- By Shamoon Hafez
- BBC Sport
Everton, struggling in the Premier League, are set to be sold to Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners.
The buyout will end the tumultuous tenure of owner Farhad Moshiri, who first invested in 2016.
A source close to Moshiri said Everton had been looking for investment for some time, but the deal was not yet finalized.
Sean Dyche’s side sit 18th in the Championship after picking up just one point from their opening four matches this season.
Everton are in disarray on and off the pitch, narrowly escaping relegation over the past two seasons, including claiming victory on the final day last season.
In March, the club recorded financial losses for the fifth year in a row, taking their cumulative losses over the past five years to more than £430 million.
They are also building a new stadium on Bramley Moore Dock and costs could reach £760 million, an increase of £260 million on figures cited by the club last year.
Everton and 777 did not respond when contacted by BBC Sport.
What happened at Everton?
In February, Moshiri told the supporters’ advisory committee that the club was “not for sale”, but that he had spoken with “high-profile, real quality investors”.
British-Iranian businessman Moshiri has invested more than £750 million since 2016, but some supporters are deeply unhappy with his ownership of the club.
Toffees fans staged protests before some home matches last season and called on Moshiri and the board to leave the club.
Chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, finance and strategy director Grant Ingles and non-executive director Graeme Sharp have all since left their roles on the board, but chairman Bill Kenwright remains in his role.
In the latest accounts, the club made an annual turnover of £181 million – up from £193.1 million – after suspending commercial sponsorship deals with Russian companies in March 2022.
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose assets were frozen by the European Union following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, owns a 49% stake in USM Holdings, which sponsored the training ground Everton.
Moshiri, chairman of USM Holdings, has injected £70 million in cash in 2021-22.
Who are the 777 partners?
777 Partners is a Miami-based investment platform that has diversified into sports clubs in recent years.
They aim to provide growth capital to businesses and describe their foray into the sports market as a “long-term investment”.
They have already invested in various football clubs around the world, including Vasco da Gama in Brazil, Standard Liege in Belgium and Hertha Berlin in Germany, but have faced protests from supporters over the way their clubs are managed.
777 has purchased a 45% stake in the British Basketball League in 2021, in a deal which has been determined to present no conflict of interest despite the same company also owning the London Lions, who won the title last season.
In a statement, 777 said it “categorically confirms that there is no investigation into its ownership of the London Lions, and that these rumors are completely unfounded.”
The company also has a stake in La Liga club Sevilla, which won the Europa League last season.
777’s interests are not limited to sports: they also have assets in insurance, aviation, media and entertainment.
If the deal goes through, it would mean half of the 20 Premier League teams would be owned by Americans.
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