Moshiri won’t be selling Everton and Usmanov to stay involved

Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Despite rumours to the contrary Everton owner Farhad Moshiri apparently won’t be selling the club and  Alisher Usmanov is also going to continue to be involved in the background.

The current crisis on the pitch as poor results contine, is beginning to spill over and affect the board as Everton fans frustration and anger grows.

The Toffees go into tomorrow’s latest Merseyside derby in just about the worst position I can remember for a very long time.

The only derby game I can recall where the stakes seemed as high was back in November 1994. Then the Blues’ were bottom of the Premiership and looked a very strong candidate for relegation having only escaped that fate on the final day of the previous season.

Everton had been on a terrible run under Mike Walker and went into that match desperate for a win. And, they got it with goals from Paul Rideout and new signing Duncan Ferguson that secured a 2-0 victory. The team went on to escape the drop and win the FA Cup, the last silverware that has come to Goodison Park.

That derby at the Grand Old Lady had a few differences though. First of all the Toffees’ had a new manager in Joe Royle, an Everton legend and got that new manager bounce against a Liverpool team that weren’t the outstanding side they are now.

Anyway, now the team face a massive test tomorrow against their neightbours with a manager who’s past Liverpool baggage might be coming back to haunt him, as many said it would.

But, as I’ve said Rafa Benitez is not the only or the main reason for the team’s current woes. He was dealt a tough hand when he took the job given all the financial restrictions and has been extremely unlucky with injuries as was his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti.

And, to some extent I think Evertonians have recognised this and that’s why an increasing amount of the fans ire has been directed at the board and the players.

Moshiri has spent plenty since first becoming majority shareholder and has spoken of his alledged ambition for the club while Usmanov has also been involved securing naming rights for the club’s traning ground and the new stadium.

Five years later though nothing has been achieved and there is a palpable sense of disallusionment among many supporters with the people running our football club.

And, while they may not feel it’s particularly important, they might need those fans goodwill and this situaiton if it’s allowed to fester could lead to a really unpleasant and toxic atmosphere at Goodison Park. Newcastle United’s recent past is a warning.

Modern football clubs pay lip service to their fans while in reality they are pretty much the last group of people to be considered.

But, a club like Everton do have a strong tradition of being part of their community and in the past they have had good links with their supporters. And, the club has played on it with all the past talk of the Blues’ being the ‘The Peoples Club’.

Everton also made a lot of their supposed values driving their opposition to the controversial Super League late last season.

This all rang a little hollow to be honest and was part of the predictable virtue-signalling that seems to be very much the club’s approach to things these days.

Ultimately, in reality the board and owner Moshiri are responsible for the mess this club is in. They are the ones making the key decisions. Managers have come and gone and a vast outlay has been spent on players with nothing to show in return for it.

The easy out if the team get well beaten tomorrow night is to sack the manager and start again. Maybe that was always the strategy to have Benitez as a shield if things went wrong this season.

However, I don’t think that wil satisfy supporters anymore. Yes, many will be happy to see Benitez gone (especially if the Toffees’ have been humiliated tomorrow) but it’s only going to be a short honeymoon and a temporary respite.

And, if nothing fundamental is going to change in terms of the culture and structure of the club, I don’t think the fans will be appeased for long even if results improve in the short-term. After all the deep-seated problems at this football club aren’t resolved by yet another new manager.

If Moshiri is determined to stay and see this project out, then he has got to make better decisions and he could start with a shakeup of the board and give a clear route out of this chaos. Otherwise he might find his project is going down the pan in double-quick time.