Who is Everton's new major shareholder?

, 27 February, 63comments  |  Jump to most recent

In the space of a dizzying few hours, Farhad Moshiri has gone from an almost complete unknown to being the most important figure at Everton Football Club. Pending ratification by the Premier League, the businessman has become the largest shareholder after purchasing a 49.9% at the club.

Upon the announcement of the news, Moshiri said: I am delighted to take this opportunity to become a shareholder in Everton, with its rich heritage as one of Europe's leading football clubs. There has never been a more level playing field in the Premier League than now.

Bill Kenwright has taught me what it means to be an Evertonian and I look forward with excitement to working with him to help deliver success for Everton in the future.

According to some sources, Moshiri brings with him a pledge to invest in the playing squad and progress Everton's pressing stadium issue but, for now, supporters will know little of his intentions or plans.

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His personal wealth may be far below that of the Premier League's uber-rich like Sheikh Mansour, Roman Abromovich, Kroenke and Usmanov himself but Moshiri brings business and investment savvy to Goodison.

Born in Iran but now resident in Monaco and London with dual Iranian and British citizenship, the 60-year-old fled pre-revolution Iran with his parents his father was an army doctor turned senior military judge; his mother came from Irans leading publishing house, Kayhan in February 1979. He studied at the University of London and is a qualified chartered accountant by profession, having worked at Enrst & Young, Deloitt and Pannell Kerr Forster.

He built his personal fortune as in investor in the steel and energy industries, most notably with Alisher Usmanov whom he met in the 1990s while working at Deloitt & Touche and established a long-standing business partnership with him. He holds a 5% stake in Mettalloinvest mining and steel manufacturing concern, has shares in hand mobile phone operator Megafon, both Usmanov concerns in Russia and he is heads up the Russian billionaire's British investment company, Gallagher. Additional investments in UK companies, including co-ownership of USM Holding (again with Usmanov and another billionaire Andrei Skoch) have elevated his net worth to an estimated 1.2bn.

Moshiri was hitherto best known in football circles for his involvement at Arsenal FC where he took an initial stake alongside Usmanov in 2007, one he increased to 15% three years ago. Perhaps frustrated by Stan Kroenke's reluctance to give up overall control of the Gunners or just looking for another opportunity in the Premier League, he sold that shareholding to Usmanov for around 200m this week, freeing up the capital to buy almost half of Everton.


Reader Comments (63)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 27/02/2016 at 19:30:52
Welcome Mr Moshiri......and may you be the saviour we've hoped for!

Paul Newton
2 Posted 27/02/2016 at 19:40:14
So what has happened to the two Americans?

Or the Chinese, who were supposed to be waiting in the wings?

What IS going on? The sooner the club comes clean and tells us the better!

I have just looked at the statement on the OS, and it is inadequate to say the least.
Peter McHugh
3 Posted 27/02/2016 at 19:41:04
To the guy laughing at me saying yesterday "I know nothing about these rumours but believe this one true" IN YOUR FACE haha!
Lee Reynolds
4 Posted 27/02/2016 at 19:42:52
When will we know about the Premier League clearance?
Maynard Hanna
7 Posted 27/02/2016 at 19:52:17
This is good and welcome news. The gentleman will understand football and who it is that we are – unlike the American duo, who I think were only interested in Everton as a means of making a quick ’buck’.
Mike Keating
8 Posted 27/02/2016 at 20:06:01
Thanks, Lyndon. I hope this guy can bring some insight into moving forward with the stadium issue and, hopefully, that does not involve Walton Hall Park.

So pleased we did not end up as a US franchise.
Rick Tarleton
9 Posted 27/02/2016 at 20:27:34
I'd prefer he had 50.1% and Bill et alia were the minority.
Phil Roberts
12 Posted 27/02/2016 at 20:45:50
Rick. Your anti-Bill rhetoric needs to get out of the way on some occasions.

Robert Earl has sold his shares. Kenwright and Woods have reduced their holdings and all those fans who have a few shares are part of the 50.1%.

You are right, Kenwright, Woods and all the fans are going to gang up and prevent Moshiri having a controlling interest in the club. Behave. I think (and more learned accountants out there than me) will say that if he owned >50% he would have to make an offer to buy everyone else's shares. That will cost him money and be less to invest in the club.

I thought about Bill and his relationship with the club. It is similar to your 15-year-old daughter going out on her first date. Is the guy OK? Will he rape her, molest her, change her from your innocent daughter to a prozzy? So what do you do? Do you go with them to make sure he treats her right and maintains her purity? Depends on how you are and how much you can trust the 15-year-old, hormone charged spotty youth who has arrived on the doorstep.

For all his faults, Bill wants to make sure we are not abused like Villa or Hicks & Gillette or Portsmouth. So perhaps he has been over protective and only let those of the highest standards anywhere near his precious child. So give him a break. He has now found the lad he thinks will look after his baby the best and she can look forward to a long, happy and fruitful marriage.

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 27/02/2016 at 20:51:13
Maynard, reading between the lines, I don't think it was possible to make a quick buck out of Everton, unless you would have just dismantled the squad.

Rick, I have to agree with you. but if this Gentleman, is the real deal, surely it wouldn't be hard for him, to purchase a few more shares, if he had to.

It seems that Farhad, is both clever and lucky. He must also be trustworthy, if his mate gave him a 5% stake in one of his companies.


Armando Canaj
14 Posted 27/02/2016 at 20:51:28
49.9% ownership is a statement of intent. So pleased with this news. This should be perfect partnership of old and new to drive the required change and innovation to the club. We will see changes in Sponsorship deals, Kit Deal, Merchandising, financing, groud ownership and hopefully strengthening of coaching

A truly Momentus day...which changes EFC forever. Progress and innovation...

Viva efc, viva Mr Kenwright, viva Mr Moshiri...

Ian Smitham
15 Posted 27/02/2016 at 20:54:18
Phil Roberts, I also look forward to someone who knows what they are talking about clarifying what the rules are regards making an offer to all shareholders.
Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 27/02/2016 at 20:57:44
Phil (6) I prefer Rick Tarleton’s version of Kenwright; your version of the man has him looking rather saintly, and that is no way near the truth.
John Daley
17 Posted 27/02/2016 at 21:01:27
Well Phil, if you believe the Mirror piece, then Bill has basically brought someone in to fund his dog rough 15-year-old daughter's much needed facial reconstruction surgery, so that he has a better chance of finally marrying her off to some mega rich bastard in the future.
Danny Broderick
18 Posted 27/02/2016 at 21:04:44
There are no negatives to this deal, from what I can see. A man based in the UK, who has been involved with a Premier League club previously. He has the money, he has football contacts, and he knows how it all works.vPlus, he's a successful businessman.

It will be so interesting to see where we are headed now, but surely this is the scenario we were all hoping for.

Overseas owners would have required a leap of faith, and carried more risk. This seems perfect to me.

Andy Crooks
19 Posted 27/02/2016 at 21:16:34
The shares have been transferred. Nothing has changed unless the new shareholder decides to build us a new stadium out of his own pocket. Why would he do that?
Barry Roberts
20 Posted 27/02/2016 at 21:27:15
On the face of it, and not knowing too much about the deal, I can say I feel better about this than the American option, which always made me feel nervous.
Ian Robert
21 Posted 27/02/2016 at 21:43:56
Surely this makes everyone happy?

We have a guy who is passionate about football, he has bought into the "history" that is Everton FC. He has bags of money. He knows all about building a shiny new stadium. He has many monied contacts. He has purchased enough shares to do the job. He knows how to run a company. And contrary to some reports... he INVITED Bill Kenwright to stay involved. Win-Win?

ps: All the guys on here spouting that the "deal has been done" with the Americans... hows that one doin'?

John Pickles
22 Posted 27/02/2016 at 22:21:44
......... but Moshiri brings business and investment savvy to Goodison.

Well at least that will make a nice change!

Martin O'Sullivan
23 Posted 27/02/2016 at 22:55:23
Give it a few years and Usmanov will be involved too, he will quit the Arse when we start finishing above them!!! COYB!!
James Stewart
24 Posted 27/02/2016 at 23:07:04
Seems like a better fit than the American bid. Exciting times at last! Now we just need a decent manager!
Brent Stephens
25 Posted 27/02/2016 at 23:23:33
Danny (#11),

"A man based in the UK, who has been involved with a Premier League club previously. He has the money, he has football contacts, and he knows how it all works. Plus, he’s a successful businessman."

That’s a description of Bill, isn’t it?

Anthony Dwyer
28 Posted 27/02/2016 at 23:31:53
No Brent.... Bill does not have the money!
Brent Stephens
29 Posted 27/02/2016 at 23:35:54
Anthony - he does have the money now!

Yes, you're right (but the rest is true, isn't it?). But let's wait and see what the new guy will actually invest in players and stadium.

Gordon Crawford
30 Posted 28/02/2016 at 01:05:35
Thinking positive here. This is the beginning of something truly wonderful. :)
Nicholas Ryan
31 Posted 28/02/2016 at 02:07:11
So, let’s just analyse this ....

We have been (effectively) bought, by a guy who, for the last decade, has been part of the ownership of the most financially stable club in Europe; a club renowned for doing things ’the right way’.

A club who have been in the Champions League for 20 consecutive years, all of them under the same, universally respected manager.

This man has overseen the construction of a new stadium; has significant amounts of personal and corporate money; is saying all the right things about what it is to be an Evertonian; and he’s so modest and quiet, that until yesterday afternoon, no-one, and I mean No-one, had any idea he existed....

And the down-side is....... !!

John Daley
32 Posted 28/02/2016 at 02:38:54
"This man has overseen the construction of a new stadium"

What stadium is that Nicholas? He had no involvement in Arsenal's ground move if that's what you mean. The Emirates opened in 2006.

Peter Barry
33 Posted 28/02/2016 at 02:52:44
So that's why the Startled Satarfish is on his way at last – he knows the game is up for him.
John McHugh
34 Posted 28/02/2016 at 07:30:01
Is it me or is it the fact that, because I'm an Evertonian, I'm pessimistic? I’ve been crying out for change for the last 10 years, someone who's financially viable, a billionaire, someone who's not just going to come into the club and not treat it like a cash cow but actually invest a decent amount into it.

Build us a new stadium, invest more into our best squad we've had for the last 20 years that could take us into the Champions League on a regular basis and eventually win things.

I've had time to digest all the information even slept on it woke up and read even more. I've got something I've wanted for years... I've finally got it; why am I not jumping for joy?

Please God be the real deal and change OUR club and change my pessimistic attitude into a positive one, because I think we all deserve having a football club we can all be proud of challenging for titles once again.
Hugh Jenkins
35 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:05:20
For many years, I have felt some succour from the fact that we were one of the few clubs that had a true supporter of the club as chairman and that we remained in British ownership.

I am far from being a xenophobe, but do feel that, as far as football is concerned, these are two very important issues, needed to provide stability for the club and the empathy of the chairman with the "other" fans feelings over the day to day issues.

Of course, like others I have fretted over the financial status of the blues and have dreamed of getting a new billionaire owner who was British, understood the game, and understood what it was to be a Blue.

It’s been a long hard road, but if dreams do come true then this seems to be the fulfilment of my dream.

It’s early days, of course, but this deal seems to me to tick all the right boxes and hopefully we have avoided the Blue’s going down the same path that has seen the disasters that have been visited upon so many other Premier League clubs when taken over by foreign owners.

Mr Moshiri may have been born Iranian, but he is also now a Brit, a billionaire... and a Blue.

Brian Porter
36 Posted 28/02/2016 at 08:49:16
Hope this all works out for us, and like all things new, only time will tell. Like others, I think he is a better option than the Americans. He has Premier League connections and understands British football far more than the American pair understood 'soccer' as I see it.

While this is the big news of the weekend, let's not forget that, although we don't play this weekend, results yesterday saw Chelsea overtake us and Stoke and West Ham pull further away from us. Unless we can string some results together in the coming weeks, this news will soon grow cold and we'll be just where we are before he came along, struggling to get out of the bottom half of the table.

The football comes first; any future plans are for the moment, just that, future plans are not the here and now.

Paul Burns
37 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:56:59
All I've ever wanted at Everton was structure, ambition and some semblance of business savvy, all of which have been totally lacking for decades.

Having some semi-criminal billionaire storm in and buy trophies would be almost as bad as the amateur shambles we have become so this looks like a step in the right direction. There's an old saying that you can't polish a turd but it's been done at Chelsea and Man City and is as phoney as it gets.

I'd rather do it with class and integrity, the old Everton way, so here's to a return to our old values, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
John O'Brien
38 Posted 28/02/2016 at 09:57:07
Andy Crooks (#15),

He may or may not build the stadium from his own pocket but more likely he will underwrite the building of the stadium or at least part fund it.

The financial benefit of this is the value of his investment would be significantly bigger and more attractive to bigger investors (maybe Usmanov) once that stadium has been built.

This may be the long term plan but we are speculating on this last part. One thing that we can say is that there is a long term business reason to build a new stadium from Farhad’s point of view. I can’t see redevelopment of Goodison adding any value from his point of view.

Tony Steele
39 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:03:16
But... he has oil... right?
Eric Myles
40 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:11:45
Tony #31, oil's not worth much these days, future developments are being shelved and existing production facilities are being wound down to the minimum.
Paul Andrews
41 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:14:13

It’s worth more than theatre tickets.

Ian Burns
42 Posted 28/02/2016 at 10:38:40
Sometimes I have to read twice the negative comments on TW in case it is just me missing something others can see. However, for the sake of sanity there are some positive comments on here for which I personally endorse and welcome this turn of events and new investor with nothing but excited anticipation.

He hasn't bought 49.9% of EFC just to sit there and do nothing. As others have said, he is business savvy; he wants to see his investment grow; he is British; BK has had dealings with him for the past 18 months and no matter what some fans on here say, it seems he has chosen carefully having looked at other options.

Welcome to EFC Mr Moshiri and may the force of the fans be with you.

Apropro absolutely nothing, BK has his own programme on Radio 2 at 10pm Tuesday, playing his favourite songs. Now let the jokes start!

Andy Kinsella
43 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:02:00
The American deal apparently collapsed over a refusal in a pathetic negotiation. If it's true, which I am led to believe, thank God that they are nowhere near our club.
Gerry Quinn
44 Posted 28/02/2016 at 11:07:42
Moshiri amour, lovely as a summer day,

Moshiri amour, distant as the Milky Way,

Moshiri amour, pretty little one that I adore...

Jakob Herd
45 Posted 28/02/2016 at 12:08:44
I couldn’t think of a better scenario.... Blue Bill as chairman and a serious investor taking the major shareholding in the club.

The thought of selling our soul to some American franchise like that shower or souless shite across the park made me sick to the core... Well done, Bill – after all the bullshit, you’ve come good.

Tom Bowers
46 Posted 28/02/2016 at 12:31:15
Finally, a buyer and maybe some money to move this club to the next level. However, all the big money that may be available won’t amount to a hill of beans without the right manager and coaching staff.

Everton have to keep hold of the talent they have now and consolidate by bringing in proven class players who are not just looking for big wages and an easy ride. BK has shown a lot of faith in RM but the fans are not so sure anymore.

We all look forward to the positive changes on the horizon.

Steavey Buckley
47 Posted 28/02/2016 at 13:40:24
A new stadium should be a top priority for Everton’s largest shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, who by calculation would have parted with £100 million to make his stake.

Those who believe Everton can be rebuilt will have to accept that Everton could not afford to play football somewhere while it is being done.

There is no Wembley stadium to share on Merseyside. Nor are Everton’s rivals and neighbours likely to give the blues the opportunity to share their revamped stadium.

Keith Glazzard
48 Posted 28/02/2016 at 13:44:14
Welcome, enjoy being a big part of our club and help us to progress and prosper.
What more is to be said?
Mike Morrissey
49 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:14:03
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

This needs to be the guiding principle of everything we do, rather than the empty rhetoric it has become.

Hopefully the new regime will bold, enterprising and ruthless in its pursuit of of this ideal as they make some crucial decisions about our future.
Stu Smith
50 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:18:45
Doesn’t this takeover still need to be okayed by someone? Until that is done, I’m not getting excited! I’ve so much promised then fade from the Fortress Sports Fund money to the Manuel Fernandes signing.

However, if it does go through, I do hope Moshiri (wasn’t he a character on a Nintendo game?) gets us a new stadium. That has to be first priority.

David Ellis
51 Posted 28/02/2016 at 14:26:32
He wears a very smart suit. Are his shoes brown though?
James Marshall
52 Posted 28/02/2016 at 15:06:47
From what I've read, he may have bought his shares for as little as £30m with the promise of building a new ground and investing in the playing squad. This would make sense to me, given that the long term revenue and growth of the club is dependent on a new ground, new approach and modernisation of Everton as a whole.

He clearly has the money to do that and would be overseeing a club that has massive earning potential once we're setup properly. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all plays out over the next few years. Exciting times.

Joe Foster
53 Posted 28/02/2016 at 18:14:57
I have ok'd this take over so everything is ok
Gavin McGarvey
54 Posted 28/02/2016 at 18:46:05
I know there have been a lot of rumours recently, but this still comes as a bit of a surprise. For what it’s worth, the new owner has my cautious optimism.

Seriously, though, he does sound a good fit for the club. If we had received foreign investment, then I’d have been worried about their expectations being too high and a lack of realism like with Lerner at Villa.

With this guy’s Premier League experience and the ambition he seems to have, then maybe this will be the start of something special. Fingers crossed.

Phil Walling
55 Posted 28/02/2016 at 18:58:07
Gavin, not in anyway trying to denigrate Mr Moshiri but his only 'experience of a Premier League club' is as a largely passive shareholder of Arsenal.

I suspect that the refusal of that club to give him and his pal in Red and White Holdings ANY say in the club in which they held more than 30% of the stock is what has driven him north.

I suspect he will have slightly more influence here.

Paul Andrews
56 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:06:57

Not many more passive shareholders than Bill around.

Phil Walling
57 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:09:53
Paul, Bill has called all the shots. Trouble is he's mostly fired blanks!
Ged Simpson
58 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:16:43
Paul Andrews
59 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:21:27
Who told you that Phil?
Ray Smith
60 Posted 28/02/2016 at 19:49:51
Don't expect an immediate turnaround.

With BK still at the helm RM will remain in post!

In 2-3 yrs we will have a new stadium, new manager and an opportunity to build a title winning side.

My concern is that the current squad with a few additions will break up, and we start building again.

Please tell me I'm wrong.

However, a positive future awaits. Especially when Usminiov joins his business partner as a member of the board which neither could achieve with the Gooners.

Joe Foster
62 Posted 28/02/2016 at 20:55:25
Indeed Ray.
Guy Hastings
63 Posted 28/02/2016 at 21:44:28
Gerry Quinn 38 - a tip of the titfer for that. It's going to be my earworm of the week.
Abhishek Saha
64 Posted 29/02/2016 at 05:43:16
There has been change in hands of shares and money has passed from the new owner to the old owners. So from where or rather how does the money get into EFC???

The company (in this case EFC) gets additional funds to play with, only when there has been a disinvestment of stake like an IPO or FPO (follow-up public offering).

The only way I see the club getting more money, is if Moshiri provides additional money (over and above what he has paid for the shares) which is also matched by Bill & Co, let's say from the money they have just received, and the sum is made avilable to EFC for players or a new stadium. This arrangement looks more like a moral obligation rather than a financial committment.

Stephen Davies
65 Posted 29/02/2016 at 11:48:54
He appears to be very close to Usmanov and known him well for about 25 years. Usmanov has spent hundreds of millions trying to get some influence in Arsenal. He now sees his mate becoming THE influence at EFC.

News out now that the Stadium issue will be addressed and the opportunity for his stake to be increased in the future to obtain full control. Time will tell... but I wouldn't rule it out...

Part of the original breaking news was that Usmanov had purchased the shares as reported on TW.... later to be revealed that it was Moshiri via selling his Arsenal Shares to Usmanov.

Patience required.

Nicholas Ryan
66 Posted 29/02/2016 at 22:20:25
Gerry Quinn 38 ..... Wonderful!
William Cartwright
67 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:01:18
Nicholas (31) and John Daley (32) sum up Evertonians for me; glass half full and glass half empty and so it goes on. Nicholas I am absolutely with you 100%. Not just because I think you are right but because I hope and believe you are. John . . . . . . . I give up. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

For me he his appointment ticks all the boxes. I also think he will endeavor to move out of the shadow of Usmanov with a high degree of business savvy and ambition. If you had said some weeks ago we are going to be taken over an investor with his track record and reported qualities I would have celebrating all day long.

John, please grow a pair and feel confident for once. Good for all I say with the rider that only time will tell whether his intentions are 'pure' or not. But deserves our support for now; he's paid enough for it!

Gordon Crawford
68 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:36:13
Word on the street is that the takeover has been approved by the Premier League.

Hope this is the case. :)

John Daley
69 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:42:54

What are you even talking about? Where's the 'negativity' on my part?

Someone said Moshiri "has already overseen the construction of a new stadium" (meaning the Emirates), when...err...he hasn't. I simply pointed out that the poster was mistaken and the Emirates was already built and open before he became involved with Arsenal. That's it. So, being factual instead of away with the fucking fairies and making shit up is 'negative' now?

"Grow a pair?" Then what? Wear them as a fetching adornment to the fucking Pinnochio nose I would suddenly spout if I went around saying 'That's the new ground sorted in no time lid. Moshi already made the Emirates out of matchsticks and superglue and since then he's moved on to Meccano, mate'.

Eugene Ruane
70 Posted 08/03/2016 at 16:57:29
Couple of things, first - deal done - Link

Second, William you say - 'Nicholas (31) and John Daley (32) sum up Evertonians for me; glass half full and glass half empty.'

There is another type - the type who is given the facts, yet chooses to believe the version that most suits their own agenda.

I'll give you an example.

In post 31, Nicholas 'informs' us - 'This man has overseen the construction of a new stadium.'

John responds - 'What stadium is that Nicholas? He had no involvement in Arsenal's ground move if that's what you mean. The Emirates opened in 2006'

John is clearly right, Nicholas is patently wrong.

But because that doesn't fit with your 'I insist on everything being lovely' version of things, you decide..

'Nicholas I am absolutely with you 100%. Not just because I think you are right but because I hope and believe you are.'

You actually say 'you are right because I hope you are.'

In a word, stagger-fuckin-ring

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