Sean Dyche believes that Everton’s 10-point deduction for breaking Premier League financial rules will not ruin their season. However, he cautions his players that they should not depend on the club’s appeal to save them from being in danger of being relegated again.
The manager of Everton expressed his surprise and disappointment over the decision made by an independent commission to enforce the largest penalty in Premier League history for overspending £19.5m in the 2021-22 season. Dyche received the news while sick on vacation in Dubai from Everton’s director of football, Kevin Thelwell. He criticized the deduction as being excessive and unfair.
On Friday morning, at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground, Dyche spoke to the main team squad after they had all returned from their international duties. The players showed their determination by sharing strong messages on their WhatsApp group after receiving the news last Friday. Despite being pushed back to 19th place in the table after a streak of six wins in nine games in all competitions had initially lifted them to 14th, the team expressed their determination to keep up their momentum and save the club from danger during the meeting with the manager on Friday.
According to Dyche, the overall sentiment was optimistic as it reinforced the mentality that has been present recently. We all discussed how this situation has not altered our progress and we are still moving forward. The players are focused and determined. When they heard the news, they immediately shared it in their WhatsApp group with a message of approaching it as another challenge. The group has taken responsibility and this is a significant factor.
“They conveyed to me the message that our focus is on building something and we won’t let any obstacles or distractions interfere with that. We can’t say for sure if it has had an impact on the players’ determination yet, as we haven’t played any games. However, what I do know is that the players understand our approach and have mentioned it to me consistently over the past six weeks.”
A new panel of three individuals will review Everton’s appeal for the 10-point deduction before the season ends. Despite this, Dyche urges his team to move on from the appeal and acknowledge their current position as tied for last place in the Premier League with four points. He believes this mindset will aid Everton in their efforts to climb out of the relegation zone.
Regarding the possibility of success, Dyche expressed, “I have always been confident in my skills, my staff’s skills, and the players’ skills. Even during difficult times, my confidence has not wavered since I arrived. However, it takes more than just confidence to succeed. Winning games is the ultimate challenge.”
“This is a temporary situation as we are uncertain about the outcome of the appeal and how it may affect things. However, I have made it clear to the players that we must not have any false hopes because there is no guarantee that things will change. Therefore, we must fully commit to the current reality. Although there is a possibility of change in the future, we must continue to push forward as we have already lost 10 points and need to regain them as soon as possible.”
Everton fans have a series of protests against the Premier League planned for Sunday’s home game against Manchester United, when a win could possibly lift Dyche’s team out of the bottom three. After several years of division at Goodison Park, certainly in terms of the fanbase and the club’s hierarchy, the punishment has created a collective siege mentality that Dyche wants his team to utilise.
According to him, he was eagerly anticipating Sunday’s game because of the team’s recent good performance. He believes that the Everton fans will be fully supportive and enthusiastic, based on what he has learned about their commitment and dedication to the club. While this does not guarantee a win, it greatly increases the chances when the fans are cheering on the players.
I believe that there are passionate Everton supporters who have a deep understanding of the club’s history, particularly the challenging years where hard work and determination were crucial in building the team and its values. They are not just fans who only know the affluent years, but rather they remember the struggles and efforts that went into shaping the club. I sense that they can feel a similar spirit being revived once again. This is my belief – that they can sense our return to a gritty, determined group of Everton players who will give their all on the field.
Dyche chose not to address the potential consequences for Manchester City and Chelsea, who are both facing investigations for alleged financial violations by the Premier League. Everton’s punishment serves as an example of the seriousness of these breaches.