Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the first Everton player to speak publicly following Everton’s unprecedented 10-point deduction for breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules, saying that there is a sense of “unity and togetherness” among the squad.
After spending a few days in shock at the severity of the Premier League commission’s punishment, everyone associated with the club has sprung into action in a show of protest, defiance and togetherness.
The players up to this point have been silent, likely under instruction from the club, but Calvert-Lewin has now offered a glimpse as to the mood at Finch Farm as they prepare for what is set to be an explosive match against Manchester United at a fiery Goodison Park.
“I’ve played in a lot of games against United at Goodison, and the atmosphere is always incredible.
“I expect the weekend to be no different – if not, more electric. I’m sure the fans will be ready. Us as players, we’ll prepare the same as normal and make sure we’re ready to put in a performance and collect the three points.
“I think, given the circumstances, I’ve sensed a lot of unity and togetherness. We were off on the international break when the news broke, but coming back in this week, I don’t feel like it’s fazed us players.
“We know, as a group, we can’t affect that. All we can affect is what’s in front of us, and that’s the game on Sunday, so we’re looking forward to that.”
The law of unintended consequences may have struck, because the Everton players, fans and executives are now closer together than they have been for several years.
The club has already made it clear it intends to appeal the decision, while Kevin Thelwell spoke of the “unwavering spirit” at Finch Farm. Meanwhile, the supporters have raised more than £40,000 to protest against the Premier League after fan group the 1878s set up a Gofundme, with three days of action over the weekend.
First is a protest outside the Premier League’s London HQ on Friday evening. A plane with a protest banner will then fly over the Etihad Stadium on Saturday during Manchester City’s game against Liverpool, ensuring Everton’s grievances will be broadcast to audiences across the world.
Then the main event on Sunday. The 1878s have commissioned several new flags and banners as well as printing off nearly 40,000 placards with the Premier League emblem and the word ‘corrupt’. Fans are being encouraged to hold up the placards and boo during the Premier League anthem as well as in the 10th minute. They are also being asked to sing ‘Premier League corrupt as f**k’, which has led to reports Sky Sports may turn down the sound on their broadcast or even play pre-recorded crowd noise to avoid falling foul of UK live broadcast regulations.
Premier League HQ Protest— Toffees In London (@ToffeesInLondon) November 23, 2023
Friday, 24th November
♂️ Full co-operation with the Met Police to ensure your safety
Sky Sports, BBC, Sky News, ITV, The Athletic & the Press Association attending
Bring your voices, flags, banners, scarves#AllTogetherNow pic.twitter.com/VN9QL8DRF5
One of the many frustrations at the 10-point deduction is that is arrived at a time where Everton were just gaining some momentum and pulling away from the bottom of the table.
They have won six out of nine in all competitions and without the deduction could have moved into the top half of the table with a win this weekend.
Despite that obvious frustration Calvert-Lewin says morale is still high given their recent positive results and performances.
“Confidence is as high as it can be, and as high as it should be. Within those games, we’ve ground out a couple of results, but we’ve also won convincingly in some of them.
“We’re taking the momentum into this weekend, and not letting the external things that we can’t really affect have an impact on us in the camp.”