Not for Premier League to choose Everton owner, says top-flight chief

Not for Premier League to choose Everton owner, says top-flight chief

© AFP 2022
May 14, 2024 at 4:15 PM
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is seeking to sell the club
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is seeking to sell the club. Photo: Paul ELLIS / AFP
Source: AFP

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The future of Everton will be decided by owner Farhad Moshiri and not the Premier League, according to the English top-flight's chief executive, as uncertainty over a proposed takeover increases.

Miami-based 777 Partners agreed to buy Moshiri's 94 percent stake in the Toffees back in September but have so far failed to satisfy the Premier League's owners and directors' test, reportedly due to providing proof of funds.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was appearing in front of a parliamentary committee on new football governance legislation on Tuesday and asked why 777's takeover had not yet been rejected by the league.

“The Premier League’s role in this, as regulator, is to perform the test," said Masters.

"It is not to decide who the current owner wants to sell his club to. That is his decision. At the moment, he wants to continue to have discussions with 777 about it."

Doubts over 777's ability to fund a deal have grown in recent months due to difficulties with some of their other operations.

Another club owned by the American investment firm, 10-time Belgian champions Standard Liege had their match against Westerlo postponed on Friday due to fan protests after the club were placed under a transfer embargo due to legal and financial problems.

777 have also invested in Serie A side Genoa, German second-tier side Hertha Berlin and Vasco da Gama in Brazil.

Last week, Everton's Fan Advisory Board called for the Premier League to dismiss 777's takeover bid and to "allow discussions with more suitable owners" to take place.

Everton, who have been in the English top-flight for the past 70 years, have reportedly consulted insolvency experts over fears the club could face administration due to soaring debts.

British-Iranian businessman Moshiri has splashed over £500 million ($620 million) on new signings since becoming majority shareholder in 2016, to little positive effect.

Everton narrowly avoided relegation in the past two seasons and defied an eight-point deduction to stay up this season, imposed for two separate breaches of the Premier League's financial sustainability rules.

Moshiri had been seeking fresh investment to help complete the club's new 53,000 capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is due to open for the 2025/26 season.

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022