Everton takeover: Who are MSP Capital and what is Jahm Najafi net worth after 777 Partners twist

Four weeks into the season Everton agreed to sell the majority stake of Farhad Moshiri to 777 Partners. Two points deductions, a relegation fight, Sean Dyche winning a Goodison Park Merseyside derby, and seven Dominic Calvert-Lewin goals later, it has still not been completed.

There have been updates, progress, stalls, problems, plenty of public appearances from key members involved, and promises of completion throughout the eight-and-a-bit months, but no final resolution. Last week things took a turn for the worse when the potential investors were accused of running a multi-million-pound fraud scheme.

For many it has been the last straw as the wait around Everton goes on amid all of the background noise. Almost an entire league season since releasing a statement on their website saying that: "Closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2023," 777 Partners are still seeking approval from the Premier League via the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

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It has since emerged that MSP Capital, who have been working with the club during the process of building the new Bramley-Moore dock stadium, could come back into view.

The Liverpool Echo wrote on Thursday that the group, headed by Jahm Najafi, Jeff Moorad, and Peter Taylor, could yet consider making another play for control of the club. But who are they, and why are they involved?

MSP Capital are a self-proclaimed group "Forging the Future of Sports Investing." They describe the company as aiming to "invest in sports teams, leagues, and businesses in the sports ecosystem that are pursuing ambitious, challenging tasks." The website adds: "We focus on opportunities where our deep expertise and elite network of principals add value.

"Our principals have over 65 years’ experience building companies, forging partnerships, and evolving the operations within global sports industry. The strength of our network and experience is unmatched, with our partners generating over $2 billion of value over 20+ years.

"At MSP Sports Capital, we use our past success and a hands-on approach to uncover the most unique and valuable opportunities." This has been seen most visibly in the football world at FC Augsburg (German top division), AD Alorcon (Spanish second division), GD Estoril (Portuguese top division), and SK Beveren (Belgian top division).

They are also involved at McLaren Racing, whilst the Chair, Najafi, has roles with American NBA franchise Phoenix Suns. He founded Social Venture Partners Arizona, but MSP as a whole is based in New York. It is reported that Najafi alone is worth over £1billion.

As for Moorad, he is a former sports agent, previously working in MLB player representation. He sold his agency company alongside Leigh Steinberg for over £100million in 1999 and has been named as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports on eight occasions by The Sporting News.

He also has prior involvement as CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks and an investor in San Diego Padres. He formed MSP in 2019 alongside Najafi, Arne Rees, and Steve Wasserman.

How they got involved with Everton is a different matter entirely, though. The group made an offer for a 25% stake last year having loaned £158million to the club to help fund construction costs of the new stadium.

The repayment of that money by 777 Partners, who have been footing the bill and paying for the day-to-day running of the club since the original agreement with Moshiri, was one of four key requirements made of Josh Wander and Co in September. On April 15 that money was due to be paid back but an extension was reluctantly agreed, though that is said to be for 'weeks not months.'

Recent events have made an already complex situation ever more so, though. As Business of Football writer Dave Powell explains: "The new stadium build had two security arrangements. The first was one was through a fixed charge against the assets under ownership of the Everton Stadium Development Company Limited, the parent company of the Everton Stadium, with the other being the option to acquire a controlling interest of just over 50% of Blue Heaven Holdings, the company through which Moshiri owns his 94.1% stake in Everton.

"If this option was exercised in the event of a loan default then it would cede majority control to MSP, should they wish to exercise that."

In simple terms, there is a chance that MSP Capital are granted a chance to take over the club. The Liverpool Echo understands that this is something being considered by the group, though full ownership is deemed unlikely.

Due to the loan for the stadium being secured against Moshiri's Blue Heaven Holdings Limited - the company that owns Everton - MSP would be entitled to a controlling interest if loans weren't repaid.

Last year the company had entered exclusivity with Moshiri over buying the Toffees outright, planning to have convertible debt for their stake, but that fell through. This is because Rights and Media Funding Limited have protections against possible payment defaults and have been unwilling to give this up.

MSP still pledged a large sum towards Everton Stadium Development Company - a subsidiary set up by Moshiri in 2017. They are now in discussions as to whether a takeover would be viable.