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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri in crisis talks with 777 Partners as Premier League deadline approaches

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Farhad Moshiri has been locked in crisis talks with 777 Partners as the beleaguered American investment firm’s takeover of Everton could be dramatically called off.

777 agreed last September to buy Moshiri’s 94.1 percent stake in the Merseyside club and have loaned Everton £200m to finance the construction of their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

But 777 are yet to meet the Premier League’s conditions to complete their buyout and have been mired in financial and legal problems, raising questions if they have the funds required and prompting two influential organisations of Evertonians to urge Moshiri to abandon the takeover.

Moshiri has now held in-person talks in London with representatives of 777, a Miami-based firm who own or have stakes in a host of other clubs.

But 777 face a number of lawsuits over alleged unpaid debts. Last week, Leadenhall Capital Partners sued 777 in a New York court and accused them of committing fraud.

An Australian budget airline owned by 777, Bonza, also collapsed into administration while this week Standard Liege, the Belgian club they bought, were put under a transfer embargo for non-payment of players.

777 only have a few weeks to repay a £158m loan Moshiri took out with MSP Capital, Andy Bell and George Downing, which the Premier League said they must do in order to take over the club.

The Everton Shareholders’ Association said on Tuesday Moshiri should end the “farce” of the takeover process and that 777 are not fit owners of the Merseyside club.

And on Wednesday, Everton’s Fan Advisory Board issued a statement, urging 777 to end their attempts to buy the club and Moshiri to open talks with other prospective bidders.

There are thought to be other interested parties but, if their takeover was called off, 777 would join Everton’s list of creditors. It would also bring pressure on Moshiri to fund the club himself until another buyer is found. He is yet to say if he is willing to do that.

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