Everton have confirmed the exit of director of football Marcel Brands after a meeting of Toffees directors saw manager Rafael Benitez handed the “full support” of owner Farhad Moshiri.
The Toffees have been in freefall in recent weeks. The midweek defeat to Liverpool means the Toffees have lost eight of their last 11 matches. That leaves the Merseysiders just five points clear of the bottom three heading into Monday’s game with Arsenal.
It was due to get worse before it gets better too. Indeed, supporters are planning a protest against Benitez by staging a walkout in the fixture.
However, Benitez always insisted that he was the man to get Everton out of their crisis.
And it seems that chairman Bill Kenright and owner Moshiri are backing the Spaniard to get it right.
With just £1.7m to spend this summer, Benitez certainly has plenty of mitigating circumstances.
As such, and as reported earlier on Sunday, the Toffees late on Sunday night confirmed the exit of Brands.
Brands has been employed by Everton since 2018, but is one of a number of figures at Goodison Park to have come under scrutiny recently. Despite signing a three-year contract extension in April, the Dutchman has now departed the club.
Transfer decisions handed to Benitez
Brands spent almost £300m on transfers during his time with the Toffees. Not all his recruits were successful.
And in a key decision, Benitez will now have the chance to shape the squad as he sees fit in January, with Moshiri handing all major transfer decisions over to the manager.
In a statement on their official website, Everton confirmed the Dutchman’s exit.
“Everton Football Club can confirm that Marcel Brands has left his post as director of football,” a club statement read.
“The owner and directors would like to thank Marcel for the service he has given to the club over the past three-and-a-half years and wish him well for his future.
“A strategic review of the football structure will now take place which will inform the best model for the club to proceed with in the long-term.
“In the meantime, the owner and board of directors will continue to provide our manager, Rafa Benitez, with their full support.”
Marcel Brands issues Everton exit statement
Despite emerging as Everton’s scapegoat, the 59-year-old was allowed a graceful exit.
And in a statement of his own, Brands spoke of his “honour” at working for Everton.
“On Friday, following a personal conversation with the chairman and my fellow board members, we agreed that I would step down from my post as director of football and as a member of the Everton Football Club Board,” the statement read.
“This decision has taken some time and some consideration and was one of the most difficult I have faced in my career.
“The board and I agreed that there is a clear difference in the vision and direction for this beautiful club and, with that in mind, the decision was taken.
“I want to thank everyone in the club who I have worked closely with over the last three and a half years. There are a lot of talented people at Everton with huge passion and commitment to move the club forward, both on and off the pitch.
“I want to wish all of the squad every success, and I am convinced that there is enough quality to improve the current situation quickly.
“It has been an honour for me to work at this fantastic club and I wish everyone associated with Everton the very best for the future.”
It seems Brands will not be out of work for long, however. The Daily Mirror claims PSV would like to take him back as managing director. He was previously their director of football for eight years before Everton took him on board.