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Moshiri tightens financial grip on Everton

By Paul Nicholson

September 12 – Everton’s major shareholder Farhad Moshiri (pictured) has increased his stake in the Premier League club to 68.6% with the purchase of a further 18.7% of shares to add to the 49.9% he bought for £87.5 million in March 2016.

The Iranian businessman, whose personal wealth is estimated at $1.7 billion according to Forbes, is expected to increase his stake to 77.2% by July 2019, according to a club statement. That would take his shareholding over the 75% threshold that would give him full decision-making control of the club.

Chairman and previous majority shareholder Bill Kenwright remained very involved in the running of the club when Moshiri bought his stake, but for Everton to progress to match the stated ambition, Kenwright is expected to take a back seat.

No value was given for the new share acquisition which will be held via Moshiri’s Isle of Man registered company Blue Heaven Holdings. His 2016 share buy valued the club at £175 million.

Everton’s club accounts for the year to 31 May 2017 showed a record £30.62 million post-tax profit but with an operating loss pitched at £12.3 million, the bumper profit was mainly due to a hefty £51.9 million profit on player trading, most likely due mainly to defender John Stones’s August 2016 transfer to Manchester City. The Romelu Lukaku sale to Manchester United suggests that Everton can look forward to another sizeable player transfer-related gain for the accounts to May 2018.

However, going forward to the current season, Everton have spent heavily on players, paying a net £68.6 million this summer, with signings including £40 million for Richarlison and £27 million or Yerry Mina.

The depth of Moshiri’s commitment to the club are shown in the 2017 accounts that feature the use of a £105 million interest-free loan – since increased to £150 million.

The club is planning to move from its Goodison Park home to a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock. Moshiri is in talks to provide the finance for the stadium build which was originally estimated at £300 million but could now balloon up to more than £500 million, depending on the scale of the mixed-used development.

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