Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has thrown his support behind underdog manager Frank Lampard and the club’s board in a statement to supporters.
The Merseysiders are 18th in the table after just one win in their last 10 Premier League games, a run which has led some supporters to criticize Moshiri’s record in charge and demand changes in the Goodison hierarchy.
But in a statement addressed to the Merseyside club’s fan forum, the British-Iranian billionaire defended his tenure as majority investor since 2016, while also saying he understood supporters’ concerns and that the league position “must improve”.
He also stresses the need for stability, with Lampard the seventh permanent manager in six and a half years.
“In almost seven years since my arrival at the club, I have significantly increased my investment and our new stadium has become a reality,” Moshiri wrote.
“We regularly review our performance and initiate change where we feel the club is falling short of standard. This has meant that we have seen turnover in managers, directors of football and various board members, but always as we have strived to achieve success.
“While change has been supported and encouraged by supporters in almost every case, stability must be the key to progress.
“I have faith in the work done not only by our manager, but also our director of football and our board. That belief is based on my knowledge of the depth and quality of work being done both at Finch Farm and the Royal Liver building – and of the plan in place.
“I am confident that we have skilled, experienced and focused professionals at all levels of the club. We all agree that our current league position must and will improve.”
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Lampard’s side narrowly avoided relegation last season and were forced to sell their best player, Richarlison, in the summer to avoid breaching the top flight’s financial fair play rules.
They are desperate for reinforcements in this month’s transfer window, with the third-lowest goalscoring record in the division, but have yet to make any signings as opponents strengthen.
Some fans unhappy with the performance of the club’s board will stage a sit-in after their game at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Many clamored for changes to Everton’s hierarchy during last week’s 4-1 defeat by Brighton, and again when they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United at Old Trafford three days later.
Now a coalition of supporters and social media channels, along with some official supporters’ clubs, have launched the ‘All Together Now’ campaign to urge owner Farhad Moshiri to acknowledge their concerns about the club’s predicament.
A statement for the group said supporters “pledge their support to Frank Lampard and the team with a resumption of the coach’s pre-match salute and full-blooded support during the match”.
But it added that it “can no longer tolerate the failure of the club’s owner Farhad Moshiri to address the glaring leadership deficiencies at chairman, board and executive levels”.
The Merseyside club are hoping to move into a new £500m stadium in the next few years, which is being financed by Moshiri.
They also recently completed a strategic review of football operations which led to a series of changes in key personnel around the first team and academy aimed at progressing on and off the pitch.
This season they also created the first elected Fan Advisory Board to improve dialogue with supporters, and which Moshiri addresses in his statement.
Tonight the board will hold the first of three meetings with supporters to discuss their thoughts on the club.
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