Everton takeover: Finally room for hope as collapse of 777 deal paves way for credible interest

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri
-Credit: (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

There may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

It might not happen. Everton’s ownership saga remains complex. Farhad Moshiri holds the cards and his decision making while at the top of the Blues has been, at best, problematic. There are avenues he could go down that might lead to further concerns - and even a positive resolution to the ownership saga will not solve all the issues the club is currently facing.

But the collapse of the 777 Partners bid has led to a situation Everton can take encouragement from. For all the struggles of this famous club, credible people with, one would hope, sensible plans, do appear to be showing an interest in ending the uncertainty shrouding its future, stabilising the institution and hopefully priming it for better years to come.

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After two years and three failed sets of exclusive talks, the debts have risen and the problems have grown for the Blues. It is a club that has been held back by a vacuum of leadership, instability on and off the pitch, and the legacy of reckless spending that has left it open to the regulatory pain of two points deductions with further scrutiny set to come. Since September, Everton have been reliant on the life support of a US group whose plans featured a host of red flags. The empire of 777 Partners now looks set to collapse. That it may do so without having added the Blues to the global portfolio of football clubs whose fanbases are seeking to escape its clutches is despite Moshiri having spent nine months remaining adamant they were the best custodian for Everton Football Club.

Because of that, who knows what his next move will be. And there remains bad options on the table as he continues to search for an escape route. But there do also appear to be sensible options and that is some comfort for supporters who have feared for so long that it was 777 Partners or bust.

The first shoots of positivity came with John Textor’s comments about Everton appearing to be a prestigious opportunity for anyone seeking a foothold in the Premier League. While the length of time it will take for the sale of his 45% stake in Crystal Palace likely rules him out of contention for control on Merseyside, and against that backdrop his enthusiasm should be treated with some caution, that someone already in the game and who has a track record of sensible involvement in a Premier League club was willing to speak so positively about the Blues was a boost.

The emergence of local Everton supporters George Downing and Andy Bell as plausible bidders for the club builds upon that optimism. They, like every suitor, should receive scrutiny and be the subject of due diligence to make sure they can be trusted with the Blues. But one would hope people with the club in their heart and the city of Liverpool in their blood would want the best for a club that has fallen on troubled times. They would surely be more accountable than absent billionaires or shadowy investment consortiums. Meanwhile, their track records in business at the very least suggests a degree of acumen - something that would clearly benefit Everton.

As Moshiri weighs up his options, who knows what he will decide. But the Blues have, against the odds, secured Premier League survival. With season ticket money submitted, a league merit payment on the way, the opening of the transfer window imminent and the first tranche of next season’s TV money on the horizon, the club’s cashflow situation should be the strongest it has been for some time. And for the first time in what feels like too long, sensible people appear able to see the true value of this great club - and might now be in a position to help it find stability. That has to be a source for hope.