June 10, 1907
Liverpool directors give account of their stewardship.
A quiet gathering.
The Liverpool Football Club did not have a gay season, as everyone knows, and towards the close of the tournament the play at Anfield, from the first team was most dis-satisfactory. Yet when the directors met the shareholders last night at the Carlton all passed off quietly, and the meeting by its action showed an appreciation of the difficulties with which the directors had to contend, and at the same time showed their confidence in the board of directors so ably led by Mr. Edwin Berry.
It was not one bit like a football annual, for when the chairman had explained the business and told of the purchase of the ground, followed by elections and a general retrospect by Mr. Tom Watson, the chairman invited questions and the meeting resolved itself into an informal chat.
Various questions were asked, some regarding the strength of the team, some regarding the new stand, and, as was natural, the gentleman wanted information on the announcement made in my column, that Percy Humphreys would sign for the Liverpool. To the latter query Mr. Berry said, “It is not true that Humphreys has signed for us. The club were in negotiation for the Notts County player, but there was a limit beyond even the Liverpool Club, and Humphreys had gone to Leicester Fosse.”
The directors, I learn, certainly thought they had got the transfer of Humphreys settled. Notts must have received something like £600 for the transfer to Leicester. Upon this several shareholders expressed the opinion that the club should not stand at one or two hundred pounds for the purpose of strengthening the team. It was all very well building stands, but “what was the use of building houses if they could get no one to live in them?” The Chairman replied that the directors should stick at the expenditure if it became necessary to strengthen any department of the team.
There were many other conundrums, but Mr. Berry, in his usual quiet and courteous manner, answered all satisfactorily, and the shareholders who popped the first question took particular trouble later on to mention he did so in no spirit of animosity; in fact he asked to be allowed to second the thanks which Mr. Simon Jude had proposed be passed to the directors for their work during the season.
Mr. John McKenna especially thanked the chairman, who expressed the hope that the club would have an excellent season, and eventually top the League and win the Cup.
Mr. Tom Watsom chatted upon the past season’s record, and held out bright prospects for the fast approaching season. He laid stress on the misfortunes of the club, Alex Raisbeck, Maurice Parry, besides others being laid up for long periods. Alf West, they would be glad to hear, was now quite well. West was anxious to play during the last month of last season, but the directors thought it was better that he should have a complete rest, and resume with the new season.
Manager “Tom” is quoted often time as saying that the club is either right at the top or right at the bottom. Last night he gave vent to his feelings on this point and described it as becoming beyond a joke. He hoped that the men would always strive to be, and the top of the division, and if they failed in that high ambition that they would hold an honourable place. He reminded them that the club had gained very high honours in the football world considering the number of years they had been in existence.
If Raisbeck had been playing, said Mr Watson, Liverpool would not have been knocked out of the English Cup by the ultimate winners, Sheffield Wednesday. He especially hoped that in the coming season greater consistency would be observed.
With regard to the players they had signed on they had as goalkeepers Sam Hardy, Ned Doig, and Edward Husbands, and as backs Percy Saul, Alf West, Billy Dunlop, Harry Griffiths, Tom Rogers (a promising player from Rossendale) and Harry Wightman (an amateur from New Brighton). The half-backs were practically the same as last season, and the forwards also were practically the same. They had engaged Allan Ramsay, who had the makings of good player, and who played a splendid game against them at Oldham in the Cup-tie, and an ex-soldier named Harry Fitzpatrick, who had been playing for Luton, and who, they hoped, might possibly follow in Sam Raybould’s shoes. Then they had also engaged Joe Hewitt (of Middlesbrough), Sam Bowyer (about whom they had great hopes), and Mike Griffin (of Darlington).
The new stand to be erected on the side where at present the Press-box is situated will, it is hoped, be completed by October, and this statement will answer a number of correspondents’ inquiries which were about when the club’s fixture list was published. Few could understand why the first team were booked for many away engagements in the first six weeks. It is apparent that the directors wanted to get the full benefit out of the new stand. It was only yesterday that he directors entered into a financial arrangement which will result in the putting up of a new grand stand.
The receipts last year were £2,000 less than the previous one, and an analysis shows that it was the new stand receipts that were £2,000 less. The club have arranged a loan of £3,000. Those lending the money are willing to take half the stand receipts in payment of loan and interest until the whole of the stand was paid. A most satisfactory arrangement.
There were two other important items. On the proposition of Mr. William Coward Briggs, seconded by Mr. John Asbury, a dividend at the rate of 5 per cent was declared. The chairman announced that no eligible nominations of a director had been sent in, and he, therefore, declared the retiring directors, Messrs. John Fare, John James Ramsay, and William Robert Williams, duly elected, amid applause.
Among those present at the meeting were Raisbeck, looking much better in health; and Dunlop, whom the chairman fittingly eulogised.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: June 11, 1907)
Liverpool F.C. during the 1906/1907 season (image from http://www.lfchistory.net).