Everton F.C.: The annual meeting of 1944


June 16, 1944
Three in one dividend?
One of the main reasons why Everton Football Club did not pay a dividend this year was because the cost of the vouches and sending of them would have been more than the sum total of the dividends.

But …. the shareholders will lose nothing. As I forecast some weeks ago, the directors have in mind a plan, which, with the contest of the shareholders, will bring three years’ dividends in one next year. This was done a year ago, but now dividends for 1943 and 1944 are in hand. Mr. Bill Gibbins, the chairman, and Mr. W.R. Williams revealed this idea at last night’s annual meeting of the club, which was one of the shortest on record.

The meeting lasted only 17 minutes, and only one question was asked. This came from Mr. Alex Lomax, who wanted to know what the directors intended doing with the sum of £253 standing in the balance-sheet as “unclaimed dividends”. Mr. Lomax suggested that it might be given to charities. The unclaimed dividends actually increased by £37 in the last year, and I can assure all shareholders that they would be helping the club by putting in their claims right away. My advice is for all shareholders to pick up this idle money and make use of it.

Sound Position.
That the Everton club is in a sound financial position was emphasised by Mr. Gibbins, who said that with amounts being written off each year for depreciation in a few years’ time the high stands, buildings and property would stand at about a pound in the balance-sheet. Our last playing season was hardly as good as we would have wished,” said Mr. Gibbins, “but accidents to players and representative match calls contributed to that. “Lawton and Mercer were each taken for 16 international of Services matches, Stevenson for six, and Tommy Jones for three, while we were deprived of the services of Stevenson, Tommy Jones, Billy Lowe, and Tatters for long periods because of broken limbs.

“However, we discovered several promising young players who give us valuable service later on –players like Grant – a great player in the making – Lowe, Wainwright, Tatters and Doyle. “We could have shown a good profit, but the directors preferred to pay out the £5,243 in benefits to players, and I think it was a good policy. The Benefits were debts of honour, and they will make the younger players realise that Everton, at any rate, keeps faith with its players.”

Accounts showing a loss of £2,466 were adopted the three retiring directors –Messrs Bill Gibbins, G. Evans, and W.R. Williams – were re-elected unopposed; Messrs T. Theo Rogers, Bowler and Co were re-appointed auditors, and Mr. Albert “Alf” Denaro paid high tribute to the good work of the directors and Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly. Mr. Gibbins added a word for Mr. Kelly and his staff. “Mr. Kelly is back on full-time employment with the club,” said Mr. Gibbins, “and believe me he is giving his all to the club.”

The one sad note at the meeting was the chairman’s reference to the sad loss the club had sustained in the deaths on active service of two young players – Billy Sumers, and Brian Atkins.
(Evening Express: June 17, 1944)

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‘Not entirely pleased”
Everton’s F.C.’s annual meeting, which was held at the Law. Association rooms last night, Mr. Gibbins, the chairman, said: “We are not entirely pleased with the balance-sheet, for we lost money, but there were extenuating circumstances.  We could have showed Profit had we not decided to pay players their benefits. This took sum (£5,245), but I am sure will reap the benefit.

The directors also decided to defer the payment a dividend until next year.   As regards the playing side of the club.”  Mr. Gibbins. ”we had misfortune in injuries to Lowe, the outside right who broke his leg when showing excellent promise.  Alex Stevenson and T.G. Jones.  Had not Jones been injured we might have gone further in the Lancashire Cup than we did.”  “The calls by Service teams and international were exceptionally heavy Lawton and Mercer were called upon sixteen times and T.G. Jones three.  Futhermore we had great difficulty in getting first class guest players.  As against that we had made one or two discoveries.”

The retiring directors, Messrs,  W.C. Gibbins, G. Evans, and W.R. Williams, were re-elected.
(Liverpool Daily Post: June 17, 1944)

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