EPL

A closer look at Everton’s prospective new owners 777 Partners after deal agreed

By Sports Desk September 15, 2023

Miami-based 777 Partners have signed a deal to take ownership of Everton from Farhad Moshiri.

The group, co-founded by Josh Wander and Steven Pasko in 2015, are set to buy Moshiri’s 94.1 per cent majority shareholding.

However, the deal is still subject to approval from the Premier League, Football Association and Financial Conduct Authority.

The PA news agency takes a closer look at the prospective new owners.

What is 777 Partners and what does it do?

777 Partners is an investment platform which began offering litigation funding to lawyers in return for part of any settlement fee and has subsequently branched out into sports club ownership.

Who is already in the portfolio?

Genoa in Serie A, Germany’s Hertha Berlin, Standard Liege in Belgium, Vasco de Gama in Brazil, and French third-tier side Red Star. It also has minority stakes in LaLiga’s Sevilla, which was the company’s first football club investment in 2015, and Australian outfit Melbourne Victory. In addition it also owns London Lions basketball team and a 45 per cent share in the British Basketball League. Outside of sport there are investments in Australian and Canadian budget airlines and global film studio STX Entertainment.

So why Everton?

777 has not hidden its desire to gain a foothold in the Premier League, the most high-profile league in the world, and Everton’s huge losses – more than £430million over the last five years – and Moshiri’s decision to get out after ploughing in more than £700m, with an unfinished stadium still to pay for, essentially make the club a distressed asset and ripe for a takeover.

What are the stumbling blocks?

The Premier League would have to satisfy itself no rules on club ownership are being broken, while there are also new regulations on leveraged buy-outs and proof of funding – and the extent of any borrowing to complete the purchase. Co-founder Wander also only ended a long period of probation in 2018 relating to a 2003 drugs charge which he admitted so would come under additional scrutiny for the owners’ and directors’ test. There are also a number of legal claims against the company still outstanding.

What’s 777’s track record?

Not immediately encouraging for Everton fans, who have seen more than half-a-billion pounds spent in the last seven years with little success to show for it. Vasco de Gama fans have staged protests over a perceived lack of investment and, in early September, Liege fans held demonstrations inside their ground with banners such as ‘No money, no ambition’. The recent launching of a supporters’ bond to help fund Genoa’s new training ground also did not go down well. Hertha Berlin were relegated from the Bundesliga last season and face having to repay a £34m loan at high interest.

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