June 18, 1959
Mr. Carey calms the storm at Everton meeting
Everton’s annual general meeting last night was marked by a storm of protest from shareholders over the decision to change their traditional block of seats in the Bullens Road stand at Goodison Park, quelled eventually by a reassurance from chairman Dick Searle that the board would reconsider the matter during the close season and finally soothed to quiescence by the calm measured tones of manager John Carey reviewing past events and talking about the future.
Mr. Carey’s persuasive manner, which works wonders with players also does the trick with shareholders apparently, for his talk brought the meeting to a close after one hour flat, when previous gatherings of this kind have rollicked along for much longer than that.
The only really contentious issue of the evening was over the shareholders seats (to recap here, the facts are that the board had decided some weeks ago to move the shareholders to seats at the end of the Bullens Road stand above the boys pen area, and to sell the prized centre block to season-ticket applicant at seven guineas each).
The reason is finance, to increase greatly the revenue from these seats.
Mr. Barton a shareholder, apparently spoke for the majority of the others when he said the board had acted in a very underhand way on this matter. They had not been told about the decision until a fortnight after members been told of it. The result was he felt, that even if they wished to apply for a seven-guinea seat they would be too late.
Not An Insult.
He felt it was disgraceful that the directors had acted in such a dictatorial way. The shareholders were never consulted and he was sure many of them would be prepared to make up the difference in price to retain their seats.
To this Mr. Searle replied that the club had reserved a block of seats not only for members but shareholders as well, and they could have them at seven, six, or five guineas.
Another shareholder remarked it would have been more in keeping with the tradition of the club if the directors had informed the shareholders before the season ticket holders of the move. Mr. Searle’s comment to that was; “It was a mistake not a calculated insult. We apologies and it will not happen again” (Laughter).
Mr. Searle continued that the decision was taken to bring in more money. He added “We have no money otherwise we would not have to borrow. Without money we cannot buy new players.”
One illuminating fact which had been revealed earlier at the meeting was that the club had a bank overdraft of some £25,000 and an interest-free loan ”from a friend of the club” of about £16,000.
Facts on Seats.
Secretary Bill Dickinson, in reply to another shareholder’s question, then proceeded to shine the hard light of fact upon the seat position. He quoted comparative season tickets bookings for today and this time last year.
Then they had received 1,001 applications today here had been 1,300 with an increase in income of £3,995.
He added that shareholders had been allocated 951 seats in the new block and the revenue from that would be £300.
After other shareholders had accused the board of being dictatorial Mr. Searle ended the discussion on that by assuring them that the matter would be reconsidered.
Before Mr Carey spoke the three retiring directors Messrs Searle, Fred Micklesfield and Jack Taylor were re-elected unanimonuously for three years.
The only nominee Mr. Donald McPhail had withdrawn and this reason sent to the club by letter and read out by Mr. Dickinson were that he had only recently left hospital after an operation and felt he had not had time to inform the other shareholders of his platform and his reasons for his nomination.
Mr. Carey began by reviewing the past season or the two-thirds of it when he had been in control. He said he felt his first job when he took over was to establish stability in the team and he had to decide what he considered to be his best side.
In the task he has the whole hearted support of the directors, the players and the staff at Goodison Park.
Things became a little clearer. He referred particularly to the return of Alex Parker from Cyprus the way he was switched from his position at full back to wing half (“a move which may have surprised many of you”). Parker played nine league games at wing half and four Cup-ties, ”and never once did he have any difference with me over that. He is a very good club man; he is a good player that I think he could play effectively in any position,” Mr. Carey added.
With some six matches left to play in the season the club’s relegation worries had ceased to exist. In all 24 players had figured in the first team for a total number of 38 points one more than the previous season, and finished in the same position, 16th.
The club had now 34 professional players, 29 full time, four part-time and one Derek Temple in the Army. It was hoped he would be released about Christmas.
On the balance sheet, the transfer figures showed a deceit of £35,350. It was obvious from that the club intended to strengthen the team by going into the transfer market at any time for a player likely to suit their requirement.
He went on; “There is one basic policy I believe any club should have the policy of developing young players I can assure you that every attention given to any boy who may be recommended to us. We are trying to develop our own youngsters and I have spent a lot of thought and hard work with them at Goodison Park. I did the same at Blackburn Rovers, work which I believe brought some good results because they won the Youth Cup last season.
“The backbone of any club lies in the amount of players you can produce yourself. I am quite happy with the future prospects at Everton, and many of the youngsters now unheard of will be brought to the forefront as soon as we can possibly get them back.
“I am not suggesting you have to wait until we can do that. You want a good team now. The time to have a team is now and I shall do everything I can to bring that about as soon as possible I feel very confident that we shall do much better next season. “
Mr. Carey was warmly applauded and a shareholder proposed a vote of thanks to him for what he had said the way he had said it and wished him every success in the future. And on that happy note the meeting ended with confidence in the air.
(Liverpool Echo: June 19, 1959; by “Michael Charters”)