May 22, 1931
Liverpool F.C.’s storm centre
Shareholder demands poll of members
The Liverpool F.C. had their stormiest meeting last night. Usually, their meetings are placid. The latest meeting, however, was perturbed, and the next word, proxies, was the root cause of the trouble.
One might have been forgiven for believing that this was Everton F.C.’s annual general “bleating.”
Mr. John McKenna, President of the League, attended the meeting to explain his reason for nominating Mr. Stanley Ronald Williams, and referred to his invidious position.
A shareholder, Mr. Lammercraft, demanded a poll. This apparently simple suggestion, or desire, proved the thorn in the meeting, especially when it was found that the election of the evening was postponed, and that it now became necessary to vote either by proxy or personally by attendance at Anfield on Thursday or Friday.
A shareholder pointed out that the chairman, Mr. Thomas Crompton, was reading from a typewritten schedule, and that he and the directors must have known of this demand for a poll, because the dates, Thursday and Friday, were already preconceived. An Anfield meeting for the first time heard such words as “trickery,” “swindle,” “it is all arranged.” “The proposer will be next to be co-opted.”
Proxies an evil
It was an unusual storm, and did not pass over for some time. Eventually Mr. Stanley Ronald Williams made a long speech, asking and calling for support and giving his reasons for desiring a change on the board.
He spoke of “this delay,” and claimed that this would not have happened but for the fact that proxies in favour of the retiring directors, such as Thomas Crompton, Edward Askew Bainbridge and William McConnell, were invalid according to law.
Mr. Williams said, “You have 362 shareholders; only 62, the largest holders, are ever considered. The complaint against me is that I am too young. I am but two years younger than my father was when he joined the board. Proxy voting is an evil. I have 4,000 proxies in my favour, and they are perfectly in order.”
Mr. Williams said that the directors had deliberately co-opted a director in spite of the knowledge of the desires of the shareholders as expressed a year ago.
Thus the Liverpool F.C. election is postponed until next week.
Players for 1931-32
Goalkeepers: Arthur Riley, Elisha Scott, Henry Horsfall (Stockport County).
Full backs: James Jackson, Robert Done, Tommy Lucas, John Charlton.
Half-backs: Tom Morrison, Tom Bradshaw, Jimmy McDougall, Norman James, Bernard Lowery, Alfred Roe, Ted Savage (Lincoln City).
Forwards: Harold Barton, Dick Edmed, Daniel McRorie, Gordon Hodgson, Ted Hancock, Jimmy Smith, Allan Scott, Dave Wright, Archie Macpherson, Gordon Gunson, Harry Barkas.
The chairman announced that Andrew Aitken, the goalkeeper, was still in hospital and had had to have his leg re-broken, and that James Jackson would be able to play about twenty games for the club next season.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: May 23, 1931)
Liverpool have reported a decreased profit of £2,723 on gate receipts amounting to £33,993. Players’ wages and bonuses swallowed up £11,071, and £3,090 was paid away in transfers.
There was a lively scene at the annual meeting on the question of the election of directors, and a poll was demanded. This is to be taken on Thursday.
The retiring directors are Mr. Thomas Crompton, the chairman, Mr. Edward Askew Bainbridge, and Mr. William McConnell, and Mr. John McKenna, the president of the League, has nominated Mr. Stanley Ronald Williams under the impression that the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Albert Edward Berry had not been filled.
(The Athletic News: May 25, 1931)