Frosty wind made moan, 
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone
……

With the exceptional uplift in results of recent weeks, it is tempting to believe that the huge difficulties facing Everton may be reducing in severity, a thawing, even green shoots appearing. Coupled with the continued progress of the new stadium and the supposed acquisition of Everton by 777 Partners, then there’s a case at least, presented by some, for increased optimism.

The reality though is still somewhat different. Whilst clearly Sean Dyche and our playing squad have found sufficient form, levels of performance and results to calm immediate fears of relegation (even with the unjust 10-point penalty imposed by the Premier League Commission, subject to appeal), matters off the pitch have slowed, almost ground to a halt.

On 15 September, Everton and 777 Partners announced an agreement for 777 Partners to acquire Farhad Moshiri’s 94.1% holding in Everton Football Club. A transaction which requires the approval of the Premier League and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. The transaction was “expected to close in the 4th quarter of 2023”. A week before the effective end of the business year and there’s no sign of closure – even the most optimistic of reports suggest mid-January 2024 at the earliest.

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Why was Moshiri selling and what state does he leave the club in?

To put it bluntly, the cost of keeping Everton in business (let alone compliant or competitive), the cost of the new stadium, the changing economic and geo-political environment has proved too much even for a man of Moshiri’s means.

By the end of the last accounting period, Moshiri had sunk £750 million into the club, comprising £300 million of equity and £450 million of shareholder loans. Since then, Moshiri provided another £50 million earlier in the financial year 2022-23 and a further £20 million alongside MSP’s limited partners funding in May 2023. A total of £820 million by Moshiri.

Yet because of the accumulated losses arising from wild spending (particularly in the early years), the below-budget performance on the pitch, Covid (to be fair), moribund commercial performance, much higher than expected stadium costs, and a huge increase in interest costs, even this level of investment failed to keep Everton from their increased reliance on external funding.

As a result, at the end of 2023, Everton have approximate borrowings of £200 million to Rights & Media Funding (at base rate plus 5% per annum), £140 million to MSP and their limited partners, £20 million to Metro Bank (Everton’s bankers) plus emergency funding of £100 million from 777 Partners – working capital provided monthly to meet the difference between income, operating costs and payments to the stadium main contractor, Laing O’Rourke.

That’s £460 million outstanding with commercial rates of interest being charged.

In addition, there’s a further £150 million to be found to complete payments to Laing O’Rouke. Maintaining the payment schedule with Laing O’Rourke is critical. Defaulting on the existing contract is highly punitive.

Adding Moshiri’s £500 million of shareholder loans, the outstanding payments to Laing O’Rourke, and existing borrowings, we have a total in excess of £1.1 billion.

The reality, of course, is that Moshiri’s shareholder loans will never be repaid – they will be written off to zero, possibly assisted by a nil paid for, capital increase and immediate capital reduction by a new owner – the accordion trick, (as per Standard Liege within the 777 portfolio). Nevertheless, a new owner will likely have to refinance £600 million of debt and outstanding future liabilities. This excludes trade creditor balances (players we have bought but not yet paid for minus players we have sold but not yet fully received funds for).

The question a new owner has to ask – does the business warrant that level of expenditure (or even a proportion of it if we want to carry debt) before considering future working capital requirements – cash flow and investment in new players and staff.

Realistically new owners face financing of £700 million plus (£600 million in the case of 777 Partners who have already contributed £100 million). This assumes all of Moshiri’s loans are written off to zero and he receives nothing for his equity – ie, he literally hands over the keys (share certificates in this case) and walks away, more than £900 million poorer as a result of his ownership of Everton.

So what are Everton’s options?

(i) 777 Partners – their successful acquisition and future ownership depends on two main points – Do they get approval from the Premier League and the Financial Conduct Authority? and secondly, Do they have the funding to meet the requirements stated above?

There’s been huge amounts written about 777 Partners in recent months. Their decision to try and acquire a Premier League football club has brought unprecedented (for them) scrutiny. Scrutiny of their partnership, their portfolio businesses and in particular their sources of capital. In the public domain it is evident that they have relied heavily on their re-insurance companies’ balance sheet plus other re-insurers to acquire and fund their varied strands of business – from airlines, aviation financing, fintech and most recently football clubs. It is also evident that many of these lines of business and their underlying portfolio companies continue to lose money – requiring additional funding from their parent company (777 Partners) and their funding partners.

Their football businesses continue to lose money. Project Echo – the presentation created between 777 Partners and Tifosy Capital and offered to professional investors to potentially raise capital for football acquisitions suggests aggregate annual losses of €180 – 200 million on turnover of €750 million (including Everton) – this after player trading, one of the key “benefits” of the 777 multiclub model. Incidentally, let's not forget that the flat multiclub model preferred by 777 has no serious advocates anywhere else in the multi-club universe.

The nominal football holding company, Nutmeg Acquisitions LLC, based on most recent available figures, does not have the resources to fund existing losses and acquire Everton Football Club. It seems that 777 will have to rely on external sources of funding for such an acquisition – especially given that 777 Re – the Bermuda-based re-insurance company (and already provider of over US$ 100 million to Nutmeg) has a stated business plan to divest associated party investments following concerns and potentially further down gradings by an external ratings agency AM Best.

As a result of reported probes by US law enforcement agencies and regulators (Department of Justice, SEC and others), the spotlight on their funding, the underlying performance of their partnership and its portfolio of businesses, let alone the football specific/sport specific question marks over ability to pay, meet agreed cash injections, performance etc, what might have appeared some months ago to all at 777 Partners to be a routine regulatory process has turned into a major issue. The strengthened fit and proper owners test, the greater scrutiny of souce and quantum of funds, and the Premier League’s perilous regulatory position, political pressure and reputation have made their (777’s) position far less certain. I will state again it is my firm opinion that they will not get the required approvals for the reasons I have stated often. This view is strengthened by the much more difficult fund-raising environment for 777 and the continued deterioration in Everton’s finances and therefore attractiveness to investors.

(ii) If not 777 Partners then who?

As is apparent from much that I have written, not only recently but for a considerable period of time, Everton’s financial difficulties and future requirements have reduced the number of potential suitors. This has been added to by Moshiri’s seemingly unwillingness to engage directly with potential suitors. Furthermore, the club has been promoted for sale by Deloitte on Moshiri’s behalf. Despite enormous interest from US investors and sovereign wealth funds (for example) in football clubs generally, none appear to have been attracted to Everton with its current problems including specifically its regulatory issues, debt position and future capital requirements.

777 aside, I am aware of (and have discussed with regularly) potential investors who have looked at and keep a watching brief on developments at Everton. However, none have produced or got near to an offer that meets the requirements of both Farhad Moshiri and importantly, that of the main creditors. This was particularly relevant when Moshiri sought a partial sale as against his now preferred option of a full disposal.

Is it now the case that the acquisition cost of Everton, meeting the requirements of existing creditors, the future capex of stadium completion and investment in the football side no longer adds up? Even with a new stadium, increased matchday revenues, sponsorship revenues etc, the burden and the cost of the required capital may just be too much to warrant a purchase? Throw in the still uncertain Premier League tenure (albeit that’s wained a little now) and perhaps Everton are too high a risk on the basis of fully repaying debt and future losses and capex?

(iii) If (i) or (ii) doesn’t occur – what happens then?

777 Partners have already indicated their unwillingness to continue funding Everton beyond January – so what happens?

There are options (not necessarily supported by and liked by every party) – (a) Everton sell assets in the transfer window; (b) Existing creditors extend support; (c) existing creditors agree to take some of the pain, debt is restructured and Everton given the opportunity to trade out of difficulties – that means a haircut (see below); (d) administration

The first option (a) of selling players would be hated by the fans, the manager and possibly the players themselves. Expensive, counter-productive – but the easiest option in the short term, as long as long-term consequences are ignored.

(b) Existing creditors extend their credit facilities – I really cannot see that happening.

(c) There’s an expression in investing circles called “taking a haircut” – that means accepting less than a dollar for a dollar, ie, agreeing that the club owes you less than you lent it, extending the term of the credit and/or possibly forgoing interest in the hope of getting capital back.

(d) Administration – handing the company over to insolvency experts whose sole purpose is to maximise the return to creditors (those owed money). They’d try and keep the company running if that maximises the prospect of a return to creditors. From a footballing perspective – an immediate 9-point penalty.

It seems to me – and I am willing to be challenged on any of these points…. In the absence of Moshiri funding us further (not happening); in the case that 777 Partners do not get approval (likely); in the case that creditors do not act uncharacteristically generously (even with player asset disposals) (unlikely); the only option is administration.

One might argue that there comes a point (and that might be very soon) that the directors (such as they are but still with legal obligations) have no choice.

What does it mean? 9-point penalty – possible/probable relegation (perhaps dependent on appeal outcome for the 10-point penalty).

The sale of marketable assets – players – Pickford, Branthwaite, Onana, Calvert-Lewin?

The sale of an almost complete but not fully paid for stadium. Everton become tenants, not owners – strip out emotion and that’s not a completely bad idea as long as the club benefits from the increased income above the rental cost).

The point of the 1800 words above is that there is no easy, pain-free solution – we are the subjects of years of mismanagement – pre-Moshiri, during Moshiri – but critically let’s not be penalised post-Moshiri.

The people to take the pain (as with the Premier League Commission – same logic) are not the fans, not the players or the current manager. The people to take the pain are the existing major shareholder (Moshiri) and those institutions that supported him with a profit motive – the lenders. Moshiri is guaranteed a monumental loss but we should shed no tears if Rights & Media Funding take a loss, if Metro Bank (guaranteed by the Government) take a loss, if 777 take a loss – their motive was to enable a speculative, cheap acquisition of a distressed asset. Even MSP, who are unlikely to lose given their security arrangements, had a profit motive.

We, the fans, have to look after our asset, our football club. We can align with investors with similar motives and should do so, but as described above, our interest is our football club, not the shareholders or third parties.

Whatever happens, and I think I’ve covered the options, there’s pain. We, fans have suffered pain for much of Moshiri’s tenure, we are not escaping pain-free, every Evertonian already knows that – but neither should the other parties. No parties, such as 777 Partners (no matter how unlikely) who seek to take advantage of the idiotic and poor management of those custodians (owners) before us.

Those responsible – Moshiri, and those who supported him with a profit motive – have to take the pain; it was their misjudgment, theirs alone.

As fans, we do our part

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd,
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part.


Reader Comments (49)

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Barry Hesketh
1 Posted 15/12/2023 at 19:55:00
Merry Christmas to you too, Paul! Bah! Humbug!

I'm switching off the telly and all of the lights and I'm hibernating until the spring!

Graham Fylde
2 Posted 15/12/2023 at 19:58:32
Thanks for a comprehensive overview, Paul.

The options you outline and certainly the prospect of going into and out of administration are, I believe, exactly what we are looking at.

Given that the 777 loans will turn into equity, if their takeover is successful, it's clear why they have a time-limit on supporting EFC in the current manner – there is no further equity to loan against.

As we stand, nobody's interests align including the approval process for the takeover where the Premier League will simply add to the evidence against self-regulation if they approve 777 Partnerss and it goes wrong.

Jerome Shields
3 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:21:48
Informed and pretty bleak assessment. I thought that there where other suitors.

Why was the MSP option not taken? I understand that Rights & Media Funding objected to their takeover. They seemed like a better prospect than 777 Partners.

Moshiri does not seem to have got his ducks in a row financially at any stage. Even the Kenyon Group buyout looked better. Makes me think that it is not Moshiri's decision, even now.

John Keating
4 Posted 15/12/2023 at 20:32:21
All the more important we win, win, win. Get the points so the 9-point deduction doesn't put us in the Bottom 3.
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 15/12/2023 at 21:03:52
There is only one man who is somehow connected to Everton who is prepared to make those kind of losses, Jerome, and I doubt it would be Farhad Moshiri.

Bleak, Paul, very bleak, with the next few weeks feeling that they could become the bleakest in our entire history, and definitely our lifetimes, but I still have a little bit of belief that we will come out the other side.

I keep posting the same thing on this website about there being American Investors waiting in the wings, and when they were inexplicably turned down in favour of 777 Partners not so long ago, I heard they were absolutely flabbergasted.

I heard that the cost of purchasing Everton was going to stand them around £1.1 Billion, and they had the funds in place, which probably explains why they were flabbergasted! We will soon find out, but after reading this very sobering piece, it's very worrying.

Don Alexander
6 Posted 15/12/2023 at 23:13:12
Once again, I applaud The Esk for analysis of what is today and in years to come all very likely to be our fate, soon to push us even further down the Premier League pecking order.

Yes, I know he has few Everton-certified facts (but who actually has?) upon which to opine – but just how so many of us still somehow want to move on from the calamity right now engulfing our potential existence in favour of events on the pitch amazes me.

I like the song entitling his piece so, if you are indulgent towards me, dear Toffees, please allow my take on just some of our predicaments by bowdlerising a great song:-

"There must be some kind of way outta here!"
Says the joker to the (Russian) thief
"There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief

Business men, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None will level on the line
Since Kenwright gave his word!"
Hey, hey

"No reason to get excited"
The thief, he kindly spoke
"There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke

But, uh, but you and I, we've been through that
And this is not your fate.... yet!
So let us stop talkin' falsely now
But the hour is truly getting late
Hey, hey!"

And all along the stadium edge
Its Princes kept the club in view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too

While outside in the cold distance
greedy wildcats did growl
Two 777 riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl, hey!

All along the watchtower
All along the watchtower!

Brendan McLaughlin
7 Posted 15/12/2023 at 23:44:48
Don #6,

I think Evertonians can recognise progress on the pitch whilst at the same time acknowledging financial concerns.

We aren't completely thick.

I'd really like to see the post(s) that prompted your contribution.

Great song choice.

Dale Self
9 Posted 16/12/2023 at 00:15:05
I think Paul Hewitt told me ‘steady on' when I said it earlier. I will say it again.

Take 19 fucking points then. We still stay up. Take that!

Paul Kossoff
10 Posted 16/12/2023 at 00:34:05
Don 6. Funnily enough another great Hendrix song is also apt to our situation, The Wind Cries Mary:

After all the jacks are in their boxes
And the clowns have all gone to bed
You can hear happiness
Staggering on down the street
Footprints dressed in red

And the wind whispers
"Mary"

A broom is drearily sweeping
Up the broken pieces
Of yesterday's life
Somewhere, a queen is weeping
Somewhere
A king has no wife

And the wind, it cries
"Mary"

The traffic lights, they turn blue tomorrow
And shine their emptiness down on my bed
The tiny island sags downstream
'Cause the life that lived is dead

And the wind screams
"Mary"

Will the wind ever remember
The names it has blown in the past?
And with this crutch
Its old age and its wisdom
It whispers, "No, this will be the last"

And the wind cries
"Mary"

Andrew Keatley
11 Posted 16/12/2023 at 01:26:36
Dale (9),

The problem with accepting administration is that it doesn't immediately eradicate any problems, it just places the club in the control of accounting people who are tasked with making fiscally responsible decisions that will hopefully see us through to less choppy financial waters.

But the deduction of a further 9 points for entering administration is going to be hard to overcome this season (especially if the existing 10-point deduction is upheld), and a team of administrators are going to struggle to gain equilibrium for us quickly without making decisions that could make things much harder for us in terms of rebuilding.

And the basic truth (or so I am led to believe) is that a team of administrators are not looking at the long-term health of the club; effectively, they have a short-term objective, which is to return the club to solvency.

If administrators took over before the transfer window, then they would probably look to offload some of our biggest assets – Branthwaite, Calvert-Lewin, Onana, Pickford – to the highest bidders.

They might choose to sell other assets – be that the new stadium, or naming rights to the new stadium – which might get us out of our current financial hole but could potentially damage the club long-term by making it a less appealing proposition in terms of a future sale and future revenue possibilities.

I do not pertain to be an expert in any of this, so I may be wrong, but I'd be very surprised to see the club enter administration before the end of January. The state of our squad at the end of the transfer window – as well as the look of the Premier League table – will hopefully give us a better indication of our likelihood of being able to be a Premier League club next season – 9-point penalty or not.

Jay Harris
12 Posted 16/12/2023 at 01:47:47
Hear ye, Hear ye, the end is nigh.

I don't think so.

There is so much future value in the Premier League and the new stadium that investors will be lining up and stadium naming rights will generate quite a lump of income.

The only thing we have to ensure is that we stay up.

I can't honestly see Moshiri or Usmanov allowing their legacy to be liquidated and the chancers from Miami see a golden opportunity.

I know Paul doesn't want them but at least they will put competent boots on the ground — which is more than you can say for Dumb and Dumber.

Christine Foster
13 Posted 16/12/2023 at 01:56:13
I think actually there is another option that's not even being considered. Moshiri doesn't sell. He funds the project by selling 40% of his shares to cover debt or runnings costs, restructures debt and sells some of the better players to raise funds; in short, he needs to survive until we enter BMD. Another full season.

That has to be explored as an option because, as it stands, he really has nothing more to lose, and once in situ, the restructuring of debt or sale of the stadium can recover a significant part of his losses.
He is in so deep baling out might kill him and us.

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 16/12/2023 at 06:10:51
Moshiri is a possibility to get some return of investment.

I can't for one minute think that the club will be allowed to go into administration, although never say never.

I personally think 777 Partners are playing hard ball to push this through. Their Sporting Director, Johannes Spors was recently at Finch Farm. He has given an interview and it was interesting reading his words.

I'm not going to dive into the financials, but calling Everton the missing link in their sporting group was an interesting statement.

Maybe I'm overthinking, but I can see a sort of feeder club type relationship if this comes off. Standard Liege, Red Star, Genoa and Hertha Berlin. Players being exchanged or loaned? Just a thought. If I recall, I think Watford did it with Uninese a few years back.

I'm also intrigued by the continued presence of MSP having loaned £140M.

I suppose there are others in the shadows.

Jimmy Carr
15 Posted 16/12/2023 at 07:13:41
Regardless of The Esk's analysis – much of which is excellent – his opinion is that the 777 deal won't go through, which then leads to administration.

It's just his opinion. I believe the deal will go through because politically there's a bigger picture at play here.

Paul Hewitt
16 Posted 16/12/2023 at 07:32:08
Wouldn't surprise me if the new owners where announced soon. And it's not 777 Partners.
Mike Hayes
17 Posted 16/12/2023 at 07:45:31
Thank you, Boys Pen Bill – that's another fine mess you've got us into! 🙄🤷💙
John Keating
18 Posted 16/12/2023 at 08:13:26
Rangers went into administration and were allowed back into the third division in Scotland. Successive promotions got them back, with the smaller clubs making a few bob as they passed through the leagues .If Rangers can do it, so could we if we had too.

Obviously we would lose almost all our players, but as Rangers did, employ slightly better players than those within the league they were in. The supporters will always turn up regardless of the opposition or league.

Administration or not, Everton will survive.

Donal Armani
19 Posted 16/12/2023 at 08:26:24
£1.1B debt outstanding certainly sounds scary, but there is a shiny new £750M asset to part-offset and raise cheaper long-term funding from via CMBS (Collateralised Mortgage Backed Security).

Also, fresh £500M equity infusion can sweep away all other debts (if Moshiri accepts full equity write-down and contents himself with getting stadium loans repaid)…

Darkest hour before the dawn and all that

David Bromwell
22 Posted 16/12/2023 at 09:14:41
Thank you once again, Paul. Whilst it is clear that you are simply expressing your own views, it's very difficult to put together any counter arguments which provide a better financial picture. And it seems to me that, as so often happens, when individuals or companies get into financial trouble, they continue to stumble into an ever-deepening spiral of debt and despair for all those associated with them.

As a supporter for over 70 years, I find all this difficult to cope with and I feel sure it will eventually affect morale within the club staff and players. It seems that, throughout Moshiri's tenure, we have simply stumbled from one disaster to another, and even now we are continuing in the same manner.

Clearly we are all hoping that some miracle will happen. A new owner, with deep pockets and a sound business plan is probably on the Christmas list of 50,000 plus supporters.

On the immediate agenda we have, the 10-point appeal to contend with, the prospect of the dubious 777 Partners becoming our new owners, or the Club going into administration. All too much for me.

But importantly we cannot close our eyes and ears on what confronts our once-proud club, and your articles, Paul, continue to spell out the harsh reality of our situation. Please continue with your good work, it is important that we supporters understand what a mountain of debt the club is facing, thank you.

Jerome Shields
24 Posted 16/12/2023 at 10:52:27
Tony#5

There is definitely something not right about this whole scenario. Moshiri appears not to be the decision maker and the Everton Board is pretty irrelevant.I also have questions regarding Rights and Media funding.The ultimate beneficiaries of that group are very shrewd operators.MSP and 777 Partners are providers of loans at this stage, but these are not the main loans.The takeover of these main loans is not wholely Moshiri's decision.He ultimately will have to forego his interest.His backers may be prepared to forgo their value, but not the interest they represent in the Club.It as if there are attempts by parties to maintain a interest, whilst appearing to try to gain a interest.

The whole thing is not straight forward. You can look at accounts day and night, but ultimately one party actually knows where things are going.

The initial takeover of Everton was not about a football club, but a investment vehicle.The monies being used was probably seeking legitimacy ( Government action goes part of the way to confirming this), this is now in the form of largely secured loans and interests parties with what appears legitimate funds, though their sources could be questionable,and as yet are unconfirmed. Moshiri interests are in voting rights, rather than the value of his holdings, which are made up of loans he made to the Club. Monies again that could be seeking legitimacy.

Some may say that this is a risk doomed to failure, but their are parties involved who will not accept losses in the value of their interests and will continue to support, until a solution arises. They are not going to be picking over any corpses.

Donal#13 post may be ultimately the right interpretation and answer your question regarding other real interested parties.

Jerome Shields
25 Posted 16/12/2023 at 12:02:16
Correction

Sorry, Donal#19 post.

Barry Cowling
26 Posted 16/12/2023 at 12:40:35
interesting insight again Paul. I am a bit surprised why you are so quick to write off option, b, (creditors extending their loans), this is very common in business and something I would expect to happen as they could just extend the length of the loans, obviously at slightly higher interest. Even though this would not be enough presumably to make an enormous difference. But another option is Moshiri does not completely sell up, if he is going to take such a hit anyway he may, as way of getting 777 into bed, or any other, sell a % and give them overall running of the club but with him as major shareholder, more in name than anything else,therefore not needing PL consent. Also I would expect in these circumstances that when built the stadium is sold and leased back, many suitors for that I think, Mike Ashley, saudi's, USA pension funds etc. So I would be very surprised if we went into administration as it helps no one,
Graham Fylde
27 Posted 16/12/2023 at 13:23:47
Just a point regarding the idea Moshiri sells a % of his shares to raise money for operational costs/debts - that is what he is already doing.

The current 777 'loans' will be turned into equity i.e. they are, ultimately, payments for Moshiri's shares. I suspect the reason we are hearing that 777 will not fund any more loans beyond January is that Moshiri will have used up all his saleable equity by then (£100m?) and is at what Paul calls the 'hand over the keys' stage.

The missing link in this arrangement is that the PL (and others) have to give permission for 777 to become owners under their beefed-up test and they appear to be taking their time. If 777 are denied, our hope is that somebody puts together a rescue purchase but that involves supporting the club while they too go through the owners test.

Whichever way it goes, we need that decision sooner rather than later. And god forbid we enter administration and it coincides with a transfer window cos that would be messy.

Mo Guindi
28 Posted 16/12/2023 at 13:34:59
I think the answer is to arrange a fan based buyout of the club with a few heavy hitters - Sly Stallone, Big Tony to headline? I’d chip in a few quid
Mark Murphy
29 Posted 16/12/2023 at 13:59:17
Some people fixating on our debts should consider this.
ALL the clubs in the premier (except strangely Chelsea) have debts. Most (Everton are 15th in the table) have more debts than us. Villa, Wolves, Palace and Watford are amongst clubs with more debts than us.
James Hughes
30 Posted 16/12/2023 at 14:24:30
Mo, I think you will find Tony Bellow is skint, that is why he went on 'I'm a celebrity'
He said he was living fight to fight
Mo Guindi
31 Posted 16/12/2023 at 14:31:16
Oh well - guess we can ask Qatar if they’re interested! May be I don’t understand how it works but why don’t we have more fan based ownership as you get in Spain and Germany ?
Graham Fylde
32 Posted 16/12/2023 at 15:10:35
Mark #29 - I agree there's nothing wrong with debt per se. In financial circles its often said that, when financing, debt is cheaper than equity for instance.

Our problem is more to do with servicing the debt we have. I'll leave you to work out where we are in that league!

Phil Friedman
33 Posted 16/12/2023 at 15:40:32
Administration is the worst possible outcome…the points deduction leads to relegation AND the administrators sell off the best players, dooming us to wander the lower leagues for decades.

The least bad option, to me, is to sell the stadium and get a decently lucrative lease. They did it with Finch Farm, and that seems to work fine. The other options are too grim to seriously consider.

Eric Myles
34 Posted 16/12/2023 at 15:44:00
"Those responsible – Moshiri, and those who supported him with a profit motive – have to take the pain"

But Chairman Bill is no longer with us!

Colin Glassar
35 Posted 16/12/2023 at 20:41:23
I’m taking the ostrich approach to our off-field problems. As long as we keep on winning I’ll try and keep the negativity out of my mind.
Jim Wilson
36 Posted 16/12/2023 at 00:03:10
So basically the Premier League, who have masterminded our 10-point deduction, can now decide whether 777 Partners can take over Everton or whether Everton go into administration and suffer a further 9-point deduction.

It is now beyond the absurd. I know the Premier League's answer right now and it is nothing to do with whether 777 Partners are suitable or not!

Selling the ground is where this shitshow is going.

Everton might handle a 9-point deduction for going into administration so give them a 10-point deduction first.

The Premier League put it out there a year ago that Everton would suffer a points deduction to get everyone talking about it and make it the norm. Then they let it be known that it would be a 'big' points deduction, via The Telegraph, to again get everyone used to it.

A neutral body would never have given Everton a 10-point deduction for a small offence and now we are expected to think that knocking back 777 Partners, which puts us into administration or having to sell our best players or our new ground, is looking after us. Do me a favour! It stinks!!!

Brendan McLaughlin
37 Posted 17/12/2023 at 00:42:06
Jim #36,

To be fair, if we hadn't breached the rules, the Premier League could not have touched us with a 10-foot barge pole.

Have to think the blame lies closer to home... surely?

Barry Rathbone
38 Posted 17/12/2023 at 01:30:07
Could get used to this winning lark although a bit concerned some are talking about silverware whilst Liverpool are still in the cups.

Till someone drives a stake through their collective black heart, such talk should be verboten.

Sam Hoare
39 Posted 17/12/2023 at 10:06:51
Bit of a comedown reading this after yesterdays fine win. But obviously the terrible way the club has been run over the last few years was always gonna come back to bite us. Hard to believe that the running costs were allowed to spiral out of control to such an extent. The amount of money and wages spent on players who left the club for nothing borders on criminal negligence.

However I’m an optimist and like others find it hard to believe the club would fall into administration whilst it still has a fair few valuable commodities.

I still think we may well end up with 777 as owners which does not seem the ideal option but it’s hard to believe they would run the ship as poorly as Moshiri et al.

The dream scenario of a late bid by Everton loving billionaires seems very unlikely but Christmas is a time for fantasy so who knows?! Anyone predicting four wins and four clean sheets in a row after United would have been called a dreamer too!

Whatever happens it seems inevitable that sadly we will have to sell off some of the best players to balance the books. Picking the right time to make these sales is crucial and I can see Onana and Branthwaite both being sold for a combined £150m+ if we get it right. The key will be trying to find affordable young players with potential to replace them. Happily Dyche is building a team where (as we saw yesterday) new or fringe players can come in and perform well due to team unity and a clear plan. Fingers crossed our new competence on the pitch will help eventually transition to a matching competence off the pitch.

Brian Williams
40 Posted 17/12/2023 at 10:51:29
Hey Paul. May I suggest a holiday?

Just warn the locals before you go coz otherwise their suicide rate'll rocket! ;-)

Or maybe spend a couple hours with Danny O and see the bright side of being an Evertonian once in a while.

Peter Gorman
41 Posted 17/12/2023 at 12:07:37
Moshiri this and Moshiri that - he cannot put more money into the club because it never was his money in the first place.

Usmanov is under sanction and probably looking to safely extract every pound and dollar possible from the antagonist West.

There is really only one man who is responsible for this death hanging over us - Vladimir Putin.

Kevin Molloy
42 Posted 17/12/2023 at 13:43:22
It's the sheer unpredictability of football that keeps us coming back. From not having a pot over the summer, to now having three players in Calvert-Lewin, Onana and Branthwaite with a combined worth of around £200M.

In just a few months. we may be forced to sell all three, but it may just keep the club in business til we get to the new stadium… who knows?

My word, we chose well with Dyche though, the rescue job he's done on the club is just quite remarkable.

Peter Mills
43 Posted 17/12/2023 at 14:12:32
I can't help thinking that the attraction of 777 Partners for Mr Moshiri (and Mr Usmanov?) may be that 777 are familiar with the more “creative” ways of moving money around.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
44 Posted 17/12/2023 at 17:28:20
Do we think 777 Partners are in this for the next 20 years?

777 are in this to improve the value of the club and then sell it on to someone else and make a profit. So, if they can increase the value of the "brand" each year by more than the loss they have to finance, they will be happy – providing they can get access to the funds to finance that loss.

Then in 5 or 6 years time, when Everton are worth a lot more (new stadium, less unprofitable) we will be put up for sale again.

I got bored with Paul's piece so did he say that anywhere? And if not, I worry about his analysis.

Simon Harrison
45 Posted 17/12/2023 at 17:57:13
Phil [44],

Personally, I think that 777 want to add Everton FC to their current Multi-Club Model, to try and add value to that as a saleable package. So they could sell the package and try and turn a profit.

In reality how that would work I've no idea, as Paul's article states;

"Their football businesses continue to lose money. Project Echo – the presentation created between 777 Partners and Tifosy Capital and offered to professional investors to potentially raise capital for football acquisitions suggests aggregate annual losses of €180 – 200 million on turnover of €750 million (including Everton) – this after player trading, one of the key “benefits” of the 777 multiclub model.

Incidentally, let's not forget that the flat multiclub model preferred by 777 has no serious advocates anywhere else in the multi-club universe."

Either 777 Partners have plans and a strategic pathway that no-one other than them is aware of, or they are worse businessmen (speculators) than Moshiri? It that is at all possible?

Just my ten-penny worth; but without being privy to any of the internal oversight or decisions, it is all mere assumption and speculation.

Last comment, 20 years my arse! 2 years is a stretch to my mind.

Simon Harrison
46 Posted 17/12/2023 at 18:32:37
Hi Paul,

I hope that you and yours are healthy and happy; and that you in particular are nearing a full and complete recovery from your recent ailments?

Thank you for this excellent piece you've written. Which unfortunately paints a realistic (if thoroughly pessimistic and depressing) picture of where Everton Football Club is currently at in terms of the club's financial position.

However, you have my thanks for doing so: it is a very easy-to-follow piece that just highlights the club's current financial predicament.

I think, until we get to January 2024, everything is going to be in flux regards the Club. Only by around 31 January will we get a true idea of where the club stands. Unless of course, there are quicker developments regarding the current situation, eg, 777 Partners LLC getting approval, or being refused.

Until then, everything is mere conjecture, speculation and hypothesis. Of course, other than those pertinent facts as presented by yourself here.

Regarding footballing matters (Are we still a football club?)

Yes, we are currently on a good run, and we now have the hugely, to me at least, important Carabao/League Cup game against Fulham.

A competition the club has failed to win during its entire existence!? Which I'm sure the fans are desperate for a win on Tuesday night.

Then, we have those four tough games where we could treadwater on 16 points, with those being against Spurs (A), City (H) and Wolves (A). Then it's Palace in the cup (Away unfortunately!) and then the Villains at home. (Unless we progress in the League Cup, then it's opposition TBA in-between I believe?)

During the period of waiting for any decision on whether the take-over gets approval or not; there are a lot of games to play with a very thin squad, and in a relatively short period of time.

Hopefully, despite the club's parlous (perilous?) financial position, we can hope that a fresh face or two can be brought into the team; and again hopefully, not disrupt the team ethic and spirit that is being shown currently. As demonstrated by our recent performances.

I just have one question to ask please, Paul. I hope you don't mind?

If we, Everton FC, went into Administration, and regardless of the circumstances, we were relegated, would the club be able to survive in its 'current' form? Or, would the club genuinely face the possibility of liquidation because of the financial situation the club has made for itself?

Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 17/12/2023 at 21:54:55
Let's drive a stake through their vantablack hearts then Barry R!

I was talking to a lad before and he mentioned how good the Evertonians were at Sunderland in an FA Cup quarter-final replay. I told him I was there, and I told him it might be a bold shout of mine, but it was arguably the greatest performance I have ever seen by the travelling blue army that night.

Not long after this game, Sunderland started putting away supporters up in the heavens of the Stadium of Light, and it was probably because of the backing that our supporters gave the team from behind the goal that night.

I think the fans were celebrating even more than usual because we knew we had Liverpool at Wembley, so if we get them at Wembley again, I'm going to convince Sean Dyche that it's time we drove a stake through the heart of the bitterest vantablack bastards in the world!

Jim Wilson
48 Posted 18/12/2023 at 12:37:04
Well said Tony @ 47, I will second that!

With regard to 777 Partners. It is obvious that Moshiri is now desperate to sell Everton which means he will sell the club to anyone now.

So this situation may mean the 777 takeover will be the best available which I think the Premier League should take into account.

We could end up with a situation where the Premier League knock back 777 Partners and then allow a less suitable person or persons to takeover the club.

So, if 777 Partners prove they have the finance to ensure there is no going into administration, shouldn't they be allowed to proceed? The best of Hobson's Choice!

Barry Rathbone
49 Posted 18/12/2023 at 14:13:44
Tony @47,

Only 2 English clubs are consistently not arsed about the shite and unfortunately we're not one of them.

I struggle to think of a single big match we've won against Liverpool since Labone got injured in that '70s cup tie.

We've had few mid-tournament wins but, when it gets serious (semis etc), the facts show the surest way of losing money is to bet on us winning.

(The 2 clubs are Man Utd and Arsenal.)

Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 18/12/2023 at 19:25:25
Speak for yourself, Barry, mate, but please don't speak for me because I would definitely play them every single week and will not rest until I've seen that stake driven right through those vantablack hearts.

I believe my joy will be ten-folded because my belief is that they won't be able to handle it, and suddenly we will see that they are definitely just as bitter as us Evertonians.

Barry Rathbone
51 Posted 19/12/2023 at 17:47:18
Tony 50

Your "ten fold" joy sorta makes my point. Would you feel that way beating the likes of Brentford?

Stephen Davies
52 Posted 21/12/2023 at 20:29:37
So, on the day that the Belgian FA confirm that 777 Partners at Standard Liege are under a Transfer embargo, we have this about their Brazilian Club Vasco de Gama:

What Everton fans should know about 777 Partners’ ownership of Vasco da Gama

Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 21/12/2023 at 20:51:26
You got your wish, Barry, let Fulham play Liverpool rather than Everton play Liverpool, but my tenfold joy definitely doesn't sorta make your point mate. Read it again and you might understand why I am desperate to beat Liverpool in a big game so much.

Your point was that you are scared of Liverpool, my point was that if and when we finally beat them in a big game, I don't believe a lot of those self-superior Liverpudlians would be able to handle it. These are two completely different points.


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