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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Everton given £200m boost by Friedkin Group as takeover edges closer

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Everton’s prospective owners, the Friedkin Group, have provided an injection of £200m to repay a loan and put working capital into the club.

Dan Friedkin, who is already the owner of Roma, has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Farhad Moshiri to buy the Merseyside club and has already started a process of due diligence.

And the American billionaire has paid off the £160m loan that Moshiri took out with MSP Sports Capital and two Merseyside businessmen, Andy Bell and George Downing.

It was the loan that the Premier League had insisted that 777 Partners had to repay if they were to approve their takeover of the club and which the Miami-based consortium proved unable to do, meaning the breakdown of their deal with Moshiri.

Friedkin has also provided further funds for the running of the club in the short term and the construction of their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is due to open for the 2025-26 season.

If a deal between Moshiri and Friedkin breaks down, it would mean Everton instead owe the American £200m but for the meantime their debts to outsiders – principally Rights and Media Funding and 777 now – are reduced.

Besides Roma, Friedkin also owns French lower-division club Cannes. Under his ownership, Roma won the Europa Conference League in 2022 and reached the Europa League final the following year.

While Everton have not played in continental competition since 2017-18, Friedkin is confident both clubs would be allowed to participate in Europe if they both qualify. The American is on the board of the European Club Association and well connected within Uefa, who are considering the matter of multi-club ownership.

It is the intention for there to be no hierarchy between Roma and Everton, rather than either being deemed lesser than the other for the ownership.

Unlike 777, who never actually passed the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, the expectation is that it would not prove an issue for Friedkin, who has proof of funds, considerable wealth and a track record.

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