16/01/2024 53comments  |  Jump to last

Everton's prospective buyers, 777 Partners, are unlikely to find out whether they will get the green light for a few more weeks, the Premier League's Chief Executive has admitted.

Richard Masters went before members of Parliament on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee in Westminster today and he was asked by the committee’s chair, Dame Caroline Dinenage, if he could provide an update on the proposed takeover of the Blues by the Florida-based firm.

Masters responded by saying: “As soon as we have completed the process. Unfortunately, some processes take a matter of weeks; some, if we haven’t had satisfactory answers to the questions we have asked, it takes a lot longer.

“[This process] has already been running for a number of weeks, so it’s going to take longer."

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When asked by Dinenage, “How much longer? Weeks, days, months, years?”, the League chief replied that he could not say for sure.

"It is a very difficult question to answer. Hopefully, weeks."

With an agreement concluded with Farhad Moshiri over acquiring his full 94.1% stake in Everton in September, 777 Partners were hoping that the approval process under the Premier League's owners and directors test would take around 12 weeks and be wrapped up by Christmas.

The Miami investment firm were reported to have been cleared by the Financial Conduct Authrority but face  intense scrutiny by the League and their prospects have not been enhanced by more lawsuits filed against them in the United States in recent weeks and a transfer ban handed down to Standard Liege, the Belgian club in which they have a controlling interest. 

In the meantime, 777 have furnished Everton with a reported £142m in loans to cover day-to-day running costs and further payments to Laing O'Rourke for the construction of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, with more required in the coming weeks while the takeover remains in limbo.

 

Reader Comments (53)

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David Connor
2 Posted 16/01/2024 at 16:44:13
It really does make you wonder if the FA have some hidden agenda against Everton. I know they probably don't but it does make you think that they really want us to go into administration.

Why the hell is it taking so long for approval of the 777 takeover? It beggars belief really. Whatever the outcome, we will always have the best club and the best fans in the world. Chin up fellow Blues.

Brian Wilkinson
3 Posted 16/01/2024 at 16:54:00
If it's weeks, my guess is 2 February – the day after the transfer window closes.

If they approve it, I will be very worried indeed, and pull out of it, especially with the Premier League giving them the thumbs up.

Raymond Fox
4 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:10:50
Why so long? Okay, I can see it's not straight-forward but weeks and weeks and weeks!

The same with the overspends, it's not that complicated if they get all the facts and figures given to them promptly, surely to god.

Jamie Crowley
5 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:26:08
We don't want 777 Partners as our owners. They're shady as fuck.

I honestly hope we're trying like hell to find another buyer.

Phil Smith
6 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:32:11
Must be getting cold feet for some reason...
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:39:46
I've said since day one the Premier League will delay the final decision until the transfer window is closed then they'll reject 777 (I wouldn't choose them, btw), so we will back to square one.

Call it a conspiracy or what you want but I think there are forces that want us out of the Premier League and Liverpool to become a one-team city.

Kevin Molloy
8 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:13:54
These ongoing delays and unexpected extra charges are all happening with one aim, it is making it more and more uncomfortable for the owners of Everton to carry on.

I'm convinced this is pure politics, Ukraine et al. We could well end up being the sacrificial lamb to give one of Putin's mates one last bloody nose. Ain't that grand.

Anthony Dove
9 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:31:58
The most worrying thing in all the present mess and chaos
is that it appears the club can't function anymore without
the monthly loans from 777 Partners.

If 777 Partners aren't approved, which in itself I would be in favour of, administration has to be a real possibility.

Jim Wilson
10 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:33:37
Colin,

Spot on, some people won't believe something that is staring them right in the face.

Russelll Smith
11 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:38:32
Colin,

Whatever punishment the Premier League throw at us, if they relegate us to the Northern Premier League, this city will never, ever, be a one-club city. 40,000 will still turn up if we are playing Prescott Cables or Marine.

Everton are our team, will always be, and that will never change despite the best efforts of the corrupt Premier League.

We shall not be moved.
COYB

Kev Wood
12 Posted 16/01/2024 at 18:47:05
Just been told (but unverified) that 777 Partners have pulled out of the Everton deal.

Yard dogs – I never wanted them.

Don't know what happens next (administration?) but we stand together! Sorry if I've been misled re this – any more news?

Paul Hewitt
14 Posted 16/01/2024 at 19:38:33
Apparently, one of the 777 businesses worth $2.4 billion has gone into administration.

They may now pull out of the Everton deal.

Paul Ferry
16 Posted 16/01/2024 at 19:49:30
Good news if true. You're not always that reliable, to be honest, Paul, and you do post a lot of stuff like this.

This will allow other consortiums to have a look at us if, as has been reported, they do exist and Tony (A) has been right all along.

Paul Hewitt
18 Posted 16/01/2024 at 19:53:52
Just seen it PF. The company that's gone into administration apparently is called 777 Re. Looks like it's some sort of loan company.
Paul Ferry
20 Posted 16/01/2024 at 19:57:43
But, on the other hand, we keep hearing that we are staying afloat due to 777 Partners' upfront loans.

Wouldn't it be nice if we just plodded along, kept our heads down, kept proper accounts, budgeted like all good housekeepers, had a nice big win now and then, met mates at the match, few bevvies, and kept out of the news for the most part?

Paul Ferry
22 Posted 16/01/2024 at 20:00:19
This is them: https://www.777re.com/

Based in Bermuda. Can't find anything about administration yet.

Jason Hewly
24 Posted 16/01/2024 at 20:34:47
There are a few easy ways to pass the Fit and Proper Persons criteria.

1. Kidnap a journalist in an embassy, chop him into little pieces.

2. Secretly buy up houses around your ground and cynically run down the area and encourage local crime, then threaten the journalists who expose it.

3. Lump £1 billion worth of debt onto a profitable company for a leveraged purchase.

4. Set fire to a warehouse when you're looking to redevelop your stadium site with brand new stadium next door.

5. Launder a dictator's money.

6. Steal money from the Thailand government.

7. Oppress your own population and shoot refugees in the face.

8. Pretend it's not a state purchase by calling it a "sovereign wealth fund".

Alec Gaston
25 Posted 16/01/2024 at 21:29:23
Kev,

Is the source reliable? I would love this to be true.

Jerome Shields
26 Posted 16/01/2024 at 21:36:54
Rumours that the 777 Partners takeover will not go through on the Web. It seems according to Masters there have been delays in what is being asked for, hence delays in the decision.

Meanwhile, 777 Partners cannot keep funding Everton indefinitely without an answer. They seem to have other problems.

Maybe Paul the Esk is right on this one, that it will not go ahead. It occurred to me that Moshiri may be in a personal guarantee situation.

There may be some partial truth in Kevin's opinion.

Bobby Mallon
27 Posted 16/01/2024 at 22:43:34
David Connor,

I under your frustrations about the takeover over but just step back a bit. 777 Partners are a seemingly slimy outfit. Just look at what's happening with their other clubs and court cases.

Why are we happy to be in bed with them? I'm glad the Premier League are looking into these properly.

Soren Moyer
28 Posted 16/01/2024 at 22:45:28
Paul,

The latest news on 777 Partners (not Re) is from yesterday, 15 January. It's about their 2 main money sources being under investigation. No idea if you've read it or not:

Endgame – Josimar Football

Kevin Molloy
29 Posted 16/01/2024 at 22:53:35
if we lose 777 Partners, we will almost certainly sell one or two of our Crown Jewels this month, at a stocking undervalue.
Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 16/01/2024 at 23:07:58
Kevin, would that be because of the restocking fee?

Seriously, this is all moving at a glacial pace, and even if 777 folds their hand or is shot down by the Premier League, it's likely it won't happen in the next 2 weeks. And both Thelwell and Dyche have said straight out that this window will be inactive for us.

So unless something tectonic happens, I'd say Onana, Branthwaite and Pickford are going nowhere right now.

Sam Hoare
31 Posted 16/01/2024 at 23:24:08
Looking less and less likely to me that the 777 deal goes through. Which leaves us a billion in debt and up Poop Creek without a paddle!!

Moshiri has been silent and absent but, if he's not careful, we'll end up in administration which would be bad for him and disastrous for us.

He needs to stop chasing the highest offer and just sell to people who can actually get the deal done. Pronto.

Paul Kossoff
32 Posted 16/01/2024 at 23:50:49
More good news:

The Everton takeover faces ‘another red flag' as 777 Partners are hit with a new £24million lawsuit.

That is the view of finance expert Kieran Maguire, who exclusively told Football Insider that 777 being accused of more unpaid fees is not surprising.

As reported by Reuters, three aircraft lessors have sued 777 Partners for $30million (£24million) for missed payments.The US group agreed a deal with Farhad Moshiri to buy his majority 94 percent stake in Everton back in September, but they are still awaiting approval from the Premier League.

They have since provided over £140million in loans to the Merseyside club to help with stadium fees and operating costs.

Maguire believes 777 Partners are ‘haemorrhaging money' from their previous football investments.

Another day, another debt appears to be the motto of 777 Partners,” Maguire told Football Insider's Sean Fisher.

“The issues with regards to their unpaid leasing fees come as no surprise given the company's background in aviation, which is a struggling industry at present.

“Their football operations have failed to turn around any of the struggling clubs they initially acquired and therefore they're haemorrhaging money as well.

“I think it is another red flag and there are a lot of concerned people, both supporters and elsewhere, who are very wary about 777's ability to raise funds.

If you wrote a book about Everton surely it would reside in the horror section but it would all be true.

Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 16/01/2024 at 23:51:40
Sam,

It's interesting with Moshiri. Is he out of cash? Is he holding out for an unrealistic deal

? Or has he resigned himself to losing his Everton money so doesn't want to lose even more?

Si Cooper
34 Posted 16/01/2024 at 00:01:29
“The most worrying thing in all the present mess and chaos is that it appears the club can't function anymore without the monthly loans from 777 Partners.”

I keep reading posts like this but, as far as I have read anywhere, there is no reason to believe Moshiri is now penniless or unable to get finance.

I've been working on the assumption that he was simply allowing 777 to take over the financial responsibilities for the club because they had an agreed price in place and it would allow them to demonstrate their commitment to preserving the club's status.

Perhaps someone who really knows could chip in to make it all clear?

Matt Traynor
35 Posted 17/01/2024 at 01:21:07
The old saying was: "How do you become a millionaire from owning a football club? Start as a billionaire."

Whatever his original net worth – I think it was quoted as around $1.9B – he's probably lost more than half of that, and lost his 2 allies, shady backer and the chancer. He probably doesn't have the same misty-eyed emotions towards the club right now, and I'm frankly concerned about what happens next.

They say it's darkest just before dawn. Nobody strike a match please, just in case he's doused the whole lot with petrol...

Lyndon Lloyd
36 Posted 17/01/2024 at 05:34:08
Si,

Moshiri isn't penniless, but his net worth will have shrunk since its height, he apparently has a lot of money tied up by sanctions on USM and he has pumped well over three quarters of a billion quid into Everton.

On that basis, he has drawn the purse strings tight and won't be putting any more money in if he can help it. If the 777 takeover falls through, however, he will have some big calculations to make.

Jerome Shields
37 Posted 17/01/2024 at 08:49:45
Moshiri has already provided the Premier League with a letter guaranteeing to provide funds under the Profitability and Sustainability Rules for the year prior to the already investigated year. This we know about. It is probable that he has had to provide subsequent letters.

Because there is no public AGM since, there is no legal requirement for him or Everton to disclose this. But it still is a requirement under Profitability and Sustainability Rules. So there is a Personal guarantee involved for Moshiri.

I also don't believe that it is Moshiri's decision what he does. 777 Partners are that dodgy that, via nominee and offshore companies, it will never be known who their ultimate owners are. Actually they seem run pretty well – the same way Everton are – and Moshiri might as well be sanctioned as a mate of Putin, such is the cost to him of his current predicament.

The real way to sort out the Premier League is to make the clubs involved provide for a fund for clubs who get into difficulty, instead of a neverending chasing after more money..

Sam Hoare
38 Posted 17/01/2024 at 08:53:01
Kieran @38,

I think he's still got a fair chunk of change in his skyrocket but that the latter two are definitely true.

Strange to think that he may simultaneously be the person who delivered us our long awaited modern, well-executed stadium and be the ruin of this football club.

Stu Darlington
39 Posted 17/01/2024 at 09:40:51
Forget Premier League sanctions, appeals, points deductions, fines etc. That all pales into insignificance when you consider our dire financial situation.

I'll be honest, I don't want 777 Partners anywhere near our club; they are dodgy American financiers who have no interest in football clubs or their supporters other than as an asset to leverage further loans against.

If their attempted takeover of Everton is blocked (and I hope it will be), their loans to the club to finance the day-to-day running of the club will cease, we won't be able to meet our financial obligations, and will go into administration and possibly cease to exist as the Everton we know. It may be even worse if they demand the instant repayment of the loans they have made.

Where is Moshiri in all this? I have no idea but, if he does allow the club to go into administration, he stands to lose the greater part of his investment.

So the big question for me is, will he be willing to take such a massive financial hit or will he decide to continue financing day-to-day running costs at least until the new stadium is completed?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Of course we need new ownership as a matter of urgency, but we cannot just grasp at the first straw that comes along. The precedent is the Glazers' takeover of Man Utd.

From a club with zero debt in 2004 (? I think) when the Glazers took over, to something like £500 million in debt today, most of it leveraged against the club's assets and the gamble that its value was going to increase year on year.

What has the club got to show for it today? A ground desperately in need of repair and development and a team struggling in the Premier League with Iittle chance of Champions League football next season while the Glazers take £20-£30 million out in dividends each year!

My only hope is that, if any new potential owners do step up, they are of the less predatory kind who have a genuine interest in football and not just treat the club as an ATM.

Maybe a consortium of local business people who have the interests of Everton and their supporters at heart?

I know this is pie in the sky and probably a bit naive of me but it's being so cheerful keeps me going! Danny, how do you do it???

Kevin Molloy
40 Posted 17/01/2024 at 10:32:52
Mike
if it becomes apparent in the next couple of weeks 777 will want their money back, we will need to plug the gap. I heard 777 loans staved off administration a couple of months ago, if that is true, surely we will need to write a big cheque asap.
Jim Lloyd
41 Posted 17/01/2024 at 10:39:04
Stu, I think we are at the mercy of any deal that comes along, providing it satisfies the conditions of the authorities. We don't have any say in the matter. There maybe other intersted parties, should the 777 bid eventually fail.

Like you've pointed out, we're at the mercy of those with money, whether it's their own or someone elses.

I haven't any faith at all, that local businesses exist with the capital or the interest in buying our club. Otherwise, I'd have thought they'd have been in already.

I think the die was cast when we sold our soul to the Devil by contributing to the forming of the Premier league. It literally is the super league already. as, except for the odd cup winner, or extremely rare League Championship, going to anyone outside those who are successful already; with Chelsea first, then City and Newcastle and any other club swallowed up.

We missed our chance when Kenwright offered Sheik Mansour only the same terms as Moshiri. An investorship, not an ownership, with Kenwright staying as Chairman.

When it comes to it all, we will always be Evertonians...as long as there's an Everton to support!!!

I suppose now it depends can our new King's Council sort out the Gordian Knot that our club helped form.

Raymond Fox
42 Posted 17/01/2024 at 11:20:18
If the sale to 777 falls though there will other sharks circling around wanting to strike a bargain.

Moshiri wont cut off his nose to spite his face he will probably have to sell at a rock bottom price, hopefully to someone with serious money.

It needs to happen quickly or it appears theres every chance we could go bust.

All this stuff must be messing with the players, the managers and staffs heads, although it is not apparent yet.

Stu Darlington
43 Posted 17/01/2024 at 11:29:40
Sadly,I think you are right Jim.It’s just that 777 seem such blatant opportunists I believe that their involvement with us is just going to cause us even more problems down the track.
I don’t think we had any option but to go along with the formation of the Premier League at the time,or risk being left further and further behind the financial gravy train. We could not have foreseen the way it was going to favour the richest clubs as it has done and indeed we would have aspired to be one of them if as you say Kenwright and co.had made different decisions.
Ah well,the joys of being an Evertonian don’t come cheap but we will keep on supporting them whatever the cost.Depressing though isn’t it?
Christine Foster
44 Posted 17/01/2024 at 11:54:30
Ray @47,

I still believe that Moshiri could continue and ride out the storm rather than give it away, after all, he has everything to lose if he does.

Continuing to fund the club until all the controversy has gone will be clear water and a better end price for him. He is, in fact, in it too deep to take a bath.

The devil and the deep blue sea, 777 or Masters & Co.. . no good choice for Moshiri or the club, but he could continue to fund or lose his investment completely... Billionaires have a very different risk profile than us ordinary mortals, win some, lose some.

Kev Wood
45 Posted 17/01/2024 at 12:42:37
Alec (29).

Not verified at all- my partner mentioned that they had read a journalistic source on X and when I tried to check I could not find it.

I hope I have not set any hares running here but it seems to fit with what some reliable regular commentators are referring to above… and many seem to agree with the opinion that 777 Partners could possibly be described as a gang of raggle-taggle yard dogs.

Mark Ryan
46 Posted 17/01/2024 at 13:09:08
I hope they pull out or are deemed not fit. I'm sure a Knight in shining armour is about to rescue us and it's not 777
David Vaughan
47 Posted 17/01/2024 at 14:06:11
Haven't read beyond the headline but I generally trust The Athletic...

"Newcastle chairman Al-Rumayyan faces $74m lawsuit for ‘carrying out’ malicious instructions of Bin Salman"

Link (behind paywall)

Be careful what we wish for...

Bill Gall
48 Posted 17/01/2024 at 14:51:04
Christine #49,

Re your comment of billionaires have a different risk profile than us mortals.

We keep hearing he is trying to sell Everton to regain some of the investment he has put into the club, and people think he is broke.

Like any other business person he doesn't want to loose any money and that is why he is trying to sell his shares, most probably for more than he paid for them.

I agree that he should stop trying to sell the club or his shares to 777 Partners and look for a more reputable take over company or individual.

According to Forbes, yesterday (16 January 2024), his net worth is listed as $3.1B and that is close to over a billion more than when he first bought his shares to take over the club.

Moshiri is not going to go broke by any means. I think as you say, he may just lose the value of the investment he has put into the club.

Just going to break into my investments and buy a ham sandwich from the local store.

Paul Hewitt
49 Posted 17/01/2024 at 15:51:39
If I was Moshiri, I think I'd keep hold of the club till the new ground is finished at least. He would surely get more money for it with a finished ground.

Go and get yourself a proper CEO, not some ex-charity worker. A proper chairman and board. Then keep your nose out of the football side and just sign the cheques.

Kevin Molloy
50 Posted 17/01/2024 at 16:37:49
Imagine sticking a billion quid into Everton, and the fans all think you're an idiot. No wonder we never see him.

He must rue the day he was charmed (as so many were before him) by a teary handshake and a couple of tickets to see Blood Brothers.

Still, at least he knows he was done by The Master. He can't even threaten him with a pair of concrete boots, Bill has made his escape.

Anthony Hawkins
51 Posted 17/01/2024 at 16:44:33
I don't think Moshiri is an idiot for ploughing 'billions' into Everton. He was naïve in empowering the wrong men to spend it.
Kieran Kinsella
52 Posted 17/01/2024 at 16:47:37
Isaac Hayden saying today Standard Liege owned by 777 partners haven't been paying players on time or at all.

Does anyone think these con men are the answer? Yeah we might go into administration with no new owners but I suspect with them it will be administration plus all kinds of lawsuits.

Brendan McLaughlin
53 Posted 17/01/2024 at 17:01:01
Anthony 56

Your argument may have held water if Moshiri had not kept appointing the "wrong men" over and over...

Tony Everan
54 Posted 17/01/2024 at 17:11:19
Just read that Kieran, I'd be surprised if the takeover didn't collapse now.

“One for Everton fans concerned about who will own their club. Interview here with Isaac Hayden who claims he left Standard Liege over unpaid wages and will start legal action to get monies owed. Another fine mess for the good folk at 777 Partners.”

Steve Cotton
55 Posted 17/01/2024 at 21:07:27
Kevin Molloy... made me chuckle that one, mate... very droll.
Laurie Hartley
56 Posted 18/01/2024 at 10:11:28
Lyndon # 36 - regarding Farhad Moshiri's net worth, Forbes reckon it is US$3.1B, other sources say it is US$2.8B. I find this chart, particularly the 2016 figure intriguing.

Link

According to The Athletic, 777 Partners toured the stadium last Sunday. I keep asking myself whose US$160 million is it that 777 Partners have loaned Everton up to now.

I would have thought that, whoever's money it is, they must think it is a good bet – which raises for me another question: Why?

One thing I am absolutely sure of, despite all the chaos – that stadium will be completed.

Alec Gaston
57 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:24:40
Moshiri has been cleaning money – puts in £1B and gets £400M out.
Mal van Schaick
58 Posted 19/01/2024 at 12:12:37
Everton as a business has been impacted by the dithering over our appeal of the 10-point deduction and also the Premier League dragging its heels regarding our takeover.

Therefore, Everton should launch legal action against the Premier League regarding their failure to conduct their inquiries into our supposed transgressions and our new ownership.

We have players that we need to tie into new contracts and our transfer business is obviously affected because we cannot guarantee any certainty into any future dealings. The Premier Leaague cannot have its own way over everything that we do. Take them to court and force their hand.

Simon Harrison
59 Posted 29/01/2024 at 07:52:47
Lyndon or Michael,

Latest news re 777 takeover that has popped up.

Good news, another approximate £13m invested by 777 to keep the lights on

The Bad news, it appears there is an 'inside track' saying the takeover won't be approved;

Sky Sports reporter drops important 777 Partners update at Everton

Michael Kenrick
60 Posted 29/01/2024 at 08:55:16
Simon,

Yes, I saw that over the weekend. Since the extra money seemed to be another (relatively small) installment of an ongoing story that we have covered extensively already, I wasn’t convinced it warranted a new thread.

And as for the tacked-on claim of doom… supposed freelance journos in the know seem to have been falling over themselves for weeks telling anyone who would listen that the 777 Partners takeover will not be approved.

It might not be… but let’s just wait and see, shall we, before we go into yet another meltdown?


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