By Carl Markham, PA
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri admits his sackings of former managers were driven by adverse fan reaction.
The under-pressure billionaire has fired five bosses – Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva and Rafael Benitez – during almost seven years in charge.
But he claims each one was influenced by the growing negativity to them coming from supporters.
“Some of the decisions we have taken are together with the fans,” he told talkSPORT.
“Older (former) managers who have left have been driven by the fans, not by me initially.”
Having given his backing to Frank Lampard in an open letter published on Wednesday Moshiri reaffirmed that support, adding: “You have to stay with the manager to get the systems going, the players he buys. I have a lot of faith in Frank to get it right.”
Moshiri has been criticised by supporters for his lack of communication and a failure to lead the relegation-threatened club from the top.
A sit-in protest is taking place after Saturday’s game against fellow strugglers Southampton, at which there will be calls for the owner to change the structure of the board and remove long-standing chairman Bill Kenwright and chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale.
While Moshiri accepts the right of fans to protest he does not agree with their arguments.
“I put my money where my mouth is and that is the most an owner can do,” said Moshiri, who has invested more than £500million in the squad since 2016.
“I think protest is a democratic right for everyone but the biggest thing is support the team.
“I think they (senior board members) have been there for a long time, some are new appointments, but they are long-standing, dedicated, they are local and it is so important to keep a club in Liverpool with its roots in Liverpool
“They are the roots of the club.”
Moshiri also publicly confirmed for the first time the cost of the club’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock which is currently being built.
“Building a £760million stadium, one of the best in the country, is an enormous challenge for a club so I think they (fans) need to acknowledge that they are going through a transformation and that they (board) are working extremely hard.
“I’ve added to the board every now and again to support when needed and I’ll do it again but you can’t just make rash decisions.
“We have two big games, Saturday and on the 21st (at West Ham) and that’s the only focus.”
Sources at Everton subsequently moved to clarify Moshiri’s numbers surrounding the stadium.
The headline figure, the PA News agency understands, also includes ancillary developments at Bradley-Moore Dock and any other potential commercial ventures which could be associated with the site.