The once-straightforward sale of the Premier League’s Everton to U.S.-based 777 Partners has become embroiled in a series of troubling issues that threaten to cut heavily into the original price of about $685 million.
A month after the deal first hit snags due to a reported failure by 777 Partners to provide audited financial statements, excessive financial losses by the struggling club led to the Premier League on Friday docking Everton 10 standings points for violations of its profitability and sustainability rules.
The penalty was the largest points deduction in league history and the first punishment in the top flight of English football relating to those guidelines.
The points deduction immediately sent Everton from 14th in the Premier League to 19th — and below the relegation cut line.
As a result, 777 Partners’ final sale price could be “slashed,” as multiple reports pointed to the firm having a series of clauses in its deal calling for a lower price if the club is relegated, or if the Premier League penalty is upheld.
Everton is in the midst of mounting an appeal, saying it “believes the Commission has imposed a wholly disproportionate and unjust sporting action.”
But there are still more layers to the situation as Burnley, Leeds United, and Leicester City reportedly intend to sue Everton for $374 million as a result of the Premier League sanction. Leeds United and Leicester City were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, while Everton was the last team to survive, and Burnley was relegated at the end of the 2021-22 season.
777 Partners, meanwhile, is facing its own issues, as a recent report in Semafor claims the firm has built its expansive soccer portfolio in part using customers’ cash at an insurance company it controls. The firm has dismissed the claims as baseless mischaracterizations.