Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has held talks with an America-based consortium that could result in a takeover of the club.
While negotiations are reportedly still in the early stages, the option for the Iranian-born billionaire to relinquish control of Goodison Park now appears to be on the table.
It is understood that initial talks between Moshiri and a consortium led by former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon were about investment opportunities for the £500million new site, which is currently at Bramley-Moore Dock is built.
However, during these discussions it became clear that there was potential for a more significant deal and that is when the subject changed to a full sale.
The interested consortium reportedly includes Maciek Kaminski, CEO of Minneapolis-based Talon Real Estate, and American businessman and CEO of Barrick Gold Corporation, John Thornton.
But it’s understood there are a number of other parties who are keeping an eye on developments and would be interested in the club should it be put up for sale.
Just last week, Moshiri wrote an open letter to fans, saying he was “dedicated to ensuring the club’s future success by delivering a fully funded stadium that will underpin our status as a leading club”.
He signed his message to fans by saying, “Your incredible support is never taken for granted and together we move forward.”
However, given the significant cost of a new stadium – which Moshiri vowed in 2019 to make up for any funding shortfalls – and the club’s attempt to put its finances in order after losses of more than £370m in the last three years, the owner’s stance was not given seems to be more flexible.
Moshiri has spent more than half a billion pounds on players since buying the club for £220m in February 2016 and is reported to want more than £500m to relinquish his control of the club.
The club’s huge and prolonged losses could have put Everton in question for a penalty under the win and sustainability rules, but the club remain hopeful they will avoid any punishment due to the widespread impact of Covid-19 and have been working with the Premier League ever since Late last year to put things in order.
It will be something that any prospective new owner will want to have clarified and finalized before proceeding with any purchase.