07/05/2024 46comments  |  Jump to last

The Everton FC Shareholders Association have issued a strongly-worded statement criticising 777 Partners as being unfit to become owners of the Club and condemning both Farhad Moshiri and the Premier League for the "never-ending" takeover saga.

It's almost eight months since Moshiri agreed to sell his 94.1% stake to 777 but they have thus far failed to meet the set of conditions set out by the League before their approval can be granted.

In the meantime, the Miami-based private investment firm has loaned Everton a reported £200m, funds they intend to convert to equity once the buy-out is complete, while also being the subject of a succession of lawsuits, financial set-backs and negative headlines.

That, combined with the length of time the Club has been left in limbo by the lack of progress over the change of ownership, has prompted the EFCSA to issue the following statement:

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“We are the oldest Shareholders’ Association in the world and are dismayed by the lack of respect being shown to our football club by the largest shareholder Farhad Moshiri, and the Premier League during what seems a never-ending change of ownership process.

"We have observed with concern and frustration as it became increasingly clear that a fit-for-purpose process cannot possibly take this long as the Premier League continues to demonstrate their inability to regulate.

“In the absence of the Premier League making a timely decision we insist that the Everton Board, and Farhad Moshiri in particular, stop this damaging process now and recognise that 777 Partners are not at this time fit-and-proper prospective owners of Everton Football Club.

"The powers-that-be are being disrespectful to our fellow shareholders, our fantastic worldwide fanbase and football as a whole by continuing to allow this farce to continue.

“We demand a decision, and we demand it now.”


Reader Comments (46)

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Jerome Shields
1 Posted 07/05/2024 at 14:56:28
Very much what needed to be said.
Ian Pilkington
2 Posted 07/05/2024 at 15:49:32
It’s been a long time coming but this statement hits the nail on the head of both Moshiri and the equally useless Premier League.
Neil Lawson
3 Posted 07/05/2024 at 16:08:52
The statement reflects the true position and is powerful and unambiguous. However, those to whom it is directed will respond with silence and/or 2 fingers.

A great club with great supporters run by imbeciles and morons whose only interest is self-interest.

Mal van Schaick
4 Posted 07/05/2024 at 16:40:16
It's good that the Shareholder Association has voiced its feelings on the issue, and it will be a true reflection of the owner of the club in how he responds.

A considered statement being honest and truthful and embracing the Shareholders Association concerns would be the correct approach, or else it's silence and two fingers in the continuing disrespect of our club to the shareholders and the fans.

Winston Williamson
5 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:03:43
Moshiri will not respond. He learnt lessons on how to deal with the fanbase and Shareholders Association from the master of manipulation.

This club is stuck and sinking. It really is a summer of reckoning, when the focus should be on creating a team capable of improving on this season.

Anthony Jones
6 Posted 07/05/2024 at 18:54:46
Season ticket holders should be issued shares by default. They wouldn't have much value, but it would at least involve a broader swathe of stakeholders in how the club is run.

Moshiri is the king and will do as he pleases under the current model.

Paul Birmingham
7 Posted 07/05/2024 at 21:17:21
Good stance by the Everton Shareholders Association.

The rot has got to stop this summer.

For the future of Everton FC, Moshiri must admit publicly he got his new ownership plan wrong.

The likelihood of him admitting this mistake, remains to be seen. I doubt he will.

Karen Mason
8 Posted 07/05/2024 at 21:28:35
As it looks like the 777 deal is dead; hopefully, other better-suited buyers may step up and show interest.

However, I know that beggars can't be choosers, but I would not like an American buyer. All the evidence on US owners is that they strip the club of assets. Glazers have done it at Man Utd. Liverpool owners have chipped away at their assets.

I also hear that the Chelsea owner has just sold the 2 London hotels owned by the club (they think to comply with FFP?). But they have been bought by another company owned by Bohley? So it seems to be the business practice of the US owners across the board.

Can't we try to crowd fund buying the club ourselves??? 🤔😅

Danny Baily
9 Posted 07/05/2024 at 21:41:01
Would stopping this process now (as the shareholders demand) potentially lead to administration in the immediate term?
Mo Guindi
10 Posted 07/05/2024 at 21:43:51
I've been suggesting that for a while, Karen. The probable scenario unfortunately is that MSP will call in their loan which will default and thus put the club in their hands.

They might have to be clever in arranging that without triggering administration which will lead to a 9-point deduction.

Ed Prytherch
11 Posted 07/05/2024 at 22:10:37
Karen, which Man Utd assets have been sold by the Glazers?

Bohley has poured large amounts of money into Chelsea. That is not "asset stripping".

You could say that Kenwright was the asset stripper, mortgaging Goodison Park and selling Finch Farm.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 07/05/2024 at 22:48:22
How many shares do they hold?

A noble but fruitless gesture unfortunately.

Moshiri and 777 out!!!

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 08/05/2024 at 00:46:56
Karen #8...

"All the evidence on US owners is that they strip the club of assets."


Yeah, the Glazers have used Man Utd as a cash cow, but Liverpool and Chelsea have had money poured into them by American owners.

Arsenal's "hated" Yank owner may yet still lift the league trophy over the entire national treasury of the UAE.

Villa has gone from the Championship to the Champions League. US-owned Fulham, Palace and Bournemouth are thriving financially and surviving well on the pitch.

Ipswich got new Yank ownership and rose from the depths with two straight promotions. And even little Burnley, which can't muster the muscle to stay in the Premier League, is an exceptionally well-run and financially stable club.

Better yet, hop on the train from Lime Street over to Wrexham and ask them how they feel about Yank ownership.

Sean Kearns
14 Posted 08/05/2024 at 01:33:53
Can we just be a normal football club for one bloody day!!!

There has to be multiple people interested in buying a well established Premier League club??! Surely? Please … 🥹

Pete Gunby
15 Posted 08/05/2024 at 04:01:30
Well said, Mike Gaynes.

I'd take any of the owners you refer to over Bill the Grifter or our current weasel

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 08/05/2024 at 06:42:19
Fulham may well be financially doing well, but there is a premium.

Talking to a few Fulham supporters on the way home from the away match in January, they are angry at their club charging £3,000 for a season ticket in a section of their new stand, the most expensive in the league, surpassing Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea.

I don't care where the the owners come from. Having visited 30 of the 50 US states, both personally and professionally and worked for US (Texas) companies, I am comfortable with US owners. They would run it like a business.

John Hall
17 Posted 08/05/2024 at 06:44:56
Paul @7.

Likely that Moshiri has no say in who Usmanov decides to sell to.

The oligarch just wants anything he can get for the club and doesn't care who he takes it from.

Obviously no white night waiting to ride in.

His goffer has to keep his mouth shut otherwise risks falling out of a window in Monaco.

Corrupt Oligarch and a thick-as-shit accountant who were led a merry dance by the most corrupt of them all at the club.

What would Bill do???

Dave Evans
18 Posted 08/05/2024 at 06:48:02
Mike #13,

You can give all the facts you like but everyone knows nice European owners would be better.

Andrew Clare
19 Posted 08/05/2024 at 07:31:28
Moshiri doesn't care. He and the guy he works for want the 777 Partners deal. We the fans and the shareholders are powerless to stop it from happening.

Kenwright brought us decades of mediocrity and Moshiri brings us to ruin in less than a decade.

Allen Rodgers
20 Posted 08/05/2024 at 07:58:39
Colin @12,

Yes I agree it's a noble but irrelevant gesture that will be ignored by Moshiri.

According to the club website, there are 6,219 of us small shareholders and together we own 4.6% of the club.

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 08/05/2024 at 08:25:39
It is an interesting read. Hardly any of the top flight are solely owned by UK or European owners: Brentford, Brighton and Tottenham.

Technically you could put Everton in there as Moshiri is a dual passport holder and holds British citizenship.

Most are owned or part owned by non-UK owners.

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 08/05/2024 at 08:26:45
Just keep us away from actors and lackeys.
Kevin Edward
23 Posted 08/05/2024 at 08:54:04
It’s not really an irrelevant gesture for me, all shareholders should be able to have their say.
I’ll give full credit to anyone publicly voicing their displeasure at this debacle, including fans at Goodison.
I hate the EPL for the way they have gone after us this season, but based on the 777 story so far, they may have saved us from descending to oblivion.
Of course that might happen anyway, but Mosh must be under scrutiny for the way he is going about his business.
We know he doesn’t give a toss unless he gets his money from 777, but it looks like they only have Monopoly money.
Ray Roche
24 Posted 08/05/2024 at 09:05:51
With all the evidence available, I don't understand why the Premier League haven't declared 777 as unfit to run a corner shop never mind a football club.

Why the silence from them? Is there something that we don't know?

Ray Robinson
25 Posted 08/05/2024 at 09:11:17
Mike #13,

My Burnley supporting mate might take exception to your assertion that Burnley is a well run, financially stable club. The American owners used the £40M+ cash that Burnley had in cash reserves and used it to effectively leverage purchase the club.

Added to a very poor incoming transfer policy with links a very dubious recruitment agency, the club is probably going to have to sell its most prized assets when it returns to the Championship. He reckons administration could be on the cards in the longer term and as he worked for the Insolvency Service, I'm inclined to believe him.

Brian Harrison
26 Posted 08/05/2024 at 09:31:55
This letter is meaningless sabre-rattling. I doubt if the man from Monaco will even reply.

As far as he is concerned, he sold Everton last September to 777 Partners; the fact that the Premier League won't ratify the deal is out of his hands.

Minority shareholders are of little concern to Usmanov and Moshiri will do what he is told to do by his boss. I guess somewhere in the murky world they infest, Usmanov will somehow be shoring up 777 Partners who have so far pumped £200M into the club.

We have seen the Arsenal fans protest at Kronke's ownership, although they have gone quiet about that since Arteta has them riding high. The Man Utd fans still want shut of the Glazers. Seems Mike Gaynes has forgotten what Hicks and Gillett did at Liverpool…

So there is 3 clubs with American owners who the fans weren't happy with. Also, I don't think Chelsea fans are over the moon about Todd Bohely.

I will say that FSG have done a good job with our neighbours, but by-and-large, American owners in British football have a poor record. You can also throw in Randy Lerner at Villa.

Ian Burns
27 Posted 08/05/2024 at 10:35:55
Apart from some obvious exceptions (for example 777; Hicks and Gillett, Glazers etc) American ownership has generally worked out well, especially compared to those from Monaco and Russia!

I'm in Mike Gaynes's corner on this particular discussion. However, as I have said on another thread, unless Teneo delivers a successful restructure of EFC creditors, any buyer, from whatever part of the world, will have to negotiate with the administrator.

Brent Stephens
28 Posted 08/05/2024 at 10:44:35
We demand a decision, and we demand it now.”


Hardly the words to inspire somebody to step closer to you and co-operate. More likely to alienate them and move them further away from you.

Mark Taylor
29 Posted 08/05/2024 at 10:48:15
On ownership, I'd be very much open to US owners but their nationality matters much less than their competence and Brian 26's post demonstrates that Americans do not always possess this- and isn't Wander American?

As for the Shareholder Association's press release, it will make as much difference as a dog barking at the moon. Maybe the dog feels better for so doing.

I have one (conspiracy) theory to add, and it assumes we ignore the other conspiracy theory of Usmanov funding 777. It revolves around the topic of seniority of debt, in particular Moshiri's versus 777's.

Is it possible that administration offers Moshiri a better chance of recouping more of his money than a sale? There is a stadium to sell, as well as Goodison and some other property assets, then a small collection of reasonably high value players and finally, a club- admittedly a shell of a club- with EPL membership and the TV revenues that flow from that. Enough to pay off most or all of MSP, R&M and still leave some for Moshiri? After all, he won't care what he leaves behind.

If I understand it correctly, we face a 9 point penalty if we enter administration before the end of the season, to be applied immediately. Is it possible that Moshiri is waiting to see if we would stay in the EPL even with a 9 point penalty (which on balance looks probable) and so is continuing the pretence that 777 remain viable bidders for at least a couple of weeks? Beyond that point, his responsibility as a director not to trade insolvently surely hoves into view.

It might be the only negotiating gambit he has left...

Charles Brewer
30 Posted 08/05/2024 at 11:13:29
This being the worst run enterprise in sport, and all of us feeling confident and happy that the club is at least safe from relegation, my "Everton, that..." forecast is as follows.

1. Later this week, the EPL / FCA / someone owed for the Big Mac DCL ordered a debt will go unpaid. At this point Everton descends into Administration.
2. 9 points are knocked off and Everton ends up right back in the relegation mire, 2 points ahead of Luton.
3. Everton draw with with Sheffield United at home. Luton win against a demoralised West Ham with a rather resentful, by demob-happy David Moyes. Just for fun, let's suppose Citeh draw with Spurs.
4. Everton and Luton clubs go in to the last day of the season with 29 points. Arsenal and ManCity go into the last day of the season with 86 points having both won their penultimate matches.

5. Everton have to go to Arsenal who will win the Premiership with a home win, on goal difference. Luton are at home to Fulham who couldn't care less.

I really really don't want to have to sit through that afternoon.

Ian Burns
31 Posted 08/05/2024 at 11:26:05
Charles – to save you disappearing up your own rectum with worry, I will offer to pay for Calvert-Lewin's Big Mac.

What if on appeal we win our 2 points back and go into admin with a 9-pointdeduction? That will leave us 4 points ahead of Luton in your last-day scenario.

So there you go — two positive things to think about!

Charles Brewer
32 Posted 08/05/2024 at 11:47:35
Ian, the prospect of Everton, the Pe's "Designated Scapegoat", getting 2 points back is about as likely as… I don't know… Dyche getting a win against the RS at Goodison in Klopp's last season?
Ian Wilkins
33 Posted 08/05/2024 at 12:14:55
I don't agree that the Shareholders' letter is meaningless.

For sure, Moshiri and 777 Partners will not be influenced by it, but the Premier League will heed it, and add it to their obvious own concerns. They have been resistant to 777 Partners for a long time; this backs them up, puts them on notice to remain resolute, to do their duty.

It also continues to highlight the resistance to 777 Partners in the public arena where, through the media, the Shareholders Association's letter has been widely reported and aired.

I'm still of the opinion that MSP are key. They obviously can't or won't take control themselves, but they can be king-makers, and they can lead us to the right new owners.

I hope they are picking their moment, their debt entitlement is as reported, and they can see a way through this mess.

Raymond Fox
34 Posted 08/05/2024 at 12:23:37
They are not in a position to demand anything — 'ask' is the correct word.

We were in trouble as soon as Usmanov was forced to leave the scene.

Rob Jones
35 Posted 08/05/2024 at 12:23:55
Describing the letter as "meaningless sabre-rattling" is daft.

It's gained traction, and given that nobody within the club has the ability or guts to say anything, any voice that demands a resolution is worthwhile.

Ian Jones
38 Posted 08/05/2024 at 12:55:56
Charles, it could be worse. This is where we were 30 years ago to the day going into the last match of the season.


Laurie Hartley
40 Posted 08/05/2024 at 13:16:29
Charles # 31

On the other hand, if Everton beat Sheffield Utd and Luton loose or draw to Fulham, then we are safe from relegation even if we go into administration. Glass half-full.

Craig Harrison
42 Posted 08/05/2024 at 15:09:49
The Premier League are likely to adopt the EFL rules in the event of administration, ie, entering administration after March results in a points deduction for the next season, not this one.

Also, the 9 points being mooted is, as far as I know, a starting point. They can and likely will add more given they have previously handed out a 9-point deduction to Portsmouth and can point to that as a reason to add more.

Jay Harris
43 Posted 08/05/2024 at 15:17:56
I thought 30 June is the key date.

If we go into administration before that it applies to this season. If it is after that date it applies to next season.

John Chambers
44 Posted 08/05/2024 at 15:23:27
Craig, the 9-point deduction is the penalty specified in the Premier League Handbook:

"E.37 Upon a Club or its Parent Undertaking suffering an Event of Insolvency the Board shall have the power to impose upon the Club a deduction of nine points scored or to be scored in the League competition. If the Board exercises this power it shall forthwith give written notice to the Club to that effect."

No mention of any scope to increase it.

I haven't spotted anything saying when it would be applied, ie, could it be applied next season?

Peter Hodgson
45 Posted 08/05/2024 at 15:36:10
The letter might, just might, force a few hands you never know what might be the outcome. But even so, we should find out a bit more quite soon according the words attributed to Moshiri.

Whether that will be good or bad depends on your outlook I suppose!

More likely is the sound of a can being kicked down the road again.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 08/05/2024 at 16:48:33
Tony #22, Wrexham love their actors!

Ray #25, thanks for that inside info. I read about the original LBO, and opinions will vary about a relegated club, especially because Burnley's owners aren't super-wealthy themselves. But they've brought in good outside investors (ie, Kealia and JJ Watt) and a high-profile manager who got them promoted into the Premier League a year ago with no standout talent.

As for selling those "prized assets"... um, which ones would those be, according to your friend? Berge? Foster? Jay Rodriguez? There's nobody they can't afford to lose.

Brian #26, no, I haven't forgotten any of those examples. My point is that the sweeping dismissal of US owners is simply wrong. Way more good ones than bad ones.

Danny #16, "running it like a business" is what many traditional footy fans dread. Like the Fulham fans you spoke with, they will experience higher ticket prices and the loss of some of their cherished game-day traditions. It's just the nature of modern sports business. But I can understand the resentment.

Anthony Jones
48 Posted 08/05/2024 at 19:55:12
The clue is here:

"sell his 94.1% stake".

Moshiri is in charge.

Most, if not all, of the Premier League clubs have sold their souls.

Bobby Mallon
49 Posted 08/05/2024 at 20:04:09
Can the shareholders (in extenuating circumstances) take the club away from the majority shareholder if the club is being run into the ground?
Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 08/05/2024 at 20:07:42
Wrexham reminds me of Liverpool during Thatcher's Britain, Mike.

Good on those American actors who have given the people of Wrexham some real hope and some ‘genuine good times!'

Michael Kenrick
51 Posted 08/05/2024 at 20:18:00

Only if the major shareholder votes along with all the tiny minority shareholders.

AKA turkeys voting for Christmas.

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