Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has apologised to fans after the Premier League club only narrowly avoided relegation in the penultimate game of the season.
A dramatic 3-2 victory against Crystal Palace extended Everton’s top-flight stay to 69 years.
But that uplifting end to the season for Frank Lampard’s team could not obscure the problems that almost sent Everton crashing into the second tier for the first time since 1954.
The season started with the controversial appointment of former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who was sacked after just 200 days having won only five league matches.
While Moshiri did not refer to the Spaniard, who he pushed to appoint despite dissenting voices from the board, the British-Iranian tycoon acknowledged there had been errors.
Those included transfers. Everton have signed a series of expensive flops since Moshiri took over in 2016.
“Mistakes have been made and for that I want to apologise to all of you," Moshiri said in an open letter to supporters on Wednesday.
“It has not been good enough and we need to do better. We are committed to not making the same mistakes again, including how we have not always spent significant amounts of money wisely.
“You have given us incredible support that helped us over the line when we most needed it, and we must repay that support and show that lessons have been learnt.
“Whilst there is no denying that it was an amazing night when we turned around a 2-0 half-time deficit to secure a sensational victory and guarantee a 69th successive season in the top tier of English football last season, it should not be allowed to disguise the fact that we have underperformed in what proved to be a very challenging campaign.
“You did not deserve the frustration and fear that the season brought."