Farhad Moshiri’s Everton apology splits the club’s fanbase as some supporters praise their owner for admitting his mistakes… but others mock his claim Frank Lampard was the ‘outstanding candidate’ to replace Rafa Benitez
Farhad Moshiri’s lengthy apology for Everton’s almost calamitous 2021-22 season has split the Toffees fanbase, with some scrutinising his remarks over the process of appointing Frank Lampard as manager and others praising the owner’s honesty.
Lampard’s Everton fought back from 2-0 down at Goodison Park against Crystal Palace to win 3-2 in the penultimate game of the season and crucially maintain their Premier League status.
The season began with the unpopular appointment of Liverpool legend Rafa Benitez as Everton boss. He was axed in January when they were 15th in the table and six points above the drop.
Everton were rebuffed by Belgium when they tried to bring Roberto Martinez back to Goodison Park to replace Benitez, with Vitor Pereira, Duncan Ferguson and Lampard then all interviewed for the job amid a fan backlash against the Portuguese boss.
Farhad Moshiri wrote a letter to Everton fans apologising for their awful 2021-22 season
Moshiri said ‘outstanding candidate’ Lampard was appointed after a ‘robust process’ but in response, fans raised how Roberto Martinez and Vitor Pereira were among the frontrunners
There was a fan backlash towards Pereira, while Everton then turned to Lampard in January
The club insist that a rigorous process to find Benitez’s replacement was undertaken and that Lampard what the unanimous choice of Moshiri and the board ahead of Pereira and club legend Ferguson.
In Moshiri’s apology that was published on Wednesday night, he said of Lampard’s appointment: ‘During the 2021-22 season, the board led a strategic review… of our footballing operation in order to clearly identify the causes of our under-delivery on the pitch. Many of the learnings have already been implemented.
‘The recruitment of Frank Lampard as our manager is one example. He was the outstanding candidate at the end of a robust and clearly defined process, demonstrating an ability to marry his technical skills with passion, intelligence, humility and in alignment with the values of our club.’
However, one Everton fan remarked on that in response to Moshiri’s letter, writing: ‘”Lampard….. was the outstanding candidate at the end of a robust and clearly defined process”…er…only after the Belgian FA wouldn’t allow him to get Martinez! And fans stopped him getting Pereira..’
Fans were quick to question Moshiri’s remarks about how the club hired Lampard
It was a comment mirrored by another fan who said: ‘Stop taking credit for getting Lampard after a so called “long process”…. u listened to Kenwright first who wanted Martinez back… luckily Belgium wouldn’t allow it…. then you wanted and was gonna appoint ya mate Pereira till the backlash of fans.’
But Moshiri will see enough positive responses if he reads through the replies.
One supporter said: ‘Fair play to him, made a lot of mistakes but at least he’s not hiding like a lot of other owners usually do.’
Another wrote: ‘This is a good start, an apology was definitely needed. All we want is to know lessons have been learned and how things are going to change.’
But other supporters gave Moshiri credit for fronting up after such a difficult campaign
And a different fan said: ‘Nice one Farhad, learn from your mistakes and never let us be in that situation again.’
Everton are now preparing for the 2022-23 season, for which the fixtures are announced on June 16.
They are closing in on signing defender James Tarkowski on a free transfer from Burnley and are also linked with a move for Harry Winks from Tottenham.
Everton have been largely unsuccessful in the transfer market in recent years, splurging £26million on Yannick Bolasie, splashing out big wages on James Rodriguez, £24m on Davy Klaassen, £20m on Cenk Tosun and £24m on Moise Kean among many others who have since moved on.
In an unusual step for an owner, Moshiri admitted that the club’s recruitment has been wide of the mark.
He continued: ‘We are committed to not making the same mistakes again, including how we have not always spent significant amounts of money wisely.’