Whilst there is no denying that it was an amazing night when we turned around a 2-0 half-time deficit to secure a sensational victory and guarantee a 69th successive season in the top tier of English football last season, it should not be allowed to disguise the fact that we have underperformed in what proved to be a very challenging campaign.
Mistakes have been made and for that I want to apologise to all of you. It has not been good enough and we need to do better. You have given us incredible support that helped us over the line when we most needed it, and we must repay that support and show that lessons have been learnt.
More than any other club in England, Everton is the Club of its people, its community and its fans, and always will be.
I am committed to securing the future success of the Club by delivering a fully-funded stadium that will underpin our status as a leading club. Our new stadium project at Bramley-Moore Dock has reached an exciting and landmark stage as it emerges from the ground, with the four main cores now in place.
Of course, the stadium alone will not help us achieve our objectives and we are committed to not making the same mistakes again including how we have not always spent significant amounts of money wisely.
During the 2021/22 season, the Board led a strategic review of our operations which included looking at working practices, our recruitment process and the whole structure of our footballing operation in order to clearly identify the causes of our under-delivery on the pitch. Many of the learnings have already been implemented.
The recruitment of Frank Lampard as our manager is one example. He was the outstanding candidate at the end of a robust and clearly defined process, demonstrating an ability to marry his technical skills with passion, intelligence, humility and in alignment with the values of our Club.
Other appointments such as Kevin Thelwell, our new Director of Football, Everton Women manager Brian Sørensen, Coach Educator Kevin Nicholson, the development of a technical board and the search for both a new Academy Director and an Under-23s Head Coach also reflect the implementation of findings from the strategic review.
Finally, we cannot forget the ongoing atrocity occurring every day in Ukraine. The response of the fans, the players and management and their support for Vitalii Mykolenko, his country and people who are still suffering because of this inhumane assault has been heartfelt and truly amazing. The Club has already made an important contribution to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and I can confirm that we have offered a friendly match at Goodison Park to Dynamo Kyiv to raise additional funds to support the Ukrainians – details of this will be made available soon.
Thank you for everything you did to support your Club so brilliantly during such a challenging season. You did not deserve the frustration and fear that the season brought.
Your incredible support is never taken for granted and together we move forward.