Everton give clarity on 'alternative scenarios' as 777 Partners takeover deadline set

Everton have backup plans should the takeover deal with 777 Partners collapse, the club has said.

The club has confirmed the investment group has an agreement in place with Farhad Moshiri until the end of the month.

But, responding to questions from the Everton Fan Advisory Board (FAB), it added that “plans are also in place to progress alternative scenarios” should the deal collapse.

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That is expected to happen, with the takeover thrown into crisis amid a series of troubling developments at 777 Partners, including the group having been hit with a $600m civil lawsuit over fraud allegations, its Australian airline having been entered into voluntary administration and payment issues leading to protests and a new transfer ban at its Belgian side, Standard Liege.

Those issues have led to the widespread anticipation the deal to purchase Everton would collapse, the biggest stumbling block being a condition put in place by the Premier League that 777 Partners repay a £158m loan provided to the club by another lender, MSP Sports Capital.

Amid a growing belief that that looks unlikely, questions have increased about why Moshiri had not already terminated the agreement. As reported earlier on Tuesday by the Echo, that was because he remains contractually obligated to the deal at this stage.

In a statement released on Tuesday night following communication with club interim chairman Colin Chong, the FAB said: “A share purchase agreement is currently in place, which gives 777 Partners the opportunity to acquire a majority shareholding in the club and this lasts until 31 May. The club has confirmed, however, that plans are also in place to progress alternative scenarios, should the acquisition by 777 Partners not complete.

"777 Partners has so far made loans to the Club of $200m, which includes a $10m payment, to support the new stadium build, which was received this week. Should the 777 acquisition complete, a significant portion of the loan will be converted into equity in the club.”

The conversion of 777 Partners’ loans into equity in the club should the deal be completed is another of the conditions for approval set out by the Premier League.