Why are they in this mess? Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s billionaire owner, has made erratic and ill-judged decisions since buying the club seven years ago, starting with retaining board members who failed to keep pace with its competitors. Everton’s descent has accelerated with the terrible recruiting, mismanagement and inconsistent tactics hallmarks of the Moshiri era. The owner’s generosity can’t be faulted – nearly £700m has been spent on relocation and the endless stadium problem has almost been solved with an impressive new home under construction on Bramley Moor Dock – but he has spent without planning or patience. Have done Sean Deitch is Everton’s eighth permanent manager in seven years, three directors of football and huge financial losses have inevitably accompanied him. The club went into the season without an established goalscorer – with Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured and Richardson sold – and compounded that egregious error by failing to sign in January. He has paid a price that everyone else saw coming.
What will be the effect of relegation? Moshiri has signed an exclusivity deal with American investment firm MSP Sports Capital in search of funding to complete Everton’s new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey. Whether it will at least go ahead with a deal to a club in the Championship on Moshiri’s current terms is open to question. Yet exile would bring even greater impact. Everton have posted combined losses of £305.5m for the past three financial years and are under investigation for alleged breaches of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules, which they deny. The club also owes Rights and Media Funding Limited £150m. According to Everton’s own auditors, its “ability to continue as a going concern” would be in “significant doubt” in the event of relegation. Sports assets such as Jordan Pickford and Amadou Onana would be sold by fire, followed by a potentially devastating financial meltdown. AH
Jordan Pickford, here fending off Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins, will be expected to leave Everton in the face of relegation. Photograph: Lewis Story/Getty Images
Leicester Issue 31 (GD-18),
West Ham (H)
Why are they in this mess? As of Monday at St James’ Park, Leicester were the only team in Europe’s top five leagues not to have recorded a clean sheet since November. This statistic is indicative of one major factor in his slide – the squealing of his defense – but there are others. Brendan Rodgers gave Danny Ward the chance to establish himself as the Premier League’s first-choice goalkeeper following the departure of Kasper Schmeichel, but Ward struggled and his replacement Daniel Iversen did not feel as well. Failure to reinvigorate the squad due to financial constraints the previous summer meant they lagged behind rivals and several key players, such as Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy, have not reached previous heights. Poor recruitment in the last few windows has also taken its toll. This summer will see a heavy turnover of players regardless of the department they are playing in next season.
last day relegation permutation
everton Number 33 goal difference -24 scored goals 33
A win guarantees survival. If Leicester fail to win and Leeds do not win by at least three goals then a draw will suffice. If Leicester and Leeds fail to win then a defeat will suffice.
leicester Number 31 goal difference -18 scored goals 49
west ham, home
A win is needed to have any hope of avoiding relegation. If Everton draw or lose it will be enough.
Leeds Number 31 goal difference -27 scored goals 47
Winning is essential to have a chance to survive. If Leicester fail to win and Everton lose, Leeds will be safe. If Leicester fail to win and Everton draw, Leeds will survive if they beat Spurs by three or more goals.
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What will be the effect of relegation? Leicester would potentially lose the ability to attract a favorite manager such as Graham Potter and so interim manager Dean Smith could be considered a sensible permanent appointment. Squad wages will be reduced by up to 50%, but high earners such as James Maddison and Harvey Barnes are set to depart even if Leicester stay up, and players such as club captain Jonny Evans, midfielder Yuri Tielemans and defender Caglar Soyuncu are out of contract. are out. Leicester reported a club-record pre-tax loss of £92.5m for 2021-22, but much of that was due to a failure to sell assets for a significant profit in the way of selling Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire Was. The commitment of Leicester’s owner, King Power International Group, to the club – and the community – cannot be doubted. In February the chairman, Ayyavatha Srivaddhanaprabha, terminated a loan of £194 million. BF
Harvey Barnes (left) and James Maddison are set to leave Leicester this summer. Photograph: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC/Getty Images
Leeds Issue 31 (GD-27), Tottenham (HK)
Why are they in this mess? an association with philosophy; namely the high-energy pressing game introduced under Marcelo Bielsa. Bielsa’s obsession with sticking to the system – or at least a version of it – prompted former director of football Victor Orta to replace the Argentine with Jesse Marsh last year. The only problem was that Marsch’s love of pressing was not matched by his ability to win Premier League matches. However, Leeds delayed sacking the American until February and his hapless interim successor, Javi Gracia, struggled to turn things around before installing Sam Allardyce for the final four games. If neither Gracias nor, especially, Allardyce have enough time to fix one of the league’s most porous defences, the club will need to sign inexperienced French forward Georginio Rutter for their record £35m in January. The decision remains extremely complicated. He may be promising but he is not ready for first-team English top-tier football. That money could have been better spent.
What will be the effect of relegation? A long-proposed full takeover by San Francisco-based 49er Enterprises would be in jeopardy. While, in theory, some – though not all – investors from 49er Enterprises Group remain keen to buy in the event of relegation, they want Leeds for £400m rather than the around £150m that majority owner Andrea Radrizzani agreed with. It is doubtful whether a satisfactory settlement can be reached. If the takeover fails, the redevelopment of the aging Elland Road will again be put on the backburner. If it helps that the relegation situation for many players involves a 60% pay cut, some key personnel including Ilan Meslier, Robin Koch and Luis Sinisterra will almost certainly be sold. Although Leeds have indicated a desire to keep Tyler Adams and Wilfred Gunto, the US midfielder is highly admired by Newcastle and the Italy forward is widely coveted. Championship football could limit the choices of a long-term manager and possibly deter boardroom favourites, particularly Rodgers and Potter. Lieutenant