Everton director Alexander Ryazantsev has spoken out following the confirmation of Ronald Koeman as the new manager. Ryazantsev, who commonly goes by the first name of Sasha, was interviewed by evertontv and spoke in glowing terms of the Dutchman who met the press for the first time on Friday.
“There is such a big concentration (of big clubs) in the north west that we could not have fallen behind. It was very important to appoint someone of that stature at the Club.
“We have always said that Ronald was our number one choice. It took us a while to get him but we have absolutely no doubt that we have made the right decision.”
The Blues would have been keen to ensure they do not become one of the forgotten as Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have all appointed high-profile managers in recent times.
Ryazantsev also commented on chairman Bill Kenwright, saying he embodied the Evertonian spirit and that the new manager would have to be someone who understands that, and characterizes it as well.
“Bill Kenwright is a passionate man. He is the driving force and has been for many years. Of course he is an Evertonian and it is very important for us to keep that culture.
“We very much hope that the new manager will be the guardian of that culture as well. We want to move forward as a big Everton family.”
The Russian is considered to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of majority owner Farhad Moshiri. He is a member of the retooled Everton board, along with Kenwright, Robert Elstone and Jon Woods. Moshiri does not sit on the board himself, along the lines of other owners like Roman Abramovic (Chelsea) and Joe Lewis (Tottenham).
Instead, his long-term business associate Ryazantsev overlooks day-to-day activities at the club and has been the billionaire’s ‘finance man’, having held ranking jobs at Royal Bank of Scotland and Dutch and ABN AMRO Bank in the past.
Everton have tended to keep information close to the vest in the past, so it will be interesting to see if the Russian will continue to be in the limelight going forward, or if this conversation with evertontv was just a one-off.