Sunday, May 26, 2024

Everton shareholders demand a decision on takeover

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 May 2024

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Everton shareholders have urged Farhad Moshiri and the Premier League to make a decision on the future of the club.

The Toffees, who have been hit with two separate points deductions this season due to previous financial discrepancies, secured their Premier League status in April by beating Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Brentford in the space of six days.

However, Everton remain in turmoil off the pitch, with majority shareholder Moshiri wanting out. He is aiming to sell the club to 777 Partners, a Miami-based investment firm that has stakes in several other clubs, including Genoa and Standard Liege.

There is no lack of controversy surrounding 777, though, and their co-founders Josh Wander and Steve Pasko.

It has been close to eight months since Moshiri confirmed his intention to sell his 94.1 per cent stake in Everton to 777, but so far the group has been unable to pass the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors test.

While 777 has pumped over £200million into Everton to fund the day-to-day running of the club, it has now the subject of multiple lawsuits.

One of these lawsuits is by Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP and Leadenhall Life Insurance Linked Investments Fund plc, in New York.

Leadenhall claims Pasko and Wander “are operating a giant shell game at best, and an outright Ponzi scheme at worst”.

On Tuesday, Everton’s shareholders released a statement condemning the situation.

The statement read: “We are the oldest shareholders’ association in the world and are dismayed by the lack of respect being shown to our football club by the largest shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and the Premier League during what seems a never-ending change of ownership process.

“We have observed with concern and frustration as it became increasingly clear that a fit-for-purpose process cannot possibly take this long as the Premier League continues to demonstrate their inability to regulate.

“In the absence of the Premier League ­making a timely decision we insist that the Everton board, and Farhad Moshiri in particular, stop this ­damaging process now and ­recognise that 777 Partners are not at this time fit-and-proper ­­prospective ­owners of Everton Football Club.

“The ­powers that be are being ­disrespectful to our fellow ­shareholders, our ­fantastic ­worldwide fanbase and football as a whole by continuing to allow this farce to continue. We demand a ­decision and we demand it now.”

Everton face Sheffield United on Saturday before rounding out their season with a trip to Arsenal.

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