LONDON: Everton Football Club are close to an agreement to be acquired by 777 Partners LLC following months of talks between the parties, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Club owner Farhad Moshiri, who has invested hundreds of millions of pounds into the underperforming team during his tenure at the Liverpool-based club, is expected to exit with a fraction of the money he invested, said the person, who asked not to be identified since the negotiations are private.
A deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday. If consummated, the sale will bring the number of American-owned Premier League teams to 10 out of 20. The parties are in the late stages of talks, and the deal could still fall apart. Moshiri’s legacy includes a partly-complete, state-of-the-art stadium in the Bramley-Moore Dock area of Liverpool.
An outside spokesperson for Everton declined to comment.
777 has been building a stable of historic football teams over the past 21 months that stretches from Brazil to Belgium. It has had some successes, such as leading Genoa back into Italy’s Serie A after inheriting a team that was on its way to relegation.
Co-founder Josh Wander says 777 has more than doubled squad value at Genoa while reducing squad costs there by 50%.
Vasco da Gama in Brazil also won promotion last year, while Hertha Berlin has been relegated to Germany’s second tier.
Everton have narrowly avoided relegation the past two seasons and have made an inauspicious start to the current season with only one draw and three losses.
Relegation from the Premier League to the Championship tier is costly. The broadcast fees fall from a minimum of £100 million (US$125 million) a year in the top tier to less than £10 million, though relegated teams receive payments to soften the blow for a period of three years.
Moshiri was backed by his former business partner, the Russian Alisher Usmanov before he was sanctioned shortly after the invasion of Ukraine. The group acquired the team in 2016.
777 is being advised on the deal by Tifosy Capital & Advisory, the specialist sports business advisers, as well as on a possible capital raise.
Everton have also been negotiating with MSP, a sports investor, about a loan deal. MSP declined to comment.