A bombshell from John Houlding


January 26, 1892
Mr. John Houlding threw a bombshell into the camp of his opponents last week when he followed up their actions at the general meeting by promptly forming a new company, and registering it under the name of ”Everton Football Club and Athletic Ground Company, Limited.”.

The party led by Messrs. William Clayton and George Mahon had hoped to prevent the formation of a club with the Everton name by registering that title, but early on Tuesday last they learned that they had been completely forestalled, and that Mr. Houlding had already taken legal possession of the name, which, combined with the fact that the club, is still to be carried on at the old headquarters, will doubtless have due weight with the English Association and the Football League when the question of official recognition comes to be fought.

Unlike the £500 company of Messrs. Clayton and Mahon, the basis of Mr. Houlding’s venture is to be a capital of £15,000 in £1 shares, and every member of the present club will be presented with a share in the company provided that he first takes four other shares.

Mr. Houlding will naturally retain possession of the stands and other erections at Anfield Road, and this will enormously increase the cost involved in putting the Goodison Road site in fit condition for football – a project which may possibly not be undertaken after all now that events have taken an extraordinary turn.

Apropos of Goodison Road, a few facts relative to that ground may not be without interest.

Besides the expense of putting up stands, the drainage and boarding of the ground would entail an expenditure of at least £600; whilst over and above that two feet of soil would have to be deposited on the ground to make it suitable for the purpose of football.

It has frequently been stated that the club might secure a lease of the ground from seven to twelve years.

We are in a position to state that under no circumstances would a lease of more than seven years be granted.

It may not also be generally known that a firm of brewers have agreed to guarantee the rent, board the ground, and erect stands provided that they are at liberty to control the entrances as they choose – a stipulation which means that the entrances will be placed as near as possible to the public houses in the vicinity.

An additional fact which has not yet been told to the members of the Everton Club is that
anyone taking this ground will have to bear half the cost of constructing a street abutting upon it.

The sale price of Goodison Road, which is leasehold, is 7s. 5d. a yard; whilst Mr. Houlding’s property, which is freehold, and also in excellent condition for football, has been offered to the members at the same price.

To-night the prospectuses of the new company will be posted to the members of the Everton Club, and will therefore be in their hands tomorrow morning.

Mr. Houlding and his friends are confident that the prosperity enjoyed by the club under their management will induce public confidence in their undertaking, and that the requisite number of shares will be promptly applied for.
(Field Sports: February 1, 1892)

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