Reporter notebook: How do you solve a problem like Everton?

Sky Sports News reporter Alan Myers looks at changes which have taken place at Goodison Park and what the current regime can do to bring success back to starved Blues fans who see their rivals from across Stanley Park continue to thrive

Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri
Image: Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has plunged plenty of money into the club for little gain so far

How do you solve a problem like Everton? That's a question many Evertonians have been trying to answer for sometime now.

In February, Farhad Moshiri will celebrate - if that's the word - six years as majority shareholder at the club, and in that time there have been six managers, two directors of football, and two CEO's, a turnover of staff not necessarily conducive to success, and to date that assumption has been borne out.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea's draw with Everton in the Premier League

It is also correct to assume that a billionaire businessman was something Everton Football Club desperately needed - former owner and current chairman Bill Kenwright carried out an extensive search for the right custodian for his beloved Blues.

Success - in the form of silverware - was not achieved in Kenwright's tenure, with a losing FA Cup final and a Champions League qualifying round season as good as it got, but success can be measured in many ways.

Kenwright openly admitted he didn't have the financial clout to take the Goodison club to the next level but Everton fans are hungry for trophies, their last one coming in 1995, and this is the longest period without silverware in the club's illustrious history.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti (AP)
Image: Carlo Ancelotti's 18 months at Goodison Park promised good things but they failed to materialise

Success was measured by keeping the club in the Premier League, punching above its weight on many occasions under the management of David Moyes, and producing a community arm of the club which is rightly held up as a beacon of good practice. The club had an identity, a direction, albeit one that ultimately didn't see a tangible reward, craved by its fans.

It would be fair to say Moshiri's club today is not the stable, comfortably run establishment which he purchased in 2016. Kenwright only signed two managers in his ownership after Walter Smith, and he enjoyed a close personal relationship with both Moyes and Roberto Martinez, but since Moshiri arrived £500m has been spent - many believe poorly - and league positions over the last few years have done little to dispute that conclusion.

Also See:

Everton have released images of their proposed new stadium
Image: Everton are now in the construction phase of their new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock

However, comfortable and stable was never going to satisfy a fan base that had seen a double title and European trophy winning team during the mid eighties and many more before that.

The fact that Moshiri has put so much money into the club has to be applauded. He is also overseeing the construction of an exciting and impressive 52,000-seater stadium on the Liverpool waterfront and he has delivered a "Hollywood Manager" in the form of Carlo Ancelotti.

In fact he's appointed a number of different types of manager, but that seems to be where the issues the club currently faces have arisen.

Everton director of football Marcel Brands in the stands during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool
Image: Marcel Brands recently left his role as Everton's director of football

A structure of Director of Football and coach has not worked, the financial outlay has far outweighed the level of success it has delivered, while both Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands have left the club with the spotlight very firmly on the recruitment and much criticism of the process and results it has provided.

However, when further investigated the process can be accused of having a number of flaws; the suggestion is that a number of those players arriving were a mixture of many different people's choices, not always agreeable to all concerned, and if that is the case then that would suggest blurred lines of responsibility. That is never a good thing - it leads to a lack of accountability which in turn can bring opportunism and/or demotivation.

In the past, signing players was a matter for the chairman and the manager, but that isn't the case anymore and it feels like this system has created the perfect storm, with its disastrous effect being compounded by other contributing factors.

Trying to sell or move on those that haven't worked - and there has been a good few - has been problematic and costly. That in turn has restricted the club's spending power with issues over profit and sustainability regulations and so the downward spiral goes on. Then that translates onto the pitch with often a mis-match and a variety of unhappy players.

Everton manager Rafael Benitez during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday October 23, 2021.
Image: Results on the pitch have been mixed since Rafa Benitez's appointment as manager in the summer

Everton announced a review of the football structure following the departure of Brands and this has to be an opportunity for the club to re-group and to agree on a system which all can live with, and all can follow, from the owner down. It's crucial that this happens as the status quo cannot be sustainable for the long or indeed short-term

Some 27 years without a trophy is not acceptable at a club which, when the Premier League began, stood proudly up there with the most successful in England as a strong and respected member of the original "Top Four".

I'm convinced everyone at the club wants it to be successful. Farhad Moshiri has enjoyed a saviour-like relationship with Everton fans but that is in real danger of being lost if a clearer and more defined strategy is not evident going forward. That also needs to be communicated in a meaningful and personal way to those long-suffering supporters.

Now is the time for togetherness not division, challenge not surrender and leadership not irresolution.

This once bastion of the English game cannot be allowed to slump further away from the top table. It has the means, the desire and the following to be great again... if those directing it can find a way to make it work.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Around Sky