill Kenwright breaks silence on Everton board absence and FFP allegations

Everton have now posted the club’s accounts for 2021-22.
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Bill Kenwright is adamant Everton are compliant with Premier League profit and sustainability rules as the club posted its accounts for 2021-22.

The Toffees recorded £44.7 million - significantly less than the loss of £121 million for 2020-21 and £139.9m in 2019-20. Sales of Richarlison and Lucas Digne to Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa respectively helped, while turnover was £181 million.

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The Premier League announced last week that Everton have been referred to an independent commission for an alleged profit and sustainability breach.

Over a three-year period, clubs are allowed to lose a total of £105 million. The Toffees’ deficit is now £305.5 million for the same time frame.

However, Kenwright is confident that the Blues have done nothing wrong when it comes to rules. The Everton chairman said: “As the following accounts for 2021/22 were being prepared for publication, the Club was disappointed to learn of the Premier League’s decision to refer it to an independent commission for an alleged Profit and Sustainability breach. I cannot comment ahead of that commission, other than to say that the Club is confident it remains compliant with all of the Premier League’s financial rules and regulations and has always provided information to them in an open and transparent manner.

“That the Club has always acted in good faith simply intensifies the disappointment experienced at last week’s news – but, as already stressed, we will robustly defend our position. The accounts which follow show a turnover of £181m, achieved despite the suspension of all commercial activities with Russian companies in March 2022.

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“The Club has also significantly reduced its losses during the same timescale and has continued to make enormous and exciting progress on our future new home. The Everton Stadium continues to make a stunning new addition to the Mersey skyline. I may have been castigated by some fans for sharing my opinion that I have enjoyed many times at Everton, and even though we have sadly been trophyless under my Chairmanship, it is with no fear of further criticism when I say two league games from last season’s 38 will stay with me forever.

“Do I have to say more than that night against Crystal Palace? While the afternoon I stood alone in the stand at Leicester City after a monumental away win, listening to our outstanding travelling supporters sing passionately and enthusiastically - for a full 20 minutes after the game had ended!! - was inspiring, humbling and genuinely moving.”

Kenwright and the rest of the Everton board continue to stay away from Goodison Park on match-days. They were told that there was a ‘a real and credible threat to their safety and security’ ahead of a 2-1 loss to Southampton on 14 January. A sit-in protest against the board was planned after the game.

Kenwright says he and the rest of the Goodison Park hierarchy are ‘deeply hurt’ by the situation. He said: “Memories of occasions like these has made the recent instruction given to myself and my fellow board members not to attend Goodison Park all the more painful. That has hurt deeply. We have also been forced into making some painful changes at the Club but, although we all dearly wanted manager Frank Lampard and his backroom team to succeed, ultimately a change became inevitable. We believe the start Sean Dyche has made to his time as our manager, nor forgetting his admirable allies Steve Stone and Ian Woan, has already justified that decision.

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“We welcomed Kevin Thelwell to Everton in 2022 and he has recently celebrated his first year as our Director of Football, a period in which he has quietly and effectively made a series of significant changes to our footballing structure. His first transfer window last summer and the introduction of players including James Tarkowski, Conor Coady, Amadou Onana, Dwight McNeil, plus the return of Idrissa Gana Gueye, was hugely applauded by our fan base.

“ While Sean and Kevin have been welcome additions to the Club, we have also lost some cherished members of the Everton Family since our last Annual Report. Dr David Marsh was my chairman, my supporter and my friend. I miss him dearly following his passing last August. We have sadly also lost some beloved former players, Terry Darracott, Neil Robinson, Billy Bingham (who also, of course, managed our Club), Mick Meagan, Jimmy Harris and David ‘Doc’ Johnson – and Christian Atsu, tragically, in that horrendous natural disaster in Turkey. Looking forward we know we have challenges to overcome – the absolute priority is of course to secure our Premier League status for a 70th consecutive season – and we can all play a part in helping to secure that. As we proved in the run-in to last season, a unified Football Club is a stronger Football Club. “

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