Sticky Toffee pudding – Usmanov sanctions threaten Everton finances

March 1 – The European Union (EU) has sanctioned Everton-linked and Fencing Federation (FIE) President Alisher Usmanov. He was on a list of Russian oligarchs that the block targeted as it imposed further sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The EU Council explained: “Alisher Usmanov is a pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin”.

It added that he “actively supported materially or financially Russian decision-makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine”.

The Restrictions on Usmanov and other oligarchs include “prohibition from making funds available” and an EU travel ban.

The Usmanov-owned company USM Holdings sponsors Everton’s training ground. Usmanov also has an exclusive naming-rights option on Everton’s new stadium. Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is the chairman of USM Holdings.

The sanction may have a huge effect on Everton as USM Holdings is the club’s biggest sponsor, while Usmanov is rumoured to be the money behind Moshiri.

Previously, the Russian was a shareholder at Arsenal. In 2007, David Dein sold his stake to Usmanov, who gradually acquired more shares, but after a battle for control over the London club with Stan Kroenke, sold his 30% to the American.  

Bloomberg Billionaires Index in 2021 estimates Usmanov’s has a net worth of $17.9 billion. Last year, he was reelected by acclamation to a fourth term as president of FIE. 

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