Everton FC board members stand down after months of protests by fans

 Everton ground and flag

A number of directors have left their roles at Everton FC after months of protests from fans.

Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Finance and Strategy Officer Grant Ingles and Non-Executive Director Graeme Sharp have all left the club effective immediately.

A statement from the club said the outgoing directors had "worked tirelessly over recent months to assist with the preparation for a transition to a new Board".

They added: "The Club is very appreciative of this generous accommodation, which is both characteristic of them, and entirely in the spirit of the best values of our Club.

The departing Directors said they were "disappointed" to have left the club, adding it had "been an honour and a privilege to serve."

It follows months of protests by disgruntled fans who were unhappy with the club's ownership and called on owner Farhad Moshiri to bring in "experienced professionals who can reverse the club's decline and make the necessary changes to make Everton competitive once more".

Former Everton captain Alan Stubbs also called for "major changes from boardroom level down" after the club scraped Premier League survival.

The Toffees narrowly avoided relegation with a win on the final day of the season, beating Bournemouth at home.

A statement from the outgoing directors said: “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.

Everton's owner Farhad Moshiri (L) and chairman Bill Kenwright have been heavily criticised. Credit: PA Images

“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.”

Chief Executive of Everton Denise Barrett-Baxendale. Credit: PA

Everton said a statement will be made about interim appointments and the future of the Chairman in the next 48 hours.

In the meantime, Chairman Bill Kenwright said: “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.”