In the immediate aftermath of the Premier League’s unprecedented ten-point deduction levied on Everton, the club’s interim chairman and head of the new stadium project Colin Chong released a strongly-worded statement protesting the ruling.
Earlier today however, Director of Football Kevin Thelwell spoke out as well, adding that the statement he was making was on behalf of the manager Sean Dyche and the playing squad.
Given the events of the last week, I felt it was important I share with you the thoughts of myself, Sean and all the staff and players here at Finch Farm as we prepare for the return to Premier League action this weekend.
Colin’s video message last Friday echoed my views and the sentiment of everybody here at Finch Farm. We are shocked by what we believe is a wholly disproportionate and unjust ruling by the Premier League’s commission.
We cannot say anything further on the commission’s findings until the conclusion of the appeal process - and the players and manager cannot be drawn on any specifics relating to the commission’s ruling in the media duties they will be fulfilling in the days and weeks ahead.
But the clear and tangible impact on our league position because of that ruling is clear to see in the Premier League table. We return to action five places lower than the 14th position held following our hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The three points from that victory may no longer be accounted for in the table - nor seven other hard-earned points amassed during this season. But what does remain in place is the unity, focus and determination that helped earn those points on the field of play - now supplemented by the additional fuel of what we believe is a wholly disproportionate ruling.
We are rallying in the face of a sporting sanction in the only way we can - and that is our focus and hard work in supporting the team in delivering to their fullest on the pitch.
Thelwell went on to talk about the support that the club has received from the fanbase, and that the players remain firm in their commitment and togetherness on the pitch.
Everton is a special football club. It is a special football club because of its people - our players, staff and fans.
We go into this weekend having secured six wins from our last nine outings in all competitions. The team has displayed a level of effort, camaraderie and bravery that is synonymous with this club in earning those victories.
That spirit remains strong - unwavering. Sean and the players are fully focused on the work that lies ahead. And everybody at Finch Farm is united.
We know that every Evertonian is behind us. That is never taken for granted, but always hugely appreciated and valued. We feel the strength of support, and we will continue to use that backing to drive us on.
A number of planned protests in different ways are in process, with a supporters meeting planned for Wednesday evening by the Fan Advisory Board, a protest at the Premier League’s London headquarters mid-afternoon Friday, a plane carrying a banner over the Manchester City vs Liverpool game on Saturday (since it will be dark on Sunday for the Toffees tilt against Manchester United), as well as a variety of flags, banners and posters being handed out for the game at Goodison.