Everton agree to 777 Partners takeover amidst seasons of turmoil

Goodison Park

Everton have agreed on a deal with 777 Partners, as the U.S. private equity firm is looking to taking over from Farhad Moshiri in a deal reports said was worth more than 550 million pounds ($1.06 Billion AUD).

Everton have no doubt been going into turmoil over recent years, between battling close relegation races twice, getting into Financial Fair Play trouble regarding their financial losses and struggling to pay for the new Bramley Moore Dock stadium in full before its completion in 2024.

After another slow start to the new Premier League season, it has left the club in a spot of bother regarding its ownership. Majority owner Farhad Moshiri has been publicly open to selling the club since the end of the 2022/23 season, claiming he could not keep up with the finances after the Everton annual financial report showed losses of over £430 million ($817 million AUD) over the last five years.

Founded in 2015, 777 Partners is an alternative investment platform that helps bold entrepreneurs transform visions into enduring value. The Miami-based company has subsequently branched out into sports club ownership with a vision to play a key part in football in the near future as mentioned on their website.

777 Partners have a number of clubs in its portfolio that have all been acquired over the last four seasons, including Italian side Genoa and Belgian team Standard Liege, while they also have stakes in Bundesliga 2 club Hertha Berlin and more recently A-League side Melbourne Victory.

However, even in their football ownership infancy, there has been major controversy surrounding their lack of investment into players for the clubs they own, as well as a general lack of care for on-pitch results which could spell major trouble for Everton.

Hertha Berlins recently held out banners in disgust for 777 after their shocking start to the Bundesliga 2 season, months after getting relegated from the first division under 777 owner Josh Wander with a dismal 29 points in 34 games, a club record low. The banners read  ‘Josh Wander, the only thing we assure you of is our disapproval of you’. In early September, Standard Liege fans held demonstrations inside their ground with banners such as ‘No money, no ambition’.

Another issue that could play a major role in the success of this takeover is the owners’ and directors’ test that must be passed by all potential owners of premier league clubs. Co-founder Josh Wander was charged and arrested for cocaine trafficking in 2003 and only ended a long period of probation in 2018. Wander admitted in an interview on Sky Sports Italia that this charge would come under additional scrutiny for the owners’ and directors’ test and could be a big roadblock. There are also a number of legal claims against the company still outstanding.

The future looks increasingly bleak for Everton with the poor reputation and record 777 Partners has with its current clubs and this takeover may do more harm than good if that is even possible. Staring down a possibly first-ever Premier League relegation, this change might be better than sitting still under the failure of Moshiri and Kenwright, but there is a rightful lack of optimism surrounding a lot of the club at the moment, especially with the loyal fans.

German football ends 70 years with Adidas for Nike deal

The German Football Association (DFB) has inked a mega eight-year deal with American sportswear giant Nike and move on from incredible 70-year partnership with Adidas.

The deal commences in 2027 after the next World Cup and runs to the end of 2034 with the company securing kit rights for at least two World Cup campaigns.

Nike were able to blow away Adidas’ offer and the deal was one they simply couldn’t refuse. It is reportedly worth AU$169.3 million a year, exactly double the amount Adidas currently gives the DFB which is $84.6 million.

Adidas has been a DFB partner since the 1950s and has been synonymous with the success of Germany’s men’s and women’s national teams, who have supported the company’s logo during 14 World Cup and European Championship triumphs.

This deal has caused huge public backlash from German fans and politicians who believe it goes against the traditions and history of the sport.

However, the DFB has defended its decision to drop Adidas as Nike made the better financial offer which would help the federation fund the future of German football as it would be invested into the grassroots game.

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf explained the controversial decision and gives his well wishes to Adidas.

“We understand every emotion. It’s also a drastic event for us as an association when it becomes clear that a partnership that was and is characterised by many special moments is coming to an end after more than 70 years. That doesn’t leave us cold,” Neuendorf said in a statement.

“The DFB has to make economic decisions against this background. Nike made by far the best financial offer in the transparent and non-discriminatory tender process.

“The federation will do everything we can to achieve shared success with our long-standing and current partner Adidas, to whom German soccer has owed a lot for more than seven decades.”

It is a huge loss for Adidas’ legacy, losing a long term relationship with the country’s biggest sporting team to its main rival and ultimately showcasing the bargaining power Nike has over the company.

However, the company still has a huge standing in football despite this issue and won’t be too affected by it. At the international level, Adidas has deals with higher-ranked Argentina and Italy and will still supply Germany’s kits at the 2026 World Cup – a tournament which it will also sponsor.

This new deal allows more money to tackle issues in the grassroots game in Germany and help stabilise the system as it looks towards returning to long-term international success.

Football Victoria celebrates establishment between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC

A striking partnership has been established between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC, with the Western United affiliated club to play 11 home fixtures at Keilor Lodge Reserve.

The Club Changer Club Development Program, an incentive created in 2023 to assist clubs fostering and strengthening inclusive environments for multiple diverse communities within society to participate in football, supports the growth of women’s football, among many other ranges of football within the country.

Last year, all federation members dedicated a strong focus upon women and young females in football as a main element of their Legacy 23 campaign. This enables club development officers across the state to work in conjunction with clubs in order to foster a positive football experience within female football, both on and off the field.

In this facility sharing partnership, Sydenham Park SC vice-president Davis Lisolajski showcased his clubs enthusiasm.

“When we learned that they were without a home venue, it was an obvious choice for us to reach out and assist,” he said via press release.

“Women’s football holds significant importance for us at Sydenham, and we believe this partnership will benefit our young girls and both senior women’s teams. They will witness professionalism first-hand during match days.”

Calder United SC President Amanda Stella expressed excitement towards developing a sustained and effective partnership to spearhead National Premier League Women’s football to Sydenham Park in 2024.

“The support from Sydenham Park President Nick and Vice President David, along with the broader Sydenham Park community, is greatly appreciated, and we eagerly anticipate playing our senior and 20s home games for the 2024 season at Sydenham Park,” she added via media release.

“A special acknowledgment to Football Victoria’s Josephine La Pila for her work with both clubs to achieve an outcome that promotes collaboration among football clubs for the betterment of our beloved sport.”

Football Victoria have endorsed the partnership between these two growing clubs within female football across the state.

With Calder United establishing themselves as a competitive club amongst the NPLW competition, the partnership allowing the club between the Western United sister club and Sydenham puts a focus upon both sides allowing their playing and coaching staff to use one of the best pitch surfaces within the north-western district of Melbourne. The use of these highly elite facilities will allow them to have an advantage, perhaps being the difference in furthering themselves away from their competitors.

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