Everton fans publish 14 questions to 777 Partners over takeover - including crucial new stadium query
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The Everton Fan Advisory Board (FAB) has released a list of questions raised by supporters that they want answering by 777 Partners over their prospective takeover.
The Miami-based firm have agreed a deal to purchase Farhad Moshiri’s majority sharehold of 94.1%. In an open letter to fans before Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Bournemouth, co-founder Josh Wander insisted that 777 were confident of the deal going through and being given approval ‘without issues’.
777’s potential arrival has been met with scepticism by sections of Evertonians. Supporters of Standard Liege, Hertha Berlin and Vasco de Gama, also owned by 777, have protested against their ownership. Meanwhile, Vasco were recently hit by a FIFA transfer ban for late payments.
Following a fan engagement meeting last month, the FAB sent a total of 14 questions and key issues to 777 last week. Chair Dave Kelly is hoping that 777 will ‘review and respond at the earliest opportunity’. The full list is below;
• Please describe your overall value proposition in your pursuit of Everton Football Club (EFC). What are your strategic objectives over the next five years?
• Can you provide assurances that all the necessary funding is in place for both the acquisition, and ongoing operating support?
• Who are 777’s other investment partners in your pursuit of EFC and in what form does that capital infusion take (Equity, Debt)?
• Unlike previous transactions have you cleared a path with other EFC creditors (e.g. Rights and Media Funding)?
• Please provide an overview of any legal investigation, litigation, and sanctions, current or forecasted, impacting 777’s ability to function as a bona fide owner of EFC.
• 777 have spent around €800-900m acquiring stakes in seven clubs, currently, all those clubs are making a loss. What is your strategy to ensure EFC and its Stadium become a healthy, growing business and do not follow the same path?
• How will EFC operate within the 777 multi-club model? Are there concerns with potential regulatory interference with the practice from governing bodies? Furthermore, can 777 explain how it plans not to prioritise one Club over another?
• How confident are 777 of passing through the various regulatory approval requirements? This includes the Premier League’s “Owners and Directors’ Test” and those of the Football Association and the Financial Conduct Authority?
• In August, Josh Wander spoke to the Financial Times and said, “We have a strong view that there’s a new wave of commercialisation coming to football.” Can you expand on this?
• Can 777 commit to reorganising the EFC Board with highly qualified Football and commercially astute members, who can regain the trust of Evertonians, instil confidence in the fanbase and Club employees, and begin to repair the reputational damage of EFC?
• What will be 777’s commitment to the Goodison Legacy Project? Do 777 recognise the new stadium completion is a catalyst for the North Liverpool Regeneration Project?
• Do you commit to honouring all existing governance and engagement models with Fan groups as well as the reinstatement of AGMs? In addition, can 777 commit to the appointment of two elected Fan members to the EFC Board?
• Will 777 commit to ensuring Bramley-Moore Dock will remain an asset of EFC and will not be sold off, to be leased back by EFC?
• Can you confirm that the EFC Women’s playing structure from Academy to first team will be fully funded and returned to its former top-flight position?