Rafael Benítez has been sacked by Everton, following the club’s disastrous 2-1 defeat by fellow strugglers Norwich City. His departure leaves majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri seeking his sixth permanent manager in six years.
The Norwich defeat means Everton have taken just five points from their last 12 games, leaving them in 15th, just six points from the relegation zone. Benítez leaves with a win percentage of 26% – the worst record of a permanent manager since Howard Kendall’s ill-fated third spell at the club.
“Everton Football Club can confirm the departure of Rafael Benítez as First Team manager,” read a brief statement. “Benítez, who joined Everton in June 2021, has left the club with immediate effect. An update on a permanent replacement will be made in due course.”
Duncan Ferguson, who took temporary charge following Marco Silva’s dismissal, former manager Roberto Martínez – who was sacked by Moshiri in 2016 – former Granada coach Diego Martínez, José Mourinho, Niko Kovac and Wayne Rooney may all be considered by Everton’s erratic owner.
Everton fans unfurled a banner at Carrow Road calling for Benítez to “get out of our club” and they got their wish on Sunday, with the former Liverpool manager lasting just over six months of his three-year contract.
Benítez became the most controversial managerial appointment in Everton’s history and only the second man to have managed both Everton and Liverpool after Willian Edward Barclay in the 19th century. He received personal abuse and threats before signing the contract in June 2021, and Merseyside police investigated a banner that warned “We know where you live” but was left outside the wrong house near the Spaniard’s family home in Wirral.
The 61-year-old, however, received a warm ovation before his first home game at the helm but a dreadful run of form, a fall-out with Lucas Digne and tactics combined to turn many more against him. He leaves Everton just days after the club sold Digne to Aston Villa for £25m and following the departure of Marcel Brands as director of football and Danny Donachie as head of medical services.