Fresh suspicion over Usmanov’s involvement at Everton

15/01/2023 40comments  |  Jump to last

The Guardian is reporting that a number of football managers have claimed to have held talks over the job at Everton in the presence of now-sanctioned oligarch, Alisher Usmanov.

Simon Goodley looks at the queston of whether Usmanov has any involvement in the decision-making process at Everton amid claims that it is the Uzbek billionaire's money that funded Farhad Moshiri's takeover of the club, something the latter's camp has consistently denied.

Nevertheless, according to Goodley, Usmanov is "understood to have attended a sequence of meetings" since Moshiri first invested in Everton in February 2016 and until early last year when the multibillionaire was sanctioned by the United Kindom following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The report suggests that five different managers, either speaking on condition of anonymity or whose stories came from close associates of theirs, were left with the impression that Usmanov is the de facto owner of Everton after being interviewed for the head coach role at Goodison Park, with some alleging that the tycoon was present during their meetings while it was another's "feeling ... that maybe [Usmanov] was helping out with the money and maybe didn’t want to be named as an owner.”

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One of the managers, who, citing a “confidentiality agreement”, declined to discuss with The Guardian his own involvement in the meeting, recounted that he travelled to Germany "on a trip specifically concerning Everton" to meet Usmanov himself.

Current boss Frank Lampard mentioned last year that Moshiri was on a virtual call with Usmanov when he was interviewed for the managerial vacancy at Everton following the dismissal of Rafael Benitez but insisted the oligarch was not present for his talks.

A spokesman for Usmanov has admitted that, “Mr Moshiri did at times turn to Mr Usmanov for advice given the latter’s significant experience in football, but he [Moshiri] made all the decisions. Mr Usmanov has never interviewed or been present during an interview.”

Usmanov and Moshiri are long-time business partners and were joint-owners of conglomerate USM Holdings until the Everton owner divested his interest from the firm after Russia attacked Ukraine. The pair held a 30% stake in Arsenal FC before Moshiri took a major stake in Everton, later increasing his shareholdings to 94% of the club.

After taking over, Moshiri leveraged his ties with USM to arrange sponsorship deals like the naming rights to Finch Farm and matchday sponsorship at Goodison Park, as well as first option on naming the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. Those arrangements were also terminated when Usmanov was sanctioned.

» Read the full article at The Guardian

Reader Comments (40)

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John Williams
1 Posted 15/01/2023 at 11:42:09
Let's be honest, the club sold itself to the devil. It's not Moshiri's money, we all know where the money came from and most fans were happy to run with it.

Moshiri and his Russian mate had no idea how to run a football club, just pump money in, build a new stadium which would hopefully bring them a return on the money – or, as some would say, make bad money clean money.

English football is littered with new stadiums and bad teams, from North to South, East to West. You need a team before a stadium, it's not rocket science.

Moshiris mate has gone, never to return, and no doubt to pump money to other parts of the world. It's left to the club's followers to drag the club back on its feet, either this season or over the following couple of years.

Phil Lewis
2 Posted 15/01/2023 at 12:42:27
Ever since our 'Grand Old Lady' was enticed by 'dirty money' and prostituted into opening her legs for Russian gangsters, we haven't had a minute's luck.

'Dance with The Devil' and you're going to get burned.

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 15/01/2023 at 13:36:20
The thing is Barry, Chelsea benefited more overtly and directly than Everton from tainted Russian money.

Once the UK imposed sanctions, whatever relationship it was seemed to stop and the club made that announcement.

Manchester City's emergence back to the big time started with a corrupt Thai Prime Minister who had his assets frozen by a Military Government.

The Saudis, whose human rights reputation is questionable at best, are in control of Newcastle United. But conveniently, they are recipients of a very healthy defence contract for the UK Government and a counter proxy partner to Iran.

Funny how we take the moral high ground when it suits but ignore when it suits as well.

That's not at you, Barry, by the way. Just the whole media approach.

Paul Davies
4 Posted 15/01/2023 at 13:42:27
It now seems according to The Guardian that Usmanov is the true owner of the club and Moshiri is just a front. Denied of course but it is interesting to note that, when Usmanov was sanctioned, he sold his London property to Moshiri's sister.

The complicity of our board in the current mess and the lack of due diligence regards ownership is quite jaw-dropping.

Gareth Stephens
5 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:17:33

I've personally suspected this – the real ownership of the club – for quite some time. There was an awful lot of money invested in Everton by Mr Usmanov:

Sponsoring Finch Farm, the Women's Team, securing naming rights of BMD. Add to this, his nephew(s) having seats on the board and the rumours of him being part of the managerial interview process.

Peter Neilson
6 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:25:29
When the takeover took place It was reported in parts of the Russian media that Usmanov had bought the club.

No doubt an easy mistake to make the misspelling of Moshiri.

Eric Myles
7 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:35:20
Questions being asked over Usmanov's involvement as a "shadow director" of EFC but not a peep about Green's previous involvement in the Club?

I wonder if the unnamed source could be A Friend of the "Mozart of Money"??

Phil Gardner
8 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:41:01
This Goodley character does seem to have an odd obsession about Everton and it's finances.

This is all old news and a pretty lame piece of journalism in my opinion.

Stu Darlington
9 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:42:28
Some fair points there, Danny. But I can't shake the feeling that Usmanov's malign presence is lurking somewhere in the background. Leastways I've not heard of him accidentally falling out of one of Putin's windows yet!

Not sure it matters who the true owners of the club are. They are not going to sell unless they decide to cut their losses, or they get a return on their Bramley-Moore Dock investment.

They are the Albatross hanging around our necks!!

Tony Hill
10 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:48:45
Hardly shocking, this was obvious from the very start. As I have noted several times on here, Usmanov and Moshiri approached Liverpool with the same ownership model years before they came to us and they were sent packing.

No-one will be able to prove Usmanov's "ownership" but anyone with basic commercial awareness knows it to be true.

Michael Kenrick
11 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:49:22
Seems to be just yet another instalment in The Guardian's anti-Everton campaign.

Thing is, it's not really new news, especially as the article itself links to previous Guardian articles that showed the Usmanov connection with Everton, at least before Putin started his revolting war on Ukraine.

Perhaps they have gone a step further here, floating the claim that Usmanov has been the real owner of Everton FC all along, and making a bare-faced attempt to get the Premier League to bite.

Am I correct in thinking that Farhad Moshiri would have been subjected to the 'fit and proper person' investigation when he originally bought into the club, which should presumably have included questions about where the money was coming from?

If Usmanov was the source, it would either have come out then but not been a problem (well before the war), or it was very well hidden, casting doubt on the effectiveness of the original investigation.

Whatever, the timing of this and the persistence of the Guardian's crusade against EFC is just irritating rather than a serious danger to the club's financial stability.

Paul Kossoff
12 Posted 15/01/2023 at 14:54:13
Culminating in the UK government, the now political righteous party of all things woke, sanction Moshiri, forcing him to sell up.

But no takers so, in frustration, gives the club to???? Uncle Bill Kenwright!!!

Kenwright makes himself lifelong chairman and cleans up financially. Then asks some other fucking idiot to invest in his beloved Everton.

Send in the clowns!

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 15/01/2023 at 15:01:34
Meanwhile, we have allegedly been talking to the Qataris who some where outraged by their hosting of the World Cup although sanctioned by FIFA.

That was 4 years after the Russian-held event that was 4 years after the original invasion of Ukraine with an ongoing conflict taking place at the time.

Selective moral highground.

John Keating
14 Posted 15/01/2023 at 15:11:12
Might be interesting if this halfwit follows this up with MP's involvements with multinationals

A quick article on FIFA and UEFA

Possibly other pieces on British and European clubs - Real Madrid and PSG to name 2 could be interesting

Another piece of media shite, the only surprise is The World's Greatest Evertonian didn't instigate it!

His time might be more useful asking why the past attack on our favourite CEO wasn't prosecuted.

Gary Johnson
15 Posted 15/01/2023 at 15:13:24
Honest to God, I couldn't give a crap.


Link is proven, forced seizure and sale by the UK government and maybe we get to spend £400m in a season under new rich US billionaire like Chelsea have after the Government auctioned them.


We know who's paying for the stadium and that the current ‘owner' ain't running out of money to do it.

End If.

Now, about the mess we're in…..

Jack Convery
16 Posted 15/01/2023 at 16:28:29
First deflect by pointing fingers at the fans. Then point the finger at the "Owner", deflecting very conveniently away from the Chairman and the board. News management by the bleeding obvious EFC PR Machine.

Anyone who thought that Moshiri was anything other than a front man is living in Kenwright's fantasy parallel universe and not this one, the fans live in.

The sooner this nest of vipers is out of our beloved EFC, the better.

Nick Page
17 Posted 15/01/2023 at 16:35:28
Best thing that could happen is Usmanov sells up to the Qataris who love building a stadium. They sponsor it for £500m using The Ethiad as a comparable transaction.

No idea who the yanks that Tony A talks about are but will they stump up the capital to complete the stadium as well as the takeover (surely it must be contingent)?

Paul Hewitt
18 Posted 15/01/2023 at 16:41:44
If this is true, dock us points – say 10, that should confirm relegation.

Then I won't have to spend the next 4 months biting my bloody nails!!!

Alan J Thompson
19 Posted 15/01/2023 at 16:44:13
Has the action (boycott?) by the Board seen the lid come off the Everton section of Pandora's Box?
James Flynn
20 Posted 15/01/2023 at 17:08:47
This again? What "secret" anything?

He openly put his money into Everton, sponsoring Finch Farm, the Women's team, securing naming rights of BMD.

He's also on record stating that if Moshiri asked, he'd pull on the Everton shirt and become involved, even though everyone knows he's a Gunners supporter.

Although the thread has yielded this beaut:

"Hardly shocking, this was obvious from the very start.
No-one will be able to prove Usmanov's "ownership" but anyone with basic commercial awareness knows it to be true."

Seriously? Hahaha.

Kieran Kinsella
21 Posted 15/01/2023 at 17:11:59
As Michael said, none of this is new or revelatory beyond the long-alleged but unproven shadow ownership.
Jimmy Hogan
22 Posted 15/01/2023 at 17:14:55
This is a bit different though. The Observer claims that four of the last few managers had Usmanov tell them he was the owner. A fifth declined to comment.
John Charles
23 Posted 15/01/2023 at 17:25:01
So what?
Barry Rathbone
24 Posted 15/01/2023 at 17:27:10
If most of us had to bet our house on whether Uncle Uzi was or was not the money behind the operation, most would say he was. Certainly the lack of monies since his ban seems to confirm the notion.

But his reluctance to front up at any time over the piece marked him as a nob'ead especially as he's clearly left his mate, Farhad, to carry the can.

Tremendous shithouse is Usmanov

Dennis Stevens
25 Posted 15/01/2023 at 17:41:04
More raking over old news just to put the boot in. Didn't we have all this with Philip Green as well? Perhaps the grauniad will claim they're one & the same person!
Simon Harrison
26 Posted 15/01/2023 at 17:58:34
Here is link to a short piece re-Usmanov;

Farhad Moshiri spokesperson reacts to fresh Alisher Usmanov allegations at Everton

Goodison News

John Keating
27 Posted 15/01/2023 at 18:07:46
At least this dickhead is questioning something at the Club

Our other expert professional impartial journalists seem to be quite happy supporting Bill’s “truth as he knows it”

Possibly Bill is Harry’s real dad, seem to have the same spin doctors

Fran Mitchell
28 Posted 15/01/2023 at 18:09:12
So essentially, Moshiri is Usmanov's accountant. responsible for the laundering of Usmanov's money.

explains a lot.

Jerome Shields
29 Posted 15/01/2023 at 18:59:14
Actually I have always thought that Usmanov has had a influence and Moshiri was a sidekick.That Kenwright successfully prevented Sanctions and he has been allowed to stay in in the event of having to deal with Authorities Football or otherwise.It has a disastrous relationship for Everton as a Club, but has been a successful Docklands development.

I suspect that the true depth of crisis in the Footballing side is not fully visible, even now, but there A deeper murky depth on the Owership side.A absolute quagmire that the Media beast.loved to feed on.

We are only seeing the top of the iceberg, hence the unbelievable extent of Crisis at Everton.

Jim Lloyd
30 Posted 15/01/2023 at 19:31:22
The last manager was hired a year ago, Usmanov and Moshiri are partners and friends. Usmanov and Moshiri were partners and friends when trying to buy in into Arsenal. Until he was sanctioned by the government he had every right to be present in any interview of Managers.
If there'sa any substance re involvement /ownership afer being sanctioned then Moshiri is daft and perhaps Usmanov. I don't think theve become billionaire am multi billionaire by being dumb.

If Kenwright got kiddee by this gruesome twosome, ansd we know how niaive Mr Kenwrigh. He's a trusting soul, as I'm sure we all remeber is (and our) good friend, Phillip Green and associates. I feel so sorry for Kenwright, he's been duped by all his partners and has only come out with a knighthood..oh aye about £20 odd million., while letting the club, under his Chairmanship sink almost to oblivion.
I wish that prick from the Guardian would investigate the noble Knight's sad story.
Perhaps that might help the club.

Craig Walker
31 Posted 15/01/2023 at 20:28:36
Why don't the media at least invest some effort into looking at the RS's sudden lack of effort and energy?

Can they look at how many asthmatics they have and put that one to bed? Was it just a rumour or is there some truth to it?

It might be bollocks but a team that could press like they did in the 90th minute despite competing in the latter stages of 4 competitions suddenly look spent.

What about the big 6 breakaway attempt? It NEVER gets mentioned now.

What about City breaking FFP rules?

No. Let's pick on Everton.

Rob Halligan
32 Posted 15/01/2023 at 20:44:46

I asked someone the other day, whatever happened to Man Utd after their fans broke into Old Trafford and got their game against Liverpool postponed?

If I remember correctly, some of their fans appeared in court, but I can't remember if anything happened at all to the club itself?

Si Cooper
33 Posted 15/01/2023 at 20:52:53
I am surprised that anyone is surprised by this.

The Russian oligarchs may be an unsavoury lot (I'd guess fighting business rivals would have been literal rather than figurative at times) but they only really became persona non grata when Putin invaded Ukraine last year.

Didn't Usmanov and Moshiri have a big input into Arsenal until uncle Bill charmed them? I think I'd be very careful of publicly denouncing Putin given his obvious commitment to getting ‘even'.

Until I've read evidence to the contrary I'd still have the likes of Usmanov a notch above a certain Crown Prince and the Qataris.

Kim Vivian
34 Posted 15/01/2023 at 22:23:26
Jim - 30. Just to be clear - Kenwright does not have a knighthood. Just a CBE, for services to theatre and film. That's it.

In fairness he has done some good theatre stuff - just a shame he didn't stick to that.

Brendan McLaughlin
35 Posted 15/01/2023 at 22:32:26
Kim #34

Some might argue Blue Bill has done his best "theatre stuff" at Everton.

Jim Lloyd
36 Posted 15/01/2023 at 22:33:06
Kim, thanks for the clarification. I feel abit easier about him not getting a gong for services to footbal!
John Pickles
37 Posted 16/01/2023 at 10:28:59
Judging how bad Operation Everton is being conducted, perhaps it goes higher, and Vlad is running the show.
Pat Kelly
38 Posted 16/01/2023 at 13:16:08
It was a sad day when these two carpetbaggers hijacked our Club. Aided and abetted by Kenwright. They have brought it to it's knees.
Tony Abrahams
39 Posted 16/01/2023 at 18:27:19
Definitely his most heartbreaking story, Brendan, but it does look like he's got his ending badly wrong and fucked up a club that he has always professed to love in the process.
Barry Hesketh
40 Posted 16/01/2023 at 20:52:10
I saw the link below on another Everton FC fan site, it was published in the Mirror in August 2015, six months later Moshiri arrived, but the person who was at the centre of the article remains.

Everton fan's view: After years of excuses it's time for Bill Kenwright to let go of the club

"The time has come for Kenwright to accept that his performance as chairman has been unacceptable," writes Joe Jennings, editor of the School of Science Everton blog

Everton fans view

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