The twilight zone

It may be January sales season but for Everton the only question is who’s buying. 777 Partners agreed a deal to purchase owner Farhad Moshiri’s majority shareholding back in September, but three months on, they are still awaiting Premier League approval to complete a takeover.

By Philippe Auclair and Paul Brown

In public, the Miami-based company remains confident and has even been telling people on Merseyside that approval will be granted next week. In private, however, sources inside the company are more pessimistic about the chances of this deal getting done – and they are not the only ones who expect it to fail.

Josimar understands that at least one other consortium of US-based investors is now readying a bid, in the expectation that 777 do not complete their takeover. This group has been put together by a prominent sporting figure with a strong knowledge of Everton, and includes investors with a successful background in finance and a deep interest in sport.

The levels of debt at the club and the team’s on-field prospects this season, following a ten-point penalty from the Premier League over a financial rule breach, are a cause for concern; but the group remains interested in launching a full takeover of the Goodison Park club, as a source close to the bid confirmed to Josimar: “there are concerns about the level of debt and the team’s on-pitch performance. But these are serious investors.”

Josimar also understands that another group of US investors who share the belief that 777's bid is doomed to failure were also in the process of putting together an offer for Everton just before Christmas. This group, which is a...

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