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Everton announce big changes to embattled Board of Directors

As expected, there was going to be a shake-up behind the scenes with new funding coming in

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Here come the changes.

As rumoured from a couple of weeks ago when news came out that MSP was planning to invest in Everton, there has been a shake-up at the club Board level. The new investors are going to be purchasing a significant stake in the Toffees and wanted to have a say in the make-up of the Board, and today the club announced that three senior members of Everton’s leadership are leaving immediately.

Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Finance and Strategy Officer Grant Ingles and Non-Executive Director Graeme Sharp are all out. Given that the club has been wallowing in relegation battles for the last couple of seasons, this comes as no surprise to anyone.

Kevin Thelwell, the Director of Football — long considered a ceremonial position at Everton — will stay on though and hopefully finally be given the remit to do what he was hired to do and lead all footballing matters.

Per the statement, these were the final remarks from the departing executives -

“We have all been fully committed during our time here and are disappointed to have made the decision to leave Everton.

“We have worked tirelessly alongside our Chairman in what has been a challenging period to deliver some of the most significant projects in Everton’s history – projects that will safeguard and sustain the commercial future of the Club for generations to come.

“We are proud of the commercial growth projects progressed during our time on the Board, including the construction of the Club’s new waterfront stadium. This construction project – the largest currently on site in the UK - is progressing at pace.

“The Club’s partnership portfolio has also been increased and diversified, reflected in record commercial partnerships and the expansion of our work internationally.

“In addition to these commercial achievements, we take great pride in the continued growth of the Club’s social programmes and the plans that the Board has put in place for the community-led regeneration scheme at Goodison Park.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as Directors. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us during our time here. We wish the Club we have loved to serve every success in the future.”

West Ham United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Thanks to his theatre background, club chairman Bill Kenwright has a developed flair of the dramatic, and continues to flex that until what might be the bitter end. It appears that there will be a further announcement in 48 hours regarding the interim Board appointments to fill the vacancies, as well as the chairman’s future.

Since the Blues last trophy in 1995, there has been a desperate dearth of success in this storied club’s lifeline and it will be no surprise to see Kenwright’s exit granted these lean times have come under his watch since he joined the Board in 1989.

Regarding the departures of Barrett-Baxendale, Ingles and Sharp, Kenwright added -

“This has been a great Board who have all worked tirelessly for the Club, no matter what the circumstances. My relationship with Denise has been known as one of the closest in football. I thank her for her many achievements, particularly her magnificent work in respect of our new stadium.”

Given that this statement comes from the same person who has previously claimed that leadership of other clubs look up to the Everton Board when in need of direction, his words can certainly be taken with a pinch of salt.

More to come in a couple of days, it looks like.