The startling submission, accusations and evidence submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, by UK-based Leadenhall Capital (and others) against Josh Wander, Steve Pasko, Kenneth King, 777 Partners, A-Cap (and others) on the 3 May 2024 provide perhaps the most compelling evidence yet of what many, including myself, have suspected.

Namely, that 777 Partners and A-Cap, in their various forms and through the actions of their principals, Wander, King and Pasko, are less than the sum of their parts. Months of research provides mountains of fact-based evidence of questionable business practices, the most bizarre of financing arrangements, and a huge inter-dependency between King and Wander in particular, to keep their failing enterprises functioning.

The submitted Court papers are available here: Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP (& others) v Wander, Pasko, King, 777 Partners A-Cap (& others)

What started as a desire to understand the would-be owners of Everton Football Club has grown into a multiple media, regulatory — and more — examination, initially of their multi-club model and its finances, to one that includes airlines, aircraft leasing, institutional lending and investing plus, perhaps most sadly, the future security of clients of several insurers and re-insurers in the United States and Bermuda particularly.

Article continues below video content

The significance of this funding model, business practices and seeming regulatory ignorance will reshape the US insurance market and its relationship with private equity and offshore re-insurers. Closer to home, from football’s perspective, it will shine light on many other private equity-funded football acquisitions and the growth (abuse?) of the multi-club model.

Everton’s non-response

Despite the huge significance of the above, a significance which grows with each passing news article, Moshiri, and de facto, Everton, have remained tight-lipped.

Throughout this huge piece of work undertaken by football fans, journalists, regulators and now the US Courts, there has remained a small number of constants. From an Everton perspective, they are Moshiri’s insistence that 777 Partners collectively remain suitable and appropriate purchasers of his shares, and Everton Football Club’s continued silence regarding the takeover, the impact the delay has had on the club, and the alternative strategies or choices when the 777 bid ultimately fails.

For Evertonians, this is the really important topic. Our seemingly non-functioning board provides no reassurance to fans, stakeholders and commercial partners. Not only that but there is no justification for their choice other than the shortest of (non-evidence-backed) explanations back in September 2023.

Moshiri, as owner, has all but disappeared. He communicates sporadically with a small number of media contacts via his PR Company, trotting out the same mantra that everything will be fine. Indeed, echoing the words of Josh Wander and his PR company, never fully explaining the delays but promising a solution in the near future.

What sort of way is that to run a football club? What sort of way is that to treat fans? What sort of way is that to treat employees, commercial partners and others? How can one (Moshiri) be so contemptuous of those whose lives this impacts most of all?

What sort of person forces communications staff to feed media and fans alike a narrative that daily and with growing evidence becomes less and less credible?

What sort of person puts his manager and players through all the machinations of this season, whilst ultimately knowing his chosen solution will never come to fruition?

What sort of person forces individuals to compromise their careers and probably their own integrity whilst in the employment of Everton to cover for his 8 years of ineptness, and his greatest folly, his choice of 777 Partners?

Somebody at Everton has to burst this Moshiri-induced narrative, that the current situation will be resolved successfully, and that 777 have a viable future ahead for themselves but specifically, for Everton. That is clearly not the case. We, as a club, have to rise from this sense of denial and face the reality of the situation. We need leadership from within either to promote alternatives or accept reality.

The reality of continuing down this path is administration – 777’s failure to complete (which should have been recognised 8 months ago) and the inability to continue funding losses and capital expenditure has only one outcome unless a solution is permitted to enter.

The audited accounts pointed in the gravest manner as to the risks ahead for Everton, and that was on the basis of a successful takeover by a solvent, funded and credible acquirer, assumed to be completed in “early 2024”. That is clearly not the case, nor ever will be if 777 Partners remain in the frame.

What are the alternatives?

(i) Moshiri allows the creditors to restructure the club’s finances, form a functioning board and allow other investors to acquire a going concern;

(ii) The club enters administration as funding and perhaps creditor support ceases.

With regards to (i), this is a viable option. Without entering into details, options are available; however, it requires Moshiri to recognise this as the only viable, non-administration option. It would allow sensible debt restructuring and the introduction of the fabled investors “waiting in the wings”. It is an option though that becomes less viable and more expensive as time goes by. There has always (in my mind) been an urgency to this, that urgency has increased many times over in recent days.

777 Partners and associated parties

The civil case brought about by Leadenhall Capital has huge significance. It is, of course, a series of allegations albeit backed by evidence provided by Wander himself via recorded, verbal confessions. I do not wish to prejudice the case. In a sense, the existence of this civil case and its allegations, plus other accusations and investigations elsewhere, provide the background by which it is impossible to see 777’s survival and perhaps even that of A-Cap, the insurer, regardless.

The bringing to Court by Leadenhall of allegations of double pledging assets used as security will have every other lender to 777 Partners et al scrambling to ascertain the status of their security arrangements. The public assertion that each of 777’s assets are ultimately pledged to A-Cap renders (if wholly accurate) all other security arrangements worthless.

At best, it stops instantly all future funding; at worst, lenders will attempt to call in their loans. 777 Partners do not have the liquidity to satisfy such demands, nor do their underlying investments have ready buyers. Most investments are illiquid, under- or non-performing, and worth much less than the value booked on the balance sheets.

If, as the Court documents suggest, ultimately A-Cap hold all the security, they, by regulatory pressure at least, will be forced sellers of 777’s assets and face all the liquidity and valuation issues described above. In reality, given their current regulatory status, this decision will be taken out of the hands of Kenneth King (CEO of A-Cap) and placed in the hands of the State regulatory administrators.

It is a particularly grim scenario, particularly if as would seem likely, A-Cap’s live insurers would have to cease writing new business, there would be significant asset write-downs, and no doubt, further rating write-downs.

As is already evidenced by the administration of Bonza, the sale of its Flair shareholding, and the disposal of their airplane leasing business, AIP, to A-Cap, 777 Partners were finding it incredibly difficult to operate. It’s widely acknowledged within the football world that 777’s other football clubs are available for sale.

As has been well documented throughout, even before this crisis, 777 faced huge problems, cash negative, under- or non-performing assets, and denied access to new lending sources. Now, the scene looks even worse, and there can be no viable prospect of their business surviving (in my opinion).

What happens to Everton’s debt to 777 Partners?

Clearly, if 777 Partners or possibly A-Cap are in a default position, their administrators would look to recover from their debtors. Everton’s debt to 777 Partners ranks the least senior of the secured creditors – football creditors, MSP, Metro Bank and Rights & Media Funding all ranking above them. The prospects of full recovery are therefore slight.

What recourse 777 Partners (or their administrators) have is entirely dependent upon the various loan agreements in place. It’s a much greater problem for 777 than Everton. However, it clearly cuts off any additional funding to Everton.

Hence Everton will have to find alternatives very quickly, whether they be Moshiri, existing lenders or potential investors. The opening of the transfer window next month would (however regrettably) provide a backstop – not that we want to get to that point.

Back to Moshiri

Everton were not in a clean bill of health when acquired by Moshiri in 2016; however, it is obvious to all how much the club's circumstances have deteriorated despite the ongoing stadium build ( – if being generous).

Moshiri’s misjudgements have been colossal – in every area he has touched. None more so than his choice of 777 Partners as potential, would-be purchasers. Every Evertonian, the Fan Advisory Board, the EFCSA, local and national politicians have to make it clear that his involvement is no longer welcome, that his judgement is so unsound as to not be trusted in any future decision over the club.

An interim, genuine management board has to be put in place immediately. People experienced and versed in corporate recovery, seeing off  the threat of administration if possible, restructuring the company to sell to sensible, well-funded purchasers. Otherwise, it falls into the hands of administrators and all the pain that that brings.

There can be no more advocating for Moshiri, nor any advocating for his choice of 777 Partners. All of us, from matchgoing fans, more distant Blues, through to nationally recognised politicians, have to step in and ensure our rescue. It should have happened months ago; it didn’t, but it must now.

Reader Comments (76)

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Peter Hodgson
1 Posted 05/05/2024 at 20:59:56
Okay so most readers will accept that the Esk doesn't, and never has, liked 777 and so therefore may read this piece as him having another go at 777. That may be so but it shouldn't deflect from the essential message that the piece is shouting, as long as we look at it with our eyes very much open.

We are really in the mire if all this current act of the circus is happening. If his speculation is accurate the 777 house of cards is not going to set tumbling by the Premier League but by someone in the States. Can we withstand that happening without having a back stop in place? Unlikely.

The other question that springs to mind is, did Moshiri see (or have inside information about it) that prompted him to engage the rumoured consultants he has brought in recently? Maybe. If so, not a second too soon, but it is understandable he hasn't broadcast that, if that is the case because it is a matter of staying as many steps ahead of things as possible.

So where does that leave us? Basically still in the brown stuff but of a different sort of brown stuff than we were in before. And potentially deeper brown stuff than we have experienced before.

The Esk fails to mention that there are White Knight(s) which I understand that he has said before (I may be wrong on that point and apologise if so). So the work of the consultants, as suggested by The Esk, should therefore start immediately. No delays.

Gerry Quinn
2 Posted 05/05/2024 at 21:11:13
Don't you wish us Evertonians had mega-fortunes, Paul? So frustrating with these greedy buggers who don't really have any interest in the actual club! Was so desperate to win the US Lottery of + $1 billion last month...
Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 05/05/2024 at 21:23:28
"(i) Moshiri allows the creditors to restructure the club's finances, form a functioning board and allow other investors to acquire a going concern;"

This appears to be the portfolio of GDA Luma, the reputed new player in 777's game. Unlike 777, GDA has extensive restructuring experience -- and some serious money behind it.

Larry O'Hara
4 Posted 05/05/2024 at 21:30:17
As you say, Paul, 777 are toast….

But I do not see any White Knights.

The situation is indeed dire.

Pat Kelly
5 Posted 05/05/2024 at 21:52:42
It's all sub judice for now.

All that's been concluded in the article is that “the startling submission, accusations and evidence submitted to the United States District Court” confirms suspicion that 777 “are less than the sum of their parts”. We've had a football team that's been less than the sum of its parts for ages. A more serious finding will be required to prevent 777 from acquiring Everton.

These claims and counter claims could take a very long time to resolve. No one's goose has been cooked yet. Lawyers have to make a living. Let's not hold our breath.

Peter Hodgson
6 Posted 05/05/2024 at 22:04:30
The link in the piece, which I thoroughly recommend having a look at (but not for too long 'cos you go goggle eyed) is the court documents for the case Leadenhall has brought is 82 pages long but explains to some extent the case. The legal action, if it goes to court, will take forever and cost a fortune.

It will be complicate and too complicated for the layman. But do partially familiarise with it. It is worth it.

Link here:

Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 05/05/2024 at 22:07:29
In context, this is a long-running case that predates any involvement 777 Partners have with Everton.

Also in context, lawyers have been known to exaggerate somewhat when putting forward their arguments in an effort to persuade.

It remains to be seen what impact, if any, these claims have outside of the US District Court — and more crucially, when they will have any impact. Such a case could take months to be heard, and could drag on for months or even years.

Meanwhile, 777 Partners have provided and continue to provide the funds Everton need to carry on their day-to-day business and pay Laing O'Rourke for the ongoing construction of Moshiri's wonderful new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Just sayin’.

Peter Hodgson
8 Posted 05/05/2024 at 22:15:21
Quite correct, Michael.

But if it means that 777 are no more, then we, as things stand, are buggered too. So we should prepare for life without them.

Ed Prytherch
9 Posted 06/05/2024 at 02:45:13
The case in the NY court could drag on but in the meantime 777 Partners will be unable to access more external funds.

Regulators in Utah and South Carolina took action a few weeks ago to stop A-CAP linked companies selling policies in their states. Others will surely follow.

I cannot see 777 making any more loans to EFC. The Premier League do not have to disqualify 777 because they know that their bid for EFC is dead.

Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 06/05/2024 at 03:23:08
Ed #9, according to the Bloomberg report about GDA Luma, 777 is already accessing more external funds.
Don Alexander
11 Posted 06/05/2024 at 03:41:10
777 Partners have by now repeatedly displayed themselves to the entire world as charlatans, thus far utilising Ponzi machinations to enrich themselves to the cost of their "ordinary" investors' expectations.

A so-called genius accountant would be able to see through them in an hour, but alas, we don't have one.

BMD is irrelevant in terms of Everton Football Club's future prosperity for decades, on account of Moshiri.

He's digging us a grave in plain sight from which we are likely to perish. He is in French terms "une chatte", indulged by our very own self-serving cunt, Kenwright.

Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 06/05/2024 at 03:47:09
Anyone who can access the New York Times should read the NY Times Magazine article entitled When a Bunch of Bloody Yanks Came For English Soccer. I cannot link it here, but it's a great read, particularly in its comparison of the mess Boehly has made at Chelsea (the same Boehly who may be backing GDA Luma's move with 777) to the amazing resurrection of Villa by Edens and Sawiris.

Why would a Yank and an Egyptian buy a collapsing club in a bad Birmingham neighborhood just ahead of bankruptcy? Here's why:

It was probably inevitable that venture capitalists and hedge-fund managers would discover English soccer. The clubs, from the famous ones to those in leagues further down that have plumbers and shop clerks playing part time, enjoy support that most American teams can only envy... It doesn't hurt that they seem wildly undervalued compared with other sports investments. To take just one example, the San Diego team entering MLS next year, a league that's 30 years old, is paying a $500 million expansion fee to join; Bill Foley paid less than a third of that in 2022 to buy A.F.C. Bournemouth.

At the same time, underpriced tickets and bad food have provided a significant opportunity for economic growth — “low-hanging fruit,” as investors tended to describe it. So has the propensity of English fans to arrive moments before games and leave right after. Get them to spend more time at the stadium, like their American counterparts, and they might have a meal there. They might linger at an expanded club shop selling branded versions of everything from license-plate frames to dog beds. An N.B.A. owner once told me that a successful sports team should be a kind of mutual fund of businesses, across categories that include entertainment, digital content, apparel, hospitality, even real estate. Until recently, most English soccer clubs were in one business: staging games. And they didn't do it particularly well.

Note the words "real estate" in that list. To monetize his Villa investment, Edens plans to develop the land around Villa Park.

And in my uninformed opinion that's where the appeal of Everton lies. The development part at BMD is already almost done. Add to that the marketing we've never done, the gear we've never tried to sell, the corporate hospitality we've never hosted, and the potential just keeps adding up. If the club can stay up for one more season and ensure its PL revenue stream sufficient to survive, the eventual buyer could be unearthing a diamond mine.

All hope and speculation, of course. But the parallels to Villa's situation five years ago are striking. And they'll be in the Champions League next season.

Don Alexander
13 Posted 06/05/2024 at 04:27:24
Mike, no disrespect intended at all but your speculation, like mine, derives from Moshiri and the Premier League buffoon hierarchy providing any info at all on the otherwise massive shortcomings of 777 Partners and Everton itself given the EPL draconian sanction/s against us.

We're all in a fog – just where corrupt entities want us to forever remain.

Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 06/05/2024 at 06:29:32
So will the Premier League come out and declare 777 as not meeting their criteria as suitable owners?

Or will they await the outcome of the Leadenhall proceedings using the excuse that they cannot comment while the matter is before the Courts, which in Everton's case it isn't, or is it?

Laurie Hartley
15 Posted 06/05/2024 at 07:09:09
Paul - from your OP:

"An interim, genuine management board has to be put in place immediately."

Perhaps this is a stupid question but are you saying replace the board and if so who exactly has the authority to do that????

The Club website states that the current board consists of Moshiri, John Spellman and Colin Chong.

Derek Thomas
16 Posted 06/05/2024 at 08:00:01
Alan @ 14; Even though 777 are on their 3rd? or 4th? 'put up or shut up' deadline, the 'Innocent until proven guilty' thing will 'allow' The Premier League to do little or nothing, not that they seem too keen anyway.

I don't know how many wheels 777 started with on their Wacky Racers Financial-Mobile - but there can't be many left - hopefully.

Altogether now..."One wheel on my wagon and I'm still rolllin' along"

Laurie Hartley
17 Posted 06/05/2024 at 08:12:21
Peter # 6 - well I have just spent an hour going through your linked document.

It is too complicated for me to understand completely but what I do understand in it has my head spinning.

Adrian Evans
18 Posted 06/05/2024 at 09:21:15
Moshiri may not be allowed to invite another buyer by outside influencer? It doesnt take much imagination to think who that is!!

But if the Premier League turn down 777 Partners, then he has no option. If MSP Capital, AJ Bell, others say No!! 777 are out then, no choice.

It needs a well capitilised company, consortium, or individual to come in and buy Everton. Clear the mess up of debt, north of £500M, pay off Moshiri, finish the stadium.

Clearly they will need to keep Everton afloat for 3 or 4 months. Premier League tests to pass. But Sir Jim Ratcliffe took only 12 weeks. So by September the new owners can be in place.

Moshiri can agree investment whilst it's being sorted. Or, if we can be docked 12 points this season, win against Blades and we have enough points.

Clear some debt. But that's not fair to MSP, AJ Bell, et al. There has to be a sensible way to keep us afloat, pay everyone off.

The next week will be crucial:

US company
Qatari State Fund
AN Other.

But 777 has to be told “No – you're out!”

Simon Jones
19 Posted 06/05/2024 at 09:35:44
Mike #12,

May be the most interesting post I've ever read on TW?! So all we need is a US-based-venture-capital-hedge-fund-thingy, just not the potential one we are currently shackled with, and we've all got to have dinner at the match?

Aside from the above, I got a freebie at Leicester City a couple of years back (Mykolenko's rocket) were there was a Sunday dinner beforehand, few beers, bit of entertainment and good seats. It was a very enjoyable way to see (experience) the game, so I can see the point of what you've posted, but it is a big change for most fans' match-going experience.

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 06/05/2024 at 10:16:15
Whoever buys Everton has immediately got to send their marketing into overdrive.

The scope is incredible. I drove into town yesterday at 11:15 am and I have genuinely never seen so many people on Dale Street, mostly walking towards the riverwhilst enjoying the sun.

A lot of these people were dressed in the colours of Liverpool FC but there were also a lot of people wheeling suitcases. Our city, has suddenly become a very popular place and it's time Everton Football Club, started trying to create The Blue Everton Quarter in this very part of town.

Dale Street, Old Hall Street is only really the business quarter from
Monday to Friday but this is going to be the first port of call for most Evertonians leaving the new stadium (especially until around the ground is developed for people to stay around and drink with friends – a la County Road) and also the area around Castle Street has got many fantastic establishments and most Evertonians are coming back to town.

Let's start reclaiming our city, because we will soon be the team from town.

John Bourne
21 Posted 06/05/2024 at 11:48:36
And yet, despite all of the aforementioned, Moshiri sees 777 Partners as the best option to facilitate the sale of the club.

It begs the question, Why?

The elephant is in the room for all to see.

Adrian Evans
22 Posted 06/05/2024 at 14:57:06
I think all fans have a right to their opinion on this situation. Maybe those fans that buy their seats – season ticket holders, those waiting to have season tickets, buy on re-sale. Those that went for years, not now for various reasons. We have a massive fanbase.

Moshiri, Bill didn't "Buy" me, or any other long suffering fans. Certainly not 777 Partners. He, they bought a club, assets.

He bought a database, with my details, contact details, membership any other way of having Toffee Fans contact details.

The Fans Advisory Body don't have access to the fans unless the owner says so. There is no asset, no club without us who show up at the stadium and at away games. So how do we have a say?

It's a business, an owner deserves to make a profit, to add value to Everton FC. We deserve to have a decent, competitive team, a solid team squad secure in Premier League football.

But what's happening at the moment needs to stop. If we believe what's being written, – well researched – we are never going to be out of debt or secure or have a well funded team or squad.

So a group or body needs to have the backing of the fans and their support. If we as one are asked to do something as one, 35,000, to send a message to any owner.

Like stand in Stanley Park, addressed by our representatives – fine, we should do it. Peacefully, in a dignified, well-behaved, polite way.

The message to any owner: without the Toffee men, women and children going to the stadium, you have nowt.

Radical, but so was the fans' objection to a European Super League. The Everton fans need to be organised well to act as one.

I want owners to make great profit, increase value for their investment, but not massive debt, or to be used as security for other purchases at home or abroad.

Mr Moshiri and the Premier League need to sort the situation out this week now or the fans may need to send a message, with their message: empty stadium, season ticket holders not in seats, tickets not up for re sale.

Start with a gathering 2 hours before a home game. Then go to the game. Nowt happens, the next time the stadium will be 90% empty. See if that works and so on.

If it's all sorted, new owners with capital, not loans? Cash investment, not loans. Some debt, yes, but not to drown in it, never to get out of it.

The fans could have the answer. If I owned us, the fans stopped going in and I had an empty stadium, just once would be enough. I'd listen!

Mark Taylor
23 Posted 06/05/2024 at 15:27:08
If I was Colin Chong, I would be seriously considering resigning as a director (even if not from his actual job). If you continue when you are aware that the entity isn't solvent, you can be in big trouble.

I think the point has been reached whereby the imminent takeover by 777 is not only not imminent but not happening and since Moshiri isn't going to provide liquidity, insolvency is enough of a risk to make a director feel very uneasy.

Jerome Shields
24 Posted 06/05/2024 at 15:43:07
Don #13

It is an absolute fog. Even Metro, R&MF, and MSP Sports Capital will be thinking the same. It probably has been a fog for some time.

I can't see anyone doing anything, only MSP Sports seeking redress if their loan is not satisfied. But we will be told nothing dependent on what comes out in the wash.

As for A-Cap and the 777 Partners legal and regulatory problems, they are rooted in the baby boomer trillion-dollar USA pension and derivatives market with probable worldwide economic repercussions. I expect the Federal Reserve to step in. Which is way over Evertonian heads and most professional financial analysts.

Jerome Shields
25 Posted 06/05/2024 at 15:44:49
Paul the Esk,

Do you know the source of the recent payment of funds that Everton received to fund them to the end of the season?

Brian Harrison
27 Posted 06/05/2024 at 16:07:53
I would hope when the Government appoint an independent regulator that he also has the power to bring owners who are doing nothing to stop their club sliding into administration before a select committee to answer questions.

At the moment, the Premier League is powerless to stop unscrupulous owners from allowing their clubs to go into administration or worse.

The fans are powerless to do anything. Yes, we can take to the streets to protest about our incompetent board but seemingly there is nothing any fans can do but accept whatever the outcome is.

I think we can take it that, seeing Moshiri has not said a thing, then he still thinks 777 Partners are the ideal people to take over the club.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 06/05/2024 at 16:24:58
Latest WhatsApp messages are saying it's now come on top for 777 in Belgium as well.

Ed Prytherch
32 Posted 06/05/2024 at 16:49:54
Mike Gaynes, The game day experience is influenced by disposable income. The median personal disposable income in the US is $46k and is $25k in the UK. Most fans in the UK cannot afford to spend US style.


James Flynn
33 Posted 06/05/2024 at 17:45:13
Tony (28) - Thanks

It's from Josimar:

"The Repo men?

The two main creditors of 777 Partners in Belgium are asking for the seizure of all assets held by the US investment fund in the country after it failed to respect payment deadlines.

By Philippe Auclair and Paul Brown

Josimar has regularly reported on the financial problems encountered by 777 Partners’ Belgian club Standard de Liège since the Miami-based investment fund took control of the club in the spring of 2022. The club, which is still heavily in debt despite 777’s regular capital raises, lost over 20 million euros net in 2022-23 and has publicly admitted it has struggled to meet its commitments towards staff, business partners and suppliers. This earned the club two transfer bans by the Belgian regulator in June and December 2023, which were later lifted. Some of these suppliers have been waiting for six months and more for their due, whilst salaries and bonuses have regularly failed to be paid on time.

As reported here, 777 Partners recently defaulted on two tranches of payment owed to Standard’s former owner Bruno Venanzi and to the shareholders of the Immobilière du Standard, the company which owned the club’s famous Stade de Sclessin. Among those shareholders, alongside Venanzi, are former star players of les Rouches such as Edmilson Jr and former Belgian internationals Nacer Chadli and Axel Witsel. The second tranche, worth 3.5 million euro, should have been paid on 15 April. Venanzi is believed to be owed about the same amount of money.

Lead photo: Former Standard de Liège Bruno Venanzi (l.) with Josh Wander (r.) and Standard CEO Pierre Locht (partly obscured)

According to information received by Josimar and confirmed by multiple sources in Belgium, the affair has now been escalated by 777’s two main creditors, who are seeking a seizure of the assets owned by the US investment fund in the country – in which official papers seen by Josimar make it clear that any such disputes must be settled. Two complaints were filed on Monday 6 May, one by Venanzi, the other by the shareholders of the Immobilière. These assets include the shares ceded by Venanzi in 2022 as well as the stadium itself. In other words, the claimants are seeking a complete repossession of the assets they sold to 777 Partners (*).

Double-pledging assets

The sums involved may seem negligible – an estimated 8 million euro in total if other, lesser creditors are taken into account – in view of 777’s claims that they manage a portfolio worth up to 10 billion US dollars, and have managed to find close to 200 million pounds sterling to prop up Everton FC in the hope that their proposed takeover, on which they shook hands with owner Farhad Moshiri in September of last year, is finally rubber-stamped by the Premier League. It should be added that this prospect looks increasingly remote as another court action, this time by Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP and Leadenhall Life Insurance Linked Investments Fund Plc, one of their main sources of funding in the past, accuses Josh Wander’s and Steven Pasko’s group of companies of fraud and double-pledging assets on a colossal scale in a suit filed with the US District Court, Southern District of New York.

The money seems to have dried up almost completely, now that long-time backer Kenneth King, the owner of the A-CAP group of companies, announced in February that he would be ‘disinvesting’ from 777-controlled entities. Since this announcement, made in an online seminar, a subsidiary of A-CAP, AIP Capital, has repossessed a fleet of 30 Boeing 737 Max-8 previously on 777 Partners’ books and operated by their Australian aviation venture Bonza. The ultra-low cost airline has collapsed as a result, grounding its own fleet, laying off hundreds of employees without pay, and entering into voluntary administration.

In view of the modest sums involved, this court case might appear just another bump in the rocky road on which 777 Partners have been travelling in their journey into football. What will worry Wander and his associates is the speed at which the affair will be examined by Belgian justice, which could take as little as ten days to deliver a verdict. Should Venanzi and the Immobilière prove their point, 777 Partners risk losing a club they had vowed to bring back into Europe and has only just escaped relegation in the worst-ever season in their 125 year history. The impact this would have on the rest of their football empire could not be underestimated, with Genoa CFC, in particular, said to experience late payment issues similar to those which have afflicted Standard for well over a year.

Within the club, the mood is grim, as expressed by their American right-back Marlon Fossey who, after yet another defeat – 3-1 to Oud-Heverlee this time, on Sunday – summed up the situation in the following terms. “Things are out of our control”, he said. “We must stick to our place, to do what we are paid for… (pause) when we are paid.”

Mike Gaynes
34 Posted 06/05/2024 at 18:14:53
Ed #32, I'm just pointing out the reasons that these Yank investors see opportunity in the UK football market.

And they see the obscene returns that the Glazers have pocketed, and they've seen the club across the park nearly triple in value in the 14 years since FSG bought it, and they want in.

That's why half the clubs in league now have Yank owners. The Yanks have the cash, and they know how to monetize a sports operation.

Paul Ferry
35 Posted 06/05/2024 at 19:27:16
John Bourne @21:

"Despite all of the aforementioned, Moshiri sees 777 Partners as the best option to facilitate the sale of the club. It begs the question, Why? The elephant is in the room for all to see".

I can't see it, John. Perhaps you could be rather less obtuse and tell us who this Nellie is?

John Bourne
36 Posted 06/05/2024 at 22:26:33
Paul Ferry @35

The elephant in the room is: Why?

You don't see Moshiri seeming to be hell-bent on selling to 777 Partners with everything that has been reported about their suitability as a major problem?

There is nothing obtuse about asking the question Why?

Does that answer your question?

Derek Thomas
37 Posted 06/05/2024 at 23:41:12
John @ 35: answer the question? Probably not.

So I'll have a go...

777 are the best deal from the point of view of Moshiri's trouser pocket — not what is best for the club.

Kevin Molloy
38 Posted 06/05/2024 at 23:43:27
As to whether 777 are less than the sum of their parts… they pass the key test, which is that they can come up with the money. That's all Farhad is bothered about.

As to where that money comes from, who knows. Clearly it's not their money, so these people, whoever they are, can get access to serious money.

The irony for us is that it seems to be only the Premier League now that is standing between us and the mother of all shakedowns. We just need another suitor to come out of left field… hopefully that happens.

Laurie Hartley
39 Posted 06/05/2024 at 04:40:17
Perhaps one of the most startling things about this whole business for me was that Leadenhall, the organisation stitched up by 777, were tipped off (by the “informer”) about what 777 were up to in late 2022.

When Leadenhall followed up on the allegation that “what he is doing is criminal”, they discovered the truth of the matter in the period March and April of 2023!

Read through pages 3 and 4 of the document Peter linked in post 6. It's there for all to see.

Astonishingly, for me anyway, 777 made a bid for Everton 3 or 4 months later which was accepted by Farhad Moshiri. I wonder who if anyone did the due diligence on these people on behalf of Everton Football Club.

It seems the Premier League did and, as someone else has posted on another thread, ironically they may have done us a favour.

Laurie Hartley
40 Posted 07/05/2024 at 04:54:59
By the way for those amongst us not familiar with Australian slang, bonza means “awesome, terrific, excellent” etc:

These people don't think they are Bonza

Paul [The Esk]
42 Posted 07/05/2024 at 14:14:19
#15 Laurie - the only person/people who could authorise such a committee/re-structuring board are the directors themselves.

My view is that this would be a sensible mitigation strategy for the current board should they ever be accused of wrongful trading.

It would be an admission by Moshiri that he doesn't have the skills to restructure the club or negotiate with creditors. Something we all know, but he fails to accept.

Paul [The Esk]
43 Posted 07/05/2024 at 14:16:16
Jerome #25, yes but it's not appropriate to name them at this time, sorry.
Andy Riley
44 Posted 07/05/2024 at 14:32:21
Paul re your response at #43.

I respect your confidentiality but, as a general issue, what is the mechanism for 777 Partners and indeed anyone else (assuming that the most recent providers are not 777) providing ongoing funding to Everton?

I ask as a shareholder as surely one route for additional funding is to ask existing shareholders if they wish to invest further?

James Hughes
45 Posted 07/05/2024 at 15:38:57
I asked this question on another thread and never got a response, so I will try again.

If the amazing 777 Partners go bankrupt, would we still have to pay back all the monies that they have forwarded to the club?

John Bourne
46 Posted 07/05/2024 at 15:42:17
Derek Thomas @37

Thank you for your courteous reply,

the thing that winds me up is that there surely would have been other entities who would have been willing to purchase the club and yet he decided on 777 Partners, who already had a less than envious reputation when he began the process of sale.

Mind you, the last time I saw footage of Moshiri on TV, he was surrounded by minders who escorted him to his car, speaks volumes.

Andrew Clare
47 Posted 07/05/2024 at 15:49:06
It just seems inevitable that 777 Partners are going to be our new owners. Moshiri is not interested in any other option.
Paul [The Esk]
48 Posted 07/05/2024 at 16:07:27
#45 James, 777 Partners would just become another creditor. They are junior to the other major creditors; however, depending upon what is in the loan agreement will determine when and what rights they have to demand repayment.

I can't think of a scenario whereby they get paid before other secured creditors.

Raymond Fox
49 Posted 07/05/2024 at 16:07:38
Are there any other potential buyers, that is the question.

The cost of the new ground is a big issue for anybody comtemplating buying us, its inflated the asking price through the roof.

I don't pretend to understand the economics of our financial situation as of now, but it seems to me we are tetering on the edge of bankrupcy if things don't progress to some conclusion.

Could not the club be sold to a number of investors instead of trying to find a single one.

Paul [The Esk]
50 Posted 07/05/2024 at 16:08:51

777 Partners will never become owners of Everton Football Club.

Mike Gaynes
52 Posted 07/05/2024 at 16:38:19
Paul, in your opinion, how much credibility is there to the report that 777 has sought the help of GDA Luma and its partly-Boehly bankroll?

Can 777 keep its bid alive awhile longer with that aid?

Nick Page
53 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:00:41
“Are there any other potential buyers? That is the question.
The cost of the new ground is a big issue for anybody comtemplating buying us, it's inflated the asking price through the roof.”

Raymond, Kenwright told us for years we were unsaleable because we didn't have a new ground. Now we have a new ground (almost), we're unsaleable? Kenwright that….

I'm not sure what the enterprise value of Everton is (Paul?) but if you subtract the debt, is there any equity left? I think the stadium is largely debt-financed backed by the asset (whose value will accrete towards completion and utility). So you get an LBO type model, and for that to work (per the Glazers) you need cash flow to service the debt, repay the debt, and have some equity left over to sell on.

Currently EFC has no cashflow but has a brand value (intangible). Years and years of mismanagement.

Brian Williams
54 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:05:39
Adrian Evans.
Where'd you get the 12 points from?
Brian Harrison
55 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:25:29

I know you believe that there are others apart from 777 who may make an offer for the club. But I just don't see how anybody will pay in excess of £650M for the club.

That is way more than any independent companies believe it to be worth, and with P&S rules it's difficult to see how they would recoup any of their massive expenditure. Unlike the top clubs, we don't have massive sponsors to help offset the cost, and,our matchday receipts are nothing to write home about.

I know you said some weeks back that administration is a possibility, can you think of any scenario where that could be avoided?

Even Sir Jim Ratcliffe with all his wealth still had to wait a couple of months to get the go-ahead from the Premier League just to own 25% of Man Utd. And its almost impossible to see the Premier League giving 777 Partners the go-ahead.

Paul [The Esk]
56 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:30:25
#52, there's no credibility in that story – no one, I repeat no-one, is going to come alongside 777 Partners.
Paul [The Esk]
57 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:34:30
Brian the club is worth less than nothing, ie, it has a negative value. Debt and working capital is greater than its assets.

There's virtually no goodwill, given the re-investment required in the squad. Moshiri is going to get completely wiped out by any new owner. No-one other than 777 is prepared to offer him a cent.

Brian Denton
58 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:37:01
Nick Page:

"Kenwright told us for years we were unsaleable because we didn't have a new ground. Now we have a new ground (almost), we're unsaleable?"

Good point, but I think you and I know we were unsaleable because the bastartd wouldn't sell us! (until he could find a fool who would buy us but leave him in control).

Paul [The Esk]
59 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:37:05
#57 above - debt and working capital required
Brian Denton
60 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:39:11
No-one other than 777 is prepared to offer him a cent

Being so emphatic is placing a hostage to fortune there, Paul. It may come back to bite you.

Dale Self
61 Posted 07/05/2024 at 17:46:23
That is a rather bold response, Brian. 777 is busted.
Paul [The Esk]
62 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:17:21
Brian, I know it's a bold statement but it's based on numerous discussions with would-be buyers.
James Flynn
63 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:20:29
Mike (52) - Good one.


Ian Burns
64 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:25:48
Moshiri has one option – to restructure the debt. Revalue EFC, which will be a lot less than Moshiri's investment.

He then sells to a new bidder at the lower valuation and takes a bath on his losses. 777 will play no part after debt restructure – always assuming the said restructure is successful.

The alternative is administration.

Andy Crooks
65 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:29:50
Paul, you are being increasingly strident on this thread, and I say that as someone who admires and is grateful for your work.

Also, I appreciate that you, necessarily, are restrained in your responses. However, I would like to know your best option scenario and its likelihood and your worst case and likelihood. It would be a great service to ordinary supporters if you could do so.

Mike Gaynes
66 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:36:01
#57, so the upside-down balance sheet makes the club valueless?

Am I not remembering correctly a similar situation at Villa in 2018, where in order to buy the club Sawiris and Edens had to pay off Xia's debt to Lerner, plus a looming tax bill? And didn't they pay Xia around £60M anyway?

Why would Everton, with the certainty of Premier League prize money next season and the new stadium opening, have less intrinsic value and goodwill now than Villa had then after missing promotion?

And is the NY Times article I cited at #12 also completely off base in citing the perceived value of English football clubs among opportunistic investors?

Or am I misunderstanding the situation somehow?

Chris Leyland
67 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:44:09
Paul, when you say that no one is prepared to pay Moshiri a cent, I'm assuming that you remain of the view that there are other potential owners who will come in but will be looking to restructure the debts as part of any takeover or are they waiting for administration to get the club?

Or what do you think their conditions for any takeover are?

Ian Burns
68 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:46:25
Hi Mike @66,

You are spot on with how you would value the future value of EFC as a sporting opportunity with regards to English football clubs but that is assuming there is an American investor ready to step in.

I believe EFC is in such a dire straight, any such investor would wait to see if the restructuring is successful, then step in at the inevitably lower valuation.

Andy Riley
69 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:47:39
Paul - going back to my question at #44 which you haven’t answered - why would any party other than 777 inject millions into Everton at risk if it has no value?
Paul Ferry
70 Posted 07/05/2024 at 19:25:13
John (36),

You might have taken the trouble to spell it out like that in your first post without the obtuse elephant in the room, a line that was not actually needed and if left out would have made your original post somewhat clearer.

Thanks for clearing it up for me.

Mike Gaynes
71 Posted 07/05/2024 at 19:52:20
Hi Ian #68, I agree with you. That has always been my assumption and expectation, as always with the disclaimer that I know nothing of corporate accounting or what is actually happening in Moshiri's head.

I predicted here months ago, again with no supporting evidence, that when things reached their most dire with 777, MSP would call in their loan, roll it into equity and close the deal they tried to make last year. At a much lower price now, of course.

Like Andy #69, I can't imagine any intelligent investor -- specifically MSP -- loaning money to a valueless enterprise. Therefore they must see value.

Dale Self
73 Posted 07/05/2024 at 23:58:12
Other investors are waiting because Moshiri can be squeezed as his other options fail out. And we should not be hoping for quick resolution since we need to get past the June meeting so that any future point deduction is imposed on next season's table.
Paul Ferry
74 Posted 07/05/2024 at 00:13:41
Perhaps, Bobby (72), because they involve often quite complicated matters that – for the benefit of many on here and our like elsewhere –need to be broken down in ways that are clearer and more understandable.

Paul's very informative posts are neither wordy nor too long.

I'm sorry that you struggle with them, Bobby. Have you read War and Peace? It's actually a lovely rhythmic read and seems much shorter than its 587,000 words (depending on which language you're reading it in).

Dave Lynch
75 Posted 08/05/2024 at 00:36:39
It's pointless publishing these articles unless you are going to give us hard facts… until then, It's just smoke and mirrors.

Saying it would not be appropriate to name other parties and then insinuate "you" have had conversations with them is like the Emperor’s new clothes, can you confirm 100% that other buyers have bid for the club?

I remember you stating we wouldn't get a points deduction, as you had first hand information... we know how that went.

John Bourne
76 Posted 08/05/2024 at 08:55:12
Paul @70, point taken.

With the benefit of hindsight, I can see how my original post was rather cryptic, albeit that was not my intention.

This is a very stressful time for any Everton supporter and emotions are running high.

Thanks for your reply.

Adrian Evans
78 Posted 08/05/2024 at 13:16:13
The Premier League's silence is deafening. Surely with all that is happening around 777 Partners, the Premier League can ask them what's going on? There must be a simple list of questions from the Premier League:

Why the delays in paying loans for wages to club players?
What about the lawsuit in New York?
Why did you miss the deadline to pay MSP etc.
Why have you not done all we asked/

Too many questions, actions not completed.
And what about their other business, Bonza Airlines?

Time for the Premier League to say No. Then Mr Moshiri can look at other potential buyers. This has to be done with urgency.

Stephen Davies
79 Posted 24/05/2024 at 14:59:25
From Bloomberg:

777's Football Empire Under Review After Lender Hires Moelis

Moelis hired to review clubs including Genoa, Hertha Berlin.
777's finances under scrutiny after lawsuit from creditors.

Stephen Davies
80 Posted 24/05/2024 at 16:09:14
John Textor has engaged investment banking firm Raine Group to seek a buyer for Eagle Football's shareholding in Palace

Eagle exploring purchase of other English clubs, including Everton #EFC, but must first sell 45% stake in #CPFC

Mike Gaynes
82 Posted 24/05/2024 at 17:06:15
Great catch as usual, Stephen.

Textor and Eagle should realize a handsome profit. Palace's value has soared in recent months.

Stephen Davies
83 Posted 24/05/2024 at 17:28:59

I like the idea of this.

He also owns Olympique Lyons in France.

Mike Gaynes
84 Posted 24/05/2024 at 17:39:02
Yep, Stephen, also Botafogo in Brazil (recruiting!!) and our local women's professional club, the Seattle Reign, some of whom I have seen in the gym and at the indoor arena where I now referee. I'll have to ask them about their owner.
Stephen Davies
85 Posted 24/05/2024 at 23:30:30
Further report from the Financial Times re 777 Partners:

How a bet on Everton engulfed a football investor and its financial backers"

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