Liverpool F.C.: The annual meeting of 1959

July 3, 1959
Liverpool F.C. chairman Thomas Valentine Williams (T.V. Williams) told the shareholders at the annual meeting last night that everything would be done to produce a team capable of taking the club into the First Division next season.

In hos review of last season e said that at the beginning of March the team was in a strong challenging place but only five points were taken from the next five games. Then in the first half of April, the players struck a bad patch with the result that the team finished in the fourth place – the same as the previous season.

“So far as next season is concerned, we all know that some first team positions need strengthening and duplicating. Endeavors are being made to secure the right type of player. Substantial offers have been made without success so far.

“Recently we tried to sign the man we considered to be the best wing in England, but he refused to live in Liverpool and the only player we want is the man who will train at Anfield,” he said.

Manager Phil Taylor gave the names of all the re-signed players and mentioned in particular Des Palmer, who was signed from Swansea last season. He said that Palmer was injured in his second game for Liverpool and it looked it looked at one time as though a cartilage operation would be necessary.

Fortunately he recovered from that and during the present close-season he had been training every day to get fit. Then a fortnight ago he twisted his knee in training and has had to have an operation for the removal of two cartilages from his right knee.

He said how disappointed the players, staff and himself had been in failing to gain promotion.

The chairman added: “I can tell you that no one was more disappointed than the players or myself.”

Mr. Eistenwater, a shareholder, asked why it was thought necessary in January to appoint a new coach (Mr. Reuben Bennett) when the team was having its best spell of success during the whole season. The team was doing very well, he said, under the coaching of Phil Taylor and Bob Paisley.

“For no reason anyone could see the club then signed a coach no one had ever heard of outside Scotland.

“Since his appointment we as shareholders and spectators have seen nothink materially of benefit from the new coach.

“I believe, and many others with me, that the downfall of the team followed the dropping of Billy Liddell. I feel the rest of the players did not want to play with him because possibly of some dissension in the dressing rooms.”

Best coach
Mr. Williams replied that the decision to appoint Mr. Bennett was taken in October after the humiliating 5-0 defeat at Huddersfield. After that game the board felt that the Club should have the best coach in Britain at Anfield. The man they wanted became manager of Tottenham (Bill Nicholson) so they went for the best coach in Scotland – Mr. Bennett.

Mr. Bennett agreed to come to Anfield but could not move until January.

So far as Liddell was concerned the decision was taken to drop him because of reports they had received on both home and away performances of the team.

He could state empathically that there was no dissension in the dressing rooms over Liddell.

A shareholder: “Isn’t it about time you signed some players? We get the same old story year after year. You don’t do anything to strengthen the team.”

Mr. Williams: “We do want new players and we are searching all the time for them but other clubs have just as much trouble as we do in finding them. Last season we offered an open cheque for the best player in Britain but his club would not accept it.”

Asked to name the player, Mr. Williams refused.

A chance
Another shareholder, Mr. W.H. Bodley, pleased with the board to stop switching players out of their true position and to give reserves a chance in the first team in their proper place. Far too often, he said, first team players were moved about and the reserve ignored. This was very frustrating for the boy concerned, and there were several good youngsters on the staff who should be given their chance.

Mr. Williams said that the Football League had given permission for clubs to increase the minimum 2s entrance charge and it was probable that some of the terracing at Anfield would have to have a higher admission rate than before.

Messrs. Herbert Robson Roberts, Harry Latham and Tom Parker, the retiring directors were re-elected.

Mr. Roberts, the vice-chairman, said that the board had unanimously re-elected Mr. Williams as chairman for next season.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: July 4, 1959)

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