Everton are a club in turmoil. An extended series of defeats on the back of flat performances has seen the Blues freefall down the table with little or no prospects of improving their fate during this hectic holiday schedule. The supporters’ displeasure, simmering for a few weeks now, boiled over at Goodison Park last night after the heaviest home Merseyside Derby defeat in decades with fans chanting ‘Sack the Board!’ and unveiling the banner from the Brentford game demanding accountability from the club’s leadership.
Chairman Bill Kenwright and Director of Football Marcel Brands were targeted in particular, while other fans even tried to confront the players at full time. Manager Rafa Benitez has also been an unpopular choice with his previous comments about the club from his time as Liverpool boss. While the Spaniard has been dealt a poor hand with injuries and lack of transfer window spending, his reliance on outdated tactics and persistence in using certain players and systems that are not working has come under scrutiny as well.
The club’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is currently in the United States and was not present at the game to view the debacle with his own eyes. Last night or early this morning would have been an excellent opportunity for him to release a statement to the supporters acknowledging their concerns, admitting the club have gotten it wrong, promising to be better — anything really — but instead he fell back on his old ways and spoke to his close friend Jim White at talkSPORT instead of addressing the fanbase directly.
White asked Moshiri via text - “Can you text me a message to the fans? Do you still back Rafa?”
And here is Moshiri’s full response, per White in talkSPORT -
“Yes. Football is about crisis one day and glory the following day. Rafa is a good manager and underperformance is largely due to the injuries.
“Next two weeks, we will get to a full squad and, in the meantime, results will improve.
“Rafa needs time to have his mark on the squad. He will be supported to add depth to the squad. Managers need time.
“I have no doubt that we will have a strong second-half to the season.”
While we can credit Moshiri for a level-headed comment backing the gaffer and not plunging the club back into the cycle of ever-changing managers, it’s this reliance on external media personalities to pass the message that s befuddling to us as fans.
There is no shortage of social media outlets used by the club - why not carry this message through those sources? His text was clearly for the supporters, but was it not supposed to be an official statement? Why do we not have a communication from the club about the general malaise?
Aston Villa have held up as the gold standard in terms of communications between the Board and the supporters, whether it’s transparency regarding the leadership’s vision for the club or the club’s transfer policy. Given a chance to match that for once, Everton and Moshiri have once again missed the opportunity to calm furrowed brows as supporters can only look forward to a what could only be a murky and dogged relegation battle for the rest of this season.