07/12/2023 36comments  |  Jump to last

This lengthy piece by Giles Turner and David Hellier for Bloomberg suggests that "Premier League officials studying the suitability of 777 Partners to own a major English football club have also begun adopting a more skeptical stance in recent weeks after questions were raised about its finances, according to people with knowledge of the deliberations."

At the same time they write that "777 Partners says there's a campaign to torpedo its purchase" and quotes a statement from the Miami-based firm:

“777 Partners considers these scurrilous and damaging accusations to be deliberately timed to undermine its ongoing commercial activities, including the ongoing period of regulatory approvals for the proposed acquisition of Everton FC by 777 Football Group.”

Yet as the Bloomberg article points out, concerns over 777's financial practices have increasingly been raised by people within the company or those working with them, including a consultant hired during their purchase of Standard Liege who was only paid for his services after they had threatened to complain to the Premier League.

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This, of course, follows the news that Vasco da Gama were placed under a transfer embargo by FIFA for unpaid transfer fees and the assertion that the British Basketball League (of which 777 own 45%) is at risk of going into administration because of unpaid tranches of investment from the company. 

» Read the full article at Bloomberg



Reader Comments (36)

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Simon Harrison
1 Posted 08/12/2023 at 15:24:37
This makes for some rather 'interesting' (sic) reading.

It just goes to show that 777 are, seemingly, in the same boat as Moshiri himself (in this context). By that I mean that 777 Partners LLC are having to rob Peter to pay Paul, from their own assets, which does not seem to indicate that they have a viable revenue source to complete the purchase of EFC without causing financial instability within the 777 group of companies themselves.

Then, if 777 Partners have been using the approximate $1.5Bn of cash assets within 777 Re to fund their ongoing business ventures since 2020; and if they haven't published their accounts for 2021-22 and 2022-23, causing the downgrading of 777 Re as a Reinsurer, with instructions by AM Best to recapitalise 777 Re or face further downgrades to 777 Re's credit rating, then realistically would the FCA (regardless of the FA's and the Premier League's decisions) really, I mean really, have a position to 'genuinely' approve of the takeover???

(NB Paul the Esk has detailed 777 Re thoroughly; see here: The significant issues facing 777 Partners, Everton and regulators)

Personally, again, only from what is in the public domain, and without any insight into how the deal will be brokered, I think not.

It would genuinely put EFC at risk of requiring even more debt to be leveraged onto the club in order for it remain a 'going concern'.

Something that would surely fly in the face of the Premier League's plan for limited debt aquisitions and club sustainability – would it not?

I leave you to look to trusted and reliable publicly available information regarding 777 Partners LLC to make your own minds up.

The last pertinent question with regards this article is

If 777 Partners do not complete their proposed takeover of the club by January, andthey do pull the plug on their unsecured loans, then:

i) What happens to the approximate £100m or so of debt with an attached 20% interest rate? Who services that additional debt?

ii) Would Mr Moshiri start to re-finance (fund) the club again?

And lastly:

iii) Is there another potential suitor capable to propose an alternative takeover of EFC? (As mentioned in the penultimate paragraph of the Bloomberg article.)

"Everton has several contingency plans that have been in place for months, in case the Premier League rules against the American buyer, according to one person familiar with the matter."

I guess we'll have to keep focussing on the football, and 'pray' to the footballing Gods that the club, as an institution, can survive this financial high-wire, high-risk predicament it finds itself in.

Steve Dickinson
2 Posted 08/12/2023 at 16:55:44
Simon, well done for providing your illuminating post.

Any new owner of Everton Football Club needs to have the funds to:

1. Buy the club (for whatever value Moshiri can be persuaded to sell his equity);

2. Pay off the external debt (approximately £300 million) the club has on its books;

3. Complete the stadium (currently estimated to be around £200 million);

4. Invest in the (desperately thin) playing squad, and the ongoing development of the footballing side.

A new buyer also needs the management experience and bandwidth to focus on the ailing, loss-making business that Everton FC Co Ltd still is.

With interest rates being charged at between 10-20% on our current debts, the last thing the club needs is to be bought-out by someone who loads even greater debt levels upon it.

Throughout the process, I have seen no evidence whatsoever that 777 Partners have either the funds or the managerial resources to become a successful owner of our club. Quite the contrary, every insight into the funding, the owners and the business practices of 777 sends up red flags.

Perhaps, behind the scenes they are putting together the necessary funding and business plan to satisfy the Financial Conduct Authority. But we shouldn't hold our breath.

So, if 777 are eventually deemed to be unfit owners of our club, what next?

I don't know the names of other parties waiting in the wings. But I do have confidence that, if the 777 deal is blocked by the FCA, others are waiting to come forward.

The stadium, the current good form of the team and, dare I say, the (unpalatable) clarity over the so-called Independent Commission's verdict, are all positives for a future potential owner.

Uncertainty is not ideal, but ending up in the hands of a debt-laden owner who moves cash from Peter to pay Paul on a daily basis will only end in tears for Everton, and I suspect other parts of the 777 empire.

Let's all hope for a brighter future than that.

Simon Harrison
3 Posted 08/12/2023 at 17:28:12
Hi Steve,

You and all are welcome, and my thanks to you for providing us all with more food for thought.

If you can access the original article on Bloomberg, the article itself has many links to different articles associated to the one I posted highlighting their previous findings. I didn't want to fall foul of potential copyright and or intellectual property issues, so I didn't include them. However, I would urge anyone with genuine interest and some spare time to go to the original Bloomberg article/link. Not to mention how time consuming it would have been.

Getting back to your reply Steve, your points 1 thru 3 correlate to Moshiri's stated position in November 2022, where he was looking for approximately £1bn all in for the club and BMD.

However, as I understood it, he shifted his valuation to approximately £700-600m in the Jan/Feb of 2023; which lead to MSP getting involved until RMF 'blackballed' them, and 777 stepped in with their approximate £500m'ish offer with caveats of course re the commission and league status 22/23 ending.

I agree with your point 4 and all your other opinions; for clarity the RMF debt is at 12% allegedly, and theother charged debt is at around the 8-10% mark (currently). However, IF 777 are borrowing at 20% then that is and would be financially calamatous to the club surely!!

As you say, we need BMD completed, signed off and operational ASAP to increase commercial and game-day revenue.

As it has long been stated (Kitbag anyone?) EFC need much more professional, competent and tech savvy commercial, marketing and financial departments. Not so much Blue sky thinking, more building stronger financial and commercial foundations, with a forward thinking (and coherent) business strategy. Both nationally and internationally. All currently patently absent from the club. E.g. £8.3m in payoffs to three directors, and then finding that they are not compelled to provide evidence at the Independant Commission!?)

Additionally, they then need much more stringent financial controls to rein in current spending, until we are in a more fluid (stable) financial position; and only until then, can we meaningfully address the playing staff and the footballing side of the enterprise.

As you say, 777 Partners Llc, do not currently seem to fit any of that, or your criteria in reality.

I feel EFC would be to them, the last aquisition needed in their multi-club model, before trying to hawk it (the football club group) to the highest bidder personally.

As you say Steve, let's all hope for a (better) future, than that proposed by 777 and Moshiri currently.

As an aside Steve, it would appear that at least two companies that 777 are heavily reliant on for 'cash', are owned by one and the same person, with one of those two companies putting 97% of their revenue into 777...

Good wishes

Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 08/12/2023 at 20:09:00
There's a lot of 'old news' in the Bloomberg piece, which to me seems more of an amalgam of the tittle-tattle flying around about how awful 777 Partners are.

Looks like they are being set up as prime examples to be excoriated under the "newly beefed up" (how convenient!) Director's and Owner's test — just in time for another very public display of Premier League power and strength – proof to anyone watching of its ability to regulate itself.

Barry Hesketh
5 Posted 08/12/2023 at 20:18:48
I think a lot of the 'noise' surrounding 777 Partners and its possible purchase of Everton comes from the UK / US governments being loathe to see Usmanov gain any monies from a possible sale.

There are a few stories currently circulating about concerns of the UK Government and whether or not Usmanov will benefit directly or indirectly from the sale of Everton.

Typical, we get a Billionaire, he messes everything up, takes the club to the brink of ruin, and then when he wants to relinquish control, he can't, unless he can prove that the guy who many believe funded his purchase in the first place, won't get any of his money back.

How Moshiri can alleviate those supposed concerns is difficult to work out.

Bobby Mallon
6 Posted 08/12/2023 at 20:23:15
This is an attack on our club by the Premier League, for what reason I do not know, but they have got EFC in their sights to ruin us.
Stu Darlington
7 Posted 08/12/2023 at 20:56:30
Michael @4,

You're right, there are a lot of historical facts in the Bloomberg article. The operative phrase for me is” a lot of which makes it a lot more serious than an amalgam of “tittle-tattl” flying around.

Are you really suggesting that some person or organisation has actually fabricated all the allegations against 777 in such a way as to “set them up”? and in the same breath imply that such an organisation is the Premier League?

Remember, this is an organisation that can't even follow its own rules, and you are implying they are capable of organising and implementing such a complete hatchet job on 777.

The next change of ownership for Everton Football Club is massively important to our future. It is right and proper that the utmost caution is taken in vetting prospective owners, the club, players, employees and the fans deserve nothing less.

So I respectfully suggest you give your head a wobble and go for a lie down in a darkened room.

Just a thought, but do you have any shares in 777?

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 08/12/2023 at 21:06:45
We might have suffered because of the Premier League's intention to show everyone that they can regulate themselves, Michael, but if you seriously want 777 involved at Everton, then I'd be very, very surprised, mate?

They don't look like they are getting set-up by the Premier League (to me) but I do believe they have been set up by Moshiri & Usmanov, although I'm not sure I understand the logic of why they went with 777 when there was a much better, or should I say, stable offer for the club on the table, from another interested party.

Let's just hope that Keith Wyeness, the man who once allegedly copped for a load of money to keep quiet about all things Everton, is suddenly giving us some worthwhile information!

Paul Hewitt
9 Posted 08/12/2023 at 21:07:27
For all the negativity about 777, at least they are funding the club and stopping it going into administration. I don't see Moshiri or anyone else helping out.
Michael Kenrick
10 Posted 08/12/2023 at 21:41:45
Stu,

It would be nice to think our current and previous owners met your high standards, but beggars can't be choosers. Thirty years of decline underlines that, along with the utter incompetence that wasted so much of Moshiri's money.

Our needs (especially for money!) are immediate now, and potentially acute. It is vital that Everton get through the next 12 months, stay in the Premier League, and move into the new stadium. What threatens that are the forces that seem to be intent on doing Everton down.

Approval of 777 Partners may well be frying pan to fire, while rejection may let one of these mythical other parties step in to snap us up at a knock-down price. Either way, some form of ownership transition needs to occur or we seriously risk going into administration.

But a lot of it comes down to what we want to believe, rather than what might be the definitive truth in all this — which is very hard to discern.

Derek Thomas
11 Posted 08/12/2023 at 21:42:14
BONZA, a newly formed Australian budget airline has suspended many flights just before Christmas.

"Who owns Bonza? Bonza was founded by Tim Jordan, Lidia Valenzuela and Peter McNally, and Jordan is the CEO. But the majority stake in the airline is owned by 777 Partners, an investment firm based in Miami, in the US"

More grist to the mill.

Edit: The perceived wisdom is there is barely room in Australia for Two airlines, let alone a third.

Stu Darlington
12 Posted 08/12/2023 at 22:16:59
Michael,

I agree totally about the immediate seriousness of our financial position and the need for a form of ownership transition to avoid the risk of going into administration.

Where we diverge is that I don't subscribe to the view that “beggars can't be choosers” and that we have to snatch the hand off any dodgy investors that come along and poo poo any due diligence as part of some dark conspiracy out to do Everton down.

If the club jumps out of the frying pan into the fire, it merely stores more problems for us down the line, possibly leaving us deeper in the hole.

It's imperative we get investment into the club, but it's also imperative that it's the right kind of investment for the future of the club.

This may be naive of me given the sources of some of the investments in clubs recently from nation states with dubious human rights records and American sports ownership companies who buy clubs and then leverage them to the hilt, a la Glazers at Man Utd, and we all know how popular that has been.

Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 08/12/2023 at 23:04:21
Stu,

Sadly, the truth of it is they are all dodgy in one way or another, and the huge amounts of money needed to take Everton over and keep them going means the pot of potential new owners who are prepared to risk that kind of money is very very small.

We will find out soon enough who comes out of the woodwork if 777 Partners are not approved. Let's just hope part of their strategy for minimizing the cost does not involve seeing us fall into administration first.

Stu Darlington
14 Posted 09/12/2023 at 00:38:33
Michael,

You paint a very depressing picture of Everton's future. If 777 are not approved we are in deep trouble. If 777 are approved we could be in deeper trouble.

Good job I'm not allowed access to sharp implements!

Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 09/12/2023 at 01:59:42
Michael,

I know you're adept at slicing through bullshit and innuendo— and most of what we read falls into one or the other category. But, if a fraction of allegations against 777 Partners are true, there's a chance we could do a Portsmouth.

Remember their shite owners then that faux savior stepped in and administration, followed by rapid descent to Tier 4?

Ricky Oak
16 Posted 09/12/2023 at 04:33:36
For once I can feel a connection with Michael, it does stink like the proverbial how every move Everton make gets immediate forensic investigation and nowt but negativity emerges.

Obviously we only want improvement; however, our relationship with 777 Partners already feels tainted, could we for once get a little bit of positivity over something? Dear God, it even felt like Birmingham had the mockers put on them last evening, you know, because they've the equivalent to an actual miracle of a player – like, pure, genuine genius – easily same breath as Messi, Ronaldo, Best… a manager who happens to be one of our own.

Negative commentators, same tackles & fouls, different outcomes from officials – the normal injustice for the blue three-quarters of Liverpool, transitioned to that other blue team.

Did this happen to Slippy G at Rangers? I think not. It was sick inducing, again, how much tounge his backside got, and more than a fair go by all and sundry, same as the English King's son's team get, Aston Villa. They immediately got bounced right over Everton as soon as Stephen Gerrard managed there… Even if it's paranoia, as has been said, doesn't mean it's not going on.

Wayne Rooney has been hobbled from the very start, twice the player Shearer was, another who everyone conveniently forgets shat out off, and on his England pals, and fanboys that tournament he retired simply coz he hadn't the humility to be back up to Wazza, when Winker got Rooney sent off or some drama triangle happened. Shearer was ideal to come on, we all knew it. England possibly would've won that competition, double ball-ache… I think El Tel Venables (RIP).

Was manager and probably gutted sherah spat his dummy, never ever has anyone to my limited knowledge pulled the geordie maggot on that. No it's all, Al this and the boring drone eating himself that.

Didn't they bang on about Wazza though, again forgetting he put his ball-sack on the line even with a weakened newly busted foot?

Michael will probably cringe that he has been mentioned by likes of me. I actually feel all sensible and grown up… Never!

This getting treated with disdain has to stop, if 777 or Sigue Sigg Sputnik can restore some respect and fight tooth n nail everytime this belittling happens, let's have it. Turn the cards and enjoy what time some have left — it isn't our money after all.

Also, I truly believe God is an Evertonian, so we're destined to get double figures for top-level champions – regardless what the black-hearted forked-tongued shit-eating brown envelope brigade do.

Journalist on the other thread — he is the only one in my 33 years and 3 months of feeling Evertonian, to ever show us respect and love, publicly, on a par with all them that treat the Red Shite that way permanently.

I say you buy one Everton, you get the Kudus free. Another player, by the way, supposed to be playing for us. Kudos to ex-blue Moyes, the joyless one, for seeing through that piss-take, having insight as he did to what type of players Everton seemingly 'allowed' – basically no-one worthy of a red colour top, of course… unless, like, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Gordon, Stones etc we develop or who potentially may lift standards, they get snatched quick smart, nobbled, hamstrun — call it whatcha like, smells like fear of the originals to me (nod to the DoN of LF)

I am bored off now… regretting posting already. COYBBB!

Derek Thomas
17 Posted 09/12/2023 at 07:24:53
Hell of a rant there Ricky — love it!
Jerome Shields
18 Posted 09/12/2023 at 08:45:59
I was under the impression that 777 Partners had gained approval by the Premier League. But now it seems they haven't. I also thought, once the Commission was over, that another Commission would not be appointed to sort out compensation, but at the time I did query the possiblity of compensation.

As Michael says, a preconceived agenda still seems to be in play. The Premier League has gone rogue on its very foundations. As for Moshiri, his level of financial competence is now questionable along with his already exposed useless management of the club.

As for 777 Partners, they are part of a boom in Investment finance that will end because of the likes of them. I just can't understand Rights & Media Funding backing MSP Finance and allowing 777 Partners to continue. Maybe that is what this now problematic end-of-year deadline is really about.

Paul Hewitt
19 Posted 09/12/2023 at 09:04:18
Paul the Esk has written he is certain Everton will have new owners in the New Year, and that it won't be 777 Partners.

Maybe he knows something?

Colin Glassar
20 Posted 09/12/2023 at 09:16:14
Just seen that, Paul.

I doubt Paul the Esk knows any more than the rest of us do about what will happen once (if) the 777 deal falls through.

I think it's just wishful thinking on his part.

Tony Everan
21 Posted 09/12/2023 at 09:28:02
I read that comment, Paul, it was quite unambiguously put. There maybe no truth in it but I don't think Paul deliberately tries to mislead, just passes on what he's heard or understood.

We are at decision point now with the authorities and 777, so it's possible there's just too many questions unanswered and too many risks, not least because of the inability to submit fully audited accounts.

From Paul's comment, it seems to me that he has heard through a contact that 777 Partners will fail due diligence. Additionally, that an alternative consortium has struck an acceptable deal with Moshiri to replace them as buyers.

It's what I want to read into it anyway, but there is more than a bit of straw-clutching going on. 🙏 Especially as Paul Quinn is, probably though necessity, being very coy. Still, the thought of it being true will make me feel precariously happy until I hear otherwise.

Duncan McDine
22 Posted 09/12/2023 at 09:54:27
I might be wide of the mark with my theory, but what I've been witnessing over the past 2 or 3 years (or more?) has given me the distinct impression that they're trying to fuck us over... and (I can't believe I'm writing this)... they may well have good reason.

It reminds me of a documentary I saw about the police going after certain individuals that were suspected of being heavily involved in criminal activity, but the cops just didn't have the evidence to lock them up.

A large number of these so-called bad guys have been framed by the cops over the years, for crimes they didn't commit. Some may argue that its for the greater good, but who's the bigger criminal?

My belief is that the government have everything but physical proof about the dirty nature surrounding the ownership and running of Everton, so have been trying every trick they can think of to stitch us up.

This has ramped up several notches since Putin's mate cemented his place on the naughty list, so I think this is less about 777 Partners and more about Usmanov.

Paul Hewitt
23 Posted 09/12/2023 at 10:00:07
Duncan,

The British government is one of the most corrupt in the world. They have a flaming cheek if that's what they are doing.

Duncan McDine
24 Posted 09/12/2023 at 10:21:58
PH, are you saying that the UK would be one of the Sky 6 when competing in the "Corrupt Government World League"?

The fact that Saudi Arabia now own Newcastle would hint that you might be right.

Where there is power, money and greed...

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 09/12/2023 at 10:31:18
Fuck the Government, but if they are trying to stop 777 getting a hold of Everton, then I might even vote for the Tory Bastards!

I think Duncan might be 100% correct regarding his first assessment, but if he his, then surely these people would want Everton out of the hands of the Oligarch?

I've been saying for a very long time that there are other American investors waiting in the wings, and these people were supposedly flabbergasted when Moshiri went with 777 Partners over them.

I believe they haven't gone away and have got a very good chance of purchasing the club, but I'm not sure how good these people are going to be even if I'm certain that they are going to have a well-thought-out plan.

Michael Kenrick
26 Posted 09/12/2023 at 10:48:23
Quite the tirade there, Ricky. They're all out to get us.

Kudos (Kudus?) for slipping in the Sigue Sigue Sputnik mention — they just don't enough attention or recognition in this day and age.

Surprised you can sleep at night with all that shit on your mind. Have you tried hard drugs? I hear they can be very effective.

Brian Harrison
27 Posted 09/12/2023 at 11:11:04
The more I see how many owners run their clubs and the people who now own many of the Premier League clubs, how I wish we had a 50+1 system they have in Germany. This doesn't deter investment into clubs but the fans have the majority vote.

German football has the highest average attendances, low ticket prices and the reason many believe is having their unique 50+1 rule.

Also, when you look at their stadiums compared to ours, were only Spurs have built a new stadium, and the rest of the elite in the Premier League are playing in stadiums built well over 100 years ago.

I think its interesting to listen to the CEO of Borussia Dortmund who said in 2016 "When the fans get the feeling that they are no longer fans but customers, then we have a problem".

Fans now have no say and most have no empathy with their owners – in fact, quite the opposite: many fans actually protest against their owners.

Jerome Shields
28 Posted 09/12/2023 at 13:20:23
A pullover interview or a letter from Moshiri would be inappropriate. Fortunately we are way past that PR regime, the perpetrators being no longer with us. There are enough rats out there, without the media smelling another one.

A serious buyer was always going to emerge from the wings after all the cowboys had done their walk-on parts. Moshiri was never in control.

Ricky Oak
29 Posted 09/12/2023 at 17:52:33
Sincere apologies for the insight to my brain damage, thank you Derek T for the spiritual lift you gave me with your reply, and dear Michael K, I truly envy the standards you set for being calm, articulate and mature seemingly with a simplistic attitude, that cuts to the quick – humourous, with a hint of disdain, you inspire me, sir.

All I ever seem to be able to articulate is the terror, torture, torment and pain from lessons of trying to hold breath whilst the toilet flush goes through its slower than it seems cycle, trying not to wet, shiz or cry, coupled with flashbacks of flying through the air with greatest of ease, looking for least painful, where and way to land at the bottom of awkward little landing that twists round the corner of the staircase, with style obviously, for the less than helpful onlookers.

I dream of having the calm assured confident fragrance of your mind. Probably wouldn't've taken this long to think of a reply, hehe, you're bang on Michael. Absolutely no offense hoped for or intended hombre, or to anyone, for very likely inappropriate overshare.

Drugs are bad, okay.

Billy Bradshaw
30 Posted 09/12/2023 at 20:44:21
Ricky @29, very strange post… hope you're okay sir.
Trevor Bailey
31 Posted 09/12/2023 at 21:24:28
Ricky, dealer's name please. Could do with some of that.
Andy Crooks
32 Posted 09/12/2023 at 21:33:52
Paul Hewitt, if the British government was one of the most corrupt in the world, you wouldn't have written that.

Fuck me, some folk really have no idea. Apart from many of us on here, Everton mean not one fucking tiny jot in the remotest realm of what is of any account.

Ricky Oak
33 Posted 09/12/2023 at 23:22:33
Would like to say the edit on the end could've saved it, Billy, had south park reference, truth is on my pity pot is all, blame game, other than that, really am blessed, thank you for asking.

Trevor, don't believe the lie, just much more misery that way, Jackals, wolves and rats habitation amigo, football connection at last.

Wrong of me to inflict these posts on this forum. Will not happen again.

Kieran Kinsella
34 Posted 09/12/2023 at 23:46:27
Andy Crooks & Paul Hewitt,

On the news tonight, they asked people around the world about Everton. A mix of interviewees: North Korean gulag dwellers, child slaves in Mauritania, sex-trafficked woman from Moldova, Chinese Ouighurs etc – and every one of them said:

“Things aren't perfect here but looking at Everton! Thank God we don't live in England.”

Andy Crooks
35 Posted 10/12/2023 at 14:47:09
Brilliant, Kieran!
Simon Harrison
36 Posted 13/12/2023 at 11:03:16
Kieran [@34],You forgot to give the updates from the Mongolian Yak-breeder, and the Aboriginal Wombat-trainer...

Apparently, both mentioned the fact that although there would be plentiful grass at Goodison Park, and Finch Farm, they couldn't agree to the requests for sponsorship from the Club, as it would infringe on their media-image rights...

Talk about not being able to catch a break!


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