Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri claims the club’s season has not been good enough so far – but remains confident the “big bet” they took on Marco Silva will pay off.
The Toffees sit 11th in the table, having won just one of their last eight Premier League matches. They have 27 points, the same tally they had at the same stage a year ago, and are a huge 17 points off fourth.
It is not where Moshiri would have expected them to be, having upped his investment in the club to £250million and dispensed with Sam Allardyce and director of football Steve Walsh at the end of last season at considerable expense to bring in replacements Silva and Marcel Brands.
“We are very serious about what we want to do,” Moshiri told the club’s AGM.
“I look at the table and it is just not good enough, I think we know that. We need to go up the table.
“We’ve had bad luck, poor judgement, but I feel the business we did in the summer shows we are in the right direction, but it has been difficult.
“We did our homework and we put a big bet on Marco and we stick with him.
“He has our total support and we have a professional Marcel Brands who monitors the progress.
“Consistency has been an issue, but we have had terrific performances and the challenge in the second half is to have more of those performances.
“The football management team are totally focused on it. We know what we are and I’m comfortable.”
The claims from Moshiri come after chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale has set Everton the target of winning the Premier League and playing Champions League football in their new stadium in the next decade.
Moshiri has also pledged to fill the considerable funding gap likely to be left when the finances for the proposed new £500million stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock are finalised.
Planning permission is set to be submitted in the second half of this year, with the first “spade in the ground” anticipated in early 2020.
After a number of false dawns over previous projects Moshiri is adamant the stadium will be built.
“It has nothing to do with my vision, it is a necessity. That must be understood – we don’t have a choice, we don’t have a Plan B or a Plan C,” he added.
“Very much like Arsenal and Tottenham that had to build a stadium – they were not given stadiums like West Ham or Manchester City.
“We have a lot of experience so I think we will complete this stadium, be sure that will happen. And I will throw as much money as needed.
“Private markets will provide £350m, naming rights will give us some more and we maybe have an equity gap of £100m.
“I think this club, under the management of Marcel and leadership of Denise (Barrett-Baxendale, the club’s chief executive) is sufficiently robust to see the project through. It is no luxury, we have to get it done.
“If we want to have a big club we need a modern stadium and we will get it.”
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