07/02/2024 36comments  |  Jump to last

Everton's prospective owners, 777 Partners, continue to come in for criticism at two of their under-performing clubs.

The Miami-based firm, who are waiting to hear from the Premier League over whether or not they have passed the owners and directors test in order to complete their takeover of the Toffees, have been the target of ire from fans of Standard Liege following a succession of problems.

The Belgian club were almost barred from competing in that country's top-flight campaign this season after failing to meet eligibility requirements and they were served with a transfer ban in December for failing to pay outstanding taxes, transfer fees and staff salaries.

And another of the football clubs in their stable, Brazilian club Vasco da Gama, were handed a transfer embargo by Fifa, again for failing to fulfil their obligations over unpaid transfer fees. 

Article continues below video content

Pierre Locht, Standard's Chief Executive, was about the club's situation on the set of the Tribune and he said: "We must make our mea culpa. Our supporters are angry and they are right but, despite their revolt, they are not going to renounce their support.

"I said that I would not hang on to my position from the moment I felt that the situation was no longer beneficial to Standard.

“People have doubts about 777 and sometimes I have them too. But I am not here to be the lawyer of 777, I cannot endorse everything.

"The management is primarily responsible for the sporting situation with this poor ranking and this insufficient dynamic. We are working to make the club stronger”.

Meanwhile, fans of Vasco have launched protests against 777, releasing a statement on Twitter/X that reads as follows:

This manifesto is a protest against the North Americans who are playing at managing the SAF of @Vasco da Gama.

777 Partners arrived at Vasco, in the form of Mr. Josh Wander, promising to close the financial gap in relation to its rival and restore the club among the greatest sporting powers in Brazilian football. Something that is VERY far from happening. Where is Josh Wander now?

Time passes and so far what we see are unfulfilled promises, delays in the works and definitions of the CT, in addition to a harmful delay for Vasco in terms of signings that actually raise the level of competitiveness of the squad. The coach has already begged for reinforcements, the team captain too and now even the football director has spoken publicly, but the company disconnected from reality continues in its revolting inertia. To sell, they tend to be much faster.

It is important to highlight that we are in no way against the creation and development of SAF at Vasco and we know its importance for the club, but we also do not admit that the current neglect of reckless management continues to prevail before our eyes while we witness more shame inside and outside of field.

May the promises be fulfilled and that Vasco SAF professionals have the autonomy to hire players of the level and size of the Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama.

» Read the full article at walfoot.be

Reader Comments (36)

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Martin Farrington
1 Posted 07/02/2024 at 20:06:06
1) Like many Premier League club owners, they are clearly unfit. In their case being liars, charlatans and fraudsters.

2) Why have the Premier League failed to announce a decision within a reasonable time frame? As such, they can be accused of failing to engage the club's interests and, furthermore, seen to be channeling Everton towards further PSR breaches due to lack of due process.

No other club has been treated so discriminately.

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 07/02/2024 at 20:58:42

"Why have the Premier League failed to announce a decision within a reasonable time frame?"

Precisely. Every proposal has to have an end date by which you pull the plug. If these guys between screwing over Standard, Vasco, Hertha, Melbourne, Bonza Airlines, various other subsidiaries, the British Basketball, and their employees cannot or won't provide financial statements as required, then the Premier League should just say "Okay, not approved, end of."

Even Kenwright realized after checking his mailbox several times that the check in the mail from Fortress Sports Fund was not forthcoming. He didn't just leave it open-ended in perpetuity and wait for it to show up.

Iain Crawford
3 Posted 07/02/2024 at 21:18:24
I'm speculating but, if the Premier League has asked for audited accounts so it can undertake meaningful due diligence and 777 Partnerss can't provide them after 5 months, surely that tells a story on its own.

When they bought Standard Liege, it was the same tactics: almost force the sale to happen without having to submit audited accounts. I think it would be reckless in the extreme to let them takeover Everton on this basis considering their already dubious financial reputation as is continuously reported.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 07/02/2024 at 21:26:28
So you actually believed Bill Kenwright when he introduced Samuelson at an Everton AGM, Kieran?

I remember thinking the fella was an extra from Emerdale, and was absolutely certain nothing was going to materialise from Samuelson.

I don't believe anything is going to materialise from 777 Partners either but it doesn't stop me feeling nervous about the eventual outcome which seems to be really dragging on.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 07/02/2024 at 21:30:36

You know me better than that, mate. I didn't believe him but I am saying even Kenwright cottoned on to him soon enough, whereas the FA and Moshiri are still fooling around with these con artists.

Don Alexander
6 Posted 07/02/2024 at 21:51:54

Kenwright introduced Samuelson as a life-long Evertonian when the two pitched their preposterous Fortress Sports Fund fiasco to a packed meeting of true fans.

Both their reputational balloons were burst simply by one true fan asking Samuelson to name the scorer of our winning goal in the 1966 FA Cup Final. He couldn't, burbling on instead about having been studying in Berlin at that time.

Our club's been a shambles ever since Kenwright got into the boardroom — albeit the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, to whom he sold out has only made it worse.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 07/02/2024 at 21:57:02
If Moshiri doesn't want to and 777 Partners more than likely shouldn't, who else is there to take control?

The up to now, mythical mystery bidder hiding in the long grass (tyger, tyger burning bright, in the forests of the night)?

Somebody has to, so if not any of the above, then who will 'administer' us?

And, more to the point: Can we pay our day-to-day outgoings without 777's 'cash injections' or are we in danger of officially 'trading unlawfully'?

Moshiri & Kenwright (deceased) have a lot to answer for.

Colin Glassar
8 Posted 07/02/2024 at 23:32:30
Will someone please put us out of our misery. This endless speculation is doing my head in.
Paul Hewitt
9 Posted 08/02/2024 at 06:46:42
Well, the FSA seem happy that 777 Partners have the funds to buy the club, and finance it for the next 3 years. Then it should be good enough for the Premier League.
Michael Kenrick
10 Posted 08/02/2024 at 07:09:08

I assume you mean the FCA?

Apparently, after the perceived regulatory failure of the banks in the financial crisis of 2007–2008, the UK government decided to abolish the FSA in 2013 and replace it with the FCA.

As I posted elsewhere, I'm not convinced about the FCA being happy with 777 Partners, but perhaps you have better information?

Robert Tressell
11 Posted 08/02/2024 at 07:20:55
I wonder if any of these issues are explsimed by the fact thst 777 buy basket case clubs as a strategy.

Is this a pre 777 past catching up with badly run clubs? Or is this 777? Or both?

I expect it may be the latter to some extent.

I notice no mention of Genoa who currently sit 11th in Serie A after a run of 5 games unbeaten.

Paul Hewitt
12 Posted 08/02/2024 at 07:36:07
Yep, just read it. FCA have given the all clear for 777 to buy the club.
Phillip Warrington
13 Posted 08/02/2024 at 07:51:36
Just think – we could have been owned by the crowd who own Man City and facing over a 100 breaches, lol!
Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 08/02/2024 at 08:25:31
Read what Michael has written on another thread before you pass that off as gospel, Paul.
Rob Halligan
15 Posted 08/02/2024 at 08:42:35
The FCA gave their approval before Christmas, I think
Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 08/02/2024 at 09:11:20
I don't claim to know what is going on. Very few of us do.

I am suspicious of 777 Partners, but we need something to happen.

The Glazers took over Manchester United and transferred debt through loans. They also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Fenway Group, who took the cousins on as they were on the brink of administration, didn't do too badly. They have interests in their Boston Red Sox team, Nascar and Ice Hockey.

I guess my point is that this is not a unique operating model.

Unless Moshiri is going to personally fund Everton, which it is becoming increasingly apparent he can't or won't, then we are up against a brick wall.

I can't see how they won't pursue given the amount of funding they have already provided.

Obviously subject to Premier League approval. Watch that space with their seeming Everton vendetta.

Robert Tressell
17 Posted 08/02/2024 at 10:19:47

I don't think Moshiri was ever really funding Everton and certainly has no intention whatsoever to pay another penny into the club.

We will go bust or be relegated unless he sells up soon, despite the exceptional job Dyche is doing on the pitch.

Brian Harrison
18 Posted 08/02/2024 at 10:41:39
Who would have thought that the decisions of the Premier League could determine our future? They have issued us with a 10-point deduction for breaking P&S rules and are now in charge of our appeal.

They also control whether 777 Partners pass their fit and proper owner test, and if they decide they don't, then it's very possible that we will go into administration which carries a 9-point deduction.

The Premier League have also issued another charge against the club for another breach of P&S rules. Whatever comes of the appeal, we will still have to wait till possibly May before we know the result of the 2nd breach of rules.

Paul Hewitt
19 Posted 08/02/2024 at 10:58:23
Brian, I was thinking just the same the other day. The Premier League have our club's very existence in its hands. That surely can't be right?
Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 08/02/2024 at 10:58:25
Michael came back with a very good response, Robert.

I agree, it seems Moshiri was backed by his shadow benefactor that we diligently got rid of.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are permitted to be sponsored by a Russian backed organisation.

Don't start me on the Premier League and Sky. I've been on about them since just after their formation to anyone who would listen.

A self-eating gravy train on a parallel with Brussels.

Meanwhile I'm more concerned about getting home from a Goodison night match against Crystal Palace and the trains being on to get to Old Trafford and Brighton away.

There is always a way.

Stephen Vincent
21 Posted 08/02/2024 at 12:17:51
The problem for Moshiri is that, if 777 Partners don't get the green light then his huge investment into the club will be virtually worthless, should administration follow. So he may be forced into providing support.

In the last two sets of accounts, Moshiri has provided our auditors with a letter of continuing support which has enabled Everton Football Club Co Ltd to be considered a going concern. It will be interesting to see if similar support is forthcoming in the next set of accounts.

Karl Masters
22 Posted 08/02/2024 at 12:36:03
It would be interesting to see, if an alternative investor or group stepped forward, if 777 Partners were turned down.

It seems hard to believe there aren't other interested parties, albeit they may be keeping their powder dry in the hope of buying on the cheap in a desperation sale ….

Paul Hewitt
23 Posted 08/02/2024 at 13:04:23
Karl @22.

People like that are called vultures, stay well away. At least 777 Partners have come forward and are actually keeping us afloat.

Martin Farrington
24 Posted 08/02/2024 at 17:44:15
My over-riding concern, right now, is that the Premier League have failed Everton, as a whole. I am not talking about The Shadow and his puppet.

It's batting towards mid-February, so, considering the offer was "officially" announced on 15 September, that is 5 months. The speculation being that the deal would be done before last Xmas.

As such, Everton would have no chance of finding another buyer before this season finishes, should the Premier League disallow 777 Partners.

You can be sure Shadow and puppet do not have a buyer waiting in the wings. Or even on the planet.

Is it me or is this indirect Premier League interference to ensure Everton continue to breach and or enter administration? They are desperate to flush this blue turd away.

Sadly we have not got (nor ever had) a CEO, Chairman or Owner who has had a set on them.

I go back to 1972 when I got my 1st season ticket at the grand old age of 7.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 08/02/2024 at 18:54:43
Seriously, Paul H.

Look at how many clubs 777 Partners have purchased and I think the common denominator is that all/most of these clubs were going through difficult times, meaning this must have been reflected in the price.

Are the Premier League waiting for the transfer window to shut before making a decision on Everton? Pure speculation I know, but with things taking so long, then is it any wonder that people are deciding to make their own conclusions of what has slowed up the process to a near standstill.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 08/02/2024 at 19:02:24
Lots of so-called financial experts, and people ITK, are sounding increasingly negative about us getting any points back and this 777 Partners shower being approved.
Kieran Kinsella
27 Posted 08/02/2024 at 19:12:26

777 Partners are trying to get out of paying over €100 million in back taxes owed by Genoa FC that they say were owed before they took over.

If the Italian government won't waive the taxes, then it is reported that Genoa FC will declare bankruptcy. They also had a whip around among fans to rustle up a measly few million to make necessary ground improvements. Doesn't sound like a great situation regardless of their current vein of form.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 08/02/2024 at 19:22:48
If 777 Partners are to be approved, then maybe this would be their final shot at Everton from the Premier League before they become regulated?

I would be genuinely baffled if they were able to pass a fit and proper owner's test, when you read everything about how they seem to be operating below deck on at least a weekly basis.

Robert Tressell
29 Posted 08/02/2024 at 20:29:12
Kieran # 27,

I didn't know the business at Genoa, but I'm not sure that reflects particularly badly on 777 Partners. It sounds like a legacy tax liability was going to haunt Genoa whether 777 bought or not.

Just like, in our case, 777 wouldn't be responsible for the past 35 years of mismanagement (very acute in recent years).

What 777 definitely will not do is settle all the debts and fund a big spending Chelsea or Man City style spending spree. But then no-one will. Literally no-one. We've missed the boat and financial rules prevent that sort of thing anyway.

I'll caveat the rest of what I say by noting that I have only followed these things loosely – so might be talking bollocks – but here goes.

777 are propping us up with loans pending the takeover. That's because Moshiri (to the extent he was ever paying the bills) is completely finished with us.

We don't have a queue of suitors lined up if 777 back out or get rejected by the authorities. MSP were interested. The Polish / American (Kawski?) was interested but seems to have gone quiet.

If 777 complete the takeover, we will be run on a shoestring because the financials are completely out of control. Not great, but Dyche and Thelwell can cope. Gives us a chance of riding things out and stabilising over the next few years while we bed in at BMD.

If 777 don't complete the takeover, then they will presumably call in the loans. That's us finished then surely? We'll be bust.

Someone will step in to buy us for £1 out of administration after compromising debts with (variously) the taxman and others – but with potential Glasgow Rangers consequences presumably. And quite what happens then with the new stadium I have no idea.

So, whilst I totally get that 777 Partners aren't everyone's cup of tea, I don't think we're in a position to be too choosy. Do I actively want 777? No. Do I think there's much of a better option? Also No. Do I think we might be in deep shit if the 777 takeover falls over? Unfortunately, Yes.

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 08/02/2024 at 20:44:54
Robert and Martin, Keith Wyness says there are other suitors lined up if 777 fails.

It seems logical there would be, given the value of the club if someone can buy it on the cheap in time to prevent administration and relegation.

And it seems logical that one of them would be MSP, given their known eye for sports bargains and their existing loan commitment to the stadium.

I believe there are other buyers out there who won't wait until the club is smoking wreckage to step in with a bailout offer. My belief is unsupported by any evidence whatsoever -- it just seems obvious that a Premier League team with a gorgeous new stadium and a desperate seller will simply be too tempting in the bargain bin (rather than the trash heap).

Ed Prytherch
31 Posted 08/02/2024 at 22:29:07
Your scenario requires 777 to wait before calling in their loans if they are not approved. That negotiation with a third party could be protracted. It looks pretty hairy.
Mike Gaynes
32 Posted 09/02/2024 at 00:32:47
Ed #31, that's very possible, but we haven't seen the loan agreements, and I think it's safe to assume that £142m in loans can't be called on a day's notice. What would it be? 30 days? 60? 90? We don't know.

What I think we can also assume is that any alternative buyer -- and Paul Brown, like Wyness, says there is at least one -- will step in with a strategy already in place for negotiating with 777. Maybe even with an agreement in progress. I sure as hell would if I were buying the club under these circumstances.

Pat Kelly
33 Posted 09/02/2024 at 14:23:39
We’re a shambles both on and off the pitch. Unfortunately, it could, and likely will, get worse. There’s no guarantee it’ll get better. Relegation, points deductions, transfer ban, administration, all lurk in the background. Even if 777 get to take over we’ll be living in their murky shell game world of financial engineering.
Anthony Hawkins
34 Posted 09/02/2024 at 14:45:10
I'm curious what the hold up with approving/rejecting 777 is. Have they still not summitted the appropriate documentation? If not then it's 777 at fault, although the PL should call time on it.

There's a very real chance the PL can see Everton are in trouble financially given we're surviving on loans and that's what's causing the concern and focus on our financials. It's not the right approach as we are currently still viable/going concern. What they should be more concerned with is if or when we go into administration, not penalising us beforehand.

Ed Prytherch
35 Posted 09/02/2024 at 14:48:49
It looks like one missed monthly new loan from 777 or someone else will burst the bubble and we cannot expect 777 to do another one if their takeover is blocked. Everton's finances are like a house of cards.
Alan J Thompson
36 Posted 12/02/2024 at 05:07:50
The expression about fires and frying pans comes to mind.

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