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Everton takeover: John Textor hailed as 'best example' after 777 Partners warning

John Textor, the American businessman who has considered investing in Everton has been hailed as being “the best example” of the multi-club model in sharp contrast to 777 Partners.

Everton announced on September 15 last year that Miami-based private investment firm 777 had struck a deal with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri to acquire his entire 94.1% stake in the club and that closing of the transaction was expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2023. However, over eight months on, the proposed takeover has yet to receive the green light and with the beleaguered company now facing legal challenges plus turmoil at clubs among their global portfolio, the ECHO’s Everton correspondent Joe Thomas today described it as “a plan that is doomed to fail” and said the time has come for Moshiri to formally end the dream.

Textor, a co-owner of Crystal Palace, is looking to sell his stake in the club and has considered the possibility of investing in Everton. The Missouri-born tycoon is looking to end his relationship with the south London club his Eagle Football group has a 45% stake of after failing to take a majority shareholding. The group also has other clubs in its portfolio, including Brazilian side Botafogo and French team Lyon.

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In an interview with The Athletic, Textor revealed he has contemplated moving for the Blues, stating: “Everton represents the best of English football: the struggles, the glory, the want. I love that it’s out of London. Everybody should want to buy Everton right now.”

Textor would be unable to move for the Blues before selling his stake in Palace, something he has announced is his intention. In an additional interview with The Athletic, the 58-year-old conceded it was likely Everton would not be on the market by the time that process was completed.

Asked whether he had had conversations over the Blues, he reportedly said: “Yes… With the existing constituents – different groups, different lenders, different equity holders. I’ve asked them ‘is there a way to solve all this confusion and address everyone’s problems?’ I’m very open-minded to it but I don’t want to come into a situation where I’m not really welcome.”

Back in September when the 777 deal was first announced, the ECHO spoke to Rio de Janeiro-based football journalist Rodrigo Calvozzo about the group and he was extremely wary about the group headed by Josh Wander and Steve Pasko. He said: “Everton fans need to be very worried, since becoming part of 777 group, Vasco has been experiencing confusing times both on and off the pitch. Several protests have already taken place since the arrival of 777 at Vasco. The main reason is due to the lack of sporting results, which disappointed a large part of the fans who believed in the group’s speech that, upon arriving in Brazil, assuring them it would make similar investments to the richest clubs in the country, such as Flamengo and Palmeiras.”

Earlier this month, a judge suspended the effects of the contract that saw 777 take control of Vasco back in 2022, and called for an independent examination of accounting operations of the firm at the club, a decision that the American group issued a statement to criticise. However, while 777’s time at Vasco, who avoided relegation on the final day of the season, has been fraught with controversy, across the same city, Textor’s tenure at Botafogo, where he owns a 90% stake, has proven far smoother with the team finishing fifth in Brazil’s Serie A last term.

Calvozzo said: “The idea of multi-club groups is still very new in the country, so only smaller clubs or those that were experiencing moments of crisis joined the model. Among the big clubs in Brazil we can mention Vasco (777); Cruzeiro (which was bought by Ronaldo) and Botafogo.

“All of these clubs were in Serie B in 2022 and are currently experiencing completely different periods. Vasco is the worst example, as its investors did not make the promised financial contribution and proved to be very poorly organised in its planning.

“Consequently, the team is among the last placed in Serie A, experiencing crises and protests from the fans. Cruzeiro needed to sell several important players in 2022, but has always had a new investment mentality, bringing young and little-known players.

“Botafogo (under Textor) is the best example. They invested heavily in the off-the-field structure, set up an excellent scouting team and signed cheap but high-quality players, which is why they are currently top of the table and enjoying their best spell since 1995, when they last won Serie A.”