Everton chairman Bill Kenwright insists it is vitally important the club get a manager who is “equally significant” to the departing David Moyes.
The end of the Scot’s 11-year tenure at Goodison Park was confirmed yesterday when he was announced as Manchester United manager as successor to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Moyes, whose contract expires in six weeks, will remain in place for Everton’s final two matches of the season before he officially takes over at Old Trafford on 1 July.
Kenwright’s job now is to find the right man to not only maintain his manager’s good work but also take the club forward.
The Toffees chairman stressed there would be no instant decision – unlike when he recruited Moyes from Preston in 2002 – and they would be scouring far and wide for the best candidate.
“He’s a great manager and Manchester United are very lucky,” said Kenwright.
“We’ve had a good 11-year adventure with David and it is my job and the club’s job to get a worthy successor and build on what David has brought to the club and hopefully move on from there.
“We will be out there finding the right man for this football club. It is important from here on in Everton continues in the David Moyes tradition, in the Everton Football Club tradition, with an equally significant manager – because he has been a significant manager for 11 years.
“Eleven years ago I made a decision and it was an instant decision when I met David, but I don’t think that can happen this time. We have to be very seriously out there looking to see what kind of candidate is out there who can take the club forward.
“I won’t lie to you and say there is no-one in my head, no-one in Everton’s head or Everton supporters’ heads.
“Everton fans are no fools. They took to David Moyes instantly. I’ll be looking to those supporters to get the kind of guidance that true football fans can give to a chairman.
“It’s important they get the right man. Of course it is important the club get the right man but they know the adventure they’ve had for 11 years and they want it to continue and continue to grow and that is vital for them. It’s a very important part of my life to see that they are not let down because I don’t want them let down.”
Kenwright admitted he suspected this day would come as planning with Moyes about next season ground to a halt several weeks ago.
“It’s been a year now since David and I sat down and went through this season and next season and we’ve been planning for next season until very recently,” he said.
“David Moyes has always been my manager and I seriously hoped he would be the manager next season.”