• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Everton takeover in doubt as 777 Partners seeks financial help

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Amid mounting uncertainties surrounding the proposed takeover of Everton Football Club, the potential buyers, 777 Partners, have engaged the expertise of finance restructuring professionals, raising further doubts about the completion of the Toffees’ acquisition.

777 Partners had previously reached an agreement to acquire the majority stake of Farhad Moshiri, amounting to 94% ownership of the club, back in September. However, recent developments have fueled scepticism regarding their capability to finalize the deal.

Recently, a Miami-based investment firm encountered allegations of fraudulent activities and financial setbacks in other sectors of its business operations.

Seeking clarity on 777’s financial standing and its ability to settle a £158m loan owed to MSP Sports Capital, Moshiri has engaged in discussions with the prospective buyers.

However, according to a memo obtained by BBC Sport, 777 has engaged a team from B Riley Financial, a Los Angeles-based firm, to address “various operational challenges.”

The memo further outlined the appointment of a “highly skilled consultant” who will collaborate closely with the 777 team to streamline their business operations and chart the most profitable path forward for their investments.

Recent events have cast a shadow over 777 Partners’ credibility, with accusations of fraudulent behaviour levelled against them in a civil court filing in New York.

Additionally, one of their airlines recently entered voluntary administration, leading to significant disruptions and leaving passengers stranded across Australia.

Reports indicate that players of Standard Liege, a club owned by 777 Partners, have encountered payment delays, with salaries for April remaining outstanding. The situation has escalated to the extent that Standard Liege’s recent match in the Belgian league was postponed due to protests by fans.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding Everton’s takeover has posed challenges for the club’s management and players alike. Manager Sean Dyche has expressed difficulty in planning for the upcoming season, while director of football Kevin Thelwell has hinted at player sales to improve the club’s financial health.

Amidst growing concerns, the Everton Shareholders’ Association (EFCSA) has labelled the prolonged takeover saga a “farce” and urged Moshiri to reconsider the deal.