Roberto Martinez aiming to take Everton into the Champions League
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright says that new manager Roberto Martinez aims to take the club into the Champions League.
By Tim Oscroft
Last Updated: 06/06/13 6:21am
Martinez has succeeded David Moyes, who guided the Toffees into Europe's elite club competition once in his 11 years on Merseyside, after the Scot replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Kenwright compared his first meeting with Martinez to his first with Moyes in March 2002, when Everton were in danger of relegation.
"We were in a bad state, and David's first words were 'you're not going down," said Kenwright. "Almost Roberto's first words to me were, 'I'll get you in the Champions League'.
"That is extraordinary for a man who doesn't know much about the club from the inside but had obviously studied the club.
"He recognised the massive achievement David Moyes has made. He understands the game, he understands Everton, the history, our players and what he wants to do."
Kenwright also revealed that he spoke to three of Moyes' back-room staff before settling on Martinez.
"Three lads from this club - Alan Stubbs, Phil Neville and David Weir - shared their passion with me, and that was humbling and awe-inspiring. I wish 50,000 Evertonians could have been there for all these meetings, but all 50,000 would have turned round and said 'him' when it came to Roberto."
There has been speculation that a number of Everton players will follow Moyes out of the club, but Kenwright was adamant that no-one has approached him about leaving.
"We all know there are players who have got an escape clause, but the others are not for sale," he added. "I'm as in love with this squad as any Evertonian out there. They have worked massively hard and we don't want them to go.
"Roberto has their phone numbers and he will be on to them, telling them we don't want them to go. Not one person has even half-indicated to me that the change (of manager) will mean a change for them.
"It was exactly the opposite, they all seem totally committed so I am confident that the squad plus some Roberto signings will form this football club's squad for next season."
Martinez already feels at home at Everton and believes he is privileged to have the opportunity to take charge of the club.
"I know what it means to play for this club in terms of the amount of families (involved) and passion which comes across, so I understand how honoured I am to have this position," said the 39-year-old.
"I can't describe it but when we (Wigan) played here in the quarter-final of the FA Cup (winning 3-0), there was a feeling that you can develop and know you belong and, funnily enough, now I can start exploring it and finding out what the fans want.
"It is very important in modern football not to lose the real values in the modern game and it is important to understand the fans, and Everton have really strong football values with an incredible passion.
"When I arrived at Goodison, I got that feeling right away. I know I can fit in quickly and feel part of it straight away.
"But it is a real privilege to walk into this dressing room and a club which has been so well run over the last few years.
"I walked into Wigan and Swansea and it was a very different type of job that I started in both clubs."
A close association with his chairman is vitally important to Martinez.
He had it at Wigan with Dave Whelan, who first signed him as a player, and he hopes to have it with Kenwright at Goodison.
"You look at his relationship with the previous manager and I had that at Wigan," Martinez added.
"That is important and I do believe in human relationships allowing to work in football.
"The chairman really showed a passion for the club from day one, which was quite impressive, and Everton gives me a special feeling."
Martinez is confident he can retain the club's in-demand stars, like midfielder Marouane Fellaini and England left-back Leighton Baines, and fulfil a Champions League dream.
"I can't wait to speak with the players and get to work with them because I feel really excited working with these players," he said.
"In the game when you are successful - and Everton were clearly successful last season - you will always get good performers who attract interest from other clubs.
"That not only happens here, it happens at every football club in the land and abroad, so we're not worried about that.
"What we want is the players that are here feel really appreciated and important for the next project, and that is all I am focused on.
"If we get players who can move on that is normal in the game, but clearly we need to invest and bring players in which will allow us to start next season with a stronger side than ended the campaign, and that is always the aim in any club."