Marcel Brands has outlined his ideas and ambitions for Everton having joined the Club as Director of Football.
The Dutchman, 56, has established a reputation for developing players and building clubs, overseeing PSV Eindhoven’s charge to the Eredivisie title in three of the past four seasons having previously been instrumental in transforming the fortunes of RKC Waalwijk and AZ Alkmaar.
In his role as technical director at RKC Waalwijk, he appointed Martin Jol as manager in 1998 and, despite operating on one of the lowest budgets in the Eredivisie, RKC rose to within touching distance of qualification for European football.
In 2005 Brands assumed a similar role at AZ Alkmaar and, working with Louis van Gaal, consolidated on second and third-place finishes in 2006 and 2007 respectively to secure the Eredivisie title in 2009.
Playing fluid, passing football, AZ became the first Dutch side outside the traditional ‘Big Three’ powerhouses of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven to win the title in 28 years.
In 2010 Brands was lured to PSV and tasked with refocussing the team’s transfer strategy and underperforming academy while extending the scouting network.
Building one of the youngest teams ever to win the Eredivisie, Brands has helped PSV to sustained success with back-to-back titles in 2014/15 and 2015/16 followed up with the Dutch team’s 24th Eredivisie title this season, clinched with an emphatic 3-0 home win over Ajax.
“It is a privilege to be joining Everton as Director of Football and I am incredibly excited to take on this challenge,” said Brands.
“The fantastic passion of the fans for their Club, the magnificent history of the Club over the years and the ambition and purpose we have as people tasked with driving the Club forward all mean that we need to be competing for honours against the Premier League elite.
“It is no straightforward challenge but this must be our motivation each and every day.
“I am looking forward to working with Farhad Moshiri and Chairman Bill Kenwright, whom I thank for entrusting me with this role and responsibility, and I am also looking forward to working with the Board of Directors and with our new CEO, Denise Barrett-Baxendale. I know we have very committed people here who want only the best for Everton.
“It is only a challenge such as this which could have persuaded me to leave PSV where I am indebted to the many people whose collective effort led to some great achievements.
“Now we will look to build something really strong and lasting here at Everton.”
Everton’s major shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, added: “Marcel’s record of achievement has cemented his reputation across Europe and I am extremely pleased that we will be bringing his drive, energy and expertise to Everton.
“It was clear to me in our conversations that he shares in the vision we have for the Club and he has much to contribute in making us better and more equipped to challenge the top teams in the Premier League.”
Chairman Bill Kenwright said: “I would like to welcome Marcel to Everton Football Club and I’m looking forward to working with him. His successful track record is there for all to see and having him here to help lead Everton forward is something which I’m sure will excite all Evertonians.”
Everton Director, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said: “I’m very much looking forward to working closely with Marcel whose experience in the areas of player recruitment and development pathways for young players has forged an outstanding reputation in European football. I know that Marcel will bring an unsurpassed level of quality and prowess to his work at Everton.
“Chief among my priorities is to structure and resource our Club to enable us to fully achieve our ambitions. We will work alongside Marcel on the recruitment of a new manager, which is now our biggest focus.”
Marcel replaces Steve Walsh who joined the Club in July 2016. Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale added: “On behalf of the Board and Mr Moshiri, I’d also like to express our thanks to Steve Walsh, our first ever Director of Football, who has now left the Club. We all wish Steve well for his future.”