Everton need new philosophy, culture and director of football in order to compete again

Sunday, 23 January, 2022 47comments  |  Jump to last
Despite being an ex-Red, Robbie Fowler nails the problems at Everton when he writes that the club, "sacked Rafa Benitez leaving owner Farhad Moshiri looking for another new manager but the lack of structure within the Merseyside club will continue to hinder the man in the dugout".

» Read the full article at The Mirror

Reader Comments (47)

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Shaun Laycock
1 Posted 23/01/2022 at 19:29:50
Food for thought...if every Tom, Dick and Harry can see the issues, the why can't the board.
Brian Murray
2 Posted 23/01/2022 at 19:36:42
Shaun. Because for every Tom dick a d Harry there’s a Walter ( Mitty ) in the fan base who bill embraces helping him limp along to the bmd opening day.
Barry Rathbone
3 Posted 23/01/2022 at 20:06:08
Absolutely wrong.

Fowler couldn't be more wrong without going to a store called "wrong ideas r us" to buy a big hat with "I'm wrong" printed on the front

In this day and age the only thing that matters is loads and loads of cash which we simply do not have. Philosophy and culture is middle management waffle and nothing more than esoteric bollocks.

The DOF position is another sound-bite position it doesn't work here and only clubs with loads and loads of dinero make a stab at it. Doubtless if they binned it tomorrow no one would notice.

Tony Hill
4 Posted 23/01/2022 at 20:18:05
Barry @3, you're right insofar as you speak about the top 4, but we're not in that league and despite spending a lot of money below that level, we have failed badly. That failure is indeed to do with philosophy and culture.
Shaun Laycock
5 Posted 23/01/2022 at 20:34:52
I don't think we could go far wrong from this model...


Justin Doone
6 Posted 23/01/2022 at 20:39:56
Look at the managers we have had in the last 6 years.

There is no known pattern or preference for a particular football style or setup.

Get that right and it helps keep player recruitment aligned to whoever is coach or manager.

Ajay Gopal
7 Posted 24/01/2022 at 05:22:33
Unfortunately, I agree with every word that Robbie Fowler says, even though he is a Red. The People's Club tag hangs around the club like a bad smell. We need EFC to be run far, far more professionally than what it is today. Instead of relying on shady individuals like Kia Joorabchian and outdated romanticists like Kenwright, why doesn't Moshiri hand over the reins of all matters related to the club to a professional Sports Management company - this includes the finances of EFC as well. You can't separate the Footballing and Financial aspects - ultimately finance is what dictates how any business organisation is run. And let us all recognise that Everton is a business organisation. Yes, an organisation that has a special relationship with its customers - the fans - but a business nonetheless. Hopefully the Football Management company will have football experts as well as marketing, finance, sports psychologists, fitness coaches, scouts, who work within a defined management structure and get the best people for the different functions. The Owner of the club has to set out mutually agreed Performance goals and keeps his hands off the day-to-day running of the club. Of course, this strategy carries a lot of risks, especially in the condition that Everton are presently at, but even at the cost of relegation, this could lay the foundation for long term sustainability and competitiveness.
Denis Hignett
8 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:12:43
Who is going to sack the board?
Clive Rogers
9 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:17:05
We haven’t really got a board. There’s just Moshiri, Kenwright and a couple of nodding dogs.
Steavey Buckley
10 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:24:58
If the board is sacked, who is going to bankroll Everton FC? The disgruntled Everton fans?
Brian Williams
11 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:28:48
Steavey. The board doesn't bankroll the club Mr Moshiri does. The board puts no money into the club.
Colin Glassar
12 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:31:17
Steavey, do you really think Svengali and Dame Edna invest a penny into the club?
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
13 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:33:47
And the only person to sack the board is not us the customers, it is the major shareholder.

Until he can be convinced they are not looking after his investment and adding value, then he does not need to act.

Any action on his part to do that also means that he has admit that his appointments have been incorrect.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:37:30
Moshiri is not on the board, just Kenwright and the three nodding dogs appointed by him, althoughGraeme Sharp was appointed to challenge the board and point out any mistakes they might make as well as making the tea and ordering and going for their sarnies, I think he pulled the short straw, Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart pulled the other two.
Barry Hesketh
15 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:46:23
I imagine that Moshiri is quite happy to keep the status-quo in regards to the make-up of the board, so any action that fans might want to see taken is unlikely to happen.

It doesn't matter how many or for how long the fans sit-in following matches, it doesn't matter how loud we scream and protest, the owner is master of all he surveys and he can do what he likes, and if people on the board advise him against making certain decisions he can put his fingers in his ears and whistle Dixie and carry on regardless.

The next big step that Moshiri makes, may well be to appoint Kiavash "Kia" Joorabchian to a position of power within the club, although I'm not certain that would be allowed.

Steavey Buckley
16 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:47:01
Moshiri may not be directly involved with the board, but they have his support, while he is bankrolling the club. The problem with the board in the past before Moshiri bought the club the board had no support of money.

Everton's major problems on the pitch is a succession of managers who wasted money on players who have brought Everton into the relegation zone.

The sooner Everton find a suitable manager, the sooner the better to get Everton out of the threat of relegation.

Danny Baily
17 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:48:36
In the short term, we need a left back and a playmaker. Unfortunately, given the managerial situation, it's unlikely that we'll be able to bring those players in.

Fowler is wrong about the need for a DoF in my opinion.

John Raftery
18 Posted 24/01/2022 at 17:37:01
Barry (3) and Danny (17) I disagree. I read an article last week that eighteen out of twenty Premier League clubs employ a Director of Football, sometimes called Sporting Director or similar. Among the more successful has been Dan Ashworth at Brighton, a club which has overtaken us without the huge financial advantages available to the bigger clubs.
Jay Harris
19 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:01:04
IF we had a footballing chairman or chief executive we wouldnt need a DOF right now but with teary Bill and his floosie not having a clue about football we need a footballing man to make decisions and set the tone going forward. I would like Tim Cahill to be given that job to support big Dunc and Bainsey till the end of the season and in the meantime sound out the right person to coach and manage the playing staff.
John Raftery
20 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:39:21
Jay, how many clubs have a footballing chairman or chief executive? Most employ a director of football to lead the football side of the business.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 24/01/2022 at 19:11:17
Has Fowler been reading mine and others' rants on ToffeeWeb?

I believe you're correct John Raftery. We are now one of only 2 Premier League clubs that don't have a DoF or Sporting Director model in place.

Andrew Bentley
22 Posted 24/01/2022 at 19:19:05
Fowler has absolutely nailed this spot on. Couldn’t stand the man as a player, but this view is spot on.

It’s not just about Money, we’ve spent half a billion pounds already to be worse than we’ve ever been. We spent £35m on two players and then sacked the manager who signed them within a week, allowing him to bin off one of our first team regulars and usually one of the first names on the team sheet.

This is what happens with no plan, no strategy, and no clear direction. It’s what happens when 2 people at the club treat it like their own personal plaything, treat the club and fans as if we are idiots and make random decisions without getting the right people in place to do this for them.

Fair play to Fowler. It’s taken a red to sum this up perfectly. Sods law

Darren Hind
23 Posted 24/01/2022 at 19:27:06
We had two DOF's. They ruined us by spending a fortune on shite.

We were not pulling up trees before we decided It was a good idea to hire a DOF, but we usually occupied a top 6-7 place.

This entire nightmare began with DO fucken F's. When I hear people bang on about DOF's without understanding what they do. I go back to the fella in Bullens road shouting "score"

Andy Crooks
24 Posted 24/01/2022 at 19:42:16
Does anyone remember, not that long ago, by the way, when Tony D'anson, ( May not have the name right) was putting together an attempt to raise funds to save the club. ToffeeWebbers, posted, on a monumental thread, just how much they would give per month. If I recall, I was prepared to cough up a tenner.
Anyway it was a fucking utterly mad scheme but demonstrated just how bad things were. However, at the time we were in seventh place in the table. FIVE HUNDRED FUCKING MILLION POUNDS LATER, well, it's Everton, that.
Bobby Mallon
25 Posted 25/01/2022 at 16:57:19
Barry rathbone no your wrong and Robbie Fowler is 100% correct. We have been a basket case of a club for yrs. we need a structure just as he says not this scatter gun hiring and firing, I’ll buy who I want it’s my money little school boy antics.
1,DOF who appoints a COACH.
2, DOF who buys young players who the coach. COACHES
3, DOF tells Unsworth just how our teams philosophy is and all ages play that way.
4, Moshiri stays away from meddling in transfers he just signs the checks.

Will Mabon
26 Posted 25/01/2022 at 17:15:58


Jay Harris
27 Posted 25/01/2022 at 17:33:44
The best model would be to study all the successful clubs in football and put some of their ideas and philosophies into practice.

I thought this was what Moshiri was proposing to do in a review but, hey, no – he just asks Jim White and Kia Koorabachian what they would do.

The club is an amateur show from top to bottom.

Rob Halligan
28 Posted 25/01/2022 at 17:45:03
This phrase "The People's Club" was coined by Moyes when he became manager back in 2002. I don't recall any patent being taken out on it, so why are we still using it 20 years later?

It was great at first, as it really did wind the RS up, but it's annoying now. Kenwright, if I remember, milked it for all its worth when Moyes first came out with it, and he's never stopped since.

Danny O’Neill
29 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:04:30
I hate the phrase, Rob. In fact I've never liked or used it (to my knowledge).

It's cringeworthy. It's Kenwright. It's cosy. Dare I say, Kopite like. Get rid of it.

I know what I expect from a DoF, Darren, if you do it right like a lot of clubs in the top flight of English and European football do.

It's like shouting "sack the charlatan manager" every 18 months only to go through the same thing again.

The manager is the wrong target.

Chris Leyland
30 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:16:28
Rob/ Danny, the phrase isn’t really ‘Kopite like’ as it absolutely wound them up at the time. Drove them mad. One of the very few times we’ve laid a glove on them about anything in 30 plus years. It served its purpose well at the time.

The fact it’s still used now just demonstrates the reality that we haven’t progressed on or off the field since.

Peter Neilson
31 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:19:53
We'd be going onto our third DoF in 6 years. That's excluding Benitez who to all intents and purposes appeared to have briefly assumed the responsibilities of one.

Two of the main claims for a DoF are stability and dictating a style of play. We've already blown the stability argument. On the second point if we appoint a new manager now before a DoF it's the wrong way round and a recipe for further sackings and payoffs.

If Moshiri is intent on a DoF it almost certainly means a temporary manager until the end of the season, but I'd expect anyone in the market to have us over a barrel and demand a second season. Just as Allardyce did. This probably leaves Moshiri hoping Ferguson can get the results we need.

Jay Wood

32 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:20:18
Rob, on copywriting 'the People's Club' slogan.

Wasn't there a story way back in the day that when the club eventually got around to 'patenting' it, they found some scally scarf seller pedalling his wares outside the ground on match day had already done so.

And there was nowt the club could do to about it.

Or is that an urban myth..?

Peter Neilson
33 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:29:06
Bobby (25) I like your fourth point. Reminds me of Clough in The Damned United with the Derby Chairman.


Will Mabon
34 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:33:16
Chris, I think what really pissed them off was Moyes noting, correctly, that the people seen out on the streets in Liverpool are mostly Everton supporters.
Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:45:38
That’s not urban myth Jay, it’s a true story. The man who patented The People’s Club, is a mad, mad Evertonian, who was aware of how badly the commercial side of Everton operated, and decided to try and patent the slogan, because he half expected that the club, wouldn’t have had the nouse to do it themselves, and he was right.

That’s the problem with Everton, they have got some wide-arse clever fans, (fuckn loads, take KEIOC, for example) who absolutely love our club, know as much about our club, as anyone connected to it, would do as much as anyone to see our club become successful, and have to suffer the present idiots slowly destroying the soul of our club, because there is nothing wrong with the way it’s being run, allegedly.

Barry Rathbone
36 Posted 25/01/2022 at 18:57:12
Bobby Mallon 25

Your post is entirely about the Moshiri years and nobody disputes his nob'ead status re footy but being a nob'ead has nothing to do with culture and philosophy.

A brief review of posts on here and other places prior to his takeover would find a goodly amount saying we were doing alright (punching above our weight – yuk!!) and that was without a DOF.

Oodles of money is irrefutably the key to get where we want it's not even an argument.

Consider the evidence. Man City and Chelsea spent loads on managers and players in their early stages and kept spending till they struck gold. The influence of a DOF (if they had one) was fuck all and the only philosophy involved was keep spending. You're just plain wrong.

I might add I didn't think we were doing alright at the time but that has zip all to do with a DOF, culture or philosophy.

Darren Hind
37 Posted 25/01/2022 at 19:01:43
Clubs with DOF's suffer disaster all over Europe every season.
Maybe the three clubs who get relegated from the EPL this season ?
The fact is only a few clubs will be successful by appointing a DOF. The overwhelming majority wont. There will be more funerals than weddings

It aint what you do its the way that you do it

Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 25/01/2022 at 19:12:04
Peter@33, I’ve got at least 100 Brian Clough stories, but my favourite is something that most people would find hard to believe.

Forest played Crystal Palace in a league cup match and because they supposedly had a lot of directors, the club laid a massive spread on for them.

Apparently only one Palace director turned up, so Clough rounded up all of the clubs apprentices, who we’re doing their duties after the game, and marched us all into the directors room, to eat the food.

It was brilliant, the director’s were absolutely fuming, being made to wait on us kids, whilst Clough was taking the piss out of them because he could, mainly because it was definitely his club.

“If you see a wallet lads, put it in your fuckn pocket” he was saying, before then deciding he wanted a photo for the next programme.

He got the photographer who was about 75, and I’m sure he made all the directors get on the picture. The fella was old and very slow, which prompted a very drunk Clough to shout, “hurry up Charlie you arl bastard”.

Next he’s shouting, “take no notice of me Charlie, when I called you an arl bastard, I didn’t mean you, I meant my fuckn chairman” and then started walking towards the door.

Take what yers can lads, if you see a wallet, stick it in your fuckn pocket, and don’t be giving it back to these bastards, and off he went, followed by all us apprentices thirty seconds later, once they knew he’d gone!

Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 25/01/2022 at 19:29:15
Tony my friend, that is solid gold.

You and your ol' man should get together and write a book (or a series of articles) about your adventures, not just with football but around your lives in the city. The stories you both tell here are absolute gems.

You could call it The Book Of Abrahams. (The "s" is important to keep you out of copyright trouble with the Mormon Church.)

Brian Harrison
40 Posted 25/01/2022 at 19:37:23
Funny isn't it... 20 years ago, we never heard the term DOF but it seems its now the new watch word that every club has to have. These DOFs have never built a team or won a cup or a league, but somehow these mainly anonymous guys are supposedly to be handed the running of the football club. They decide they style of play, which manager to appoint and what players to buy.

Now I do remember the first supposedly DOF was a guy called Daniel Commoli and he was Spurs first I think DOF and that didn't turn out too well but lo and behold Liverpool employed him and again it didn't go well.

Under Moshiri we to have employed 2 DOFs and under their stewardship we have gone backwards, and gone backwards spending vast fortunes. Now the cry from the supporters of the DOF model is they weren't given the chance to do their job properly. So they completely exonerate these guys from any responsibility, but quite happily put the blame at the door of the various managers.

So if we appoint another DOF who is given full control of player purchase and playing style, then I assume there has to be accountability so if it fails then why do we sack the manager and not the DOF?

Having watched some of the truly great managers (Nicholson, Catterick, Stein, Shankly, Paisley, Kendal, Ferguson, Guardiola) they decided what players to buy what system to play and haven't needed a DOF.

The bottom line is employ a top manager and bye and large they will deliver, and don't hand this to a chief scout as used to be the name they now call DOF.

Peter Neilson
41 Posted 25/01/2022 at 19:43:31
Thanks Tony, great story.

I have a CD ( remember them) of Cloughie interviews. Always worth a listen on long journeys. A truly great manager and razor-sharp wit.

I wonder how the likes of Brian Clough and Howard Kendall would get on today? Personally I think they'd still be greats as they understood the game so well and their man-management was superb (although probably have to adjust some of their team bonding techniques). Cheers.

Brian Harrison
43 Posted 25/01/2022 at 19:49:02
Just realized I didn't add Brian Clough to my list of great managers. I can't think why because for me Cloughie was the best of the lot.

It was just a pity that Sir John Moores never signed him. To think of the dross we appointed around that time when we could have had probably the most charismatic manager around.

No wonder players would run through a brick wall for Clough, as Tony sums up the man completely having been an apprentice at Forest.

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 25/01/2022 at 19:51:51
A lot of sense spoken Brian@40 and when you take into account some of the astronomical wages Everton are paying, then I think this is another clear reason, that a lot of things have been done back to front. Running before we had began to walk maybe?
Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 25/01/2022 at 20:02:19
Jay (32), The man who patented “The People's Club” is a hard working man throughout the week, lives for Everton “Keep the Faith” is his motto about the Blues.

Got a good sense of humour as well, my sister in law who lives in New Jersey was home on holiday and wanted a Man Utd scarf for one of her friends in that city. Someone advised her to go to this man's stall in town, she asked him for the said scarf, he looked at her waiting for the punch line, realised she was serious and told her “We don't sell United scarfs here."

She asked him where she would get one, he then directed her to Lime Street she said where abouts in Lime Street would she get one.

He said, “You know Lime Street Station?” she said yes she did,

“Well,” he said, “Go into the station and buy a ticket to Manchester, you'll get all the scarfs you want there.”

Eddie Dunn
46 Posted 25/01/2022 at 20:19:20
What is clear is that the idea of a DoF is to provide continuity and appoint the kind of coach that fits the club's philosophy. It seems that our club didn't establish either the philosophy or give the incumbent the full power for the job.

Interference has unbalanced the club from top to bottom. Poor choices and wasted money have resulted in this total mess.

Now we all hope for some kind of reprieve to keep us up, so the powers-that-be might just sort things out for the better.

Fat chance.

Raymond Fox
47 Posted 28/01/2022 at 12:35:12
Lets get this right, every thing would be sweetness and light if we had bought better players.

Whoever was responsible for selecting the signings are the cause of all our disruption, who they were/are I am not sure.
I'm not a fan of DoF's, If they are in agreement with the manager on who they buy ok, but the manager has the last say.

We can blame individual managers, they all make mistakes but it comes down to recruitment for me.

Jay Wood

48 Posted 28/01/2022 at 13:08:23
Tony @ 35 and Dave @ 45.

Thanks for confirming my recall was correct and that it wasn't an urban myth.

I'm pretty sure I originally read that from you yourself Dave, here on TW. Good on him.

And Tony. BRILLIANT Cloughie anecdote. They don't make them like him any more, do they?

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