Sat | Mar 25, 2023

Everton fire Lampard with team in relegation zone

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2023 | 1:03 AM
 Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard


Everton fired manager Frank Lampard yesterday as the crisis-hit Premier League team took action amid its latest fight against relegation and protests by disgruntled fans against the club’s board.

Lampard, a former England international and Chelsea great, lasted nearly a year in a role that is fast becoming one of the most challenging in English football, with Everton now looking for their eighth permanent manager since Farhad Moshiri bought the club in 2016.

Everton’s 2-0 loss at West Ham on Saturday proved to be Lampard’s final game in charge. He leaves with the team in next-to-last place in the league after 20 of 38 games and with the same number of points as last-place Southampton.

The 44-year-old Lampard was hired last January and led Everton to safety in the final week of last season, extending their stay in the top division to a 69th year.

He has been unable to prevent the team from slipping into another relegation fight, though, with Everton winning only three games – the fewest of any team in the league – and scoring 15 goals.

“Frank and his team’s commitment and dedication have been exemplary throughout their time at the club,” Everton said in a statement released late yesterday, hours after speculation emerged that Lampard had departed, “but recent results and the current league position meant this difficult decision had to be taken.

“We wish Frank and all his backroom team well for their future in the game.”

Everton said the process to find a replacement for Lampard has begun. Paul Tait and former Everton defender Leighton Baines will take training in the meantime.

Fans have become increasingly irate at the club’s situation. Before a home match against Southampton on January 14, Everton said its board of directors was told not to go to Goodison Park because of what the club claimed to be a “real and credible threat to their safety and security” – citing “malicious and unacceptably threatening correspondence” and “targeted physical aggression.”

The club has not publicly released information about specific incidents relating to the threats.

Lampard is part of the new generation of managers given a chance in the Premier League in recent years, along with former England teammates Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker. All three have been fired already this season, with Gerrard leaving Aston Villa and Parker departing from Bournemouth.