Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has signed an agreement with Miami-based 777 Partners over the purchase of the Premier League club.
Following several months of uncertainty, the Merseyside club now look set to be under new ownership, subject to regulatory approval from the Premier League, the Football Association and the Financial Conduct Authority. The transaction is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The agreement means 777 Partners will acquire Moshiri’s full stake in Everton, which accounts for 94.1 per cent of the club’s shares.
Moshiri said in a statement: “The nature of ownership and financing of top football clubs has changed immeasurably since I first invested in Everton over seven years ago. The days of an owner/benefactor are seemingly out of reach for most, and the biggest clubs are now typically owned by well-resourced PE firms, specialist sports investors or state backed companies and funds.
“I have been open about the need to bring in new investment and complete the financing for our iconic new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, on the banks of the Mersey, which I have predominantly financed to date. I have spoken to a number of parties and considered some strong potential opportunities. However, it is through my lengthy discussions with 777 that I believe they are the best partners to take our great club forward, with all the benefits of their multi-club investment model.
“As a result of this agreement, we have an experienced and well-connected investor in football clubs who will help maximise the commercial opportunities, and we have secured the complete financing for our new stadium, which will be the critical element in the future success of Everton. Today is an important next step in the successful development of Everton and I look forward to closely following as our club goes from strength to strength.
“Of course, none of this could have been achieved without the hard work of everyone at the club. From our team at the training ground, our commercial and support teams through to matchday employees, I extend my sincerest gratitude.
“And to our fans, the last few years have been challenging but you have supported the club through it all and consistently been our twelfth man. You are the best fans and deserve success.”
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Josh Wander, founder and managing partner of 777 Partners, added: “We are truly humbled by the opportunity to become part of the Everton family as custodians of the club, and consider it a privilege to be able to build on its proud heritage and values.
“Our primary objective is to work with fans and stakeholders to develop the sporting and commercial infrastructure for the men’s and women’s teams that will deliver results for future generations of Everton supporters. As part of this, we are committed to partnering with the local community over the long-term, working on important projects such as the development of Bramley-Moore Dock as a world class stadium venue, allowing thousands more Evertonians to attend our home matches and contribute to the economic and cultural regeneration of Merseyside.”
Everton had been in talks with 777 Partners over potential investment, but those discussions broke down after MSP Sports Capital secured exclusive talks with Moshiri in May.
However, The Athletic reported in August that MSP Sports Capital subsequently withdrew from talks about taking a minority stake in the club. They had planned to invest up to £150million ($190m) in convertible debt that would become a stake of approximately 25 per cent in the 145-year-old club.
But that exclusivity period ended and the deal collapsed, with the stumbling block being opposition from one of Everton’s existing lenders, Rights and Media Funding Limited.
Moshiri bought Everton in 2016 having previously owned a minority stake in Arsenal with his business associate Alisher Usmanov.
The 68-year-old invested at least £750m during his time at Everton, but little has been shown on the pitch as they have battled relegation in recent years, only narrowly staying up via a win on the final day of the 2022-23 campaign against Bournemouth.
They have lost more than £400m between 2018 and 2022 and are currently being investigated by an independent panel for possible breaches of Premier League spending rules. A ruling is expected later this year.
Everton have competed in England’s top flight for a record 120 seasons. They remain one of the most successful clubs in the country, despite not winning a trophy for 28 years.
Sean Dyche’s side are currently 18th in the Premier League, on one point after four games.
Explained: Everton’s pursuit of investment and what the collapse of the MSP Sports Capital deal means
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