Everton fans will resume their protests outside Goodison Park on Saturday in an attempt to invite more scrutiny on the “mismanagement” of the club under owner Farhad Moshiri.
Supporters previously staged walk-outs and sit-ins at matches last season but, with the relegation battle threatening the club’s 68-year top-flight status, focus turned to an orchestrated campaign designed to maximise home ground advantage and boost the players.
However, with a prospective takeover seemingly having been abandoned by Moshiri, £370million of cumulative losses over three years, one of their best players in Richarlison sold and a lack of squad strengthening just two weeks before the new season starts with a seventh permanent manager in six years the fans will be out in force again this weekend.
“In the last six years or so, since Moshiri has taken over, the club has been on an evident downward spiral,” a spokesman for the 27 Years campaign (referring to the time since Everton’s last trophy) told the PA news agency.
“Financial Fair Play has hit us at such a point we have been forced to sell arguably our best player and we are struggling to reinvest that money.
“It is more than mismanagement, it is more the erratic behaviour of the owner and the board that are working with him as well.
“If he (Moshiri) is going to continue he can’t continue with that board. We think the board in place has shown a consistent pattern of failure.”
Previous protests have targeted the board, in general, and specifically long-standing chairman Bill Kenwright.
However, organisers of Saturday’s gathering want it to be about raising awareness of the issues and asking for better communication from the club rather than singling out individuals.
“It is no secret at all there are a massive amount of Evertonians who are not happy with Bill Kenwright, (chief executive) Denise Barrett-Baxendale and others on the board,” added the spokesman.
“But this is not called the ‘Kenwright Out’ protest, that is not what it is. It is for raising awareness.
“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who the individual is, if they are not doing their job properly they are not doing their job.
“It is trying to influence Moshiri to make the right decisions. There seem to be a lot of short-term fixes for short-term gains by Moshiri.
“What we would really like is proper communication from the board, to be told there is some sort of plan.”
Everton have rejected criticism of their communication to supporters, with a source saying it was “a fallacy and wrong”.
The club pointed to a number of open letters from Moshiri, the latest last week, in which he said “judge us at the end of the transfer window – not now” and also to the channels of communication now open through the newly-launched Fan Advisory Board.
Chairman Jazz Bal said in his opening address: “My fellow members and I fully understand our job is to reflect the views of the entire fanbase to the Everton board and senior management team.
“Through the FAB, we all now have a direct line to the senior officials at Everton. We are engaging with board members directly.”