Everton’s first victory since 25 September on Monday night steadied the ship on Merseyside, but the club remains firmly in a state of transition and disorder.
Ahead of their crucial clash with Arsenal, it was announced that former director of football Marcel Brands had departed the Toffees, citing “a clear difference in the vision and direction” that he and the board wanted to take the club in.
The Dutchman followed Sarvar Ismailov out of the Goodison Park exit door, leaving Chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale and finance chief Grant Ingles as the only remaining board members.
Upon Brands’ departure, it was revealed via a club statement that a “strategic review of the football structure” will take place at Everton, and the Liverpool ECHO reporter Phil Kirkbride has provided an update on the situation.
He wrote: “Everton are planning to find two new board members following the departures of Marcel Brands and Sarvar Ismailov. And the ECHO understands that further additions to the Goodison top table have not been ruled out.”
News that big changes are not expected at Everton will leave large sections of the club’s supporters extremely concerned and may have some calling for more of the hierarchy to depart, given their extensive failings in recent years.
According to TransferLeague, the Toffees have the third-highest net spend on transfers in the Premier League over the last five years, with their £275m outlay only falling behind Manchester United and Manchester City.
However, they have not had the results or any silverware to show for it. In that time, Everton have finished seventh, eighth twice, 10th and 12th, highlighting their huge underperformance both on and off the pitch.
The Blues’ fanbase has been growing ever-more frustrated with the club’s chiefs in recent weeks, unfurling a banner against them at Brentford and chanting ‘sack the board’ during the Merseyside before hosting a walk-out in protest on Monday.
And it’s Kenwright who appears to be taking the majority of the flack. Journalist Richard Buxton highlighted why in a recent tweet, questioning what the 76-year-old actually does behind the scenes.
He wrote: “What is Bill Kenwright’s defined role as Everton chairman? Yes, he’s involved in the day-to-day running but when it comes to the high-ranking decisions (managers, transfers etc) Moshiri’s autonomy renders him little more than a legacy figure with a fancy title.”
Therefore, despite Everton languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table, owner Farhad Moshiri ought to be wielding the axe upstairs once more rather than putting extra pressure on manager Rafa Benitez.
The Merseyside outfit’s issues run far deeper than the person sitting in the dugout on a Saturday afternoon, and unless extensive changes are made, their issues are likely to continue for many years yet.