June 16, 2024

Everton confirm 777 Partners’ proposed takeover has collapsed… as the club’s sale purchase agreement with the US investment firm expires

  • Farhad Moshiri had granted 777 Partners a two-week extension to their deadline 
  • The Miami-based investment firm had been in talks over a deal since September
  • Sunday league, grassroots, pub football… how Pep’s influence has trickled down the pyramid – Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off! podcast 

Everton have confirmed that 777 Partners’ proposed takeover of the football club has collapsed. 

In a statement issued to the club’s website, Everton announced that their sale purchase agreement with the US investment firm had expired on Friday, May 31. 

‘The agreement between 777 Partners and Blue Heaven Holdings Limited for the sale and purchase of the majority shareholding in the Club expired today,’ the Toffees wrote on Saturday. 

‘The Club’s Board of Directors recognises the considerable level of financial support 777 Partners has provided the Club over recent months and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for this.

‘The Club will continue to operate as usual, while it works with Blue Heaven Holdings to assess all options for the Club’s future ownership.’

Everton confirmed on Saturday that 777 Partners’ sale purchase agreement to buy the football club had expired
Josh Wander (centre) had been leading 777 Partners’ bid to purchase the football club
Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri (pictured) had given 777 a two-week extension to their sale purchase agreement earlier in May

The Miami-based investment firm had been in talks to buy Farhad Moshiri’s majority stake in the Merseyside club since September, with 777 executives Josh Wander and Steve Pasko striking an agreement with the British-Iranian businessman to buy the club. 

They had also provided the club with several unsecured loans, worth around £200million, to help the Toffees manage their operating costs. Mail Sport understands that 777 had given Everton, who are in the process of building a new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey, an extra injection of £8million at the beginning of May. 

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But amid growing doubts over the firm’s ability to purchase the club and provide long-term funding, Mr Moshiri had provided the US firm a two-week extension to their sale purchase agreement in May.

It came after Everton’s owner had held extensive face-to-face talks with representatives of the investment group in London. 

Moshiri, who holds a 94.1 per cent stake in the club, had appeared to be close to cutting ties with the company after the investment firm had been hit by a string of negative headlines that posed questions over firm’s operations.

In May, the company was accused of fraud in a New York lawsuit – the 17th in which the firm has been named in. In that case, Pasko and Wander were accused of ‘operating a giant shell game at best, and an outright Ponzi scheme at worst’.

Doubts had grown over 777’s ability to provide long-term funding to Everton amid recent negative press
Wages have been going unpaid at 777’s club Standard Liege, leading to a transfer ban on the Belgians
777’s Australian airline, Bonza, went into administration last month, leaving passengers stranded
Everton had been given several unsecured loans by 777 to assist with the operations at the club, with the Merseyside outfit currently in the process of building a new stadium

Meanwhile, 777’s budget Australian airline, Bonza, went into administration, leaving passengers stranded. 

The investment firm also had their assets frozen in Belgium after they were alleged to have defaulted on payments relating to top-flight side Standard Liege. The club was subsequently handed a transfer ban.

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The Belgian side were forced to postpone their game against Westerlo at the beginning of May after fans had protested Standard’s ownership in anger at 777’s operation of the club. 

Allegations have also been made that the 10-time Belgian champions had not paid their players wages, with the club being handed a transfer ban. 

Speaking on the expiry of the sale purchase agreement, Everton added: ‘The Board of Directors would like to thank everyone connected to Everton for their patience over recent months and reiterate its commitment to providing further updates when it is appropriate to do so through the Club’s official communication channels.’

While much uncertainty revolved around 777’s proposed purchase of Everton, several other potential buyers have emerged, including Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor.

Sean Dyche’s side were also hit by two points deductions this season, for breaches of financial rules
Everton avoided relegation finishing 15th in the Premier League table, after a strong finish to the season

The Eagles co-owner reportedly claims he wanted to sell his 45 per cent in the south London club in order to finance a deal to invest in Everton. 

‘Yes (I’ve had conversations around buying Everton), with the existing constituents – different groups, different lenders, different equity holders,’ Textor, who is the chairman of Eagle Football Holdings, who have stakes in Palace, Lyon, Botafogo, WD Molenbeek, and FC Florida, said to The Athletic.

‘I’ve asked them: “Is there a way to solve all this confusion and address everyone’s problems?” 

‘I’m very open-minded to it but I don’t want to come into a situation where I’m not really welcome.’

He added: ‘There’s the guy running it (Moshiri) who’s still calling the shots. Maybe we’re uniquely positioned to solve a lot of problems for people but we’re just watching it right now because there are other people who already own pieces of that club who also want to figure it out.

‘I’m looking at that but it’s quite confusing and some things have to clean up.’

Everton will not be bullied into selling their key players on cut-price deals this summer
Branthwaite is valued at a price towards £90million
Onana has also been touted for a move away and is more likely to move on but, again, he will not be sold for cheap

Everton’s well-documented financial woes had sparked concerns that they could have to sell some of their top stars to ensure they stayed within the Premier League’s financial rules for next season. 

Yet, Mail Sport understands that the Toffees will not be bullied into selling key players, including defender Jarrod Branthwaite who has attracted much attention this season for his brilliant performances. 

The club has also opened talks with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin over a new contract with several clubs, including Newcastle, said to be keeping an eye on the forward. 

His deal is set to expire next summer but Everton are reluctant to part ways with the striker. 

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