Moshiri exit faces scrutiny Everton sale to 777 Partners tests Premier League rules

Andy Hunter




Front Page

The Premier League’s beefed up owners’ and directors’ test looks set to face its first major challenge after Farhad Moshiri agreed to sell his stakeholding in Everton to the American investment firm 777 Partners. The two parties have signed an agreement for a full takeover, which Moshiri claims will secure the funding to complete the 52,888-capacity stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront, although the deal remains subject to approval from the Premier League, the Football Association and the Financial Conduct Authority. 777 Partners has been embroiled in numerous controversies since being founded by Josh Wander and Steven Pasko in 2015, including allegations of fraud, which the company denies. Wander also pleaded no contest to a drugs charge in 2003. No details have been revealed of how much 777 has agreed to pay or how the deal will be funded. The Premier League introduced its more stringent owners’ and directors’ test in March and is expected to heavily scrutinise 777’s attempt to add Everton to its stable of football clubs that includes Genoa, Sevilla, Vasco da Gama, Hertha Berlin, Standard Liège and Melbourne Victory. The purchase of Everton would be its biggest acquisition to date. The company will also have to provide proof of funding to the Premier League. If successful, it would take the number of American owners or biggest shareholders to 10 clubs. Takeover talks between the British-iranian billionaire and the Miami-based company had advanced after the collapse of a proposed equity deal with another American investment firm, MSP Sports Capital, which has loaned £100m towards the construction of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-moore Dock. MSP and another Everton creditor, Rights and Media Funding, could object to the 777 deal or insist on having loans worth a combined £300m repaid. Moshiri has invested more than £750m in Everton since becoming a shareholder in 2016 and majority shareholder in 2018 but the club have gone backwards under his ownership. Everton have narrowly escaped two successive relegation battles and are without a win in the new Premier 