English Premier League side Everton have appointed a new member – Keith Harris – to their board of directors.
Harris is not a stranger to the club as he has reportedly helped the club’s chairman, Bill Kenwright, on financial issues being a top investment banker. The 63-year old banker has a doctorate degree in Economics, and is a business associate of the club’s owner, Farhad Moshiri.
Dr Harris’ expertise in football finance is likely one the key attributes that earned him his offer into the board. Everton has been reported to be keen on getting a new, bigger stadium in a few years. Harris’ experience in stadium finance would definitely be a plus if the club decides to continue with the idea. He also has a working knowledge of the club having helped the Kenwright with investment advices for twenty years. He was the Chief Executive when HSBC investment bank almost backed Kenwright when he wanted to buy the club from former owner, Peter Johnson. Dr Harris was even involved with the ownership of the club by Moshiri.
Harris met Kenwright through his brother, Tom Kenwright, and Bristol Rovers chair Steve Hamer in the 1990s. Bill Kenwright wanted funding for Everton so Hamer introduced him to Dr Harris who was popular with overseas investors. The partnership has since grown. Most notably on his profile is that Harris is part of the ‘Red Knights’ that wanted to get control of Manchester United – being a staunch United fan – from the Glazer family in 2010. Being an insider already, Evertonians need not fear about power play.
Dr Harrid was on the board of Wembley for six years in the early 2000s. He was instrumental when England wanted to own a national stadium, and would be when Everton feels Goodison Park needs a change.