Bill Kenwright has finally taken over as Everton chairman, replacing Philip Carter, who will now be the club’s life president.
Kenwright, vice chairman and club owner, takes over on the day that new chief executive Trevor Birch starts his new job.
A board meeting planned for last week, at which Kenwright’s move was expected to be ratified, was postponed.
But now Carter has decided to resign his position after almost 30 years on the board, with another director – Keith Tamlin – also quitting.
It is an attempt to streamline the club – former chief executive Mike Dunford also left today – and allow Kenwright and the True Blue Holdings group that helped him buy the club five years ago, to have total control.
It also means that with Birch on board, there will be strong efforts made to provide the finances manager David Moyes needs to rebuild the playing side after 14 players were released at the end of the season.
The changes also mean that Carter ends his second spell as chairman after taking over at the end of the controversial Peter Johnson era.
Carter was first in the boardroom hotseat between 1978 and 1991, overseeing an unprecedented run of success and most famously keeping faith with under-fire manager Howard Kendall in the early part of the 80s.
The former chief executive of Littlewoods, he was brought to the club by former owner John Moores.
Tamlin has been a director at Everton since August 1974 and has been heavily involved with the burgeoning youth policy. He now becomes deputy president.
Kenwright told the club’s official website, www.evertonfc.com: “To say that Sir Philip represents a hard act to follow is something of an understatement.
“Through hard times and good times, through thick and thin, he has been there for Everton for the best part of 30 years.
“It is not only a great honour for me to become chairman of a club I have always loved, it is a great honour and a privilege to succeed a man of such stature – a great chairman and the most successful chairman in the club’s history.
“He represents the bedrock on which the modern Everton has been built. I now have the onerous responsibility for ensuring that this great club moves forwards into a new era of prosperity and success.”
One of Kenwright’s first moves as chairman has been to insist that Rangers are wasting their time in trying to lure James McFadden back to Scotland.
The young striker, signed for a £1m (€1.5m) from Motherwell last summer, has been a massive hit on Merseyside and a free-scoring member of the Scotland team.
Rangers lost out to Everton when the 21-year-old moved south, and are believed to be preparing a new bid.
But Kenwright said: “It would not surprise me in the slightest if Rangers, or indeed Celtic, were still interested in McFadden.
“The fact is, we see James as one for the future. I have spoken to David Moyes over the weekend and I know he sees James as a first team pick for next season. I really don’t think we would be interested in selling him.”