Everton takeover: Simon Jordan gives George Downing 'desire' verdict and makes administration claim

Everton’s Goodison Park. Picture:  Nathan Stirk/Getty ImagesEverton’s Goodison Park. Picture:  Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Everton’s Goodison Park. Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images | Getty Images
Everton have attracted interest from several parties after 777 Partners’ deal collapsed.

Simon Jordan has claimed that George Downing has ‘little desire’ to own Everton despite being in the reckoning to purchase the club.

The Toffees declared that they would be ‘assessing all options’ after their deal with 777 Partners collapsed. The Miami-based firm had agreed to purchase majority owner Farhad Moshiri’s 94.1% stake more than eight months ago but the Premier League did not ratify the transaction.

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There have been several parties who have reportedly expressed interest in purchasing the club from Moshiri. They include local businessmen Downing and Andy Bell, who are being backed by American billionaire Michael Dell. The pair have already helped loan Everton around £158 million along with MSP Sports Capital - who are another party interested in a takeover - to fund the construction of the new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium.

Downing and Bell - who have a reported combined wealth of £950 million - are avid Everton supporters. But Jordan revealed that he knows Downing personally and believes owning the club is not something he particularly has an appetite for.

Speaking on talkSPORT, former Crystal Palace owner Jordan said: “George, without breaching any confidence, is well-known to be a massive Everton fan. As long as I’ve known George, he’s very passionate about the football club and has very little desire to own it.

“The motivations behind the money they lent was predominantly and explicitly for the development of the [new] stadium so there weren’t any challenges about renegotiating contracts from the developers.

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“I don’t think unless there is a massive sea change, that George Downing wants to own Everton. That’s not because he’s not a rabid Everton fan because he is but I don’t think it’s on his agenda of things to do - now circumstances change.

“I’ve always maintained there is no benefit for Everton to go into administration. Normally, when someone goes into administration, more often than not HMRC puts it there because of their intransigent attitude or more likely because a secure creditor believes it would be better off in a different position. There isn’t any benefit in this situation.

“There just has to be some re-engineering, refinancing of the existing debt and a pill Mr Moshiri will have to accept he’s going to have to swallow, which is he’s very likely to walk away with very little.”

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