EVERTON owner Farhad Moshiri has confirmed he intends to sell the club to US investment firm 777 Partners.
The Miami-based company is keen to add the prestigious English club to its business portfolio and is involved in talks to take over the Premier League club.
Now Moshiri, who has faced numerous fan protests for the club’s sale after years of on-pitch struggles, has confirmed in a letter to shareholders that he is ready to sell.
The letter read: “I am writing to you about my intention to sell my shares in Everton to 777 Partners.
“As you will know from my open letter in July last year, I made clear the need to bring in new investment and complete the financing of our iconic new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, something I have largely funded to date.
“The need for this has only become clearer to me as we continue to see rapid changes in the nature of ownership and funding of top football clubs.
“The last two transfer windows have shown that the days of an owner/patron are seemingly out of reach for most and the biggest clubs are now typically owned by well-resourced PE firms, specialist sports investors or government-backed companies and funds.
“In looking for investment, I spoke to a number of parties and considered some strong potential opportunities. However, based on my long discussions with 777, I firmly believe that they are the best partners to grow our great club with all the benefits of their multi-club investment model.
“Through this agreement we have an experienced and well-connected investor in football clubs who will help maximize commercial opportunities and we have secured full funding for our new stadium, which will be the critical element for future success.” from Everton.
“The agreement will see Everton join the 777 Football Group, which already includes Sevilla from Spain, winners of the last UEFA Europa League, Genoa from Italy, Vasco de Gama from Brazil and other storied clubs from around the world.
“Through this group, 777 offers its clubs access to world-class tools to support their football operations and global commercial opportunities. I am confident that this expertise, coupled with the collective strength of the clubs within the group, makes 777 the right choice for Everton.”
Moshiri continued: “I say that knowing the future of our club is positive. The last few years have not been easy for Evertonians – and I am one of them. It was hard watching our struggles on the pitch, but the foundation for a better future was laid.
“We have made incredible progress on the new stadium over the last two years. We stay on track and within budget.
“In the future, Everton will play in a stadium that will be the envy of the Premier League and beyond. A stadium with such a location will make it iconic throughout the game. A stadium that will provide a huge platform for growth, especially for Everton, and will transform North Liverpool and the surrounding communities. I will forever be proud of what we have achieved.
“Finally, I would like to thank the chairman and those serving in interim positions at the club for their commitment throughout the process of bringing new investment and opportunities to the football club.
“They will continue to provide support and advice to ensure the smooth running of the club through the next stage of this process, which includes obtaining the necessary regulatory approval from the Premier League, the Football Association and the Financial Conduct Authority for the transaction. I will continue to update this process as it progresses.
“In due course I will also address shareholders more formally and ask for their support in completing the transaction through a shareholder vote. My intention will of course be to vote in favor of this investment, an investment which, as I have set out and firmly believe, is in the best interests of our club and its future.”