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Everton Seeks Alternative Buyer as Deal With 777 Partners Falters

WorldEverton Seeks Alternative Buyer as Deal With 777 Partners Falters

Advisers for Everton, one of the oldest teams in English soccer and a founding member of the Premier League, have begun searching for an alternative buyer for the financially stricken club, according to people familiar with the decision who requested anonymity to discuss private talks.

Everton announced in September that it had signed an agreement to sell the club to an American investment firm, 777 Partners. But seven months later, the Premier League has still not granted more than conditional approval of the deal amid questions about 777’s financials.

At the same time, the club continues to struggle on and off the field. Everton has already been handed two points deductions this season for failing to comply with the Premier League’s financial rules, leaving it in danger of its first demotion out of English soccer’s top division since 1951.

Of perhaps more concern is the state of the 146-year-old club’s finances. Everton has now borrowed about £160 million (almost $200 million) from 777 Partners, a privately held investment company — cash infusions that have been required to help the team stave off bankruptcy.

But with questions mounting over the finances of 777 Partners and legal troubles it faces in the United States, the accountancy firm Deloitte has been empowered by Everton’s embattled British-Iranian owner, Farhad Moshiri, to speak to other potential buyers, according to the people familiar with the move.

A spokesman for Mr. Moshiri said the agreement with 777 “remains in place” and they continue to work toward completion.


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