Everton board to decide on Martinez's future

LONDON • Roberto Martinez's position as Everton manager will be discussed this week by the club's board of directors, with the Spaniard struggling to save his three-year tenure at Goodison Park.

Martinez, 42, insisted he was the right man for the job and that Everton were close to challenging for trophies after their stoppage-time defeat by Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

But with dissent growing among some of the fans, Everton directors will convene to discuss the manager's future.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright is renowned for his loyalty towards managers and was filmed speaking in glowing terms about Martinez before the semi-final at Wembley.

However, he is no longer the club's major shareholder after British-Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri acquired a 49.9 per cent stake in February and changed the make-up of the Goodison board.

Moshiri is not an Everton director but has appointed a long-term associate, the financier Alexander Ryazantsev, as his representative on the board.

The chief executive, Robert Elstone, also became an Everton director after Moshiri's investment and, along with the long-time director Jon Woods and Kenwright, they will hold talks over Martinez's future before the Premier League game against Bournemouth on Saturday.

With Everton 11th in the league, having won only nine of 34 matches, the manager has been subject to angry protests in recent weeks.

Martinez is, at this stage, expected to be in charge for the match, for what may become a divisive occasion. Some fans have taken to social media to propose various forms of protests at Goodison such as a mass walk-out or waving white handkerchiefs, the traditional show of disapproval in Spain.

Manuel Pellegrini, Frank de Boer and Ronald Koeman are reportedly tipped to replace the Spaniard.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Everton board to decide on Martinez's future'. Print Edition | Subscribe