EPL

Everton fans call for clarity over ongoing takeover bid

By Sports Desk March 27, 2024

Everton fans have demanded clarity over a protracted takeover bid which they say has left the club “in limbo”.

The Toffees’ Fan Advisory Board (FAB) has written to current owner Farhad Moshiri, prospective owners 777 Partners and the Premier League seeking answers, with the takeover appearing to have stalled since it was first agreed last September. Fans also want to know what would happen if the deal does not proceed.

“Our club is caught up in an endless swirl of uncertainty. In football terms, it’s like the referee has been sent to the VAR monitor but is stuck there with no sign of sharing a decision so the game can move on,” FAB chair Dave Kelly said.

“Whilst we understand that some of the decisions being considered are complex and we hope that they are subject to the rigour and scrutiny they deserve, supporters, players and this great club of ours are being left in limbo. We’re now asking for some long overdue clarity on how we can all move forward.”

Moshiri has been asked to speak to fans about what would happen if the 777 deal did not receive Premier League approval, whether his deal with 777 is timebound, whether other investors are waiting in the wings and whether he will continue to fund the club until a satisfactory investor is found.

“An interim board, an interim CEO, and an owner in absentia is not good enough for our club which is faced with sporting and financial uncertainty, the ramifications of which will reach far and wide,” the FAB’s letter to Moshiri, seen by the PA news agency, states.

“Your club and its supporters need clarity, vision, and leadership and we urge you to now provide it.”

The FAB’s letter to 777 co-founder Josh Wander urges the American investment firm to engage with supporters, and highlights that the lack of consultation to date is “a source of deep concern”.

“Concerns are being expressed that 777 Partners do not have the capacity, ability, or culture to make our club stable and successful,” the letter states.

“Given these concerns, we would encourage you to attempt to reassure Evertonians worldwide at the earliest opportunity of your vision, strategy, and operational wherewithal to bring Everton Football Club back to its rightful place at the pinnacle of football.”

The letter to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters seeks clarity over whether the league’s rules allow it to reject a takeover bid, or whether deals can only be “held in abeyance” until the necessary paperwork is provided.

“If the latter is the case, is the provision of such documentation time-bound or could this already protracted process drag on indefinitely due to the inability to reject outright?” the FAB asked Masters.

The FAB requested responses from all three parties by Friday.

Everton have been docked six points this season for breaching Premier League profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) in the period up to the 2021-22 season, and face the threat of further sanction after a second complaint was served in January for the period ending June 30, 2023.

The independent commission hearing the second complaint will reportedly conclude on Wednesday. Under league rules, a decision has to be communicated by the commission within seven days of the hearing ending.

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