Everton owner plots new stadium, supports star boss

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri says manager Ronald Koeman (right) is an A-lister who can compete in "the new Hollywood of football" alongside Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri says manager Ronald Koeman (above) is an A-lister who can compete in "the new Hollywood of football" alongside Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Farhad Moshiri, Everton's major shareholder, has said that the club recruited Ronald Koeman to add their own glitz to the "Hollywood" stable of managers in the English Premier League.

Moshiri commented that Everton identified Koeman as "a star to stand on the touchline" and compete with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp.

Koeman was enticed from Southampton to replace the sacked Roberto Martinez in the summer as part of an overhaul of Everton by Iranian billionaire Moshiri, who bought 49.9 per cent of the Goodison Park club in February.

"For our club to compete in the north-west of England, which is the new Hollywood of football with Guardiola, Mourinho and Klopp, we needed a star to stand on the touchline so we got Koeman," Moshiri said in an interview with radio station talkSPORT.

"It is a difficult landscape now because a lot of clubs are getting new kit deals - £900 million (S$1.55 billion), £1 billion - so we know it is difficult but there is always a way to compete and we trust Koeman. He has personality, aura and ability."

He added that he will back Koeman if the manager wants to buy players in the January transfer window.

NO SPENDING RESTRICTIONS

Once we hire a manager, we back him.

FARHAD MOSHIRI, Everton's major shareholder, promising to back Toffees manager Ronald Koeman in the January transfer window.

"We have no restrictions (on spending). The manager is totally committed and ruthless - if a player is not up to it, he uses another player and eventually he buys one. I support him," the Iranian said.

"The job of the owner and chairman is simply to hire and fire a manager. The rest is down to him. Once we hire a manager, we back him."

A new stadium is also in Moshiri's plans as he seeks to build a "Hollywood stage" for Everton fans.

"I went to Liverpool a few weeks ago with (chairman) Bill Kenwright to look at potential sites in Bramley Moore dock and Stonebridge Cross," he said.

"The club has taken soundings from the fans and, in our mind, we know where to go. We are committed.

"I can reassure fans they will have a stadium that rewards their loyalty and their passion for the club. That is my key aim."

However, amid the excitement, Moshiri admitted he was still smarting from Everton's 5-0 defeat by Chelsea, who also have another big-name manager in Antonio Conte.

"The sheer pain of the loss against Chelsea on Saturday was immense," he said. "You get numb."

THE TIMES, LONDON, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2016, with the headline 'Everton owner plots new stadium, supports star boss'. Print Edition | Subscribe