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‘Everton’s problems are not simply about now’

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Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer

Bill Kenwright, who bought the club in December 1999 and became chairman in 2004, has been a regular lightning rod for criticism, seen by those who want him to step down as a constant in the years without success stretching back to the 1995 FA Cup win against Manchester United.

In reality, Everton’s board have presided over years of managerial churn, horrendous decision-making and financial waste in the transfer market on an industrial scale under Moshiri’s tenure.

Moshiri has sacked Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva and Rafael Benitez.

It has resulted in a Frankenstein’s monster of a squad – the starting 11 in the 2-1 home defeat by Southampton featuring players acquired by six different managers.

Benitez was sacked with Everton in 15th place with 19 points from 19 games. A year on, they are in an even more parlous position under Lampard, entering this weekend’s pivotal game one place off the bottom with only 15 points from 19 games.

The wild scenes of celebration that greeted the victory against Crystal Palace that secured safety last season were meant to mark the start of the road to recovery.

Instead those same fans, whose role in Everton staying up cannot be underestimated, are in revolt and planning more protests at the next home game with Arsenal.

And, at this stage, it is hard to shine a light on an area where Everton’s long-term fortunes may improve.

Everton’s problems are not simply about now. They are about the uncertain future they face.

Manager Lampard has handled the situation with dignity and retains sympathy from many supporters but, inevitably, his future will be in serious jeopardy unless a run of dreadful results improves.

The stakes could not be higher for Lampard or Everton, particularly their beleaguered hierarchy, when they face fellow strugglers West Ham.

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