Marcel Brands has insisted he will not be solely responsible for transfers at Everton.
The Dutchman joined the Blues as their new Director of Football last week and has been tasked with implementing the kind of strategy that saw him flourish at former club PSV Eindhoven.
His time at the club saw them make a number of smart moves in the transfer market, signing the likes of Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum and Kevin Strootman for low fees before selling them on for major profit.
It is his ability to identify top talent that attracted Farhad Moshiri, who was left unimpressed by the work of former Director of Football Steve Walsh. The Blues spent big under Walsh last summer but a raft of big money signings failed to impress last season, with several likely to leave this summer.
Brands has been tasked with overhauling the squad but insists that he will not be solely responsible for Everton’s transfer business in future (quotes from the Liverpool Echo) -
”I have never taken a transfer decision in 20 years as a football director on my own.
“I always do it with the coach and I always do it with my staff and the scouts, because I think it is important that scouts are involved in every new player that comes in.
”That keeps them hard working, that keeps them motivated but I also always want to see the new players that come in.
”In the past 20 years, sometimes it is very difficult and it is very busy and it makes for crazy weeks, but I want to see them all before they come in because we spend a lot of money and there is a lot of money going on in English football and, of course, we have to spend the money we have in the right way.”
The Dutchman also spoke about his vision for what his role entails, a feature that likely impressed Moshiri after the disjointed policies of last summer.
“It means that everything that has to do with football is going through me,” the Liverpool Echo has him saying.
“I am responsible not only for the first team, but for me it’s very important to look after the youth academy.
“It’s important to build a structure with the scouting, the youth academy, with the staff for a longer period.
”So you will not see my work yet. Of course everyone is focusing on this summer’s transfer market but that’s only part of the job.
”You will not see me on the pitch or interrupting in the starting XI because that’s the job of the coach. But I will look more to build structure behind the scenes not just for one year but for five, six, ten years.”
| Marcel Brands’ first day with the Blues… Let’s get to work! pic.twitter.com/kBIs25Ijpc— Everton (@Everton) June 1, 2018
The footballing model involving a Director of Football is one that is still new to England, and there has been some hesitation on the part of Everton fans to buy into it, especially after Walsh’s apparent failures last season.
“In a lot of countries it’s (Director of Football model) is normal - in Germany and Holland, for instance. England is one of the countries where there is still a lot of resistance.
“But if you see nowadays what a manager has to do and the size of the staff - 20 people or more and more than 25 players - you are busy with that job 24 hours a day.
”It’s impossible to build as structure around you and be able to look at the youth academies and that kind of thing. You think how much money clubs put into their youth academies and the coach is only concerned with the first team? That’s not the best structure to get the best results out of everything.
“I think it’s a logical step. And Marco is a young coach. The new generations of coaches will be more used to working with a football director.”
At 56 years old, Brands has seen quite a bit during his footballing career, and emphasizes structure as one of the key points in a club’s successful development.
“We are going to look at every department and try to do the changes that are necessary. But first of all I would like to work with the people because I think there are a lot of good people here. I think the only thing they need is a litle bit more structure. And I will work on that.
“The structure of the club is very important. The culture of the club here is a little bit similar to PSV, because it is also very family orientated. In Holland Ajax is, from the outside, a little bit more like a business club but PSV is more like a family club and I have the feeling Everton is also like that.
”I think I will fit very well in a family club because I am a person who likes to do things together.
”When I had my last day at PSV I had a video for the supporters and the last thing I said to them was that I was happy that the supporters at PSV were proud after eight years and that’s the most important thing I want to achieve here.”
Marcel Brands comes off as a veteran who has seen it all before, and is exactly what this club needs. He appears to be soft-spoken, but is very clear in his mission and what he needs to do to execute his plan. One can only hope that Everton have learned from the missteps of the past and will back Brands and Silva as they go about building this club back up to the great levels we have seen before.