Farhad Moshiri has increased his stake in Everton to 94 per cent and insisted his commitment to delivering success is unwavering.
The billionaire, who has spent more than £500 million on transfers since 2016 for scant reward, has increased his shareholding by converting a £100 million loan into equity. Moshiri acquired 66.6 per cent of 100,000 shares issued in Everton last February – converting a £200 million loan into equity to do so – and has now purchased an additional 33.3 per cent through his Blue Heaven Holdings company.
Moshiri’s latest acquisition improves Everton’s balance sheet amid the impact of the pandemic and after a combined loss of £265 million over the past three financial years. The announcement was confirmed in a rare communication from Everton’s majority shareholder to supporters and at a time of fierce criticism of his erratic ownership.
A sit-in protest against “years of neglect, poor running and mediocrity of the Everton board and ownership” is planned by the 27yearscampaign – it is 27 years since the club last won a trophy, the 1995 FA Cup – for after Saturday’s home game against Aston Villa, when Duncan Ferguson will be in caretaker charge after the sacking of Rafael Benítez.
In an open letter to supporters, Moshiri said Benítez’s dismissal “was the right decision for the club, although it is never one that is taken lightly”. He confirmed Everton want to appoint a replacement as quickly as possible.
“I understand the frustration felt by everybody who loves Everton because of our inconsistent form in recent seasons, despite significant investment in the playing squad,” wrote Moshiri. “The money that has been spent since 2016, not just on the playing squad but also on key projects including our new stadium, demonstrates my commitment to Everton.
“I write to you to assure you that my commitment remains strong and focused. The club has announced today the conversion of a £100m loan to the club into equity which is a clear demonstration of my commitment and greatly strengthens the balance sheet. I am a private man and I do not speak publicly very often. But I promise you that my determination to deliver for Everton will not waiver.”
Moshiri confirmed he was working alongside the chairman, Bill Kenwright, who received lavish praise in the letter, and the board on the strategic review into Everton’s football operations. The review is not expected to be completed until later this year but interestingly, given Wayne Rooney has been linked with the manager’s job and Ferguson has several games to press his claims, its aim includes having a clear Everton “DNA” running through the club.
“I can assure you the recruitment process for a new manager is aligned to that,” Moshiri says of the review. “It is vital we appoint a manager that fits the structure we are putting in place and so, whilst we are keen to make an appointment as quickly as possible, we will work together to ensure it is the right candidate to deliver the success we all crave.”
Moshiri has been criticised for a lack of direct communication with Evertonians but insists he is fully behind the proposed fan advisory board, which is to be launched this season and will mean there is a supporters’ representative at board meetings. It has also been announced that Everton are to amend their articles of association to remove the obligation for annual general meetings with shareholders. – Guardian