April 2024 – A bright light at the end of a dark tunnel

The Penultimate month of any given Premier League season is usually more important to the out come of the league table than say the last 3 or so games played in May. This was no different this season. Entering April, Everton hadn’t won a match since the 15th of December when the defeated Burnley at Turf Moor. The fixtures were in Everton’s favor though. With Burnley, Forest, and Brentford all coming to Goodison park, it was going to be now or never for Everton.

The month started on a positive note, with Everton saving a late point away at Newcastle. A match that many thought Everton would get picked apart in. Next came Burnley at home. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Everton had to get all 3 points in this match to start to create some distance between them and the bottom 3. Thankfully Everton did the job, it wasn’t a sexy win, in fact, if you looked back on every win from every team in the Premier League this season, it might be the scruffiest 1-0 you could come up with. The only goal coming from Dominic Calvert-Lewin closing down the Burnley goal keeper and deflecting a would be clearance into the net. A first win in three months had spirits high going into a not 100 percent Chlesea squad away from home. Some thought Everton might be able to get a result. Well, that didn’t happen. Everton were put to the sword, never looked in the match and lost 6-0. It was a real inflection point for the squad. It was either, accept this might be it and go down, or dust yourselves off and go beat Forest at the weekend. Everton made the right choice.

Forest came into Goodison park that Sunday, in a match that would put one club much closer to relegation, or to safety. In a match they once again had to have, Everton out dueled Forest 2-0, despite having less possession, and fewer shots. It was two goals that seemed rather improbable as they were going in. An Idrissa Gana Gueye shot that felt like it was on the floor forever snuck into the far post just past the reach of the keeper. Then to finish it off a second goal from outside the box struck brilliantly by Dwight McNeil off the post and rolling just into the side netting of the far post. That win lifted Everton 5 points clear of Forest and a massive 7 points clear of 18th place Luton Town.

The next match was the derby. General consensus was get a point if you can, if not it’s fine, still have a winnable match against Brentford at the weekend. What happened next can almost not be put into words. Liverpool were still chasing the vestiges of a title challenge. Having already suffered a blow at the hands of Crystal Palace, Everton could essentially put the nail in the coffin, and that’s just what they did. A brilliant display of passion, and determination Everton dominated a match which many gave them no chance to win at all. When the dust settled Everton emerged with their first home derby win since 2010. A double sweet win that saw Everton almost certainly safe, while also ending the title hopes of their neighbours.

The final match was still important. Three more points and Everton secure mathematical safety. As they had done all month long, Everton rose to the occasion. The squad looked gassed, and handed Youssef Chermiti his first Premier League start, but once again, an unlikely hero, Idrissa Gana Gueye scored the only goal, and Everton secured one last Premier League season at Goodison park. We might never know what was said behind closed doors after Everton lost 6-0 at Stamford Bridge, but there is no doubt that match awoken something in this squad and it carried them to 3 wins over 7 days, all of which culminated in safety from relegation.

While Things on the pitch turned around for Everton, as April comes to a close there are still plenty of issues on going off the pitch. The ownership situation is now the most important thing facing Everton football club. For what feels like an eternity 777 has been working on getting their funding together to complete the purchase of the club. 777 has also given Everton multiple loans now, and those loans total into the multiple hundreds of millions of dollars. However, things with 777 may be coming to a head. on April 29th it was reported that Everton had given 777 until the end of the month to complete their takeover of the club. If this deadline is not met they will move on to a new bidder.

While all of this is going on with 777, it’s also been reported that Everton have been talking with debt restructuring advisers. The same report claims this is part of an attempt to ward of administration, due to the clubs heavy debt. There is still a lot that is undecided in terms of ownership, and debt re payment, and even board members, that will need to be sorted out long before pre season training begins. As of now, it does not look like the club is any closer to having new owners, and fans will be nervously waiting to hear what will transpire in the coming months.

Overall, April has been an excellent month for Everton. As the season winds down, we head towards an emotional last season at Goodison park. Hopefully, the 2024/2025 season will be started with new owners, and solid ground so every Evertonian can just focus on saying goodbye to the only home they have ever known. For the month of May it’ll just be enjoying the last three matches, and hoping the toffees win out and gain a little bit more ground in the table, because every couple million extra dollars will help.

A special shout out is needed to Sean Dyche and his staff for doing their bit and keeping this club up again, under impossible circumstances. A shout out to the supporters as well for doing their part, as always and giving the players the boost they needed at the end. This season would not have been possible if both parties weren’t up for it. Lastly, an apology to the Premier League. I know things didn’t go your way, and Everton are still going to be a Premier League team again next season. Maybe one day you will find a way to send Everton down although, let’s face it, probably not. UTFT!

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