When the announcement was made yesterday that Everton had agreed to form a Fan Advisory Board this season and also have supporters represented at the club’s Board meetings, the casual fans could be forgiven for asking themselves “Who are the Everton Stakeholder Steering Group?”
After all, we are quite familiar with the club’s various affiliated branches for supporters, and readers of Royal Blue Mersey will be well-versed in the activities of the Everton Fans Forum primarily due to member Tony Sampson who has stopped by the blog and the podcast in the past.
Here is their press release that went out parallel to the club’s media briefing (which you can read here) to help shed more light on the stellar work they have done to let the voices of supporters like you and me to be heard at the highest levels within the club.
The Everton Stakeholder Steering Group (ESSG) and Everton Football Club have agreed to strengthen the voice and influence of supporters at the highest levels of Everton – by establishing a new Fan Advisory Board by the end of the 2021/22 season and ensuring fan representation at Everton Board meetings.
The (ESSG) came together in the wake of the failed attempts at a European Super League and ahead of the Government Fan-Led Review to develop proposals for effective fan representation at Board level at Everton Football Club.
Last month, the ESSG met with Everton CEO, Denise Barrett-Baxendale and senior club officials to share its recommendations which included:
· Fan Directors on its Board who are accountable to, and elected by, Everton supporters; and
· A Fan Advisory Board (FAB) representing the diversity of the fanbase to ensure that the interests of Everton fans are considered in strategic decision making.
The proposals were drawn up after the ESSG considered the views of Evertonians through a series of stakeholder workshops, independent online forums and the results of a survey undertaken by Everton Football Club, which captured the views of over 10,000 Evertonians.
The ESSG will now develop a Terms of Reference for the FAB, that will set out its purpose and aims and an independent process for electing its members; including supporters who are not part of affiliated fan groups. The ESSG will then work with the club to ensure that the FAB will work within Everton’s Articles of Association; ensuring the FAB’s ability to engage, be consulted and influence strategic issues.
Everton has also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring fan representation at Board meetings. It is proposed that the FAB will develop further detail about how this will come into effect, as one of its first priorities when operational in the summer. Fan representation at Board level received 80% support and the creation of the FAB (supporter committee or custodian group) got 91% backing from the 10,000 Evertonians who responded to the club’s survey in the summer of 2021.
Jazz Bal, Chair of the ESSG said: “When developing our proposals the clear message from Evertonians was they wanted supporters to be represented at the highest levels of our Club, something that has also been echoed by the Club in our meetings with them.”
“The ESSG is pleased that the Club has accepted our proposal to create a Fan Advisory Board that will consult on key strategic matters that impact supporters and ensure that there will be fan representation at Board meetings.
“We’ll now be inviting views from Evertonians over the coming weeks to get their input on how we can make these proposals a reality and strengthen the voice and influence for supporters.”
The ESSG will be consulting with Everton fans about the composition of the FAB, its purpose and process for establishing it in February. Further information about how Evertonians can get involved in the consultation will be published shortly.
Like we commented yesterday as well, the more weary Evertonian will likely be unimpressed by this news, but this is a big step towards the accountability we have all been asking from the club’s leadership as well as the entire organization living up to the club’s motto - Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
For further information about the ESSG, please contact Jazz Bal at Jazz.Bal@EvertonFansForum.com
The ESSG website is essg1878.info
The ESSG comprises representatives from the following supporter and stakeholder organisations:
· Everton Disabled Supporters’ Association
· Everton Fans’ Forum
· Everton Football Club Shareholders’ Association
· Everton Football Club Supporters’ Club Committee
· Everton Heritage Society
· Everton Overseas Supporter Groups – Asia Pacific
· Everton Overseas Supporter Groups – Europe
· Everton Overseas Supporter Groups – North America
· Everton Supporter organisations that are members of the Football Supporters’ Association
The ESSG will cease to exist once the FAB is established and members elected.