Tuesday, December 7th, 2021
Protest against unsuccessfulness
Everton fans go and miss the win
Everton FC dreams of being more than a normal Premier League club. With a lot of money, the investors wanted with all their might to be among the top six in the league. But it turned out differently and that has long been causing great frustration. After all, there is now a very short-term effect.
It is not uncommon for football fans to leave the stadium prematurely if they are disappointed with the performance of their team or if the situation seems hopeless. On Sunday, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park, which was already sparsely filled, emptied further after just under half an hour, when the 0: 5 against SC Freiburg had fallen. The prospect of a speedy departure is more tempting to many than persevering in a depressing situation. Leaving the stadium in protest, although literally nothing has happened at the moment, is unusual. But that’s exactly what happened in the Premier League.
Everton fans left the stadium during their game against Arsenal on Monday evening to protest the unsuccessfulness of their club. As the news agency AP reported, the audience stood up in a block in the 27th minute and left their seats out of dissatisfaction with the 27th season without a title for the team from Liverpool. It was still 0-0, only in stoppage time in the first half did Martin Odegaard take the lead for the guests from London.
“Liverpool and Liverpool’s Reserve”
Through their protest, the served fans missed the 2-1 (0-1) success of their team, which Demarai Gray made perfect with a remarkable goal in the second minute of stoppage time. Previously, Richarlison had equalized in the 79th minute. This ended the negative series of Everton FC after eight games without a win. Already after the 1: 4 in the city derby against Liverpool FC by coach Jürgen Klopp on Wednesday, the mood among the fans had deteriorated, who demanded the resignation of the board. Sports director Marcel Brands had to leave before the game against Arsenal.
Everton FC had launched the attack on the top of the league in recent years with large investments and prominent names. But seventh place, which the recently killed ex-Barça coach Ronald Koeman brought in for the club in 2017, remained the highest of emotions. Carlo Ancelotti, who was last responsible for the fortunes of the Toffees for two seasons, only finished two twelfth places. In view of the huge transfer expenses, too little.
More than 200 million euros were invested in new acquisitions in 2017, and in the following years it was still at least 75 million euros. Liverpool coach icon Bill Shankly once said of the balance of football power on the Mersey River: “This city has two great teams – Liverpool and Liverpool’s Reserve.” One wanted to wipe out the shame. Everton is one of the most successful clubs in England and is in fourth place in the list of champions with nine titles behind Manchester United, city rivals Liverpool and Arsenal. The last championship is in the books from 1987.
“As soon as possible in the top positions”
“My dream is to get Everton into the top positions in the Premier League as soon as possible,” announced Ancelotti when he took office and even named qualification for international competition as a medium-term goal. Everton was last in the Europa League in 2017/2018, but failed in the group stage.
Around 250 million euros in loss have been made in the past two years alone, the financial constraints are now great. No Premier League team spent less than the Toffees on newcomers before the current season: only two million euros were transferred to Bayer Leverkusen for Gray. For comparison: newly promoted Watford FC took 23.5 million euros in their hands – and is thus in the penultimate place on the expenditure table.
Ancelotti is now Real Madrid’s coach, his successor Rafa Benitez has so far been unlucky. Many Everton fans consider the Spaniard to be an “agent” smuggled in by the hated Liverpool FC. Benitez won the Champions League in 2005 with city rivals. In the 1-0 defeat against newly promoted Brentford FC, the supporters vented their anger, and the first “Rafa out” posters could be seen in the stadium. “I still have the same belief and conviction that we will do well,” said Benítez. “We are missing key players, but I am sure the team will be better in the second half of the season.” Against Arsenal, of all people, Gray gave his trainer some breathing space.