Everton FC sold to American investment fund 777 partners in takeover deal

  • ITV Granada Reports Sports Correspondent David Chisnall has the latest.

Everton FC has been bought by an American investment fund in a takeover deal.

777 Partners has signed an agreement with Farhad Moshiri to acquire his full stake in Everton, which accounts for 94.1% of the Club’s shares.

777, co-founded in 2015 by Joshua Wander and Steven Pasko, have been adding clubs to their multi-club portfolio at pace in recent years, with the firm having targeted largely distressed assets, with acquisitions of Standard Liege, Red Star FC, Hertha Berlin, Genoa, Vasco da Gama and Melbourne Victory all being concluded.

Farhad Moshiri became Everton's new major shareholder in February 2016. Credit: PA Images

Farhad Moshiri, who has been the majority shareholder since 2016, said: “The nature of ownership and financing of top football clubs has changed immeasurably since I first invested in Everton over seven years ago.

"The days of an owner/benefactor are seemingly out of reach for most, and the biggest clubs are now typically owned by well-resourced PE firms, specialist sports investors or state-backed companies and funds.

“I have been open about the need to bring in new investment and complete the financing for our iconic new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, on the banks of the Mersey, which I have predominantly financed to date.

"I have spoken to a number of parties and considered some strong potential opportunities.

"However, it is through my lengthy discussions with 777 that I believe they are the best partners to take our great Club forward, with all the benefits of their multi-club investment model.

  • Fans hope this is a turning point for the club.

"As a result of this agreement, we have an experienced and well-connected investor in football clubs who will help maximise the commercial opportunities, and we have secured the complete financing for our new stadium, which will be the critical element in the future success of Everton.

"Today is an important next step in the successful development of Everton and I look forward to closely following as our Club goes from strength to strength.

“Of course, none of this could have been achieved without the hard work of everyone at the Club.

"From our team at the training ground, our commercial and support teams through to matchday employees, I extend my sincerest gratitude.

“And to our fans, the last few years have been challenging but you have supported the Club through it all and consistently been our twelfth man.

"You are the best fans and deserve success.”

The announcement could mean Bill Kenwright’s tenure as Everton chairman – a role he has had for 19 years – is likely to come to an end.

In June Chief Executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Finance officer Grant Ingles and Non-Executive Director and former striker Graeme Sharp departed the club in the wake of numerous supporter protests.

But Kenwright, a target for fans’ anger, accepted Moshiri’s request to remain.

Everton dropped to 19th place in the Premier League table following the deduction. Credit: PA Images

Josh Wander, Founder and Managing Partner of 777 Partners, said: “We are truly humbled by the opportunity to become part of the Everton family as custodians of the Club, and consider it a privilege to be able to build on its proud heritage and values.

“Our primary objective is to work with fans and stakeholders to develop the sporting and commercial infrastructure for the men’s and women’s teams that will deliver results for future generations of Everton supporters.

"As part of this, we are committed to partnering with the local community over the long-term, working on important projects such as the development of Bramley-Moore Dock as a world class stadium venue, allowing thousands more Evertonians to attend our home matches and contribute to the economic and cultural regeneration of Merseyside.”

The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023 and needs regulatory approval from the Premier League, FA, and the Financial Conduct Authority.

The club say Farhad Moshiri will also be seeking support from the Club’s minority shareholders and will be writing to them in the coming days.

Everton’s Fan Advisory Board, who have asked for an urgent meeting with the club and 777 representatives and will also canvas opinions from supporters, called for the deal to be scrutinised properly.

“This is yet another critical point in our club’s history following periods of concern about our performance on and off the pitch and uncertainty about our future,” said a statement.

“We understand that there remains a number of steps before the process of completing the deal can be finalised, as part of the formal regulatory review.

“It is imperative that that those given responsibility to scrutinise the detail of this proposed acquisition do so in the most rigorous manner possible and that such scrutiny is carried out in the interests of Everton’s global fanbase, employees and minority shareholders.”

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