Local businessmen 'putting bid together' to buy Everton

'New bidders' emerge for Everton Credit: ITV Granada

North West businessmen and lifelong Everton fans Andy Bell and George Downing are understood to be putting a bid together to buy Everton.

Bell is the founder and former chief executive of investment giant AJ Bell, while Downing is the founder of Downing, a business that started in construction and has since expanded into property management and other areas.

A takeover by American investment firm 777 Partners fell through after an exclusivity period to reach an agreement with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri’s Blue Heaven Holdings Ltd to purchase the club expired on May 31.

Crystal Palace’s largest shareholder, American businessman John Textor, has said he is interested in acquiring Everton but would first need to divest his stake in the London club.

A successful bid from Textor’s Eagle Football Holdings would see Everton become part of a wider stable of clubs which already includes Lyon, Botafogo of Brazil, RWD Molenbeek in Belgium and FC Florida in the United States.

Toffee's owner Farhad Moshiri. Credit: PA Images

Other parties reported to be interested in bidding for the club are Roma owner and American billionaire Dan Friedkin, and a consortium led by London-based businessman Vatche Manoukian, has made a £400m bid to buy the club alongside investors from the US and the Gulf, according to the Athletic.

Everton fans are seeking answers from individuals and groups interested in buying the club, including whether the prospective new owners envisage the Toffees being part of a multi-club structure.

Dave Kelly, the chair of the Everton’s Fans’ Advisory Board: "There should be no doubt that any serious bidder must be excited and honoured at the prospect of owning our great football club.

"We’ve had a challenging few years both on and off the pitch, but the privilege of being a custodian of Everton Football Club comes with a responsibility to understand, listen to and work with a fan base that recognises our heritage and history, but just as importantly – our future potential."

Everton's new stadium is expected to cost around £750 million.

The Advisory Board's questions cover a range of areas including financial, fan, operational and community considerations.

Kelly added: "The questions and issues we’ve published are based on the feedback we’ve had from Evertonians in a series of engagement sessions and surveys, and which we ask any bidder to reflect upon as they consider playing a part in the ownership of our club.

"As the process moves on, we’d encourage all bidders to join us in engaging with supporters and in sharing their vision for the future of Everton Football Club."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...