Guardian: Usmanov was banned from UK travel before Ukraine Invasion

03/05/2023 21comments  |  Jump to last

The Guardian has produced another in their seemingly endless series of negative articles about Everton's finances, with Simon Godley regurgitating much of the rumour and innuendo citing Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov as Everton's prime source of income before he was hit by sanctions over Ukraine. 

He claims that Everton Football Club were funded Usmanov while he was barred from entering the United Kingdom, having been told in a letter from the Home Office in September 2021 that his presence in the UK was “not deemed conducive to the public good”.

That ban, which the letter said was “personally directed” by the then Home Secretary, Priti Patel, came 6 months before the businessman was sanctioned in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The existence of his travel ban was known by Everton’s board – but not publicly until now – and raises further questions about whether English football’s due diligence processes are fit for purpose.

» Read the full article at The Guardian

Reader Comments (21)

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Eugene Ruane
1 Posted 03/05/2023 at 08:38:06
I noticed this paragraph in The Guardian this morning (3rd May) re Everton and Usmanov:

As well as being funded by a businessman who was barred from the UK, Everton has been struggling for more than three years to raise the finance to complete the building of its new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

The club has also received about £150m in loans from an opaque lender called Rights & Media Funding Limited (RMFL), a Cheshire-based company its lawyers said last year competed “with some of the largest names in sports financing”, although it does not possess a single employee, a website or a phone number.

As the Guardian reported in November, RMFL also appears to have borrowed much of its money from a company based in the offshore secrecy jurisdiction of the Bahamas, which started lending to RMFL just six months after the offshore firm was established and does not reveal its source of funds.

Neither Everton nor Moshiri provided an on-the-record comment.

Um...nothing to worry about I'm sure.

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:23:42
I can’t be bothered reading it all so I don’t know if it’s damming for our club, but hopefully soon we will have a new regime.

Andrew Ellams
3 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:25:01
Tony, it does not make good reading.
Pete Neilson
4 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:36:44

There is absolutely nothing new it just regurgitated history. Reveals that Usmanov was sponsoring us while he was legally able to (but barred from entering the UK) and then he stopped when he wasn't.

Even brings his nephew into it even though he quit in November 2021 as well as Usmanov "injecting tens of millions into the Merseyside club" well before any sanctions. Accusation by innuendo.

No new revelations but it's presented as investigative journalism. The Guardian has much bigger problems closer to home.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:52:16
I can’t remember the journalist's name, Pete, but I think he’s a man in hiding, because it’s been reported that the Italian mafia (they’ve just taken another massive hit today) have got a contract on his head.

Anyway, this journalist has said that one of the most corrupt governments in the world is the British Government.

The corrupt British Government are looking into the lob-sidedly (imo) corrupt Premier League, and it will all be done under the flag of democracy!

Michael Lynch
6 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:52:55
The Guardian article is really poor journalism. As Pete says, their smoking gun seems to be that Usmanov was still involved after being told to stay out of the UK, though not after he was sanctioned. Nothing to see here.

It's hardly news that Moshiri is Usmanov's bagman, just as it's hardly news that Newcastle are actually owned by a murderous regime, not an "investment fund".

Feels like it's open season now on Everton. Martin Samuel in The Times is another one who has a go at us when he needs to fill a column and is too lazy to come up with something new.

Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:55:45
I've only read a bit of the extract, Michael, but I think Samuel is just pointing out something that should have been pointed out years ago.

"It wasn't me, it was the other three," said William Kenwright, "and because I've put a gagging order on them all, let's just try and forget about it and move on!"

James Marshall
8 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:59:58
When you're doing arms deals with the Saudis, like our Government are, you're not going to be overly keen on messing around with the regime over there, so Newcastle, in all probability, will get a pass.

Everton and their dirty Russian money on the other hand...

Steve Brown
9 Posted 03/05/2023 at 11:31:40
Simon Goodley, the Guardian journo, just flogs the same tired story from a different angle.

Find yourself a new topic, chum.

Dale Self
10 Posted 03/05/2023 at 13:14:46
Tories do not want to talk about Russian money or lifestyle enhancement consulting. They just want the business done and Moshiri gone. I'll bet a Guinness it was David Goodley who wrote that.

Anyone know about the 49er Enterprises group planning to buy Leeds if they stay up?

John Daley
11 Posted 03/05/2023 at 16:17:26
“The existence of his travel ban was known by Everton's board.”

What has his travel ban got to do with anything? How does it have any bearing on Everton and why would it matter if the club knew about it?

Not like he was turning up in person with bags of cash before popping over the road to the chippy.

Anytime he has been rumoured to have been present during, or had input in, certain events impacting Everton (managerial interviews etc), it's always been said to have been via Zoom call, or while inviting others to sun their crinkly skin aboard his yacht anyway.

Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 03/05/2023 at 16:31:50
"It's also rumored according to Guardian sources that Everton were using Anfield for games as recently as 120 years ago, that one of their former players Tony Kay was involved in match fixing while two former players, Michael Branch and Mark Ward, were jailed for drug offences.

How this all ties together with the fact a former commercial sponsor was banned from travelling to the UK, is for you to figure out yourself. In the meantime, we at The Guardian will keep regularly posting vague seemingly scandalous articles mentioning Everton and implied existential threats."

John Raftery
13 Posted 03/05/2023 at 16:44:44
Kieran (13),

I am surprised there has been no mention of the allegations that our players were taking purple hearts before matches in 1962-63.

Plus the story that Roy Vernon organised a collection at the back of the team coach to bribe West Brom players before a 4-0 victory at the Hawthorns in the penultimate match of that season.

Kieran Kinsella
14 Posted 03/05/2023 at 16:48:43

I'm sure they'll gradually add that stuff in as the drip of "new information" continues.

Peter Mills
15 Posted 03/05/2023 at 17:59:20
Worse still, I was reliably informed today it's all around Bournemouth that they are going to be given a substantial contribution to a new stand in exchange for throwing the last game of the season if it's necessary.

You couldn't make it up. Except someone does.

Barry Hesketh
16 Posted 03/05/2023 at 18:02:41
Isn't Bournemouth one of those seaside hot-beds for former Merseyside residents of mainly a red persuasion?
Barry Rathbone
17 Posted 03/05/2023 at 18:15:42
Well, we shouldn't bemoan Newcastle Utd, Man City and erstwhile Chelsea owners if this is true – the impact here is of no consequence in the bigger picture of eradication of shady investors.

The even bigger picture, of course, and something you didn't have to be psychic to guess at, was the one club going to be nailed was us. I believe the new dictionary definition of "Loser" includes "See contemporary Everton FC".

Barry Hesketh
18 Posted 03/05/2023 at 18:16:47
The Echo have seen fit to feature this 'Usmanov news' so it must be newsworthy.
Peter Carpenter
19 Posted 03/05/2023 at 18:19:28
Peter (15), they can have bits of Goodison to build it with.
Paul Smith
20 Posted 03/05/2023 at 18:47:36
Dodgy Russians invited here by crooked Tories to fuck our revered institutions up as well as having links to an invader of countries.

The Guardian maybe political but thank fuck it is.

Dennis Stevens
21 Posted 03/05/2023 at 18:54:48
All newspapers are political, Paul. Sadly, most of them engage in very little actual journalism nowadays.

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