Everton, which is currently in the midst of building a new 52,888-capacity stadium, has announced that chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale has left the club, along with chief finance and strategy officer Grant Ingles.
In a statement released yesterday (Monday) evening, the Premier League club said that an update on interim appointments and the future of chairman Bill Kenwright will be made in the next 48 hours.
Last month, it was widely reported that Everton had reached an agreement for New York-based MSP Sports Capital to invest in the club, which requires funding for its new stadium. Owner Farhad Moshiri said in February that the stadium will come with a £760m (€884m/$955m) price tag – up from a reported £500m – although the club maintained that the cost of the project remains steady.
In April, Everton posted a loss of £44.7m for the 2021-22 season despite generating a turnover of £181m, with work on its new stadium a major contributing factor. Everton only retained its Premier League status on the final day of the 2022-23 season and there has been growing discontent among fans over the running of the club.
Barrett-Baxendale has served as chief executive of Everton since June 2018, having previously been deputy chief executive. Ingles became Everton’s finance director in 2013 and joined the club’s stadium board in 2019.
Everton has also announced that non-executive director Graeme Sharp has left his role. The future of Kenwright, who bought Everton in 1999 and became chairman in 2004, remains unclear.
A statement from the departing directors said: “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.”
In April, Everton and Laing O’Rourke held a ‘topping out’ ceremony at the stadium to mark the completion of the structure as the two parties maintained that the project remained on schedule.