Sean Dyche has admitted livelihoods are at stake in Everton’s final four matches and he intends to restore “core values” to the club irrespective of its Premier League fate.
Everton face a daunting task to drag themselves out of the relegation zone with a trip to high-flying Brighton on Monday, followed by Manchester City’s visit to Goodison Park next Sunday. The futures of several internationals, including Jordan Pickford and Amadou Onana, will be shaped by which division Everton are playing in next season. But Dyche admits the consequences of relegation, and the responsibility to avoid it, are more widespread.
“The next four games not only affect people’s futures but people’s lives and livelihoods,” he said. “That is football. That is the challenge. That is the reality. Our job is to create a new reality, but that is the current one.”
The Everton manager’s sole focus is on the next four matches but he acknowledges rebuilding work must be done this summer that is not tied to which division the club finds itself in.
“There are certain core values about how a club should be operating and it is not about the plan of which division you are in. It should be operating that way, full stop. That is my opinion. That is what I am hoping to build over time. In the immediacy we need to win enough games.
“The bigger picture has to shape the whole club to get it in the right direction. It can’t just be: ‘Oh we have stayed up again.’ That is not building anything. That is just surviving. We do not want to be just surviving. We want to be growing. That is a different ballgame.
“The job when I got here – and it was well documented before I got here – all the problems, the noise and negativity around the club has been there for a long time. You can’t turn it around in one moment. There is loads to do and loads going on behind the results, but the results are still the key thing at the moment. We need to get the job done, get to the summer and then start all the big stuff. But the key at the minute is the games and that is the focus.”
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany, meanwhile, has extended his contract at the club until 2028 after winning the second-tier Championship and gaining promotion to the Premier League, the club said on Sunday.
Burnley secured promotion last month when the club returned to the top flight after one season, sealing the Championship title with two games to spare.
“Burnley and Turf Moor felt right pretty much from the start, so it also feels right to sign for the next five years,” former Manchester City and Belgium defender Kompany said in a statement. “Together with the fans we have made Turf Moor a fortress again, and continue to look forward to the future and the job of making Burnley better with every step.”
Burnley will wrap up their season on Monday with a game against Cardiff City at home, where they will be presented with the trophy.
“We are ecstatic Vincent has signed a new deal. He is the perfect fit for how we all see Burnley Football Club moving forward,” Burnley chairman Alan Pace said. “An extraordinary leader, setting ever higher standards and driving our club to the levels we all want to achieve.”
Burnley’s success has also seen new investment come in from former NFL player JJ Watt and his wife Kealia Watt, a former US international soccer player.
– Guardian (additional reporting Reuters)