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Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

Thriving At The People's Club

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The story is one we have all come to know well.

Managerless Everton are in turmoil and only an injection of raw, youthful passion can lift the malaise affecting the club.

Several names are in the mix, including a young man at Preston, unproven but unapologetically ambitious.

And over a supper of eggs on toast at his London home, Chairman Bill Kenwright is instantly enamoured.

It was the start of a friendship both men have repeatedly and very publicly proclaimed the foundation of a Blue renaissance.

I just can’t see how the managers can work if they don’t have the faith and belief of the Chairman
- David Moyes

Everton have finished in the top eight seven times in Moyes’ nine full seasons in charge – compared to once in the preceding 12.

And as he celebrates his 10th anniversary, it is unsurprising the Everton boss has chosen the occasion to once again speak of the importance of his relationship with his Chairman.

Indeed, if Moyes is Everton’s greatest asset, what value the man who appointed him and keeps his counsel?

“I think for any manager nowadays it is vital to have a good relationship with your chairman,” Moyes told evertontv.

“Recently I have been watching one or two documentaries and I have seen some of the things going on and I just can’t see how the managers can work if they don’t have the faith and belief of the Chairman.

David Moyes and Bill Kenwright

“I am really fortunate that the club have supported me.

“When I first came in, Sir Philip Carter was the Chairman, but Bill was the owner. I had a great relationship with both of them and with the board.

"I hope that the board feel as if they made the right choice 10 years ago because that is important, but I think they probably do.

“I certainly made the right choice picking the people I came to work for because they have not let me down and have supported me in every way I can possibly hope for.”

It was fair to say he enjoyed his Chairman’s backing from the off.

But few managers can thrive without the advocacy of their club’s fanbase, and Moyes hit all the right notes right from the start.

His labelling of Everton as ‘the people’s club’ soothed the soul of a troubled institution, reinforced an identity and articulated an emotion deeply felt by an embattled support.

That phrase is now at the heart of Blues vernacular, emblazoned on the side of the stadium and credited with sparking Moyes’ love affair with Evertonians.

I thought, my goodness everybody supports Everton!
- David Moyes

“It wasn’t something that I had planned – it was something I just got the feel of when I got the job,” Moyes recalls.

“I was driving through the city and saw all the people wearing Everton shirts, and the amount of people throughout the day who were telling me they were Everton fans and were asking me 'are you going to Everton?'.

“I thought, my goodness everybody supports Everton!

Finch Farm

“So, it was just one of these things when I came in and said that it is the club of the people, the people’s club. I think it struck a chord for a lot of people who thought ‘yes, you are right’.

“Everton are a great club for what they do in the community, they are a big club in this city and obviously we have big competition here as well. I think a lot of people in the city of Liverpool support Everton which was really the message that I was trying to get out.”

That message only served to heighten the excitement among supporters as they witnessed a new era ushered with a Premier League victory over Fulham. For Moyes, the reception he got that day will always stay with him.

“I don’t how many of the supporters knew who I was,” he added. “I hoped they probably did.

“But Everton are one of the main clubs in the country so to be offered this job was such a great privilege.

“I still think about the first day I walked in, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up, I will never forget that moment, that day and how it felt. The reception I received when I walked onto the field was unbelievable.”

Ten years on and the Goodison roar may still be the same, but so much else has changed.

Notably, Finch Farm has replaced Bellefield. A project Moyes was involved in from its inception, and a move which he feels has been of huge benefit to the Club.

“Finch Farm is a great training ground,” he said. “I actually was asked to go and look at a training ground in my first week and I thought 'great, this is what I would like'.

“So I went to look at these strawberry fields on a farm and thought 'why have they brought me down to see this?'. I was asked what I thought and I told them I thought it was a better idea to move than to renovate Bellefield.

“I thought Bellefield was a bit small. I always wanted the academy to be up with the first team because when you are a young player you want to be around the first team players and for me it meant that if I wanted to call one into training if there was an injury, or wanted to see someone, or if there was a game, then I could do it because they were all onsite. When we were at Bellefield and Netherton (the former site of Everton's academy)  it didn’t suit. Bellefield was great for lots of reasons but moving to Finch Farm was fantastic and is a top of the range training ground.”

David Moyes

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