Bill Kenwright to stay on as Everton chairman despite supporter protests

Bill Kenwright to stay on as Everton chairman despite supporter protests

Bill Kenwright will stay on in his role as Everton chairman, the Premier League club have announced.

Following the departures of chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief finance officer Grant Ingles and non-executive director and former striker Graeme Sharp last week, the future of long-serving chairman Kenwright had appeared in doubt.

However, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri revealed on Friday morning that Kenwright had accepted his request to remain at the club and help them through a period of transition.

The recent board changes came in the wake of numerous supporter protests, with Kenwright, who has spent 19 years in his current role and is understood to have been planning to step down, the main target for fans’ anger.

“I wanted Bill to remain as our chairman during this important period of transition for the club and I am delighted that he has accepted my request to do so,” Moshiri said in a statement on the Everton website.

“Bill’s knowledge and vast experience will be crucial for us as we look to reset, deliver on external investment and position Everton for a successful future.”

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri with Bill Kenwright (right)
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri (left) will continue to work alongside Bill Kenwright (Martin Rickett/PA)

Everton also announced the appointment of Colin Chong as interim chief executive and director, while James Maryniak becomes interim chief finance officer.

Chong is currently the chief stadium development officer and has been focusing on the move to Bramley-Moore Dock, with Maryniak the club’s director of finance.

“In Colin and James, we have two experienced senior club professionals who have agreed to take on enhanced roles on an interim basis, and who we know can and will deliver immediately,” Moshiri said.

A general view of Everton  new stadium under construction
Everton are planning to move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

As part of the changes, majority shareholder Moshiri will also join the board as a non-executive director alongside John Spellman, an experienced chartered accountant and Everton supporter.

American investors MSP Capital are close to agreeing a deal to buy a stake in the club, possibly up to 25 per cent.

Everton are also facing a Premier League charge for breaching profit and sustainability rules, having made cumulative losses of more than £430million over the last four seasons.