Everton have in the past few years shown some incompetence with how they have handled public communications. Instead of relying on the club’s perfectly-competent public and media relations department to get messages out, we’ve seen majority stakeholder Farhad Moshiri send Sky Sports’ Jim White text messages in lieu of official communiques.
However, this summer with Dr. Denise Barrett-Baxendale now in charge it looks like things are changing. The accompanying shakeup of the Board and senior positions at the Toffees also shows a new level of maturity aimed at taking the Blues from a side outside the top six to the upper echelons of the Premier League.
The club chose to bypass local media sources and are doing a series with ESPN FC whereby Everton will issue a series of exclusive columns throughout the season through the global sports giant.
In the first of those communications, Chief Executive Barrett-Baxendale talks about the new faces added this summer behind the scenes, and how the club are building an overall football strategy both on and off the pitch.
It is a privilege to lead Everton Football Club as the chief executive in a new Premier League season. I am hugely excited to be in a position to set a path forward that will underline our ambitions for the future, reflect our values as The People’s Club and maintain the motto set out for us by our forefathers - Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
We’ve seen the NSNO slogan bandied about loosely over the past couple of decades, so we’ll wait a little before pronouncing judgement on whether this time it’s for real or not.
It’s also important to me that we make our progress in the right way, the Everton way, and this includes listening, consulting and collaborating on all important club matters.
‘The Everton way’ is another oft-quoted phrase we’ve seen lose its meaning over the years, but certainly the level of supporter and community engagement we’ve seen around the Bramley-Moore Docks stadium project as well as Everton in the Community’s charity work has been excellent.
Chief among my priorities is to structure and resource our Club to fully achieve our ambitions on and off the pitch. To do that we must attract the very best talent to Everton and I believe we have done this by bringing Marcel Brands and Marco Silva to the Football Club.
In Marcel, we have appointed a Director of Football with a proven reputation for developing players and building clubs in technical roles over two decades in Holland. In Marco, we have a modern, forward-thinking coach with Premier League experience who has a record for getting the best out of players. His philosophy fits perfectly with our long-term strategy and we are looking forward to seeing what can be achieved as he works closely with Marcel.
Brands, or ‘Papa Marcel’ as we’ve taken to calling him on Twitter, showed himself to be the peerless wizard of the transfer window with both his additions and subtractions over the summer. Meanwhile, the players haven’t stopped singing the praises of Silva and his intense training methods and personal attention.
We’ve also appointed a new Head of Football Strategy in Richard Battle, who was previously part of the Club’s Academy, and he is working closely with Marcel to develop a wider football strategy for the Club, further strengthening the links between the first-team, the Under 23s and the Academy. When a young player comes through the Academy, we want there to be a clear pathway as part of a wider football strategy.
This is new for the Blues, but more in-line with what we would expect from a club that is looking to become a future superpower. Brands recently stated that at the end of the month when the lower leagues’ transfer window closed he would shift his attention to the youth sides, and has already been present at a couple of Under-23 and and Under-18 matches.
As a Board, we are focused very much on how we can fully realise our ambitions as a club, with a fantastic fanbase and an aversion to settling for anything but the best. Football has changed massively since I joined Everton eight years ago. Clubs are huge, complex organisations, particularly at the top end of the Premier League, so to be competitive we must continue to grow and evolve.
The key to us being able to achieve that is the opportunity to move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. We all love Goodison Park, it’s the most magical place to watch football, but we understand that to be a modern, progressive football club we need the facilities and resources to take us to the next level.
Like any other multi-million pound business, if we’re not growing then we’re decaying and dying. Everton’s new leadership, under the auspices of Moshiri, will no longer settle for being the plucky outsiders who are satisfied with nicking a European football spot here and there. That is the ambition we have always wanted.
This evolution we have seen starting in the last couple of years is a positive sign and as fans we hail the progress we’ve already made, while keeping an eye out for a bigger, brighter future for Everton.