The 2017/18 campaign has, for lack of a better term, been one to forget for Everton and its fanbase.
The club and its followers are facing a growing divide due to under-performance on the pitch, alleged behind-the-scenes turmoil and the arrival of a manager that very few wanted to see appointed.
And, once again, it is the subject of Sam Allardyce that has riled Evertonians after the Merseysiders sent out a fan survey to its most loyal customers asking what they thought of the 63-year-old's reign to date.
If Everton hope to utilise the results from said survey to relieve Allardyce of his position then it smacks of a club that a) doesn't listen or relate to its own fans anymore and b) isn't fully aware of just what identity it wants.
Make no mistake, this survey has only sought to drive a bigger wedge between Blues supporters and their club and many are questioning why it would take a online rating system to determine whether Allardyce remains in charge.
Everton's hierarchy must know clearly that the vast majority of Evertonians don't want Allardyce in the dugout - they've made that abundantly obvious with the chants, boos and social media postings throughout his five-month tenure.
Don’t understand why Everton are running a fans’ survey about their manager. If the club can’t already see his ineptitude without the supporters’ feedback it’s rather worrying, don’t you think?— Ric George (@Ric__George) April 17, 2018
The Goodison Park-based side may point to the survey's aim as wanting to finally put plans in place to nail down exactly what fans want from them, and in that regard it's hard to argue against.
But Everton have made something of a rod of their own back by including a query about Allardyce and his backroom team, and the media reaction since the survey was emailed out has only addressed this issue.
It threatens to overshadow whatever the club's plan was by releasing the questionnaire, and will only serve to ramp up suggestions that Allardyce is on borrowed time.
Tbf to everton I think it's the same survey they put out most years but this one has spectacularly backfired.— Peter Mcpartland (@PED7) April 17, 2018
The club seriously need a fan liaison officer who actually speaks to fans via social networks like Alan Myers used to do.
(You may also be interested in Everton Anger Fanbase Over Online Survey About Sam Allardyce & Club's Progression)
The ex-England and Crystal Palace boss has already stated that he is planning for next season and, with 12 months still to run on his contract, the Toffees would face yet another massive financial loss if they paid him off to leave early.
Whatever Everton's aim is behind the fan survey - or whatever the fans think their thinking is behind it - it has only served to elevate the rift between the club and its fanbase, and that's never a good thing.
Everton have performed at their best with the fans onside, on and off the pitch. If this survey is used to breach the growing gap between them, then great.
If it's merely be used as a foil to eventually sack Allardyce, however, it's been utilised for the wrong reasons and will only cause a further breakdown in relationship with the lifeblood of the club.