Everton fan advisory board demands takeover by ‘unsuitable’ 777 is prevented

The Everton fan advisory board has made a series of demands to stop the club’s proposed takeover by 777 Partners from going ahead.

Farhad Moshiri agreed in September to sell his 94.1 per cent stake to the Miami-based investment firm in a deal that is subject to regulatory approval from the Premier League, the Football Association and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Nearly eight months on the club are still waiting on that approval with doubts only growing about 777’s ability to fund the takeover and the firm the subject of several lawsuits alleging fraud and other wrongdoing.

The fan advisory board, a group aimed at giving supporters a tangible say in club matters, says the “ongoing confusion and lack of transparency” cannot go on and called on those involved to cease “sullying the reputation of one of the most storied clubs in English football history”.

Ahead of a meeting later this month they have demanded that Moshiri “recognise that now is the time for other bidders to be offered the opportunity” to buy the club and that 777 acknowledge they are “unsuitable” to do so themselves following the “growing reputational damage” they are incurring with the litigation against them.

They have also called on the Premier League — with whom the club and fanbase have a fragile relationship following two separate points deductions this season — to “live up to your responsibilities” by rejecting the move in accordance with the league’s owners’ and directors’ test.

A lawsuit was filed in New York last Friday with 777 accused of fraud by a pair of London-based asset management companies.

Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP and Leadenhall Life Insurance Linked Investments Fund PLC are seeking damages after they claim Josh Wander — the co-founder of 777 — and a series of linked companies including 777, used $350million of assets that either were not controlled or owned by them or “did not exist” as collateral.

777 — who also own stakes in a number of other clubs including Serie A side Genoa, Belgian club Standard Liege and Vasco da Gama in Brazil — and Wander declined to comment when approached by The Athletic.

Everton secured their Premier League safety last month and currently sit 15th, 11 points above the relegation zone.

An appeal against the second of two points deductions for profitability and sustainability rule (PSR) breaches is set to be heard later this month.



777’s latest legal scrape must surely mark the end of its attempt to buy Everton

(Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

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