June 5, 1895
The annual meeting of the shareholders of the Everton Football Club Company, Limited, was held in the Picton Lecture Hall last evening, when Mr. George Mahon (president) presided over a large attendance.
The balance-sheet was taken as read, on the motion of the chairman, an amendment in favour of its recital receiving very scanty support.
In moving the adoption of the accounts, the Chairman said he thought they were presenting to the meeting a balance-sheet which was nothing short of marvellous, after only three years’ working under the present regime. (Hear, hear.) It must, he contended, command respect both in the sporting and in the commercial world. (Hear, hear.).
Three years ago a guarantee list for upwards of £1,500 was obtained, and to-day they could congratulate themselves upon the fact that not one single penny of that amount had been expended (Applause.) During that period there ad been written off by way of deprecation from the original cost of the fixtures and the preliminary expenses sums amounting to £1,844; in respect of dividends, £148 had been paid; 293 shares had been issued, and they had notwithstanding these items, the sum of £4,000 to the credit of their profit and loss account (Applause.) In other words, during a period of three years they had made no less than £6,319. (Applause.)
The balance-sheets placed before them from time to time were no hole-and-corner-affairs – they were all prepared on straight business lines, setting out, he ventured to think, as fully as those of any football club in the country, the whole of their transactions, both for and against. (Hear, hear.)
There was not a shadow of doubt but that the club now occupied an unquestionably sound financial position. Of course they had had three very successful seasons, but the most pleasing feature of their position was that should adverse circumstances arise in the immediate future they had something to fall back upon without calling upon the shareholders or members for their support.
The balance-sheet spoke for itself, and carried, to his mind, the firm conviction that the directors had been men of business, and had conducted the affairs of the club in an entirely satisfactory manner. (Applause).
He was sorry to see a decrease in the number of season-ticket holders, although he thought that had been amply compensated by the increase in gates. At the same time, he considered that a large number of ticket-holders must be of advantage to any club, being the means of introducing many friends to matches.
Their liabilities to creditors were under £50 – the bulk of this amount being the audit fee – and their outside debts were practically nil, being in respect of unpaid dividends. Their share capital amounted to £1,947, and their happy position was that their total liabilities, including the share capital, were under £2,000, while their assets were sufficient to cover all liabilities three times over. (Applause.)
No avaricious motives prompted the directors in their actions. Their desire was to establish the club on a solid foundation, and to perpetuate the game, assuring such perpetuation by the early purchase of the land, so that in future the club would have no liability in respect of interest. He hoped that after achieving such success in a comparatively few years, they would soon have completed the purchase – the sooner the better for the club and the sporting world.
The liability they had in respect of balance of the purchase money was a matter of no light moment. Other clubs could obtain their grounds practically for an old song, the land in many cases being of trifling value; but they were compelled, from the exigencies of their position, to purchase land in a building part of the town which would before long be part and parcel of Liverpool. He believed the shareholders had an unquestionable security in the land which would always be worth the money paid for it. (Applause.)
He was sorry that with regard to the question of mortgages on the land he was unable to place before them any definite scheme or settlement.
He, however, had no doubt that the committee that had been appointed to deal with the matter would arrange it in a most satisfactory manner before many weeks were over. The theatrical match they held on the ground was perfectly successful, and during the three years, whilst they had been “pocketing” a little “reserve” for themselves, they had not forgotten charitable institutions, and they had handed over upwards of £1,000 to charities. (Applause.)
Another little charity worthy of mention was that carried on during the severe frost which they experienced during the winter. He referred to the soup kitchen. (Applause.) When he told them that there were 12,000 or 13,000 meals supplied they would agree that great good was done. He thought he ought to connect with that work the name of Mr. Coates, who gave such excellent assistance. (Applause).
He was pleased to say that the accounts in connection with that charity were in the happy position of having a little nucleus, there being something like £20 in the bank, which, when a similar occasion arose as during the last winter, would be brought forward and used. (Applause.)
With regard to the land abutting on Mere Lane, he had wondered whether it would be possible, or meet with the approval of the meeting, that that ground might be levelled for bowls, quoits, or something of that sort. (Hear, hear.) He only put it forward as a suggestion.
Speaking of the retiring directors, he remarked that his personal opinions was that if they re-elected them they would be acting wisely, both with regard to the interests of the club and football in Liverpool. In conclusion, he said that he could say that the directors had tried honestly and faithfully to do the business of the club, and they had devoted a vast amount of time to that work. (Applause.)
Mr. Talbot seconded the passing of the accounts.
Questions having been invited, one gentleman asked if the chairman would state to the meeting the amount paid to the players in wages and the amount in bonuses.
The Chairman replied that that question had been discussed at previous meetings, and it had been decided that it would not be wise to give publicly too many particulars as to those matters. (Applause).
Some dissatisfaction was expressed as to the increase in the wages and expenses of groundsmen and trainers, one shareholder remarking that those two items were growing larger every year. The Chairman pointed out that a portion of the ground had been re-sodded during the past year, and that would not be necessary this year. Each of the items referred to had been passed by the grounds committee, and had been expended in the interest of the club.
It was considered by one speaker that it would be advisable, and he moved that in future players receive no bonus, but be paid a larger salary instead. The motion, however, received no seconder, and the balance-sheet was adopted.
On the motion of the Chairman it was resolved to pay a dividend at the rate of 5 per cent. Per annum on called-up capital.
The Secretary, in reply to numerous questions, stated that the following players had been engaged for next season: –
Goalkeepers: Jack Hillman, Cook and William Sutton;
Full-backs: James Adams, Smart Arridge, Bob Kelso, William Macdonald, and Charles Parry;
Half-backs: Dickie Boyle, Billy Stewart, David Storrier, Jack Elliott, Goulding, and Johnny Holt;
Forwards: Bill Williams, Jack Bell, Tom McInnes, Abe Hartley, Edgar Chadwick, Alf Milward, Hill, Harry Reay, Albert Flewitt, William Handford, and Joey Murray.
Dissatisfaction was expressed at the non-inclusion of the name of Richard Williams, among the goalkeepers, and the chairman explained that the injury to his ankle made Williams’s future reliability in goal doubtful. The directors, desirous of treating him and all other players in a fair and generous spirit had arranged to give him a benefit. Having made this statement, the chairman complained that charges of mismanagement had in this and other matters been made against the directors in a rough and uncouth style.
The retiring directors were Messrs. Atkinson, Coates, Clayton, and Griffiths. Numerous nominations were made for the vacancies on the board, the result of the vote, taken by ballot, being the election of Messrs. Clayton, 202 votes; Griffiths, 162; John Davies, 149; and Coates, 131.
A vote of thanks was tendered to the chairman and directorate in an enthusiastic manner, and the proceedings terminated, the directors promising to consider to what use the portion of land abutting Mere Lane could best be applied.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: June 6, 1895)
George Mahon, President Everton F.C.: