The state of affairs at Everton has seemed to reach a new low following their 2-1 loss at home against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
Prior to the game, the club’s board of directors were advised to stay away from Goodison Park as what the club described as ‘a real and credible threat to safety and security’.
There was a sit in demonstration against the board by thousands of Everton fans who demanded owner Farhad Moshiri to make changes at the club including both the board and executive levels.
Moshiri rejects fan demands
Moshiri however dismissed the demands leading to widespread resignation of Fan advisory board.
On the pitch too, things couldn’t have gone worse as Frank Lampard’s terrible side went on to lose the game after taking the lead. The Toffees currently sit 19th in the standings having lost 4 of their last 5 league games.
Role of Usmanov unclear
The Guardian have now reported that several football managers have raised questions over the ownership of the club.
It is claimed that several of them were interviewed for the managerial post in the presence of Uzbek Oligarch Alisher Usmanov who had earlier been sanctioned.
The report comes as a major surprise after the club had publicly announced in March of 2022 that they had suspended all sponsorship deals with Russian companies that were backed by Usmanov.
It is believed that Usmanov attended several meetings alongside Moshiri since his initial acquisition of the club in 2016 until his assets were frozen after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Usmanov was swiftly sanctioned falling under the category of ‘Putin’s associates’.
Managers who were interviewed for the job were however left with a feeling that Usmanov partly owns the club or has stakes in some shape or form.
Moshiri however has consistently denied the claims saying that he is the owner of the club.
Usmanov’s spokesperson however hasn’t denied the Uzbek’s presence in the managerial interviews saying, “Mr Moshiri did at times turn to Mr Usmanov for advice given the latter’s significant experience in football, but he [Moshiri] made all the decisions.” Moshiri’s spokesperson however denied the claims saying, “Mr Usmanov has never interviewed or been present during an interview.”
The report from Guardian also states that several managers have claimed that Usmanov might partly own the club while one specific manager mentioned that the oligarch had visited him in Germany regarding the job. Lampard had also earlier stated that Usmanov was in a Zoom call during his interview.
It remains to be seen what the developments would be surrounding the club with these fresh allegations but it looks like nothing’s going right at Everton both on and off the pitch.
Photo credit: IMAGO: Darren Staples / Sportimage
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