This week, Everton supporters were sent a controversial club survey that asked fans to rate manager Sam Allardyce’s performance on a scale of 1 to 10.
This question sparked a firestorm of impassioned responses, with many Evertonians incensed that the club would publicly shame Allardyce in such a way.
Others expressed their displeasure at the necessity of the survey, arguing it should be clear to Everton’s management that the former England manager is widely despised.
The incident also elicited a public condemnation from former Everton defender Alan Stubbs, who criticised the club survey, describing his surprise at the ‘disrespectful’ questions.
The survey controversy has come at exactly the wrong time for the club, as fan anger is at an all-time high.
The botched move to gauge supporter satisfaction is representative of larger mismanagement at Goodison Park.
The survey was interpreted as a tone-deaf move by Everton fans, who immediately voiced their displeasure with the situation on Twitter.
Don’t understand why Everton are running a fans’ survey about their manager. If the club can’t already see his ineptitude without the supporters’ feedback it’s rather worrying, don’t you think?
— Ric George (@Ric__George) April 17, 2018
I’m not massively against allardyce I more think the players are the issue at our club. But the fact Everton needed to send a survey out to gauge fans feelings shows how distant they are from the fans Joke
— Michael Callaway (@mickcallaway21) April 17, 2018
— Colette Kell (@ColetteKell1) April 17, 2018
A survey? Seriously? How to undermine your manager. Bizarre from Everton. They should know fans' views anyway without needing to conduct a survey… https://t.co/HCafdNDl3O
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 17, 2018
Some supporters were incredulous that the club was turning to the fans to settle a debate that they saw as obvious.
For me shows how clueless they are. Its there job to hire or fire not the fans!!! While we all agree sam is useless, you will never ever here of another club doing a survey on their gaffer. Sunday league stuff really is
— Sean Mckenna (@seanmckenna212) April 18, 2018
This survey Everton is a embarrassment ! The chairman is a Blue he should know what the fans think !if we are doing them let's do one asking the fans about Kenwright Elstone & the Board ! They won't ! Another PR Disaster
— Mark (@markelliott1878) April 18, 2018
But some Toffees supporters viewed the uproar over the survey as undeserved, pointing out that the management question was just one part of the survey, and that the survey had been distributed in past seasons.
Tbf to everton I think it's the same survey they put out most years but this one has spectacularly backfired.
The club seriously need a fan liaison officer who actually speaks to fans via social networks like Alan Myers used to do.
— Peter Mcpartland (@PED7) April 17, 2018
Seems the fan survey has been criticised by some but I for one was pleased to see Everton garnering fan opinion. Attendances, protests and chants can all give club an indication of fan feeling but having true numbers from a survey in black and white will surely enforce message.
— Ell Bretland (@EllBretland) April 18, 2018
Mad how much is being made of that survey. The vast majority of it had nothing to do with the manager, coaching staff etc.
— Everton Fans Corner (@EFCFansCorner_) April 18, 2018
Regardless of the merits of the survey, it nonetheless has attracted unwanted attention to Goodison Park during a time of real turmoil over the direction of the club.
And judging by many responses, the results of the survey will make an uncomfortable showing for the Everton hierarchy.