Everton Football Club’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, reportedly received over £400m from companies linked to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov before Usmanov faced sanctions. According to The Guardian, Moshiri borrowed £145m from a Usmanov-owned company around 2020. Between 2018 and 2022, Moshiri sold shares worth about £270m in a company where Usmanov was the primary shareholder. They might have been gifted to him.
Alisher Usmanov, known for his close ties to Vladimir Putin, has had long-standing business relations with Moshiri. Both had previously co-owned a stake in Arsenal Football Club. Moshiri sold his Arsenal shares to Usmanov in 2016 to invest in Everton. The recent findings challenge Moshiri’s financial claims and his relationship with Usmanov, especially after Moshiri announced a potential sale of Everton to US firm 777 Partners.
The documents also question Moshiri’s previous assurances about self-funding Everton and his commitment to the club’s financial support. In January, Moshiri stated his financial dedication to the club. However, when confronted with the new findings, a representative for Usmanov confirmed Moshiri’s debt to Usmanov, expressing hope for repayment after the Everton sale.
Given Usmanov’s sanctions following Russia’s Ukraine invasion, any repayment remains uncertain. Usmanov, who has been barred from the UK since September 2021, was also reportedly warned against loaning money to Everton. The uncovered financial ties further question Moshiri’s estimated £1.6bn wealth, with significant UK property holdings. Some properties were reportedly gifted by Usmanov.
Moshiri reportedly received £270m from selling shares in Usmanov’s conglomerate, USM, despite indications that he never purchased those shares. He still retains a 5% stake in USM. The significant amounts Moshiri received from Usmanov’s firms have reignited debates about their relationship before the 2022 sanctions.
Recent reports also suggest Usmanov’s involvement in Everton’s managerial decisions. While Usmanov denies owning any part of Everton, he acknowledges his club involvement. Moshiri maintains that his investments in Everton are personal. Despite the reported £415m from Usmanov’s companies, Moshiri is credited with investing £600m into Everton. The club has been seeking investors since distancing from Usmanov after Russia’s Ukraine invasion.
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