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Everton set Premier League title target


London (AFP) – Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale has set the Toffees a target of winning the Premier League and playing Champions League football in their new stadium during the next decade.

The Liverpool club have never lifted the Premier League trophy — they were last crowned champions of England in 1986/87 when they took the then First Division title to their current Goodison Park base.

Champions League football is also a rarity for Everton fans, with the club presently 11th in the Premier League table and 17 points adrift of a top-four spot that would secure a place among Europe’s elite.

But Barrett-Baxendale, who on just the second day of her now eight-month tenure sacked manager Sam Allardyce and director of football Steve Walsh — believes Everton must aim high should they complete a proposed move to their new £500 million ($636 million, 556 million euros) stadium at Bramley-Moore.

Barrett-Baxendale, speaking at her first Everton shareholders meeting at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall on Tuesday, said the club should be “challenging at the top of the Premier League and competing at the highest level in European competitions”.

She added: “Ultimately this means challenging for domestic titles and trophies, not only to win cups, but to win Premier League titles too.”

“It means competing regularly in the Champions League and it means doing all of this in a world-class, world-renowned football stadium.”

Barrett-Baxendale, one of the most high-profile women in the traditionally male-dominated world of English football, admitted: “This is an extremely challenging goal. It is very much a long-term goal for our club but it is vital we are ambitious and that we deliver performances on and off the pitch that drives our club forward to achieve our ambitions.

“I acknowledge our vision is challenging, and the barriers to entry are indeed daunting, but we are Everton and we must all be focused and driven to meet that challenge.”

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