By Joe Roberts
Potential Everton investor Josh Wander is the first person elected to the European Club Association with a criminal record, but the ECA claim his election “complies with their statutes”.
As reported in the Daily Mail’s print edition (8 September, pg 78), Matt Hughes shared that the co-founder of American investment firm 777 Partners had previously pleaded “no contest” to drug charges in the USA 20 years ago, but the ECA “insist” he complies.
Wander was elected to the ECA board in Berlin last week due to 777 Partners’ ownership of Standard Liege and five other clubs.
Everton’s attempts to seek investment have not been successful so far.
As per the Daily Mail (24 August), the Toffees faced a blow when MSP Sports Captial, a New York-based investment firm, withdrew from talks to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club.
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While MSP are still reportedly giving the Toffees a £100million loan for the stadium redevelopment, the club remain in a deep financial hole and Farhad Moshiri is still looking for investors.
Moshiri has since resumed talks with 777 Partners after initially rejecting their offer in favour of MSP’s. The UK Government expressed their concern about the Americans’ legitimacy, with the Mail reporting (31 August) that Whitehall officials raised concerns that Wander would fail the owners’ and directors’ test.
Wander’s past criminal issues could be a concern, but the ECA are adamant that it will not be an issue and that all statutes have been complied with.
What is certain: Everton need money. They were sensible in the transfer window by only technically spending £3million, with The Athletic reporting (5 September) that payments for the likes of Beto and Youssef Chermiti are not due until the next fiscal year.
However, they have to pay those fees one day and they need to ensure greater financial stability at the club. As their search for investment continues, fans will remain worried.
In other Everton news, Sky Sports pundits have predicted an “absolute catastrophe” this season.
By Joe Roberts