Jamie Carragher explains his biggest worry for Everton - and it is not points deductions

Jamie Carragher said he is worried about the future for Everton as the club’s takeover saga drags on.

The former Liverpool player, turned pundit, believes the uncertainty about the ownership of the Blues is a far bigger concern than the regulatory issues that this week led to a second points deduction for the season.

US group 777 Partners agreed a deal with current majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri back in September but the move is still awaiting approval by the Premier League. While doubts exist over whether that will come, the firm is also shrouded in concerns about its suitability as an owner of the club due to questions around its wider business dealings.

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Everton’s financial situation has once again been thrown under the spotlight in recent weeks as the publication of the club accounts revealed an underlying loss of £89.1m before an independent commission this week deducted two further points after the club was found to have breached Premier League spending rules for a second time.

The Blues have appealed against that verdict but face a further battle with the league after this season, when the parties will argue over the club’s handling of interest on loans it said were used towards the funding of the new stadium. That could lead to further sanction.

Yet against that backdrop a bigger issue for concern is over the ownership of the club. While 777 have so far failed to win the backing of the Premier League, they have spent the past seven months providing significant loans in order for Everton to operate - money the club will owe should 777 fail to complete the takeover. That deal is under pressure after 777 requested an extension to a deadline to repay another lender to the club, MSP, this month - one of the tests the Premier League challenged 777 to meet in order to prove their viability as owners.

For Carragher, this is the big question hanging over the club. Speaking to the ECHO’s Tony Scott at the Grand National Festival on Saturday, he acknowledged he was worried about the future of the club. The boyhood Blue said: “I know the points deductions have caused uproar, I get all that, I can see both sides but for me most of that falls on Everton and the way they have been run these last few years. But I do think what is going on off the pitch, in terms of the ownership, is actually bigger and more important and needs more focus on it than the Premier League, the rules, the points deductions because that is about this season, new owners is about the next five, 10 years. I think that is a bigger worry right now and should be getting more scrutiny.”

Carragher did back Everton to test Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, however. Asked whether the Blues could get a result in London, he said: “Everton are a tough team to play against. They defend well, they struggle to score goals, but Chelsea have had problems all season, at home as well, conceded two against Sheffield United last time out, so I don’t think there is any reason off the back of beating Burnley that they can’t get something from the game and make it tough.”