Marcel Brands, Everton’s director of football, is set to depart the club amid fan dissatisfaction

Marcel Brands, Everton’s director of football, is set to depart the club amid fan dissatisfaction.

Marcel Brands is stepping down as Everton’s director of football with immediate effect, reportedly as a direct result of the club’s recent form collapse and consequent slip into relegation trouble.

The Dutchman joined the club in May 2018 after a successful time as sports director at PSV Eindhoven, where he earned a reputation as a savvy talent scout and player purchaser. However, after spending over ¬£300 million in the transfer market throughout his tenure, Everton’s squad has deteriorated, as evidenced by the team’s current position of 16th, five points above the relegation zone following an eight-game winless streak.

The most recent being last Wednesday’s 4-1 home loss to Liverpool, following which a supporter confronted Brands aggressively as he exited the directors’ box. Their interaction is captured on video, with Brands responding to a question about whether he was responsible for recruiting the team on exhibit saying: “Is it only the players?”.

Marcel Brands in a heated exchange with a supporter

That remark is thought to be in reference to Everton’s long-standing dysfunction and, in particular, the interference of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

The majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, has appointed managers and sanctioned signings against the wishes of his director of football, despite having appointed him to Everton’s board in January 2019. Brands, who signed a three-year contract barely eight months ago, appears to have had enough and walks away with a pay-off.

The 59-year-old is unlikely to be missed by many, if any, supporters, and his departure only heightens the focus on Moshiri, who has appointed five permanent managers in five years, the most recent being Rafael Bentez. Given his ties to Liverpool, the Spaniard was a contentious addition to the club, and after a humiliating defeat to his former club in midweek, it was speculated that he could be fired after just over five months in charge. Instead, in a text exchange with TalkSport presenter Jim White the day after the Merseyside derby, Moshiri backed Bentez, insisting he needed time and would be backed with funds in January.

Unsurprisingly, this has done little to calm Evertonians’ nerves. Many of those who remained inside Goodison Park after the final whistle on Wednesday could be heard chanting “sack the board,” and all those attending Monday night’s visit of Arsenal have been encouraged to take part in a protest organized by various fan groups and titled #27minutesfor27years, referring to the number of years Everton will have gone without a trophy by the end of this season, and with the plan being for supporters to walk out of the ground in the 27th minute.

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