Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has reiterated his support for Frank Lampard as he appeared to disregard fan requests for change within the club’s hierarchy.
A run of one win from their last seven Premier League matches has left Everton in the bottom three heading into a crucial clash with fellow strugglers Southampton on Saturday.
Sections of the Everton fanbase are planning a coach welcome prior to that match, but are also set for a ‘sit-in’ as part of a protest against how the club has been run.
Since Moshiri became the majority shareholder in 2016, Everton have spent over £500million in the transfer market and had seven permanent managers, and now look set for a second relegation battle in as many seasons.
Everton were forced to sell Richarlison to appease Premier League profit and sustainability rules last year, but are yet to act in the January window despite a lack of quality attacking options.
Lampard received the public backing of Moshiri in an open letter to Everton’s fans on Wednesday. However, much of the ire has been directed at chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale and the owner himself, who believes he deserves the faith of the fanbase.
“I hope so, I put my money where my mouth is,” he said on TalkSPORT. “That’s the most an owner can do and I’ve done that.”
“We have to treat every game with the same kind of spirit and focus as we did today – from Southampton forward.”
— Everton (@Everton) January 6, 2023
Moshiri suggested Everton’s supporters must also take responsibility for the managerial merry-go-round.
“Some of the decisions we have taken have been together with the fans. All the managers that have left, they have been driven by the fans, not by me initially.
“You’ve got to stay with a manager to get the systems going, the players that he buys. I have a lot of faith in Frank, he’ll get it right.”
Moshiri has no issue with the planned protests but stressed “we are communicating”.
However, he does not feel change is needed, as he emphasised the strain put on Everton by the construction of the club’s new stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront, which is scheduled for completion in 2024.
Of Everton’s board, Moshiri said: “They’ve been there for a long time. They’re long-standing, dedicated, local. It’s so important to keep the roots of the club in Liverpool and those are the roots – they love the club.
“Building a £760million stadium – one of the best in the country – is an enormous challenge for a club. [The fans] need to acknowledge that they’re going through a transformation and they are working extremely hard.
“You can’t just take rash decisions. We have two big games – on Saturday and on the 21st [against West Ham]. That’s the only focus.”
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