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Everton are currently in the process of hiring their 6th manager in 6-years following the sacking of Rafa Benitez who will surely go down as the Toffee's most disliked manager of all time. With the club hovering above the relegation zone, in the midst of a dire run of form, and genuinely lacking in creativity and leadership, the next manager will be tasked with stopping this great club from getting relegated.
I write this piece from the perspective of an Everton fan, a former season ticket holder, and lifelong bluenose. Those Everton fans old enough to remember the club's last trophy, the 1995 FA Cup, know all too well that it has been far too long since we last had something to celebrate. No team, and I include Everton in that, deserves to win something based on their reputation or history, trophies have to be earned but it doesn't stop fans expecting more from their side, especially when it looks like you have what it takes to mix it with the top teams.
When Farhad Moshiri bought 49.9% of Everton Football Club in 2016, after selling his stake in Arsenal, Toffee's fans thought that they were finally going to have the money behind them to challenge the top four and dared to dream about winning another trophy again. However, as has been proven over the last 6-years, money doesn't guarantee success and can in fact leave you in a worse off position if not used correctly.
I'm going to dig into just why Everton are considered the worst run club in football by many of their fans as I think the neutrals don't see, know or understand just how wrong the club is set up right from the top and how the people with power inside Goodison Park keep making mistake after mistake. Everton are in real danger of being relegated from the top flight for the first time since 1951 and their next managerial appointment will either make or break the club.
Mr Moshiri: The Owner
First off, I have to say that Moshiri has certainly put his money where his mouth is and no Everton fan would disagree that he has splashed the cash since joining the club in 2016. However, the owner of Everton Football Club is guilty of not putting a structure in place that ensures the club follow a specific philosophy that allows the club to sign the types of players needed to build long-term success. Instead, Everton have paid over the odds on transfer fees and wages for players that have no sell-on appeal and end up draining the club of funds as they see out their 5-year-contracts either on the bench or out on loan.
Everton have gone down the route of a Director of Football twice before and on both occasions, the results have been a disaster. Walsh and Brands were probably not the right Director of Footballs for Everton and the majority of their signings prove that but Moshiri is guilty of not allowing those men to run the club using their specific philosophies, instead, the Everton Owner gets far too involved in player signings and manager appointments often clashing with the Director of Football as a result and making a complete mess.
It might sound harsh as Moshiri is clearly a great businessman but he has no idea how to run a football club as most Evertonians realised when he bought the club from Bill Kenwright only to install the West End theatre producer as the club's Chairman, which practically ended any chance of the club creating a new identity. Now we come onto his managerial appointments. Moshiri has handed the Everton job to a selection of managers that simply didn't fit the bill and often weren't wanted by the fans.
The fans don't always get it right when it comes to managers as we saw when Allardyce got the job and saved us from relegation despite not being wanted by the majority of the Toffee's faithful, how we could do with him now to sure up that leaky defence. However, when the owner of your football club is approaching and sometimes appointing managers without consulting the rest of the board or taking into account the view of the fans, you know you are in trouble.
Kia Joorabchian acts like an agent even though he is not licensed and sadly the Iranian-born businessman seems to have influence over Moshiri when it comes to hiring Everton managers. As things stand, the club have recently been linked with Vitor Pereira and Fabio Cannavaro, two candidates for the Everton job that have limited managerial experience in the big leagues of European football and have recently been managing in China.
Both have been suggested by Joorabchian who doesn't care about Everton and just wants to make some money as a middle-man. With Moshiri taking advice from people like Joorabchian and Kenwright, it's no wonder the Everton fans would prefer to see Duncan Ferguson, Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard take the job, despite their lack of managerial experience.
Mr Kenwright: The Chairman
Where to start with old Bill. I grew up watching my team struggle against relegation from the Premier League for years but once Bill Kenwright took over the reins and once we moved into the David Moyes era, I really thought the only way was up and that Mr. Kenwright could do no wrong. Obviously, I was naive and gave Kenwright more credit than he deserved as I was proud to have an Everton fan in charge of the club.
Since Moyes left and following the downfall of Roberto Martinez, it is clear to see that Bil Kenwright should not be at the club anymore, the times have changed but he hasn't. Recently, following the sacking of Benitez, Everton were imminently linked with a sensational return from the now Belgium boss, Martinez. Everyone Everton fan out there knew that this was Bill's idea, the man is stuck in the past and lives in rose-tinted glasses.
Don't get me wrong, Martinez's first season at Everton was fantastic and resulted in our highest-ever points tally in the Premier League but that was just a false dawn. Martinez's sides can't defend and that proved his downfall and towards the end of his time at the club, the Spaniard was hounded out by the fans some of whom paid for a plane to fly over their game against Bournemouth with a banner calling for his sacking, and Bill wanted to reinstate the man!
This proves Kenwright does not have his finger on the pulse. Some Everton fans have been protesting the board and the likes of Kenwright demanding they get out of the club and when asked similar questions following another defeat in the league Kenwright commented, ‘What good what that do?' and went on to say, ‘We've had some good times'. The man lives on another planet and seemingly won't let go of Everton for fear of missing out and clearly can't see the damage he is doing by not letting Everton move on.
Everton need a complete clear-out, starting with the board. Then, we need some structure in place. Go and get Dan Ashworth from Brighton and make him our Director of Football, but let him run the club and deal with managerial appointments. Hopefully, he could temp Potter into making the switch from the south coast as well. Once that is in place, let Ashworth and the manager chose a philosophy for the club which would likely involve the purchase of players below a certain age that are hungry for success and have the ability to be sold on for profit if needs be, much like Brighton and Leicester do things.
Moshiri, at this point, would be able to sit back on his yacht in Monaco reaping the rewards of a successful club that is due to move into a state of the art stadium and perhaps Everton would be in a position to challenge for silverware and regular football in the Champions League. As for Kenwright, he simply needs to be moved on, given some sort of redundant title like ‘lifetime Chariman' which allows him to feel like he is a part of the club but without any of the power or influence to mess things up.
Sadly it doesn't seem like Everton will go down this route and there is a genuine fear that this is the year we will go down. The fear of relegation has been part and parcel of many Everton fans who grew up watching the team during the early to late 90s but this time it feels different. There feels like a lack of desire and fight within the players, not to mention quality, and it is starting to look like maybe it wasn't just the last six managers that were the problem and maybe there is a culture within the players that need addressing. Whatever happens, I, and all the other Everton fans across the globe, will get behind the new manager and pray we have what it takes to stay up and surely then all of these issues will be addressed. COYB!