Toffee Talk

Massive changes and restructuring at Everton meant to take club to the next level

Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton's chief executive officer, is just the second woman to lead an EPL club.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton's chief executive officer, is just the second woman to lead an EPL club.PHOTO: EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB

It is a privilege to lead Everton Football Club as the chief executive in a new English Premier League season.

I am hugely excited to be in a position to set a path forward that will underline our ambitions for the future, reflect our values as The People's Club and maintain the motto set out for us by our forefathers - nil satis nisi optimum (nothing but the best is good enough).

I am completely committed to driving our club forward and making the most of the opportunities that we have. I know what the priorities are and I am determined that we make progress in these areas.

We have come through a real period of change at our club, with a new director of football in Marcel Brands, a new manager in Marco Silva, new executive leadership team and new offices at the Royal Liver Building - a magnificent accommodation and a courageous step for the club after more than 125 years of our staff, our people, operating out of Goodison Park.

It is also the right step for the club and really important to me, for it shows our intent, our ambition and it gives us the opportunity to place people in the best positions for our club to work at its optimum level of effectiveness and efficiency.

Chief among my priorities is to structure and resource our club to fully achieve our ambitions on and off the pitch. To do that we must attract the very best talent to Everton and I believe we have done that this summer by bringing Marcel and Marco to the football club.

In Marcel, we have appointed a director of football with a proven reputation for developing players and building clubs in technical roles over two decades in the Netherlands.

In Marco, we have a modern, forward-thinking coach with Premier League experience who has a record for getting the best out of players. His philosophy fits perfectly with our long-term strategy and we are looking forward to seeing what can be achieved as he works closely with Marcel.

We've also appointed a new head of football strategy in Richard Battle, who was previously part of the club's academy, and he is working closely with Marcel to develop a wider football strategy for the club, further strengthening the links between the first team, the Under-23s and the academy.

Everton is renowned for its world-class academy and Marcel and Marco have a shared vision to utilise our productive and respected youth system as a vital component of their strategy.

As a board, we are focused very much on how we can fully realise our ambitions as a club, with a fantastic fan base and an aversion to settling for anything but the best. Football has changed massively since I joined Everton eight years ago.

Clubs are huge, complex organisations now, particularly at the top end of the Premier League, so to be competitive we must continue to grow and evolve.

The key to us being able to achieve that is the opportunity to move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

We all love Goodison Park, it's the most magical place to watch football, but we understand that to be a modern, progressive football club we need the facilities and resources to take us to the next level. That's why the new stadium project is so important and integral to our vision for the future.

Toffee Talk is an exclusive column by English Premier League football club Everton for The Straits Times that gives a more intimate look inside Goodison Park.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton's chief executive officer, is just the second woman to lead an EPL club.