Everton announce Finch Farm deal with USM Holdings

Thursday 5 January 2017  175 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton's multi-million pound naming rights deal for their Halewood training complex is with USM Holdings, it has been announced.

In a first for the Premier League, the club's Academy and training facility will be renamed USM Finch Farm in an initial five-year deal with the company founded by Russian billionaire, Alisher Usmanov, that also includes match-day advertising at Goodison Park.

It is part of a £75m package of commercial deals that will include a new shirt-sponsorship arrangement. No details of that deal have emerged yet but CEO Robert Elstone revealed at this week's AGM that it would likely be 300% more than the current one with Chang.

Usmanov, one of the world's richest men with a personal fortune valued at around £11.6bn, is a long-time business partner of Farhad Moshiri and owns a 30% stake in Arsenal FC.

Moshiri is the chairman of the board of directors and a major shareholder of USM which handles Usmanov's corporate assets and counts Metalloinvest, one of Russia's largest mining firms, and telecoms giant MegaFon in the same country as assets.

Though speculation has swirled that Usmanov was considering selling his shares in Arsenal after seeing his hopes of increasing his holdings in the London club stonewalled by owner Stan Kroenke, representatives of the tycoon insisted recently that he has no plans to walk away from the Gunners.

Ivan Streshinsky, who sits on the board of USM Holdings said of the deal: “The naming of Finch Farm, and the extensive package of marketing rights, provides USM and the businesses within our group with unique year-round global media exposure.

We've done considerable research into what this partnership can deliver for us and we're very excited about the difference this will make as we continue to build our brands.” Meanwhile, Everton CEO, Robert Elstone expressed his pleasure at being able to welcome USM into the club's commercial portfolio.

"I'm sure that the marketing platform this provides USM and its businesses will help them achieve their growth objectives," he said. "It is a significant and exciting deal for Everton as we continue to grow our commercial revenues.

"We've invested heavily into our training facilities over recent years and this deal means we can continue to provide top class facilities, which we know plays an important role in attracting the best playing talent, from academy right through to first-team.”  

Reader Comments (175)

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Peter Laing
1 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:08:34
The news just gets better and better.
Peter McHugh
2 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:09:20
Alex Jones
3 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:10:36
Doesn't sound dodgy at all that.

What exactly does a businessman get out of naming rights for a training ground? This is just more backdoor investment à la Phillip Green.

How many shady billionaires are we going to let launder money through the club? I wouldn't mind if we actually had something to show for it!

Peter Laing
4 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:11:39
I hope we can get Usmanov along to Goodison Park next season when Arsenal visit and offer him a couple of beers too, maybe he will be convinced that we can generate a better atmosphere than the Emirates library.
Thomas Lennon
5 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:11:40
Ahhhhhh well that makes a big difference. This is a partnership in all but name.
Raymond Fox
6 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:12:10
Now we are talking, if it is USM.
Joe Armstrong
7 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:14:54
Things are definitely falling in to place. Some astute business going on now. Something that were not use to. Usmanov company one of the biggest steel producers and we need a new stadium. Mmmmm. Feeling optimistic.
Lyndon Lloyd
8 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:17:34
Alex (3), you're missing the point as well as levelling unfounded accusations. Like Gazprom's ties to Chelsea, this is an easy way for one of Moshiri's companies to sponsor the club and has obvious FFP advantages. (After all, as you say, what financial benefit can there be to sponsoring a training ground?)

Everyone will make the leap to Usmanov but it doesn't really have to involve him at all, apart from him agreeing to the deal in the first place.

John Malone
9 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:18:17
The more we can get one of the richest men in the world involved with our club, the better!!

The quicker we get this stadium built, the better. I have no doubt in my mind Moshiri and Usmanov will end up being joint owners of our great club!!

John Pierce
10 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:20:12
All seems a bit too good to be true, will they give us £20mill for naming rights to Dixies' statue too?

I know all clubs do stuff to bend the rules, just weird that we are being professional about it.

More income, more on players and wages. It's a big old tanker to turn around is EFC, I'd say the the old girl is starting to change course.

Hope .

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:22:19
They can call it the Frunze Academy as far as I'm concerned, as long as they cough up.
Colin Metcalfe
13 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:25:01
I have just arrived in London from New York and during the flight I watched "My kind of Traitor" with Ewan McGregor, a Russian mafia thriller which of course is all pure fantasy however I couldn't help thinking there must be some very shady deals going on with these very rich Russian businessmen.

Then as I settle into my hotel room just outside Heathrow and I open ToffeeWeb for the latest and I see this headline, got a feeling this won't be the only deal with our Russian contacts over the next few years and I wonder just what we are getting ourselves into???
Patrick Murphy
14 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:29:44
I assume any new stadium, wherever it is located, will require quite a bit of steel in its structure, and given that most Billionaires don't like to waste money but know how to accumulate it, they will see a way to make money from Everton FC in the long-term, whilst in the short-term Everton FC get some much needed finance.
Peter Laing
15 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:30:47
Megafon on the shirts, the Metalloinvest logo also looks like a boat!

Iconic on the waterfront?

Lee Whitehead
16 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:32:31
OMG!!!!!!!!!! This could be the start of something big... very very BIG! It all seems too good to be true – lets hope so.

Why on earth would Usmanov pay £70Mill for naming rights on Finch Farm? The way this is going, we could reclaim our place as the Senior Club in this city, at last.

Just think – 3 yrs down the line;

New 60,000 stadium on the docks.
Fighting for the title every season.
Quality team & football.
And LFC stuck at Anfield in L4

Fuck me, I must be dreaming... Maybe I am?


Steve Smith
17 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:34:56
FFP just means billionaires have to be a bit more creative when funding their clubs, hence this type of deal.

You can bet your mortgage that the steelwork for the stadium will come from a Russian company who will build up such a good "relationship" with us that they then decide to sponsor us for a couple of hundred million every year.

From the clubs point of view, this is a much better option than taking money directly from a shareholder, who can then place conditions on possibly recovering that money at a later date, you can't do that if money is injected as sponsorship.

Kevin Tully
18 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:35:54
Easy now, lads, this isn't the whole 㿷m over five years, we'll have to wait and see who our new shirt sponsor is to ascertain where most of the new revenues are coming from. The Finch Farm sponsorship is only a very small part of the uplift. Interesting that Usmanov is now solidly linked with the club though. Moshiri & Usmanov would truly be a dream ticket.

Alex – Green never put a penny into this club; he may have possibly taken out millions though.

James Power
19 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:36:04
It doesn't take a internet genius to come up with some interesting stories about our benefactors. So, a provocative, but nevertheless appropriate question (at least in my mind); how happy are we to be involved with such characters?

I would really like us to compete with the big boys, but, like Chelsea and I dare say Man City too, are we pleased to be bankrolled by these people for the sake of becoming a darling of whatever the latest incarnation of the big four, five or six are?

Are these 'harsh realities' and if so, how many of us will notice? Or care?

Neil Wilson
20 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:38:30
Without getting ahead of ourselves, surely this must be the first sign that Usmanov will get involved. It is clear that the Finch Farm deal is for FFP reasons so that by increasing income and revenues we can spend more on players.

So why would Usmanov agree to strengthen a rival clubs position if he intends to remain at Arsenal? All sounds like it could get quite interesting over the next year or so...

Is part of Mr Usmanov's empire not steel? I reckon Peel will need quite a lot in the not too distant. Something big is going on here and that's why they can't disclose too much right now.

I am quite sure Mr Usmanov and Mr Moshiri would like to be involved in the whole regeneration of our waterfront.

Gavin Johnson
21 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:39:11
Fantastic news. I think an Usmanov-owned company was what we were all hoping for when the news broke yesterday.
James Ford
22 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:40:07
It's blatant. Moshiri is the puppet. Usmanov is the real backer. He's just hedging his bets and probably sees both Arsenal and Everton as good investments but can't (officially) own both...

See how the first 5 years at Everton go... Especially after the new ground goes ahead .

It's blatant... And good for us either way.

Patrick Murphy
23 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:43:26
James (#19) There's always going to be a question of what is ethical and socially acceptable with regards to sponsorship, ownership and governance of the game and its clubs. Can we say that one rich club is run on more ethical lines than another because the owners are from a particular part of the world?

Unfortunately in a capitalist system it is the very successful capitalists that have the ready cash to fund the running of any club they choose to fund. The other question is, does a 'poor' club automatically become more ethical, straight, honest than their richer counterparts?

Rob Halligan
24 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:53:41
Quote from CEO Elstone from last night's AGM...

"We are expecting a 300 per cent increase in the value of our shirt sponsors and we will be announcing shortly, as part of that 㿷 million, a significant new title sponsorship for the Finch Farm training ground and Academy.” ...

I'm sure I also read somewhere that the club weren't able to release details of this sponsorship just yet, but here we are, 24 hours later, the details have been released.

Let's hope in the next 24 hours, details of the new stadium are released.

Joe O'Brien
25 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:58:14
It just gets better and better.
James Power
26 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:05:37
Patrick, thank you for the response and good points.

Sentence 1: I agree;

Sentence 2 (question really); it's not a geographical or (by implication) xenophobic issue, it's a question of how true are the allegations of criminality? And my point (and by dint, question) is, if they are, then are we okay with this?

Sentence 3: fair play, I agree.

Sentence 4, separate, although related question and an interesting one in itself, but not really where I was coming from.

Rich and honest v poor and honest, I take rich. Rich and corrupt v poor and honest, I take poor. Rich and corrupt v poor and corrupt, I take neither. Good to think about though eh?

And I am desperate that we do well, really, I was born with a silver footy spoon in my mouth (1970) and have therefore seen the good and the very bad, and having turned left on the plane it is safe to say turning right is much worse but, how much do we want to turn left?

How happy will we be if we know our Chateauneuf du Pape is paid for by the bad guys ? (If indeed they are bad guys and not just really nice guys desperate to remove mean posts about them on the internet). Philosophy and footy have long been bedfellows (Shankly, Labone, Cantona) so why not ToffeeWeb?

Colin Gee
28 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:09:26
Couldn't we name it after one of our former Chairmen as well?
It would be the Carter USM then...
Tony McNulty
29 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:09:34
Anyone partying like a Russian or would that be too optimistic?
James Power
30 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:15:47
I like it, Colin.
Patrick Murphy
31 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:18:09
James (#26),

As Evertonians we all like to think that those that are in charge of the club and those that are associated with the club are good honest people who hold themselves to very high standards.

Unfortunately we don't really know for sure and I take your point that, due to the huge amounts of money involved, it may attract those with lower standards and heaven forbid some will perhaps have been associated with criminal elements. Until those individuals or groups are found guilty as charged we have to accept that they are on the right side of the law.

That shouldn't mean we accept any sort of investment from any person or group who may bring the club into disrepute but we have to trust the guardians of the club to protect the name of the club.

Mike Berry
32 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:39:08
This must be another way of getting further funding into Everton via Mr Moshiri's influence, ie, Mr Usmanov. Otherwise, why would you want to pay for naming rights on a training complex?

When the ground move to Bramley-Moore Dock gets the nod, it will be no surprise if Mr Usmanov has his seat already planned.

I see massive changes afoot, some that may shock and delight the faithful. The shirts sponsor will be fascinating... USM anyone?

Joe O'Brien
33 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:39:30
Question should be, would you take this new investment with money to spend on players and with a new stadium planned, or stick with just our former owner with no money to spend on players and would more than likely be relegated this season because Kenwright would not have sacked Martinez. Because that's the direction we were going. I know for sure which I would choose.

It didn't look like there was a queue of potential buyers lined up bar Moshiri and his mates.

Bill Watson
34 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:45:58
James (#26),

The Russian oligarchs made their money out of assets stolen from the Russian people. UK and US millionaires also make their money on the backs of ordinary people, privatisation and 'austerity' cuts speed up that transfer of wealth.

As a socialist, I'd much prefer Everton to be a supporter/ member owned democratic co-operative. However, we live in a corrupt capitalist world and that's not going to happen any time soon.

Football is where it is. Let the corrupt capitalists build our new ground and hopefully, at some time in the future, we will once again become a community-owned asset.

Steve Jones
35 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:48:40
It's just business – using connections, networks, consortiums, additional investment, leveraging assets – this is all part of the world of 'proper' business deals these days. We have never had access to this level of collaboration, but now through Mr Moshiri's connections, we have, and he's using it.

Why would Mr Usmanov use Everton as a way into the British market for steel, or even the mobile phone networks? For all we know, part of the deal with Peel Holdings might be to be the preferred steel supplier for the rest of the build along the docks and our stadium might be a loss leader, followed by significant volumes.

Cheaper for Peel overall and a great business for Usmanov. Perhaps he has other assets to leverage as well. It's a great entry point into the UK market.

Maybe Mr Moshiri is a Trojan horse for Mr Usmanov, let's wait and see, but it's dreamland at the moment and our golden ticket.

Mick Davies
36 Posted 06/01/2017 at 00:03:59
Colin Gee @ 28, love it... We all know who Sheriff Fatman would be, and Elstone – 'the only living boy, in Stonebridge Cross'
Patrick Murphy
37 Posted 06/01/2017 at 00:19:00
I've been looking for a link for this for ages – but Hunter must be pretty sure of his facts:

USM seal naming rights

Dan Davies
38 Posted 06/01/2017 at 00:19:56
Hahaha pure invention. Hmmmm...
David Price
39 Posted 06/01/2017 at 00:21:29
Get in!!!
Patrick Murphy
40 Posted 06/01/2017 at 00:32:29
Interesting titbit from a Gooners fansite, who reply to speculation that Usmanov may have to sell his shares due to the FF sponsorship answers "At the moment, no. His companies can sponsor as many clubs as they like as long as he doesn't own any part of those clubs."

Angry of Isliington

The Liverpool Echo also confirm that USM are the new sponors of Finch Farm.

Finch Farm sponsors


Charlie Lloyd
41 Posted 06/01/2017 at 00:39:20
We approach this new era with caution due to the scepticism built over years of false dawns.

However, the excitement is difficult to contain.

Lyndon Lloyd
42 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:00:01
Patrick (37), seems it was embargoed until midnight
James Flynn
44 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:10:00
Usmanov is part of Putin's inner circle. Putin's a gangster.

You live with it or you don't.

Brian Hennessy
45 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:17:04
This is just incredible news.

After months of wondering if the Usmanov rumors were just wishful thinking, and worrying if Moshiri would have the money to back up his good intentions, this would appear to confirm even my best expectations.

Years of false dawns as an Everton fan tells me this is too good to be true, but my head and all the signs say this is in fact the dawn of a new exciting era in the history of our wonderful club.

What a start to 2017.

Gordon Crawford
46 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:24:18
Let's not get ahead of ourselves too much. He is a huge Arsenal fan after all. So I don't see him leaving them for us.

But at the same time this is great news that he has invested some money in us. Great things lie ahead. :)

John Critchley
47 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:27:17
Wow, always said I wouldn't believe any EFC news till it was in the Echo (yeah I know, hate that red rag!) But just read an article and I'm over the moon, although my 40-year affiliation to my one and only football team, leads my brain to scream at my heart to say "It's a dream, you plank. Like all the other dreams over the years, wake up!"

Just for once... make OUR dreams real!!!

John Critchley
48 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:32:52
Training ground news is on EFC website now as well.

Bloody hell it's getting real. (Apologies – been on beers since 8pm... ha ha!)

Jim Hardin
49 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:34:24
Colin Gee,


With the sponsorship, will we be getting a whole new set of Russian mowers?

Gavin Johnson
50 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:38:56
I wonder if one Usmanov companies like MegaFon will turn out to be the shirt sponsors?

It's very important we get around the FFP rules. Funnily enough, it crossed my mind the other day when there was talk of us wanting to buy Van Dijk who's fee would range anything from 㿅m (if the transfer clause is true) to 㿞m (what Saints would want)

If we were to buy him, for say 㿔m, plus 㿂m for Morgan Schneiderlin and 㾶m on Lookman, we'd have spent 㿴m on just 3 players.

This is conjecture but would we be fined or face a transfer embargo for spending that kind of money which is beyond our current revenue stream before new commercial deals? Does this deal mean we can spend more in this immediate transfer window? Lots to think about, but it's definitely exciting times to be a Blue.

Kevin Rowlands
51 Posted 06/01/2017 at 03:09:18
Erm... anyone gonna give me props?? Reported this link several months ago I think.

Anyway, only joking about the props bit, it's not rocket science lads, we are now owned by a Russian and one of the world's wealthiest men. Let the good times roll... and btw, eat shit, you kopite gobshites!

Jay Woods
52 Posted 06/01/2017 at 06:39:33
Colin Glassar (#12): I have actually been in Frunze – twice. It's now called Bishkek and my wife was born there.

FFP rules exist for the same reason the seeded Champions League draws exist: to keep any newcomers away from winning the major honours. Everything else about altruistic protection of clubs from reckless spending, etc, is noise, diversion, sleight of hand...

Jim Harrison
53 Posted 06/01/2017 at 06:54:09
How to side step FFP? Moshiri invests a different way possibly?
Jason Bowen
54 Posted 06/01/2017 at 07:10:00
Hahaha... Arsenal fans are going to be fuming!!! 😂😂😂
Ian Bennett
55 Posted 06/01/2017 at 07:13:56
Come in Usmanov, I can think of 1 or 20 billion reasons why I'd like you in my club.

Mersey Billionaires!!!

David Chait
57 Posted 06/01/2017 at 07:38:10
Some cynical posts here... bygones.

Had a suspicion the naming rights would be a Moshiri company but with his mate in tow is curious. As Lyndon says, might be coincidental..

Thing is, from my understanding, this is the owner putting money into the club without expecting any return via dividends etc. Might not be his money but by being a company he is involved in is basically the same thing.

I do wonder how naming rights work.. if it is a cost line or they purchase it as an intangible asset, meaning they can sell it to another party.

Just thought... Everton don't own Finch Farm anymore, do they? So wonder how the money ends up at Everton if we are just leasing it. Sure it's all been sorted out.

Colin Glassar
58 Posted 06/01/2017 at 07:42:22
No wonder Paul Merson said, "Wow, worrying" when he was told about this live on the telly when Moshiri was announced as our major shareholder. He knows of Usmanov from his Arsenal links and understands his financial power.
Colin Glassar
59 Posted 06/01/2017 at 07:58:44
Bloomberg have a really interesting story about this. We'd better be careful.
Denis Richardson
60 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:03:38
I guess if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Let's see... Chelsea –- dodgy; Man City – dodgy, Arsenal try to put on a clean front; Man Utd & Glazers – dodgy; Spurs & Joe Lewis – not exactly clean. Shit always rolls downhill after that.

Top tier football in England, Spain and Italy has been dodgy for years. The Premier League is awash with money, add to that little oversight and even less regulation and you've got a giant honeypot that's going to attract a lot of flies.

Everton are not clean either so we may as well try and get a seat at the high table until the powers that be decide enough is enough – which will probably be when the sky bubble bursts or China has bought every decent footballer in Europe.

Brent Stephens
61 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:24:15
Colin (#58),

What did Merson know that was and still is worrying? It seems you accept what he said?

#59 "We'd better be careful". Of what?

Plato Stavrinos
62 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:25:20
So why no naming rights for Goodison Park? :-)
Paul Smith
63 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:32:16
Plato, who would want their name associated with Goodison – it's falling apart, mate.
Roger Helm
64 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:35:11
Everything about Russia is dodgy and/or corrupt – it is a Mafia state. There is no point complaining about it. You may as well complain that night-time is too dark. You just have to make sure you are not actually in Russia doing business, where you can be jailed or even murdered.

If the money doesn't come to Everton, it would go to one of our rivals so it would be self-defeating to be too holier-than-thou about it. Let's just enjoy the ride while it lasts – Russian billionaires tend not to have long lifespans.

Nick Page
65 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:38:51
The Bloomberg story:


Reads like its been written by a kopite. Bloomberg's probably rammed full of the bastards. Anyway, who cares.

Andrew Ellams
66 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:51:45
Am I the only person concerned about just how close Usmanov id to Putin? Do we really want somebody like this bankrolling our climb to the top?
Peter Morris
67 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:53:18
Of course this is starting to show the true value of having Moshiri on board. It's not just about his personal wealth, it is much more about his personal influence. By the same token, would Etihad have put so much money into Man City without the family connection- no way.
At this time, Everton is blighted by a weak commercial attractiveness to big business-it's not located in a 'fashionable' city, and does not have a wealthy/foreign tourist fan base which the London clubs, Man United, and our friends across the park can 'boast'(if indeed that is a boast). If you look at the box owners at Old Trafford, all the big accountancy firms are there, the banks and insurance companies, the law firms. That is their North West investment. They are not remotely interested in EFC. A bit of good old fashioned cronyism might serve to kick start our journey into muscling into the big time.
Bring it on.
David Chait
68 Posted 06/01/2017 at 08:57:09
the BB story

Just read it myself.. nothing to see there. all negative speculation.

Daniel Lawrence
69 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:14:26
So Kenwright didn't find Moshiri and Elstone didn't bring in the new commercial investment, (via USM).
Remind me what either of their values are to the club and why they are still here?
Dermot Byrne
70 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:15:49
Andrew 66: I can understand your question and concern but the key would be what criteria the club employs to vet an owner or investor. Of course there is FA/PL criteria but what would you have for Everton? Then it can become difficult. Would you take Jeffrey Archer money? Criminal record. Donald Trump ? Saudi cash ? Really hard to have a policy that isn't subjective or can be challenged by press bias arguments or end up as defamation. But without such a policy then how could a decision be made? Perhaps "must be nice"? !
Dermot Byrne
71 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:19:16
There you go Andrew. Read Roger 64. That is when happens without an Ethical Investment Policy !
Andrew Ellams
72 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:23:30
Dermot 70/71. Maybe the old moral compass is set a little bit too high this morning although I have just spent Christmas listening to a Farage obsessed relative declaring how he, Putin and Trump are going to save the world. So maybe hearing Everton connected with those three even if the link is more tenuous than direct will always concern me.
Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:32:17
James Flynn(44) and Andrew Ellams (66), The Kennedy family which Provided a President for America were in bed with the Mafia and made their money with them through prohibition. Lots of important and rich people are associated with dodgy people mainly because they are dodgy themselves and don't care how they make money or who with.
Andrew Ellams
74 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:37:25
Dave Abrahams, the Kennedy family were also involved in Noraid who funded and armed the IRA so I'm not sure I'd want their money pumped into Everton either.
John Keating
75 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:41:13
If Moshiri walks away after a year he will have put more into the Club with an interest free loan than Kenwright and his dodgy backers have put in in 20 years !
Rather than question Moshiris motives we should be questioning Kenwright and his lackeys. What the hell, apart from getting rich, have they been doing for 20 years - oh yes and getting us loads of lawn mowers.
Brian Harrison
76 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:43:05
Everything seems to be very political and ethical over USM sponsoring our training ground. I guess Moshiri being chairman of USM has with the blessing of Usmanov used their money to sponsor the training ground. They are great friends and business partners so why wouldnt Usmanov agree to this deal, its more advertising for their company.

Keith Conchie
77 Posted 06/01/2017 at 09:46:19
Great news for the club and us fans. Money being invested left, right and centre. This is a promising time for our great club.

That Bloomberg article (from the link above) has surely been written by a kopite. So negative against Usminov and EFC.
Makes me laugh though, the world is shocked, we are shocked. Only difference is that we are happily shocked by all this.


Steve Smith
78 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:00:32
The idea that you can be a billionaire and "nice" is extremely rare; I can only think of a couple. Billionaires become billionaires because they are ruthless:

ruthless adjective: having or showing no pity or compassion for others. "a ruthless manipulator"
synonyms: merciless, pitiless, cruel, heartless, hard-hearted, hard, stony-hearted, stony, with a heart of stone, cold-blooded, cold-hearted, harsh, callous, severe, unmerciful, unrelenting, unsparing, unforgiving, unfeeling, uncaring, unsympathetic, uncharitable, lacking compassion)

If you are going to examine the ethics behind any investor's wealth, you are going to find skeletons. It might not sit right with some of us, but being a friend of Putin is surely better for their ongoing health than being his enemy, I'm guessing.

John Gall
79 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:01:52
Money is God – everybody seems to agree. Let the Blues lose their soul.

So we get 𧺬M to rename the club 'Everton USM Holdings Football Corporation'. Worth it? That's the direction it's all going in chaps.

Personally I think it stinks and still believe in the 'eye of a needle' saying about the rich.

Ray Roche
80 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:04:23
Dave (#73) and Andrew (#74),

Good points, and an aspect of JFK and his family that is not always obvious due to the rewriting of events. No end of famous, wealthy people have dubious pasts/connections.

And I'm NOT a conspiracy theorist either. But did Lee Harvey Oswald have others helping...???

Shane Corcoran
81 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:07:32
I think some of you need to change where you get your news from.

The Cold War is well and truly back.

Paul Mackie
82 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:19:29
If you want Everton to be able to go out and buy expensive players, then these kinds of shenanigans are needed, thanks to the Financial Fair Play rules.

Billionaires like Moshiri can't just bankroll clubs anymore. It has to be done through 'sponsorship' instead. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the naming rights to Goodison sold in the near future.

Thomas Lennon
83 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:30:11
Bill (#34) Communism and Socialism are no cure for corruption or for blatant profiteering – did you miss the 20th Century?
John Gall
84 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:42:24
Mess around with the name of Goodison Park, and I think that – for many of us – something fundamentally changes. A light goes out. We become a vessel for selling product, not a community club anymore.
Brent Stephens
85 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:43:13
Thomas (#83) – did you miss the point of Bill's post? He didn't mention communism.
Thomas Lennon
86 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:46:28
USM are investing their marketing image in Everton, consequently they have a clear incentive to watch Everton do well in all European competitions.

I don't think the Bloomberg article was biased – it is a business angled viewpoint that sounds very positive. If it were us speculating that Usmanov has further intentions towards Everton, it would be dismissed as hopeful dreaming. Bloomberg is about solid business trends and events – they are speculating that this is a Usmanov-inspired move and, given that their efforts have been blocked in London, it is easy to see what the incentive is.

One caveat – this might be Usmanov buying a bit of leverage with Arsenal along the lines of "Let me have more say in the club or I will go all in with one of your major competitors." If that doesn't come off, I think we will see him concentrate resources on Everton.

Len Hawkins
87 Posted 06/01/2017 at 10:56:05
Well, if Putin comes to watch a game at the Lada Stadium on the waterfront, I hope he doesn't bring his new mate Shredded Wheat head with him.
Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 06/01/2017 at 11:05:02
Len (87) "shredded wheat head"... I like that.

I thought Donald would have been over for Herbert's funeral, he was a ringer for him, I thought he was a relation.

Eugene Ruane
89 Posted 06/01/2017 at 11:22:37
I'm imagining a swanky drinks party in LA, the 'beautiful people' are everywhere... But in the corner stands a guy who fits the description 'classic nerd'

He smiles at a stunning looking girl when her eyes meet his, but she looks at him the way she would a cockroach.

He is then approached by a George Clooney type who introduces himself and says "Which studio are you with?"

Our man nervously says "Oh I'm not in films, I work for USM Holdings."

The stunning girl, who seconds ago had nothing but contempt for our man, hears this and turns round and says "USM? As in USM Finch Farm?"

"Yes that's right" says the nerd.

The girl's demeanour changes in an instant, she takes his hand, grabs a bottle of champers and says "Let's go somewhere a little more... private."

(She's probably going to do filthy sex with him and loads of beak!)

Soz, lad, but I just don't understand anything about this deal, I mean what do USM get from giving their name to Finch Farm? (And does fat Joe get a cut as the corpy own it... don't they?)

Guessing Paul (#82) is probably in the right area.

Anyway, I have to go now, got to do my laundry.

I said 'laundry'... you know (taps nose)... 'laundry'!

Ernie Baywood
90 Posted 06/01/2017 at 11:36:27
Excited, cautious and nervous all at once. We're well and truly in bed with some interesting 'characters' now. Maybe we can finally compete. As someone said earlier... if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Feels a bit wrong though. Usmanov is a shareholder in Arsenal, sponsoring Everton. Some questionable friendships involved. For all the BVI and Phillip Green talk, this puts us into some uncharted murky territory.

Kevin Tully
91 Posted 06/01/2017 at 11:39:08
The AGM opened with Elstone talking up the fact taht EFC were voted "most respected, admired & liked club" by that highbrow radio outlet, TalkSport! (Mainly because we are no threat to anyone – just like Moyes was voted PL manager of the year by his peers.)

Does this 'navigation' around FFP mean we will lose this title? Gutted.

ps: Ernie, you've got it all arse about face – our new investors are going to put money IN to the club, unlike Green & Earl.

Scott Hamilton
92 Posted 06/01/2017 at 11:42:43
Sod the negativity. I'm currently sat here in a cossack hat and MC Hammer-style pants (needed to hide the woody that this news has created) whilst pouring Russian Standard Vodka into my eyes...
Martin Nicholls
93 Posted 06/01/2017 at 11:52:11
To get a seat at the top table a Premier League club needs the backing of billionaire investors. I doubt there are many billionaires who have always been squeaky clean and wholly ethical.

EFC is faced with two stark choices: we either throw our lot in with one or more of these billionaires or continue to stagnate. I'd wager that there are many Chelsea or Man City fans who, with hindsight, would not have chosen the former. As a fan group, are/should we be any different? I know which camp I'm in!

ps: My understanding was that John Moores was shunned by "high society" for many years because his early business dealings were seen to be "dodgy" (ie, illegal). That of course eventually changed as his name began appearing on the Honours List! None of us back then objected to him turning us into the Mersey Millionaires!

Simon Jones
94 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:02:18
Anyone want to come up with some suggestions for the naming rights for GP?

"The USM Restricted View Stadium"

Shaun Traynor
95 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:18:29
Some of you really make me laugh...

Moan when we are poor and lack ambition, now moan/are sceptical when we have backing and are ambitious.

What do you expect, the fairy god mother to walk in to Goodison Parkwith a cheque for £100 billion and say here have that, don't worry about paying it back. Oh and also, I have just waved my magic wand and you now have a brand new 60.000-seater state-of-the-art stadium on the waterfront.

The noises coming out of Goodison since Mr Moshiri took charge are the most exciting noises I've heard in my 30-odd years of supporting.

So, let's strap ourselves in and enjoy the ride cause I for one think exciting times are ahead.


Andrew Clare
96 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:22:19
Very exciting times. We shouldn't worry about Russian billionaires as all billionaires have obtained that status through ill-gotten gains. If anyone is that hung up about it they shouldn't be supporting a Premier League club, full stop.

I'm still apprehensive about this and I will be until the new Stadium is officially announced at the docks. Then we can have a really big celebration.

Anthony Hawkins
97 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:26:08
My only concern with this is the potential for a conflict of interest or influence by Usmanov.

Usmanov is the largest stakeholder in USM and has a significant shareholding in Arsenal FC. Now USM has investment in how Everton train their players. How is that not a conflict?

Peter Johnson was ordered to resolve his investments when holding a majority shareholding in Everton and a minority shareholding in Tranmere.

The events and outcome of the next Everton v Arsenal game will be interesting.

Ian Hollingworth
98 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:26:47
Wow. As a big sceptic on here regarding Moshiri as Kenwright is still in place; this news is starting to turn my opinion.

We can only hope that Usmanov is waiting in the wings.
I want Everton to win trophies.
I want world class players at Everton FC.
I want Everton to be a global brand.
I want a state-of-the-art stunning stadium.

Maybe these guys can bring us this.

James Flynn
99 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:34:20
Dave (#73) – I wasn't moralizing. Some posters before mine were indicating they were worried about Usmanov money in Everton. The FA and Arsenal aren't, so why should we?

Usmanov is absolutely a Putin crony. He's boasted of it, in fact. Evertonians can deal with it as they wish. This Evertonian accepts that this is the way things are.

Not sure what Joe Kennedy has to do with any of this. He had his fingers in many lucrative pies. Along the way, his people probably did some business with some mafia characters. But he was in bed with them? Do me a favor.

He and his political partners, including his wife's family, ran Massachusetts with an iron hand; a state with plenty of ports easily accessible to Canada. His power dwarfed any some Boston mafia family had. Other than to buy some of his hooch, he didn't need them for shit.

This myth is out of the movies or some sad book written by one of the many "Oswald was just a patsy" conspiracy kooks.

Anyway, Moshiri has the power and he's brought his business buddy in through sponsorship. If it's wrong, let the FA say so and do something about it. Until then, me, I can live with it.

If there is an example of a "corner shop" Club competing with "mega-store" clubs for laurels, Everton just proved how far it can go with Moyes. I'm ready to try it the other way.

Mike Green
100 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:40:49
Sponsor n. 1. a person or organization that pays for or contributes to the costs involved in staging a sporting or artistic event in return for advertising.

The level of contribution compared to the advertising return is, lets say subjective?

If you bought a lottery ticket for ٟ and 㿷m dropped in would you go back to the organisers and say it all seemed a bit... well, out of kilter ? I think not. My view is...

Bring it on.

Let the games begin :)

Jay Woods
101 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:46:11
James Flynn, catch a grip for calling anyone who disbelieves the official JFK narrative a "conspiracy kook". What does that make you? – an "official story kook"?
Ernie Baywood
102 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:46:55
It's not a lottery though, is it? Usmanov must expect a return and it's hard to believe that it's because Evertonians suddenly start buying whatever the hell it is USM sells or does.

I think it's reasonable to be a bit cautious with this news. It's the unknown.

Jonathan Miller
103 Posted 06/01/2017 at 12:53:26
How do you get out of Arsenal and buy Everton the same day? Easy – sell your shares to your partner...

I believe there is an option to purchase a major proportion of shares in Everton by Moshiri – why would he do this unless he was keeping them for someone else? Not like he hasn't got the money.

How do you get past the FFP rules? Easy – sponsor ground, training ground, shirt etc at over inflated prices. Club gets money to spend; company gets huge financial write-offs.
Anyone who thinks Moshiri and Usmanov aren't in this together must be in serious denial...

Jay Wood
104 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:12:41
First, to state up front, I would always hope that Everton is an ethically-run club that complies with all the laws of the land (and internationally), as well as all relevant financial regulations.

I am not so naive as to think that all corporate monies and the mega-billionaires who head such companies generated their wealth solely on squeaky clean practices.

I am well aware, in Russia in particular, after the collapse of the old Soviet Union, many a wealthy oligarch benefited from the patronage of the new political elite, whereas others were persecuted – ostracised, banished, imprisoned, even murdered – for NOT being in favour.

However, I don't make the leap or negative associations some do in this thread, that this is a money laundering deal for Usmanov and the club needs to be wary of its implications.

In Brazilian Portuguese there is a word 'jeito', which has many meanings with one of the most popular ones being 'working around a problem': that is, find a solution to an obstacle that is preventing you achieving your aim.

I think, under the savvy guidance of Moshiri, this is what Everton is starting to do; what others clubs have been doing for years: finding a way around a problem.

Now some may interpret this as getting what you want through 'unconventional' ways, such as breaking the law, rules or social convention. Or you might consider an alternative, more positive interpretation, which implies the use of creative, unusual and inventive skills to solving a problem, without breaking the law or affecting others in a negative way.

This is an open, very transparent deal, between two people in particular who work closely together and who will have passed all the FA's and PL's 'fit to govern' regulations.

When you compare it to the multiple undeclared offshore loans taken out by the club and the club's association of Messrs Green and Earl in recent years, which is the murkier and which MO do you genuinely prefer...?

John Keating
106 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:17:05
I have to laugh, people questioning Moshiri, Usmanov, and assorted Russian billionaires. Has our recent history not included such liberal stalwarts as Green and Earl??? Oh and a couple of honest blokes in the likes of Kenwright and Elstone??? (Forget Woods as we still don't know what he actually does.)

If we want to go the political route and tenuously link our new-found mate with Putin, then we should start off moaning about most other Premier League Clubs too.

Come on, people – get a grip!

Andy Meighan
107 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:24:51
We've been scavenging around the bins of Asda and Tesco for years...

Now we are going into Harrod's Food Hall... And don't it feel good!?

Laura Round
108 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:27:10
I'm in... I hope the club shop at the docks has some of those nice warm furry Russian hats... ☺️
Brent Stephens
109 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:29:50
Sounds like an FFP swerve.
Colin Glassar
110 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:40:39
Brent (#61), sorry for the delay. Merson later explained that he's desperate for Usmanov to take over at Arsenal and the Moshiri takeover of Everton could complicate things for his team.

The Bloomberg report said it is very unusual for a training grounds naming rights to be sold and this could lead to a Uefa investigation. I'm sure Farhad has this under control.

Stan Schofield
111 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:42:54
Some of the concerns expressed about links to Russian politicians (like Putin) seem to be based on propaganda. Our media portrays Putin as a bad boy, and the Russian media portrays many Western politicians as bad boys. Similarly, there are perceptions that Russian billionaires like Usmanov must be up to something dodgy, perceptions that in many cases stem from lurid media reporting, or misreporting depending on the case.

To get beyond the propaganda takes a lot of investigation and attention to detail, a lot of detailed analysis. Without that, it's difficult to make value judgements, because we simply don't know what's going on in circles of power.

We can assume what's going on, but if we go along that route we'd likely refuse to have anything to do with the vast majority of large corporations, anywhere in the world.

Given that I don't know the inner workings of these powerful people and their organisations, in the absence of evidence that I should have nothing to do with them, I'll happily accept our 'new era', with the prospects of success and glory for our great club.

There are many bad things happening in the world, and we can deal with them to our satisfaction only when we have both (a) control to do so, and (b) specific evidence on which to base our judgement.

Ciarán McGlone
112 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:45:35
At the very least, this will give ToffeeWeb plenty to debate.
Brent Stephens
113 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:53:47
Colin (#110) – cheers for that.
Tony Draper
114 Posted 06/01/2017 at 13:57:00
FFP? Do any of you think that "The Sky-Babies" give a blow of a rag-man's bugle about FFP?

We have been seriously "had off" by this cartel since before the inception of the Premier League. And "The Premier league.con"?

The most heartwarming words that I have heard/read since the glory days of the 80s? Moshiri vowed he wouldn't allow the club to become a "museum.”

During the fiddling reign of "I never actually set foot in the Boys Pen" Billy, as our empire collapsed, the only news was of selloffs & sellouts. Within a single year under Moshiri, we have plans afoot, new and innovative streams of income.

Usmanov? Russia's 7th wealthiest man? Moshiri & USM work closely together... GOOD!

Perhaps "The Millionaires Club" is finally waking up. First we take back our city... Then God help them all...

Bring me Silver!

Don Alexander
115 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:04:46
Whether it's the "Unused Soviet Money" training facility or "Ultra Smart Management" Finch Farm, we fans will be the last to know.

Well... make that second to last. The Premier League will be first in the "know-nowt" queue, obviously.

Brian Williams
116 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:11:25
Can't be doing, like Shaun (#95), with those jumping on their high moral horses because Usmanov isn't a perfect Disneyworld investor. As long as we don't get ourselves into trouble by breaking any laws, then I'm happy.

Does anyone think all of Abramovich's millions were obtained by being nice and kind and fair? Look where it got Chelsea.

I suggest if anyone's really unhappy with any aspect of the investment then show your disapproval by not spending any money that supports the club. Don't go the game, don't buy any merchandise etc etc.

I think half the time on here people just try to show everyone how clever they are and how much they know about everything. The bottom line is that we know nothing of the goings on behind the scenes and that's generally because people are employed to look after the business side of things.

I wonder how many of you interrogate the sales person when you buy a pair of trainers just to make sure the nine year old who glued the sole to the upper is well looked after?

This is "possibly" the most exciting time for our club in the lifetime of most of us. Try to be positive about it, try to enjoy the possibilities, try to support the team tomorrow at Goodison.

Tony Draper
117 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:18:46
Don @115.

Us fans don't really need to know. (Ruthlessly run companies DO NOT hand out the explicit details of their trading details.) TBH, most fans either couldn't give a shit or just couldn't understand it EVEN if it was laid out on ceebeebies by Dora the Explorer!

A decade unbeaten in derby matches, home or away? That is the language that the terrace understands.

Bring me Silver!

Jonathan Tasker
118 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:30:35
Can't wait to see who our new shirt sponsor is...

Seems highly likely to be one of the second-tier betting companies.

Christopher Hunt
119 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:35:08
We have prayed for years for solid financial investment following that car crash of a hamper salesman and now it arrives, some suddenly become all ethical and want to question the background and motives of people putting money into our club? Here's the newsflash …. The Premier League is a multi-billion-pound global entertainment product and either we want to be part of it or we don't.

If we do, we need our books balancing, and a huge financial injection to modernise the club, to ensure we don't have to sell our best talent. We also want the opportunity to be in the hunt for the best players rather than making embarrassing bids like Billy did for Michael Owen, or offering payments in 904 instalments + a Mersey bus pass and a lifetime supply of Rollover dogs.

Abramovich has a chequered past, and very strong links to Putin but he has massively changed Chelsea from a pathetic local club into European Champions and multiple Premier League winners. For years, every club has looked on enviously and now the playing field is getting levelled and we finally get our own oligarch, and some resort to type and start moaning.

Even if something happened to Roman, Chelsea are now in such a strong financial position, they will be picked up by someone else. Prior to this, investor after investor bypassed Everton for lesser clubs, and but for Farhad we could still be stuck with that prick Martinez and having to buy cast-offs from Wigan.

We live in a capitalist (Sorry, all you self-proclaimed and romantic socialists) and highly commercial world which is transitioning at such a pace (see Chinese Super League) that we could have fallen way behind without this investment.

If this is a precursor to Usmanov buying us outright, then I would be ecstatic. He has operated with dignity behind the scenes at Arsenal for years, and actively wants to invest in the squad, only to be blocked by Kroenke. Every Arsenal fan out there would kill to have Usmanov in control, but here's half our fans moaning about it.

If you don't want the money, and hate what football has become then I get you, but guess what, it's too late. Either fuck off to your local grassroots team, and romanticise... or get with it, get behind the club, and pray for the fact we get a new stadium, more investment and get to blow the RedShite “franchise” out the water for years to come.

Come On, You Moscow Blues!!

Brian Williams
120 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:40:10
Jonathan (#118). Metalloinvest or Megafon maybe!
Tony Abrahams
121 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:42:58
I love that Portuguese word 'jeito', Jay, and feel this is what Usmanov is up to right now with regards to trying to get some kind of control at Arsenal. Imagine having such a stake in a company and no control whatsoever?

Expect the Arsenal fans to kick up a major fuss over this because Merson was right. I think most of them would prefer Usmanov to Kroenke and, by sponsoring Everton, this is what I think Usmanov is trying to do.

Moshiri spoke at the AGM the other night of how he had been a minority shareholder at Arsenal but he wanted to buy a club, so he could have a lot more involvement rather than having to take a back-seat with his hands tied together. Does anyone seriously think "his mate with all the money" is any different?

Think this is why Moshiri came to Everton in the first place, with orders from his boss to get the ball rolling, who in-turn has patiently waited in the background for this moment, and now hopes the Arsenal fans can kick up enough fuss to bring about change?

Maybe another bullshit conspiracy theory... but they say your money goes a lot further in the north; when someone has all this land to develop, and one of your biggest companies sells steel, then maybe Everton Football Club might just have been a steal!!?

Mike Green
122 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:51:59
Very well put, Jay Wood (#104 & #105)... :)
Mark Boulle
123 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:52:33
Got to say I'm with Shaun (#95) and others who unreservedly welcome this news.

For years, virtually my whole lifetime, Everton have been on the outside looking in as other clubs enthusiastically embraced the Premier League financial gravy train. For years, we have complained, with some justification, about our bungling Board and their inability to attract investment and increased commercial revenue.

For years we have seen Everton's status as one of England's foremost great clubs be steadily eroded so that now anyone aged much under 30 sees us as just another middle of the road Premier League team.

I work for the University of Oxford – even here, at this great educational institution with its noble history and mission, there is the Said Business School (founded and funded by Wafic Said, Saudi 'philanthropist' and arms dealer!) and the Blavatnik School of Government (founded and funded by Len Blavatnik, an ex-pat Russian oligarch in the UK with his fingers in all sorts of dodgy business pies)! Oxford was able to overlook Mr Said and Mr Blavatnik's backgrounds to fund these centres of learning, and so should we Blues now.

This is the reality, if we want to win trophies and be successful again, this kind of partnership and investment is the only way. I welcome this news and hope for more of the same in the coming weeks and months.

Peter Morris
124 Posted 06/01/2017 at 14:56:51
The Times says today "The 㿷m also includes USM becoming the new shirt sponsor."

Not 'a' new shirt sponsor.Are they jumping the gun with speculation or do they know more than EFC have announced to date?

I think I saw somewhere else that the shirt sleeve was offered out as a separate deal, but to describe USM as THE new shirt sponsor is clearly loaded and infers the shirt front.

I would have thought MegaFon (a brand) would see more value in its name on shirts beamed all over the world, rather than USM (a holding company)?

Tony Draper
125 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:05:32
Peter @124.

They can sponsor the hinges on my seat in MS4 for 㿷M, IDGAF!

But Everton Football Club Company Limited NEED to focus upon the Everton Football rather than the "limited".

James Hughes
126 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:12:45
Tony (#117) – as long as it's not 40 pieces of silver, that will be fine. (Well that's all my RE knowledge used up...)
James Power
127 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:21:32
Cheers Patrick and Bill, noted and agreed. Others too, although I don't think the answer of 'if you don't like it then just stay away' gets anyone anywhere in life.

Point taken, Brian, re trainers. I have to tell you though that the last salesperson I spoke to struggled with just getting me the actual trainers let alone providing any feedback on the production process.

Ray Roche
128 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:31:57
Colin Glassar (#110)

"Very unusual for a training grounds naming rights to be sold and this could lead to a Uefa investigation."

Colin, I don't know on what grounds that Uefa could do anything considering the RS have an "Official LFC Ice Cream Supplier" as well as all sorts of other "Official" suppliers and sponsors, as have Man Utd etc, with sponsors for training kit, training bibs, match balls, training balls... just about everything at Old Trafford and Anfield is sponsored.

Tony Draper
129 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:48:43
James @126.

My very good mate holds a similar-sounding view. When Moshiri took his 49.9% holding, he said "I just hope we don't lose our soul". I think we already did. "The Millionaire's Club"... We might as well be called "The 5p Club".

All fans that cling to the sad faded banners of past glory claim that their club retains dignity over the tawdry cheap bangles of success cheaply bought, because that is all that they have.

Evertonians have been cheated, thwarted and defeated. I hate to admit this, but, unless we "read the new script", then Everton could easily become the new Newcastle, Villa, Sunderland, Forest, Derby, Preston, Accrington Stanley.

Do Evertonians seriously believe that our future can be as glorious as our past when our neighbours, competitors and rivals are "dealing from the bottom of the pack"? Not once. Not occasionally. Every fucking day!

Our old ground was stolen from beneath our feet by a fucking chancer!

We need to learn from possibly the greatest performance ever at "The Grand Old Lady", Tony Bellew!

Got knocked down. Got back up, and fucking battered his opponent! BATTERED!

Every second that we stand still, our opposition race past us. Ask the worlds oldest football club, Notts County.Tick, Tock?

And we think that we know our history?

Geoff Harrison
130 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:59:22
I don't know why the FBI and the CIA are worried about "Russian interference", I totally welcome it!
Tony Draper
131 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:10:41
James @126.

40 pieces of silver to Goodison?

Judas H Priest! Bring on each and every one!

(Check your RE mate learned to compete and play with seasoned and experienced pros the first Judas sold out for 30...).

Tony Sullivan
132 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:12:23
James Flynn (#99)

Joe Kennedy bought the 1960 election for JFK through his mafia surrogates in the swing state of Ohio.

Dave Abrahams (#73) is spot on.

Plato Stavrinos
133 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:30:23
Paul (#63), I know, mate, I was kidding – hence the smiley...
Steve Smith
134 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:33:11
Maybe I was wrong and he is a nice guy after all ? although to be fair,this is from USM's website.

"Mr Usmanov attaches great significance to philanthropic activities and has been recognised on several occasions for his initiatives in this area. He was named the most charitable giver in Russia in 2015 by Bloomberg, while The Sunday Times Giving List ranked Mr Usmanov in the top ten most generous philanthropists in the UK by total donations made in 2015. He is the founder of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation and a trustee for a range of social, educational and cultural organisations.

Mr Usmanov's charitable efforts extend to 64 countries. In 2015 alone, his contributions amounted to US$170 million. In the past ten years, donations and investments in social infrastructure by Mr Usmanov and his companies exceeded US$1.5 billion.

Mr Usmanov devotes considerable attention to the development of sports in Russia and globally. He has been the president of the International Fencing Federation since 2008 and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Olympian Sportsmen Support Fund. Mr Usmanov is also a member of the IOC Olympic Channel Commission."

God knows what the international "fencing" federation get up to. Moshiri has convinced him we're a charity case!!

Jay Harris
135 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:38:54
In a short space of time, we have gone from a club with no direction, no money and a bunch of greedy, sleazy hangers on whose only intention was to get what they could out of the club – to a proven successful and ethical majority shareholder with a proper plan, backed by significant investment in the club and some of you are trying your best to put a negative spin on this.

Shame on you. I for one am delighted at the new level of professionalism and ambition.

Paul Kelly
136 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:46:55
Get over it, anyone worrying about where the funds come from.

If you live in GB, once upon a time, our leader spent Billions on an illegal war, 178 troops lost their lives because of it, vent your anger at that twat, hidden in plain sight.

Moan about something that matters, or with proof. (Sorry for the rant... I hate Blair for that.)

Patrick Murphy
137 Posted 06/01/2017 at 16:49:13
A friend of mine just opened his Xmas present and it was a goalkeeper's shirt but, instead of a number, it had 'loadsa" and for the name it had 'Roubles' printed on it. :)
Steve Jones
138 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:10:41
What's one of the main things Everton, in recent history, are known for? Youth development. Rooney, Barkley, Stones etc are always trotted out whenever we're in the media.

Going by the efforts with the likes of Davies and the newly signed youngsters, Finch Farm is going to stay a very high profile, very positive and constructive part of the clubs future.

I think it's easy to see a narrative that marketing people could use to brand build off Finch farm sponsorships. "Powering the future" sort of thing. A few exciting new Premier League talents photo'd with the logo and some potato shaped grinning Russian biznissman!.

£75M is going to be a package with other bits as well but it's not hard to see that there is something in this for them!

Colin Glassar
139 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:19:05
Gooner fans on social media aren't very happy about this. One said, "Usmanov in one day has spent more on Everton than Kroenke has spent on Arsenal in 6 years".

The consensus seems to be they'd prefer Usmanov to Kroenke.

James Hughes
140 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:22:56
Tony (#126), I could not and would not disagree with any point there.

And thanks for the info. I did say my RE knowledge was shite!!

Dave Williams
141 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:28:58
What a great bit of news.

As others say you could no doubt examine the financial affairs of an awful lot of the mega-rich and find skeletons or examples of ruthless behaviour but that is part of life and it's no good for us to take a holier-than-thou attitude.

Mud sticks but that's all there appears to be – Usmanov is not a rapist, a wife beater or whatever so why there is any reluctance to allow him to sponsor the training ground is beyond me.

I don't think he has done this to try to get Arsenal. Their owner can't stand him and being worth so much money himself is hardly likely to yield in that way. In my opinion Moshiri is at the very least lining up a very lucrative deal for providing steel for the new stadium and if his mate comes on board as a future shareholder then so much the better.

This looks like a big turning point for our club and we should embrace it.

Jason Mcclure
142 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:38:11
Tony Sullivan (#132),

Obviously Joe Kennedy never paid his mafia surrogates enough then... seeing as Richard Nixon won the swing state of Ohio.

James Flynn
143 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:38:36
Tony (#132) – Oh for God's sake. You and Dave have a ball discussing it.

Brian Williams
144 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:41:49
James (#127). Wasn't Sportsdirect, was it?
John G Davies
145 Posted 06/01/2017 at 17:51:39
Koeman In.

Lashings of humble pie on the menu soon. :-)

Seriously, the improvement will start in a couple of weeks in my opinion. He will start to build the side and squad in his own image in this window.

James Flynn
146 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:04:07
Jay Woods – I was going to call them "dim-bulb, check under the bed for the bogeyman, dumb motherfuckers".

But since a year or two ago when Lyndon called for TWers to knock that kind of language off, I settled on "kooks". See, I did get a grip.

With that, you baited the hook well-enough, so I'll bite. Who DID kill JFK, Jay? I'm all agog.

Colin Glassar
147 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:15:45
Tony (#132), it was Chicago (Illinois) with the help of Mayor Daly and the mob.
Charlie Lloyd
148 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:17:15
I'm excited to say the least about all this.

Wife said "you love that club more than me."

I said "Yes, love, but you come a close second."

Victor Jones
149 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:20:56
Having read through every comment. This all sounds good to me. There are only a few organizations in the world that I would not want near Everton FC. The set-up discussed on this thread is not one of them. I welcome their money at Everton.

Let's hope that it takes us right to the top of English and European football. Life's to short to worry too much about all things Russian ,Putin Ethics... The Donald... or the fucking Kennedys.

Let's make Everton great again. And let history worry about any lack of morals and ethics.. Anyhow ...looks like we might have some money to spend in the next few transfer windows.

I wonder if with this new found wealth if we will still be approaching each game with two or possibly three defensive midfielder Will we get a top class keeper on board. Will we get a top class midfield general on board. That's what I want to know.

And most importantly... where does all this leave McGeady and Gibson? It would be a crying shame if these guys miss out on new contracts.

COYBBs – Come on you Billionaire Blues..

Charlie Lloyd
150 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:34:13
Colin @ 139

"Usmanov in one day has spent more on Everton than Kroenke has spent on Arsenal in 6 years."

What a great comment on the Arsenal forum.

Mike Green
151 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:44:14
Ronald Koeman has no intention of coming to Everton – never even figured in his thinking. Not interested.

Everton blow Southampton out of the water on wages and "persuade" him of the project.

What did they show him in when they opened the little golden box...?

A model of a world-class stadium on the Docks, sat next to a Russian bank account book with a photo of Usmanov on the inside with an order for a new, monster trophy cabinet (inc. dusters and Silverdip)

What did they show him?

Ian Bennett
152 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:46:25
We've been waiting for a billionaire for years, and then 2 come at the same time. Like the buses, eh!
Mike Green
153 Posted 06/01/2017 at 18:54:29
Usmanov: Mosh, my mate, I'm love Arsenal but I'm sick of this bollocks with Kroenke. I'm not getting any younger - why not have have some fun and feel young again...!

Moshiri: Mani, Mani, Mani – I love fun! You know I love fun! What shall we do – tell me, tell me – tell me!!!

Usmanov: Let's buy a... football club!

Moshiri: (sigh) we already own a football club, Mani...

Usmanov: NO WE DON'T, MOSH!!! How many times do I have to tell you, we're just funding it, they don't even let us sit at the table to break bread with us! :(

Moshiri: Oh, yes, you did say several times sorry... So what are we going to do?

Usmanov: Everton, Mosh – Everton.

Moshiri: Everton?

Usmanov: Yes Mosh... Everton. You go first, check it out, see what the score is. I'm thinking a stadium that's better than the Emirates, team thats' better than we have here, and enough silverware to make Kroenke choke. Once you've been in for a bit and you think it's okay, I'll either come in proper or you can front it – it will be hilarious either way seeing Stan go bandy. Actually I might stay here, once he see's our Everton dominate, he might fuck off and let me buy Arsenal and then we've got our own little game with each other! Oh, and Roman of course, but he's good fun...

Moshiri: Waa-heeeeeeee!!!!! I LOVE FUN MANI – I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Morrissey
154 Posted 06/01/2017 at 19:36:57
Anyone who sees anything negative in this article is a welt, end of. This is the start!! Watch out, world!!!
Mike Morrissey
155 Posted 06/01/2017 at 19:41:25
Excellent. I can't wait to go the game in my new blue and white ushanka. Also, any Vodka would be a massive upgrade on the fizzy bleach/piss/vinegar that we drink now. (Can't Have Another Nearly Gagging)

As for the ethical considerations? Russia is a mafia state, we sell arms to some very dubious individuals and the Yanks sell them to all dubious individuals. The Chinese are no plantpot boys either.

Common theme? Wealth. We need to deal with it and move on.

Sam Barrett
156 Posted 06/01/2017 at 19:50:21
Kopites will be fuckin rabid at this! I absolutely love it, I think I'll learn to speak Russian! 😃
Mick Davies
157 Posted 06/01/2017 at 20:11:33
It never ceases to amaze me, the ignorance of the average Englishman: Whenever an obscenely wealthy foreigner is mentioned, all of a sudden, the tabloid mentality kicks in, and aspersions are cast over the ethics of someone amassing such wealth.

At the same time, these people sit and watch dodgy individuals like Alan Sugar on TV and drool over how wonderfully talented he is to become so rich. They buy goods from outlets owned by the Ashleys and Greens of this world, whose morals make the mafia look like the boy scouts. We even have a family of billionaires as head of state, none of whom have ever been seen doing a days work, but hold power because their ancestors invaded the country and took over the place, creaming off the taxes for themselves.

The government is staffed by tax dodging cronies who are swindling billions out of the economy while millions depend on top up benefits and foodbanks... personally, I've never trusted the rich, but seeing as every other club's fans have been laughing at the Goodison museum and the '21 (soon 22) years' etc, I just hope this investment gives us a chance to dish a bit back, especially at the Anfield 'squatters'.

I couldn't give a toss if Moshiri and Usmanov had swindled every penny, and the investment was just a tax dodge, the old adage "If you can't beat them, join them" is now the buzzword – it beat's the previous one: "If you can't join them, you probably won't beat them."

John G Davies
158 Posted 06/01/2017 at 20:35:40
Mick # 157.

Great post.

Peter McHugh
159 Posted 06/01/2017 at 20:43:27
Mick – unsure why you consider Sir Sugar dodgy?
Colin Glassar
160 Posted 06/01/2017 at 21:00:44
It's sad that Harold Matthews isn't around to join in all the banter. How many Evertonians have passed over the last 30-odd years convinced that Everton would never rise again? Don't let them/us down, Mr Moshiri.
Paul O'Neill
161 Posted 06/01/2017 at 21:05:22
On a related point, has the expansion of Finch Farm happened yet?! Maybe it'll be a bit more ambitious if USM money is on board!
Paul O'Neill
162 Posted 06/01/2017 at 21:11:52
Also I LOVED the comment at No 28 as when I read 'USM' it was the first thing I thought of too. Early 90s synth punk street poets sponsoring our training ground!

Maybe this company can sponsor the newly renamed Park End too so it'll be the Carter USM Park Stand.

Roger Helm
163 Posted 06/01/2017 at 21:32:08
Dermot @71, money itself is morally neutral – it's how you acquire it and how you spend it that counts.

If you were running say a charity for the homeless and Usmanov (whose activities are at least legal in Russia) offered financial support would you refuse his money? If not, how can you object to Everton accepting it?

Would you also refuse money from distillers, gambling firms and pornographers? Where do you draw the line? Personally, I think Everton is one of the more ethically sound clubs and it would not bother me.

Mike Green
164 Posted 06/01/2017 at 21:33:05
Paul (#162) – and is our new investor Sheriff Fatman then?
James Power
165 Posted 06/01/2017 at 22:09:51
Yes, Brian – although more like Sportsindirect given he seemed to go via Doncaster to get the trainers..
Brian Williams
166 Posted 06/01/2017 at 22:22:19
I've had similar experiences there myself. Managing to actually buy a pair is character building!
James Power
167 Posted 06/01/2017 at 22:33:50
Good debate though eh? If we can't question, refute, rebuke, criticise and provoke then what are we?

Some don't give a shit where it comes from and just want us on the back of the tabloids being heralded, whilst some are criticising others for being all 'tabloid' about things because they read articles from the old 'broadsheets' and asked some fair enough probing questions. That in itself is the madness of the internet... but who cares?

'None of us' and 'everybody' is the answer .

James Power
168 Posted 06/01/2017 at 22:37:06
Indeed Brian, I must confess I am too old to wear trainers but my excuse is arthritic feet from too many mistimed tackles in my extended youth.
Laurie Hartley
169 Posted 06/01/2017 at 23:52:11
I think this is good news for Evertonians. For me there are only a couple of questions that remain unanswered:

1. Can Mr Usmanov "gift" his Arsenal shares to his son in law?

2. If so and if he did this, would that effectively end his commercial (as in legal) interest in Arsenal?

I am probably stating the blindingly obvious but I would imagine that Mr Usmanov is a man who like to "win".

If the answer is yes to both of the above questions then he "wins".

Get in, belt up, and hang on.

Tony Draper
170 Posted 07/01/2017 at 00:43:12
Sam @156 and Mick @157.

Bloody love your posts! Light-years apart in length and direction, but equally brilliant.

And Colin @160. Very well said mate. I do wonder if our much missed, departed Harold has handed a copy of the ground thieves deal with The Prince Lies over to the authorities "upstairs"? Our fortunes and his passing seem inextricably linked.

It was good to see the name Harold Matthews again, if only by reference. Gone, not forgotten, just having a pint with William Ralph!

Tony Draper
171 Posted 07/01/2017 at 00:55:51
Peter @159.
Not clear if you were being sarky or just innocent.

Either way, powerfully recommend:
The Football Business: The Modern Football Classic (Mainstream sport) by David Conn (ISBN: 9781840181012).

Opening chapters are jaw droppers. David Conn has NOT been sued for ANY content in his book.

Charlie Lloyd
172 Posted 07/01/2017 at 01:01:55
Colin @ 160

Much respect for mentioning Harold Matthews.

Tony Draper
173 Posted 07/01/2017 at 01:21:17
Laurie @169.

Probably the best poster to comment on your two point query IMHO would be Amit. Hopefully he may magically appear, if we click our heels and say his name thrice?

(By click heels I didn't mean "red crystal stilletos" as favoured by "the whale hunting friends of Dorothy" currently occupying our discarded ground, or jackboots... Just white footie boots.)

Charlie Lloyd
174 Posted 07/01/2017 at 01:23:58
It'll make you cry!!!

I just switched from ToffeeWeb to the Sky Sports app to see if this development is being covered. It's not. There was a thread near the top mentioning that Coutinho is back in training.

This sums it up.

One day soon...

David Barks
175 Posted 07/01/2017 at 01:27:56
Charlie, it was a top story on BBC sports earlier today. It's also on Sky Sports:

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov's USM holdings sponsors Everton training ground

Laurie Hartley
176 Posted 07/01/2017 at 01:39:02
Tony – I've just clicked my clogs. "Amit, Amit, Amit."

John Pierce
177 Posted 07/01/2017 at 02:29:18
All very encouraging. I hope we are, yes that's correct, we are being used as a stalking horse for Usmanov's one last throw at getting power at Arsenal.

The deal itself is legal from what I've understood and maybe its a last shot at the Arsenal board, Usmanov wants more input.

Hopefully Arsenal will sit tight with Kronke and Usmanov will either sell up or find away to pass on his interest to a business associate or family member.

You'd think that would leave him free to kick around with his mate Moshiri and ho from there.

A good deal to be debated, eyes fully dilated at the possibility of the seeing Rupert's Tower air-lifted to Bramley-Moore Dock!

Laurie Hartley
178 Posted 07/01/2017 at 04:33:34
John (# 77);

About Ruperts Tower – a little bit of imagination required but perhaps the move was preordained?


Not sure it would suit the Megafon branding but hey – you never know.

Mick Davies
179 Posted 07/01/2017 at 05:32:55
Peter @ 159, just ask a Spurs fan, but you can always change it to another knight of the realm, like good old Branson...

Knighted for services to a country, where his insatiable greed is helping to destroy what was once the worlds greatest health service.

Martin Jamieson
180 Posted 07/01/2017 at 14:40:05
If we think that USM are just interested in the naming rights for Finch Farm we're mistaken... so small it's a 'rounding error'.

This is a pre-cursor to a much larger investment, in my view, depending on the reaction to this 'litmus test'.

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