Everton failing as a club and a football business

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) /
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So, we come to now and as we all know after five years, six managers and a staggering total of almost £500 million spent, Everton are in what seems like a permanent crisis with huge problems both on and off the pitch.

We have a situation where the Blues’ have basically abandoned the club’s traditional culture and ethos while adopting the modern approach of billionaires and big business interests driving the organisation, but being unable to deliver the results on the pitch necessary to justify that.

It’s a failure on both levels. Look at Chelsea where I doubt there would be much affection for the club’s owners if the team weren’t delivering constant success and trophies. The reaction from Chelsea supporters to the club’s decision to join the aborted Super League last season, was maybe proof of that.

Many club’s fans despite their success still have an awkward relationship with their wealthy owners, look at Liverpool and Manchester United.

If you move on from the cultural traditions of the game, as many clubs have done, and bring in wealthy owners and business interests with no connection to the club, you have to bring football success. That’s the trade-off.

This certainly hasn’t happened at Goodison Park and there is now a palpable sense of alienation and distance between the club and it’s fans, which is a profound break with the past at Everton. And, that should seriously concern the board.

However, they don’t seem to see it and the absurd idea of an online AGM which enables the club to evade difficult questions and potential criticism, is an example of that.

There seems to be a view that the club can concentrate on building up assests like a new ground and winning virtue-signalling points with it’s charity work and everything will ultimately be alright. At the same time they ignore the fanbase and neglect to maintain a focus on the core football and business priority: a competitive first-team.

That might work from a purely financial perspective (although given the Toffees’ debts it questionable!) but without success on the pitch that doesn’t seem a sustainable strategy to me. Not if you’re a Premier League club with Everton’s past and the supposed and often-stated ambition to compete at the top again.

And, with rumours of possible fan demonstrations as early as the derby next week, that aloof and seemingly complacent attitude might be in for a rude awakening.