Everton takeover: John Textor takes different approach to Farhad Moshiri if he gets wish to buy club

John Textor is a very different kind of football club owner than Farhad Moshiri and the multitude of candid photographs showing him taking a proactive approach at Olympique Lyonnais testify to that.

Everton announced on September 15 that 777 Partners had signed an agreement 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, eight-and-a-half months on, the Miami-based private investment firm, who have been dogged by payment issues at clubs they do own and hit by legal challenges, were unable to get the green light on the purchase by the five members of the Premier League board as Everton confirmed in a club statement on Saturday that 777’s Share Purchase Agreement had ended and that Moshiri is now assessing all options on future ownership.

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A week before that Textor, who has controlling stakes of Olympique Lyonnais, Botafogo and RWD Molenbeek plus a 45% minority share in Crystal Palace, declared his interest in buying Everton and has now been described as being the “front-runner” to complete a takeover by Sky Sports.

Unlike the lesser-spotted Moshiri – whose only attendance for a game at Goodison over the past three calendar years came against Burnley on November 1, 2023, when Bill Kenwright’s partner Jenny Seagrove and his daughter Lucy laid floral wreaths alongside former Everton player and manager Joe Royle in memory of the late club chairman who had died the previous week – Textor, despite having commitments with the aforementioned other teams within his multi-club group, has been a regular visitor to his French side in recent times. Given that the Ligue 1 outfit are currently the Missouri-born tycoon’s most-prominent acquisition, his approach there could offer clues to how he might approach a similar role with the Blues if he were to complete a takeover.

Only last weekend, in his role as owner of Olympique Lyonnais where he holds a 77.49% stake, Textor, complete with an OL club blazer, joined his Paris Saint-Germain counterpart Nasser Al-Khelaifi and President of France Emmanuel Macron at the French Cup final in Lille where his club were beaten 2-1 by their petrodollar-fuelled opponents on what was Kylian Mbappe’s farewell appearance. Before the game he was spotted taking photographs of the occasion on his mobile phone while after the defeat, he consoled Pierre Sage by putting his arm around the Lyon head coach.

Six days earlier, when Lyon, who had been in the relegation zone until February, overcame Strasbourg 2-1 in their final Ligue 1 fixture to finish the season in sixth place, Textor was out on the pitch at the Groupama Stadium posing for pictures with Alexandre Lacazette and other players while wearing a replica jersey over his dress shirt. It’s been a busy month in France for the 58-year-old also joined Lyon women’s team owner Yongmee Michele Kang to present medals after the club clinched its 17th title in Division 1 Feminine while he also attended a men’s league game at home to PSG and was spotted taking selfies with Lyon fans through metal barriers during their trip to Clermont.

In April, he celebrated with Lyon fans after their side reached the French Cup final while the previous month showed a light-hearted image of him clowning around while holding the disc cones used for player warm-ups. Lyon’s cup tie at fifth tier Cercle Athletique Pontarlier’s tiny 2,980 capacity ground near the Swiss border back in January also provided another photo opportunity for the fans with Textor.

He seems to be a man of action, whatever the situation and the hands-on approach even extends to him being in directors’ boxes at matches with Textor pictured adjusting the position of television sets, sliding windows across and attempting to untangle wires. Could he unravel Everton’s full potential when they move to their new 52,888 capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock next year?

Well, when outlining his interest in buying the Blues in his interview with the Athletic, Textor said: “That kind of club is what I’m referring to, where the risk and the reward of your relationship and community is so great and you could come in, make promises and keep them. How great would it be to take one of these great English clubs back to sort of glory?”