Frustrated at their club’s downward trajectory, Everton fans have planned a “sit-in” protest for this weekend’s clash at home to Southampton.
The “NSNOW” fan campaign leads a collective of various supporters and social media groups who will partake in the post-match demonstration. In a statement on the NSNOW website, they detailed their plans for the match at Goodison Park.
“Fans are pledging their support for Frank Lampard and the team with a resumption of the coach greeting prior to the match and full-blooded support during the game,” read the announcement. “Immediately after full-time, Evertonians from all areas of the ground will join in a large-scale SIT In.
“This will highlight Farhad Moshiri’s [majority shareholder] failure to change and strengthen Chair, board, and executive positions at the club. The sit-in will feature numerous crowd-funded banners calling for change.”
The supporters’ display calling for change will reportedly involve thousands of Evertonians. But if they are still supporting the players and manager, why are Everton fans staging a protest?
“The campaign calls on Farhad Moshiri to make sweeping changes at Chair, board, and executive levels. It demands he brings in competent, experienced professionals who can reverse the club’s decline. And make the necessary changes to make Everton competitive once more.”
Following a relegation battle last campaign, and a tough 2022/23, many Toffees faithful have had enough. Currently, Everton sit in the relegation zone – making their game vs bottom-side Southampton this weekend a must-win.
There is a lot of background noise surrounding the squad, though. Majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, wrote a response to a letter from the Everton Fans’ Forum to address their concerns.
Everton shareholder responds to fans amid protest plans
The club posted Mr. Moshiri’s letter to supporters for all to read on their website.
Firstly, he opened his response by thanking the Forum for their letter, expressing his “utmost respect for the support of Evertonians”. The shareholder also said that he understands the worries that fans have about their team.
“In almost seven years since my arrival at the club, I have significantly increased investment and our new stadium has become reality,” said Moshiri. “We regularly review our performance and make changes where we feel the club falls short of standard.
“This has meant turnover in managers, Directors of Football and several board members – but always as we have striven to achieve success.”
Everton’s majority owner then gave his backing to the current board and manager Frank Lampard. He said that he has “faith” in the plan that the club have put in place.
However, Mr. Moshiri’s response has not seen a change of heart from the fans. They are still planning on protesting at Goodison Park after their crucial relegation battle.
Everton vs Southampton
Although we are still in January, this game has the feeling of a relegation six-pointer. If Everton can snatch a win, Southampton will stay rooted to the foot of the table. But if the Saints pull off a victory, they can drag Everton further into the mire.
Southampton also come into their visit to Merseyside on a high following their Carabao Cup victory. They shocked Man City with a 2-0 win at Saint Mary’s in their League Cup quarterfinal tie.
Unfortunately, though, their league form has faltered. Since Nathan Jones’ arrival as manager, the South-coast side have not picked up a single point.
Meanwhile, Everton are winless in their last six league games. But they also had a surprise result against Man City, claiming a point at the Etihad on New Years’ Eve.
A win on Saturday for either team could prove a turning point in a rough season.
Featured image credit: Getty