An independent inquiry has been launched by the Premier League into Everton hiring Marco Silva as their manager which could result in a heavy sanction – and in the worst case scenario a points deduction – for the club.
The investigation will centre on an alleged “tapping-up” of Silva while he was the head coach of Watford. The Portuguese was Everton’s first-choice to replace Ronald Koeman last autumn before Sam Allardyce eventually took over. Watford even rejected an offer of £12million in compensation for Silva from Everton.
The inquiry may require leading figures at Everton, including owner Farhad Moshiri and board members, to hand over phone records to an independent QC who was appointed last week to ascertain the extent of the club’s contact with Silva at that time.
Watford are adamant that they want the inquiry to punish Everton and believe the interest in Silva derailed their season and led to them fighting a battle against relegation. Silva was eventually sacked by Watford in January after a deterioration of their results, with one win in 11 matches, with the club saying Everton’s “illegal” approach had been a “catalyst for this decision”.
The Premier League has attempted to mediate in the case, with the possibility of financial compensation being paid to Watford, but no agreement has been reached. An initial meeting took place in April between the two clubs in an effort to resolve their differences. A second mediation meeting was scheduled for July after Silva was appointed at Goodison Park.
At the April meeting Watford felt they had received an assurance Silva would not be pursued by Everton this summer. Silva eventually joined Everton in the summer after agreeing a three-year deal.
It is understood that the most likely scenario, should Everton be found guilty in what has been an acrimonious dispute, will be compensation being paid to Watford.