Everton have appointed PSV’s Marcel Brands as the club’s new director of football, replacing Steve Walsh.
Walsh was recruited from Leicester City in 2016 but came under pressure after a £150million splurge on players such as Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford failed to propel Everton into the Premier League’s top six.
The Toffees struggled early in the season before Sam Allardyce – appointed following the sacking of Ronald Koeman – salvaged an eighth-place finish.
And Walsh has now, like Allardyce, been relieved of his duties, with Brands given the role following success with RKC Waalwijk, AZ and PSV in the Eredivisie.
Brands helped AZ win the Dutch top flight before playing a key role in PSV’s three titles in the last four years.
“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.
| Marcel Brands has become Everton’s new Director of Football.
— Everton (@Everton) May 16, 2018
“I am looking forward to working with [owner] 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.”
Barrett-Baxendale added: “On behalf of the board and Mr Moshiri, I’d 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.”
Chris Hughton has signed a new contract to extend his spell as Brighton and Hove Albion manager, the club have confirmed.
The 59-year-old has agreed to fresh terms that will keep him at the club until June 2021.
Brighton finished 15th in the top flight in 2017-18, having won promotion to the top flight last year, which saw Hughton nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Season award.
“I’m delighted to have extended my time with the club, and I would like to thank the chairman, the board, my staff and everyone at the club, including our fans, for the support we’ve had in achieving our aims,” Hughton told the club’s website.
“The set-up in terms of the training ground and excellent facilities, and the professionalism of all the staff across the club gives us a platform and creates an excellent environment for us to work on a daily basis – and I would like to thank everyone at the club for their efforts this season.
“Our second season will be tougher, and we will need that spirit of togetherness to help us continue to progress – but once we’ve had a well-earned break and reflected on the season just gone, we will begin planning for 2018-19.”
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) May 15, 2018
Chairman Tony Bloom added: “Chris’ record as our manager is absolutely superb, he has been great for the club and his measured and calm approach brings out the very best in all around him.
“Our first-ever Premier League season has been a brilliant experience for the club, with some iconic moments, including an unforgettable night at the Amex [Stadium] against Manchester United to secure our Premier League status earlier this month.
“Chris’ diligent approach is respected across football. He thoroughly deserves his new contract and on behalf of everyone at the Albion I’d like to thank him for a wonderful season.”
The German Football Association (DFB) has criticised Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan for appearing in what it describes as an “election campaign stunt” by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Germany internationals were pictured greeting Erdogan at Turkey’s London embassy, along with Everton and Turkey striker Cenk Tosun, as the politician arrived in England ahead of a meeting with UK prime minister Theresa May.
Arsenal star Ozil and Manchester City midfielder Gundogan handed over signed shirts, before a picture of the three players together was uploaded via Ozil’s official Instagram page.
The DFB has since issued a statement in which it has accused Ozil and Gundogan, who are both of Turkish descent, of going against its football values by taking part in the meeting.
DFB president Reinhard Grindel said: “The DFB of course respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stands for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect.
“Therefore, it is not a good thing that our internationals have let themselves be misused for his election campaign stunt. It certainly hasn’t helped the DFB’s integration efforts.
DFB team coordinator Oliver Bierhoff added: “I still have absolutely no doubts about Mesut and Ilkay’s commitment to playing for the Germany national team and how much they identify with our values. They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we cannot endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players.”
The UK has been criticised for hosting Erdogan during what is a high-stakes election campaign.
There has been pressure from human rights campaigners and exiled Turkish citizens to denounce the government’s alleged systematic arrests of journalists, civil rights activists and opposition politicians.
Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool’s players for a “nearly perfect season” after they secured a second successive top-four finish in the Premier League.
A routine 4-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday made sure of the final qualification spot for next season’s Champions League, albeit nearest rivals Chelsea ended up losing 3-0 away at Newcastle United anyway.
Mohamed Salah scored the opener at Anfield, taking his tally for the league campaign to 32 goals, a new record for the competition in a 38-game season, as the hosts cruised to victory.
After Dejan Lovren doubled Liverpool’s lead with a powerful header before the break, Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson grabbed their maiden goals for the club in the second half.
“What the boys did this season was unbelievable,” Klopp told Sky Sports while taking in a lap of honour after the game.
“I’m really proud of the boys, a nearly perfect season. We had no chance to challenge Manchester City, so the only thing you can go for is a Champions League spot. It is a big thing.
“We had a few more chances today, it’s fantastic that Mohamed Salah could break the record and Dominic [Solanke] and Robbo [Andy Robertson] could score.
“It’s hard to be a young player in this fantastic side, Solanke has struggled a bit but he has shown up today. I’m really happy for him.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 13, 2018
Klopp still has one game to go this season – the small matter of a Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 26 – but is already looking ahead to next term.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss confirmed he intends to add to his squad in the next transfer window, yet insisted there would be no major overhaul on Merseyside as they attempt to make up ground on runaway champions Manchester City.
“Congratulations to Manchester City, it is incredible to get 100 points,” Klopp added.
“We need more consistency to challenge, with a little bit more luck with injuries I think we would have been a little bit closer. But we have got a lot of experience from this season.
“We have matured and we will do that again. In our good moments it is not easy to play better football.
“We will add to the squad, we need more players but I’m a big believer in developing the team. These boys made a big step.”
17 – Mo Salah has scored against 17 different Premier League opponents this season; no player has ever scored against more in a single campaign in the competition. Variety. pic.twitter.com/EAum9Bkex3
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 13, 2018
Peter Stoger has confirmed his time in charge of Borussia Dortmund is over.
The 52-year-old announced he will part ways with the club following the 3-1 defeat at Hoffenheim on the final day of the Bundesliga season.
That left Dortmund to cling onto a Champions League spot as they finished ahead of fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen on goal difference.
Stoger only took over from the sacked Peter Bosz in December having himself been relieved of his duties at Cologne a week earlier.
Miroslav Klose has returned to Bayern Munich to take charge of the Under-17 team, the Bundesliga champions announced.
The Germany legend, the all-time leading goalscorer in World Cup history and for his country, will take over the Bavarian giants’ youth team for the 2018-19 season.
Klose represented Bayern between 2007 and 2011, winning two domestic doubles before moving on to Lazio, where he ended his career.
“I’m really looking forward to this role at Bayern’s academy,” 2014 World Cup winner Klose said.
“I’ll give everything I can to justify the faith placed in to me to lead the development of these young players.”
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 11, 2018
Bayern also confirmed 17-year-old Franck Evina has signed a three-year professional contract.
Evina has started two Bundesliga games this season and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic hailed the teenager’s potential.
“Franck is a quick forward who has enormous athletic qualities,” said Salihamidzic. “We’re very happy we’ve secured his services over the long term, and we aim to further promote his good progress.”
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 11, 2018
Evina added: “It’s a great honour to get this chance at Bayern.
“I want to continue to learn a lot in the next few years and want to repay the club’s faith with good performances.”