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Monday, June 24, 2024

Everton fan board calls on 777 to abandon their attempts to buy the Premier League club

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Everton’s Fan Advisory Board has called on 777 Partners to abandon their attempts to buy the club and has urged owner Farhad Moshiri to instead try and sell it to someone else instead.

The FAB, who have a meeting scheduled with Moshiri later this month, also encouraged the Premier League to play their part in halting the protracted takeover by the American investment firm by telling 777 they would fail the owners’ and directors’ test.

They accused Moshiri, 777 and the Premier League of all damaging Everton’s reputation and said the current confusion cannot continue and that greater transparency is required.

777, who agreed in September to buy Moshiri’s 94.1 percent stake in Everton, were told by the FAB to admit they have become “unsustainable” owners amid their legal and financial troubles and the hit to their reputation.

Last week, 777 and their co-owner Josh Wander were accused of committing fraud worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a lawsuit filed in New York by two asset-management companies. They also face a number of other lawsuits because of claims of unpaid debts.

Everton’s shareholder association had said Moshiri should end the “farce” of the takeover process and that 777 are not fit owners of the Merseyside club.

And the FAB delivered a similarly hard-hitting statement, saying: “The ongoing confusion and lack of transparency cannot continue. Each party must recognise its role in sullying the reputation of one of the most storied clubs in English football history and appreciated that all the rumour and speculation is causing extremely high levels of anxiety and concern to the club’s greatest assets, the fans. The FAB demands:

“Farhad Moshiri – recognise that now is the time for other bidders to be offered the opportunity to acquire Everton Football Club.

“777 – recognise that your inability to bring the funding necessary to consummate the original deal and the growing reputational damage you are incurring with lawsuit after lawsuit makes you unsustainable owners of EFC, and

“The Premier League – recognise that it is time for you to live up to your responsibilities (as defined by the owners’ and directors’ test by your own rulebook) by rejecting 777 Partners in order to allow discussions with more suitable owners of our great club.”

There may be other parties potentially interested in acquiring Everton but so far 777 have loaned the club around £200m to build their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. Everton’s other debts include a £160m loan with MSP Sports Capital and businessmen Andy Bell and George Downing which the Premier League said 777 had to repay if they are to be permitted to take over the club. 777 missed the original deadline, three weeks ago, and negotiated an extension.

Standard Liege, one of the clubs 777 already owns, have been placed under a transfer embargo, which they claimed would be lifted soon, but their players have not been paid while Bonza, an Australian budget airline that was part of 777’s web of companies, collapsed into administration last week.

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