A large number of Everton supporters failed to leave their seats in the 27th minute of their match against Arsenal as part of a planned protest against owner Farhad Moshiri. The Toffees have endured a torrid campaign to date and went into Monday’s fixture occupying 16th place in the Premier League table, just five points clear of the drop zone.
Everton have failed to win a league game since the end of September and were subjected to a humiliating 4-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool last week.
Although the club’s manager Rafa Benitez appears to be under pressure as a result of their poor recent form, most of the fans’ fury has been aimed in the direction of Moshiri.
Supporters have grown increasingly frustrated with the 66-year-old, who has been widely criticised for a lack of communication and transparency.
Protest banners were unfurled in Everton’s recent matches against Brentford and Liverpool, but the supporters in attendance against Arsenal were expected to take things to the next level by leaving Goodison Park in their droves.
However, only a handful of spectators were seen making their way out of their seats and away from the action as the clock ticked over to the 27th minute.
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The planned exodus was discussed online in the days prior to the Arsenal match, with the timing chosen to represent the number of years since Everton last won a major trophy.
Fan groups previously released a lengthy statement via social media outlining their reasons for resorting to a mass walkout, directing the majority of the blame towards Moshiri.
“It is designed to bring attention to the majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri who, despite investing £685 million approximately since February 2016, has not seen an improvement in the club’s fortunes, with multiple managerial appointments, a weakened and less competitive first team squad and declining performances on the pitch,” the statement read.
“The campaign welcomes and acknowledges his financial commitment to the club. However, the campaign draws attention to the governance and management of the club during these last six years.
“The campaign recognises that without investment and fresh recruitment in the board and executive teams the prospects of a change in fortune in the club remains slight.
“The fans’ emotional investment and financial commitment to the club are totally aligned with Farhad Moshiri’s investment. We seek the same outcome, a better return for both our investments.
“We call on Farhad Moshiri as major shareholder to make the management changes necessary to see an improvement in performance.
“We call on Farhad Moshiri to communicate in future through official club channels.
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“We call on Farhad Moshiri to engage, meet and discuss fan concerns with the fans.”
Moshiri was believed to be in attendance at Goodison Park for Everton’s match against Arsenal, which was goalless at the time of the planned protest.
It was confirmed on Monday that director of football Marcel Brands had left his position at the club just days after being confronted by an angry Toffees supporter following the defeat to Liverpool.
A statement via Everton’s official website read: “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.”