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Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 15:56 GMT
Kenwright realises Goodison dream

Johnson is a widely disliked figure at Goodison


Theatre impressario Bill Kenwright formally took ownership of Everton football club on Tuesday.

Kenwright tabled his 20m offer to buy the 68pc controlling interest in Everton held by former chairman Peter Johnson.

The bid was made after Kenwright's legal advisors Grant Thornton completed their scrutiny of the club's accounts.

It means Johnson is now formally committed to selling his stake at 857 per share having already shaken hands on the deal.


Everton: new era
Everton Chairman, Sir Philip Carter said "We are all delighted at today's announcement which will hopefully herald a new era at Everton Football Club, when we can all unite and restore this Club to its former glory".

Under the terms of the deal there will now be a general offer to all Everton shareholders.

The club's board of directors, which has supported Kenwright's move, has indicated that they will not be taking up their options to sell their shares.

Johnson's departure has been long-awaited by Everton's long-suffering fans.

The mutual distrust began in the 1997 season and intensified in November 1998 when it emerged Johnson had sold striker Duncan Ferguson to Newcastle behind the back of manager Walter Smith.

Johnson resigned as chairman as a result and placed the debt-ridden club on the market but was unable to find a buyer.

Since then he has rarely set foot in Liverpool preferring to stay in his Jersey home.

He was forced to sell Everton, the club he beat Kenwright to buy for 10m in 1993, for less than his 50m asking fee partly because of Football League rules banning dual ownership.

He is still a majority shareholder in another Merseyside club, First Division Tranmere Rovers.

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See also:
24 Dec 99 |  Football
Smith extends Everton contract
16 Oct 99 |  Football
Everton takeover bid accepted
30 Nov 98 |  FA Carling Premiership
Everton chairman Johnson quits
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.