Everton Royal Blue: Why Feb 27 will never be just another day for Blues

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It was Diniyar Bilyaletdinov’s 30th birthday, but few Evertonians cared.

The team were without a game, Roberto Martinez was talking about Gareth Barry leaving a legacy, while this column explained why the Catalan wasn’t always Mr Nice Guy.

But none of this was setting the agenda or getting people talking. Few Blues fans gave two hoots to be frank, because all they wanted to know about was whether the rumours were true.

As late afternoon was drawing into early evening, they were confirmed.

And so this Monday, as the first day of the new working weeks hits 4:45pm, Evertonians can reflect on the anniversary of, perhaps, the most significant moment in the club’s modern history: the arrival of Farhad Moshiri.

The 12 months on from February 27, 2016 have, almost, whizzed by in a flash since word of a mysterious Middle East investor gathered pace before turning into an official club statement revealing the billionaire’s intention to buy 49.9% of shares.

Time flies when you’re having fun. It also hurtles past when you’re getting things done.

Even by the forensically constructed standards of club press releases, the one issued by Everton failed to suppress the feeling of excitement.

Everton train ahead of Sunderland clash

Phrases such as “the promise of investment”, “financial wherewithal” and “perfect partner” were given the green light for public consumption as Everton’s pain-staking search for an injection of cash had come to an end.

There were more questions than answers at this stage, information wasn’t emerging at a rate to satisfy the excitement and intrigue of Blues fans who wanted to know who, what, why, where and when, but mainly who – who was this man who was pledging to bring success back to Goodison?

The answers were soon emerge. Not in his rare moments of public speaking, but in his actions, decisions and the delivery on his intent.

Once the Premier League ratified the move, Moshiri’s tick list began to grow.

One manager sacked, a top class replacement found, a director of football appointed, a Goodison face lift, players signed, players sold and players kept, a new wage structure, new faces on the board and significant progress made in the search for a new stadium.

Everton’s Goodison Park nearly finished with make-over

But maybe his biggest stride Moshiri has made since joining Everton is not in any of those tangibles, not in something Blues fans can see or touch. It’s in what they can feel.

Time will be the ultimate judge of his Blues’ reign and what he ends up achieving in his time at the club but, for many, he will have given them more reason for hope, more reason to be optimistic and more ammunition to believe the next chapter in Everton’s history is going to be better than it has been for a generation.

It’s not just his ambition for Everton but the faith he has already earned from supporters, who trust he has the means and ability to act on it.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson tweeted this image of himself meeting with Everton majority investor Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright in London

For Moshiri that has to be savoured as much as anything else he has already done.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing, the transfer market has at times proved sticky business in the opening year, but with him at the wheel Everton are moving in the right direction, no longer just there to make up the numbers.

What as it that he said? Everton cannot be allowed to become a museum?

Never has a truer word be spoken – but Moshiri can still look back on his first 12 months at the club with contentment and safe in the knowledge that February 27 will never become a shoulder shrugging day in the Royal Blue calendar again.

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