As Sean Dyche was preparing for his Goodison Park welcome, fans were making their feelings clear ahead of what could be a turning point in the season.
As hundreds of Blues fans took to the street on a dreary February Saturday ahead of the early kick-off, "sack the board" could be heard across the streets surrounding Goodison Park. Following the aftermath of Everton's loss against Southampton last month, fans peacefully paraded around banners calling for changes at the top.
Fans marched again ahead of kick-off against Arsenal, meeting at the Royal Oak pub in Walton before making their way to the ground. Banners were held and feelings were made clear but the ECHO only witnessed peaceful protesting against the club's hierarchy.
As the club sat 19th in the Premier League table heading into the match, goal difference saving them from rock bottom, fans took it upon themselves to protest against the club's hierarchy after a January transfer window which saw a grand total of zero signings made.
READ MORE: Everton fans march in protest against board ahead of Arsenal clash
READ MORE: Plane flies banner over Everton vs Arsenal game with message for Bill Kenwright
The window also saw promising local lad Anthony Gordon wave goodbye to his boyhood club for Premier League highflyers Newcastle.
Speaking ahead of the protest, one fan said: “I don’t think anyone is happy with the board and how we spend money, it doesn’t move the club forward. Many of us would like new ownership, better businessmen.
“I love football, I have the Everton crest and Duncan Ferguson on my arm. I share a love for the club from afar.”
Chants such as "sack the board" and "get out of our club" rang throughout the terraced streets as fans' throats ran hoarse, it was a protest to be remembered by many and what might prove to be a turning point in the running of the club. Pressure has been mounting against the majority owner Farhad Moshiri, as well as the club directors such as Bill Kenwright.
Russell, a season ticket holder for over 20 years, said: “Basically it’s mismanagement for so many years, and it’s finally come to the point where the fans can’t accept it anymore. We need to stand up against it. We’re so close to relegation which is concerning.
“The lack of spending in the transfer window is a massive concern. We’re missing goals, we need a striker. Players don’t come to Everton for gross misconduct. If I worked in a normal business you’d get sacked for not doing your job.”
Banners that read 'Sack the Board', 'Kenwright Out' and 'Your Time is Up' could be seen among the crowds and later a plane flew over Goodison Park with a message claiming the Blues were the 'worst run club in the Premier League'.
Before the club's loss against bottom-of-the-table Southampton at home, a statement was released announcing that the directors were unable to attend the match due to a threat to their safety. Despite the report, Merseyside Police announced that they had received no reports of threats or incidents.
A police spokesperson said: “No threats or incidents were reported to police prior to the game, but we are in communication with the club to establish if any offences have taken place, and to ensure that any future reports are received through existing channels."
A large police presence was clear ahead of the match against Arsenal but there were no reports of any incidents before the game.
Sean Dyche clears up Everton job rumours and asks 'exciting' new question
Everton may have two investment deals on horizon after Farhad Moshiri admission
Everton won't abandon biggest presence around Goodison Park with new stadium
'I'm going to bust these myths' - Sean Dyche bans two items from Everton training ground
- 'Not innocent' - Seamus Coleman issues brutal Lampard reminder to Everton squad