Marcel Brands leaves Everton as director of football, Rafael Benitez has club's 'full support'

Marcel Brands leave his role ahead of Monday night's game against Arsenal at Goodison Park, live on Sky Sports; Brands became Everton's director of football in June 2018; "The board and I agreed that there is a clear difference in the vision and direction for this beautiful club"

Everton director of football Marcel Brands in the stands during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool
Image: Everton director of football Marcel Brands has left the club

Marcel Brands has left his position as Everton director of football, with the club giving their "full support" to manager Rafa Benitez.

The 59-year-old has left his job ahead of Monday night's game against Arsenal at Goodison Park, live on Sky Sports.

Brands previously worked as the director of football at PSV and took over the Everton role from Steve Walsh in 2018.

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A club statement said: "The owner and directors would like to thank Marcel for the service he has given to the club over the past three-and-a half-years and wish him well for his future.

"A strategic review of the football structure will now take place which will inform the best model for the club to proceed with in the long term.

    "In the meantime, the owner and board of directors will continue to provide our manager, Rafa Benitez, with their full support."

    Brands came under intense pressure in the past few weeks - along with other members of the Everton hierarchy - and the situation escalated after the Merseyside derby defeat on Wednesday when he was verbally confronted by fans after the game.

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    He said: "On Friday, following a personal conversation with the chairman and my fellow board members, we agreed that I would step down from my post as director of football and as a member of the Everton football club board.

    "This decision has taken some time and some consideration and was one of the most difficult I have faced in my career.

    "The board and I agreed that there is a clear difference in the vision and direction for this beautiful club and, with that in mind, the decision was taken.

    Marcel Brands became Everton's director of football in June 2018
    Image: Brands became Everton's director of football in June 2018

    "I want to thank everyone in the club who I have worked closely with over the last three-and-a-half years. There are a lot of talented people at Everton with huge passion and commitment to move the club forward, both on and off the pitch.

    "I want to wish all of the squad every success, and I am convinced that there is enough quality to improve the current situation quickly.

    "It has been an honour for me to work at this fantastic club and I wish everyone associated with Everton the very best for the future."

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      FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win against Everton in the Premier League

      Everton have not won a league game since beating Norwich on September 25 and have fallen to 16th in the Premier League table.

      They have collected two points from a possible 24 and sit five points above the relegation zone.

      After playing Arsenal, Rafael Benitez's side travel to Crystal Palace and Chelsea before hosting Leicester on December 19.

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