Everton F.C.: The annual meeting of 1897


June 11, 1897
The annual meeting of the Everton Football Club Limited, was held last evening, in the Picton Lecture Hall, Williams Brown Street. Dr James Baxter presided over a fairly large attendance, of shareholders and there were on the platform Messrs, Brooks, Edward Askew Bainbridge, William Cuff, Crawshaw, William Clayton, Davies, Kelly, Prescott, and Molyneux (Hon Secretary) and Messrs, Boater, and Sherlock, Messrs Theodore Rogers and co.

The report and balance sheet, which have already been published were submitted to the meeting and adopted unanimously without discussion. On the motion of the chairman, a dividend of 5 per cent was declared, and Messrs. Theodore Rogers and co, were re-selected auditors.

Before the elected of directors to fill the three vacancies, a shareholder asked for a return of the attendances of the directors during the last season. Mr. Molyneux said there had been 48 meetings of directors, Mr. Crawshaw has attended 48, Mr. Davies 47, Dr Baxters 45, Mr. Kelly 45, Mr. Prescott 43, Mr. Clayton 39, Mr. Cuff 35, Mr. Brooks 30, Mr. Bainbridge 28, and Mr. Latham attended 23 out of 34 meetings.

Mr. Wade (a shareholder) moved: – that three directors be choose from the board of directors to selected and look after the league and cup tie teams for the ensuing season’s he did so because none of them were satisfied with the result of the league matches, one of their weakness was having to many directors to look after the cup and the league team for the ensuing season.

Mr. J. Baxter supported the suggestion, he said that last trip to London was a disgrace, and brought discredit on the Everton Football Club.

There was some reason for the strike of the players (Hear hear). The team was evidently badly managed, and the wrong men in charge of them. The general opinion was that the Everton Football Club players were the most gentlemanly and best-behaved body of the footballers that could be found, and there must be some reason for their strike at London. He deprecated that action which ensued Milward to have to play five matches, and to have only a few hours to get to Scotland, after being selected to represent his country in the International match.

Milward’s changes of securing a well-earned honour should have been facilitated. Mr. Clayton said he wished to stand up and speak for two of his colleagues in just as friendly a manner as the gentleman who had sat down, had criticised them. The speech of the gentleman he might had been made for want to know-ledge.

Mr, Molyneux the secretary and Mr. Crawshaw and Mr, Bainbridge, two of the directors went to London along with the team, who played a series of matches. two of the players, struck or created a riot, but when he told them that these two players afterwards came of their own free will, before the whole body of directors, and apologised for what they had done.

It would be seen that voluntary admission of error, completely exenterated the two gentlemen, who went with the team (applause and questions).

There were present during the proceeding to which he referred three independent and impartial witnesses. The shareholders, know that whenever the press had an opportunity of stating the Everton Football Club, they had no failed to do it, but the three representatives who were present during the whole of the proceeding unanimously gave their verdicts as independent spectators that the players were entirely wrong and directors in the right (applause).

A number of misconceptions had also risen reason’s Milward having signed for a neighbouring club, and engagement with New Brighton Club was entirely £5. The Everton directors offered him the princely terms they were giving others, but the neighbouring club came and offered him £60 in cash additional the Everton Football Club does not give one penny as a bonus to an old player and therefore Milward had gone to New Brighton Club.

Mr. Clayton also referred to the finances, asserting that every penny taken in gate money or otherwise had been duly accounted for. Mr. Parter though, Milward must have had grounds for acting as he did.

The Chairman said that Alf Milward admitted that he had no right to take the law into his own hands. He was selected to play at London, because they could not put eleven players on the field, owing to some of the team having got hurt.

Alf Milward, Everton (Lloyd’s Weekly News: January 17, 1892):

A shareholder though that some explanation ought to be given by the directors, who accompanied the team. Mr. Crawshaw rose with the intention of making a statement, but his reception by a section of the meeting being somewhat unfavourable, he resumed his seat.

The chairman remarked that it was scarcely fair, after having invited Mr. Crawshaw to speak not to listen to him (hear Hear). A shareholder said it was not necessary to hear Mr. Crawshaw it must not be supported that in any differences between the directors and the players, the directors must be wrong and the players right (loud appause).

The following were announced by Mr. Molyneux the names of the following players for next season:
Goalkeepers: Rab Macfarlane, Willie Muir.
Backs: Peter Meehan, David Storrier, George Barker, Alex McConnell, and William Balmer.
Halfbacks: Dickie Boyle, Johnny Holt, Billy Stewart, McKinley, Gillan, Jack Robertson, Dougal, Teddy Hughes.
Forwards: Jack Taylor, Abe Hartley, Edgar Chadwick, Lawrence Bell, John Divers, Bill Williams, John Cameron, Littlejohn, Schofield, John Chadwick, Jack Elliott.
(Liverpool Daily Post: June 12, 1897)

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