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Three Negatives from Everton’s 2022-23 Season

Everton narrowly escaped relegation, but what were the biggest negatives from the past season?

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Not a One-Off

After 2021/22’s near-death experience, most Evertonians hoped that the extreme drop-off in points that the club experienced that year was simply a fluke caused by injuries and bad luck. It was just one bad year, right? Unfortunately, that was not the case, and Everton’s horrific 2021/22 season was instead an indication of the club’s ongoing downward trajectory. 2022/23 was somehow even worse, as they only escaped the drop on the final day thanks to Abdoulaye Doucoure’s winner against Bournemouth.

They finished a place lower than the year before (17th v 16th), picked up three fewer points (36 v 39), and recorded the first season in the 145-year history of Everton Football Club in which the team averaged fewer than a point per game (adjusted to 3 points/win). Unless significant changes are made to the club’s leadership, structure, and procedures, Everton will stare at relegation yet again, and I doubt that the third time would be a charm.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Cheating to Lose?

On March 24th, 2023, the Premier League announced that it was investigating a potential breach of Profitability and Sustainability Rules by Everton Football Club in the term ending with 2021/22 under Rule W.3.4. Although no charges have yet been made by the independent commission which the Premier League referred the investigation to, it would not surprise me if the incompetent Everton regime led by Farhad Moshiri were guilty of such an offense.

The most damning part of this, though, is that unlike Manchester City, who allegedly breached the rules en route to five Premier League titles in six years, numerous domestic trophies, and now the Champions League, Everton potentially cheated financially and still got significantly worse at football. It’s very possible that they had to cheat in order to avoid their first relegation since 1951. That is an utter embarrassment and disgrace to the glorious history and name of Everton Football Club. Since then, rival clubs such as Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham Forest, and Burnley have threatened to sue should the Premier League not penalize Everton for their potential mismanagement, and I don’t blame them.

Why clubs on the opposite end of the table aren’t threatening to do the same to Manchester City baffles me. Hopefully, the club is cleared of any wrongdoing, but even if they are, everyone responsible for the accusations and the club’s regression must go.


Not Enough Change

As of now, however, many of them are not going. Although Denis Barrett-Baxendale, Grant Ingles, and Graeme Sharp have all left their roles at the club, it was announced on June 23rd that Farhad Moshiri has decided to retain Bill Kenwright as the Chairman of the Board “during this important period of transition” even though the fans have been calling for his removal for years, and apparently, Kenwright had already written his letter of resignation and was set to leave along with the others.

During his 34 years serving as Chairman of Everton Football Club, Bill Kenwright has brought the club exactly 1 major trophy, 1 top-four finish, only 7 European campaigns, and now 3 final day relegation escapes. He has been, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst Chairman in the long history of the club. His open letter to the #AllTogetherNow campaign in April was one of the most delusional and self-congratulatory pieces of writing I’ve ever read. He was a central figure in the most disgusting and disgraceful acts I’ve seen from any football club when Everton fabricated a story about Denise Barrett-Baxendale being put in a headlock in a bid to gaslight the media into thinking the real culprits of Everton’s downfall are the fans.

The Merseyside Police confirmed that zero reports of physical violence on a board member were made by any club official, and zero arrests were made despite Goodison Park being littered with CCTV cameras to the point where a Southampton fan who threw a pie wrapper in the Everton end on January 14th was arrested within 35 minutes. But somehow there’s no footage of someone putting the literal CEO of the club in a headlock? That checks out.

The point is that nowhere near enough change has occurred so far. Kenwright must go, and Farhad Moshiri too, for that matter, but apparently the deal with MSP for a minority stake in the club might not be finalized until the late summer. Due to the absence of that cash injection, the club will be hard-pressed to improve what was a truly awful squad last season due to their ongoing financial troubles and may be perfectly poised for another shocking year come August should significant improvements not be made to the club’s footballing structure and the playing squad itself.

Everton FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images