Everton, a struggling Premier League team, is almost ready to be purchased by Miami-based investment company 777 Partners.
After negotiations with MSP Sports Capital broke down in August, the struggling Toffees restarted talks with the American business.
The acquisition will put an end to the turbulent reign of owner Farhad Moshiri, who made his initial investment in 2016.
According to a source close to Moshiri, Everton has been looking for funding for some time, although the agreement is not yet finalized.
With just one point from their first four games this season, Sean Dyche’s team is currently 18th in the league.
Everton is in shambles on and off the field. The team has just avoided relegation the last two seasons, including last season when a win on the final day kept them up.
Everton has denied any wrongdoing and stated that they are “prepared to robustly defend” their stance when they appear before an independent panel next month on an alleged violation of the Premier League’s financial fair play rules.
The club reported financial losses in March for the fifth year in a row, bringing their total losses over the previous five years to more than £430m.
They are also constructing a new stadium on Bramley Moore Dock, and estimates put the cost at £760 million, a £260 million increase over what the club said last year.
When approached by BBC Sport, 777 and Everton did not react.
Moshiri informed the supporters’ advisory board in February that the club was “not for sale,” but he had spoken with “top investors of real quality.”
Moshiri, a British-Iranian businessman, has contributed more than £750 million since 2016, although some fans are extremely dissatisfied with his ownership of the team.
Last season, Toffees supporters protested before a few of their home games and demanded that Moshiri and the board leave the organization.
Chairman Bill Kenwright is still in his position, although chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief financial and strategy officer Grant Ingles, and non-executive director Graeme Sharp have all since departed their board positions.
The club’s annual revenue in the most recent financial statements was £181 million, down from £193.1 million, since commercial sponsorship agreements with Russian corporations were terminated in March.
Having had his assets frozen by the European Union as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has a 49% share in USM Holdings, which funded Everton’s training facility.
Moshiri, the chairman of USM Holdings, invested £70 million in 2021–2022.
Who are 777 Partners?
The Miami-based investment platform 777 Partners has recently expanded into the sports club industry.
They refer to their entry into the sports sector as a “investment in the long game” and state that their goal is to provide expansion financing for firms.
They have already made investments in a number of football clubs around the world, such as Vasco de Gama in Brazil, Standard Liege in Belgium, and Hertha Berlin in Germany, although they have encountered criticism from fans regarding the way their clubs are run.
777 purchased a 45% ownership in the British Basketball League in 2021. Despite the fact that the same company also owns the London Lions, who won the league title the previous season, the deal was deemed to constitute no conflict of interest.
In a response, 777 asserted that “these rumors are categorically unfounded” and that “no investigation into its ownership of the London Lions is under way.”
The company also owns a portion of Sevilla, a La Liga team that last season won the Europa League.
The interests of 777 extend beyond sports; they also have holdings in the industries of insurance, aviation, media, and entertainment.
If the agreement is finalized, half of the 20 Premier League teams would be owned by Americans.