Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has apologised to the club’s fans for mistakes made during a disastrous 2021-22 season.
The Toffees very nearly lost their top-flight status but for a late surge in form, culminating in that dramatic 3-2 comeback win against Crystal Palace in their final home match of the season.
A litany of mistakes in the transfer market and succession of poor managerial appointments led them to that point – but Moshiri has promised change.
“Whilst there is no denying that it was an amazing night when we turned around a 2-0 half-time deficit to secure a sensational victory and guarantee a 69th successive season in the top tier of English football last season, it should not be allowed to disguise the fact that we have underperformed in what proved to be a very challenging campaign.
“Mistakes have been made and for that I want to apologise to all of you. It has not been good enough and we need to do better.”
Moshiri acknowledged the role Evertonians played in the club’s survival bid, with Toffees supporters putting their frustrations with the club to one side and roaring the team on during a frantic closing weeks of the season.
“You have given us incredible support that helped us over the line when we most needed it, and we must repay that support and show that lessons have been learnt.
“More than any other club in England, Everton is the club of its people, its community and its fans, and always will be.”
The most encouraging words from the owner was his commitment to securing funding for Bramley Moore Dock and a determination not to repeat mistakes in the transfer market.
The club’s new waterfront stadium is one of the few positives to emerge from the club in recent years but the Toffees have yet to publicly announce funding for the rest of the construction, while years of wasteful spending has seen the club wrack up huge losses while making the playing squad weaker.
“I am committed to securing the future success of the club by delivering a fully-funded stadium that will underpin our status as a leading club. Our new stadium project at Bramley-Moore Dock has reached an exciting and landmark stage as it emerges from the ground, with the four main cores now in place.
“Of course, the stadium alone will not help us achieve our objectives and we are committed to not making the same mistakes again including how we have not always spent significant amounts of money wisely.”
A number of fans will be disappointed to find no mention of change at board level, which has been called for by several supporters groups.
Moshiri did though point to the findings of the much-vaunted ‘strategic review” which has resulted in several staff changes including the appointment of Frank Lampard as manager and Kevin Thelwell as director of football.
He also confirmed that Everton had offered Dynamo Kiev at friendly at Goodison to raise funds to support Ukrainians during the ongoing war in the country.
Moshiri has rarely spoken publicly since taking over Everton so this statement is a welcome step in the right direction as everyone looks to recover from a bruising season.
The fans wanted to see greater communication as evidence the board was listening and will hope this signals the start of change.
It may not go as far as some would wish but there is at least an apology and acknowledgment mistakes have been made over recent years.
Evertonians accept those mistakes will take a long time to rectify, but as long as there appears to be a clear plan and strategy, they are prepared to (once again) be patient.
The true test will be whether those words are followed up by positive actions over the summer transfer window.