On Friday it was confirmed by Everton that an agreement is in place for Farhad Moshiri to sell his 94.1% stake to 777 Partners. There is still a long process ahead for the takeover to be complete as it needs Premier League clearance which will likely take up until the end of 2023, but Toffees fans can see the end of the Moshiri era on the horizon.
Farhad Moshiri released an open letter shortly after the news broke proclaiming that it is his belief that 777's "expertise combined with the collective strength of the clubs within the group, is what makes 777 the right fit for Everton. The future of the club is a bright one." He has also thanked the chairman, Bill Kenwright, who also has faced protests to leave the club from fans and there has been uncertainty around his future.
777 also released a statement as Founder Josh Wander, said: "We are truly humbled by the opportunity to become part of the Everton family as custodians of the club, and consider it a privilege to be able to build on its proud heritage and values." They also made note of goals to complete the new stadium and the cultural regeneration of Merseyside.
Evertonians have had enough of the current ownership and will be happy to see the back of Farhad Moshiri, with frequent protests against the board during the 2022/23 season. The demand for change was clear. Despite Moshiri spending in excess of 700 million pounds on players and the construction of a new stadium on the Liverpool waterfront close to completion, Everton are a club that have fallen behind.
They have fallen behind in finances, quality of players and most importantly the league position having finished no higher than 8th place since Moshiri’s acquisition of the club in 2016. With back-to-back relegation battles, Everton’s top-flight status now seems to be on a knife-edge.
Everton have been crying out for a new direction for a while and it has come in the form of 777 Partners.
So who are 777 Partners?
They are Miami-based multi-club investors that were founded in 2015.
Their founder Josh Wander has a huge interest in football investment and 777 Partners already have stakes in football clubs around Europe, including Europa League winners Sevilla, Hertha Berlin, Genoa and Standard Liege. However, their track record is not great in football:
777 acquired Genoa in 2021 with a 99% stake in the Italian club. They have since been relegated from Serie A for the first time in over 15 years, but did bounce back to the first division at the first time of asking. It's also worth noting that COVID had a severely negative impact on several football clubs around the world.
They have also fallen out of favour at Standard Liege, who recently held a demonstration with a banner reading ‘Your Galaxy shouldn’t be ruining our future’ having missed out on European Football last season; they are winless in their first six games on 2023/2024.
They have around 15% worth of shares in Sevilla, who were in financial disarray last season and found themselves hovering dangerously above the relegation zone last season despite winning the Europa League. The Spanish side finished in the bottom half of the table for the first time since they were promoted to La Liga in 2001, finishing 12th.
Complaints of increasing unrest in the boardroom with too many different voices pulling in different directions, even 777 Partners recently proclaiming about a lack of transparency in the Sevilla boardroom.
777 acquired a 64.7% stake in Hertha Berlin, unfortunately for Hertha, they were relegated to the second division of German Football, 2. Bundesliga. They have only won one of their first five games in that division, as the club looks to be taking the opposite route of their city rivals Union Berlin. The relegation cannot necessarily be down to the 777 investment having only put their shares into the club in March of this year.
However, it cannot be denied that there is a common theme of demise and unrest in every club they have put their money into. They have very little on-the-pitch success and have reportedly recorded losses of over £400 million in the last five years.
The reaction online has been a negative one, as despite the demand for change being answered there is an overwhelming concern amongst Everton fans because there is the feeling it may be getting worse. The lack of progression in the clubs they already have stakes in is an extremely worrying sign.
Off the pitch, 777 have ongoing involvements in court cases in the USA as themselves and sister company Sutton Park have been accused of multiple fraud cases, offering illegal loans and failing to pay bills totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Josimar magazine. In 2003, Josh Wander also pleaded no contest to drug offences. There is reported concern in the Government over this deal.
It feels Everton are entering a new chapter of the ongoing circus, just with different faces. Everton fans are very unoptimistic about the new potential owners as their track record is clearly worrying. Can they prove themselves and everyone wrong and lift Everton out of the doom and gloom?