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Everton: What will it take for Farhad Moshiri and the Everton board to return to Goodison Park?

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri and the club's board of directors were absent from Goodison Park for the second consecutive game against Arsenal; fans groups want them to resign but what actually happens next? Sky Sports News' Alan Myers takes a look...

Everton Kenwright Moshiri

Everton supporters demonstrated an ability to demand change off the field while giving their full support to their new manager and players on it during Saturday's 1-0 win over Arsenal.

The support in the stadium was vociferous and effective, Goodison was the proverbial 'bear pit', but once again a row of seats remained unused, those at the front of the directors box.

Everton's board stayed away for a second home game in succession because, say the club, of a "real and credible threat to their safety and security", a quite remarkable state of affairs for a Premier League club to find itself in.

A board not in attendance for the first game under a new manager is not a good situation.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's 1-0 win over Arsenal

The problems are more complex, however.

Of course the security of any person must be given paramount attention; those advising the board cannot take chances if threats have been made, if physical attacks, as suggested, have happened. But in getting to the core issues there is a vacuum, a clear distance between the board and the fans. A solution can only be found, it appears, if this gap is closed.

No 'real' Evertonian would condone such behaviour. They are a very understanding and tolerable lot in the main, and have suffered mediocrity with regards to a lack of success for a long time. The message from the majority is about change, born out of love for their club.

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The fans have made themselves very clear. They want change at the top. They want to see a different direction taken. That responsibility lies with owner Farhad Moshiri. Only he can decide on his next move.

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Sean Dyche praised his players following the 1-0 win over Arsenal

Zack Threlfall from the fans group NSNOW said: "The board's track record of football and commercial failures in recent years only adds to the mounting concerns regarding their ability to effectively lead the club.

"The board of directors must resign from their positions and allow for a new leadership to take the club forward. This is the only way for the club to progress."

The fans blame the board for the "mismanagement" of the club. They direct their ire at chairman Bill Kenwright and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, two self-proclaimed Everton fans, two fully signed-up members of 'The People's Club'.

But what of them? What are they thinking and feeling?

The reality is, nobody really knows, neither have made any comment since the current situation escalated to where it is now. We've heard on more than one occasion from the owner Moshiri; he's answered questions from fans groups and had two open letters posted on his behalf from the club.

Everton director of football Kevin Thelwell with Farhad Moshiri
Image: Everton director of football Kevin Thelwell with Farhad Moshiri

His promise of a new striker in the interview with the fan's group brought criticism but it was made when Arnaut Danjuma had agreed to join the club, only for the player to change his mind at the last minute and move to Tottenham. But it did show that Moshiri was willing to front up.

The shouts of "sack the board" from the fans are unrealistic. Boards don't get 'sacked' that easily. The business world doesn't respond well to such actions and, from the little I know of Moshiri, I'm told he's not the type of person to end relationships in such an undignified way. He, I'm sure, would want any such move, should it come to that, to be done with dignity and respect.

To resolve any conflict there must be dialogue, there must be empathy, there must also be openness. We've seen that from the fans but not from the board recently. Of course, they may feel 'what is the point? nobody is listening'. That may be a fair assumption, but it doesn't negate the need for them to put their point across.

Why won't they speak up? Why won't they lay their position firmly on the negotiating table and at least try to show understanding of the fans' argument? There may well be some common ground, who knows?

Seamus Coleman and Gabriel Martinelli battle for possession
Image: Seamus Coleman and Gabriel Martinelli battle for possession at Goodison Park

The status quo must change one way or another, because this problem isn't going away anytime soon, no matter how the team perform on the pitch. The fans don't associate the two now, they believe Sean Dyche's success or otherwise will be in spite of what happens at board level and more about the relationship between team and fan base.

The question is: will the silence be allowed to further damage an already broken relationship? Or can there be a grown-up solution found which will allow the club to repair itself and give Dyche's pumping positivity a trouble-free ride to give everyone concerned what they want, which is a successful club?

The board and owner did turn up to the game away at West Ham, with two of them leaving 20 minutes before the end. Everton's next game is the Merseyside derby at Anfield. It's unclear whether they will make the short journey across Stanley Park to attend.

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