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Everton’s potential new owners committed to takeover despite points deduction

Miami-based 777 Partners remain committed to a full 100 per cent takeover at Goodison Park, according to sources close to the firm

Merseyside MPs and the city’s mayor are leading the backlash against the Premier League over Everton‘s 10-point penalty deduction – as i understands the club’s prospective owners 777 Partners have privately reaffirmed their commitment to the takeover process.

Everton were docked 10 points for a breach of the league’s profit and sustainability rules on Friday after an independent commission found the club had breached the allowed limit of £105m losses over a three-year period by £19.5m.

The hearing ruled that Everton’s “culpability was great” in the breach and did not agree with the mitigation put forward by the club argued for the losses, including the invasion of Ukraine which impacted a stadium naming sponsorship and their inability to sell a star named as “Player X” because of a unique set of circumstances.

While Everton did admit to breaching the profit and sustainability regulations they were stunned by the scale of the punishment, which plunged the club into the bottom three ahead of this weekend’s highly-charged visit of Manchester United.

i understands interim CEO Colin Chong has already chaired a series of legal meetings as the club plan to formally lodge an appeal before the end of the week. The club hope their appeal – which will be heard by a new independent panel before the end of the season – could reduce the points penalty or even overturn it.

And the Toffees clearly have the support of their fans and the city’s political establishment as they rail against the Premier League over the severity of the punishment.

On Monday, Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram wrote to the Premier League’s CEO Richard Masters, expressing “deep concern and opposition” to a punishment that he branded “disproportionately severe”.

He wrote: “I completely support the club’s appeal and would urge you to take a more lenient approach and consider alternative forms of punishment that do not unfairly penalise the club’s players and supporters.

“As a founding member of both the Football League and Premier League, Everton are an important part of the fabric of English football. They deserve to be treated fairly, justly and with respect.”

And Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool West Derby, tabled a motion in the Commons appealing against the “grossly unjust” decision, and calling for football’s independent regulator to be fast-tracked.

Fan group the 1878s have also raised almost £40,000 to produce anti-Premier League banners and flags as they promised to turn Goodison Park into a “bear pit” on Sunday for the visit of Manchester United.

The game, which will be televised, is seen as the perfect starting point for a season-long campaign against the Premier League. The club’s independent Fans’ Advisory Board is meeting at the Winslow pub on Wednesday night to discuss their next course of action.

All of this comes against the backdrop of a club at a crossroads with Everton’s future ownership still uncertain.

Miami-based 777 Partners are currently going through the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ tests in the hope of completing a full buyout of Farhad Moshiri before the end of the year, although there remains uncertainty about whether the group will pass the tests.

One thing that can be cleared up, though, is their commitment to the takeover after weekend reports had claimed they could withdraw from the process if Burnley, Leeds and Leicester decide – as expected – to launch compensation claims after they were relegated in the seasons Everton breached the financial fair play limits.

777 Partners have been advised by lawyers not to make any public comment on the independent commission’s verdict but it is understood that there was surprise at those headlines.

As part of a complicated agreement between 777 and Moshiri, the 10-point penalty and possible compensation claims were factored in and their “detailed due diligence” included gaming possible scenarios. Indeed i has been told by multiple sources “nothing has changed” on the takeover front after Friday.

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