Second Successive Survival
Quite simply, relegation from the Premier League this season would’ve spelled absolute disaster for Everton Football Club. With the club already in financial dire straits due to the inflating costs of the stadium under construction at Bramley Moore Dock and dodgy book-keeping over recent years, the exponential loss of revenue which comes as the price of going down would’ve put the club on the brink of complete collapse.
Luckily, Everton somehow managed to escape the jaws of relegation for a second consecutive season despite having an even worse campaign than that which succeeded it. Now, Everton have at least a little more time to sort out the cacophony of issues that have condemned the club to the historic low it finds itself in today.
Abdoulaye Doucoure’s winner against Bournemouth on the final day did not solve the issues which made it so crucial in the first place. Still, it did provide a foundation upon which meaningful change can be made without the administration threatening to pull the rug.
One Year Closer to Bramley Moore Dock
Although it now seems that Everton won’t be leaving Goodison Park until the middle of the 2024/25 season, the club staying in the Premier League long enough to successfully move to the new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey is absolutely imperative. Another year of survival significantly increases the odds that Everton will hang on long enough to make the move to Bramley Moore Dock, and subsequently reap the benefits of notable increases in revenue and sustainability.
Although changes clearly must be made now, a topic I address in the “Three Negatives” version of this article, the fact remains that the move to the new stadium should hopefully be a lifeline for the club and the watershed moment which turns the fortunes of the club around. It’s still distinctly possible that Everton are relegated to the Championship before that happens, but hopefully, the reorganization necessary to keep that from happening will occur this off-season, and the club will find stability in the league table as it prepares to say goodbye to its home since 1892.
Dyche at the Helm
Although the appointment of Frank Lampard in January of 2022 “proved to be a unifying decision both on and off the pitch”, as I stated in last season’s Three Positives article, it quickly became apparent in the Fall of 2022 that he was not the right man to lead Everton forward. The club’s leadership, however, hesitated for far too long to pull the trigger and didn’t end up hiring Sean Dyche until after the World Cup, when the club were already 19th and hadn’t signed a single player in the January window.
However, Dyche pulled a rabbit out of his hat and somehow kept the Toffees in the Premier League against all odds. Had Everton’s incompetent board of directors appointed Dyche directly after Everton were hammered 7-1 on aggregate in two consecutive games that I attended against Bournemouth, we would’ve been safe weeks before the final day. The numbers indicate that Dyche significantly improved the team, and although he’s a manager who is certainly limited and stuck in his ways to a certain extent, I’m fully confident in his ability to provide stability to a club that so badly needs it.
Should the new board be able to find the funding for improvements to the squad, I believe Sean Dyche will guide the club to mid-table comfortability in the 2023/24 season, and was one of the best decisions that this disgraced regime has made in years.