Everton have been ever-presents in the top-flight of English football having spent a record 117 years in it. The toffees have not been in the second division since the 1953-54 season, but that proud seat at English’s top table looks under threat.
It has been another turbulent season for the toffees now find themselves in the Premier League’s bottom three, following their draw to Palace. The boardroom’s repeated incompetence combined with a lack of quality on the pitch has led to the Toffees forced to battle back-to-back relegation battles.
On the pitch, Everton have only won six games all season, piling on top of that with 16 defeats they sit on just 28 points after 32 matches. Furthermore, they have scored just 24 goals all season, making them the lowest scorers in the top four divisions.
The top goal scorer this season is Dwight McNeil with just four, and they have only more than one goal in a game this season on just four occasions.
They have another huge test on Thursday night as high-flying Newcastle United travel to Goodison. Sean Dyche has only won three of his games, since his appointment at the end of January but his teams have been more believing then before his arrival, with late draws snatched against Tottenham and Chelsea in recent weeks.
Everton have just six huge games to retain their status as a top-flight club. They have very tough games coming up with Newcastle, Manchester City and Brighton still left to play, with also a huge crunch final-day game against fellow strugglers Bournemouth. With not a lot of quality on the pitch, it seems it is down to the Goodison faithful again to pull the club out of the mess.
Off the pitch, the club is in turmoil; Everton fans have been calling for a complete reform of the boardroom and for all current board members to step down, as the unrest grows. The unrest grew even further on the eve of Saturday’s fixture away to Crystal Palace, as Chairman Bill Kenwright put forward a response to the All Together Now campaign letter, asking the chairman to step down while addressing his ill health and stating he is unfit to be Chairman.
Kenwright’s letter infuriated the fans not only for the timing, as the response came on the eve 0-0 draw to Crystal Palace. But also, as his letter seemed to put all responsibility on his CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale. He refused to accept any failings and questioning the right of fans to protest against club legends that are on the board. The Club’s second all-time top goal scorer Graeme Sharp is a member of Everton’s board, with fans asking for him to step down to protect his legacy as one of the clubs most successful players.
The EFC Fan Forum called the Chairman’s statement as an ‘insult.’ All Together Now replied describing the Chairman’s response scandalous and self-centred and a further call for the 77 year old to step down, labelling Everton as having the worst run board in the Premier League and it is hard to disagree:
Ever since Bill Kenwright was made chairman of the club, The Toffees have not seen any progression in the club; Everton are currently on their longest spell without a trophy in the clubs history, a drought which is now 28 years since their FA Cup success in 1995. They have only reached one final in that time, which was the 2009 FA Cup Final defeat to Chelsea.
Majority Shareholder Farhad Moshiri, invested in the club in 2016 and the club have seemingly just gone backwards in every department.
They have appointed 7 different managers, 2 different Directors of Football and have over half a billion pounds worth of signings in that time, with many not excelling nor proving to be worth the price tag paid.
Everton have spent over 500 million pound on players since Moshiri’s acquisition of the club. More than their nearest rivals Liverpool in that time, since then their highest league position has been seventh achieved in the 2016-17 season. Since then the club have finished eighth twice, twelfth, tenth and sixteenth.
This season there have been protests before most home games this season demanding change and with more planned before the end of the season. Moshiri come out publicly during the 2023 January Transfer window, with an interview to Everton TV saying he will make signings to improve the team and calling all Evertonians to stick by the manager, Frank Lampard. By the end of January, The Toffees were the only club in the Premier League not to make a single addition to the squad and Frank Lampard had been sacked and replaced by Sean Dyche.
The Everton board now do not attend home fixtures over safety concerns, with tensions threatening to boil over between them and the fans. CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale was reported to have been physically attacked following Everton’s defeat to Brighton in January, but with no reports of a headlock being made to Merseyside Police the anger grew in Everton fans as no evidence has been seen to back up the report.
Everton recently announced record losses in finances, and are under investigation by the Premier League Independent Panel because of an alleged breach of Financial Fair Play rules. So much unrest at the club, meanwhile the construction of the new stadium on Bramley-Moore dock is close to completion, but fans are now fearing it may be the best construction in the second division. The stadium is due to be built for the 2024-25 season, but where will Everton be?
The doom and gloom hangs over Goodison as the club with the fourth most top division league titles in England, could find themselves halting their very proud top-flight record come May.