777 Partners Agrees to Buy Everton, Tightening US Grip on English Football

777 Partners LLC has agreed to buy Everton FC in a deal that will add another US investment firm to the growing ranks of owners in the world’s richest football league.

(Bloomberg) — 777 Partners LLC has agreed to buy Everton FC in a deal that will add another US investment firm to the growing ranks of owners in the world’s richest football league. 

Miami-based 777 will acquire 94.1% of the English Premier League club from its owner Farhad Moshiri, according to a statement on Friday that confirmed a Bloomberg News report. 

The deal comes after months of talks between Moshiri and prospective buyers of Everton, which has been battling financial struggles off the pitch and a string of poor performances on it. The club is also in the midst of a costly project to build a state-of-the-art stadium in the Bramley-Moore Dock area of Liverpool in the northwest of England.

Acquiring Everton gives 777, co-led by Steven Pasko and Josh Wander, an important foothold in the Premier League — the world’s richest football division. The firm is one of the new multiclub owners sweeping world football and has quickly built a stable of historic teams stretching from Belgium to Brazil. 

US investors more broadly have been piling into the Premier League, lured by what they see as its vast untapped revenue potential. Top teams including Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United Plc are all in the hands of American owners.

Everton was one of the founding members of the English Football League in the 1880s and is one of just a handful of clubs that’s never been relegated from the Premier League. But the club has narrowly avoided dropping out of the top division for the past two seasons and has made an inauspicious start to the current campaign with no league wins so far. 

“Our primary objective is to work with fans and stakeholders to develop the sporting and commercial infrastructure for the men’s and women’s teams that will deliver results for future generations of Everton supporters,” 777’s Wander said in Friday’s statement. “We are committed to partnering with the local community over the long-term, working on important projects such as the development of Bramley-Moore Dock as a world class stadium venue.”

Fit and Proper

While Moshiri has allocated hundreds of millions of pounds to Everton since first investing in 2016, the lack of success has made him and the club’s broader management unpopular figures with large swathes of fans. 

777’s takeover of Everton will be subject to the firm passing the Premier League’s fit and proper test for owners and directors, It’s a process that has the potential to drag on for months, as was the case with Newcastle United FC in 2021, which raises the possibility of fresh uncertainty for Everton and its supporters. The tests were updated this year following a fan-led review of football in England. 

“There is a potential for even greater scrutiny of source of wealth of owners as well as more due diligence and stringent rules around fitness and propriety of owners and directors on an ongoing basis,” said Christina Philippou, principal lecturer in accounting, economics and finance at the University of Portsmouth.

777 is being advised on the Everton deal by Tifosy Capital & Advisory, the specialist sports business advisers.

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