"It’s time to recognise that through no direct fault of their own, through the actions of Putin and the people closest to him, the club finds itself in an untenable position regarding its association with USM."
Usmanov’s relationship with Everton
Much has been written about the informal nature of Alisher Usmanov’s relationship with Everton, the various meetings allegedly held on yachts and elsewhere with several managerial candidates, directors of football and his influence over a number of transfers. Furthermore, his involvement in strategic issues with Everton’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, and Everton’s Chairman, Bill Kenwright. From a governance perspective, none of this ideal as I have spoken of in the past, but to be clear his involvement at this level has been informal.
The formal relationship exists through his company USM. USM is a Russian domiciled holding company, containing his major investments in metals, minings and telecommunications. The shareholders, according to the latest public information, are Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir and Varvara Skoch, Farhad Moshiri and Ivan Streshinsky. It is understood that whilst Usmanov owns 100% of the voting stock, he owns 49% of the total stock, Skoch 30%, Farhad Moshiri 8% and Streshinksy 3%. The remaining 10% is owned by a network of off-shore companies domiciled in the Isle of Man, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands.
USM entered a 5-year agreement with Everton in January 2017. The agreement included the naming rights to Finch Farm (thereafter called USM Finch Farm), marketing rights plus match-day advertising at Goodison Park.
At the time (because of Farhad Moshiri’s shareholding in USM and his major shareholder status at Everton) the sponsorship was considered to be a related party transaction. The sponsorships had the following values: 2016-17 – £6 million; £2017-18 – £6 million; £2018-19 – £12 million. In 2019-20, USM ceased to be a related party and as a result the figure is not recorded separately.
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In 2019, the sponsorship expanded including Official Matchday Presenting Partner and the greater use of their portfolio companies including Megafon. Although not in the public domain, it is thought that the sponsorship income increased to £18 million per annum.
In addition, in January 2020, Everton announced a naming rights option agreement with USM for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. The option, which included the right to be naming rights partner at the stadium, provided Everton with a one-off £30 million payment and agreed terms for the future naming rights with USM.
If we assume the 2020-21 and 2021-22 sponsorship arrangements were similar to 2019-20, then since January 2017, and including the naming rights option, Everton have been in receipt of approximately £108 million (assuming 2021-22 has been paid in full) from USM and/or related companies.
EU sanctions notice
On 28 February 2022, the European Union announced sanctions including “restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.
Within the Council decision, Alisher Usmanov’s name appears among those now subject to sanctions. The sanctions include the freezing of assets and the inability to travel within the EU region.
It is important to note that the sanctions are issued by the EU, not by the UK Government. However, there is the expectation that the UK Government will in due course follow suit.
The statement of reason (of inclusion) are as follows:
Alisher Usmanov is pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has been referred to as one of Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs. He is considered to be one of Russia’s businessmen-officials, who were entrusted with servicing financial flows, but their positions depend on the will of the President. Mr Usmanov has reportedly fronted for President Putin and solved his business problems. According to FinCEN files he paid $6 million to Vladimir Putin’s influential adviser Valentin Yumashev. Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia and former President and Prime Minister of Russia, benefited from the personal use of luxurious residences controlled by Mr Usmanov.
Therefore he actively supported materially or financially Russian decision-makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine.
Mr Usmanov has interests in iron ore and steel, media and internet companies. His largest holding is steel giant Metalloinvest. When Mr Usmanov took control of business daily Kommersant, the freedom of the editorial staff was curtailed and the newspaper took a manifestly pro-Kremlin stance. The Kommersant under Mr Usmanov’s ownership published a propagandist anti-Ukrainian article by Dmitry Medvedev, in which the former President of Russia argued that it was meaningless to engage in talks with the current Ukrainian authorities, who in his opinion were under direct foreign control.
Therefore he actively supported the Russian government’s policies of destabilisation of Ukraine.
The UK Government response is as yet less specific than that of the EU, but will include in coming days and weeks an update on sanctioned individuals, a freeze on assets of the Russian Central Bank and other commercial banks, the removal of most Russian banks from the SWIFT system, and the further freezing the assets of sanctions targets.
Other parts of the UK economy have taken matters into their own hands. The energy sector in particular has been heavily invested in Russian interests for many years. However, in recent days, BP have announced the “offload” of its near 20% stake in Rosneft – at a cost of a £25 billion write-down – and Shell will see at least £3 billion worth of losses as a result of its exposure to Gazprom and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
What is clear is that large public companies and other bodies are prepared to take the financial losses to cease their association with Russian companies.
Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, said. “Our decision to exit is one we take with conviction. We cannot – and we will not – stand by.”
“We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression, which threatens European security,” said van Beurden.
Even FIFA and UEFA, with all of their close relationships with Putin, the Kremlin and Gazprom in particular, have ceased their financial partnerships and removed Russia’s rights to participate in international competition, and the rights to participate in club competitions.
So where does this leave Everton?
Frankly, in my opinion, in an extra-ordinarily difficult position. If huge businesses like BP, Shell or Equinor (the Norwegian state oil company) and hundreds of other businesses are rushing to de-couple from Russian counterparts, where does that leave us?
I understand the situation is difficult; I understand the situation is made more complex by Moshiri’s ownership of Everton and his shareholding and Chairmanship of USM. But in the context of the atrocities in Ukraine (and for the benefit of the doubt, I am not including Moshiri in being a cause or supporter of such) and the likelihood that this war will be long and horrifically costly with enormous human loss on both sides, as a club, we don’t have any option but to de-couple too.
I don’t think this is a time to make claims about the board, governance and other matters of concern; it’s a time to recognise that, through no direct fault of their own, through the actions of Putin and the people closest to him, the club finds itself in an untenable position regarding its association with USM.
It needs the support of everyone around it. Shareholders, the board, the executive, the Premier League and the fans as it works out its response to de-coupling from USM. In the meantime, nothing should distract the club and everyone else associated with it from doing everything that is necessary to support Ukraine’s defence, survival and future recovery.
Reader Comments (95)
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1 Posted 01/03/2022 at 18:37:11
2 Posted 01/03/2022 at 18:50:04
Alisher Usmanov has released a statement as Everton face pressure to cut their ties with USM. A former professional fencer, Mr Usmanov issued his response to being sanctioned by the EU after Russias military invasion of Ukraine on the website of the FIE (International Fencing Federation) of which he has been the President since 2008. He wrote: "On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union. “I believe that such decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor (sic), dignity and business reputation. “I will use all legal means to protect my honor (sic) and reputation. “I hereby suspend the exercise of my duties as the President of the International Fencing Federation effective immediately until justice is restored.”
A former professional fencer, Mr Usmanov issued his response to being sanctioned by the EU after Russias military invasion of Ukraine on the website of the FIE (International Fencing Federation) of which he has been the President since 2008.
He wrote: "On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union.
“I believe that such decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor (sic), dignity and business reputation.
“I will use all legal means to protect my honor (sic) and reputation.
“I hereby suspend the exercise of my duties as the President of the International Fencing Federation effective immediately until justice is restored.”Source: Liverpool Echo
3 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:09:30
If Everton's explanation denying Usmanov has day-to-day dealings with our club, then that should be the end of the matter and we all move on.
But somehow I can see Bryant whipping up some sort of ‘justice campaign' and Everton caving in to the detriment of the club's commercial aspirations and maybe even the future of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. Stay strong, Blues and carry on with our plans.
4 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:30:05
I guess we could all amuse ourselves reading about other stuff like the Qatari slave-reliant World Cup on our cellphones made by Uighurs in Chinese concentration camps while driving our Saudi fueled cars, knowing that we occupy the high moral ground.
To be clear, Putin is scum but I just can't fathom the selective outrage – not just of our governments and our media but of us. We all knew about oligarchs and Putin when Moshiri rolled into town and we largely embraced it. Just as we all know about atrocities in Yemen done by the Saudis.
We should all know about the illegal invasion and occupation of Western Sahara before we head off to Marrakesh. Tibet? Anyone remember that place when we are buying plastic crap from Walmart?
Or anyone care about sweatshops of Karachi when the Pakistani secret services are bankrolling the Taliban when we buy our clothes or watch cricket? Or indeed the time we got Gaddafi to get rid of his weapons and then blew him up?
Or the time we pretended Saddam had nukes and destroyed a country that was run by a despot but that was largely stable and peaceful?
If we want to go down this route, then let's just be honest about everything and not wait until we see some evocative pictures of blonde kids suffering in a place nearer to where we live while turning a blind eye to everything else.
5 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:41:50
At what point do we consider our character? Wait until the Reds give us the wink and nod? The Red Shite that is.
6 Posted 01/03/2022 at 19:42:28
At the same time, I'd like to see Chris Bryant focus some attention on the Chinese state money supporting the Labour Party. Johnson should do the same regarding the Russian backing of the Torys. Of course they won't and it'll be business as usual once the Ukraine slips off the front page.
Like politicians, sport won't lead the way, It will react to immediate headlines before commencing normal service. And we'll still have Newcastle owned by a murderer (but what a marvellous job Howe is doing).
Money, money, money.
7 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:17:51
We should have drawn a line in the sand a long time ago and we didn't. I don't believe it would make a material difference to Putin or the war if we lobby Moshiri to leave the club on the basis that his business partner is pally with Putin.
If the club want to go down that route, then that's fine, but I feel like a lot of people are hiding behind this possible action as if it is something tangible they are doing.
If anyone wants to do something tangible themselves about Putin and other scum, there are manifold avenues: get involved politically, putting pressure on MPs, get involved in charities, get involved with Amnesty International, boycott scum bag companies, go to Ukraine and sign up.
These are real steps – not just saying "Hey, football club that I watch once a week, you should change your sponsor."
8 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:21:35
I also agree with Kieran how sickening it would be to do the right thing and find the rest of the football (and wider commercial) world still plagued by atrocities.
Money has indeed talked very loud and we've all kind of been sucked in, hoping for a few star signings and a new stadium.
Presumably shady ownership is impossible in Germany with their ownership rules. As far as I'm aware, the biggest ownership issue they have is Red Bull bending the rules a bit. Something we could learn from here maybe.
If we removed all the billionaires, football would still be in good shape, and much the fairer.
9 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:22:29
Yeah, sure, there are other things we could do and we can do this too and get by sleeping a little better at night. It makes a difference.
10 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:31:13
"I'm wanting Moshiri and Usmanov out because they're okay with the Russian invasion and I'm not."
Have either one of them come out in support of the Russian invasion? As an Uzbek and an Iranian, why would either of them support a nationalistic Russian war?
Even if they did for some perverse reason, why would they support it when even beyond personal sanctions it was likely to cost them money and make life difficult for them indirectly?
Yes, in the past, Usmanov has said nice things about Putin. But before World War II, Lloyd George said nice things about Hitler, Edward VII loved the man... hell, even Stalin was chummy with him up until he invaded the USSR.
You can't assume that a businessman looking out for his own selfish financial interests years ago, who said he liked Putin, is now supporting him in an act of war.
11 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:32:27
12 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:33:55
But the UK left the EU so as not to follow it. They are less enthusiastic about sanctions and, though supportive, have promised nothing in relation to Ukraine. Any previous action in relation to Russia has been reluctant and Russian businessmen have been ignored in relation to where their money has come from.
BP and Shell are international businesses, Everton is not, so the pressures from other jurisdictions will not be the same.
13 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:38:31
At the present time, it seems likely that this deadly war in Ukraine will continue with catastrophic humane consequences. And unless Mr Usmanov distances himself from the war and The Russian President, I feel certain that Everton should end our relationship with him.
I realise that this may have serious financial implications for the Club and our planned new ground, but we cannot simply stand by and continue to accept his money as though nothing had ever happened.
I have supported Everton for over 70 years, and I am proud of the club's long history and traditions. I like the term "The People's Club", and now more than ever we must stand up and do the right thing.
14 Posted 01/03/2022 at 20:50:38
On that basis, all the celebs and others who were mates with OJ Simpson were culpable when he murdered his wife and her lover because they'd "paid their lifetime dues" through years of celebrating and supporting him.
Usmanov was wealthy before Putin took over, so given the choice "play nice" or "do not" and what became of other oligarchs, would you really expect Usmanov to come out swinging?
Moreover, his connection to Putin was through his wife years prior to Putin invading Crimea. But again, we all knew Usmanov was mates with Putin, that he was a gangster etc and we all played along because it suited us.
Now his mate has gone postal, we are saying "Usmanov" needs to go, whilst assuming that Usmanov himself is still enamored with Putin, as we were enamored with Usmanov before this all blew up.
15 Posted 01/03/2022 at 21:14:57
Moshiri is a shareholder in Usamov's companies and that is where he made his money, but it doesn't mean to say he is tared with the same brush.
How many of us have been paid by foreign companies and didn't care what their politics were? This invasion has opened a can of worms that will end up correctly by punishing the proven guilty ones. Let the evidence and not the speculation prove them guilty.
16 Posted 01/03/2022 at 21:20:19
Many were willing to give it a chance to help rehabilitate some of those abused and manipulated billionaires. You know, to ease Moscow's concern over the relentless NATO expansion and give the boys at the London exchange something to play with. Turns out after an invasion of a peaceful neighbor, yeah, we're not that into the guy anymore.
And please, let those who have been behind the curve up until now not try to get out ahead of it and direct traffic, thank you.
17 Posted 01/03/2022 at 21:37:27
To your point, we had a whole thread on here recently about an individual who was arrested by police on serious, quite disturbing charges. Him specifically, not his business partner's wife's friend's husband, but him. The consensus on here was that despite appearances, we should abide by the notion of innocent until proven guilty.
Now we have this rush to judgement on other individuals being somehow complicit in a war.
18 Posted 01/03/2022 at 21:51:53
19 Posted 01/03/2022 at 21:57:59
20 Posted 01/03/2022 at 21:58:18
Anyone who wants to has had ample time to voice their anger and horror about the Putin's appalling attack, including targetting Ukrainian civilians and children. Silence at this point is not an option, it makes you complicit and that is what Usmanov clearly is, given his past declared allegiances.
It really is that black and white, time to choose your side. Nor is there any real analogy with the proxy war Saudi have been fighting in Yemen. The latter is not in Europe and its war, however horrific, is not on our doorstep and effectively existing as a direct threat to us.
Time for us to choose our side too. It sure as hell isn't with people complicit with Putin the war criminal. It may hurt the club and it is even possible Usmanov is actually horrified by this, even though currently silent, but sanctioning him and all the other oligarchs does actually make a difference.
Piss off enough wealthy, influential and powerful Russians and the chances of getting the madman Putin away from nuclear buttons increases substantially.
21 Posted 01/03/2022 at 22:05:56
That's my point, we only seem to care about people if it directly affects us. I disagree with that viewpoint.
As for Saudi not affecting us... that's what we heard for years when we transported Saudi militants to Afghanistan to fight the USSR, and when we bankrolled Saudi who in turn bankrolled Wahabi extremists who formed Al Qaeda and ISIS.
We also have huge numbers of refugees from those conflicts in Europe waiting in line ahead of the Ukranian refugees. We should have a standard that we apply equally to all tyrants and all victims.
22 Posted 01/03/2022 at 22:08:13
Going back to the article, I feel Everton FC is stuck between a rock and a hard place. We all wish it weren't so. However, I wouldn't like to be a Newcastle Utd fan with the Saudi owners. I can't say I'm enamoured with Usmanov's relationship with our club and agree that we ought to end both our formal and informal relationship with him.
That all said, I suspect some “deal” will be done where we do something in public but behind scenes all the same. The other issue is that he is not just “an investor”' – he appears to be at best a great friend of Moshiri or at worst, Moshiri is Usmanov's puppet.
23 Posted 01/03/2022 at 22:24:01
The only thing we can do as individuals to prevent our own complicity is to choose who or what we approve of and, if we don't approve, refuse to purchase goods or services from those vendors that don't suit our personal world view.
I'm not big on telling others what should be done or not done in particular situations, and I certainly don't need anybody to tell me what I should or shouldn't believe in. I make choices, I live with the consequences of those choices.
If the club I support is at odds with my personal values, I ditch the club, not my values. I need a little more evidence to support the view that Everton Football Club should abandon USM. If that evidence is overwhelmingly negative and Everton Football Club decided to continue without action, I would then remove my financial support from the club, without hesitation.
I wish sometimes that football supporters would hold the political parties and politicians to the same high standards as they seem to want from their sports clubs. If they had done so, we might not be in the mess we are currently in.
24 Posted 01/03/2022 at 22:29:09
Sadly, it looks beyond doubt that Usmanov is a decision-maker at the club and I feel this is all a moot point as he and Moshiri have too much grip on the financial side of the club. His response to EU sanctions shows how belligerent he will be and I fear there will be no chance of prising his grip from the club.
I expect some boardroom resignations in the coming days. Whether or not we feel the stewardship of the club is best equipped to make football decisions, I do feel there are some amongst them who will stand by their moral convictions. That will be a telling sign of how much of a relationship Usmanov has with the club.
25 Posted 01/03/2022 at 22:30:32
If Everton don't distance themselves from USM and Megafon, I'd deduct them at least 10 points.
26 Posted 01/03/2022 at 22:33:04
27 Posted 01/03/2022 at 23:25:45
This guy was a quality comedic actor until he was elected in 2019 on the back of his TV portrayal of good-hearted but miles-out-of-his-depth Ukrainian President in the TV series "Servant of the People" (available for nowt on YouTube).
It's razor-sharp satire and funny too, albeit you have to rely on teletext to view it. Funny as Spitting Image is on (rare) occasion, "Servant of the People" struck a chord with so many Ukrainian viewers that Volodymyr decided to stand for the principles the western-world holds dear, and against the rank corruption of previous Ukrainian regimes, and was duly elected. He started enlightened policies from the outset, to the consternation of we-all-know-who.
He's now displaying the raw personal courage and conviction that he so innocently portrayed in the TV series and should in my humble opinion be saluted and supported (by donations, letters, or whatever from mere people) for doing so whilst we lambast our governments to do more to isolate the filth that is Putin and his supporters.
I just wish we in the UK and so many other western-world countries had individuals at the top with even a modicum of the guy's gravitas.
28 Posted 01/03/2022 at 23:27:54
Personally, I don't believe for a second Everton can or should countenance continued engagement with USM, but that doesn't come without cost. Financial cost and the implications for the stadium and personal cost for Moshiri in terms of his relationship with Usmanov and the company he helped build.
The real tragedy, of course, is with the people of Ukraine and they should remain foremost in our thoughts, but there is an almost Shakespearean tragedy to Everton's situation and the knowledge that either decision carries costs of a very different nature.
29 Posted 01/03/2022 at 00:23:40
If they decided to pull out, the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock would be abandoned and we would be left stranded at Goodison Park with a cut-price owner (Mike Ashley, anyone?) and in a worse state than we were during the dismal Kenwright regime.
I have no doubt whatsoever that Frank will lead us upwards this season but, without the financial clout of Moshiri and Usmanov, we would soon be heading for oblivion in the Championship. No thanks.
30 Posted 02/03/2022 at 00:58:26
About a year before Moshiri and USM came along, Putin invaded Crimea; prior to that, he invaded Georgia, and before that, at the time he was most publicly linked with Usmanov, he decimated Chechnya.
More recently, while Carlo was at Everton, he was using the same cluster bombs and thermobaric weapons in Syria.
Did none of that affect your view of USM? You seemed fairly content with the ownership remaining as long as we got a new board just a few months ago.
31 Posted 02/03/2022 at 01:34:26
As far as I'm concerned, any relationship that benefits the Russian economy must be severed – as many corporations are doing thankfully.
My goal in the above is frankly to bankrupt Russia as fast as is humanly possible. They have nukes. America or any other NATO country can not commit to a no-fly zone or any other direct conflict with a country who has a earth-killing arsenal of nuclear weapons, especially when wielded by a mentally unstable man who thinks it's perfectly acceptable to invade a sovereign country for the good of Mother Russia in an attempt to rebuild his communist empire. Read - cunt.
But Russia is a fucking gas station. Cut off the oil, or any other stream of income, and they'll collapse. We can not and should not buy a fucking thing from any Russian company or government agency.
Their GDP is not large, and it relies massively on oil. We can cripple it and the incursion and possibly the madman at the head of the Russian regime presently by cutting off all economic activity.
If Everton is in the business of buying Russian goods and resources, they need to stop. But they aren't in that business.
If Usmanov wants to give Everton money through sponsorships while the rouble tanks, his country becomes isolated, and the Western World changes its views on where they get their energy from, cutting out a country that has invaded a sovereign, freedom-seeking nation while indiscriminately killing innocents and shelling the shit out of whole cities?
Fuck them and him! Take his fucking money! Then funnel most of it back into Ukraine for humanitarian purposes.
This relationship is a one-way street. We take his money, put it to good use, and give him zero benefits – including removing his company names from any sponsorship or naming rights. If he doesn't like that, tell him to stick his Russian money so far up his pie-hole that he'll never shit again.
People – innocent people – are dying because one cunt decided to expand his "empire". Those people want what the fine folks in the UK and America take for granted: freedom. If Usmanov comes out and condemns this war and action, welcome him as a hero. If he doesn't, he, along with Putin, can rot in hell. I think someone should use his money as kindling as he's chucked into the fire if he supports this invasion / war crime / assault on freedom loving people.
We can live without Usmanov. I don't give a fuck if I'm watching League 2 Everton on shitty internet streams. People, regular people, are dying. They've been invaded by a tyrant. If our "unofficial" owner in Usmanov supports that tyrant-cunt, Putin, do what most people involved with money don't do:
Do the right thing! For fucking once, please.
Cut him off.
I'm hopeful Usmanov backs an insurrection by the Oligarchs to oust the Putin-cunt when we squeeze the financial life out of him and the natives get restless. But I'm not holding my breath.
The above is an emotional rant and can have holes picked in the argument all day long, I recognize this. This situation in Ukraine sickens me to my core. You can view this as cathartic. Keyboard warrior blowing off steam due to the disgust of the current situation.
32 Posted 02/03/2022 at 01:49:57
My hope is the Russians take him out. They've done it to tyrants five times before in recent history, most notably in 1917. It only takes one person and a pill, knife, gun, pillow etc. but hopefully we see something on a grander scale then the regular Russians can join the EU and stop this destructive fratricide.
33 Posted 02/03/2022 at 01:51:48
Peter #6, neither Abramovich nor Usmanov is a criminal, legally speaking. They piled up their billions using corruption, insider deals and bribery during a time when all those things were perfectly legal in Russia. The first (weak) anti-corruption laws weren't passed there until 2008.
So it's moral justice, not the criminal kind, that is targeting them now. And it's far more powerful than any legal prosecution could ever be.
Kieran #32, it'll happen, eventually, but don't expect it anytime soon. Putin is KGB and so are many of his closest associates. He rooted out any potential betrayers a long time ago. It's highly unlikely there are any von Stauffenbergs around him now.
34 Posted 02/03/2022 at 02:09:26
True... but, for precedent, we have the paranoid tyrant Roman Emperor, Domitian.
He killed every rival yet a soothsayer said he'd be assassinated, so he holed up in Rome with only his best servant allowed to see him and even he was subject to a search on every meeting. One day he showed up with a cast on his arm saying he broke it in an accident. He was allowed through, had a knife inside it, then slew Domitian.
For modern purposes, he could do a Walter White and slip ricin in his tea across that oddly long table.
35 Posted 02/03/2022 at 02:16:33
Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs, Leiccester, and others have brought in sponsors who are relatively clean. It is a pity that Everton have got in bed with a gangster who was run out of Arsenal.
36 Posted 02/03/2022 at 02:34:41
The chances of anybody in Putin's circle assassinating him aren't good.
37 Posted 02/03/2022 at 03:36:29
The other hope then is nature. Im not usually one to celebrate death but I remember my parents being quite disturbed I was ecstatic when a certain Middle Eastern cleric suddenly kicked the bucket — no offense ToffeeWebers in IJ— maybe he will keel over with a stroke from stress over his own vanity and mortality
38 Posted 02/03/2022 at 05:24:27
My own experiences and views aside, if you look at the Russian psyche over the past 100 years or so at least, it is one of suspicion and paranoia towards the West. And we have fuelled that in recent decades, which has played into the hands of an increasingly irrational leader who still resents the break up of the Soviet Union.
Again, personal views aside, if we are suddenly going to be outraged by Russian money that we have turned a blind eye to (dare I say embraced), then what about the dirty money that has long been circulating around the pig's trough that is the City of London?
Are we going to ignore Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis as well as it's own questionable human rights record? Do we detach any football club from Chinese ownership? Turkey's persecution of the Kurds rules them out, right?
Basically, take the moral high ground, but where do you stop? This is sometimes why football, sport in general and politics shouldn't mix in my opinion.
We've all been enjoying dirty money for years and will continue to do so wherever it comes from. Apologies, that's just a reality.
Right now, the West and the masses, fuelled by 24/7 media, are justifiably outraged by the actions taken by Russia. But how much of that is tinted with guilt of not having acted sooner? And like I say, where does the outrage stop? Russia is not alone yet I know we can all list owners from those countries I list and no doubt others.
39 Posted 02/03/2022 at 08:19:02
He must have thought the whole thing through many times though, although that's doing nothing for the many innocent people who are going to have their last living day on the planet today.🙏
40 Posted 02/03/2022 at 08:31:56
There's a bit of personal in this. My son comes home safely next month. I'll introduce you to him.
41 Posted 02/03/2022 at 08:34:53
Moshiri and Usmanov were certainly not run out of Arsenal.
They pulled out after Kronke became majority shareholder and refused to allow them to join the board.
Paul Merson spoke for the majority of Arsenal supporters when he declared his dismay at the thought of them leaving Kronke in total control and investing instead in a rival Premier League club.
42 Posted 02/03/2022 at 09:16:02
Regarding those sanctions, there are prominent cases of the sanctions being broken, and the offenders being punished for it. For example, Standard Chartered Bank, the main sponsor of Liverpool FC, were fined over £20M for knowingly breaking those sanctions. But Standard Chartered have remained the main sponsor of Liverpool FC.
In addition, the post-Crimea sanctions did not include a range of business arrangements between the UK and Russia, in particular in the oil and gas energy sector. It is only this week that BP and Shell have announced their exit from such arrangements.
The current situation in Ukraine is coupled with the Crimea situation from 2014, and there is a range of arrangements that have either been outwith sanctions from 2014 or in defiance of those sanctions, that are relevant to the current sanctions issues.
In this respect, it is vital that any targeting by the UK of individuals associated with Russia is done in a way that reflects the full picture; otherwise, current sanctions may be little more than window dressing and faux outrage.
We need to avoid a purely reactive response to the current invasion of Ukraine, compared with what should have been a proactive stance aimed at avoiding the current situation. Otherwise, there is little hope of eventual resolution of the Ukraine situation, and after all, resolution is the ultimate aim of sanctions.
43 Posted 02/03/2022 at 09:28:35
There seems to be some very strong feelings being posted on here about Everton doing the right thing, so will there be big gaps in the crowd for our FA Cup match?
44 Posted 02/03/2022 at 09:40:14
Our Ukrainian left-back could have resigned from Everton, but he didn't.
Man City's Ukrainian player could have refused attendance at Goodison, but he didn't.
Liverpool supporters could have boycotted their matches because of their main sponsor, but they didn't and they won't.
And so it goes on.
45 Posted 02/03/2022 at 09:45:36
46 Posted 02/03/2022 at 10:08:53
47 Posted 02/03/2022 at 10:17:06
I think we do and must treat events differently when they pose a direct threat to us and our allies, as Putin now does. That is the nature of defence policy. You have a different 'standard' when the tyrant is on your doorstep.
Equally, while NATO will support Ukraine, it will have a different approach given it is not a NATO member compared to, for example, a Russian attack on a NATO member, like Poland or the Baltics. That is enshrined in the treaties. Foreign and defence policy cannot be 'standardised' in the way you propose.
I also think there is a quantum difference between allegedly funding or assisting insurrections in far-off lands and invading an independent sovereign nation without provocation. The West has of course done the latter, notably Iraq 2, a war I firmly opposed because the provocation claimed was not really there, albeit Sadaam was committing genocide against his own people.
But Russia's invasion is on another level and in our backyard. It requires a different response and there is no room for people on the wrong side of the argument, including those who happen to run our football club.
48 Posted 02/03/2022 at 10:26:39
As you know, I have said for a long time that Usmanov is the real owner of Everton and Moshiri is just his puppet; he has interviewed every manager we have appointed since he and Moshiri became involved with the club.
It was only after a 2-hour meeting with Usmanov did Ancelotti agreed to be our manager, and Benitez spent 3 days on his yacht off Sardinia before he agreed to become the manager, and it's being reported that he was involved in the meeting before Lampard signed.
I have also said for many years that this country was quite happy to have dirty Russian money swill into the London stock market as well as into the coffers of the Conservative party.
In fact, our present Prime Minister had a Christmas card printed with a picture of him and a very prominent Russian businessman who had close links to Putin with the words underneath saying "The doors are open".
I, like everybody else, am mortified at the invasion of Ukraine, and clearly the action of a madman trying to resurrect the old boundaries once held by the Soviet Union.
While your suggestion of de-coupling from Usmanov is understandable, I do wonder why there wasn't this outrage when Usmanov first came on board? I get the impression, from the lack of angst by Evertonians, that him being involved was okay and, if Russia hadn't invaded Ukraine, then the majority weren't bothered.
I do think that, if that's what happens, then I think Evertonians should be very clear of the consequences it will have on our club, because I can't see a scenario where Moshiri carries on without Usmanov on board. I think they might do what allegedly Abramovich is doing and putting Chelsea up for sale.
Should this happen with the plight we are in financially, this would be a massive deterrent to many prospective buyers. First they would have to pay I would think in excess of £500 million and then commit to another £500 million in a stadium build. Now whichever way you look at it, nobody is going to fork out close to a billion pounds to own Everton.
So that could leave us in financial limbo for a long while, and could possibly lead to most of the first team being sold to stave off a points deduction over transgressing the FFP rules.
49 Posted 02/03/2022 at 10:29:51
50 Posted 02/03/2022 at 10:33:13
I've said much the same to Kieran but response needs to vary according to the circumstances. The response to Crimea was more muted because there is at least a public demand in those regions to be associated with Russia because they have large Russian populations.
That is not the case in much of the rest of the Ukraine. Hypothetically had Putin merely moved into Eastern Ukraine and established direct fiefdoms there, which was what I assumed he would do, I suggest our response would have been different.
It is why I am surprised that he invaded the whole of the Ukraine, including the large part that does not want to fall under his influence. He has essentially ratcheted up the stakes massively, especially given the indiscriminate use of military power.
That is why it needs a different and harder response, short of direct engagement militarily, because ultimately Ukraine is not under the NATO umbrella, but encompassing pretty much every other tool at our disposal, including making pariahs of every single person connected to the regime.
I could actually make a case for being indiscriminate in that, making it every single Russian, because that might actually hasten his downfall if people realised their own livelihoods and lives were going to be curtailed directly because of his appalling actions. But at the least it needs to cover anyone who obfuscates as to which side they are on, as our owners are currently doing. Let us not behave like the wretched people at FIFA...
51 Posted 02/03/2022 at 10:34:10
In terms of there being no room for people on the wrong side of the argument, from our perspectve Everton would need to sever all ties with anyone who's actions supported the invasion.
More widely, Liverpool FC would need to find a new main sponsor not guilty of sanctions violations, the UK government would need to sever all business links with Russia, as would all EU member states, the US would have to sever all such ties, and so on, within a coherent integrated approach to sanctions.
All of this would have to be done regardless of the financial costs to Everton, Liverpool, citizens of the UK, EU states and US. Such higher costs would include potentially large increases in the cost of living for those citizens, including large increases in fuel and energy costs associated with adjustments to oil and gas markets.
I'm ready for all of this! Who will join me?
52 Posted 02/03/2022 at 11:08:59
I'd do the 200-mile round trip to support that club.
53 Posted 02/03/2022 at 11:33:00
54 Posted 02/03/2022 at 11:38:39
55 Posted 02/03/2022 at 11:48:33
Please, whatever happens, spare me the sanctimonious burblings about "corruption". John "global climate catastrophe" Kerry, Biden, Romney, and many others all have vast oil interests in Ukraine (which is run by a despot also).
Pelosi happens to be one of the most successful stock market traders in US history (it's almost like she knows what laws are going to be passed ahead of the markets?) and acts accordingly.
How many of these politicians expressing moral outrage are on £150k a year but worth 10s of millions?
Once again, the ordinary plebs will be put to the sword for the betterment of the elites on both sides. (Guess who benefits from sky-high oil prices?) Another psy-ops political act of theatre to enrich the 1% at the cost of the health and lives of the 99% -- becoming quite a pattern lately.
56 Posted 02/03/2022 at 11:49:01
I would finesse your case a little. What matters less is historic support but what the position is now, based on these new, and to my mind, unexpected actions. I have less of a problem if Usmanov had previous good relations with Putin. It matters much more that he picks his side now. No fence sitting, otherwise silence will be assumed guilt.
With regard to individuals, this is important and potentially crucial. If wealthy, influential Russians are seen to turn their backs on Putin, he is isolated further, especially if they are former allies. That is quite a powerful statement. It might even play a part in what, right now, I see as the only solution, his overthrow.
Power is ephemeral, including for despots. It can vanish like mist and if enough powerful people see they will be crushed one way or another if they side with him, then eventually they won't side with him and it's a short step to then not obeying him.
Looking wider than just well known individuals, most of the time, sanctions and other actions are fragmented (eg, US and EU regarding Iran), but actually it is surprising just how united and consistent these are in the Ukraine case.
Some, like Germany, have needed others, like the UK, to show them the way, but at least they are now shipping weapons, not helmets; they've stopped Nordstream 2 and have agreed to the removal of Russia from the Swift banking system. That's a big movement in barely a week.
On a corporate level, we see BP, the biggest Russian investors, withdrawing their investments, I imagine at a big loss. (Problem for me as BP shares are part of my pension fund!)
With FIFA finally ceasing their hand wringing, pretty much all the sports bodies, maybe excepting the FIA, are on the same page. It doesn't need to be absolutely perfect, for example, I suspect we (or rather Europe) will still be buying Russian gas – otherwise, their own citizens will freeze to death. It just has to be good enough.
I'm also a little wary about bringing in other non-related issues and concerns like, I assume Standard Chartered and Iran, which I am guessing was your point? Iran hasn't invaded a European country with overwhelming military force. It's not equivalent.
It might need a response, but not the same response, just as I would personally have advocated a much lighter reaction had Putin just focussed on those parts of Ukraine where he has the basis for widespread support.
Not that I would welcome or excuse an invasion of just the eastern part, but clearly it lowers the threshold of response. Our beloved club may end up being collateral damage here but, to plagiarise a well known quote, football is not a matter of life and death and it isn't more important than that.
57 Posted 02/03/2022 at 12:15:26
Where do you get your information that Chris Bryant MP is a supporter of the Shite, mate? I can find no such information, indeed, he's stated that he has no interest in football at all.
You may be getting confused with another Chris Bryant who is a hack.
58 Posted 02/03/2022 at 12:25:04
When you say you would finesse my case, does that mean you're not joining me on the right side, given that you say there is no room for people on the wrong side, as you put it?
59 Posted 02/03/2022 at 12:30:21
USM has entered into legal sponsorship of the club.
Moshiri is the owner and an associate of Usmamov. But he is not an office holder at the club.
Kenwright is an associate of Moshiri and receiver of share purchase monies, with continued renumeration as part of the third highest Board in the Premier League. Certainly not funded out of profits.
Of course, Premier League rivals want Everton to act for questionable motives, that don't include compensation for reduced funding.
60 Posted 02/03/2022 at 12:39:09
What a disaster he has produced; if he saw that this situation might happen, he is indeed a mad man and the sooner he's deposed the better.
As far as Usmanov and Moshiri are concerned, it does put us in a difficult situation, but they are not in any way to my limited knowledge responsible for the outrageous war in Ukraine.
I'd prefer to wait till we have all the true facts about them before drawing any conclusions.
61 Posted 02/03/2022 at 12:47:19
62 Posted 02/03/2022 at 12:57:50
63 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:08:19
I wonder exactly what the suspension means. Does that mean that we will, for now, provide no advertising or visibility to these links; or will we also suspend acceptance of income for the duration? I assume the latter.
64 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:09:13
65 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:09:25
66 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:12:17
67 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:13:35
(not often those words spoken)
68 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:14:08
I've just seen thread on Twitter accusing Keir Starmer of going after Abramovich because he's an Arsenal supporter, mad as a bag of squirrels.
69 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:20:05
It's over to Usmanov now, and he maybe has to choose between Everton and his continued support for the current Russian Regime.
If he removes his support for Putin and speaks out against this unlawful war, we can all welcome him back and the world will be a better place.
70 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:26:19
There is no condemnation of the actions of Putin & Russia.
71 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:31:48
72 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:34:33
Have you any problem/evidence to dispute the valid and true points I make ? of course NOT, all the listed corrupt interests in Ukraine are the very people pulling the strings,( and benefiting from )is just a fact sorry, You wont find it on the lying Guardians front page or Sir Jimis BBC ( however fake pics of the "war" that are from a gas explosion in 2017 you will find aplenty :)
Hysterical ? I can also assure you some of the mindless goons who were beating their pots n pans every Thur for the last 2 years and squealling meekly at the thought of there fellow humans walking within 10 feet of them not wearing a mask are NOT on my side of the arguement ( they are yours to own Andrew and are in good Company)
As for some numpty posting on Twitter ? Well I am not and have never engaged in "social" media so I cannot comment - although the fact some moron posted some idiotic statement on there is no a revelation as anyone with an ounce of dignity or intelligence has long since been cleared off that echo chamber
Enjoy you twitter mob and keep doing what your told and remember your only "outraged" when WE say so OK
I am off to post on Qanon
73 Posted 02/03/2022 at 13:36:38
More likely I think that they will bunker down now under the Moshiri banner and play the long game, whilst seeing if any suitable offers are made.
As Paul says, the suspension gives breathing space to find the best way forward.
74 Posted 02/03/2022 at 16:48:42
Just for the record, the "despot" who "runs" Ukraine is a fellow named President Zelenskyy, who was elected under a system rejected by you wild-eyed Trumpies called democracy. He got 73% of the popular vote. (In Ukraine, unlike the US, the person who gets the most votes in a presidential election always wins.)
Like Trump, Zelenskyy's previous occupation was comic actor. Unlike Trump, he is courageous, competent, inspirational and a true patriot, putting the well-being of his people and the stability of his nation above his own personal interests. Also unlike Trump, he stands bravely in defiance of Putin instead of kissing his feet like a worshipful bleach-blond Chihuahua.
Just thought you might want to take a passing glance at reality before your planet spins back into its alternate universe. Stop by again anytime.
75 Posted 02/03/2022 at 17:15:35
76 Posted 02/03/2022 at 17:25:10
77 Posted 02/03/2022 at 17:39:25
That the club has moved unilaterally, without government pressure, to ‘suspend the association with the Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota is praiseworthy, but it isnt full closure of the matter.
As Kieran demonstrates, a number of clubs have far more direct – and lucrative – links to repressive governments and tyrannical regimes than our own. Kieran also neatly lists other ongoing and historical military interventions and atrocities which football and the world in general could have taken an ethical stand on, but remained indifferent to, as well as ongoing and long-established exploitive practices we all benefit from.
I agree with the sentiment of Kierans posts. If the invasion of Ukraine merits the ‘decoupling from sponsorship Pauls original post calls for today, then if we want to be consistent and sincere that should be the case, eternally and universally, FOR ALL! Governments, football clubs, individuals, including very much each and every one of us. Not only NOW because, as Mark Taylor writes, Ukraine is in our backyard whereas other horrific conflicts that are not in Europe dont constitute a direct threat to us. But always, and for all time.
Marks words read to me as being selectively puritanical, rather than ethical, Eurocentric, as well as lacking empathy to the millions who have suffered for many more years in more distant continents.
In calling for one and all to choose their side, Mark seemingly disqualifies entire continents as ‘unworthy who dont meet his criterion. He doubles down by claiming what happens in such distant lands are not as impactful on ‘us as the current events in Ukraine.
This suggests there is a meritocracy, based primarily on geography, on whether an event, a cause, is worthy of the sanctions, embargoes and suspensions being argued for. It also ignores the interconnectivity of global politics and economy and how distant events DO impact on each and every one of us. Mark even acknowledges this himself, giving an example how BP offloading their shareholding in a Russian oilfield impacts negatively on his pension fund.
For me its very simple and why I align myself more with Kieran (and Stan) in this thread, rather than Mark. If you want to hold yourself, your government, your football club, to high ethical standards, be consistent as to what qualifies as worthy of such calls. Not selective, based on what is currently ‘trending on social media, geography or its potential to impact directly on you personally.
78 Posted 02/03/2022 at 17:46:50
79 Posted 02/03/2022 at 18:50:53
Zelensky treats his political opponents the same way that Putin does and the Press who aren't playing ball or any dissenting voices are silenced and censored. (Sound familiar?) As for democracy – your country was turned into a bananna republic with the shenanigans going on with Dominion machines in swing states in 2020 and you folks are cheering it on.
Record Crime, Record Inflation, Homelessnees, Record Fetanal /Drug ODs, Border crises, chased out of Afghanistan, US now a weakened power both econmically and militarily, and its going to get worse, make no mistake, that's just the first year... ;) But hey, at least there are no "mean tweets", right?
That demented Chinese stooge is up to his eyes in corruption in Ukraine, as is his crack-addicted son, that's why it's a "thing". End of story. He's is rancidly corrupt and weak, the problem with the left in the US is they are childish, easily duped, have no life experience, and are far too affluent, so think we can just "reason" or be nice with Putin, Xi, Kim et al.
None of this happened under Trump because bullies only understand one thing and that's force, or the real threat of. Trump, for all his faults as a person, was a fuckin great President. I prefer to judge people on what they do, not what they say, having come from the "working class" (not that the left would know anything of them). I realise words, nice or otherwise, are just that – words.
So continue on with having good manners and corrupt lying smarmy swamp dwellers over real leadership and see where it gets ye ;) – and the rest of us, for that matter. :(
80 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:01:07
81 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:19:54
No I'm on your side. But only if you are not dragging in issues like Standard Chartered and Iran, or even the 2014 Crimean escapade. Neither are remotely equivalent to what is happening today, the full scale invasion of a European country. We are also very much at risk right now.
This needs stopping in its tracks, preferably by making Putin's position untenable, however so achieved.
82 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:23:53
83 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:32:15
"I prefer to judge people on what they do not what they say having come from the "working class" (not that the left would know anything of them)..."
Hands up. I'm from the "working class" and I'm on the left. So that demolishes that wee argument.
84 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:33:41
85 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:34:52
The 2014 invasion of Crimea is inextricably linked to current events, and the failure of the US, UK and EU to properly intervene was an enabler of these events. Understanding root causes and the failure to avoid further events is crucial.
Proactive is better than reactive. Avoidance and prevention are better than attempts at mitigation measures that become necessary when events are allowed to escalate.
86 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:36:09
Can Moshiri get sucked into this, and pushed into likewise action, with his links to Usmanov, and therefore Putin also?
Bloody hell. Surely not. I fear more than relegation if there is any risk of this. And as for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock!
87 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:44:01
88 Posted 02/03/2022 at 19:47:43
There's apparently a convoy of mega-yachts heading for the Maldives (extradition- and sanction-free) with Russian owners aboard. Headed by Oleg Deripaska's 240-footer.
Of course, Deripaska may be running away from Putin as well as the sanctions. He's one of two oligarchs to publicly come out against the invasion.
89 Posted 02/03/2022 at 20:00:25
91 Posted 02/03/2022 at 20:03:44
92 Posted 03/03/2022 at 10:01:05
The exit of BP and Shell will hurt the Russian state much more than any sanctioning of individuals. Left to themselves, the Russians simply don't have the knowhow and management skills to profit from their natural resources.
I think the footballing equivalent, would be if Guardiola and his entire coaching staff resigned tomorrow.
As to the oligarch superyachts, my Dad, who was a Master Mariner, got a letter some years ago, from an agency [who clearly hadn't done their homework] asking if he would be interested in skippering such a vessel. He replied: 'Thank you for your kind offer, but as I'm 81, I won't be taking it up'!
93 Posted 03/03/2022 at 12:06:15
94 Posted 03/03/2022 at 13:00:53
95 Posted 03/03/2022 at 21:46:38
It has been known for 10 years or more that anonymous owning of UK property via Russian-owned shell companies and rampant money laundering out of Russia and the ex-Soviet republic.
Also, since the invasion of Crimea, over 400 Russians with £2 million or more were granted so-called “Golden Visas”. Even after the Salisbury poisonings, 92 such visas were issued and 8 were handed out in the last quarter of 2021.
Since the Salisbury poisonings, Boris Johnson (then Foreign Secretary) boasted that the new “unexplained Wealth Orders” would be used to seize suspect assets from Russians.The number issued so far? You guessed it – zero!!
96 Posted 04/03/2022 at 10:52:26
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