There is only one proven leader in our club

Jacques Sandtonian 02/12/2019 78comments  |  Jump to last

Ask any Evertonian "Who is driving the vital decision-making regarding football at our club?” and you will, at best, get a confused answer. Regarding player recruitment, it's fairly clear that Marcel Brands is driving much, if not all, of it. Regarding manager recruitment, it's a murkier picture.

Read the speculation from supporters — and it is all speculation — and you'll hear that Bill Kenwright favours David Moyes, Farhad Moshiri favours this one or the next one and is worried about egg on his face should he admit defeat over Marco Silva. You'll be hard-pressed to find much in the way of understanding where Brands is at on this matter.

We're led to believe that Moshiri was behind both Ronald Koeman's and Marco Silva's recruitment, both failures; both — at least in retrospect — obvious failures should you care to examine the statistics of both those men in top-flight English football, even prior to joining Everton.


About these ads

Does anyone really believe that Moshiri is going thorough due diligence on the football management credentials of managerial appointments? He's not. No more than Kenwright is paying attention to Moyes's post-Everton record – that is if he is, as is rumoured, in favour of Moyes returning.

From the outside, it seems as though Moshiri is an impulsive money man who projects qualities onto relatively inexperienced managers and then is found wanting. Similarly, it looks for all the world as if Kenwright is a sentimental fool.

Moshiri has been exposed to the runnings of a successful football club at Arsenal but he has never led a club like Everton, let alone one like Arsenal. Kenwright has been a patriarch at Everton but, as a theatre impresario, no-one has ever mistaken him for a leader of a Premier League football club. His passion is not in question but his sentimentalism catches up with him easily and his age now even more so.

Marcel Brands, on the other hand, is a dynamic young (at 57, young enough to be in his prime as a manager, let alone Director of Football) individual who comes across as uncompromising and has experience of actual leadership at a club comparable to Everton in size and history (PSV Eindhoven). And yet we don't know where he stands on managerial recruitment for the senior team – or any team in the structure for that matter – and what, if any, influence he has on any of it.

If Farhad Moshiri wants to protect his sizeable investment from disappearing into the Championship where, let's be honest with ourselves, we will not bounce back from within the period of Premier League parachute payments, he needs to take one decision of true leadership — just one — and hand the reins to Marcel Brands.

It's a simple assertion: “Mr Brands, you now have full responsibility for the success of every team in our football club. You are in total control of hiring and firing first-team managers and any other backroom staff. As it stands, our perception is that the club is pitifully underperforming in light of the capital investment made in the club. We are not going to pass opinion on the root causes of that. That's your responsibility. Go run the football club.”

It's a huge leap of faith for Evertonians. We don't have any idea if Brands will succeed or not. What we do know, however, are three things:

1) There needs to be one leader, not three;
2) Marcel Brands is the only proven leader of a football club; and
3) Brands is a board member now, not a salaried employee like Steve Walsh was.

Brands has skin in the game and that should give him extra motivation. Appointing him to the Board is a masterstroke from Moshiri IF he actually empowers Brands to do what a Director of Football should do.

If we continue to be run as a club with this many chiefs, decisions will never be made effectively. Brands is best positioned to be ruthless because he brings dispassion and doesn't need the affection of the supporters. Ruthlessness is all that's needed at the top of a football club. By a simple cost-benefit analysis, Silva should have been out weeks ago, if not at the end of last season. The "need for stability" doesn't fly when it's quite clearly not stability but more fear of change bringing instability.

True leaders embrace change if they trust themselves. Roman Abramovich has been maligned for changing Chelsea managers regularly, but they continue to be a force. Daniel Levy clearly courted Jose Mourinho behind the scenes at Tottenham and coldly removed that club’s best manager in decades, seamlessly replacing him with Mourinho.

Like the equally rudderless Manchester United, we lack any clear direction from the top, dithering and softness that permeates the football teams themselves, and possibly influences their performances too. The only difference is that, unlike Man Utd, we have a Director of Football. A straight-talking Dutchman with a powerful network and a pedigree in the Dutch league.

If Moshiri values his investment, he'll hand the reigns to Brands and let him decide on Silva's fate and his replacement, with complete autonomy but ultimate accountability. We'll soon see changes made for better or worse – and right now, we need changes, for better or worse.

Share this article

Reader Comments (78)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Keith Ronson
1 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:12:05
I would hope that no matter how unlikely it may be Brands has at least sounded out the ex Spurs manager.
If you don’t ask you don’t get!
Mark Guglielmo
2 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:17:27
I'm very excited to be the first comment, on what is by far (IMO) the most sensible analysis & blog piece regarding Marcel Brands. If these comments were audio files, mine would be a stand-up ovation.
Paul Tran
3 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:23:39
All good stuff, but how do we know this isn't happening already?
Des Farren
4 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:30:45
For a so- called "proven leader" he keeps a remarkably low profile, so low in fact that it takes a leap in imagination to see him leading anything.
His supporting statement on Silva last week is a prime example.
Mark Guglielmo
5 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:32:52
Hey Paul! That's been my position to all the gripes about who we did get, didn't get, why Silva is still manager, and on and on :-)

I read this article as a "if this isn't happening already, it damned well should be."

Mark Andersson
6 Posted 02/12/2019 at 19:33:27
Great read... Something had to give... Bill and Ben should have never gotten into this stalemate

It smaks of two stubborn egos trying to undermine each other rather than doing the right thing for the future of the club..

Brands may or may not be a true leader... but one things for sure we are spiraling out of control..

Mosh should have kept fat Sam in charge to protect his investment until the stadium was built. Yes the football would have had the fans tearing their hair out but they ate doing that now.

The gamble has backfired and were running out of time..

The old fogie generals are lossing the battles and will ultimately loose the war and as in all wars the innocent
"The fans" suffer the most.

Dig in deep boys the bloody battle has not even started yet

Frank Kearns
7 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:26:23
It’s about the money, always has been always will - hopefully, Moshiri will begin to protect his soon, but, when and how is pure speculation.
Chris Williams
8 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:32:29
On any Board I’ve worked on, a decision of this magnitude would need to be brought to the Board for ratification, by the Director with operational responsibility for football recruitment. Brand? This would be discussed(although lobbying etc would have taken place beforehand). It would then be discussed and ratified, or otherwise. He can’t go off and do it without this ratification, nor can anyone else.

The Chairman would have a view, which would also discussed, and the Board would make a decision. It’s not unusual for these decisions not to be unanimous, although it’s preferable they are

Any external shareholder would not have a vote, but would have been involved earlier. Otherwise he becomes a shadow Director (as Philip Green was accused of)

That’s for a normal Board though. Not for a dysfunctional Board, like EFC.

I doubt this is the process is being followed, hence the seeming paralysis. In other words it’s a Board in name only. Probably.

John P McFarlane
9 Posted 02/12/2019 at 20:59:18
Chris #8 Interesting insight into the way a board works or should work. It's as if Bill has been allowed to live rent-free in Moshiri's newly purchased house, he has asked the Iranian to re-decorate and add some expensive new features but each addition has gone awry and the house is looking shabbier and cracks have appeared in the walls.

I think the time is right for Moshiri to stand up and be counted, take actual ownership of the club and bring his own people onto the board and dismiss those who have been around for far too long.

But from the outside it looks as if he isn't that bothered about the football side of things and is happy to allow the tenants to dictate the future of his house.

David Pearl
10 Posted 02/12/2019 at 21:21:54
I’ve been saying the same for weeks now, and had similar discussions about his role on ToffeeWeb. Brands is not a dof and won’t be till Moshiri let’s him and hands over the power.
Phill Thompson
11 Posted 02/12/2019 at 21:59:05
Isn’t this virtually his role already? My understanding is that he’s the “football man” on the board and is the one who recommends key appointments which are then discussed and ratified by the board or not.
Chris Williams
12 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:05:40
Phil, it’s his role only if he’s allowed to fulfil it.

Kenwright is Chairman. Chairman of the Board. It’s a very powerful position in a company, basically calling the shots. He runs the Board, answerable only to the Shareholders. Moshiri should not interfere with the operation of the day to day running of the Board , he’s not a Director. The Board is governed by Company Law.

But most Boards will make decisions, and a vote is by a show of hands, not dependent on shareholding. This includes the hiring And firing of executives. The Chairman has a casting vote which is only used in the case of a stalemate.

Shareholders will usually have separate meetings where the shareholdings then become important. It’s best that these responsibilities are not blurred. The Chairman can only be replaced by the Shareholders.

That’s how a healthy business works. Who knows what goes on in EFC?

Mark Guglielmo
13 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:25:15
That's basically the rub of it, innit. Everyone has their own "understanding" of what he does, takes it as gospel, and passes judgment on how he performs based on that understanding. I like this article because it reads like what his role should be (if it isn't, of course).

It's not like Everton's HR dept. is going to hold a press conference and read his job description to us. haha

Chris @12 since you seem to know more than most, me included, this is pretty much how I understood a Board to work at a normal company, but question for you. You noted the Chairman is supposed to use his casting vote only in case of a stalemate, right? Doesn't Everton's current Board only have 4 people including BK? So there'd never be a stalemate, it's just Brands/DBB/that Russian accountant guy? Or in our case do you think that we have the 4 votes, BK is Chairman really in name only, and Moshiri is the tiebreaker?

Chris Williams
14 Posted 02/12/2019 at 22:42:33
In any sensible structure, you should set it up to avoid a stalemate, but you might get an abstention. As it looks, you might think that Brands and the Russian might share Moshiri ideas and Little Miss Dynamite Kenwright’s but who knows. Maybe Kenwright is the only one who wants Moyes. He’s rebuffed, so does what he always does and runs to his mates in the media. But I’m guessing, just like everyone else.

With his background Moshiri will know all the Corporate Law stuff. One thing is for certain, he is the only one who can replace Kenwright in fact and in Law. They may have a side agreement of course.

Don Alexander
15 Posted 02/12/2019 at 23:02:03
The football club is a business, end of. For fans/supporters the business has to be successful but in our boardroom we have by his own admission a pauper businessman, for decades, as chairman, an accountant employed by the owner (who in turn made his fortune whilst being employed by a proper businessman), a charity organiser beholden to the pauper chairman, and a guy with no business history who knows a bit about football.


And people wonder what's going wrong?

Derek Thomas
16 Posted 02/12/2019 at 23:21:49
Jacques; You're doing exactly the same thing you accuse Moshiri of Re. Managers...Wishing qualities on to Brands you would like him to have.

Edit All we need now is a holographic clip of Moshiri in a long white Cowled robe, bending over Dusty Bin saying...please help us Obi Wan Brands, only you can save us.

This, all the last few years, the FA Cup draw...somebody up there is definitely taking the kids

And yet we're told the little green fella says - with us the force is not

James Flynn
17 Posted 02/12/2019 at 23:22:23
No matter what opinion any or all board members have regarding Silva's replacement, Moshiri decides who will or will not be the next manager. He owns the controlling shares of the Club.
Tony Marsh
18 Posted 02/12/2019 at 23:55:12
I now believe Bill Kenwright wants Everton to be relegated and Moshiri doesn't fully grasp any of what Kenwright is doing to this club or simply doesn't care enough. The fact that the imaginary stadium is now dead in the water and has been since the Commonwealth Games fell through leaves only relegation as Bill Kenwright's and the board's get out of jail card for yet another stadium fiasco falling through.

I did warn you all from day one the stadium wouldn't happen and not to trust this shower of shite running the club. The whole thing has been a pack of lies from the start. Planning permission is being applied for this year is it? Talking nonsense am I??

All the lies and false promises the stalling of updates regarding stadium progress then the bogus pointless announcements, the fans forum then another fans forum... all stalling tactics, etc. It was plain to see what was happening.

The promotion of Little Ms Dynamite from soup and blankets distribution to CEO at the club is scandalous beyond belief but yet more mysterious behaviour from Kenwright. A charity worker running EFC in to the ground and nobody blinks an eyelid. WTF!!!

Yes I truly believe that Bill Kenwright is so trapped by his own bullshit he would welcome relegation and use it as an excuse for not delivering Bramley Moore. Relegation is Bill's saftey hatch.

You might think I’m mad but it makes more sense to me than saying we are just unlucky or we are cursed. Don't forget the Kings Dock saga. We have been here and seen this nonsense before. It's a carbon copy with Bill's prints all over it again. Kenwright is a snake oil salesman and will say or do anything to save himself.

Any thoughts on the NEW stadium MK?? Love to hear your input.

Mark Andersson
19 Posted 02/12/2019 at 00:02:20
Mark G a standing ovation I applaud you bravo bravo.

Mark Guglielmo
20 Posted 03/12/2019 at 00:05:41
Thanks, Chris, for the further explanation.

James, above, Moshiri having controlling shares doesn't = he decides about the manager or not. It may, definitely. But for all we know, he did in fact bring Brands on to do it for him. In that instance, I'm sure it's not carte blanche and he would have to approve, or maybe want to, but not for certain.

Everyone needs to stop offering opinions and presenting them as definitive facts.

David Pearl
21 Posted 03/12/2019 at 00:19:27
Isn’t it Moshiri who has friends in the media? I’ve a funny feeling that he gets a kick out of texting Jim White. It’s the next best thing to drinking Jim White Lightning.
James Flynn
22 Posted 03/12/2019 at 01:09:37
Mark, beyond any shadow of doubt, no one will be named manager of Everton Football Club without the express permission of Moshiri. Definitive fact.

As for the back and forth above my comment on what boards of private companies can and cannot do, I agree, "Everyone needs to stop offering opinions and presenting them as definitive facts."

Jerome Shields
23 Posted 03/12/2019 at 01:29:22

An eloquent description of the actual situation regarding leadership at Everton. Brands is not just Director of Football, but also a Director on the Board of Everton Football Club.

What leadership has he shown regarding Everton, in changes to the Club, other than his Director of football role in recruiting players and reducing Evertons wages bill?.

Everton are in Crisis, so what is his contribution in dealing with this?

In recent interview he was trying to assess and help motivate the players to get a result in the next fixture.

The extent of Brands leadership has not materialised yet, to be assessed.

John Keating
24 Posted 03/12/2019 at 05:21:34
if as you suggest is correct and we are being led by the 3 amigos what does that say about Brands ?

If he is such a top guy with all this experience and knowledge why would he allow himself to be basically shunted to one side by Moshiri and Kenwright ?

Surely a top man who is well respected in the game and more importantly has a name and reputation to live up to would not allow that to be jeopardised.

Possibly, and just like everyone else it's speculation, he is no different to the other employees at Goodison. He is just there to take the wedge of cash and take minimal responsibility claiming no fault when it all goes tits up.

It would be very difficult for Moshiri or anyone else to put so much money into the Club and give up control.

Certainly if I were employed to do a job and found myself undermined by others I'd just say thank you and walk away. Maybe Brands is happy not to do that

Mark Guglielmo
25 Posted 03/12/2019 at 05:29:01
Probably because he's not god and still answers to Moshiri, just a guess though. Beyond that, he's factually 1 of 4 voices on the Board so by himself can't cement any decisions.

What decisions he's allowed to make on his own, or the scope of his role, are again pure speculation.

I would also posit that because he's a knowledgeable, experienced football man who has built and committed to a long-term project that produced great results, it's very likely he knows this is a long-term project and is not straying from that course, succumbing to irrational knee-jerk decision-making like all the others (and half of the current ones) before him. A guess, but an educated one I believe.

Thomas Lennon
26 Posted 03/12/2019 at 07:23:21
It seems to me that we have a long series of assumptions to go on here, arriving at conclusions that are, as a result, intended for entertainment rather than informed comment.

Brands is Director of football and has a seat on the board. Football decisions at board level are his.

Paul Tran
27 Posted 03/12/2019 at 07:36:03
Here's a thought. It's a bit dull, but bear with me. Brands is in charge of finding a new manager. He's either being rebuffed by candidates, or he's in the process of negotiating a deal with one and his club. We can't say anything until things are finalised.

In the meantime, bored journalists are dredging up the usual suspects and people are getting annoyed with the speculation.

John Raftery
28 Posted 03/12/2019 at 08:12:08
Tony (18) I don’t think you are mad. Your words prove you are mad.
Drew O'Neall
29 Posted 03/12/2019 at 08:26:19
You lost me at “let's be honest with ourselves, we will not bounce back from within the period of Premier League parachute payments”.

Where does this paranoid, inferiority complex come from with some Everton fans?

I hear “don’t even bother trying to get an elite manager “, “ we are skint“, “we won’t get such and such”, “the new stadium won’t happen”. It’s all self defeating bollocks.

Why wouldn’t we bounce back within the period of Premier League parachute payments?

If you think like this you may as well stay away because you don’t do Everton or Evertonians any good.

John Raftery
30 Posted 03/12/2019 at 08:43:52
Mark (6) I agree with you that Sam should have been left in charge. That always seemed a better option than taking a punt on an unproven novice. Of course it would have been unpopular with many if not most fans but one of the things leaders sometimes need to do is to make unpopular decisions in the best interests of the business. Bowing to the loudest voices among the fan base is not necessarily in the best interests of the business.

Nobody knows who will make the final call on the management position but if they are listening to the fan base at present they will be struggling to hear a coherent message. Bringing in an available but wizened old hand is clearly unpalatable to many. Some have said they want one of several current Premier League managers but doubt any could be extracted during the season. Others want us to chase a top class manager such as Pochettino but the likelihood of anyone of that class entertaining the idea of a relegation battle is the stuff of fantasy. Still others want us to take another punt on an unproven talent from abroad.

In other words the fans are all over the place and whoever is making the decision on the Board ultimately will need to acknowledge that it is impossible to please all the people all the time. On this occasion they may need to accept they cannot please any of the people.

Sam Hoare
31 Posted 03/12/2019 at 09:04:26
In no way or shape should Sam Allardyce been left in charge. His appointment reeked of cowardice and mediocrity.

The recruitment (Tosun and Walcott) was poor and not progressive. The football was dour and depressing. Yes, we managed to get a few more points and he lifted us from 13th to 8th which deserves some credit but we were fortuitous. During his time we were in the bottom 3 for shots for, shots on target and shots against. Think we went 3 whole games without a single shot on target.

Silva has not worked out as anyone hoped for or planned but that does not equate to ‘Allardyce should have stayed’.

Kevin Molloy
32 Posted 03/12/2019 at 09:30:03
as you say, we have no idea if Brands will succeed or not. A very good reason for NOT giving him total control. Get Moyes in, even his detractors know he's got enough about him to keep us up til the summer, then take it from there
Dave Lynch
33 Posted 03/12/2019 at 09:39:00
Rumour is he's not interested in a short term contract Kevin.
In reality... Allardyce has won more than Moyes in his managerial career, both would be a massive step backwards.
John Raftery
34 Posted 03/12/2019 at 09:45:55
Sam (31) ‘Cowardice and mediocrity’? Yet we achieved 8th with a bunch of players inferior to what we have now. Allardyce had no Richarlison or Iwobi or Sidibé or Bernard or Digne in his squad. He was forced to make do with the likes of Ashley Williams, an injured Michael Keane and Yannick Bolasie to name but a few of the inadequate personnel which reflected the scattergun approach of the previous regime.

The signings of Walcott and Tosun strengthened the squad and helped us to garner more points than we would have otherwise done. I suggest Sam would have done far more with the current squad than the current incumbent. We certainly would not be as low as 17th and facing a fight against relegation.

Sam Hoare
35 Posted 03/12/2019 at 10:00:16
John@34, cowardice because it was an appointment made out of fear, made out of the unrealistic belief we could be relegated. A short-term, fearful move.

Mediocrity because in his long career Allardyce has won nothing. He specialises in saving bottom rung teams from relegation. He should never have been manager of this club at this time.

He did ok with some poor players, I’ll give him that. But the football was atrocious and the stats suggest we were very lucky to get the points we got.

Sam may well have got us a few more points this season. He may not. Just because Silva has proved the wrong choice does not mean that Allardyce was the right one. He never was and never will be a suitable long term option for a club with top 6 aspirations. Don’t think you’ll see the likes of Arsenal or West Ham knocking at his door and for good reason.

Kevin Molloy
36 Posted 03/12/2019 at 10:12:56
give him a two year deal. We can still get rid in the summer if the experience is as bad as everyone thinks (don't think it can be any worse than the last five years mind)
Bryan Houghton
37 Posted 03/12/2019 at 10:35:05
What Thomas 26, and Paul 27 says.

Everything else is click bait.

Derek Taylor
38 Posted 03/12/2019 at 10:35:11
Brands is, like the CEO, an executive director who can be fired if the Board is ordered to do so by the major shareholder. For the non-execs, the procedure is more complex and usually ends in 'resignation for personal reasons'.

Formal conduct/ good governance is not usually found at football clubs - even in the Premier League as the majority of non executive directors only serve as such by courtesy of the major shareholder. This was certainly true at Everton throughout the Moores era (early sixties to early nineties ) with share ownership reversal forms always signed and in the JM Building safe or so I am told. Until Moshiri, Kenwright's Board was a couple of mates and his main money l lenders.

Of course, with good results and a decent manager, Board Room politics are rarely mentioned here or on the terraces but It's a convenient diversion for us when things are as they are. As far as Brands is concerned, I feel he has a long way to go before he will be hailed as Moshiri`s saviour. The next managerial appointment will be crucial for HIS survival, methinks, whether or not he is the kingmaker !

Steve Ferns
39 Posted 03/12/2019 at 11:08:24
Why does everyone believe all the paper talk? How do we know exactly who Kenwright wants, and who Moshiri wants? Does it even matter who Kenwright wants? What on earth can Kenwright do to enforce his will on Moshiri?

Could it not be that papers write what they want to write? Everton are doing terribly, clubs doing terribly sack their manager, and Everton are a sacking club. So papers can make shit up knowing that Silva is likely to be sacked and people want to read the crap that they have to read.

Brands track record tells you he does not like to sack managers. Is it not possible that Moshiri regrets being too hasty with Koeman and desperately wants to give Silva as much time as he can?

The bookies have the following as the top 5: David Moyes (evens and favourite), Eddie Howe (3/1), Marcelino (3/1), Mark Hughes (16/1), and Rafa Benitez (16/1). Surely this tells us everything? The quality of the candidates is frankly not good enough. Marcelino or Eddie Howe will follow the now well established pattern of doing well but getting sacked once they hit a bad winless run that they are both prone to do. The next manager will need the board to be stronger and tell the papers that the manager will be given time. We need to break this perpetual cycle.

Forgot to say, good article though Jacques. Disagree with some of what you say, but 100% agree with the main thrust that it must be up to Brands and Brands alone.

Raymond Fox
40 Posted 03/12/2019 at 11:38:52
The problem is we don't know how the decisions are made within the club, its all guesswork.

Moshiri is supplying most of the money, but we don't even know how that works as he does not own the club 100%.
Logically he will probably have the final say, if he says no things wont happen.
Personally I'm not sold on Brands, he's been average in my book but there again we haven't the full facts of what he had to deal with.
I fancy Moshiri is now rueing the day he met Billy boy, we are in a mini crisis once more, he must have doubts about how much money to throw again at the club.
If I was Moshiri I would go all out to get Benitez, we know he can do a good job if he has enough quality in the playing squad and then stick with him come what may.
We badly need some stability that's why we need someone who knows the game inside out, then it becomes all about the ability of the players.
As far as the style of play is concerned its secondary to the results for me, especially at this time we are not in a position to be picky about the style.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 03/12/2019 at 11:46:20
It is all guess work Raymond. Everton have a small board with 4 people. When the board "sat" after the Norwich game, does anyone really think this was just the directors Brands, Barrett-Baxendale, Kenwright and Ryazantsev? Moshiri would have been in there and would have been calling the shots.

His comments to Everton fans were overheard from the press box and reported. His response to angry fans calling for Silva's head was: "We will have better days". It's hardly the words of a furious owner who wants the manager's head on a plate.

Dale Rose
42 Posted 03/12/2019 at 12:40:25
Let's be honest here. It is easier to be unsuccessful, than it is successful.

Bill Kenwright seems a decent bloke. However in this league success is the only thing that counts.

He is not in a position to deliver that as he lives in the past. Couple of seasons ago Everton on their day could best anyone. Not anymore. We are in a fight when we need a football man like Brands to take charge and dig us out.

No more amateur passion and no more enthusiastic amateurs. The club is too big for that.

Derek Knox
43 Posted 03/12/2019 at 12:49:17
Good and sensible article Jacques, having read most of the comments, one thing does stand out for me and Steve Ferns has highlighted it too, we as fans do tend to speculate, because we are never, or rarely informed of what's going on behind the scenes.

Being the Devil's Advocate, I can understand that to a degree, because if certain information was imparted to us, purely to paint a clearer picture, you can bet journo's, agents etc, would manipulate it, either into a headline, or a bargaining position.

I know because this wonderful website (brownie points please Lyndon/Michael) is available to anyone, and is often accessed and infiltrated by journos, agents and opposition fans, and I dare say some of us do the same. To find out innocently enough, about other teams we are due to play, or players we may be rumoured to be interested in.

It's the Media Driven Society we are in this day and age!

Dave Lynch
44 Posted 03/12/2019 at 12:56:04
Nail on head Dale.
Compare us to Liverpool. When Hicks and Gillette where found out to be charlatans they where ousted very quickly by the fans and board.

We on the other hand... Keep spouting sentimental shite about." He's one of us" etc...etc.

I remember the teary one stating after the Wimbledon game, or was it Coventry? Something to the tune of
" This will never happen to this football club again as long as I'm here".

Derek Knox
45 Posted 03/12/2019 at 13:10:49
I posted too early before but wanted to say also in defence of Marcel Brands, that he did say it would take him 4-5 years for his project to show dividends.

Many have criticised him for his activity in the Transfer Windows, and I think (my opinion by the way) unfairly, again picking up on what I said previously we don't know the full story of who he has tried to get, been rebuffed or whatever.

Okay the last foray into the Market has been unlucky with JP Gbamin out injured before his Everton career had really effectively started. A similar fate befell Andre Gomes, and to a lesser degree Delph and Bernard.

He couldn't have possibly predicted such bad luck, no-one could have, but I feel generally most of the transfers to date have been in the main good, because the Manager is either not playing them or playing them out of position shouldn't reflect on Brands.

Jacques Sandtonian
46 Posted 03/12/2019 at 13:20:31
@Derek your first point was accurate, as far as I'm concerned and those who posted that "we know nothing, all we do is speculate, for all we know Brands is pulling strings behind the scenes" are fair too.

The real thrust of this article should be that, at best we have poor communication from the top of the organisation as to whose responsibility is what in the executive. They don't owe us that level of clarity, as a private organisation, but it's logical to do so if your organisation is as susceptible to vitriolic backlash as Everton Football Club is.

That means that, at worst, we have what I am perceiving, which is a muddled leadership structure where you have a man with money and majority control, another man with a long history at the club who has a history of almost total control, and a third man who has no money invested, no long history but a greater understanding of football than the other other two.

And, really, that echoes the situation at Arsenal where a manager was woefully out of his depth and had to be sacked but a total absence of clarity as to who is pulling the strings on football strategy, and they too have a Director of Football of sorts (Edu, I believe that is his role).

Sometimes the woes of Arsenal and United are all I have for comfort.

Steve Ferns
47 Posted 03/12/2019 at 13:36:16
Jacques, what do you perceive Kenwright to be doing here? He cannot be trying to force Moshiri to his will. Moshiri can get rid of him very easily. I would except him to be more of a "worm-tongue" telling Moshiri what he wants to hear but keep dropping in that Moyes could be the answer.

Unai Emery is a very good manager. You don't win 3 consecutive Europa Leagues if you're not. Arsenal, like Everton have deep rooted problems. Like Everton, they seem to be in "groundhog" mode, with the same issues happening time and again.

John Keating
48 Posted 03/12/2019 at 14:09:03

Regarding Brands and his 4- or 5-year project. That's great and I think most supporters could accept that if we could see incremental year-on-year improvement. However, we are actually going backward and his 4- or 5-year plan is seriously in trouble.

I doubt very much he envisaged us being in our present predicament early doors. I hope there's built-in flexibility in his plan because he'll bloody need it.

Raymond Fox
49 Posted 03/12/2019 at 14:10:49
If you look at Everton as a business, as indeed it is, you wouldn't award it for efficiency at any level. By that, I mean from the owner down to the players, every part of the club is underperforming in my eyes.

In any other sector of business, it would be ripe for a takeover.

Steve Ferns
50 Posted 03/12/2019 at 14:22:00
John, you can achieve good results quickly if you really want to. All you need to do is to adopt a very defensive way of playing. This can only take you so far though. If you try to switch from a defensive to an offensive way of playing, everything tends to fall apart, and most managers struggle to master both, being very good at one of the other or even somewhere in between.

Sam Allardyce is a master of the defensive way of playing, which is why he can keep struggling teams up. If you then switch to a more offensive way of playing, you can see a dramatic downturn. Last season I thought we had suffered such but then came through it.

This season has been worse. If we struggled but eventually recovered to limp home in 10th and that recovery was down to signing a Zouma replacement and a decent striker and maybe even a Doucoure and we finished the season playing good stuff, then we went into the next season much more consistent and cracked the top 6, the season we finished 6th would certainly be progression, but can't a bad season finishing 10th be part of the progression?

Moyes made progress to 4th with a blip into 17th, which was part of the progression as he sorted the team out.

John Keating
51 Posted 03/12/2019 at 14:50:48
Steve 50
Fully agree Steve.
IF we sign a Zouma, IF we sign a striker, IF we sign a Ducoure, IF we started playing good stuff and IF we limped into 10th place. I and many people would take that right now.

Thing is Steve all those IF's are maybe possibly in the future and not guaranteed.

The only thing definite is the here and now and the predicament we are presently in and no real sign of getting out of.

It might be Steve that to salvage some of this 4-5 year plan we have to safeguard our league status first and, unfortunately, go defensive to achieve it. One thing is definite, what we are doing now is not at all working.

Are there 3 worse teams than us at present? Are we in a bad situation position wise? Do we have the manager and players to get us out of it?
I would answer No, yes and no.

Steve Ferns
52 Posted 03/12/2019 at 14:55:45
Yes, No and Yes.
Mark Guglielmo
53 Posted 03/12/2019 at 15:03:28
Paul @27 dull? Maybe. Utterly rational? 100%. Good, concise analysis.

Kevin @32 what kind of backasswards logic is that? "We don't know if you'll succeed so you can't be given the control you'll need to succeed." Do you realize just how bollocks that sounds? Of course you want Moyes. Another dinosaur who can't see more than 3 feet in front of his face.

John @34 yeah, spending that money on Walcott & Tosun was genius. As long as you don't mind that they're both playing a huge role in our current predicament. So real glad you got your tiny little win since the far-reaching effects have been much more damaging longer-term. It's literally the definition of shortsightedness.

Steve @47 you owe me a royalty check for using Grima Wormtongue to describe BK's influence over Moshiri; I used it sometime last week 😉

John @48 it isn't at all uncommon to have to go backwards in order to go forward as planned, especially early on in a long-term project. That's because one of the first steps in the project is correcting/fixing the inherited problems. Do you not see that? How do you know his project is "seriously in trouble?" Have you seen its future roadmap?

John Keating
54 Posted 03/12/2019 at 15:32:24
I am fully aware that sometimes it I necessary to take a step back to go forward in any long term plan.

However, are you seriously suggesting that in the second year of this 4-5 year plan it is acceptable/was envisaged to be hovering in 17th position, unable to beat teams above us and below us ??

Playing dour football, making the same mistakes we made 18 months ago ?

Seriously Mark. I know plans have to be flexible and amended as we go along but seriously are you sure where we are at present was envisaged ?

Dave Lynch
55 Posted 03/12/2019 at 15:47:23
What's with all this new ground falling through talk.

Have I missed something?

Eddie Dunn
56 Posted 03/12/2019 at 16:18:42
Speculation and conjecture can be an interesting pastime but we might as well just wait and see as we have no say in the matter and no idea what is on the table.
We don't know that Bill wants Moyes and we don't know if Poch has been sounded out. Nor do we know if Rafa has been approached. We know very little.
Now if we were all shareholders and the club wasn't run as a vanity project we might have a clue.
Mark Guglielmo
57 Posted 03/12/2019 at 16:19:10
John, to answer your question, no, I don't believe they thought being in 17th by May 2020 was part of the plan. I highly doubt they have a mandated table position month-by-month mapped out. Only histrionic fans do.

I don't know what they envisioned for 19/20 but in a loose general sense I wouldn't be surprised if it was 7th-17th. Which are usually the same. Maybe a good Cup run. Europe in year 2 would have been an unexpected but pleasant cup of gravy. It will take at least 2-3 more windows to out with the old, in with the new from a player perspective. The manager is a different story because it would actually be in Brand's interest to get to choose one that's perfectly aligned with the skills of the team he's assembling. These are my logical guesses.

Mark Guglielmo
58 Posted 03/12/2019 at 16:25:19
Oh, and before I forget, this kind of piggybacks off what Eddie just said above me.

I've been speaking with a mate of mine who's pretty tied in with the Club. He has a contact high up in the front office who has "been right more often than not." This contact has fed my friend quite a bit of good inside intel that's been used by ToffeeTV, and The Athletic, to name a couple.

This person said the Board/Moshiri has been split with each having a favorite, as such:

Moshiri - Arteta
Brands - Gallardo
BK - Moyes
DBB (aka BK's 2nd choice) - Howe

It was also pointed out to not believe what you're reading in the tabloids.

Steve Ferns
59 Posted 03/12/2019 at 16:29:15
Mark, are you seriously telling me that Barret-Baxendale is holding out for Eddie Howe? She confesses that she knows little about football. She would not fight her corner for Eddie Howe! Why on earth would Brands favour Gallardo. This is ridiculous. Your mate knows what he professes to.
Mark Guglielmo
60 Posted 03/12/2019 at 16:35:24
Steve you're free to believe whatever you want. And my friend is the messenger only. He specifically said "more often than not." Meaning yes, sometimes he's wrong.

His contact has provided correct info before, which is more than you, or have insight into. Perhaps on your next call to DBB you can press her to explain her selection criteria. Though I'm equally unsure as to why you wouldn't lend any credence too her simply picking whoever BK has as his 2nd choice, as his right hand little miss dynamite. Seems entirely possible to me.

Take it with as many grains of salt as your diet allows.

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 03/12/2019 at 16:41:18
Surely the reality is Moshiri is holding out for a miracle on Silva. He's sensible enough to have a backup plan and Brands is working properly sounding out a number of people, and with Moshiri's position there's not much movement as if the axe is to fall soon, it will not be until after Chelsea.

There is no way Kenwright is going to fall out with Moshiri by arguing over a new manager. They guy is on the gravy train and he will not lose that position for the sake of Moyes! Similarly, Barrett-Baxendale knows she will never get a better paid job in her life, so she's not going to jeopardise that when her brief is everything but the football. surely, she's got her hands full with that?

If / When Silva is sacked, it'll be a conversation between two men, Brands and Moshiri, with Brands giving his advice and opinion and Moshiri making a choice. There will be no arguing.

People forget there'll be conversations like:

"Pochettino says he will take the job, but he wants £20m a year for five years, paid in full if sacked, final say on all transfers, in and out, and £100m to spend now and £300m in the summer".

It's not just the names, but it's the salary, it's the length of contract, the clauses, the level of control, the money spent, etc, etc. If the Esk is to be believed then Everton have very limited money to spend in January and hardly more in the summer, so any big wages or transfer funds will come directly out of Moshiri's pocket, FFP willing (which the Esk again says restrict us).

Conor McCourt
62 Posted 03/12/2019 at 16:53:36
Mark 58 if you are correct I'm hoping Moshiri is king here.
Jay Harris
63 Posted 03/12/2019 at 17:06:38
As I have posted previously and it seemed to go under the radar.

One of my best friends is friends with Keith Harris and when he left Everton he told him he was glad to be out of the club as it was the most dysfunctional board he has ever dealt with.

Bill does not get his reputation as a snake oil salesman for nothing. He has conned some of the best businessmen going in Paul Gregg, Earle, Green, Terry Leahy to name but a few so I'm sure he has no problem giving Moshiri the silver tongue talk.

As previously mentioned Moshiri has the shareholding power to remove any board member but does not have any voting rights in board decisions.
I am sure that the condition that BK remained chairman was written in to any sale conditions as I remember this being the reason we were finding it difficult to find a buyer.

Somebody said earlier Bill is a decent man. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a deceitful egotist who takes total control and has the hide of a rhinocerous.

We will not be a proper club again until he is gone.

Jay Harris
64 Posted 03/12/2019 at 17:09:23
Just to add that is my opinion and may not reflect the opinion of ToffeeWeb nor its administrators.
Mark Guglielmo
65 Posted 03/12/2019 at 18:06:22
Steve, as always, you present your position in an entirely logical and plausible way, but the very first sentence begins with "Surely."

That says it all. We don't know! I didn't plant any flags in my post, I was merely the conduit to share what I was told. No one still knows - me included - just how close to the bullseye this person is.

Everyone seems to have ignored Chris's posts @8 and @12, and he's actually worked with Boards before. Again, we don't know because Everton isn't a publicly-owned company, so they're under no obligation to share their hierarchy. All we can do is discuss how it should work if they were a "normal" company.

Very simple. 4 Board members, each with an equal vote. Since that can easily result in a 2-2 vote on any number of issues, one can only assume that Moshiri himself has the power to break a deadlock. We're not Microsoft with 100,000 employees here. If Everton doesn't run things like they're in the twilight zone, the Russian basically operates as the CFO. DBB as the CEO runs the business side of the company. Brands as the DOF runs the football side of the company. Who the F knows what Kenwright does. It is very possible it does work this way. Or it doesn't.

All I can hope, personally, is that this is exactly how it works and Brands is being allowed to do his job, regardless of what the tabloids say, or what shortsighted supporters can see. Judge after the fact, not before it. It isn't that hard.

Derek Knox
66 Posted 03/12/2019 at 22:19:53
Jay @ you mentioned Keith Harris, but no mention of Orville there...
Steve Ferns
67 Posted 03/12/2019 at 22:25:54
Mark, Moshiri is not on the Board and has no vote.

You'd be doing yourself out of a job if you go against the owner's wishes though. He'd call an EGM and vote you off the board and swamp it with directors to do his bidding.

Mark Guglielmo
68 Posted 03/12/2019 at 22:32:37
Steve-o, carefully re-read what I wrote. Oh fuck it, here:

"4 Board members, each with an equal vote. Since that can easily result in a 2-2 vote on any number of issues, one can only assume that Moshiri himself has the power to break a deadlock."

While I didn't spell it out, perhaps I should have. There are 4 board members, I didn't name them because I assumed everyone knew who they were. In the event a vote between the 4 board members ends in a 2-2 deadlock, one would assume that Moshiri would step in to break the tie. Not as a Board member, as the guy who pays everyone's salary and owns the team.

Interesting you do comment about who Moshiri should have on the Board. Since 3 of the 4 are actual employees of the company, with roles that carry their own goals, etc, they shouldn't actually be on the Board. Except in our case, they are.

This is why we're broken. Moshiri should have wiped everyone out. Kenwright, Barrett-Baxendale, anyone else in management that was a 'yes-man' to Kenwright, you name it. Gone. Then bring in new blood with progressive ideas that could be implemented to take the Club (company) forward.

Paul Tran
69 Posted 03/12/2019 at 22:35:49
Mark, it's common practice in the UK for Directors to also be employees. Doesn't always happen, but is common. I pay myself a salary from my business and am classed as an employee for that purpose, while being a Director.
Steve Ferns
70 Posted 03/12/2019 at 22:38:47
Mark, if there's a tie then the chairman, Bill Kenwright, has the casting vote.

There may be peculiarities in the Articles and Association but this is basic UK company law.

It's a football board and it's very different from a normal company. For example, you wouldn't normally hold a board meeting with a non-director present and calling the shots at a big company with Everton's turnover.

Mark Guglielmo
71 Posted 04/12/2019 at 03:29:21
It appears as if it's the word "Director" that's causing the confusion between us. You're using Director in this case as member of the Board of Directors. That sounds correct. I've been thinking Director of Football is his title in the company, not realizing the 2 Director titles in play. Now football clubs may very well be different as you say, but a Director in any other company is just a level of senior leader (typically goes Manager, Sr. Manager, Director, Sr. Director, VP, SVP, EVP, Executive or C-Suite). So it would appear as though you're referring to Brands as a Board of Director, and I'm considering him a Director of Football, his actual position. It appears both are true because Everton is a weird football club masquerading as a company.

Now this is where it gets weirder (to me). A Director of Football would almost never also be a member of the Board of Directors, though again it may be the football club aspect of this. It doesn't make it any less weird though, lol. The entire hierarchical chain of command is completely topsy turvy! That's why I've said things like "Brands reports to DBB" because a Director (position) would be junior to a CEO (position). And then I think, but how are they equals on the Board (of Directors)? I'm absolutely flummoxed by the whole thing.

Anyway, just trying to explain where my thought process was coming from. Steve, if it is as you say, and the only 4 votes that matter are the actual 4 Board members, with the Chairman's vote being the tiebreaker, should it come to that, then we are right and truly fucked.

It would then seem to be a pray for god scenario that Brands is the ONLY person allowed to make the managerial decision, simply because I could very easily see a 2-2 tie (Brands & Russian moneyman aka Moshiri's proxy vs Kenwright & Barrett-Baxendale), with Kenwright's vote crushing any sense of forward progress.

Does any of what I said make sense?

Chris Williams
72 Posted 04/12/2019 at 07:24:18

It should be the Board’s responsibility, collectively to formulate the strategy for the club, and to monitor the progress against pre agreed targets. It is perfectly reasonable in that scenario, that each board member has an executive function to deliver their part of that strategy - the finance guy delivers the financial targets etc. Because each has worked on the strategy they can ensure that their individual teams are also working to the same business aims. They then must deliver to the Board progress reports for discussion at Board meetings. These are minuted with agreed action points.

All this is entirely logical and desirable. Any major decisions will need to be agreed by the Board, each Director having an equal vote. Not every decision needs a formal vote and can go through ‘on the nod’. Most day to day decisions are like this. Directors in their executive roles make decisions every day of their lives, and as long as they are consistent with strategic aims that’s the way it should be.

The Board as an entity has a legal status and Directors within that Board have legal obligations known as Fiduciary Responsibilities, as well as executive responsibilities. They are required by law to do their job well and honestly. Competency is a variable, honesty is not.

No individual has the power to make arbitrary decisions, so Brands cannot go and appoint a new Manager unless he has been authorised by the Board, any more than the Russian bloke can go and build a new stadium somewhere. If Brands finds 2 candidates but favours one, he still needs to bring that final decision back to the Board. They should back his choice but there is no guarantee. After due discussion, including costs and all the other points Steve raised, a decision will be reached, probably with a vote, and duly minuted.

That’s how it should work.

In practice anything will have been discussed and agreed with Moshiri, who has no formal role on the Board, and no vote.

When a Company is sold, there is an formal, binding agreement called an SPA. This covers every single aspect and condition of the requirements of both buyer and seller. It is a very detailed legal document, and must be agreed by all parties. As Steve says, Kenwright will have included in that his wish to be Chairman, with its powers, and to retain a small shareholding maybe. There will probably be some sort of time limit on that, which may be the planning permission for the new stadium for example. At this point the value of the company will increase, as will Kenwright’s retained shareholding.

So as it stands it is highly likely that Moshiri cannot just get rid of Kenwright, no matter how much he might like to. It may be that he circumvents the Board because of that. That is what people might call dysfunctional.

But of course who knows?

Derek Thomas
73 Posted 04/12/2019 at 08:26:05
Mark @71, Chris @ 72...and others; All the above is why we ended up with 3 No. 10s and a playing formation that doesn't use one.

When football was 'smaller' and mid to small town clubs - owned and funded by the local big fish in a small pond business man...(your Derby County, your Burnleys) could still, up to a point, compete. It was a cliche in football that the same businessman that would, in his own world, cut your legs off for half a pennys profit. Would go against all his 40yrs of business acumen when it came to 'His' football club.

Moshiri is a 'hands off' owner, this is not his day job, because he still has a day job with a proper businessman, a real heavy hitter...literally - He who must be obeyed.

Snake oil Bill has done him like a dinner. He's kidded Moshiri he knows what he's doing.

He needs to take charge and clean house. Find a Chairman who knows something about the 2 'F's Football and Finance. This Chairman can then run the 2 halfs of the board hopefully as one - Fooball...under Brands and Finance under...whoever.
I'm sure its not as simple as I make out, but I know its not as hard as this lot make it seem.

Chris Williams
74 Posted 04/12/2019 at 08:47:03

I totally agree. It should be a simple exercise. But it is, as always, complicated by people. In this case, as everybody seems to feel, Kenwright, probably. If he is locked in, and we don’t know that for sure, then he won’t be got out easily or cheaply, without breaking a binding agreement. Breach of Contract is not a good look.

I can’t think of any other reason why Moshiri would tolerate him, given the evidence. Unless of course, Moshiri is chastened by decisions to bring in Wash, Koeman, Allardyce etc. If those were indeed his decisions alone.

But it’s all conjecture and maybe he thinks Bill is a genius.

Mark Guglielmo
75 Posted 04/12/2019 at 15:19:06
There is a very good (IMO), very detailed article just posted in The Athletic that gives some excellent insights around this very specific topic. How decisions are discussed and made. I don't know the rules as to whether I can copy it here or not, so I won't unless told otherwise. The Athletic is a pay site, there's no clickbait, and they use sources from within the Club.

Let's just say it's exactly what I've feared all along.

Steve Ferns
76 Posted 04/12/2019 at 15:34:40
I referenced it before Mark. Moshiri seems like a child. The owner should not be ringing the head coach / manager or the Director of Football at midnight to say he just read Gareth Bale is unhappy, how can we get him? Or going against Brands advice and putting bids in for players like Zaha. Thanks for the money Farad. You've put your faith in Brands and that looks like your best idea since taking over the club, now let him get on with the job he was hired to do and let's see if he really is as good as he is said to be. And yes, that means no interfering from you.

Also Mark, did you also read, on the Athletic, how Silva requested Rojo and Brands vetoed it. Again, dunno what difference, if any Rojo would have made, but it could explain the desire to give Silva every chance as the board have not given him a fair crack.

Also a couple of good recent articles on there about what happens inside the boardroom when the manager is sacked.

Mark Guglielmo
77 Posted 04/12/2019 at 16:09:03
I just saw that you posted it, Steve. I made a comment toward the (current) bottom of the thread. I'm not surprised that we're the only 2 who pay for the site. Doesn't fit the sky-is-falling narrative from the Mail/Mirror/Sun that's taken as gospel around here. And no, not yet, I'm backtracking through articles I hadn't gotten to yet.

Summary for those who don't know what Steve & I are talking about: Brands isn't being allowed to do his job without meddling. End of.


Chris Williams
78 Posted 04/12/2019 at 17:01:16
I assume Brands must be telling people about Moshiri ringing him at all hours, and they’re talking to these guys so it’s getting into the public domain, ot Brands is telling them himself.

I think Moshiri is entitled to his opinion as long as that is all it is. Up to Brands to manage that relationship. Directors have to deal with interfering Chairmen, Owners/ family members as a matter of course. I used to listen politely, smile and say OK I’ll have a look, and then ignore it. They usually move on to the next fad.

Having said that it shows there is a problem there, and certainly I’d have thought he had bigger priorities to deal with, but maybe not so glamorous.

I’m sure that there is an element of sympathy there for Silva because of the holes in his squad that he was left to contend with. How long that will persist I’m not sure.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads

© ToffeeWeb