16/09/2023 48comments  |  Jump to last

The American investment firm set to buy out Farhad Moshiri's majority stake in Everton are reportedly under review for late payments made to the British Basketball League, the outcome of which could colour the Premier League's assessment of their suitabiilty to run the Blues.

According to The Telegraph, the British Basketball Federation has launched an investigation into 777 Partners following complaints by seven of the BBL's 10 clubs.

777, who signed a deal with Moshiri this past week to purchase Everton from the British-Iranian businessman, own current BBL champions London Lions as well as 45% of the BBL itself following a £7m investment in the League two years ago, but a £900,000 payment as part of that commitment was made "a few months late", triggering a BBF probe.

It also prompted the seven disgruntled basketball clubs to demand that the BBL cut ties with 777 Partners but the League's chairman, Sir Rodney Walker, insists that the Florida-based outfit have now fully caught up with their payments and have committed to paying the remaining £800,000 due on that £7m investment by the end of this month.

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Walker blamed “forces at work in basketball at the present time trying to create trouble” for the investigation and appeared to be satisfied with 777 at this time.

“Of course, [the allegations] are of interest to me and I have discussed them fully with 777," he said. "They have an explanation. Whether or not their explanation answers all the questions is something I can’t comment on because I don’t know all the details.

“All I can say is, notwithstanding the fact that, for a few months, they were not paying all the money over to me, they have now paid all the money and they have now made an offer in writing to go beyond that. So, they are, as far as I’m concerned, delivering on their promises.”

777 Partners, meanwhile, recently issued a statement of their own via a spokesman regarding their investment in the BBL, restating their commitment to basketball in Britain:

“777 Partners is funding the BBL ahead of schedule and beyond our original commitment, including support to two additional clubs. As a stakeholder investing into British basketball, our commitment extends well beyond the BBL, and we will continue to represent a benchmark of investment previously unseen in the sport.”

It's not the first report of an investigation by the BBF into 777 or accusation of impropriety that it or its sister companies have faced, with Norwegian publication Josimar publishing concerning allegations of fraud, predatory lending and failing to pay bills totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars in the United States.

777 offered a denial last month that a BBF investigation into their ownership of London Lions was anything other than routine as part of what a BBL statement said was "a measure in place to safeguard the financial sustainability of the league and its clubs, and ensure that the league and clubs are in a great position to meet their aspirations of growth."

They also vigorously defended both themselves against the charges made against them by Josimar and those brought against co-founder and chief Josh Wander for drug offences as “inaccurate and defamatory”.

 “777 Partners can categorically confirm that there is no investigation into its ownership of the London Lions, and that these rumors are completely unfounded," their statement read. "We have a brilliant working relationship with the British Basketball League and both parties share the same objective in terms of bringing the sport to new heights in the UK. Our commitment to this mission is unwavering, having invested more into the sport than anyone else in its history, amounting to tens of millions of pounds."

In line with their recently-imposed directors and owners test, the Premier League will be scrutinising 777 Partners' relationship with the British Basketball League and their failure to fulfill their financial obligations in a timely manner, particularly as they relate the firm's ability to afford to buy out Moshiri.

Quotes sourced from Eurohoops

Reader Comments (48)

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Paul Birmingham
1 Posted 16/09/2023 at 20:37:50
Stinks the place out, and surely this issue with the BBL and the decline and stagnation in operation of the other clubs in the 777 collection is in the public domain.

I'm not convinced this proposal will happen, and the best interests of Everton Football Club and its supporters are not considered.

Moshiri and Kenwright have brought the club to its knees and the future is not clear. But how the hell does the 777 organisation get the credit rating to pursue acquiring Everton and the money to complete the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock?

I don't anticipate any time soon the details of the 777 proposal will be made public but Everton supporters as investors in the club emotionally and financially deserve an overview at least of the proposal and its impact on Evertonians.


Barry Hesketh
2 Posted 16/09/2023 at 20:46:05
Paul @1,

Anything that groups like 777 Partners put out will be flannel, management speak and downright sugar-coated lies. 777 Partners are to Everton Football Club what the Granny (Wolf) is to Little Red Riding Hood.

Main problem being is it's possibly 777 Partners as the new owners, or Everton ceasing to exist as a commercial football club; might be slightly hyperbole on my part, but that's what it feels like.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 16/09/2023 at 21:04:47
There is that possibility, Barry; “The Devil or the deep blue sea”.

The late payments to the BBL don't make them look like a professional, fully liquid company. Maybe they are, but the optics are not good, plenty will say there is no smoke without fire.

There is an element of a last-minute dash to make themselves look more acceptable to scrutiny …..getting payments to the BBL up to date, getting a seat on that European football panel. Once they have regulatory approval, will all that unwind?

Paul Birmingham
4 Posted 16/09/2023 at 21:12:26
Barry, I sense nothing will be the same again at Everton or for Evertonians but what a mess. And it's not certain, it's not done, but the real cost of failure over the last 30 years and accelerated by Moshiri and Kenwright does make me wonder and makes me very angry. But I'm looking for a better future for Everton, somehow.

So if the FCA, EPL, FA, HGM don't approve, then, it looks like back to Square 1 for Moshiri… but I don't know, who does?

The Andy Hunter, Guardian article is a good balanced summary, of the 777 Partners impact on their collection of clubs so far.

What I think will happen, if someone asked me now, even if 777 Partners do take over Everton, I doubt they'd be in charge in 4 years time.

More questions, than will get answered. But who really knows what's going on?

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 16/09/2023 at 22:11:06
It took a month to find a measly £900k when they're trying to take on a £1 billion liability.

I was reading in the Italian press more detail about their viatical settlements preying on the sick and pocketing 75 percent of their money. They seem like they have the resources of the old Bury owner and the morals of the Marquis de Sade.

Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 16/09/2023 at 22:38:02
Good perspective, Kieran, God forbid.
Barry Hesketh
7 Posted 17/09/2023 at 00:16:43
Another accurate assessment of the current situation at Everton, or another kick in the gonads for the supporters?

IN THE MONEY: Can Everton really find their way out of a £400m hole? Sale of the Toffees to Miami-based investors 777 Partners could be at risk of collapse

Everton's sale to Miami-based investment firm 777 Capital Partners is at risk of collapsing after it emerged that major lenders at the club are not in favour of the deal – and could call in loans worth £350million.

Mail Sport has learnt that loans from MSP Sports Capital and mysterious media company Image & Media Rights contain ‘change of control clauses'.

These allow the lenders to call in the loans if they don't approve of the new owners.

Sources close to MSP have indicated they do not approve of 777 Capital Partners and would consider calling in their loans.

There are very real doubts that 777 Capital Partners could afford to pay off both loans in addition to taking on the club's debts and stadium construction.

Spokespeople for 777 Capital Partners told Mail Sport they were ‘confident the funds are in place so that the deal will go through and debts are worked out.' They aim to appoint two board members and want the club to be self-sustaining. Their offer does not include chairman Bill Kenwright's shares and his future remains unclear.

777 wouldn't confirm where their funding was ultimately coming from or whether Everton's debts would be repaid in full or serviced – nor could they offer any guarantees over the future ownership of the club's new stadium.

Paul Birmingham
8 Posted 17/09/2023 at 08:01:36
This looks like a sewage works of a deal. There seems to be no clean water for a proposed deal to be floated on.

But 3 points v Arsenal is achievable.

This proposed deal looks like a minefield and could fail due to Everton's existing structured loans, but that could be a blessing.

Let's see, and focus on the realistic of the Arsenal game.


Paul Smith
9 Posted 17/09/2023 at 08:19:55
Maybe 777 Partners are after flogging the stadium and are clinging to that hope.

If not, Moshiri may need to sell it to get it built or we risk defaults and administration or staying at Goodison and a half-built stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Seems this deal is looking flimsier by the day.

Steve Brown
10 Posted 17/09/2023 at 08:53:59
Barry @ 7, you called it there.

The biggest challenge for this deal will be getting it past the existing creditors.

Pat Kelly
11 Posted 17/09/2023 at 09:44:05
This deal is begining to look like vultures picking over a carcass.
Barry Hesketh
12 Posted 17/09/2023 at 09:52:26
A bit of a long read, however, it is plain to see that the likes of 777 Partners are seeing a business opportunity and they are using football to increase their wealth and standing. How Uefa and Fifa have allowed this to happen is a mystery to me as a traditionalist; however, this type of business model is prevalent throughout the world and 'money Rules Okay' is the only mantra that most organisations understand.

Multi-club ownership puts teams in danger – and Everton could be at risk

How can a company that has no employees, isn't subject to audit, and has roughly borrowed as much as it has loaned out, be allowed to be used by football clubs to keep the wheels turning? That is what Rights and Media Funding do, based in the Bahamas but registered in England, but nobody knows who or what entity they use to raise funds.

777 Partners are not my vision of my Blue Heaven. Take the deal off the table, our club shouldn't be part of a stable.

I thought football was a funny old game, but high finance seems a great deal stranger.

Rob Halligan
13 Posted 17/09/2023 at 09:57:14
I generally steer clear of threads such as this, simply because there is absolutely nothing any of us can do about it, but also because I know next to nothing about 777 Partners.

We all know how stubborn Moshiri can be, simply through some of his managerial appointments, notably Allardyce and Benitez, which, I reckon 99.99999% of us were totally against, although I do know one or two people who were in full support of these appointments, and still think either should still be in charge today.

So if Moshiri was prepared to go ahead with those two appointments, then I guess no amount of anger, pressure or protests from the fans will change his mind. Maybe the club's shareholders and, more importantly, the Premier league, FA and Financial Conduct Authority can put the blockers on it.

What I can't understand though is this… How can a company with a history of drug trafficking, kidnapping, fraud, late payments of debts and / or bills and god knows what else they have done, still be able to operate? Okay, I know a little bit about 777!

With such history like this, surely, in my opinion, they are a prime case for the FBI to investigate, or maybe they have and found 777 to be all good? Anyway, they definitely sound like one we should steer clear of, and it's back to the Yellow Pages for Moshiri, flicking through the pages to find his next “Ideal Partners”.

Bill Fairfield
14 Posted 17/09/2023 at 10:10:03
Far too much noise and baggage surrounding this deal. Looking like it could be a huge mistake. The club will never be out of the news,for all the wrong reasons. Hope it doesn’t happen.
Jim Lloyd
15 Posted 17/09/2023 at 10:27:42
You said it, Rob. There's nothing that we can do about what's happening to our club. If the 777 bid is agreed by the authorities, then we'll just have to lump it.

If it isn't, then we're stuck with a reluctant owner who's not likely to finance the team building we need. Even worse, we'll almost certainly still have Kenwright haunting us – ill but valiantly running the show from his sick bed.

If the deal is blocked, would Moshiri be sensible and get shut of Marley's Ghost and give the funds to the DoF and Manager to bring in the few players in midfield and defence we need to make us into a team, with a good chance of travelling up the Premier League, not sunk at the bottom with all the ramifications that would mean?

At least this way, he would have a saleable asset in the Premier League (providing he can sort out all the bloody loans we owe!) We'd have a world class stadium to play in. And presumably make loads of dosh, holding shows, conferences, and whatever else during the Summer break!

If 777 are given the go ahead, then I fear for our club. There seems to be too many threads to that business, and a good chance that they'll all get tangled up, with our club going tits up!

It might work, as 777 will be considered an owner that the league has given its blessing to. Who knows?

Of the two options (unless a Prince Charming or Pricess Bounteous comes riding along) I hope Moshiri sees sense, makes the best of a bad job and gets a NEW Chairman!

Barry Hesketh
16 Posted 17/09/2023 at 10:42:40
Jim @15,

The probability of Moshiri remaining until the new stadium is opened is probably zero, he's unable to access his UK accounts, is tired of the club and all of its issues, which is why he's selling to the first group who will give him some return on his investment, even if it means he loses quite a bit in the process.

If 777 Partners don't get the green light, then perhaps Moshiri will have to accept MSP's original plan, but who knows? All of this is bad for the club and has sent out the message that we are in far worse shape than most on the outside thought.

Lord knows what this has done to the morale of the football management team and the playing staff and they are the most important people to keep this club in the Premier League, as nobody in positions of authority within the club seems to give a toss about the football.

Denis Richardson
17 Posted 17/09/2023 at 10:44:01
Given the huge amount of negative press on the this deal, from numerous sources, I would be amazed if it actually happened. I can’t think of another proposed attempt at a take over of a football club that’s had so much of an anti movement from so many different groups before it’s even happened.

Current lenders likely have doubts, most fans are very very wary (even given the incumbents), ongoing investigations into the group by other business ventures and that’s even before the likes of the FA and Premiership have gotten involved. If this deal goes through then basically any one, of any character, can take over a club making all the current ‘fit and proper’ rules utterly meaningless.

On the assumption the deal doesn’t happen - what then? It’s obvious Moshiris not going to put more money in and the only remaining options will presumably involve selling the last players of value and hopefully wisely reinvesting in decent up and coming players. The whole concept only works if we stay up so I cannot see how we can entertain selling anyone in January. Then next summer the highest bids will need to be taken on the likes of Pickford, Onana and even Beto - we may get away with only selling one if we’re lucky.

We still owe all the money from transfers this summer so that needs to come from somewhere. The TV money is literally life support for this club - relegation and it’s over. (At least if we go into administration we can wipe the debts clean, get the points deduction and completely start over). On a plus point, the wage bill must now be much smaller as we cleared a lot of high earners off over the summer.

3 points today would be a massive boost all round and at least provide some positivity against the nonsense happening off pitch. God only knows what the manager and players must be making of it all.

How could it have come to this. The league needs to be restructured so fans have a seat at the table. This car crash has been coming for years now.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 17/09/2023 at 10:51:30
Barry # 12,

I have a different perspective on multi-club ownership. I think it is the inevitable next step in the game for lots of clubs. There's a lot not to like about this, but it is also a way to keep clubs afloat and competitive.

There is already a hierarchy in world football.

At the top of the hierarchy we have established giants that command huge viewing figures. These clubs have effectively formed a super-league already. Some of them are owned by sugar daddies like Man City and PSG; others are institutions like Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man Utd and the RS.

Because these clubs are so disproportionately rich, they skew the transfer market. In fact, I thought that PSG's purchase of Neymar a few years ago was a deliberate ploy to overheat the market and price a tier of clubs out of the big deals.

So what happens with everyone else? The Red Bull empire obviously made a strategic choice to go about recruitment differently. Elite quality teenagers like Szoboszlai were recruited and developed at Liefering, then Salzburg, then Leipzig. They've expanded with heavy recruitment from Africa and built up their stable of clubs throughout the world.

The multi-club ownership model is the direction of travel for clubs that haven't yet made it into the established elite. We're in that category obviously. Done well, it should enable us to benefit from a stable of players within worldwide affiliate clubs all being developed and moved throughout the empire – as we see with RB. It's a way to circumvent the traditional transfer market which is now frankly unsustainable for so many clubs. Fees and wages are now the threat, not the multi-club model.

I'm not saying 777 are the right people or will do this successfully – but I don't believe the model to be flawed. It's just different – and maybe a bit sad that football has come to this.

Bobby Thomas
19 Posted 17/09/2023 at 10:53:08
Clearly, for several reasons there are big doubts about this deal making it over the line and 777 Partners are far from ideal anyway.

But without fresh investment and new ownership, then administration appears a distinct possibility.

If the 777 deal does make it, then there's a reasonable chance we'll end up renting the ground – it's the only major asset and 777 will burn any resources they do have acquiring the club.

Brian Williams
20 Posted 17/09/2023 at 10:53:41
he's unable to access his UK accounts,

Isn't that Usmanov? I don't believe there's any restrictions on Moshiri.

Barry Hesketh
21 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:03:19
Brian @20

I might well be wrong on that, but I did read it somewhere recently, but you're probably right, it's likely the author of the piece that I read meant Usmanov,

However, the Guardian understands that Moshiri’s UK bank closed his account last year, seemingly because of his connections to Usmanov.

Moshiri declined to comment on OFSI’s apparent interest in his finances or the status of his UK bank account. The Treasury said that neither it nor OFSI commented on individual cases.

How reliable or true this paragraph is, is open to question as it's by that friend of Everton Simon Goodley in his article from May this year.

Jim Lloyd
22 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:04:38
Aye Barry, it is probably zero, but I'm taking the faint glimmer of hope that probably, means not certainly.

It would be interesting to see what happens if 777 get the royal order of the boot.

Do you know why he's unable to get at his British accounts? I knew Usmanov had been given the boot, but didn't know about Moshiri. I agree with you Barry, about the future of our club. Lord knows, indeed!

I think MSP would likely steer clear of the Football side, as it seems that they would have to add £200 million to wipe out the debt we owe to that group from the wirral first. When we were in the Old Supporters Club for the last game, one of the lads showed me the enormity of our indebtedness. The ground, and all the houses round Goodison, Finch farm and whatever else the club own, except the new stadium...in hock! So that's why MSP backed out of investing in the club.

It's frightening mate. Denis excellent post mate.

PS I've just read Brian's post, so a sigh of relief all round. It gives us a chance, if Moshiri stays...not much of a chance, but a chance!

Brian Harrison
23 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:24:24
Jim @22,

As far as I understand it, MSP didn't back out of the original deal. It was Rights and Media Funding who we have a £200m loan with who blocked the deal. So MSP just made it a straight loan to facilitate the completion of the stadium.

Seems rather strange that Moshiri was in talks earlier in the year with 777 but pulled out of the negotiations, then only a few months back gave MSP an exclusivity deal. Yet within a couple of weeks of the Rights and Media company blocking MSP, Moshiri accepts a deal from 777 Partners.

The record of 777 Partners I think it will make it almost impossible for them to get ratification from the Premier League for this deal, so maybe Moshiri might have to look elsewhere, but I wouldn't trust Moshiri to do the right thing for the club.

Kunal Desai
24 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:28:40
I'm inclined to agree with Bobby Thomas - 19

I don't think it's a case of if it's more when we go into administration.

If Moshiri cannot find fresh investment or takeover beyond this season, then doing Leeds probably becomes reality.

Tony Everan
25 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:34:00
Is there any clarity at all on why Rights and Media Funding would reject MSP and then be inclined to accept 777 Partners. What’s the reasoning? What would R&MF find advantageous about 777?
Jim Lloyd
26 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:42:45
Agreed Brian, I meant that MSP weren't prepared to pay Rights and Media Funding the extra £200M for the sake of having men on the Board. Maybe they didn't know about that loan until negotiations were well underway, thus them loaning the £100M for the stadium instead.

I'm not too sure whether Rights and Media Funding would have blocked the deal if MSP had offered them the money for that loan of £200m. Either way, it's another sign that our club is up Manure Street.
Kunal Desai
27 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:45:28
Right and Media Funding probably want guarantees that Kenwright stays on as Chairman, perhaps?
Jim Lloyd
28 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:48:03
Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:49:34
This 777 Partners reminds me of The Pyramid method of operating which relies on getting more people to join the group, and always ends in failure. People would join knowing the operation was a scam but joined hoping they would make a profit before the whole scheme fell apart. This pryamid method of operating is illegal in some places.

Obviously 777 Partners is a legal company but still feels very dodgy to me and I wouldn't invest any money in it, that's if I had any money to invest. Although I do ‘invest’ in the lottery twice a week… maybe Everton FC would be better investing in that!

Barry Hesketh
30 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:49:47
Another question I have is why did MSP have a period of exclusivity but as soon as that ended and they were blocked from carrying out their original plan, how come 777 Partners didn't need a period of exclusivity? It might be a daft question from me, but how can 777 know all the numbers etc, if MSP had that period of exclusivity?

I get the feeling that the whole lot, Moshiri, 777, MSP et al are all sharing the same bed.

Barry Hesketh
31 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:51:35
Dave @29
If you're ever lucky enough to win big on the lottery, the first call you'll receive will be from somebody at 777, they love a lottery winner!
Jim Lloyd
32 Posted 17/09/2023 at 11:58:42

I'm not sure how a "period of exclusivity" sits with the process of buying a company.

But one thing it might mean, is that 777 know all about the mess we're in, including that £200m loan outstanding. It does seem as they know... or they're up to something — and what that something is, I dread to think!

Geoff Lambert
33 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:12:38
Could Kenwright and Moshiri be looking for the worst possible deal for Everton FC to get back at us the fans?
Wouldn't put it past the slimy bastards.
Neil Copeland
34 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:27:22
Barry #31, ha ha – they will get pretty short thrift on that one!
Andrew Clare
35 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:28:49
Does anyone know what the actual cost of buying Everton is?

Okay I know the stadium has to be paid for and that there are debts to clear but what are the other costs?

Are we looking at £500 million or maybe more – but not a lot more?

The potential is enormous so why is no one of any means interested in us?

The way things stand, I can see the club going into administration.

Clive Rogers
36 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:32:45
Moshiri must be desperate to agree to sell at a loss with no money up front to an outfit with a history of late/bad payment. This does not bode well at all for the future of the club.
Clive Rogers
37 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:37:54
Andrew, 35, it's £500M for Moshiri's shares, but nothing up front and subject to certain conditions such as staying in the Premier League and not getting a points deduction plus others.

It all sounds very dodgy. Hope it falls through.

Jim Lloyd
38 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:40:11
Could be, Geoff! Could well be. I could imagine Kenwright already writing his script to take the theatre world by storm.

Moshiri as the Fairy Godmother and fatso as Prince Charming; with the blonde bombshell playing that bird Cinderella, and us lot as the baddies!

Andrew Clare
39 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:42:00
I hope it falls through too, Clive. The deal sounds very dubious to me.

Dale Self
40 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:53:51
As there was another upfront deal supposedly in the works, Moshiri may be choosing the deal that gets hung up in review. Ostensibly showing good faith intent to sell the club when in fact he is motivated for better terms.

We could be on a carousel but Moshiri cannot stop the ride at this point.

Pete Clarke
41 Posted 17/09/2023 at 13:16:24
Old fat face will be wondering how he's gone from supposed savior of our club when buying Peter Johnson out to outright destroyer of our club by bringing in the only rich muppet on this planet that would leave him in control. The muppet being Moshiri of course but all of this has got Kenwright's name on it. I've not hated anyone as much as him since Thatcher.

Football has long since left the working-class supporters and it really is hard to enjoy or even justify watching bang-average badge-kissing foreign footballers play in our club's colours, whilst foreign owners use us as a toy and none of them give a flying fuck about the club or its fans.

777 may as well be 666 because this group is evil and I for one hope it fails the investigation and of course we beat Arsenal tonight.

David McMullen
42 Posted 17/09/2023 at 13:17:39
Like a horse, no… scrap that – an ass. Walking along, but leaving a load of shit in their trail.
Paul Smith
43 Posted 17/09/2023 at 13:20:24
Not sure we should be hoping it falls through if there are no buyers and no money.

777 or bust.

Clive Rogers
44 Posted 17/09/2023 at 13:30:02
Paul, 43, the problem is, 777 don’t seem to have any cash either. We really wanted that Saudi fund that has £450 billion.
Clive Rogers
45 Posted 17/09/2023 at 13:32:56
That guy in the bedsit in Manchester might be a better bet, he gets his gyro on Thursday.
Jim Lloyd
46 Posted 17/09/2023 at 13:46:25
It may be Paul, it maybe. Let's hope it's not 777 and bust!
Jason Hewly
47 Posted 18/09/2023 at 21:50:35
One of the 30 richest clubs in the world playing in the world's richest league, and the only prospective buyer seems like a dodgy American hedge fund?

That's not light at the end of the tunnel, it's a freight train.

Paul Birmingham
48 Posted 18/09/2023 at 21:58:58
Highway to Hell, or very close to, the 777 proposal, hopefully will not happen.

But beggars can’t be choosers.

Everton’s name must be severely tarnished, if this is the best that can be attracted at the moment.

But the existing levels of loans makes it seemingly impossible to get any decent takers, from what’s been disclosed, about the MSP, proposal.

What next?

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