Everton have been put up for sale by Farhad Moshiri, who is looking for offers of more than £500m for the Premier League club.
In recent months Moshiri has sought outside investment but he has finally put Everton on the market, and would consider a minority or majority sale. A number of potential buyers have expressed interest.
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Moshiri would like to recoup the money he has invested in the new stadium being built at Bramley-Moore Dock. It is understood that Deloitte has been instructed to handle the sale of the club, who are in the Premier League relegation zone. Deloitte offered no comment when approached by the Guardian.
The British-Iranian billionaire’s attempt to sell can be revealed on a day when Everton were dealt a double setback with Marcelo Bielsa expressing doubts over replacing Frank Lampard as manager and Tottenham hijacking their move for Arnaut Danjuma.
Moshiri and his fellow board members have been fiercely criticised by Everton fans over recent weeks, with widespread calls for the owner to sell after almost seven years and for the directors to go.
About £700m has been spent on more than 50 players in the Moshiri era, with just over £400m recouped in sales. The attempted sale comes at a perilous moment for Everton with the stadium under construction at a cost of at least £550m, the club’s last three available set of accounts showing combined losses of £372.6m and lucrative commercial ties cut with companies owned by the oligarch Alisher Usmanov after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Moshiri has funded the construction costs of the stadium so far but has been seeking the additional investment required to complete the project. In a video posted on Everton’s website on Tuesday that is believed to have been filmed last week, Moshiri insisted he was not planning to sell the club. “The club is not for sale but I’ve been talking to top investors, real quality, to bridge the gap on the stadium,” he said. “I can do it myself and the reason I want to do it is to bring top sport investors into Everton for some of the reasons that the fans want improvement, more talent, and we are close to having a deal done.”