It should be no surprise that seemingly Moshiri’s last act as owner of Everton Football Club, should be yet another significant misjudgement. A man who in seven and a half years has brought a proud footballing institution to its knees. Every single major decision during his ownership, including the brand new stadium, more than half built at Bramley-Moore Dock, a result of pitiful strategic thinking, incomplete solutions, poor execution and an absence of leadership, challenge and accountability. 

A man who has injected  £770 million into Everton, regularly and with increasing desperation sold its best players, has required the club to borrow in excess of  £370 million (and rising) from external sources at punitive rates, and forced the club to live hand by mouth. At the time of writing, we survive on regular monthly cash injections from an organisation desperately seeking regulatory approval to acquire Everton. An organisation owned by a Miami-based partnership with an unenviable reputation, operating in some of the most unethical business sectors even by the US’s most dubious capitalist standards. An organisation with no meaningful track record in multi-club ownership let alone the corporate recovery skills and experiences to turn around our club, Everton. 

Yet an organisation, in Moshiri’s words, that “are the best partners to take our great Club forward, with all the benefits of their multi-club investment model”.

Moshiri’s misjudgements

As a result of Moshiri’s misjudgements, his recruitment in the footballing business, lack of recruitment at board and executive levels, the reliance on a faded, inadequate, out-of-touch board and a hugely uncompetitive executive team, Everton’s footballing performance, financial performance, credibility and influence in the Premier League has deteriorated year on year with the deterioration accelerating alarmingly in the post-Covid environment.

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As of today, we have an operating business that remains cash flow negative. We have a stadium being built with no long-term funding in place, let alone the reserves or cash flow to meet the regular payments to our contractor Laing O’Rourke.

We have a current owner who met some of his obligations (albeit not legal or contractual) laid out in his letter of comfort sent to the auditors of the most recent 2021/22 accounts, but now by early October 2023 has made clear he can or will not fund any further.

We have extended our credit facilities to the point where every asset of the club is encumbered:

  • We have £490 million of shareholder loans – a certainty to be written off by whoever becomes the new owner of Everton Football Club. 
  • We have a £200 million rolling credit facility provided by Rights and Media Funding – funding provided by offshore entities ultimately controlled by Michael Tabor – at rates I am informed of, at 12% pa. This is secured against all assets of the football club, including bank accounts, bar the stadium (as below)
  • We have £140 million of debt provided by MSP Sports Capital (including Andy Bell and George Downing as limited partners) – secured against the shares of the Everton Stadium Development Holding Company
  • We have a small Covid-related loan of approximately £25 million with Santander

In addition, we have emergency funding provided by 777 Partners as they proceed through the regulatory process, looking to acquire approval from the Football Association, the Premier League and the Financial Conduct Authority.

As a result of the above, the club, our existence is in the control of Rights and Media Funding. De Facto they control Everton’s finances – controlling capital movements, the issue of new debt and in the case of new shares, their issuance. 

MSP Sports Capital control Everton Stadium Development Company until such  a time as their indebtedness is repaid.

777 Partners as the potential acquirers effectively control cash flow, providing working capital loans until either their acquisition is approved or an alternative is agreed. (this is quite standard when an acquiring company is purchasing a company with cash flow problems)

777 Partners

As I reported on social media, Dan Dransfield, CEO of 777 Partners footballing operation, kindly agreed to meet me via Microsoft Teams during this last week. For the avoidance of any doubt, I was meeting him in a personal capacity, neither representing nor purporting to represent any group of Everton fans. He did of course meet with many other fan groups and elected representatives.

Due to the ongoing regulatory approvals being sought, it was not appropriate to record the meeting nor discuss outside of the meeting any of 777’s answers relating specifically to Everton. I respect that condition and therefore my comments will be of a general nature regarding 777 Partners and its multi-club operations. 

Prior to the meeting, I published my areas of concern and the areas for which I sought answers. Given Everton’s financial background and current operating difficulties, it will be no surprise that the questions focused on:

* the future capex requirement is significant for any purchaser of Everton including existing debt repayment, future stadium funding, recapitalisation of the business, investment in the squad

*What are your funding plans? How do you propose to fund the above? To what extent will you reply on debt? 

*It is not obvious where the level of funding required is sourced from. Within the constraints of usual confidentiality, how is this funded? 

* The board & executive teams need a complete overhaul. What are your recruitment plans and how do you propose to compete with the largest clubs for the best talent? 

*What are your objectives for the business and as investors what is your medium/long term plan and exit route/time frame? 

From a footballing perspective

*Within the constraints of existing PL regulations and given the P&L position of the club how do you meet the obvious investment needs of the squad? 

*Recruitment has been Everton’s greatest problem for many years. How do you propose to improve that? 

*To what extent does your existing multiclub model assist in the above? 

*Your multiclub portfolio is expanding rapidly. How do you propose to allocate management resources to satisfy Everton’s considerable short- & medium-term transition needs? 

*What will distinguish your approach to Everton compared with your existing portfolio? 

More generally (and if we have time) I’d like to explore both your governance plans but also your fan engagement objectives? 

To be fair, we had a discussion lasting nearly two hours covering most of the areas above.


Essentially Everton have a number of requirements, some immediate, others more strategic and long-term. From my perspective, they are:

  • The recapitalisation of Everton Football Club, the repair of the balance sheet
  • Working capital to meet operating needs and future investment in the playing squad
  • A long term funding solution to the stadium. Currently the stadium is financed by Moshiri’s contributions and short term debt. It has a significant capital shortfall to meet the future and final construction costs to completion

This requires equity funding – it requires an owner who is prepared to provide equity capital rather than provide or arrange loans. Especially in this interest rate environment, the reliance upon debt adds cost to the business not to the shareholder. Cost to the business results in higher ticketing and merchandising prices for fans. It reduces the funding available for player investment and wages. 

Debt can also be performance dependent – relegation of a heavily indebted club has a double whammy effect – a massive reduction in income and usually a requirement to reduce debt levels. Often by the use of parachute payments and player sales, thereby reducing the prospects of immediate promotion.

If the investment is equity rather than debt – the above does not apply – investors take the hit as their investment is permanent not conditional.

Leadership and managerial requirements

For years we have called out for competent leadership, for a vision, a strategy, that (although increasingly difficult) leads Everton back to being one of the leading clubs in the country. Competitive for trophies, recognised as leaders in the game, a source of excellence and above all else a symbol of pride and joy to the legions of Evertonians, match-going or otherwise up and down the country and overseas. An institution that represents the best of our City, its people and our proud heritage, and yes, future.

What is there in the 777 Partners stable that demonstrates, either in their footballing businesses or elsewhere across their portfolio of financial services, aviation, fintech and lending operations that suggests they share any of the above ideals or qualities?

The overwhelming evidence is the exact reverse. Publications as diverse as Josimar and now the Washington Post have produced investigative journalist pieces with the most appalling allegations.  

How do those alleged business practices sit with a club embedded in its community, a prime asset of a global city proud of its ethics, a club, a fanbase,  a city which has held true to its ideals despite many telling and trying circumstances?

As described above, and has been the case for most of the last 30 years under the stewardship of Kenwright and then Moshiri, the declining competitive and financial performance of the club has been a result of successive mismanagement, poor leadership from the owners, poor direction from the directors and  poor execution by the executive. 

What is there in the 777 Partners multiclub model that suggests this major defect, this major reason why we have declined so significantly can be reversed?

There’s a lot of discussion as to whether the multiclub model is good for football generally and good for the underlying clubs. Even the best resourced financially and managerially have failed to date to justify the hype around the model.

Theoretically, of course there is a case.  However it requires the correct strategy, resource and management at the very top and then the structure, governance and control models to ensure adherence to the model at club level. Difficult to achieve among disparate entities with strong individual identities and specific, often local needs.

Do 777 Partners have the management resources to achieve this across seven clubs (eight with Everton). How do they allocate scarce management time and resources to the needs of individual clubs, especially clubs with difficulties – one of the key characteristics of 777’s acquisition strategy?

From the outside, the answer with regards to 777 Partners must be no. A small number of talented individuals, yes, but nothing like what is required collectively and in the case of Everton, specifically.  

How can a club with Everton’s great management  needs improve and compete with peers who don’t have to share management resources with co-owned clubs?

Back to Moshiri; it’s Moshiri’s belief that 777 Partners offer Everton “the best partners to take our great Club forward, with all the benefits of their multi-club investment model”.

Where’s the evidence to back up such a claim? Where’s the evidence that the multiclub model is the appropriate model given Everton’s specific and immediate requirements? Where’s the evidence that 777 Partners are the best multiclub operators?

Where’s the evidence that 777 Partners can provide the financing needed to rescue and move the club forwards? Where is the evidence that the funding model will not be heavily dependent upon debt? Where’s the evidence that the partially completed stadium will not be leveraged to assist the 777 acquisition – the model used by the Glazers in acquiring Manchester United – use the club’s assets as collateral, but don’t use shareholder cash?

Where’s the evidence that 777 Partners present the ethics, the business standards, the practices that create pride in our organisation. The practices that will add to, enhance even our pride in our shirt, our badge, our club, our city, our name?

As with my meeting with Dan Dransfield, I can only represent my own views, my own opinions and use the platforms I have to promote those views.

The overwhelming evidence from my perspective is that Moshiri, despite the huge financial commitments he has made (which must be acknowledged) has failed us. His introduction of 777 Partners as his chosen successors to his calamitous tenure is his final act of folly. 

777 Partners, in my opinion, are not appropriate buyers of Everton Football Club, from a moral, ethical, financial, managerial and immediate needs-based perspective. I understand entirely the view (almost certainly, fact) that without an immediate or near-immediate buyer the existential crisis Moshiri spoke of will occur. We, a 145-year-old institution, will go out of business. However, that doesn’t mean that 777 Partners are the solution to our problems, the reverse is true in my opinion.

All stakeholders, supporters, investors, local business people with the means, politicians, even the footballing authorities must see what is ahead of us and act accordingly. A solution different to 777 Partners has to be found – even at this very late hour 

Reader Comments (133)

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Brendan McLaughlin
1 Posted 01/10/2023 at 21:07:58
Wow... but Paul's bang on.

Moshiri ain't got much right when it mattered for him as an owner... as a seller???

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 01/10/2023 at 21:38:14

Moshiri has got absolutely nothing right, and yet Blue Bill is still here.

Fuckin aaaarrrrrrrggggghhhh!!!!

Brendan McLaughlin
3 Posted 01/10/2023 at 21:49:00
Tony #2,

Paul or me?

(ps: This is why people need to reference their responses on TW.)

Bet it's Paul. 🤞🤞🤞

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 01/10/2023 at 21:53:36
Neither of you, Brendan, I'm just screaming at the state of our club, mate.
Derek Thomas
5 Posted 01/10/2023 at 21:57:32
Go out of business, Esk? There are some days I swear they'd be doing us a favour.

But, no doubt, 'money will talk and bullshit will walk'... more like run as fast as he can.

Then what will we do, come on here and...

1) Talk about how it all went wrong.

2) talk about old games, players, managers, events, etc... much like now.

Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 01/10/2023 at 22:05:48

I appreciate your efforts but, just for clarity. 777 Partners publicly stated they won't comment on financials etc. They've spoken to other groups and maintained the same line. You're implying they did provide insight to your questions but you promised not to share that info.

Your conclusion, which you say is based on general information, is the same as it was beforehand. So, without giving specifics, can you state that they did provide legitimate insightful answers to your questions which you can't reveal?

Or did they do what they've done with every other journalist, fan group etc and actually not provide any insights that aren't already being widely disseminated in the public domain?

It makes a considerable difference if your article today is the result of privately shared info versus just a repeat of what you've suspected all along after an interview largely comprised of answers like “No comment.”

Neil Tyrrell
7 Posted 01/10/2023 at 22:23:48
So, despite acknowledging Moshiri's ownership as calamitous, 777 Partners will be even worse? It's all very doomsday — we're fucked if stuck with Moshiri, and even moreso if 777 Partners take over.

The lack of any suggestion of a palatable alternative is duly noted. Is there one? A realistic one?

It's all extremely depressing.

Tony Everan
8 Posted 01/10/2023 at 22:28:40
I read the Washington Post article and do not want these as our owners. I'd rather us take the ultimate risk and not have anything to do with them.

I sincerely hope the Premier League and authorities reject them. If they do, it will be a great day for the club, whatever the consequences. Wherever we land, we will build ourselves back up, even if it is from nothing, but at least our pride will be intact.

In case you missed it;

How the private equity firm buying Everton built its business

Paul [The Esk]
9 Posted 01/10/2023 at 22:40:40
#6 Kieran,

Don Dransfield provided no fresh or new (to me) finance related insight or information during our meeting.

However, I have received fresh information direct from an intermediary charged with raising new funding for 777 Partners.

Dale Self
10 Posted 01/10/2023 at 22:47:50
Moshiri does look like he has a game going that is about to get busted up. Arranging loans from potential buyers who then either balk or get restricted by the league is his new business model.

If he doesn't have something credible lined up when the independent commission meet, there is reason for concern.

Barry Hesketh
11 Posted 01/10/2023 at 22:48:28
Don Dransfield — what a name! It sounds like it should be the name of a character in a revamped, updated, series of TV's Mad Men. The original character was Don Draper who worked for an advertising agency in the 1960s.

As for the greatest Evertonian of all-time, where is he? What's he doing? What does he think is right for Everton Football Club? After all, he is the bloody Chairman!

Like a few other fans, I think it's important that somebody from inside the club, but outside of Moshiri's camp, says something about the possibility of 777 Partners taking over the club — every man and his dog, can't be subject to NDAs can they? It's appalling communication from everybody concerned.

Is it really like Paul says — a choice between people of ill-repute or administration? Or is the administration angle a clever way of getting the fans to accept whatever 'saviour' comes to the table, regardless of their dubious credentials?

Barry Rathbone
12 Posted 01/10/2023 at 22:55:23
If the analysis of Moshiri reads: he got all the major decisions wrong (spot on by the way) and 777 Partners are front and centre, I'm guessing the answers received were of the blustering, non-specific, bullshit variety. Not a confidence booster at all.

Kudos on the opening para eviscerating the Moshiri era — it will be his epitaph among Everton fans when the grim reaper comes knocking. It is truly unbelievable the state he's left this club in.

John Raftery
13 Posted 01/10/2023 at 23:02:34
Potential buyers have had plenty of time to form a queue.

It seems like we're now at the mercy of usurers and shysters all looking to make a quick killing from the new stadium and whatever other assets can be salvaged from the wreckage of Everton FC.

Nick Page
14 Posted 01/10/2023 at 23:54:39
Incredible how the usual talking heads are savaging Moshiri (read, his “partner”) for selling to this 777 mob yet Kenwright gets a free pass for “just” selling to Moshiri, who incidentally was only allowed to buy his (their) stake in the club on one man's say so, and with many strings attached.

The biggest mistake Moshiri made was being hoodwinked by Good Times Bill.

As Big bonking Bill Clinton once said; “It's Bill Kenwright, stupid!”

Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 02/10/2023 at 00:07:00
Nick & Barry,

I assume the self-proclaimed Greatest Evertonian is in favor of this now as The Red Echo and Alan Myers have been putting a positive spin on it.

But in a parallel world can you imagine a scenario where Fenway Sports Group were trying to buy Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox where under a transfer embargo?

Or a league they sponsored said it almost went into administration as they didn't pay their bills on time?

Or fans of every other team they were involved with were holding protests against them?

And yet the local media, as Myers put it, viewed their involvement as “good news.” These charlatans have a miserable track record of failure, delinquency and zero moral compass. Yet here we are.

Nick Page
16 Posted 02/10/2023 at 00:11:00
The bubonic plague would have done less harm to Everton than Bill Kenwright.
Colin Glassar
17 Posted 02/10/2023 at 00:17:23
Moshiri and Kenwright = The Antichrist Bros.
Ian Pilkington
18 Posted 01/10/2023 at 00:32:27

I have just checked some facts about the forced sale of Chelsea. There were 4 or 5 serious bidders and the club was sold for between £2.6 and £4.2 billion.

Their 40,000 capacity stadium requires urgent replacement and according to reports, a new one with a capacity of 60,000 will cost at least £1.5 billion.

Their London location inevitably raises far more match revenue than will ever be achieved at the new Everton Stadium and (at present) they have a much larger worldwide fanbase than us, but their long run of guaranteed Champions League revenue is clearly over.

Assuming Moshiri's selling price is £0.5 billion and the probable final cost of the new stadium is £0.75 billion, a realistic overall total for Everton will be £1.25 billion, approximately a third of the overall purchase price for Chelsea including the cost of their new stadium. In comparison this surely makes Everton, despite the complicated loans and lowly league position, a reasonably attractive purchase prospect.

I cannot understand why Moshiri has been able to attract only one serious bidder and totally unsuitable one to boot. What are your thoughts on this?

Mark Taylor
19 Posted 02/10/2023 at 00:43:45
It doesn't matter whether Moshiri or Paul the Esk believes 777 Partners are the best option to take us forward or not. As it stands, they are the only option that will presumably allow Moshiri to leave with at least some of Usmanov's cash and the only one that prevents administration — an option that does not bear thinking about, whatever people's romantic inclinations are about starting afresh.

My only hope is 1) there is someone lurking with an interest to buy, better positioned than 777 and/or 2) the government forces an Abramovich style-auction, due to the Usmanov links becoming proven, which flushes out those potential buyers.

Anyone taking us over will have to recognise the reality that we are not a viable business as things stand, in fact I'd suggest we are probably technically bankrupt, with our liabilities exceeding our assets by some margin. It would help if the seller truly understood that too and realised how big the bath he must take, actually is.

Don Alexander
20 Posted 02/10/2023 at 02:11:24
I want to ask anyone still trying to decry him to answer what The Esk's opinion of the credibility re our club's fundamental-to-any-hope-of-success projections in the future portend?

Or the insanely incredible contention by others, that Moshiri and our long-resident self-serving shithouse have ever done to successfully strengthen out club?

Kieran Kinsella
21 Posted 02/10/2023 at 02:14:01
Mark Taylor,

Unfortunately it seems you're correct unless of course there's some droid on Tatooine broadcasting a message to an old Jedi saying “Obi Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope.”

Greg Nelli
22 Posted 02/10/2023 at 03:08:44
Paul, I appreciate your analysis and efforts to keep us fans informed to the best of your ability.

As you clearly were bound by some form of confidentiality, are you suggesting that Don Dransfield's explanations and plan failed to impress you?

I agree there are many red flags out in the public about these guys but I must ask what is the alternative? Moshiri has thrown his hands up and is unable or unwilling to assist the club further, definitely from a financial standpoint and arguably a practical one too.

Administration for the club in this position is a massive risk. Considering the level of debt and lack of assets, it is highly unlikely the Everton we know and love would be recognisable after that process.

Best-case scenario: the administrators gut the squad of any player who has any value with the proceeds going directly to debt reduction and not even replacing the squad with Championship standard players.

Worst case: we get wound up completely, which considering the level of debt is a very real possibility. If we were to go into administration, we'd almost certainly be selling off the new stadium and leasing it back.

I know many are critical of the proposed income streams like selling insurance under the club crest. I see it as a good opportunity providing the policies or other products are comparable in form and function and would be a purchase of the fans anyway, why not slap the club badge on it and have acceess to an income stream that doesn't rely on owner contributions or gifts from a shady money man?

Barry Hesketh
23 Posted 02/10/2023 at 04:21:53
Greg @22,

I would have thought that 777 Partners are the absolute definition of shady money men, who won't be bearing any gifts to Everton Football Club and are just another set of people who use other people's money in order to feather their own nests at minimum expense and maximum financial gain for themselves.

The fact that Moshiri is even contemplating selling to such a group is testament to the haphazard way the club has been run under his stewardship and that of his board of directors. I really don't know how any of them manage to sleep at night because I imagine that many lifelong Evertonians are having a great deal of trouble sleeping during this current crisis.

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 02/10/2023 at 07:38:51
I read this on his Twitter (now X feed).

As usual with Paul, it's very detailed and thorough with his research and caveats with assumptions.

This time though he met with 777 Partners. Although he rightly states he wouldn't disclose the discussion, he makes a conclusion that he doesn't think they are the right investors for Everton. That's quite telling.

I'm not too concerned with the multi-club ownership thing. I think Man City's owners do likewise and I suppose you could say the same about Liverpool's owners with their investment in American Sport (Baseball, Hockey & NASCAR). Then there is the Red Bull franchise in Europe. I am sure there are more examples

Distant owners don't bother me too much as long as they put a competent Board in place. That was Moshiri's mistake. He effectively let Bill and the old guard run the show and spend his money. He could have been a distant owner but, in this day and age of technology, he has demonstrated a lack of leadership when it was needed as we headed towards the iceberg.

Even after the summer cull, Kenwright is somehow still there. I wish the man no ill, but if you look at his record of owning, running and influencing Everton since his presence from 1989, it's a steady decline aside from the "success" of the mid-Moyes years. He is more slippery than a wet snake. If and when 777 or whoever take over, I am not convinced he will go. He needs to.

I don't know what to make of 777 Partners, but something needs to happen.

John Keating
25 Posted 02/10/2023 at 07:39:32
Unfortunately, whether we like them or not, it appears this 777 mob are the only players interested in the club. Moshiri seems to have completely disappeared from the scene.

The World’s Greatest Evertonian, thank God, hasn't been seen or heard of these past months — wish it had happened 20 odd years ago!

Who is making the day-to-day decisions at the Club? The way it's going , if we don't start getting results, beginning next week, someone will have to look at Dyche's position.

Is there nobody either individual or group, apart from 777 Partners, interested in us??

Pete Neilson
26 Posted 02/10/2023 at 07:51:50
Thanks for the article, Paul.

Likewise, I find it hard to believe that Moshiri will finally get a decision right, looks like he just wants out at any price and damn the consequences.

The disastrous legacy of Moshiri, Kenwright and the previous board is almost complete. It's unlikely that we'll ever get an apology or any self-reflection from them on their ineptitude.

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 02/10/2023 at 07:52:46
In response to the beginning of your second paragraph, Barry @23, I would say especially when there was definitely at least one other very, very interested party involved.

I think it's obvious The Esk doesn't want these people at Everton but the post that has caught my eye on this thread is Dale's @10.

If a man had only the wealth of Moshiri, then I'm certain he would already have sold the club. But Usmanov is a different kettle of fish and I believe he's trying everything to try and keep hold of Everton.

It's “one flew over the Bramley-Moore Dock”, but instead of medication – “it's speculation time”.

An apology? It wasn't that long ago when Kenwright said, “I got them a billionaire!”

Michael Kenrick
28 Posted 02/10/2023 at 09:05:23

We're still not hearing much about the jilted Yanks… in fact, nothing at all.

Do you think whoever told you about them could explain why nobody else in the media seems to know about them?

Not even Paul, who would surely have mentioned them in this article as a possibly viable alternative to the 777 mob he thinks so little of?

Eric Myles
29 Posted 02/10/2023 at 09:26:45
"Every single major decision during his ownership, including the brand new stadium, more than half built at Bramley-Moore Dock, a result of pitiful strategic thinking, incomplete solutions, poor execution and an absence of leadership, challenge and accountability."

Considering that the new stadium is on schedule for completion and has a good management team in place, on what do you base your premise that it suffers from "pitiful strategic thinking, incomplete solutions, poor execution and an absence of leadership, challenge and accountability"?

Paul [The Esk]
30 Posted 02/10/2023 at 10:10:41
Eric #29.

The funding model, the fact that it is the stadium that is creating this cash flow crisis that has resulted in short-term expensive lending.

There's stuff not in the public domain. Moshiri privately admits it was too big a project for Everton to take on financially, especially in the context of failure to qualify for Europe or even achieve budgeted league positions.

The delay and several design iterations caused by the unlikely-to-succeed Commonwealth Games bid.

The most recent enforced cost savings/change of specification in order to find £30 million of reduced expenditure.

There is so much not in the public domain which validates my view. This in no way denigrates the project management skills of those charged with managing the construction, in fact the opposite. They have done extraordinarily well given the chaotic leadership above them.

John Daley
31 Posted 02/10/2023 at 10:12:50
Why declare the questions if you're unable to divulge the answers?

By doing so and subsequently following up with a piece that suggests, if it's a choice between 777 and doomsday, then you'd far rather sit down in the rain like Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner and start banging out a death soliloquy about having seen ‘c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate', than see the club turn to a twat in a cap, then it naturally leads people to assume the very worst with little of actual substance provided to allow them to form their own opinion.

The immediate impression is that the answers given and information gleaned from Dransfield during your chat must have been incredibly disconcerting and alarming if you would instead deem limping along as we are until inevitable administration comes calling as the lesser of two evils.

Yet, you admit to Keiran (@#9) that no new information relating to finances was actually forthcoming from 777 (and why would it be?), so presumably the majority of your questions were fobbed off or answered with generic vagaries designed not to give too much away?

Never before have I seen such pearl-clutching from fans or the media at large about the possible takeover of a football club. I don't buy the morality or ‘ethics' angle at all. Shady characters have been buying clubs, stumping up cash, and orchestrating things behind the scenes in football since big money and reflected glory crept its way into the game. People far worse than this mob.

We've had the Waylon Smithers for a warlord's fucking mate fronting things for his friend for the past 7 years, but it only became a problem for most when said warlord's mate stopped putting his wedge in.

If this exact same outfit, with the same people fronting it and the exact same history of ‘questionable' business dealings behind them, were taking over without any unknowns or doubts around how they can possibly fund it and people instead positing that they're seriously loaded and prepared to throw obscene amounts at tackling all our problems, then the protestations and outrage would immediately pipe down to no more than a murmur in one fell swoop.

Wander could go full Matthew McConaughey and sit outside Goodison on a match day playing the bongos while absolutely wasted and bollocks naked, offering kids lines as they walk past, and most wouldn't bat an eyelid as long as they thought he had the financial muscle to lead us back to the big time.

A lot of it comes across as scare mongering, pure and simple, and weird attempts from people to ‘Wizard of Oz' their way through life online by projecting an image of being ahead of the game or ‘in the know'.

(I actually saw someone post on another forum that they had “set a day aside, especially”, so they could “research Josh Wander”. Crack on, Columbo, don't forget your salt and vinegar crisps and make sure to wipe the crumbs off your under-crackers when you finish. Fuck me.)

I myself don't know the intentions or finances of 777, or whether they would be ‘good' or ‘bad' owners. Don't have the foggiest. Nothing beyond a bit of gut instinct.

What I do know, however, is we're seriously in the shit and no one currently in situ is capable of – or seemingly even attempting to – steer(ing) us out of it.

To want those hoople-headed clowns at the club to continue to sit on their hands and await the arrival of a White Knight of the most upstanding character, possessing a proven track record of unparalleled success and the title deeds to the Lost City of Gold tucked in his desk drawer is fantasyland folly. This perfect owner, if he does even exist in the first place, isn't going to be putting himself forward at this late stage… not to pick up this particular poisoned chalice.

You say 777 must be avoided at all costs, that they would be terrible and inappropriate owners and if they took over then…. well, what?

We could possibly end up financially fucked and going out of business somewhere down the line in a worst-case scenario?

Isn't that what you're saying is inevitable under Moshiri – just a hell of a lot sooner – if a purchase doesn't take place?

Dave Lynch
32 Posted 02/10/2023 at 10:25:36
It's been said many times.

Moshiri's big mistake was letting Kenwright keep hold of the reigns, he put his cronies in position so he could be the puppet master and oversaw the decline of the club.

He's now slunk off like the snake he is and is letting the man who provided the money and resources "he" wasted take all the flack.

He did it with Denise Barrett-Baxendale when he stated "she" runs the club when challenged about the state we are in.

Tony Everan
33 Posted 02/10/2023 at 10:39:30
Paul (the esk) 30,

Have you heard any rumours at all about the alternative American consortium that Tony @27 has mentioned? The information came from a very reliable source of his.

Dave Lynch
34 Posted 02/10/2023 at 10:40:47
Forgot to add...

My guess is he's finally rumbled the world's self-proclaimed greatest Everton fan and he's pissed off with his lies and ineptitude so much he doesn't give a fuck and is bailing out at any cost.

Barry Rathbone
35 Posted 02/10/2023 at 10:54:02
I think Leeds, Sunderland, Villa (and until recently Newcastle) are warning signs for our predicament. All boast large loyal support and would be considered "names" in the English game but are firmly in the also ran, ever so slightly camp, category.

Leeds and Sunderland are now yo-yo clubs and despite Villa doing okay at the moment, I could easily see them going the same way.

The point is club size and support beyond the London enclave doesn't seem to be the attraction we like to think… so maybe this is why the 777 guys are the only game in town.

Certainly couldn't see our modern-day London equivalent, Spurs, being short of mega money suitors — and they owe £1.2 billion!!

Dave Lynch
36 Posted 02/10/2023 at 11:21:43

Football is media-driven and has been since Sky stuck its grubby mitts into it.

The media would love us to fold, they could then pour all of their attention on a one-city team, guess who!

Nick Page
37 Posted 02/10/2023 at 11:40:17
John #31. Lol, brilliant post. Spot on and made me chuckle 👍
Laurie Hartley
38 Posted 02/10/2023 at 11:47:35
Farhad Moshiri will no doubt sell the club to the highest bidder. At this stage it appears that 777 are that bidder.

My take on that is that 777 think it’s a good bet now while others are hoping we are placed in administration.

In the world we live in I think you would be very hard pressed to find a buyer with £1bn+ of “clean” money. John Daley @ 31 has got it right.

Ged Simpson
39 Posted 02/10/2023 at 12:09:19
John Daley # 31... agree with Nick #37. A brilliant post.

Makes important points, has wit and imagination but avoids vitriol.

Well written, mate.

We know... what we don't!

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 02/10/2023 at 12:17:44
They have already told me, Michael K, and although the explanation was easy to understand, the fact that nobody in the media has been alerted to them isn't quite so easy to understand.

I do believe this story to be true because it's coming from a person who has been involved in this type of deal before, and the news about the Saudis buying Newcastle came from this person at a time when it was being reported that this deal was definitely not going to happen.

I was told that this group of investors stipulated very early on that they would walk away if their names became mentioned in the media and I was told that Everton have already been back to them, even though they have only just rejected them for 777, which is why Dale's post came right out the page, when I read it.

James Hughes
41 Posted 02/10/2023 at 12:39:12
Tony, I am not questioning your source but could I ask

If the mystery investors would walk if their name was mentioned, then how could they pass the 'fit & proper' test?

Because that has to be public knowledge and they couldn't hide from that, could they?

Sorry mate, just asking questions.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 02/10/2023 at 13:17:32
I don't know anything else, James, although I would definitely expect them to have the money.

Like 777, they are another group of Americans, and the other thing I've heard makes me think of about three or four different scenarios of why this group have now been overlooked twice.

They might even be too straight for our current owners. Who knows?

Michael Kenrick
43 Posted 02/10/2023 at 13:18:17
Interesting what Dave Kelly, Chairman of the Everton Fan Advisory Board, said after his meeting with Drainsfield:

“The pleasing thing at this early stage is they've reached out and spoken to various groups over the past couple of days. Although it was extremely difficult and caveats they could only meet informally, if they carry on with fan engagement at the level they intend to, I think it will be a game-changer for the vast majority of Evertonians. When you look at the 7 years Farhad Moshiri has been here, he never held meetings of that stature or nature.

“We were talking about football in general, their model and their other clubs. I was impressed with him. I've been in the CEO office at Finch Farm on numerous occasions over the years and it was refreshing to go in there and speak to someone with a football background.

“We had an empathy with each other – me as a long-suffering Evertonian and him a long-suffering Barnsley supporter. He's incredibly intelligent and articulate. His background, given he was the former chief executive of the Man City Football Group and prior to that, he held a similar position at Red Bull Football Group. He's got an impressive CV.

"We did speak generally about various football teams and footballers, it was good to get his insight on that. We also spoke about what they feel are misinterpretations and misquotes in the press. We spoke openly and honestly about Genoa being 17th when they took them over and getting relegated but being promoted and started this season relatively well. We spoke about all the other clubs.

“I actually said to him personally and behalf of the FAB as a group, I needed to make it clear we were not pro-777 or anti-777 and will make a judgement based on actions rather than words. I don't want to see glossy videos in HD, smart words in press releases. We'll judge them on their actions and I suggest the best thing they can do from the outset is engage with fans and the wider fan-base.”

Understandable that his touchstone is fan engagement. Considering the 777 ethos is apparently to soak the fanbase for every loose penny, it would surely pay dividends to at least get that part right.

Rob Halligan
44 Posted 02/10/2023 at 13:19:18
When Sheikh Monsour took over Man City, that came right out of the blue; in fact, the day it was announced was the first time most of us knew about it.

Same with Moshiri I think. The same with the Saudis taking over the Skunks. That only became public a few days before being announced.

So surely all of these would have been through the fit and proper process without it being public knowledge of a potential takeover?

Mark Taylor
45 Posted 02/10/2023 at 13:31:40

That is an interesting insight and if they really are the only game in time, offers some encouragement. I also read an article about their involvement with Genoa and it wasn't all bad, or even close to that.

It does seem they have a tendency to bid for 'troubled' clubs, presumably seeing a bigger upside from an asset going potentially cheap(ish). Well, they picked the right Premier League club with us!

Clive Rogers
46 Posted 02/10/2023 at 13:35:19
An excellent and very informative article. I think Paul's opinions will prove true in the long term.

The more I learn about 777's operations, the more I am concerned. When Moshiri says they are the best owners for EFC, he really means the best for him to get as much of his cash back as possible.

These people have zero football knowledge I believe and are solely interested in finance. They don't appear to have significantly improved the football performance of any of the clubs they are involved with. They are not the owners we want.

David Bromwell
47 Posted 02/10/2023 at 13:35:36
Sadly, as one of our loyal 40,000 supporters, I feel completely unable to do anything meaningful in these most dire of circumstances.

In simplistic terms, we appear to be going from the frying pan to the fire. It's embarrassing at a time we should be celebrating the construction of our new stadium. Which is not only vital in terms of the club's future and survival but it will also have important implications for the city, and should be seen as a beacon for the redevelopment of the Northern Docks.

We need help from somewhere! What About our local politicians? Can they not speak to our Chairman and the club's owner? Everton is a major name in football, and were we to go under the implications would go far beyond the Club itself. So in the absence of any other help, why don't all 40,000 of us contact our MPs and ask them to get involved?

Ged Simpson
48 Posted 02/10/2023 at 13:50:51
Michael 43.

Interesting insight.

Your last para makes me ponder. In the end, does money talk and our great club's fans may get annoyed, frustrated etc but we stay loyal.

On the one hand, fantastic. On the other... do the investors know that?

If so, do we just accept (even reluctantly) any few quid?

Moshiri and Blue Bill spring to mind.

In the end, I fear us fans are just a soundtrack for a very lucrative TV programme.

Mike Gaynes
49 Posted 02/10/2023 at 14:17:35
I'm going to post a thought so speculative that it might be a conspiracy theory -- about what Tony E calls the "alternative American consortium" MSP Sports Capital.

On multiple occasions, I've expressed here my absolute delight at the prospect of MSP investing a reported £120 million in our club, in partnership with the aforementioned Bell and Downing, and it's been my impression that they withdrew from the purchase because of some sort of loan regulatory obstacle, not a loss of interest.

MSP, Bell and Downing subsequently loaned us £140 million to finish the stadium -- a seemingly uncharacteristic gamble that these smart, conservative businessmen would not have made if they weren't confident of repayment and profit from the investment. They were so quiet about it that we didn't know for months the money had landed.

What spilled the beans was when the previously out-of-the-picture 777 Partners popped back up with an offer, seemingly out of nowhere.

So here's my theory. Unable to buy in at the moment, MSP communicated on some level with 777 and arranged to back-channel in support of 777's bid. The finances likely will remain a mystery but, in my theory, MSP's sterling reputation would provide strong, legitimate sources for 777 to leverage for funding.

Once the sale goes through, at some point in the future MSP accepts loan repayment from 777, not in the form of cash, but in the form of ownership shares in the club -- shares worth nearly the same amount as what they originally tried to buy. (£140m is suspiciously close to £120m). And voila, they're in.

I have no idea what happens to the rest of the club's ownership shares at that point, but I believe there's no way MSP would have written a check to Moshiri this big if they didn't have a cohesive long-term plan to profit at low risk. And with absolutely no evidence to support my theory, I think this just might be the plan.

Jay Harris
50 Posted 02/10/2023 at 14:34:10
John Daley… Excellent post.

Do we plod into extinction like a rudderless ship or do we accept a lifeline from some people on a “fast-buck” lifeboat who have some very smart people on board – including an experienced football man schooled at Man City?

We may not like their personalities or approach but at least they will be involved and letting the fans know what's going on rather than sipping Cognac in Monaco and London respectively – not giving a shit about the club or the fans and, more importantly, not having a clue about running a football club.

Mark Taylor
51 Posted 02/10/2023 at 14:51:00

I think that is plausible albeit not necessarily probable. While we can only speculate right now, I think you are right in suggesting that there is likely some sort of communication between MSP and 777.

I find it hard to believe that anyone would commit £140m to a club that is technically insolvent. Sure that appears be secured against the stadium subsidiary but how much is a half-built stadium worth without an anchor tenant in the shape of EFC and presumably 777's ongoing funding is also secured against the stadium?

Paul says Rights & Media's £200m plus loan is secured against the assets of EFC, not the stadium. That is odd because EFC owns the stadium subsidiary and so is part of the asset base.

If their security is, in effect, the value of the players, that looks optimistic to me, especially in a fire sale and especially given the other payments that have to be prioritised in an administration or liquidation. I guess they are relying on someone taking the club on as a going concern. I don't think our squad would net £200m in a distressed asset sale.

Which in turn makes me wonder if all three of the creditors involved here are not having some sort of dialogue, even if only informal. It might not be entirely friendly dialogue, given MSP were apparently blocked by R&M in making a bid. But it is surely in all their interests to, if not be on the same page, at least know where the page is...

Paul [The Esk]
52 Posted 02/10/2023 at 14:53:38
Mike #49.

There's real bad blood between MSP and 777, especially Najafi and Wander. No chance of them doing business together again.

Paul [The Esk]
53 Posted 02/10/2023 at 14:58:36

The charges on Companies House wesite detail the assets that each lender have as security. MSP, through their security agent, Blythe Capital (owned by Andy Bell), have the shares of Everton Stadium Development Holding Company as their security.

R&MF have fixed and floating charges on all other assets including the club bank accounts.

Michael Lynch
54 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:01:34
I hadn't realised that Dan Dransfield held a similar position for Man City for over a decade before he joined 777 Partners. He's therefore something of an expert in managing multi-club organisations and, you would assume, squeezing benefit from such set-ups.

The benefits are fairly obvious – when you have clubs all over the world, you have scouting networks all over the world. You also are in a prime position to sign the best players from "feeder" clubs (and all of 777's current portfolio will be below us in the food chain, as we will be by far the biggest club in the group). We will probably be able to loan players to and from these clubs too.

I understand Paul's horror at the idea of 777 taking over, though we have been given little detail about what he knows and how he knows it. But, if nothing else, at least it will take us away from the out-dated Benevolent Billionaire model, and into a 21st Century model of ownership.

Mike Gaynes
55 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:08:31
Paul #52, isn't it true that they already are doing business? They're both brand-new Everton creditors and, if 777 succeeds in buying the club, they will owe MSP a whole lot of money. So they will both, like it or not, be working together in the cause of making both the deal and the club succeed. Or is my reasoning somehow erroneous?

Plus Najafi is experienced in working partnerships with people he despises. He bought his shares in the Phoenix Suns in 2009 when Sarver was majority owner, and put up with that despicable human being for more than a decade before helping to force him out -- during which time his shares' value multiplied 10X.

Does it seem likely to you that he would now allow personal feelings to interfere with a potentially lucrative investment?

Michael Kenrick
56 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:12:19

"They would walk away if their names became mentioned in the media."

Sorry but that's just bollocks. If they were serious in their intent, it would have to become public for the approval process to take place. Just imagine Moshiri announcing he's agreed to sell his stake in the club but the deal will fall through if he says who they are!

What on earth have they got to hide? Surely 777 Partners have a thousand reasons to hide behind an invisibility cloak with all the shit now flying their direction, yet they have been upfront and fully in the public eye, even meeting a host of key Everton lay-personages in the process.

It's just far too convenient an excuse for this cloak-and-dagger nonsense — and 100 miles away from being an 'explanation'.

Paul [The Esk]
57 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:12:33
Mike, thanks.

I can only tell you what I am told by people within the MSP camp regarding their relationship with 777 Partners.

Kieran Kinsella
58 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:21:15

I tend to agree with Michael and think someone is pulling your leg that these folks were sitting in the Titanic hotel with a billion dollars on hand and were mysteriously snubbed for some jokers who have no money and will supposedly pay Moshiri off over time.

All this while Usmanov is publicly shaking down Moshiri, saying he wants his money back.

Dale Self
59 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:24:16
So Najafi could be a check on 777's designs? The warrants would have to convert and current finances indicate that is likely?
Jack Convery
60 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:26:12
It don't sound good to me:

Fresh concerns have been raised over 777 Partners, Everton's prospective new owners, after another of their clubs failed to meet payments on three transfers costing a total of around €5.2m (£4.5m).

Brazilian side Vasco da Gama were hit with a transfer ban by Fifa on Friday after three clubs – Lille, Nacional of Uruguay and Atlético Tucumán of Argentina – notified world football's governing body that they had not received fees for Léo Jardim, José Luis Rodríguez and Manuel Capasso respectively.

Capasso joined Vasco for €1.4m in February, Rodríguez signed for €1.8m in January and, although the fee for Jardim was undisclosed, Lille were due to receive a reported €2m for their goalkeeper in January.

Vasco, who are 70% owned by 777, missed a deadline to complete payments on all three deals before being sanctioned by Fifa. In a statement, the governing body said: “The club Vasco de Gama is currently prevented from registering new players due to an outstanding debt. The relevant ban will be lifted immediately upon the settlement of the debt being confirmed by the creditor concerned.”

Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:52:16
Paul #57,

That would seem to mean MSP didn't know 777 would be back in with a buy offer when they made the loan to Moshiri last spring/summer, and didn't intend to become their creditors.

Interesting scenario indeed.

Ed Prytherch
62 Posted 02/10/2023 at 15:55:21
I think that Mike Gaynes is right: MSP would not be lending money to Everton while 777 Partners were in the process of buying the club if they thought that 777 were a nefarious group.

I have posted before that 777 Partners appear to be the only game in town and I see nothing to change my view. Moshiri is not in a strong negotiating position.

The estimates of his selling price look optimistic to me. I doubt that there will be too many tears shed if he and Usmanov lose their shirts.

Mike Gaynes
63 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:02:43
Ed, my point was only that MSP wouldn't have made the loan if they considered it risky.

But remember, that money landed months ago without the world hearing about it.

And if The Esk's info about MSP's opinion of 777 is correct, MSP may have made the loan without knowing 777 would be back in with this offer.

I like my scenario better!

Barry Hesketh
64 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:23:34
I suspect that MSP believed they had the deal in the bag, all of the 'talk' saying who would be Chairman, on the board etc. The removal of Barrett-Baxendale and Sharpy seemed to indicate that change was imminent.

Then suddenly Kenwright was 'prevented' from resigning and, out of nowhere, 777 Partners became the only game in town, following Rights & Media Funding not being happy with the terms of MSP's loan and buy-out of 25% of the shares.

Whatever transpires, I can see the Theatre guy remaining in his position, at least until the new ground is opened.

We'll have different names, holding the shares and therefore, you would think, the destiny of the club, but the same old Everton 'family' that we've become used to during the last few decades will continue to hold sway, one way or another.

Ed Prytherch
65 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:28:01
Everton and the unfinished stadium are worth very little if the club goes tits up.

What are the salable assets? Goodison Park, player contracts and a stadium that needs another £250 million or so to finish but has no tenant. The fact that hundreds of millions have been poured in and borrowed means nothing to an administrator.

777 Partners may not have to stump up that much if the club is staring at bankruptcy. All the money that has been poured in is based upon future earnings which are zero if the club folds.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
66 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:34:46
Does anybody in their right mind think that Moshiri would turn down 777 Partners because they are not the right fit for Everton?

His only concern is to get out as quick as he can for the lowest loss on his investment possible.

And does anyone expect him to say "777 are not right for Everton but at least I can get out of this mess"?

Mark Taylor
67 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:36:10
Hi Paul @53.

I had another look at this. I'm not a lawyer but does not the fixed charge under 4.1 (B) of the most recent charge by R&MF of 15 September 2023 cover all property owned by the club? I'm not sure if legally this also covers property owned by a wholly owned subsidiary, ie, the Everton Stadium entity.

I note that MSP, via Blythe Capital, appear to have a charge over the holding company (which has minimal assets) but also the Stadium Development Limited Co, which specifically references Bramley-Moore Dock.

If you are correct (and I'll assume you are) that R&MF have no security over the stadium asset, do you think they would recover £200m in a fire sale of club assets if we went into liquidation?

John Raftery
68 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:38:05
According to the 777 Partners website, the CEO of their Football Group is Don, not Dan, Dransfield.

I see Don has a Masters Degree in Economics from Trinity College Cambridge and joined 777 last year.

James Hughes
69 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:46:41
I am not impressed by what I have seen and read about 777 Partners. They are an investment firm who will be asking for the proverbial pound of flesh in return.

Comparing board members, we had Denise Barrett-Baxendale who was great with the charity side. Skunks had Amanda Stavely who delivered the Saudi money.

I will go back to John Daley's post and I agree, I would play bongos as well if it meant stability & success

We are not a branch of Amnesty International and I am not really fussed where the cash comes from.

Tony Everan
70 Posted 02/10/2023 at 17:51:22
Jeez, we'll need one of those logic walls that the TV detectives have. I've lost all hope of understanding what's going on.

It looked to me like a game of chess with MSP putting the money in, giving them skin in the veto game with the essential security on their investment. R&MF can veto MSP but MSP can veto 777 by demanding the £140M be repaid if they want the club.

Are MSP essentially making a bet with no downside that 777 will not get regulatory approval, then allowing them to step in with a lower offer that Moshiri will be almost forced to accept?

They've already had a period of exclusivity and know the finances. Would anyone be surprised if there were more twists and turns in this saga? I admit, I'm out of my depth.

Ed Prytherch
71 Posted 02/10/2023 at 18:14:16
Am I the only person who believes that Kenwright has his fingers in R&MF and had them block the MSP share purchase to protect his position as Chairman?
Barry Hesketh
72 Posted 02/10/2023 at 18:26:08
Ed @71,

It's right out of his "I'm the only guy who gets Everton" manual.

Dave Lynch
73 Posted 02/10/2023 at 18:34:26

It wouldn't surprise me if EFC had somehow funded some West End productions (there are lots of them so it's not libel).

Also, 777 Partners will know that, to get a return on a massive investment, they will have to make us successful again – and that will mean money invested.

Brendan McLaughlin
74 Posted 02/10/2023 at 18:44:27
Dave #73,

Apparently "777 Bids for 777 Buyers" is opening shortly...

Or are you suggesting "The Lying King".

Tony Everan
75 Posted 02/10/2023 at 19:17:47
It's nearly Panto season…

Snow White and the 777 Dwarves.

Brendan McLaughlin
76 Posted 02/10/2023 at 19:24:22
Tony #75

Never mind panto... "Les Misérables" would be pretty apt!

Mike Gaynes
77 Posted 02/10/2023 at 19:43:35
Ed #71, no way. I like conspiracy theories too, but that one is extraterrestrial.
Dale Self
78 Posted 02/10/2023 at 19:49:30
Brendan, Blue star for ‘Lyin King’. Very good.
Derek Taylor
79 Posted 02/10/2023 at 19:49:33
I hear that Uncle Bill will continue to serve as a director of our club but as a behind-the-scenes adviser to 777 Partners rather than in public office as now.

Looks like the 'Kenwright Curse' will remain whoever becomes the owner!

Brendan McLaughlin
80 Posted 02/10/2023 at 19:53:44
Dale #78

Only are a hard crowd!

Dale Self
81 Posted 02/10/2023 at 20:10:26
How about with sparkles, Brendan?

Blue is above gold here, you know.

Brendan McLaughlin
82 Posted 02/10/2023 at 20:15:23
No sparkles, Dale #81.

On reflection, "blue" is more than enough... always will be!

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 02/10/2023 at 20:46:00
Kieran, if I'm being honest I expected this kind of reply from Michael, (although his explanation for Moshiri having to tell everyone who he was selling to didn't really make sense – because he has actually swerved them!) So if you think someone is pulling my leg then that's no problem to me mate.

Reading the sentence – all this while Usmanov is publicly shaking down Moshiri for his money, is definitely not believable though imo, Kieran.

Anthony Jones
84 Posted 02/10/2023 at 21:08:12
Perhaps it's time to leave Premier League Football to the superficial masses and accept that the old sport is dead at this level.

How can you have a community club when the money involved is astronomical? You can't.

The older fans reminisce about the good old days and hold on to them by their fingernails, singing the old songs and buying the odd bit of merchandise.

However, elite sports clubs the world over are corporate beasts now. That's what they are.

Bobby Mallon
85 Posted 02/10/2023 at 22:19:47
I say administration over 777 knobbers.
Derek Thomas
86 Posted 02/10/2023 at 22:28:55
At last, a statement where the old standby of 'Be careful what you wish for' is truly apt... and distinctly possible.
Jerome Shields
87 Posted 02/10/2023 at 22:58:32
Quite frankly, I am stumped by the Financial Solutions that Moshiri comes up with. I was hopeful of 777 Partners being better as an option. Though I have thought that Paul the Esk's doom articles do cry 'Wolf', which I would have not allowed to influence me in my own business life.

I do find that I would have never entertained the characters in the Everton business story. Moshiri is an accountant who has never run a business, he is obviously the Guinea man of Usmanov.

On researching 777 Partners, it is apparently the employees who own the business, 50 of them in the European operation and 200-plus in the Miami operation, with other smaller offices worldwide. Most employees are under 6 years employed.

On looking up employment websites on 777 Partners, ex employees are complaining about not getting earned bonuses, those that find them okay have a hometown feel about them. When my son last year was applying for graduate jobs I looked at many such sites and never came across the likes of it.

Hopefully Paul the Esk is wrong, but we will find out before Xmas. Surprisingly, my main concern is that the root and branch change that is long overdue at Everton will not come about and things will continue as before.

Tony #84,

I have always thought that there has been more than one suitor. I would not be surprised that your information is correct. It has been in the past. But, like other suitors, they are waiting in the wings to see what unfolds. There is an undue haste about Moshiri's decision, if it is his decision, and there could be the problem.

Don Alexander
89 Posted 02/10/2023 at 23:43:43
So let's get this straight; City, Arsenal and Newcastle are owned by individuals with a reported personal wealth of £15-20 billion each, and other top-half clubs are owned by marginally "lesser" mega-billionaires.

Everton, if they are actually owned by Moshiri at all, are owned by a guy with a "mere" £1.something billion, only courtesy of being Usmanov's monkey amid a thoroughly corrupt Tory government's perpetual pre-Ukraine willingness to look the other way where Russian money was concerned.

Christ, Boris Johnson recently even put the very wealthy London-based, London newspaper owning, Russian son of a KGB chief into the House of Lords for life!

But then again that same KGB chief is still the major owner of the UK "Independent" (yeah, right!) national newspaper, courtesy of the Tories before Johnson.

Thus the allegedly ultra-right-wing Tory party have for many years invited ultra-extremist Russian enemies into their/our bed with open invitations to fuck the UK senseless via their media ownership but only whilst providing mega £billions to those very same Tories.

Moshiri may be very able to afford his next meal, but his relationship with Usmanov is no way at all encouraging to us fans. With Moshiri we've always have been just below mid-table on owners' reported wealth (and I said so on TW at the time), but hey, he/we've had the football/business self-proclaimed guru Kenwright to rely on. Right?

Moshiri as a capitalist savvy auditor (as he alleges he is) will, like the bloke next door who gets notified of a recent alleged speeding offence, leave no stone unturned in a desperate bid to minimise financial loss to himself.

Every potential buyer now rightly sees Moshiri as ass-spread right across the perpetual barrel of Kenwright's endless incompetence, aided by Tory posturing which is only now critical of all things "Russian" as a result of the pitiless horrors Putin has inflicted on the Ukraine.

Usmanov, as the pitiless greedy entity he's had to be to acquire his gross wealth to the cost of the millions of honest Russians that there are, will screw Moshiri and us to the wide to minimise his financial loss.

To say the least, it really winds this Toffee up!

Brendan McLaughlin
90 Posted 02/10/2023 at 23:48:27
Jerome #87,

Been meaning to ask for a while. How's your son doing... obviously the guy that had the accident in Scotland in case you've more than one?

Mark Taylor
91 Posted 03/10/2023 at 00:52:14
Don 89,

I assume that Germany's even greater involvement with Russia, not least being almost entirely reliant on their gas, makes Merkel's CDU/SPD coalition 'ultra right wing'?

Laurie Hartley
92 Posted 02/10/2023 at 01:31:29
Ed # 62 & Mike #63,

Maybe MSP think their £120M investment is still sound regardless of 777's involvement and maybe 777 think that is £120M they don't have to find. It's a tangled web.

And why, as someone else has asked, did Rights & Media Funding block MSP yet let 777 into the frame?

What's on the table as things stand?

£500M in a stadium that needs another £250M
£200M loan by Rights & Media Funding
£120M loan by MSP
£???M Moshiri's shares
£???M Development Value of Goodison
£???M Value of playing squad

I think we may not be recognising the true potential value of the completed stadium.

Sure it will provide a source of football income but it will also be a world class venue for other sporting and entertainment events* with cruise ship access on its doorstep and a taxi ride or shuttle bus from John Lennon Airport.

*Wildcard – did Dan Meiss make the pitch area and it's surrounds large enough for an NFL game?

I look at that big gap between the stadium and the Pier Head and see a much much bigger picture. There is potentially a huge prize for someone with an appetite for risk and the money to take the punt.

My excuse for these ravings? It takes my mind off the football.

Ed Prytherch
93 Posted 03/10/2023 at 02:52:29
We just need to persuade Paul and Ringo to get the Beatles back together with Julian Lennon as his dad and Eric Clapton as George, performing nightly concerts for the cruise ships. Liverpool would become a first rank destination and the owners would be able to pay off the £750 million debt in no time.

There is a rodeo every night of the week in Cody, Wyoming during the summer. It is a winning formula.

Laurie Hartley
94 Posted 03/10/2023 at 03:22:07
Ed # 93 - I am going to the corner.
Martin Farrington
95 Posted 03/10/2023 at 12:36:55
Dave @ 73

I have thought that for ages. If I recall right, on his purchase he had 1 stage show in production. One about to go out and one that had no funding.

He may have also bought a run-down theatre for next to nothing / borrowed cash. After a short period of time, he had several productions and a fully refurbished theatre. Now take a look at his portfolio.

Bear in mind he borrowed and hocked all his possessions to buy Everton, according to him. And was only a temporary custodian until a billionaire was found. The definition of 'temporary' seems to have been stretched to its limits there.

Many great posts both pro and con. Loving the humour too.
In our darkest most dreadful times it is you 'orrible lot that make travesty and adversity bearable.

Martin Farrington
96 Posted 03/10/2023 at 12:45:25
Michael @ 54,

Was he the bloke responsible for bringing in the owner who was wanted on a warrant for embezzling Thailand's state wealth and buying Man City with a chunk of change from it? 🤣

Paul Hewitt
97 Posted 03/10/2023 at 13:18:04
Talk about being hit from all sides. When is this nightmare going to end?
Ray Robinson
98 Posted 03/10/2023 at 13:18:16
How on earth can Leeds threaten to sue Everton? If we'd've been deducted points and finished bottom as a result, Southampton and Leeds would still have ended up in the bottom three. Dismiss their arguments straight away! Only Leicester might just have a case.

And as for Nottm Forest, well what a cheek. I think there'll be more than a few skeletons in their cupboard.

Christy Ring
99 Posted 03/10/2023 at 13:26:58
Barry #97,

I agree completely, it's probably more bullshit, the 3 clubs problem is with the Premier League.

I also see where we're supposed to be in negotiations with Castore, as new kit manufacturers from next season? Their gear is complete dirt, that's why Newcastle ditched them for Adidas even though they had a contract until 2026, and look at Villa's problems.

My son is a massive Ireland supporter, and wouldn't buy the jersey, apart from the quality, nothing but mistakes. Whoever is in charge of our commercial marketing needs to take off the blinkers.

Sam Hoare
100 Posted 03/10/2023 at 13:37:44
What are the genuine options here? 777 or bust?

Don't think 777 is anyone's idea of a dream owner but, as John Daley says, there aren't many spotless owners out there.

Surely we're looking/talking about an illusion of choice here? 777 is the only offer on the table apparently. If it's that or the end of Everton Football Club, then it's pretty simple.

Dave Abrahams
101 Posted 03/10/2023 at 13:41:07
Most of this goes over my head but I read every post seeking some solace in the situation, not finding much to be honest.

Every cloud has a silver lining supposedly, with Everton it seems to be, when one door closes, another gets slammed in our face.

Christy Ring
102 Posted 03/10/2023 at 14:03:06
Moshiri wants out as quick as possible, and if 777 Partners is the only offer on the table, and passes the Premier League's Owners’ and Directors’ Test, what other hope do we have?

We can't go into administration or we're finished.

Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 03/10/2023 at 14:05:44
If going bust is going to be the only way to get rid of the Bill Kenwright's curse, how many people would be prepared to see us go bust?

Clouded in secrecy, MSP got rejected but 777 Partners are okay… how exactly does that work?

I genuinely don't believe that Usmanov does want out, Christy, because if he did, I'm absolutely certain that Everton Football Club would have already been sold.

It's like going over the same old ground when Kenwright couldn't sell us, even though it was apparent to most of us that he was only really looking for investment or a sale on his own terms.

Brian Harrison
105 Posted 03/10/2023 at 14:30:45
Tony @103,

Moshiri or the club didn't reject the MSP offer; it was Rights & Media Funding Ltd who have loaned the club £200M that objected to MSP's offer.

I don't know what their objection was but they carry enough clout to block the offer… but, if rumour is right, they are happy with the offer from 777 Partners.

The fan reaction from some of the other clubs that 777 own is worrying, and how do you devote enough time energy and money to one club when you own or part-own seven clubs?

The worry is that we have an owner who isn't prepared to put another penny into the club, and without further funds (and quickly if rumours are right) we will run out of money for the day-to-day running of the club, and possibly have to sell the stadium to a 3rd party.

Plus in 22 days time we will find out if the independent commission looking at if we have transgressed any financial rules and, if we have, what punishment they will recommend.

Also, someone last week said that there is no right of appeal to what decision this independent commisssion comes to.

Seeing as the Premier League are attempting to stop the Government from taking over from the Premier League where it comes to adjudicating on financial matters, what better way to demonstrate to the Government by handing out a significant punishment without needing Government intervention?

So, given all these factors, I am extremely worried as to what action they will take.

Barry Rathbone
106 Posted 03/10/2023 at 14:32:50
Tony @103,

If we went bust we would have to have a miraculous and instantaneous recovery; otherwise, huge swathes would see it as the final straw and just walk away.

Ridding life of what has become a continually unhappy experience would be compelling and going bust a genuine excuse to find other interests.

Christy Ring
107 Posted 03/10/2023 at 14:45:14
Man City have way more changes going back further and were charged by the Premier League so what's the story with them?

Regarding the charges this month, weren't we cleared by the Premier League earlier? Didn't they check our finances?

If we're seen to have broken the rules, the Premier League will be liable, which will open a can of worms, and cost them multi millions. I can't see that happening.

Dale Self
108 Posted 03/10/2023 at 14:50:42
Sorry about my weak post on Najafi and 777. I temporarily forgot the R&MF rejection of that funding.
Jay Harris
109 Posted 03/10/2023 at 15:22:07
To put things in perspective about the 3 clubs suing us in the Daily Mail report, I thought I had read that, under Premier League rules, they can only sue the Premier League — not individual clubs.

Seems to me like the Daily Mail is once again trying to ruffle blue feathers.

Rob Halligan
110 Posted 03/10/2023 at 15:29:28
Jay, you've got a good point. If the Premier League had taken any action against us last season, or whenever it was, then maybe we would have got a points deduction, or a fine, or whatever, there and then.

The fact that they did not take any action is, I suppose, not our fault. So these small time clubs should be venting all their anger at the Premier League, not us. So go and sue the Premier League if you feel so strongly about it.

And you're also right about the Daily Mail… what a useless rag of a paper.

Jerome Shields
111 Posted 03/10/2023 at 17:42:38
Brendan #90

After 3 months, we brought him home from Glasgow. After an unsuccessful attempt at rehabilitation, we got him under a Belfast hospital consultant, my wife a nurse managing to jump his treatment by 3 months.

Once out of hospital in June he steadily improved, as Kieran Kinsella said he would. He seemed to take heart from my friend in America's story. He then decide to join school and college friends in Toronto, successfully getting a Visa. With the Consultant's approval, he went in September.

Initially working in a restaurant, he still has symptoms and is on medication to build himself up and then will get back into software. He is doing well and has contacts in Toronto from his initial job search after finishing College in August a year ago.

Interestingly he had full Private Health Care Insurance, which he was unable to use, being totally dependent on NHS care, which was excellent though under pressure since his symptoms could have been long-term. His Medical Care in Toronto has been seamless.

Thank you for asking Brendan, he and we were very lucky.

Paul [The Esk]
112 Posted 03/10/2023 at 19:18:19
Jerome, sorry to read about your son. Very best wishes to you all for the future.
Tony Everan
113 Posted 03/10/2023 at 19:27:21
Jerome, glad to hear of your son's recovery, best wishes to you and your family.
Brent Stephens
114 Posted 03/10/2023 at 19:32:45
Jerome, if can add my voice to the best wishes for your son and the family.
Dave Abrahams
115 Posted 03/10/2023 at 19:33:58
Jerome, sorry to hear about your son's misfortune. Glad he is in recovery and wishing him continued good health in the future. Very best wishes to yourself and family after a very worrying time.
Tony Abrahams
116 Posted 03/10/2023 at 19:36:16
I think the Daily Mail is actually helping us out with stupid articles like this, because I'm not sure the league, will want to see clubs, trying to sue other clubs in the courtroom, especially because there must be a few other clubs, who must be either close to, or have already exceeded these Sustainability laws?

I know that MSP, have been rejected, but considering 777's track record, with regards to falling behind with payments, then I can't fathom out why R&MF, haven't been quite so stringent with this group, Brian. Very hard to comprehend, imo, mate.

Barry R, huge sways might walk away, but maybe thousands more would return? It's not easy losing interest in Everton, mate, although I'm obviously only speaking for myself. Although I find it quite painful the way that twat Bill Kenwright, has kidded thousands, I definitely won't be staying away forever.

It goes without saying that in glad your son is on the mend and building his life back up for himself, Jerome. 💙

Brendan McLaughlin
117 Posted 03/10/2023 at 19:53:48
Jerome #111,

Good to hear you sounding so positive about the situation. It does seem as if he has come on leaps and bounds... long may it continue.

Dale Self
118 Posted 03/10/2023 at 20:01:23
Yeah let me get in on that too Jerome. Sometimes those kind of events can open doors in a way that makes it more than a recovery back to even. Healed bones are stronger, keep it going.
Christy Ring
119 Posted 03/10/2023 at 20:17:20
Jerome so sorry to hear about your son's accident, glad to see he's making great progress, wishing you and your family best wishes.
David West
120 Posted 03/10/2023 at 22:41:25
Paul the Esk, another excellent piece.

I lost faith a long time ago in Moshiri's judgement. All the wasted opportunities, wasted millions, and wasted time. His bad management of the club has set us back years.

The MSP - 777 - R&MF triangle now controlling our club is a testament to how he's had no overall plan or vision from Day 1. A scattergun approach over all aspects has left us a shell of a club.

A question to you, Paul:

1. Do you believe any other parties could be watching with intrest to see if the 777 deal doesn't go through?

2. Does the money 777 have given the club in loans recently get returned in the event of the deal breaking down?

Laurie Hartley
121 Posted 04/10/2023 at 08:34:53
I would like to add another two questions to David's @ 120. I posted these two questions on Lyndon's 1878 Magazine article but they didn't appear so I will try here.

3. Can “anyone” provide the money to 777 that will be required by 777 for the purchase of EFC?

4. Does 777 have to provide details of “who” is supplying the money to 777 to the Premier League (and presumably therefore the UK Government)?

Jerome Shields
122 Posted 04/10/2023 at 22:48:26
Thank you all, much appreciated. Best wishes to you and your loved ones.

John showed a fair bit of character. Getting out of yet another lockdown and away from his parents was a strong incentive.

Paul [The Esk]
123 Posted 05/10/2023 at 12:09:05
David #120,

Yes, it remains a mystery why 777 Partners are his chosen buyers.

(ii) 777 Partners loan is not secured against any of the club's assets. Whether Moshiri has provided a guarantee, I don't know but they would expect to be reimbursed if the deal fails to complete.

Paul [The Esk]
124 Posted 05/10/2023 at 12:15:06
Laurie #121,

(iii) 777 can raise funds from any legitimate source - Tifosy is currently promoting a pitch to assist in raising funds for their multiclub business. Everton are key and a fundamental part of that pitch.

(iv) standard KYC and money laundering regulations would require the Premier League to know the backers behind the 777 acquisition vehicle.

Chris Williams
125 Posted 05/10/2023 at 13:17:02
Any threat of legal action against the club, or any material financial threat they might face, would have to be declared under the due diligence process that takes place before any sale and purchase could be agreed.

So 777 Partners would be well aware of any such issue and would not need the Premier League to forward a letter to them. And a provision to deal with it would already be in place.

There is no way that such an issue would not have been declared, or that a deal could be subsequently agreed otherwise, or even at all.

Basically, the article is total bullshit, regurgitated crap based on something that has been reported before and is unsubstantiated.

It also refers to Everton being “charged” with offences. They haven't, they've been “referred”. Manchester City have been “charged”. And the difference in a legal situation is vast.

Barry Hesketh
126 Posted 05/10/2023 at 13:33:11
Chris @ 125,

I too believed that Everton had been 'charged' rather than 'referred'. Would that mean that, if or until a charge is made, no punishments could be meted out at this particular panel on 25 October?

Kieran Kinsella
127 Posted 05/10/2023 at 13:45:57

Sorry I missed your post. Glad to hear things are improving mate. Best wishes.

Chris Williams
128 Posted 05/10/2023 at 13:58:10
As I read it, Barry, the independent commission will examine the evidence as presented by the Premier League and by Everton. The Premier League would appear to not have reached a firm conclusion, hence a referral and not a charge.

At most inquiries, submissions are made by all parties, and you'd think we would have representation there, hopefully not Moshiri or Kenwright, but a bloody good lawyer.

I don't know how long it will last, and how long they will deliberate before they reach any conclusions or recommendations. Or if there is any appeals process.

Given the matters under question, and the financial issues, I'd be amazed if there wasn't.

None of us know what the issues are, but it seems to be to do with something changing between the season in question and the final accounts being issued 8 months or so later.

What we know with certainty is that there was a change in auditor and a statement as to our future existence being in doubt, and dependent on Moshiri's continued support.

Given that it's the P&S rules in question and the S standing for Sustainability, it might be part of the issue.

But I'm only guessing like everyone else…

Dale Self
129 Posted 05/10/2023 at 14:52:16
Chris 128, thanks for that. Good points.
Jerome Shields
130 Posted 05/10/2023 at 21:13:45

Thanks, you helped a lot at the time.


The 777 Partners loan not having any security provision does raise questions.I suppose it dependents on the Premier League laundering

requirements , and what is presented to them being suitable.I can't see them going beyond Statuary requirement.

David West
131 Posted 08/10/2023 at 21:58:45
Paul the esk. 123 Thanks for your reply.

Does it mean 777 now have the same powers to reject a new takeover like R&MF have ? Being creditors.

Is it unusual for for a company to loan money to a business they potentially want to aquire? Doesn't this throw up a conflict of intrest ?

Seems murky, along with the drawn out transfer of shares and monies to aquire the club. As you say, it seems all too strange that Moshiri himself would prefer this to say, someone buying him outright all at once. As it seems, he's now washed his hands of the club, and now has no desire to have any involvement in the running of the club.

Barry Rathbone
132 Posted 08/10/2023 at 22:12:04
Anyone know who owns BMD in it's present guise?

I haven't seen anything definitive and sort of think in real terms it belongs to Mosh and Usi.

In which case now they've stopped funding transfers and handed the ball to 777 does that free them up to finish the build and rent it back to us?

Effectively getting their money back on the drip?

Laurie Hartley
133 Posted 08/10/2023 at 22:43:42
Paul # 124 - thank for your reply. Apologies for my late response.
So am I correct in thinking 777 could tap into several “sources”?
Tom Bowers
134 Posted 08/10/2023 at 23:19:27
We must not get too far ahead of ourselves.

The new proposed takeover promises to be a good thing but remember when Moshiri and his crew first showed interest we all thought at last we may get some decent progress with the quality of the squad etc.

It didn't happen and despite a succession of big name managers we are still in a lowly position as far as the Prem. is concerned.

Surviving by the skin of their teeth last season may have been the wake up call they needed and winning three of the last four games certainly gives rise to some optimism as far as the on field exploits are concerned but that Luton result is a reminder what this team can still do to disappoint us.

Forgetting the league cup for the moment I think we have to hope that the next Prem. game is of paramount importance not just because it is RS but because we all want to see some confidence in the players that will get a result.

The defense is still not quite right especially at the full back positions which you know RS will try to exploit with their speedy offence.

Tarks is quite solid but Branthwaite is still a little raw and rash at times. Still, we have to go with what we have and we need to see that competitive spark across the midfield to do well at Analfield.

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