The purchase of the Everton football ground


March 22, 1895
A meeting of the shareholders of the Everton Football Club Company, Limited, was held last evening, in the Picton Lecture Hall, Mr. George Mahon presiding over a fairly large attendance.

The business of the meeting was to consider, and, if thought desirable, to approve of and adopt the contract entered into by the Everton Football Club Company, Limited, on the 12st. inst., for the purchase of the football ground now used by the club.

Supporting the chairman on the platform were Messrs. Griffiths, Kelly, William Clayton, Read, and Leyland (directors), Cornett (solicitor), and Richard Molyneux (secretary).

A letter was read from Mr. R. Wilson regretting his inability to attend. The writer expressed the hope that the meeting would be a unanimous one, and that the purchase would be completed, because the ground could be had at a fair market value, and the club would thereby be able to secure a home on which they had spent so many hundreds of pounds free from the fear of the speculative builder. (Applause.)

Mr. Cornett then read the contract between the club and the owner of the land (Mr. C.J. Leyland), from which it appeared that the price per square yard was 5s. 6.d, excepting the portion fronting Mere Lane, to the extent of 2,000 square yards, the price of which is fixed at 7s. per square yard. The total cost of the land would be £8.090.

The Chairman, after expressing sympathy with the chairman of the directors, Mr. Coates, in the sad losses he had sustained, moved a resolution adopting the contract entered into on March 12, 1895 for the purchase of the Goodison football ground. This, he said, was a matter not of the next few years, but for many years to come, because he believed the Everton club had a prosperous future before it. (Applause).

From a commercial point of view, he thought they would agree with him that the progress had been by leaps and bounds, and from the purely football point of view, the position occupied by the club was one of which they had no reason to be ashamed. (Applause.)

The directors wanted for the club permanency of tenure, and he might say they had been unanimous in entering into the contract. The negotiations in regard to the purchase had extended over 18 months, and the three main points considered had been tenure, price, and suitability of site. The result of their long negotiations was, that they had the land offered to them perfectly freehold and absolutely unrestricted. (Hear, hear.)

He did not think it necessary to refer to matters in days gone by, but in justification of himself, Mr. Clayton, and others who had taken a prominent part in connection with the breaking away from the ground at Anfield, it was only fair to refer them to the remark he made in Marc, 1892, when he said that the land at Anfield was being offered to them at 2s. a yard more than the real value.

The Liverpool land was 23,300 square yards, in respect of which a sum of £8,737 was to be the consideration money. But in the present contract they had 28,875 square yards of land at a cost of £8,090, so that they were getting 5,575 yards more land for £647 less cash (Applause.)

The shareholders, he hoped, would understand that there was no commission, no watering of stock, or loading of the capital in any shape or form, and that everything in connection with the price was absolutely clean and above board. (Applause.)

The working men of Liverpool represented the backbone of the club, and the directors had always recognised the necessity for providing for them ample accommodation. (Hear, hear)

As to the present financial position, the directors were of opinion that it was such as to warrant the club entering into the contract, and on this question of finance, he thought the shareholders would act wisely if they left the matter in the hands of the directors. (Hear, hear)

They had a ground, of which the club and the Liverpool sporting public should be justly proud, and he hoped that before many years had passed that it would be free from any encumbrance, and be permanently devoted to the cause which they all had so much at heart. (Applause.)

Mr. William Jackson seconded the motion, and after several questions had been asked and satisfactorily answered by the chairman with regard to the finances, the resolution was put and carried unanimously.

The proceedings closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: March 23, 1895)

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