Nwosu Chizoba David
A number of Everton fans left their seats in the 27 th minute of their team’s Premier League match against Arsenal at Goodison Park in protest over the way the club is run.
The symbolic gesture, dubbed ‘27 minutes for 27 years’ signifies that 2022 will be the 27 th year since the Blues last won a major trophy – the 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup final.
Although one could visibly pick out groups of fans leaving their seats at the allotted time, the protest was not a mass walkout – with the majority of supporters staying put, and many of those increasing the volume.
Everton’s current barren run is the longest silverware drought in the club’s history (they had previously only ever gone 24 years) and long-suffering supporters are frustrated by the current malaise on the pitch.
After the 2-1 victory over the Gunners, both Rafa Benitez and Seaman Coleman showered praises on fans for their undiluted commitments.
Everton captain Seamus Coleman, speaking to Sky Sports thanked supporters for their unending supports.
“We knew whatever goes on behind the scenes, whatever goes on, the fans always come here to support us. They need to see a reaction. They got behind us from minute one to minute 90 and got us over the line. Our performance showed that. I have been here 12 years. You take the good with the bad. But One thing they do for 90 minutes is support you.
“I tell him [Demarai Gray] every day. I am on him every day. Sometimes these players don’t realise how good they can be. He has bundles of ability. He needs to work hard every day as that is what the top players do. He has done that this week.
“You hurt when you lose and when you make mistakes. I take responsibility for the Liverpool game. But I have been around long enough. You take the highs and the lows. You come in next day and work hard. We go again next game. We build from there but this gives us great confidence.”
After which Everton manager Rafa Benitez also acknowledged fans for their wonderful supports.
“It is clear, when the fans, the players, everybody sticks together we are stronger. The reaction of the team to the goals that were disallowed and conceding a goal at the end of the first half, we still scored goals and reacted. Every layer and fan is expecting that. Everybody is really pleased and hopefully it is the right step forward.
“The VAR… I don’t know if the lines can be thicker or not? It was against us. I said a lot of times that we were close to winning a lot of times. Today was another example. Everything is against you but the character they showed today, with the fans behind, they can enjoy that. The fans were pleased because the fans gave everything. they are strong mentality and ready to change things quickly.
“The fans are expecting commitment. You can talk about mistakes and we concede because we made mistakes against a good team. In terms of commitment the players are there and the fans appreciate that. They want to see a team that has spent a lot of money getting better and better. We will do it. It will take time but we will do it. everybody now has the hope.”