Being smarter about being stronger
Ruben Vinagre and Dwight McNeil become our second and third summer signings this week following the arrival of James Tarkovsky. I would like to welcome Dwight, Reuben and James to the club and wish them all the best for their time here.
Our Director of Football Kevin Thelwell and Manager Frank Lampard are working diligently with the support of our Chairman to strengthen the playing ranks of our men's team, operating within a clear financial framework and with sound practicality. And, in terms of practicality, while we were all sad to see Richarlison leave, we got a good transfer fee in the context of the current market for a player who felt the time was right to seek a new adventure.
We understand the frustration felt by many Evertonians, but it is also important that - as our majority shareholder has made clear, and the implementation of our strategic review works to justify - we demonstrate that attention has been paid to learning from previous transfer windows. And we trade smartly to maintain a sustainable squad development model.
As well as the usual transfer rumours, the summer has brought media speculation over the club's ownership.
Mr Moshiri made it clear in his open letter to fans earlier this month that it is prudent for him to seek investment opportunities, but that does not mean his majority shareholding is available for sale. Pragmatism, again, is a keyword. It was also a quality highlighted during the strategic review of our football operations. There is now clear alignment in our footballing strategy - and a defined structure and transfer policy to ensure we build on strong foundations.
Those foundations include hiring talented new staff at Finch Farm as part of a more collegial and collaborative operating structure under Kevin's leadership.
New stadium, new opportunities
As we approach the anniversary of ground breaking at Bramley-Moore Dock, it is an appropriate time to acknowledge the extraordinary work that has been done to bring us to this point. An impressive structure on our city's skyline is starting to take shape, thanks to astute work securing a contract for the remainder of the build that gives us financial certainty in uncertain times.
As we move into the second year of the project, I am pleased to confirm that the sales process for our new home will begin soon. When the evertonstadium.com website goes live in early August, it will reveal the first details of an innovative and unique premium matchday experience at our new home. Those experiences will be the first to go on sale, and include the first experiences ever seen in British football – providing a glimpse into the bold new outlook for matchdays that our stadiums have given us the opportunity to present.
That insight reflects the foresight and spirit within the club that has ensured the stadium project continues apace despite financial constraints affecting the global economy. Advanced building techniques never before seen on a stadium project in this country are used to create the most spectacular arenas of reality in the most challenging locations.
It speaks volumes for the quality of the work done by the club and my team at Laing O'Rourke on the site that the fantastic measures reported every week to keep fans informed are now accepted as the norm. Our commercial team is also building impressively, responding expertly to the difficult circumstances this year - demonstrated not only by record new deals but also by the expansion of more diversified revenue streams internationally.
Our agreement with Stake.com is the highest value front-of-shirt deal in our history and a very global partnership, with Christopher Ward being the club's first global timing partner. In addition, we have several other new deals confirmed and will be announced in the coming weeks. Our aligned international growth strategy has seen us visit the United States twice in the past year, one of our primary regions for engagement, audience and revenue growth, as our Affiliate Clubs and Soccer Camps program expands, and in November, we will tour. Sydney for an exciting tour that replicates the model we implement in the States.
Welcome to our Fan Advisory Board
Myself and Graeme Sharp had the pleasure of holding an introductory meeting with members of the club's inaugural Fan Advisory Board (FAB) in early July. As the threat of the European Super League loomed large last year, I am committed to ensuring that there is a clear framework that gives fans a real voice - not just here at Everton, but across football. The fact that myself and my fellow board members are now in dialogue with the first independently elected FAB in the English game is something we take for granted.
It's a testament to the dedication and focus of all the fans who participated in meetings, workshops, votes and elections to get us to this point. What has been forged is a strong, diverse group built by Evertonians for Evertonians. In addition to our regular engagement with fan forums and various other supporter groups, FAB will give fans a direct route to the board.
We have already encouraged further dialogue with the FAB beyond that first meeting and will soon receive a list of questions from them that we are committed to answering as fully as possible. Of course, there are elements of our strategy and business model that we cannot leave in the public domain. However, we will listen to those questions and answer them as detailed as we can.
We stand with Ukraine
On Friday evening, we will again stand with Ukraine as we are honored to host the first ever Match for Peace on British soil. This fixture will raise vital funds and reinforce our unwavering support and commitment to those affected by the ongoing conflict. That support includes the club, our majority shareholder and chairman contributing to the relief fund, the launch of a text donation service at Goodison last season, and the men's first team wearing the Disaster Emergency Committee's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal branding on their shirt sleeves. For the final 10 fixtures of last term.
If you are heading to Goodison, thank you and enjoy the game.
Finally, as we look to the new season, the end of the previous season gives us the most vivid example of what togetherness and togetherness can achieve. As we strive for more brilliant campaigns ahead, he will again be a truly valuable asset.