Everton have parted company with women’s team manager Willie Kirk only six weeks into the new WSL season, having endured a disappointing start to the campaign.
The Toffees invested heavily in new players over the summer – an enormous six-figure transfer fee went on Swedish teenager Hanna Bennison alone – with the ambition of challenging the ‘big three’ and qualifying for the Champions League.
After facing Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal already this season, the Toffees don’t appear to have made any inroads, losing convincingly to each without scoring a goal. Everton were also thrashed 5-1 by City in the Continental Cup this week.
Now, with the women’s season paused for an international break and domestic action not resuming until early November, there is time and opportunity to make a change.
Everton thanked Kirk, who arrived in 2018 after half a season as Manchester United assistant manager, as he “has played a key role in the progress of our Women’s team and structure, making the club more competitive in the Barclays FA WSL and reaching the 2020 FA Cup final.”
The Toffees also confirmed their intention to have a new manager in place by the time of their next match against Leicester in the Continental Cup on 3 November.
A statement from Kirk himself on the club’s official website read: “I am thankful to the club for the opportunity that they gave me three years ago.
“During that time, we have made tremendous progress both on and off the pitch and I leave the club in a better place. Without a doubt, the highlight was the FA Cup final less than a year ago, a memory that will stay with me forever.
“Unfortunately, this season has not started the way we anticipated, due to a very tough opening fixture list and the re-building of a squad with eight new players. I have no doubt the talented squad that I leave behind can go on to have a very bright future.”