April 19, 2024


Dyche ‘shocked’ by punishment with Goodison set to seethe like never before

Getty: Tony McArdle

Goodison Park has seethed on a rather regular basis in recent years. However, it is difficult to imagine many occasions in the stadium’s 131-year history when it will have been as moody as it looks set to be on Sunday.


Evertonians have previously expressed anger at the club’s ownership and their running of the club but for Manchester United’s visit this weekend, the dissent will be aimed at the Premier League following the biggest sporting sanction being dished out to the Merseyside club.


Last week, Everton were hit with a 10-point deduction for failing to abide by the league’s profit and sustainability rules and overspending by £19.5 million. From the moment the punishment was made public, there have been cries of an unjust outcome and an example being made of one of the division’s smaller clubs.


In response numerous protests have been planned by Everton fans for the team’s return to action. The entire Goodison crowd has been invited by a fan group to show a red card to the Premier League during the playing of its pre-match anthem and in the 10th minute of the game.


Sean Dyche,, the Everton manager, admitted he was “shocked by the proportion” of the panel’s verdict while the club’s director of football Kevin Thelwell made it clear in a statement that they will use it as “additional fuel”.


“I think like everyone, certainly in these parts, I was shocked and seemingly from the wave of noise after that, most people in football are shocked by the enormity of it,” said Dyche, who was made aware of the punishment whilst on a brief break in Dubai.

Getty: Alex Livesey

“Disproportionate is a word used by the club. Obviously we feel a bit aggrieved by that, but on the other hand it doesn’t change the focus. This has just given us a push backwards to come forwards again. The job hasn’t changed. It’s just made it more difficult under the current circumstances until the appeal.


“I don’t know every inch of the past, I don’t know why the commission have come out with what they have but I certainly believe in what the club put forward. It feels disproportionate, it feels unjust and plenty of voices out there feel the same.”


‘We need to go harder, stronger’

Clearly, with Everton set to appeal the decision, this latest set-back for the club will rumble on. But, as Dyche said, focus must remain as the team still have their own contests to take on. The point deduction has dropped Everton into the bottom three but a win against United would take them out of the relegation zone straight away.


Amidst the noise and the return of the blues, it is easy to forget that Everton — on the pitch at least — appeared to have turned a corner prior to the international break. Dyche’s team have won three of their last four league games, including two notable victories away to West Ham United and Crystal Palace, and found themselves in 14th place.


Dyche was getting a tune out of his players and, given the quality of the three promoted clubs, a third consecutive relegation looked a less likely possibility this season.


“I spoke to the group and said, ‘Look, the league table is one thing but I don’t change my story very often and I believe the final league table is the truth of the season, and I’m not going to change now’,” Dyche added.


Getty: Sebastian Frej

Getty: Sebastian Frej

“For sure, it changes the viewpoint but it doesn’t change what we’re doing. In fact it enhances what we’re doing. We need to go harder, stronger. This is what it is. It’s been about refocus as much as anything.


“You have to take away the noise. I’ve had to do it endlessly since I’ve been here, keep pushing away the noise around this football club.


“Bizarrely, we were talking about it before – the last press conference before Palace was one of the first ones that was just about football. And lo and behold while I was away we get a 10-point deficit. So what do you do? You just keep taking it on.”


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