Everton, USM, Moshiri and Bramley-Moore Dock

The financial events around Russia's invasion of Ukraine have altered the landscape for Everton forever. A look at where the club's new stadium project stands

Paul The Esk 04/03/2022 156comments  |  Jump to last

Such is the global response to the appalling events being played out before us in Ukraine, that news and the consequences of that news shift with great speed.

Looking through the world with Everton lenses, two items of great significance have occured in the last 48 hours.

Firstly the announcement from Everton on Wednesday 2 March 2022 regarding the sponsorship arrangements with USM:

Everyone at Everton remains shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine.

This tragic situation must end as soon as possible, and any further loss of life must be avoided.

The players, coaching staff and everyone working at Everton is providing full support to our player Vitalii Mykolenko and his family and will continue to do so.

The Club can confirm that it has suspended with immediate effect all commercial sponsorship arrangements with the Russian companies USM, MegaFon and Yota.

and late afternoon Thursday 3 March, an announcement on Interfax (the Russian press agency)

Farhad Moshiri left the board of directors of the USM group, according to her message.

The decision came into force on March 2.

So let’s examine the consequences of these two separate statements.

Everton’s finances

As most people now understand, Everton have been running a significant loss for a number of years fueled by excessive wage expenditure, poor recruitment, moribund commercial development and below budgeted performance on the pitch. Covid-19 is a mitigating factor for 2019-20 and 2020-21 – I estimate total losses arising from Covid-19 to be approximately £100 million. Bramley-Moore costs are not a factor in the profit-and-loss statement as those costs have now been capitalised following planning approval.

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P&L £’000s 31-May-17 31-May-18 30-Jun-19 30-Jun-20 30-Jun-21 30-Jun-22
30,660 -13,021 – 111,868 – 139,800 -114,500* -135,000*

Losses for 2020-21 & 2021-22 are estimates

Over this period Farhad Moshiri has contributed a minimum of £450 million, and considering his current expenditure on the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, that is expected to rise to £550 million during 2022.

As well as Farhad Moshiri’s funding, Everton have had to revert to external debt providers. It is understood that Everton have debt facilities of £100 million with the specialist lender Rights & Media Funding and a further £30 million facility with the club’s bankers, Metro Bank.

In addition to providing working capital to fund the operational losses and capital for the initial phases of the new stadium, Farhad Moshiri provided a very useful source of commercial revenue through the company he chaired and ran with his business partner, Alisher Usmanov. USM’s financial contributions are significant:

USM sponsor contributions £’000s 31-May-17 31-May-18 30-Jun-19 30-Jun-20 30-Jun-21 30-Jun-22
6,000 6,000 12,000 50,000 20,000 20,000

 In total, USM sponsorship arrangements since January 2017 total an estimated £114 million. This includes the £30 million one-off naming rights payment received in January 2020 in respect of the option for naming rights on the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium.

The Everton statement of Wednesday used the word “suspend”. Given the toxicity of Russian relations, indeed oligarch relations in respect of Usmanov, there is no reasonable expectation that the USM brand or that of associated companies could ever be used again.  Additionally there is no prospect of a return for Russia to the global stage. Thus, the USM relationship will never be rekindled. As a result, going forwards, before considering naming rights for the new stadium, that reduces our commercial revenue by a minimum of £20 million a year. It’s possible that to a degree these revenues will be replaced by new sponsors, but the market for such is in an extremely difficult phase at present. It will be very challenging to see any significant replacement of lost income.

Looking forward to 2022-23, the last of the Koeman, Walsh, and Allardyce legacy costs will have disappeared, those benefits however will now be counter-balanced by the loss of USM income.

Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium

The suggested funding model for the new stadium is largely accepted as contributions from Farhad Moshiri, a contribution from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and a contribution from the naming rights partner (assumed to be USM). The total cost of the stadium is estimated at a minimum of £550 million.

To date, Farhad Moshiri has funded the initial preparation works, the infilling of the dock – effectively to where we are today. It is estimated that the cost of that contribution (so far) is £100 million. I will return to Farhad Moshiri further in the article.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority have agreed to invest up to £45 million to support the “transformational regeneration” of North Liverpool. This is funded by a £15 million grant for work around the stadium and a £30 million loan towards the construction costs.

Based on previous stadium builds, football clubs borrow relatively short term during the construction phase before restructuring the debt post-completion at fixed rates over time periods between 10 and 30 years. This is the model used by both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Everton have looked to do it somewhat differently, looking to tie in long-term loans of up to 30 years during the construction phase. As with Tottenham, they have looked to use the private placement market in the US to fund these loans.  Everton have used the services of JP Morgan and Mitsubishi Bank to seek investors. To date, these loan facilities have not been secured.

The lenders will look for evidence that the company they are lending to have sound management, are solvent, and can provide comfortable cover for their future repayments in addition to providing adequate security in a default situation. Included in this assessment will be the financial strength of the contractor, and the finances of additional contributing partners, naming rights and other long-term sponsors for example.

Clearly, from a lending perspective, a great deal has changed in recent days and weeks.

It was anticipated that lending from this source would be in the order of £300 – 350 million, repayable over different maturities from 10 to 30 years.

Naming rights

In addition to the above, USM were the preferred and obvious naming rights partner, having secured an option (at the cost of £30 million) for an agreement (at agreed rates) for future naming rights. This was anticipated to be a significant contributor to the costs of the stadium: estimates ranging from £50 to £100 million. It was anticipated that this contribution would be paid up front to cover construction costs.

Clearly, a new naming rights partner now must be sought.

Farhad Moshiri and USM

Despite ceasing to be Chairman and a director of USM, Farhad Moshiri will retain his 8% shareholding. However the value of that shareholding, and thus the impact it has on his overall wealth must be significant.

What was a veritable money tree is no more. USM is domicilied in Russia. The group's assets included huge companies such as Metalloinvest, MegaFon, Udokan Copper and Ackermann Cement.

Metalloinvest for example, is 100% owned by USM. In 2021, it had net income (after costs) of $4.1 billion. It paid a dividend to USM of $3.748 billion (source: Metalloinvest data book 2021). That’s cash that flows into the holding company. If distributed completely that would add $300 million to Moshiri’s bank balance. USM is a private company so it’s not possible to say what the distributions are. But remember this is just one of a whole portfolio of companies.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stops those distributions and creates a huge reduction in the value of the companies operating in Russia. Take two London listed FTSE-100 companies operating predominantly in Russia: Euraz and Polymetal. Euraz is a similar steel company (slightly larger) to Metalloinvest whilst Polymetal is a gold mining operation. Both have seen the value of their companies fall by close to 90% from earlier highs. Metalloinvest and other portfolio companies in the USM stable, although mainly private, would see similar falls in value. Arguably given the nature of the sanctions and the long-term impact of Putin’s behaviour, these businesses have virtually no value to a western investor. They can’t be sold, they can’t pay dividends. The only hope is that one day in the far future, some normality returns to Russia with a leader that the West grows to trust. But that is a long way away.

Thus, the invasion of Ukraine must have a significant impact on Moshiri’s overall wealth. How much? It’s difficult to tell. Over the years, Moshiri will have built a significant cash pile from dividends and the buying and selling of companies. That cash pile (however much it might be) will still be there. But the USM element of his wealth is, as I say, almost written off to zero.

So how is the stadium funded, moving forwards?

To date, it seems that Farhad Moshiri has contributed around £100 million, and up to  £45 million has been secured from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. That leaves up to £400 million still to be secured.

USM are now out of the equation and the long-term debt is still to be secured. The club is facing a reduction in anticipated sponsorship and commercial revenues from USM of at least £20 million a year going forwards. Moshiri has seen a significant impact on his overall wealth.  The business, Everton Football Club continues to lose significant sums of money and, even on the basis of Premier League survival, will continue to do so whilst at Goodison Park and without European football. Moshiri will have to continue to keep funding those losses with cash.

One alternative is player sales, the disposal of Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and even Pickford to fund losses and reduce costs. This though would be a huge blow to the club, to Frank Lampard and his team, and ultimately us the fans. Nevertheless, it’s an option open to the club if no other option exists.

This is not an encouraging background from which one can easily persuade lenders who, even in much better times, haven’t yet provided the funding.

So can the stadium be financed?

It literally depends upon Moshiri’s finances. Can he keep providing the cash to fund losses and pay for construction whilst still subject to the headwinds described above?

If the answer is No, there are three options. Halt the development (that may have consequences regarding the contractor and the costs to pay), (ii) bring in another investor alongside Moshiri to recapitalise the business, or (iii) sell the club. Options (ii) and (iii) would prove hugely expensive for Moshiri. Having invested in total near to £700 million in buying existing shares from former shareholders, recapitalising the club and paying for the stadium to date, there is little prospect of being able to sell the club for anything approaching his investment to date. Depending upon who one asks, the club is currently worth anything from zero (!) to perhaps £400 million on a very good day.

There were lots of questions to be asked about the club’s finances before the invasion of Ukraine. Many more questions now need answering in terms of how the club addresses its profit and loss position as was, how it replaces lost USM income, how Moshiri funds the on-going losses, and importantly how the stadium is going to be funded and the impact of that funding on the club’s ability to compete from a footballing perspective.

It might be that Moshiri’s comment when he first arrived saying that as long as he is associated with the club money won’t be a problem, is accurate.

Unfortunately for everyone, the substance, the truth behind that statement is about to be tested to the extreme. I hope he is able to provide the answers, the answers the fans and other partners of the club need to know.

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Reader Comments (156)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 04/03/2022 at 16:34:01
Thanks, Paul.

Since the first talk of sanctions against Putin's inner-circle, which Usmanov indisputably is, I wondered if the sanctions will cause Moshiri to have to sell up.

Barry Hesketh
2 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:03:41
According to the Liverpool Echo:

The Blues' partnership with Cazoo began in the summer of 2020, with the initial deal expiring this summer. It is understood that the termination of this sponsorship is not connected to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

A Cazoo statement to The Athletic read: "We can confirm that the Cazoo sponsorship of Everton Football Club will not continue after the end of the current season.

There's a lot of work to do for the commercial department in the next few weeks and months.

Dale Self
3 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:19:32
Another thank you from me, Paul. Very grateful to get such a full picture of the situation.

That we can move to a two-stage financing if we cannot secure the long-term loans is a silver lining but rates are going up no doubt. We do have to consider moving to an asset value building model with players. Perhaps when Moshiri gets in deep, he'll give Robert Tressell a call for some solid advice.

There will be Chinese sponsor problems as well, I suspect, with their move to suppress games because of the display of Ukranian solidarity. We will probably get one of the bigger hits on finances but I think we avoid the trap door and come out a better club. Provided Moshiri's arm's length relationship is enough to avoid further scrutiny.

David McMullen
4 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:24:07
I'm not business minded like this but, all-in-all, it's just our luck.

We get a billionaire in unison with an even richer billionaire. Spend like there is no tomorrow (really not a good phrase under the circumstances), financially worse off with the FFP and worse off on the pitch.

Then sources of income (ie, sponsorship) gets taken away. I've absolutely no concern that we should ditch the Russian sponsorship now or for ever. There are bigger things going on in the world than football right now. It's a big challenge for the club financially going forward.

Peter Mills
5 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:24:46
I fear we are in serious trouble.
Brian Harrison
6 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:24:53
I think the fall out for Chelsea and Everton will be massive after Abramovich and Usmanov being sanctioned. Abramovich has put Chelsea up for sale for around £3 billion, so whoever takes over having spent that amount just to buy the club, you cant possibly envisage them being able to keep the same level of spending as Abramovich did.

We are slightly different in as much as Moshiri is the major shareholder and Usmanov is a very beneficial sponsor. Although the investment from Usmanov still couldn't prevent Everton from coming close to transgressing the FFP rules. So now, because Usmanov can't put in any more money, how will this impact on the new stadium and the future transfer spending?

I watched Tuchel's press conference and he said they havent looked at possible summer transfers, but you could tell from his reply that he and Chelsea are very much in limbo and have no idea what position they will be in come the summer. I am sure he is concerned that this might lead to a mass exodus of his players come the summer.

I think it will be very important to see what stance Moshiri takes over the coming weeks, will he want to stay seeing his boss and friend can't have any financial input, and will he still want to fund the ongoing stadium costs going forward.

These are really worrying times and if it comes to Moshiri selling Everton then we may well end up having to sell our best players and maybe if we are forced to do that, maybe Frank would then consider Everton mission impossible without the funds he would need to get us back challenging for honours.

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:26:37
Slightly off-topic, Everton clearly still has at least one business transaction continuing with a Russian entity.

JP Gbamin has played his first two games with CSKA Moscow, a league game at Spartak Moscow last Saturday and a Russian Cup tie with Sochi on Wednesday.

So whoever is paying who for what in that deal -- whether it be in pounds, euros, rubles or dollars -- apparently those funds are still changing hands.

Some folks here were speculating that the loan would be cancelled when the sanctions were imposed.

Nope.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:30:03
Thanks for the article, Paul. Interesting and depressing reading.

"It might be that Moshiri's comment when he first arrived saying that as long as he is associated with the club money won't be a problem, is accurate. Unfortunately for everyone, the substance, the truth behind that statement is about to be tested to the extreme."

That comment was obviously made in ignorance of what was later to pass in Ukraine. Just when we thought we were on our way to a new stadium...

Would he pull the plug on the stadium? Would that cut his losses? Would that make little sense at this stage (assuming the new stadium would increase revenue)?

And I assume it would be out of the question to try to reduce the BMD building costs by reducing capacity, given the stage we're at with the plans, planning permission, and initial build.

Brent Stephens
9 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:40:05
And one piece of the financial jigsaw going forward is the ability of the new DoF, especially in terms of the quality and cost of players coming in; coupled with the possibility (optimism reigns!) of Frank quickly getting us much higher up the league table, to generate revenue.
Jack Convery
10 Posted 04/03/2022 at 17:48:08
A clear and concise explanation of the financial consequences of Putin's actions in Ukraine have for our club. It's not good, is it! I can only hope that Mike Ashley doesn't think there's a bargain to be had and comes knocking on Moshiri's door.

New revenue streams are going to be difficult to obtain given world economic circumstances and the costs of loans are now starting to rise significantly. Is it Liverpool City Council that are guaranteeing £45M or the Merseyside Councils as a whole? If not, I reckon Wirral and Sefton councils could chip in, as they will both benefit by having a World Class stadium built on the Mersey and the tourists it will attract to matches and their spending in those 3 council areas. Still, even if they could, it would be nowhere near enough to fill the black hole that has suddenly appeared.

Only the sale of our best players could fill some of the gap but where does that leave the team and the spending required this summer? Not good.

Even so, my support and I believe the support of all Evertonians for Ukraine and Mykolenko, will never cease. Long live Ukraine.

Ken Kneale
11 Posted 04/03/2022 at 18:31:23
No matter how this is sliced and diced, it is difficult not to conclude with any analysis that we are in serious bother, with both immediate consequences in terms of spending power and potential sale rather than building around of the few quality players we possess.

Add in the medium and longer-term issues around credibility for lenders and moving forward on both the playing and commercial side and it all looks bleak.

Paul – what are your suggestions for the Board? I appreciate we have said before they take no notice but your views would help us all to see if whatever action or inaction is occurring is sensible and appropriate.

Colin Metcalfe
12 Posted 04/03/2022 at 18:41:22
Thank you, Paul.

Looking from the outside and not knowing exactly the extent of Moshiri's losses, we do indeed seem in a very difficult financial situation. My guess is we will offload some players in the summer.

Also, it would not surprise me if construction on the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock was suspended until the situation in Ukraine is sorted out and Moshiri either looks for a buyer or brings in a partner.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 04/03/2022 at 18:45:21
Looks like another Yank is interested in Premier League ownership. The co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team is reported here to be preparing a bid for Chelsea.

Perhaps Moshiri might look to the US for investors...

Tony Everan
14 Posted 04/03/2022 at 18:54:38
Thanks, Paul.

On a very tentative and tenuously weak positive note. The best we can hope for is that ;

1) Moshiri has the financial clout safe, secure and clean. He is a massively experienced accountant, so it is a possibility that contingency plans for any eventuality have been always in place. Bear in mind that Usmanov was always strategically at arm's length with regard to official ownership.

2) Moshiri sells up to another multi-billionaire who sees the potential of a new stadium and future revenue streams. Moshiri may well sell at a bargain price if his finances are in need of liquidity or he just wants out.

For fun, The wild card,

3) Moshiri sells it to us fans as a gesture of goodwill. 100,000 shares at a bagga sand each. We'll run the club by consensus.

Paul, you I hereby nominate you Chief Financial Officer.

Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 04/03/2022 at 18:56:19
I think if Chelsea is worth £3 billion, then Everton must be worth at least £1 billion, maybe £1.25 billion, at a push?

Moshiri gets his £700 million back, and the other £500 million to finish the stadium, means that I’m staying positive, for the time being.

That’s if this war doesn’t really escalate, which doesn’t look like this is the case, right now.

Brian Harrison
16 Posted 04/03/2022 at 19:08:58
Tony 15,

I wish you were near the mark for the valuation of Everton, but I fear were well short of the £ 1 billion. Chelsea have a ground in a very lucrative area which would be worth probably more than our whole club is worth.

Also they are perennial Champions League qualifiers as well as existing Champions. They have a squad worth maybe 10 times what our squad may be worth. Also, the lure of being in London will be a big attraction to any foreign buyer.

The one intangible at the moment is that Usmanov refutes the claims made against him and threatens to take his case to court. Also, Everton have only suspended their ties with Usmanov's companies and not completely severed any ties with him.

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 04/03/2022 at 19:14:38
Brian #16.

Yes, Chelsea's ground is in an expensive area. But aren't they looking to rebuild? In a currently cramped location? Which will be costly? And presumably no prospects of them moving??

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 04/03/2022 at 19:18:21
You're probably right, Brian, but I wouldn't underestimate that getting to own Everton, with a brand new ground, on the banks of the Mersey, (also the gateway to America, by sea) for £1.2 Billion, would be a very good proposition for quite a few people?
Robert Tressell
19 Posted 04/03/2022 at 19:26:18
An already worrying financial situation gets more worrying and uncertain.

Seems to mean:

- the stadium may not now get built, at least within anticipated timescales.

- the club may well change hands again, which could be for the good or bad.

- recruitment is now even more challenging.

On that last score, we are surely not in a position to add a few decent signings and somehow start competing. We're miles away from that - especially after the (let's be honest) slightly weird acquisitions of Patterson, Mykolenko and Alli.

We have to hunt much harder for, not just value, but quality at low cost – and start shopping in the markets that offer it.

Barry Hesketh
20 Posted 04/03/2022 at 19:33:56
There is another take on all of this doom and gloom: what if Moshiri and Usmanov were well aware about what was coming – not the actual outbreak of war, but the sanctions bandwagon rolling into town?

Apparently Joe Biden and his administration has been working on many of the recent sanctions and punishments for Russia since before last Christmas.

Everton FC has been in a state of flux since last summer, and has had the feel of a club about to undergo major changes, whether that is purely the need to reform the management team or preparing the club for sale, something which the lamentably unreliable Richard Keys claimed to be the case quite some time ago.

We'll see how things go in the next few months; it may be the case that we are well and truly screwed, but it'll still be the club we support... unless of course we decide to do otherwise.


Billy Bradshaw
21 Posted 04/03/2022 at 19:38:08
Builders Laing O'Rourke saying they are still committed to the build, probably will be while money still available, but still some good news for us.
Gary Jones
22 Posted 04/03/2022 at 19:47:04
For fuck's sake, these articles are like those boards people you used to get in town “The End is Fucking Nigh!!!!!”

Not doing the whole virtue signalling about how people elsewhere have it worse, but we'll survive. Rangers came back, Leeds came back, Man City came back, Aston Villa came back, Nottm Forest are coming back……

Stadiums been a millstone around our neck for a while now; if it doesn't happen, then stamping our feet ain't going to help anyone or anything.

Surely even the Premier League isn't going to impose FFP on a club who didn't foresee this unforeseeable shit, so Moshiri had two options;

1) Find a way of finishing what he started;
2) Find a way of getting someone else to do so instead.

The 3rd option of “fold and walk away” is slim at best. I'd hazard a guess that it's more likely that the Premier League / government seize the asset and sell to highest bidder is more likely. What they maybe should be doing rather than letting Abramovich pocket a billion to take back to Russia.

Whatever will be, will be… but whilst there's 40,000 Evertonians lined up for every game, and another few hundred thousand buying their kit and tops, we'll be okay. One way or the other.

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:06:58
Gary #22,

"I'd hazard a guess that it's more likely that the Premier League or Government seize the asset and sell to highest bidder is more likely."

What, the Premier League could seize Goodison?! The government could seize Goodison? And BMD?!

On what basis?!

Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:09:34
Brent,

VAR have the power to review past interviews with chairman and seize their assets if they don't like what they see.

Brent Stephens
25 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:11:59
Kieran, please don't mention the VAR. Got to draw the line somewhere.
Stan Schofield
26 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:25:34
The big mitigation in this quite gloomy financial outlook is that the current situation in Ukraine was not unexpected. It had been brewing for some time, and its likelihood had increased since the 2014 Crimea invasion and subsequent sanctions.

As such, the people with the purse strings, their advisors, and their accountants could very likely have been readying the ground for this. No pun intended re the stadium.

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:33:07
There is definitely a reason that Usmanov has chosen to stay hidden behind the scenes, Stan. So, like you say, maybe he's known something like this was going to come his way eventually.
Julian Wait
28 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:35:54
nb: Chelsea Football Club do not own Stamford Bridge, but they have a 199-year lease at a "peppercorn rent". I think that means they cannot consider the property itself an asset of CFC.
Barry Rathbone
29 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:45:46
I still reckon Usmanov's money is accessible.

I just can't see how a financial player of such magnitude didn't have Plan B set up with his pal, Moshiri. It's not like Putin's maniac manoeverings were a surprise.

We'll be fine.

Stan Schofield
30 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:50:26
Tony, I've always felt that the stadium development and the wider infrastructure developments around the docks, were always a massive business opportunity for these people, and they need EFC to do it.

The eventual regeneration will be so massive that its long-term stability will be ensured. And Russia, like all pariah states, will eventually come back into the fold.

Money always talks.

Dale Self
31 Posted 04/03/2022 at 20:53:11
Brent 23, an opinion from the cheap seats here.

The Premier League does not have the standing unless there is a clause in their shareholder contracts with clubs.

I think the UK Government does have legislation that would allow them to take over the assets in a caretaker capacity, managing the assets to prevent depreciation. The ICC has recognized the UK law and so could be used as a vehicle to seize assets should cause be found.

Brent Stephens
32 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:02:07
Dale, I'm no legal eagle. How exactly would that work and why - the idea of the Government seizing EFC assets and selling them, as per the original argument?

And why would they be interested in protecting EFC assets from depreciation? I see no reason for the UK Government to be able to argue it should seize EFC assets.

James Flynn
33 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:14:14
Barry (20),

"There is another take on all of this doom and gloom: what if Moshiri and Usmanov were well aware about what was coming, not the actual outbreak of war, but the sanctions bandwagon rolling into town?"

I would agree, this was likely, and Moshiri made contingency plans. As we've seen, his disengaging from Usmanov was immediate.

Still wondering how his personal fortune is or will be affected.

Dale Self
34 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:18:37
Brent 32,

I'm not going to lay out a case for the UK Government prosecution.

I'm just stating that I believe the vehicle exists under international law to seize assets of certain Specially Designated Nationals who run afoul of the ICC or UK law. The management of the assets following seizure is done to avoid the assets just decaying in value while the case proceeds.

I think the process may be to freeze assets as a case is deemed pursuable then seize the assets as the case is presented and then settle up upon adjudication.

The seized assets could be returned to the defendant which is the reason the Government acts as fiduciary.

I'm not an international lawyer and might be out on a limb.

Brent Stephens
35 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:22:56
Dale, that's really interesting! My concern is that I just don't see a prima facie case that anybody could bring against EFC at this juncture.
Dale Self
36 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:29:07
I think the prosecution is on the SDN and then actions are taken on the assets under the SDN's control.

At this point you've got some "arms length transactions" [US legal term not sure if a similar concept is in play in UK, I would think so] that could play in Moshiri's and Everton's favor.

Are they separate enough from the SDN or are they a controlled asset by the SDN? That is probably the first step in figuring out if assets are just ringfenced or if there is legitimate separation of the entities running the club and the SDN.

TW is a large community. I'm sure someone better educated on this is holding out and possibly having a laugh at the amateurs.

Brent Stephens
37 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:33:27
Separate from the SDN, I would guess, Dale? But I know sod all on the legal aspects. Where's M'Learned Friend when you need him. Steve, are you there?
Dale Self
38 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:36:06
I think the 'arm's length' transactions issues in law I'm pulling from memory may have been sourced in product liability cases. Applying that logic to the relationship between a SDN and their network of assets might be stretching it.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
39 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:50:07
Should we not be laying all the blame for this at the door of Bill Kenwright?

He was the one who found Moshiri and convinced him to sink his fortune into this club. He knew the background of Moshiri and Usmanov at Arsenal, so should have foreseen this was possible.

If he had held on, he could have sold to the Saudis rather than them buy Newcastle. It is all his fault.

Gary Jones
40 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:50:28
Brent @23 - the Premier League can prevent the sale, the Government could do the seizing. I'm not saying it's going to happen, just that it's no more implausible than Moshiri putting £500M in the bin.
Gary Jones
41 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:52:28
Also find it intriguing the use of both a '!' and a '?' to end your sentences. A little like my exasperated “The End is Nigh!!” quoted almost.
Brent Stephens
42 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:57:26
Gary, it’s my way of avoiding seeming dogmatic (?!).
Gary Jones
43 Posted 04/03/2022 at 21:59:32
Also, I think it'd be very hard (for whoever!) to seize an Iranian's assets right now, but Chelsea are not owned by an Iranian. If they allow a sale of Chelsea, with any kind of profit, would that not be directly sending money to a Russian oligarch?
Dale Self
44 Posted 04/03/2022 at 22:57:03
I don't know if being Iranian is a consideration but, unless Moshiri funded his purchase of the club through USM Holdings and there was a case filed against USM Holdings, there is good reason to believe that Moshiri resigning from the USM board will provide enough separation to avoid action on the club. I think he just used funds from his sale of Arsenal shares to Red and White.
John Raftery
45 Posted 04/03/2022 at 23:01:39
I think Peter Mills at (5) sums up how most of us feel.
Tony Hill
46 Posted 04/03/2022 at 23:18:59
For once, I am on the optimistic side. Don't fall for the doomster hype. I wanted Usmanov (and his valet) and sold my soul because I thought we would rule the world. That was a delusion.

The air already feels cleaner. Atletico Madrid and Bilbao, those sort of clubs are the model because they are authentic. That shitty little scrap in the cup last night and Lampard's early management show signs that we are embarking on the right, difficult journey.

I don't want our club to be about the money and being run by rich buffoons. If we have to abandon the stadium, so be it. Let's hunker down, be canny and be true to ourselves.

Jerome Shields
47 Posted 04/03/2022 at 00:07:40
Unlike the Chelsea and Abramovich situation, Everton's situation looks more managed.

I have always been of the opinion that Everton 's ownership and control was set up from the start of the takeover, so as to be able to deal with the authorities and that is what is happening now.

As for finances the situation has changed, but it has also changed for the main protagonists in that finance. They will have to change and hopefully Everton will develop into the main outlet for monies, as all other outlets are closed off.

Collectively we could all end up holding our noses as the situation is sorted.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 05/03/2022 at 00:08:27
Tony,

I believe "Let's hunker down, be canny and be true to ourselves" is a direct quote from Lampard's pregame pep talk before the Man City game.

I like it.

Don Alexander
49 Posted 05/03/2022 at 01:53:08
As a bog-standard bloke with an element of conscience (IMHO), I was disturbed by the acquisition of our club by Moshiri and his puppet-master Usmanov.

Way before Kenwright sold us out to them, they were easily identifiable as ruthless pillagers who'd made their money from unconscionable greed to the massive cost of the still impoverished Russian people. (Kenwright previously having massively and publicly promoted Chris Samuelson to the fan-base as a viable conduit to another bent Russian oligarch's illicit £billions, showing without argument that Kenwright was a knowing, wholly self-serving, conniving bastard when it came to our club's welfare.)

The oligarchs began under Yeltsin in the '90s but they immediately realised that Putin conniving to seize power in 2000 meant they had to become even more craven towards him to sustain their already fabulous wealth, and to continue to be dishonest in the hope of creating even more illicit wealth for themselves. Those were Putin's terms.

They almost all chose the latter option (one who didn't spent 10 years in Russian cells as a consequence and lost "his" wealth).

Given the innate deviousness of Usmanov and his puppet Moshiri, I'm sadly confident that the window-dressing of the here and now regarding Everton with USM 'suspension' etc etc is a mere token gesture towards whatever they imagine 'accountable integrity' might mean.

Our boardroom floats or sinks with them in their self chosen slime.

Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 05/03/2022 at 08:05:24
Another great and stark analysis, Paul. I won't even try to further analyse your detailed analysis as I struggle with my own bank account, let alone Everton's finances.

With regards to a couple of responses.

I too think we are in a different situation to Chelsea as the connection with Usmanov was less direct than theirs with Abramovich. We clearly now have a sponsorship void in funds rather than direct ownership.

Whilst I agree, we are nowhere near Chelsea's value, we are an attractive proposition for an investor or sponsor with the stadium plans and vision.

Chelsea are constrained with the current stadium. As impressive as it is compared to the barren Stamford Bridge I visited in the 1980s, they have little (if any) room for expansion, so a stadium move appears their only option. Or stay where they are.

We have to bear in mind that investors often take on potential rather than a finished article. Even if they develop and then sell onto someone else. From my recollection, that's what happened with Chelsea (Matthew Harding??) and also with Man City. Before the Sheiks invested in City, the corrupt Thailand politician had already raised them a level? Likewise, Chelsea had been progressing on and off the pitch before Abramovich pushed them over the line?

It may not be Moshiri who takes us to the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and into Europe, but someone will. I personally hope it is Moshiri. I believe he believes in his project and I quite like him. His failing is keeping the people around him in place at board level and being ill-advised by people who apparently know football and Everton. Maybe now, given the circumstances and the suspension of ties to Usmanov, he actually has an opportunity to grasp full ownership.

I know it's a play with words, but I do take note of the use of 'suspended' versus 'cancelled' or 'terminated'. I might be over-analysing, but the language is telling. Suspension isn't permanent.

Let's see how this plays out. It's not like we're never going to do business with Russia again. Once Putin fails, the sanctions will be relieved and we'll all be friends again. And I do believe that Putin will fail. Despite having the 9 lives of a cat in terms of staying in power for as long as he has, this is his 10th and final one.

David Bromwell
51 Posted 05/03/2022 at 09:02:08
Whilst I applauded the Club's decision to suspend our association with Usmanov, it was clear that this would have serious financial implications. Paul has now provided a detailed account of our predicament and, as many of us feared, we are in serious trouble.

Sadly this was probably always the case but, with the previous backing from the ridiculously wealthy Usmanov, you could see a way forward. Clearly this is no longer the case and Mr Moshiri will have some immediate and longer-term financial problems to solve. Sadly there is nothing we or our weak Board can do and our immediate financial future is in his hands.

In the overall terrible situation that this totally unnecessary war has created, the future of Everton Football Club is of little consequence. We all have to hope and perhaps pray that the war ends soon; however, as of today, that looks unlikely. In the circumstances, all we can do is perform with dignity and offer our help and support to all those who are suffering. To its credit to date, the club have been exemplary in their actions.

For the team, it has to be business as usual and, from now until the end of the season, every game and every result will be critical. Now more than ever, we will need to retain our Premier League status and the pressure on Frank and the team will be unremitting.

John Keating
52 Posted 05/03/2022 at 09:16:42
In all wars, disasters, business transactions, some people suffer and miss out while others do well and make a fortune. We have our very own proof of this in Kenwright

The loss of Usmanov and his cash may well be a negative to Everton but possibly there will be someone out there who wants to waste his money on the ego trip of owning a Premier League club.

We can only hope whoever comes in, should Moshiri bail out, isn't duped by allowing The World's Greatest Evertonian to remain in place and banishes him to his own boys pen in the corner of Gwladys Street.

Mind you, Kenwright buying a season ticket will be the only money he's ever put into the club.

Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 05/03/2022 at 09:47:28
Imagine there's no Kenwright
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
And no more fucking lies!
John Zapa
54 Posted 05/03/2022 at 10:17:43
Even before the war, I couldn't see how the financing for the stadium would come about. I've always held the view that no reputable lender would pour money into a business that's losing money, clearly mismanaged, doesn't have a hope to turn a profit in the coming years.

With the war, sanctions and sponsorship losses, it's not just the stadium construction that's going to end, its the end of the road for Moshiri, its just a matter of time and losses he is willing to take, but there is no other option than a sale of the club.

If Moshiri does try to hang on to the train set like his predecessor, then expect major player sales in the summer. If relegation doesn't happen this season, it will next. It's total and utter incompetence that's led to this point.

Danny Broderick
55 Posted 05/03/2022 at 10:19:00
I'm pretty sure Moshiri will ride it out. If you have a house with negative equity, you keep hold of it until it's value increases. I'm pretty sure Moshiri will do the same with us. The danger would be if he could no longer afford to keep us, but I just don't see it getting to that…

The loss of sponsorship and revenue will probably delay the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, especially if the funding has yet to be secured. We will never get sponsorship deals like the ones Moshiri secured from his mate Usmanov.

Andrew Clare
56 Posted 05/03/2022 at 10:23:22
Since Moshiri has come to Everton, a fortune has been spent on over-priced average players – with a handful of exceptions. I believe that this type of spending would have continued if it wasn't for FFP.

It all smacks of money laundering. Moshiri washing Usmanov's dirty money.

The fact that Moshiri was Usmanov's accountant means that they must have discussed financial matters in great detail.

The Premier League is full of dirty money and corrupt club owners. Anywhere where big money changes hands, criminals are not far away. These people have not amassed mind-blowing fortunes by being kind and considerate.

27 May 1992 was the day football died.

Steve Shave
57 Posted 05/03/2022 at 10:36:03
There are potential buyers out there and I think, if an option came for him to cut his losses and run, he would. We are a more attractive proposition with the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock now but the way Moshiri has handled the finances will drastically reduce what he could have made. It has been a total nightmare for him, I suspect.
Kieran Byrne
58 Posted 05/03/2022 at 10:54:29
I agree with Andrew there at # 56 but we had a worse shyster running us before.

Depending on one's perspective, of course. 😎

Danny O’Neill
59 Posted 05/03/2022 at 11:12:36
We keep circling around the debate.

The issue with politics, business and football has been greed and dirty money regardless of where it comes from. Suddenly we don't like or want to be associated with Russian money even though until 2 weeks ago, we gladly dined at the table.

I don't wish to appease, make excuses for out of order behaviour or sound controversial. I've been to enough conflict torn places in my life to respect rights to freedom and standing up to aggression, often at the cost of life or limb.

But our collective hypocrisy is in question. In the '80s, it was the Soviet Union. Over the decades, we supported Iran then Iraq, then we didn't like Iran anymore. We turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia, even Israel's questionable "robust" approach. We talk about China. And just that –talk with little action.

Right now, the pantomime villain is rightfully Putin's Russia, but there are many other actors out there whose money we don't turn our noses up at. We (the public) are being sucked into the outrage that our politicians and media want us to drink from.

Apologies. No offence meant. I know where I stand.

Clive Rogers
60 Posted 05/03/2022 at 11:21:56
The fact is that Kenwright searched high and low for 20 years and eventually found the best owner for Bill Kenwright, not for EFC.
Ian Jones
61 Posted 05/03/2022 at 11:48:20
Tony @ 53.

Do you think that could catch on as the Everton crowd anthem.

Or will it be John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance if and when the war is over.

Putin is rumoured to love The Beatles.

Colin Metcalfe
62 Posted 05/03/2022 at 12:03:56
Danny #59, you make a good point. I remember the Soviet Union invading Afganistán back in 1979 and I don't recall any worldwide condemnation at the time.
Christopher Timmins
63 Posted 05/03/2022 at 12:52:56
If Moshiri and his pal have to go the same way as the Chelsea man, something that is not very unlikely in my view, I have no doubt that the new stadium move will attract potential new owners. Indeed, I find it difficult to believe that a new owner could do any worse than the current one.

Once we maintain our Premier League status I have great hopes that we will move in the right direction with the current manager. The new stadium should help put us on a completely different financial footing.

Be it the USSR in Afghanistan, NATO in Afghanistan, NATO in Iraq, and today Russia in Ukraine to name but a few of the more recent conflicts, not many of the above incursions proved successful in the long run and I doubt if the current one will prove any different.

The big difference with the current conflict is its closeness to us all both geographically and by the exceptional coverage being provided by the journalists on the ground.


Brian Harrison
64 Posted 05/03/2022 at 12:56:14
Danny 59

With your military background you have probably seen more than many, and I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding the hypocrisy of our Government.

We quite happily ignore Israel taking more and more Palestine land without any rebuke. We turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia killing many women and children with their indiscriminate bombing of Yemen.

The Westminster Russian Forum, which was previously the Conservative Friends of Russia, which lobbied for Russian funding of Conservative MPs is being wound up. But not one of these donors are on the sanction list. It seems quite common knowledge that the Prime Minister's wife was instrumental in setting up this group.

Danny, I am sure with your military background you will have seen how over the last 10 years we have massively reduced our armed services, along with the Dutch who up to a few months ago were going to decommission all of its remaining tanks, and the Germans had been planning to do the same with many of their fighter aircraft.

Just back in October, when Boris Johnson appeared at a defence select committee told Tobias Ellwood that the days of tanks rolling into neighbouring countries was a thing of the past.

So with many Western Countries demilitarising no doubt Putin looked at this as a sign of weakness and I also think that a lot of Russian money poured into the Vote Leave campaign as Putin thought this would destabilise the Western alliance.

Rant over – back to football issues from now on.

Alan J Thompson
65 Posted 05/03/2022 at 14:51:28
I believe our major shareholder is an Iranian-born British citizen who resides in Monaco and has resigned his position at a Russian company and suspended sponsorship from that same company.

How would it look if, after doing that at Government insistence or suggestion, they looked to further inflict restrictions on Everton Football Club? Like it or not, and look as hard as you want, but there is no further official connection to anything or anyone against whom sanctions have been levied.

We really need now to approach those bodies that can inflict points deductions and the like that our case is treated with sympathy or those same rules are suspended for the duration of the present situation.

On the bright side, we do have a very competent accountant almost at the helm.

Julian Wait
66 Posted 05/03/2022 at 15:18:36
Colin #62 - your statement on a lack of condemnation for the USSR in 1979-1980 didn't sit well with my recollection.

A simple google search revealed this article reporting UN Condemnation of the Soviets, including China (as I understand the report).

Overwhelming UN Vote Condemns Soviets

A second search recalls the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics by more than 60 nations – including Communist China.

6 Times the Olympics Were Boycotted

Clive Rogers
67 Posted 05/03/2022 at 15:25:53
Alan, 65, the losses for the last four years are estimated at £500 million. He may be a competent accountant, but something is badly wrong. It is certainly not sustainable.
Dale Self
69 Posted 05/03/2022 at 15:33:36
Good catch, Julian. Selective memory seems to be the root problem for some of these speculative narratives. It is almost as if the details aren't all that important as long as it supports the desired conclusion.
Michael Williams
70 Posted 05/03/2022 at 17:15:53
Nothing personal but I am really tired of the "whataboutism". There are always despicable acts being committed by governments and people around the world suffer for them (Palestinians, Uighurs, Darfur, etc). Unfortunately this has been going on ever since the first peoples on earth separated into two groups.

Honestly, it is hard to invest in each and everyone of these. It's human nature; we have limits and we pick our causes. Look how many decades it took us to wake up to Apartheid in South Africa.

However, this invasion is a game-changer on a historic level. For some reason, we thought the days of such a mass military invasion were over. Yes, there were "annexations" of the Crimea and in Georgia but such a huge casualty-causing invasion to take over a nation of 40 million people in one of the largest nations in Europe was almost unthinkable.

This is not just a bad act on a scale of 1-10 that deems being compared to what has gone on previously, this is a whole new threat to world order.

Not only does this invasion threaten to wipe a nation of 40 million off the map, it is a show-down between the two types of governmental systems (democracy and autocracy).

What we also have now is also a conflict between the most powerful nations on earth with Europe, North America and much of the rest of the world lining up against Russia and her allies/client-states. This is one where you have to pick a side. The stakes are too big.


Clive Rogers
71 Posted 05/03/2022 at 18:53:55
As the greatest proportion of his assets are in Russian companies, Moshiri’s wealth must have taken a massive hit over the last few days. I doubt he is still a billionaire.
Danny O’Neill
72 Posted 05/03/2022 at 19:04:49
Brian @64, you make a very good point.

Germany has been praised in the last few days for doubling it's Defence Budget.

Well, a certain very unpopular President had been calling them out for years for under-investment and contribution to NATO.

This move is symbolic but will paper over the cracks. It wasn't too long ago that Europes largest country by population only had about 6 tanks and several aircraft that were combat effective. Their military is pretty ineffective, so the move being lauded by the media is simply them playing catch up. A bit like investing in a Tier 4 football club to try and get them up to a decent standard.

The only European forces that can pack a punch are the UK and France. The latter when they choose to do so; they are notoriously selective in the fights they choose.

Rob Hooton
73 Posted 05/03/2022 at 19:44:31
The club has been running an unsustainable financial deficit for a long time and seems hopelessly mismanaged. I can't see this ending particularly well for Everton but you never know.

It's also quite well documented that the current UK Government has been caught with its pants down and snouts in the trough – and even with the sanctions being announced, they are allowing those sanctioned plenty of time to move their ill-gotten gains to safer havens.

I would imagine Usmanov and Co have plenty of cash safely stashed away; Londongrad is not the money laundering capital of the world for nothing.

Cathal Donnellan
74 Posted 05/03/2022 at 22:55:55
Look at Abramovich at Chelsea and look at how he has moved fast to sell the club. He sees the seriousness of the whole situation and wants out! If things were different at our club, would our owner(s) do the same?

Of course a quick sale is not an option as we hover above the relegation zone, and the situation regarding our new stadium. Short term is we must stay up because I don't think any of the analysis in the article has imagined the doomsday scenario of us going down.

Tom Bowers
75 Posted 05/03/2022 at 23:07:53
Sadly Putin is out of touch with realty. He cares little about death and destruction. This is not a war but an invasion to satisfy his ego and of course the economists in Russia, that is to say his corrupt big-business backers.

The more the rest of the World come out and do things to stifle Russia, the better. Sports is one way of punishing them but it cannot do it alone. Many other sanctions need to be done. The ordinary people of Russia are not to blame. They are all scared of speaking out against this corrupt, abhorrent character Putin.

Just a pity the Chinese don't say or do anything.

Derek Thomas
76 Posted 05/03/2022 at 23:53:36
Tom Bowers @ 75; I'm pretty sure deep down the Chinese think - a plague on Both your houses, The West and Russia... and how, in the long term, can we benefit from this?

If I lived in Taiwan, I'd be looking over my shoulder. Sleepy Joe is only half awake and if he can see anything it will be Ukrainian (or is it Iranian?) orientated.

I hope his advisers are on the ball... and somebody is ready with the 25th amendment thing, though his replacement doesn't fill me with too much hope either. But at least she's not borderline gaga.

Don Alexander
77 Posted 05/03/2022 at 00:20:15
Ian (#61),

If that psycho Putin really is a Beatles fan it's a shame his favourite song is "I Wanna Hold Your Land" as far as I'm concerned.

Putin is and always was a man without a scrap of conscience or humanity. When in 1999 he was a relatively unknown Russian Prime Minister, hoping to succeed his thoroughly corrupt President backer, Yeltsin, in the top job, there was a series of major bombings at night in working-class apartment blocks in several lesser Russian cities. Hundreds were killed and more maimed in these atrocities.

He and Yeltsin blamed Chechniks and immediately invaded their territory, killing and maiming thousands more and destroying their land, but never managing to convict one single Chechnik of the atrocities.

Meanwhile a straight KGB investigator had taken it upon himself to investigate those atrocities. He was arrested and sent down for 2 years by Putin. His evidence pointed towards Yeltsin and Putin as the culprits. On his release, he restarted his investigation, and got arrested again, with another 2 years in pokey.

Whilst this was going on, that self-serving liar, Blair, was publicly hugging Putin, now the President on account of Russia's "fabulous" decimation of the Chechins. And so began the prostitution of Londongrad to any vile billionaire cock that wanted sating – expanded way more when Cameron, May then Johnson occupied No 10.

All of this has been publicly reported for years, and way before Usmanov's glove-puppet was selected by Kenwright as the ideal man to take our club to new heights – becoming a mega-millionaire himself in the process, of course.

The words "An' If Yer Know Yer 'Istory" seem wholly sick in these circumstances.

David Currie
78 Posted 06/03/2022 at 03:44:14
Danny 59,

Great post, were you in the RAF?

Alan J Thompson
79 Posted 06/03/2022 at 04:34:58
Clive (#67);

Isn't the great majority of that money owed by the football club to the major shareholder?

Christopher Nicholls
80 Posted 06/03/2022 at 04:54:31
Well Derek, at least there isn't a Putin apologist who enjoyed comparing hand sizes managing the crisis.
Mike Gaynes
81 Posted 06/03/2022 at 05:30:18
Derek #76, congrats on securing an early nomination for Dim Post Of 2022. Guess you're a Bleach Boy fan, which means you must have enjoyed how he abjectly kissed Putin's feet (and other body parts) in full view of the world at Helsinki while blackmailing Ukraine about the election.

Trumpie and his coterie of cowards are still cheering Putin on today, continuing a rich tradition of Republican bootlicking. Remember Bush? "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be straightforward and trustworthy."

Obama and Biden knew better. They took no crap from Putin, and no backward steps. And Biden is handling this appalling situation with fortitude, a characteristic utterly lacking in his predecessor. He wasn't my first choice for president either, but there's nobody I'd rather have in charge in this situation.

One more thing. It's a conservative mantra right now that Putin wouldn't have invaded Ukraine if Trump were still president. Well, he wouldn't. Putin had no reason to invade when he had a groveling fanboy in the White House doing everything he could to subvert Ukraine's democracy himself, while also sabotaging NATO and Allied relations at every turn. Putin saw Biden reversing that damage, re-engaging with NATO and cleaning up our relationship with Ukraine. And so he launched -- out of fear of a strengthening West, not any perception of weakening.

Mike Gaynes
82 Posted 06/03/2022 at 05:40:22
Tom #75,

China has said something, unfortunately. Xi is supporting Putin and wants his people to do the same. China is bombarding its citizens with pro-Russian, anti-Ukraine propaganda about Putin trying to defeat fascism. All actual news coverage of the invasion is blocked or tightly filtered in China.

Alan J Thompson
83 Posted 06/03/2022 at 05:55:40
Mike (#81);

A lot in what you say but might one of Putin's aims be to show that NATO really won't take up arms to defend you so not a lot of point joining that sort of defence pact? And I suppose you have to ask isn't that the sort of thing that set off WW1?

And how many countries that were trading with Russia before this invasion have totally ceased and what would be the point when it would in any case come through the back door of China?

Danny O’Neill
84 Posted 06/03/2022 at 06:53:33
How dare you, David Currie!!! British Army.
Ian Hollingworth
85 Posted 06/03/2022 at 07:12:40
Mike @81,

Sorry but that is absolute bollocks and you had the cheek to call Derek's post dim.

Steve Brown
86 Posted 06/03/2022 at 08:20:27
On what basis is Mike's post "absolute bollocks'?

NATO is established as a defensive alliance to protect the 30 countries who form its membership. Unfortunately, its purpose is not to defend countries outside the alliance despite all our anger at what is occurring in Ukraine.

Russia interfered in the US presidential election, but Trump refused to condemn it. Instead, he spent his presidency flattering and pandering to Putin. The results of which are seen today. If I was an American, I would have regarded his behaviour as a national humiliation.

And of course, Trump actually planned to withdraw the US from NATO if he got his second term. Watching Republicans and Fox News trying to argue away Putin's barbarity demonstrates how morally distorted they have become.

Ron Marr
87 Posted 06/03/2022 at 08:26:35
You nailed it Steve #86
Christine Foster
88 Posted 06/03/2022 at 08:43:51
Danny @59, well said, sir.

I have been mulling over my own perspective and could not help feeling that this whole "chase an oligarch" smacks of being seen to be doing something rather than doing something that's needed.

Smacking oligarchs may give some a self-righteous justification, but it's not new, blind eyes have been turned away for 20 years. It won't make a smidgen of difference to Putin and his personal war. All the West is doing is being seen to be doing something but not getting involved.

But here is the problem, the sanctions that hurt the people are designed to put pressure on Putin; again, he doesn't give a toss about that, but sending arms to Ukraine, cutting off economic export funds will really bite, hence why Putin has warned that its tantamount to declaring war on Russia and he has a point.

But it was his gamble, the pretence of a special military operation has given way to indiscriminate bombing and shelling of civilians.

If he continues, which I think he will, the risk of escalation will increase; if he uses chemical or thermal bombings indiscriminately, I fear the West will have no choice. If they don't, then Putin will know NATO is weak and he will continue to acquire former colonies one by one.

The only way to stop a bully is to call him out. Instead, we have mass wringing of hands and rhetoric. We are fast coming to a trigger point. Failing to stand up will invalidate NATO forever, it's fast becoming too late for Ukraine, but expansion is Putin's aim, unpopular as it may be but he has to be stopped.

Mike Gaynes
89 Posted 06/03/2022 at 08:50:32
Alan J...

NATO isn't obligated here because Ukraine isn't a member. However, Ukraine took the first definitive steps towards NATO membership in 2019 when the democratically elected government amended their Constitution. Trump's own lawyer and campaign guru had both been in Ukraine working with Russian spies and pro-Putin politicians to subvert the government (and dig up dirt on the Biden family). And when the US ambassador to Ukraine found out what they were up to, Trump fired her.

In 2019 Trump blocked all military aid from the US to Ukraine and made the fateful blackmail phone call to President Zelenskyy that eventually resulted in Trump's impeachment. Trump's own national security policy expert for Russia testified before Congress that Trump was deliberately supporting Russia's objective of undercutting Ukraine's democracy and political stability.

As for the China "backdoor", I'm no expert but I think that's not really possible. China does buy a lot of Russian oil and natural gas, for example, and they will certainly continue to do so. But they're not going to buy more than they need at sky-high prices just to support Putin, and they couldn't export it elsewhere on Russia's behalf.

Christine Foster
90 Posted 06/03/2022 at 08:57:51
Currently, Ukraine was a no-man's land, not EU or NATO, and not Russian. But its intent was to align more proactively with the EU, basically putting Russia directly facing NATO. By invading, Putin is now directly threatening NATO and destroying a sovereign state.

Forget NATO for a moment, the rise of a dictator of such size, strength and belligerence is a threat to all states irrespective of the red herring that NATO is.

This is a military game of chicken or Tzu Sun, the art of War. It's dangerous but leaving Ukraine high and dry against a vastly superior and indiscriminate force smacks of politics, not strength.

Danny O’Neill
91 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:01:12
If I recall, Ukraine was an early member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) way back in the late 90s / early 2000s.

That is kind of a first step to joining NATO and has resulted in many joint military exercises over the past decade or two. But we held off and kept them (Ukraine) at arm's length.

Where the West has fallen short (in my humble opinion), is that it kept Ukraine in limbo because of being fearful of upsetting the Russian bear, as they knew that would be provocative.

To use a Scouse term - shithouse.

Ukraine is a pawn in the game. The West won't commit like they have with other former Soviet states and satellites. And for Russia, it's a red line.

Despite the 'after the horse has bolted' outrage, we have no obligation other than to express our outrage.

If we had been that concerned, we'd have acted sooner and ignored Russian concerns. But we didn't.

Mike Gaynes
92 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:08:09
Probably true enough, Christine #90, but the populations of the US, UK and EU countries do not support sending their own troops to join this war. And I would argue that declining to do so is not the same thing as leaving Ukraine high and dry (although I can understand why the Ukrainians feel that way). It's hard to see what's happening and feel satisfied with sanctions and supply shipments, but realistically the only other choice is all-out war. And with Putin, that would likely mean nukes and biological weapons.

Danny #91, yes but there was another element -- Ukraine went back and forth a couple of times after those early overtures, as new presidents took office. Ukraine didn't officially declare intent to join NATO and the EU until 2019. And Trump immediately committed to sabotaging them.

Christine Foster
93 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:19:49
Mike, sooner or later the red line will be crossed and Putin will move on another ex soviet state who is in NATO, then it's going to be war or NATO will cave. There will be political discussions on alternatives but the NATO doctrine of "attack one and you attack all of us" will be redefined, bottled or all out war. It's inevitable, the separate countries of the EU may say they are united but they will look after individual Iinterests over NATO or EU.
Colin Glassar
94 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:22:12
My take is, the USA and Europe have played a blinder here, sadly to the detriment on Ukraine.

After decades of throwing his weight around, eg, Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea, Salisbury, murdering his own people etc… Putin has walked into a trap like a rat hungry for cheese.

Ukraine will be his Afghanistan. He will flatten the cities. Kill thousands of innocents. Install a puppet government etc… but like Afghanistan, the West will feed the insurgency and bleed him, and Russia, dry.

Sanctions, economic collapse plus body bags will see, hopefully, the end of this murderous thug and his kleptocracy.

We should've stood up to this maniac years ago but better late than never.

Michael Kenrick
95 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:30:55
Christine,

I'd be concerned at the risk of being too simplistic about Nato and Article 5. Your domino theory can't be discounted, but Nato remains a huge deterrent, which is what it has been put in place for.

Unfortunately, Putin is an extreme risk, it goes without saying, and now he is laying the groundwork for claiming the West has provoked him into escalating the war to ever more dangerous levels.

Also Danny, your claims about what the West should or shouldn't have done. The history of Ukraine is incredibly complex, the East-West power play that has been going on for many years defies such simplistic platitudes, I fear.

The West are increasingly turning the screw, while Putin shows no sign of backing down. These are extremely dangerous times.

Danny O’Neill
96 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:35:59
It's complex, Michael. That is why the Ukraine was always going to be a more difficult scenario. Historically, linguistically and culturally, they are more intrinsically linked than other former Soviet states and Eastern European countries.

This will be a long game. Which won't help 24/7 news who want to sort it out tomorrow.

My point is we have been submissive to Putin for decades. There is almost little point expressing outrage and despair at something we have ignored literally for decades. We took our eye off the ball so to speak.

Jerome Shields
97 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:37:59
I don't expect other than outrage. The British Government and its push for offshore tax-haven status. Many in professional circles thought that's what Brexit was really about.

As for Europe, the current President was a former German Defence Minister who issued the German Army with brush shafts rather than guns and then accused the German Army of poor leadership, which seriously pissed them off. She was shuffled off to Europe soon after that. Her competence has not imposed and is as happy as a pig in shit with outrage, clapping and beaming in the European Parliament. There is no way a United European force will get involved; Britain is heading in the other direction anyway. America is still America First, even under Biden.

This is the reason why Russian connections have invested readily in the UK. Some have been lucky enough to have a ready-made stooge in place to front their offshore financial manoverings. At Everton, they will be able to continue with impunity and more adaptable legal offshore manovering.

Ukraine will be a TV news cycle for most of us. The Chelsea sale will go through, to be controlled by a god knows who Swiss consortium and Usmanov will rearrange his finances as preplanned to keep his projects going, as he tries to get his yacht back.

Colin Glassar
98 Posted 06/03/2022 at 09:43:32
Mike 81, your tell nailed it, pal. Some great posts on here. I am warmed by the fact that so many people see through Putin and what a cold-blooded killer he is.

This tragedy has so many comparisons to Europe in the 1930s. Surely we have learnt our lessons. Never again?

Gary Jones
99 Posted 06/03/2022 at 10:30:13
Mike Gaynes praising a senile kid sniffer with evident self interest in Ukraine whilst calling other posts 'dim' reminds me of exactly why they added 'moron' to the word 'oxy'.

Trump is an absolute cunt. No-one knows what mighta, shudda, cudda… but to praise the war-mongering Democrats as being a force for good is just as stupid as saying Trump should come back.

Steavey Buckley
100 Posted 06/03/2022 at 10:32:57
The war in Ukraine is already leading to the idea that Ukraine's nuclear power stations, dotted all around Ukraine, could be bombed by a desperate Russian military, which could lead to a nuclear catastrophe.

The explosions would lead to radiation 'fallout' affecting life throughout the earth, not just in northern Europe, including the UK. So the war is not going to end with a victor, but with many losers.

Clive Rogers
101 Posted 06/03/2022 at 10:39:26
Alan, #79, probably, but it can’t continue. The owner must have lost a big chunk of his wealth with the Russian shares collapse. He won’t be able to bail us out anymore.
Ian Hollingworth
102 Posted 06/03/2022 at 12:06:01
Has the US stopped taking Russian oil and gas?

Did Biden hand the initiative on energy to Putin on Day 1 in office by cancelling one pipeline that days later Putin got this going again that had been stopped by Trump's sanctions?

Did Putin start amassing troops on Ukraine's border in March last year just months into Biden's presidency?

Have NATO countries met their obligations in terms of defence spending?

Why did Germany put most of their energy in the hands of the Russians whilst paying them fortunes at the same time?

All called out by Trump, so hardly the actions of someone supporting Putin, but hey ho, if people want to believe the Clintons, good luck with that future.

Sadly, there are many things, people and countries who have played a part in all this. One thing's for sure: not one of them really give a damn about any of us and, whilst we all argue the toss, the poor people of Ukraine are suffering.

Derek Moore
103 Posted 06/03/2022 at 12:09:09
If we think of Russia as Eurasia, China as Eastasia and the rest of the world as Oceania then the world really does significantly resemble Nineteen Eighty-Four.

It's a nuanced situation and with significant dangers. There has been significant external influence on Ukrainian domestic politics for many years, but especially so for the last 15. It was only just over 12years ago pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych was elected, and a mere 8 since he was forced into exile following the Revolution of Dignity.

Yanukovych's attempts to reject closer ties with Europe and the EU in favour of closer relations with Putin and Russia was enormously unpopular among the Ukrianian population and led to his ouster. His removal was followed by a flood of nationalistic fervour and lead to an immensely different national parliament flowing from the 2014 elections. Yanukovych was sentenced to 13 years in prison in absentia for high treason in 2019.

Ukrainian politics had changed enormously by then however. In 2014, Ukraine formally renounced it's non-aligned status and the then President, Petro Poroshenko, promised a referendum on Nato membership.

By 2017, the Ukrainian government had formalized in law Nato membership as a foreign policy goal. By 2018, Nato had accepted Ukraine as an aspiring member and, in 2019, a 331-54 vote in parliament approved changes to the Ukrainian constitution allowing EU and Nato membership.

A long-term and concerted international lobbying action by last year was starting to bear fruit. The Lithuanian and Latvian foreign ministers both called for Nato to formally offer Ukraine a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join the alliance. In June, the Ukrainian and Nato forces conducted joint exercises later condemned by the Kremlin.

Significant lobbying had occurred across the Atlantic as well – not least of all with the Biden family, oddly enough – culminating in what was probably, as far as the Russians were concerned, the final straw.

In January of this year, there was a Republican proposal for the GUARD act, which would have recognised the Ukraine as a NATO Plus country. This would have enabled a fast and large flow of American arms and military tech to the Ukrainians.

January and February saw the Ukrainian parliament pass a constitutional amendment that made both EU and Nato membership a constitutionally mandated goal for the nation. President Zelensky told the parliament that he was hoping for a MAP from Nato by 2023.

The Russians were never going to allow the strategically important Ukraine to just become a Natobase and missile field. Even the previous status quo of Ukraine effectively acting as a buffer state to spare the Russian army an enormous frontier to protect was only barely tolerable.

The loss of influence in the Ukrainian political process, the seemingly inevitable elevation to Nato – and perhaps EU – membership and the relative weakness of the West led Putin to take his chance before it disappeared. And here we are.

This has been a long unfolding series of events, and with a tragic outcome for the Ukrainian population. EU members raiding their respective defense budgets to pay for other things definitely has played a role.

Brexit and the first real fragmentation of the EU as an institution deserves a mention. Lack of national let alone pan-European leadership is an issue. Too many Western countries and their leaders have abrogated their responsibilities.

There have been a huge number of inter related and variable factors that have lead to now. But Trump and his disastrous foreign policy regime deserve a special shout out of their own.

There's a reason none of his predecessors since before FDR took the populist isolationist route Trump did. They knew it would be ruinous for American leadership of the free world. They knew it would embolden and enable rebel states, madmen and dictators.

Trump didn't care. His preference for individualism as opposed to collectivism, his indifference to US allies, his ignorance of global geo-politics and his pivot to isolationism caused much of this mess.

Under his reign as president, the US retreating from it's role of leader of the free world caused a vacuum. One that is being filled by the likes of Putin and Xi and will likely continue to be so filled.

My sympathies are with of course, the Ukrainian people. They have done nothing but express their desire to be associated with the EU and Nato.

For rejecting the Ukrainians' democratic right to freedom of association, Putin should be rightly condemned. He is a murderer and a scoundrel. But his opportunism is a consequence of him being afforded opportunity.

The leaders of the free world must work together, more collaboratively and far more urgently, to prevent the next Ukraine. A world where dictatorships and rogue nuclear states pursue an expansionist foreign policy is not a world anyone wishes to see.

Mark Taylor
104 Posted 06/03/2022 at 12:50:27
Even a broken clock is right twice a day and Trump was correct in lambasting European nations for the pathetic commitment to Nato. I recall he also pointed out the risk of relying so heavily on Putin's energy. The penny has finally dropped with Germany but it should never have taken so long.

I think we have had enough of Trump but I have to disagree with Mike and others regarding Biden. Granted, I see him from a distance but he inspires no confidence. The chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal was an embarrassment.

I don't think it is smart to be saying that tolerance might be given to small incursions into Ukraine. For Putin, that's a green light.

And I know it's only optics, but the sight of a very old man squinting at an autocue fills me with no more confidence than the orange haired one.

It astonishes me the US can't do better than this.

Derek Thomas
105 Posted 06/03/2022 at 13:04:56
Mike @ 81:

In your opinion, that is; and it's all about opinions, yours, mine. But you've out-done yourself in #92, plus the 'Whataboutery' Re Trump at the end. Trump & Putin – 2 wrongs don't make a right.

Lucky Christine @ 93; has put you right much more eloquently than Mr Derek – terribly nice, but dim – ever could... you're not related to that Jon Snow bloke are you? Because Jon Snow, you – well you probably know how that saying goes, not being dim like me.

Mike, I have some admiration for you... not that I have met you, but I've read enough on here to get a good idea that your not a tosser, so don't take it personal.

But really, Pax Americana, leaders of the free world etc. My arse.

1956 – Hungary; 1961 – Bay of Pigs, probably the Prague Spring and others, for all I know – all the way via Saigon, to Reagan not backing his greatest friend, Thatcher, on The Falklands (the rights and wrongs of which are yet another debate – IMO, if the Argies had asked nicely, at that time, the UK Government would have probably paid them to take them over) in 1982, because they thought it couldn't be done... on to the discraceful Kabul capitulation last year.

But it's all about opinions. If we turn discussion into nasty argument, then divided we make Putin's job easier and this will lead to Ukraine going under and when he gets to the border – with the bit between his teeth and a seeming clear road – will he stop.

The only thing that may stop him in the short term, is if somebody in Moscow decides he's really, really, lost the plot and he is retired due to 'ill health' in the alleged old Russian manner of a bullet in the back of the neck.

By the time the West gets its political and logistical arse in gear, who knows how far west they reach – should they wish.

And, if you know your history, back when the West did have a big army on the ground in West Germany, the (only) plan was for us to use tactical nukes to slow down the red advance until arses and logistics were brought over the Atlantic to the UK, then on to the mainland.

Peace Brother.

Edit... Q: Why Ukraine? My (part) answer – The Russians are historically keen on 'Buffer States'.

Derek Moore
106 Posted 06/03/2022 at 13:33:03
John Bolton himself cited Trump's irresponsibility on foreign policy and defense in his surprisingly excellent book The Room Where It Happened, Derek (#105)

And John Bolton is about as partisan Republican as it's possible to be. That should give you an example of the scale of Trump's irresponsibility. The guy got elected on the basis he would run America less like a country and more like a business – and international relations was one area where he was allowed to cause the most damage using this concept. A country is not a business.

Becoming the first American president to meet a North Korean leader as an example, accomplished precisely nothing. Indeed, it did the opposite and gave the North Korean madman legitimacy and a propaganda victory. Trump was a disaster for foreign policy and the standing of the United States.

"1956 – Hungary; 1961 – Bay of Pigs, probably the Prague Spring and others, for all I know – all the way via Saigon, to Reagan not backing his greatest friend, Thatcher, on The Falklands (the rights and wrongs of which are yet another debate... IMO, if the Argies had asked nicely, at that time, the UK Government would have probably paid them to take them over) in 1982, because they thought it couldn't be done... on to the discraceful Kabul capitulation last year."

I note you also conveniently left out the projection of American military power – not its use but mere projection – during the Regan administration that lead to the breakdown of the Soviet Union. And democratic freedom for hundreds of millions across Europe.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the so called peace dividend which propelled the world economy through the nineties began – that is through reduced spending on defense.

Skipping through 30 years of history on some anti-US rant does the subject little or no justice whatsoever. Sustained European peace and prosperity owes much to American generosity of spirit. To pretend otherwise reveals one as either partisan or fool or both.

I'm entirely sure, BTW, the reason Putin attacked Ukraine in part is because they are not yet a member of Nato. All of the other countries directly neighbouring are Nato members or Russian aligned already. The chances of him going any further west than that I would put down at only marginally above zero. You'd have to be Derek Nice-but-dim to not grasp that.

Dale Self
107 Posted 06/03/2022 at 13:56:41
No offence, and this is only a request, but can those of you posting long responses state succintly what you are trying to estabish at the top?

I understand everyone has their own style amd that's cool but ultimately you want to get your intended message across. Without insult, I have to say the conclusion of your argument is not clear.

And if it is super-long, please remind the reader where you are driving. I know it is a football forum but people are making the effort to read your opinion; please make it clear.

Derek Moore
108 Posted 06/03/2022 at 14:04:53
It's a complicated subject, Dale. Ukraine is a pawn in the game of international geo-politics.

Putin is acting less from a position of Russian strength than actual Western weakness. Nobody wants to live in a world where rogue states and dictators are pushing expansionism.

And many of our leaders and recent leaders in the West have largely enabled and allowed most of this to blithely happen.

Dale Self
110 Posted 06/03/2022 at 14:11:05
Okay, Derek. Germany has immediately doubled its military budget and is actively scheduling deliveries to the Polish border. Please layout where you saw an oportunity to engage, if you think that should have happened?

Some of these choices come with tradeoffs so state your preferred approach to the situation you are complaining about.

Danny O’Neill
112 Posted 06/03/2022 at 14:19:06
Germany's doubling of its defence budget won't go close to correcting the neglect they have given to their defence and security while they took the good will of the US and UK for granted.

A symbolic gesture that looks good after the event. If they were that concerned, why didn't they act sooner?

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

113 Posted 06/03/2022 at 14:24:49
For me, this entire conflict results from missed opportunities to establish a more equitable working relationship between East and West over decades.

The timeline to Putin's 'military operation' can go as far back as you want it to. For brevity, I'll start with the ending of WWII. This link to a Vladamir Pozner seminar at Yale University (with thanks to Jim Lloyd for posting it) covers events very well.

Vladimir Pozner: How the United States Created Vladimir Putin

The Iron Curtain fell and on that side of the divide most sovereign states came under Soviet influence and became part of the Warsaw Pact. On t'other side, the US funded Marshall Plan worked wonders in rebuilding shattered nations, gave birth to Nato and ultimately the EU.

The Cold War became a given, until domestic and international events saw the collapse and break up of the USSR. The Warsaw Pact evaporated. Yeltsin offered an olive branch to the West. There was a chance to offer Marshall Plan II, to reward eastern European states with incentives which had the potential to rebuild broken or dated infrastructure as happened to western Europe in Marshall Plan I; to offer genuine democracy; to move away from militaristic sabre rattling by both sides. A better, fairer world for all with common interests.

The West didn't take up that option. Instead, they went all Old Testament. As 'victors' they rubbed it in and continued to rebuke and humiliate what could legitimately be considered a great nation, a great empire.

Out of this was borne a pallid, little-known KGB operative by the name of Vladamir Putin. BBC and Channel 4 produced an insightful 3-episode documentary on the man. It's possible to view it here:

Putin: A Russian Spy Story

Both the Pozner video and the Channel 4 Putin biog cover his rise to power very well. Why he is who he is. Why he acts as he does. He is one ruthless bastard. Yet he too, initially, raised with the West the possibility of Russia joining Nato. He was rebuffed, but simultaneously saw the slow creep of Nato influence approaching ever-close to Russia's borders.

Events in Ukraine in 2014 are extremely relevant to today's war. There was a genuine protest against not only corruption, but far more on the popular desire by the majority of Ukrainians to forge closer ties with the EU which the then President Yanukovych – a Putin acolyte – simply vetoed.

The Maidan Revolution, with 1000s occupying the public square in central Kyiv in the depths of winter, commenced. They resisted police brutality, death and Yanukovych was forced into calling an early election but faced impeachment instead and immediately fled to Moscow, where he remains to this day. Putin and Moscow didn't like this.

It was on a knife edge even then, whether Russia would invade Ukraine and restore what they considered 'natural order'. As it was, Putin satisfied himself with taking Crimea with barely a shot fired in anger in a couple of days, with nothing like the same scale of indignation from the West we see today. The confusion in the Eastern states of Donetsk and Luhansk commenced. This was all done in 3-4 months, by March 2014.

The Channel 4 Putin biog makes some interesting observations of this time. Russia was staging the Winter Olympics in Sochi (where they had the secret dope-fixing lab which got them banned from future games). It was intended to be a global showpiece for Putin to strut at... and instead, Ukraine stole the headlines. It angered Putin. Deeply.

This is a very vengeful man. Yes, there is deeper geopolitics at play then believing he has fabricated this war because he felt humiliated back in 2014. But events in that year contribute greatly to what we see today.

In reference to the West's own dubious acts of imperialism and the domestic policies of Ukraine, none of that justifies Putin's illegal war of aggression on Ukraine. That the West has quite clearly acted in similar ways themselves does not in any way legitimize Putin's actions this last week.

Whilst it appears Putin displays psychopathic tendencies, he is not a 'mad man' in the sense that he is irrational, or out of control. Psychopaths are often highly intelligent, highly rational, highly controlling, but totally lacking in empathy, regret or remorse for the consequences of their words or acts.

They are often high-achievers, rising to positions of power and influence. A Forbes study, for example, showed between 4-12% of CEOs at mega companies have psychopathic tendencies.

Like Saddam Hussein, Putin is a super-narcist. A megalomaniac. A hard, cold, calculating dictator who, like most dictators, keeps himself in power through a reign of terror over his opponents. Be it the oligarchs or political opponents, or even the people.

He is murderously revengeful. So for him, there is a certain 'rationale' as to why he has moved in on Ukraine now. Of course, that rationale neither justifies nor legitimizes his invasion.

His own self-declared intention was to 'protect' the Russian-speaking natives of Donetsk and Luhansk. Fine. They both adjoin Russia's western border. With his overwhelming military might, it could have been as swift and as (largely) bloodless as his occupation of Crimea in 2014, with similar diplomatic consequences and limited response by Ukraine. A 'tut-tutting' and mild sanctions by the West which would evaporate with time.

But he hasn't done that, has he? The whole world has been put on alert and impacted by events. He is clearly attempting a complete annexation of the entire country of Ukraine, regime change, an installation of a puppet government and eventually re-absorbing the country back into Russia (or a new USSR). Every utterance by him and his ministers have been total lies. A complete distortion of the truth.

Again, the Channel 4 biog explains very well – in the words of first-hand witnesses – why Putin acts as he does.

An independent sovereign nation of 40 million people should not, at the snap of his fingers, have their lives threatened and completely turned on their heads, as happened barely a week ago, on the whim of one man, possibly seeking to seal his place in history.

Well, Putin has achieved that all right. But probably not in the manner that he imagined.

Personally, I believe Putin has already lost. But he cannot admit to that yet, can he? He, Russia, they have no chance of 'winning' this. None.

Yep. In the worst-case scenario, they may occupy large parts of Ukraine, including even Kyiv. They may overthrow the government and install their own puppet. But they will never, ever break the resistance of the Ukrainians. And overwhelmingly, the rest of the world is on their side.

Ukraine is huge. A 40 million population... Russia cannot control every nook and cranny of the country. They have totally, but totally, lost the hearts and minds of Ukrainians who now absolutely despise the Russian war machine and its Commander-in-Chief.

Should it come to it, the Russian occupiers will be constantly harrassed by guerrila warfare, never mind continuing to be a global pariah. It may take a long time, but this is going to ultimately hurt Russian and Russians more than it hurts Ukraine and Ukrainians.

His invasion has strengthened Western resolve. The Nato alliance reinforced. Both the EU and Germany making historic political tide swings in their budgeting and beefing up of its military. The sanctions are biting deep and the domestic situation in Russia can only deteriorate further.

The truth about the scale of the invasion is being witheld from most Russians with an iron glove control of what the media can report. As this link shows, Ukrainian adult children are calling their parents in Russia about the horror and scale of the conflict... and their own parents laughing it off, disbelieving them:

Parents in Russia Disbelief Their Own Children Living Under Siege in Ukraine

Everything Putin has uttered in recent weeks has proven to be out-and-out lies. Yesterday, in a staged tea and tiffin with Aeroflot air hostesses, he said he had no intention of imposing martial law in Russia. Based on his track record this year, I'll give it a month.

Off TW in exchanges with friends, I've described events as the tree being shaken, but oft times we don't know where the fruit will fall.

Right now, the bad apples of Putin and Russia are gathering a whole harvest of bruised and rotten fruit.

Dale Self
115 Posted 06/03/2022 at 14:28:10
Just for the record your side is aguing out in the open that German doubling its military budget is ‘symbolic'?

And youre willing to claim symbolism as they selectively ship weapons to the warfront?

Do you think the fighters, uh excuse me, 'performers' are just going to wave them around in some pantomime soldier cheerleader routine?

Rick Tarleton
117 Posted 06/03/2022 at 15:29:39
There is a strong case for saying that Ukraine is a relatively new entity as a nation state. Basically, Russia has controlled it since Catherine the Great. Before that, Gengis Khan plundered it. Like similar countries in the Balkans, its nationalistic pride is in inverse proportion to its actual history. Celtic nations anyone?

Putin is vermin but, in his mind, and most of the people of Russia's minds, Ukraine is a province of their own country, excellent at producing tractors and as a grain basket.

I can't see him stopping and negotiating until "his province" is restored under his control. If the West is not actually going to fight, then sabre-rattling is pathetic. Economic sanctions against the Russian people and oligarchs may have some effect, equally it may not.

Then will come the problem of actual Nato states in the Baltic. Sabre-rattling only works if you've got a sword you can use in your scabbard. Biden will be distracted by the desired isolationism of the American people. Monroe's doctrine since 1945 has been interpreted as only fight wars that are a long way away from America and then lose ignominiously: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.

Where does this leave Everton? Will Calvert-Lewin stay? Who'll build the stadium? Who'll pay for the stadium? Will the season actually be completed?

Mike Gaynes
118 Posted 06/03/2022 at 16:23:28
Derek #105,

The "Sleepy Joe" sobriquet and the comment about his mental acuity are Trumpie-copyrighted. Only his admirers use them. If you're not actually amongst 'em, so be it, but you're using the lingo.

Like "Kabul capitulation"... most Americans think we didn't belong there and needed to get the fuck out before one more of our soldiers died pointlessly.

And it's not "whataboutery" to point out that the current US president is, in every way, a massive improvement on his bright orange predecessor.

I can't respond to much else of your post... I don't know anything about the US responses to The Falklands War or Hungary in 1956, and I don't know who Jon Snow is. But Peace On, and amen, bro.

Mark #104,

Biden has always come off that way, partly due to a speech impediment and partly because he's so openly sentimental. No, he's not the least bit inspirational.

But he's a tough, knowledgeable old bird who is impossible to intimidate, always puts his country first, and is the least likely politician in America to lose his head in a crisis. That's why he demolished Trump, and that's why he's making the right decisions re Putin.

Christine #93,

Putin has always carefully targeted areas with a heavily Russian population. I don't see him moving on to countries like Poland -- he'd get his head handed to him. And if he coveted reconquering the Baltic states, I think he'd have gone for it already.

Colin #94,

I wouldn't credit the US, UK and EU one bit for trapping Putin -- we ain't that smart -- but I agree with your view of the eventual outcome.

Putin has also blundered in another way. He has actually succeeded in uniting the world (sans China) against him. The Swiss have abandoned their financial neutrality and Nato skeptics Finland and Sweden are now seriously considering joining. That's extraordinary.

Ian Hollingworth
119 Posted 06/03/2022 at 16:38:41
Regardless of opinions on Trump, the comments about Biden being an improvement on anything absolutely astound me.

I mean, what a successful first year, Joe, way to go.

At least he's there to protect Hunter.

Ian Hollingworth
120 Posted 06/03/2022 at 16:41:49
Oh and most Americans hopefully didn't want to leave American behind in Afghanistan but let's not blame Joe for that….. must have been Trumpie.
Mike Gaynes
121 Posted 06/03/2022 at 17:24:46
Ian, Trumpyland openly derides character traits like honor, courage, decency, integrity and acceptance of responsibility. But enough folks still value them that they win out. And our rebuilt relationships with our allies are proving invaluable against Putin.

As for Hunter, give me a break. Your big orange hero turned the White House into the most shameless nepotism-fest America has ever seen. Jared and Ivanka got offices in the White House and banked somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million, 10-20 times what they'd been making before.

Jared got a $500M real estate bailout from one of his many private business meetings inside the West Wing.

Ivanka accepted three tranches of trademark payola from China.

Donnie Boy spent a half-million taxpayer dollars squiring his huge contingent around India to sell (or so he boasted) $100 million worth of Trump condos, and took taxpayer-paid romantic trips with Kissy Kimberly.

And Lil' Puppy Eric took the Fifth more than 500 times in his tax fraud deposition.

And you're off on Hunter Freakin' Biden? Pfah.

We have a president whose word can be believed, and the White House is no longer a payola palace for friends and family. That in itself is a spectacular improvement.

Colin Glassar
122 Posted 06/03/2022 at 17:31:45
Drop it, Ian. Your fake orange god got us into this. Biden is running rings around Vlad. As for Afghanistan, it was Trump who handed the country over to the Taliban in Doha.

Trump would've joined in the Russian invasion if his coup attempt had succeeded alongside his KGB handler.

Ian Hollingworth
123 Posted 06/03/2022 at 18:01:38
Drop it because I don't have the same views as you….. great argument point that.

Mike can quote all he wants about the Trumps but unfortunately there's an equal quote for the Bidens, Clintons and Pelosis. I did say earlier, none of them, and I mean none of them give a toss about us.

Unfortunately for your arguments, Putin did not invade when Trump was President, that might not fit your narrative but it's true.

Hunter Biden is a corrupt disgraceful human being and I don't get what that has to do with the Trumps, other than people whose only argument is to slag off people who don't agree with them.

Too much watching CNN, I suspect.

Mike Gaynes
124 Posted 06/03/2022 at 18:22:29
Ah, the mindless Trumpie mantra -- "too much watching CNN". Boy, that's one brilliant reposte.
Michael Williams
125 Posted 06/03/2022 at 18:30:11
Ian, obviously Putin did not invade Ukraine while Trump was President. Why, who really knows? Is there anyone who can really claim to know what Putin was thinking?

If Putin invaded because he thought Biden was weak, it's been proven that he was wrong as any human can be. Biden and the West have united and rallied like we haven't seen since maybe the Berlin airlift. On the day of the invasion, no-one predicted the level of punishment that has been doled out to Russia so far. I am proud of what has been achieved and like most I want more which we know is coming. Some of these things take time.

Like some people in the US and around the world, Putin underestimated the strength, resolve and abilities of Biden and other western leaders and he is finding out that this may be the biggest mistake he has made in his lifetime.

Colin Glassar
126 Posted 06/03/2022 at 18:32:10
You can argue till you're orange in the face, Ian, for all I care. Trump was ready and willing to sell out Europe to his boss in Moscow. He was weak with President Xi in China until he latched on to the “China virus” slogan. He backed down with North Korea thanks to a love letter. He destroyed the Iran nuclear deal just because Obama signed it.

He is a morally corrupt, vile, racist pig of a man who is a traitor to his own country. Hopefully, he and Putin will share a cell in Guantanamo Bay one day.

Brent Stephens
127 Posted 06/03/2022 at 18:34:05
Colin, you missed the biggest one of all – he's still claiming the election was rigged and he actually won. On what planet...
Colin Glassar
128 Posted 06/03/2022 at 18:45:17
So many lies, Brent, it was hard to keep up with him never mind his apologists. Thank Christ he's gone.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

129 Posted 06/03/2022 at 19:03:00
Within hours of this kicking off, Donald Trump phoned in to Fox News and spoke live.

"I was watching the invasion on TV and said 'This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful.

"Here’s a guy who’s very savvy … I know him very well. Very, very well. By the way, this never would have happened with us. Had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened.

“But here’s a guy that says, you know, ‘I’m gonna declare a big portion of Ukraine independent’ – he used the word ‘independent’ – ‘and we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy.”

Over the weekend at a Republican rally Trump proposed a marvelous solution to the conflict:

"The US should put Chinese flags on jets and bomb the shit out of Russia. And then we say, China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch."

Now why didn't Biden, the EU and NATO come up with such an inspired solution?

How the world is missing the wisdom of this self-declared 'very stable genius.'

Brent Stephens
130 Posted 06/03/2022 at 19:13:00
Jay - genius indeed. Chinese flags on what I presume would clearly and obviously be non-Chinese planes!

The greatest genius the world has known. The man has an IQ "next to none".

Danny O’Neill
131 Posted 06/03/2022 at 19:13:06
Those who know me know that as a country and a footballing nation, I'm a huge admirer of Germany.

But despite that and the "this week" heroics of their defence budget "increase" (read that as addressing the years of neglect), it was only a month ago that the Royal Air Force had to fly the long way around because a supposed close ally who we supported with over 60,000 troops stationed on their territory directly facing the Soviets for over 50 years, denied us the ability to fly over their air space to deliver troops and weapons to Ukraine.

Talk about trying to look to be seen to do something after the event. EU and Europe that.

Kieran Kinsella
132 Posted 06/03/2022 at 19:20:34
Putin may try his like with Latvia. Large population of Russians, language laws passed to detriment of Russia and like Ukraine many of the natives fought alongside the Nazis in the war.

I realize it's in Nato but is small and could be invaded fairly quickly. Would Britain the USA and France truly start WWIII to liberate Latvia? Honestly I doubt it.

I'm not advocating that but I suspect that's how it would play out versus if he attacked one of the more established European nations. And a lot in the Baltics are concerned Putin thinks so too...

Mike Gaynes
133 Posted 06/03/2022 at 19:41:06
Kieran #132, it could happen, but only if Putin has gone totally nuts. Latvia has been in Nato since 2004, and Nato has a base near Riga where Canadian troops are already doing battle manoeuvres and Canadian fighter jets are based. Any move against those troops brings the US in. Instantly.

Plus Finland and Sweden are just across the water from the Baltic states, and any such move would likely drive both those countries into Nato.

I don't think the bastard is completely out of his tree.

Ed Prytherch
134 Posted 06/03/2022 at 21:52:08
When criticizing US presidents please remember that they are just that, presidents of the USA and they are answerable to the American people. I think that most informed Americans are proud of the help that the US provided to Europe during and after WW2. When US troops returned home in 1945 Stalin's Army was massively larger than those of the combined Western European nations, but the US had the bomb and the Soviets didn't and that enabled the NATO nations to deter Stalin from gobbling up much more of Europe.
Since then many Americans have grown tired of trying to be the world's policeman. They have had enough of American's dying in wars in far off lands. They are dismayed that the US government takes the defence of Europe more seriously than many European nations.
Obama refused to supply any miltary aid to Ukraine. Trump initially provided $10B worth but then held up another $40B for his own political reasons. IMO Biden and Blinken are doing as good as they can to contain Putin while at the same time staying in step the the people who put them in power.
Ian Hollingworth
135 Posted 06/03/2022 at 22:07:40
Pity you can’t debate without resorting to insults
Everyone has an opinion
Not everyone is right and sadly sometimes everyone is wrong.
I find it sad that people Chuck wild accusations out and don’t like it when others ask questions about it.
Biggest losers are all of us who I keep saying none of them care about and right now biggest losers are the people so the Ukraine.
Ian Hollingworth
136 Posted 06/03/2022 at 22:22:28
Jay@129 great slant on it but if you are going to quote what he said say it all not just what fits the narrative as he also said

"to stop killing these people" and suggested that a deal could be struck with Russia to stop the fighting.

"We're watching a holocaust. We're watching something that I've never seen before, the way that they're going to go in — they're blowing up buildings with children, with women, with professionals, with people — think of just people," Trump said.

"They're blowing up indiscriminately, they're just shooting massive missiles and rockets into these buildings and everybody is dying​."

Christine Foster
137 Posted 06/03/2022 at 23:54:35
Ian, I am actually thinking that if Trump was still president, Putin would not have invaded, why? because Trump was so unpredictable (still is) Putin would not have had a clue what his response would have been, hence the risk factor Putin would have faced would have been considerably higher. Having said that, Trump was just as likely to invite him for tea at the White house to discuss his withdrawal from NATO! eventually such unpredictability / unstableness was his ultimate downfall but in this particular case might have been a blessing. But I doubt it.
Ron Marr
138 Posted 07/03/2022 at 00:37:18
Orange head is Putin's bitch. If he was still President he would have disbanded NATO, and if Putin invaded any country he would just call him "savvy" and do nothing. Orange head is only interested in cheating at golf and having his ego massaged 24/7.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

139 Posted 07/03/2022 at 01:02:49
Ian @ 136. You are the one in this thread promoting the virtues of 'the Donald'.

Do you believe the accurate comments I quoted - one of them within hours of the conflict starting in gushing praise of Putin, the other a full week on when the full bloodiness of Putin's military machine was evident to all - are Presidential, statesmanlike, insightful, credible, or helpful? Do you believe they serve the best interests of 40 million Ukrainians living in terror, or even the best interests of the nation he led just over a year ago?

Personally, I found them exceedingly irresponsible, primarily concerned with self-promotion as defined pretty much his entire 4-year-term as POTUS.

Derek Moore
140 Posted 07/03/2022 at 03:01:59
Dale,

I literally laid out the last 15 years and multiple moments to whisk Ukraine into the West's fold. Opportunities to engage, my goodness. How about making Ukraine a Nato Plus country in 2014 when they renounced their non-aligned status? How about offering Ukraine a Nato MAP in 2017 or 2018?

Germany has almost had a policy of appeasement towards Russia for most of the last 15 years. Doubling defense spending, strong>8 years following the annexation of Crimea, is analogous to closing a stable door many months after the horse has bolted.

The Ukrainians overthrew their pro-Russian president and made their feelings clear where their future lay 8 years ago as well. They want to be part of the EU. They want to be part of Nato. They want democratic freedoms and freedom of association. They do not want to be a Russian satellite or vassal state.

There are those who may think otherwise but Trump would have done nothing either. His isolationist rhetoric and systematic undermining of the United States' historical allies are a huge reason why the Ukrainians are so thoroughly isolated.

Trump abdicated leadership of the free world. He made the free world demonstrably weaker. And now the despots and madmen can fill that void. Nature abhors a vacuum.

The inevitability of Nato membership for Ukraine allied with the weakness of the West is what lead Putin to take his chance now. The comparatively weak response by the free world will probably embolden non-democratic states who covet territorial expansion. Restoring US pre-eminence and Western military strength will take many years of diligent work. We have entered a dangerous pocket of modern history.

Len Hawkins
141 Posted 07/03/2022 at 12:08:54
Well, all this money business is way above my head but, after reading about some of the oligarchs and the authorities trying to find who owns their houses x many a lot, their yachts, their private planes, is like plaiting fog most of the investigators must have chronic dizziness finding the money trails. It is an exercise of epic proportions.

I am only jesting but it wouldn't surprise me if the builders of BMD aren't owned and financed by an oligarch – which one, I couldn't tell you as my head is spinning and I'm going to lie down.

But never underestimate the greedy and none are greedier than the Conservative and Unionist Party they'd sell their mothers' body parts for the right price.

Danny O’Neill
142 Posted 07/03/2022 at 12:24:17
Not sure how you got to the Conservatives or Unionists there, Len, given we have been debating one of the most left-wing socialist countries over the past century or so.

I think it goes to show, extremes on either side of the political spectrum are exactly that; extremism.

UK conservatism, US democrats. Really, they are moderates slightly left or right of the needle. It's when you get fascists or left-wing radicals that you have trouble. And those two groups have more in common than they care to agree on. They are extremists.

Most of us are moderate normal people.

Brent Stephens
143 Posted 07/03/2022 at 13:35:27
Danny #142,

"It's when you get fascists or left-wing radicals that you have trouble. And those two groups have more in common than they care to agree on."

Interestingly, the horseshoe theory sees the left-right political spectrum not as a straight-line continuum but as a horse-shoe shaped spectrum from extreme left to extreme right, with the two extremes having certain features in common, notably a tendency to authoritarianism.

The are various examples of people who have moved from being relatively extreme left, for example, to relatively extreme right. Examples include the Mail on Sunday journalist Peter Hitchens, once a member of the International Socialists (that morphed into the Socialist Workers' Party). Elizabeth Warren moved in the opposite direction.

Danny O’Neill
144 Posted 07/03/2022 at 14:18:49
"Notably a tendency to authoritarianism".

Exactly Brent. Do as I say, not as I do.

Like the Liberal message at the last General Election. Regardless of anyone's view, what right did they have to tell the British population they were all naughty stupid people and they (the Liberal Party) could just ignore a democratic vote?

Sometimes the Liberals are the most extreme. They're fine as long as you agree with them, but disagree and they turn nasty.

I've used it before, but to quote George Orwell; all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Ed Prytherch
145 Posted 07/03/2022 at 15:50:31
Brent #143,

Another good example is Mussolini. He was editor of the left-wing socialist newspaper until he was kicked out for supporting Italy's entry in WW1 and he formed the Fascist party.

Brent Stephens
146 Posted 07/03/2022 at 16:17:48
Yes, I'd forgotten him, Ed.
Stan Schofield
147 Posted 07/03/2022 at 17:16:24
I can't see any basis for the assertion of some folks that Putin has got himself into a corner with 'the West' and any other countries who are protesting the invasion of Ukraine.

The business links between Russia and these other countries is a very complex web of interdependency, and there's no evidence that the current protests, or indeed sanctions, or increased sanctions, will change that fact.

Both Russia and China have gradually got themselves into the position of leverage as far as business relationships go. Europe's dependence on Russian oil and gas is just one example, and there are myriad others that in combination underline this interlinked set of arrangements that cannot be broken easily or quickly.

And of course many in 'the West' would not wish them to be, even some of those who are expressing outrage. Such is politics, and the sad fact that ultimately it's only ordinary people who will suffer due to this conflict, not the elites who make their billions. As is the case in all such conflicts.

Dale Self
148 Posted 07/03/2022 at 18:01:45
So says the blind man.
Eric Myles
149 Posted 08/03/2022 at 13:05:42
Colin #62 there certainly was a worldwide condemnation of Russia over Afghanistan.

USA boycotted the Moscow Olympics, Thatcher made all UK olympic atheletes fund themselves and tried to get all UK companies with contracts in Russia to cancel them.

However I don't recall any worldwide condemnation of USA occupation of Afghanistan?

Eric Myles
150 Posted 08/03/2022 at 13:41:48
This reminds me of the so called "Cuban missile crisis"

USA puts missiles in Turkey capable of reaching Moscow, so Russia puts similar missiles in Cuba.

Only this time Russia are serious about not having missiles on their doorstep first.

Tom Harvey
151 Posted 08/03/2022 at 14:41:37
What can be said about our clubs future?

"Gone With The Wind"

Bill Kenwright helped us out by very wisely slamming the door in the face of Man City's owner Sheikh Mansour and bringing in Moshiri, a bean counter with no football or business smarts and strong connections to some of the worlds most corrupt, violent and despotic individuals.

Don't worry, we'll solve all our problems and make a fortune with Bill's next blockbuster production above.

Tom Harvey
152 Posted 08/03/2022 at 15:18:38
Eric Myles @ 150

Putin is a completely different character and has a different pyschology than those Soviet era leaders.

Leaving aside Stalin, no Soviet leader was ever more powerful than the politburo, his decisions would have been reviewed by a group of rational individuals around him, not the sycophants Putin has around him.

Putin owns and terrorizes the body politic and all branches of Government, this makes him so dangerous considering their nuclear capability.

Tom Harvey
153 Posted 08/03/2022 at 15:36:51
Paul The Esk,

Excellent article, thanks.

Mike Gaynes
154 Posted 08/03/2022 at 16:00:22
Tom #151...

So I assume your implication is that Moshiri has "strong connections" to Putin? Plural? What are they besides their mutual associate Usmanov? What direct interaction between Putin and Moshiri has ever been documented?

And who are "some of the worlds most corrupt, violent and despotic individuals" you refer to besides Putin?

Stan Schofield
155 Posted 08/03/2022 at 18:05:30
Mike@154: Good point/question. It's astonishing how some folks can have such groundless leaps of imagination.

The imagined connections in post 151 might be compared with some FACTS relating to our loveable, and more successful, neighbour across Stanley Park. Their main sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank, has a record of sanctions violations dating back over 20 years, and they have been penalised for them a number of times by regulators in the UK and US. The violations are of sanctions against Russia, Iran, Zimbabwe and several other countries. Thus, LFC's main sponsor is a repeat offender, and an apparently unapologetic one. And they remain emlazoned on the LFC players' shirts, still trading and scheming.

People need to get their facts straight, and in perspective, before criticising Everton's associations, especially when the criticism employs pure speculation.

Dale Self
156 Posted 08/03/2022 at 18:24:44
Careful there, I think we were criticizing Usbro and poof! There he went without much of a response:
“On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union,” a statement from Usmanov read.

“I believe that such a decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor, dignity, and business reputation.

“I will use all legal means to protect my honor and reputation.”

That's all I could find on a cursory search, if there is more than he said there let's see it because that ain't cutting it. In fact the Official Journal of the European Union responded by establishing Usmanov was named as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin”.

Further they add “(Usmanov) has been referred to as one of Vladimir Putin’s favourite 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.”

The report also said that Usmanov “actively supported materially or financially Russian decision-makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine” and “actively supported the Russian government’s policies of destabilisation of Ukraine”.

So this is the Official Journal of the European Union. Care to go toe to toe with them on that? Would you be willing to release some of your research on this matter? Moshiri was the right hand man of that guy. That is possibly enough distance to be unencumbered by sanctions but it wasn't exactly an easy walk away there. If he survived scrutiny there were obviously some serious questions.

Tom Harvey
157 Posted 08/03/2022 at 18:37:50
Mike Gaynes @ 154

Hello Mike,

Are you working overtime on this one?

I can't say whether he has or hasn't met Putin or established contact, but I do know he has very stong connections to what many would agree is a despicable individual named Alisher Usmanov. Usmanov who has very strong connections to what might be an individual that will go on to rank alongside Hitler and Stalin or perhaps worse? The total annihilator of the planet?

Moshiri has spent years in the Russian 'elite' business sphere and I feel sure Usmanov isn't the only "Russian" he knows, he seems like an agreable sort of person, but that means nothing to me, history is replete with individuals who have been able to face the world with the most pleasant of veneers, but within? Over this side of the pond we have an establishment that just doesn't care where the money is coming from, this is why Russians call London Londongrad.

You couldn't make money in Russia when Moshiri made his without getting your hands dirty.

My observations about Moshiri's connections were towards the Russian elite in general and yes this does include Putin. I wouldn't at all be surprised if Moshiri has been to a Kremlin business/industry soiree as chairman of USM a large Russian company and established contact with Putin, it's not an entirely unreasonable, but it's not what I was alluding to.


Bill Gall
159 Posted 08/03/2022 at 19:31:20
I have no intentions of defending Usmanov. There are lots of billionaires around the world and I doubt there are not many who have not dealt with shady people but some of the comments on here are a little strange at this time.

Sanctions on these Oligarchs are commendable and I hope they work. I may be wrong but these sanctions were put on them in the hope that they affected their finances hard, they would pressure Putin to stop the war in Ukraine.

Usmanov today is the same person when Moshiri became owner, he said he was not interested in buying a football club but will help his friend Moshiri if he needed it.

Nobody complained at the time about his company sponsoring Finch Farm or the naming rights on the new ground, but now trying to paint Moshiri with the same brush.

Usmanov should come out and say that he does not support Putin in this war and ask him to stop. After that, we can say thank you, but you are not welcome back here.

Stan Schofield
160 Posted 08/03/2022 at 19:34:17
Tom@158: I've read all that. I reiterate what I said.
Mike Gaynes
161 Posted 08/03/2022 at 19:36:13
Tom #157, the thing is, none of those allegations have anything to do with what you wrote in #151.

There is no evidence Moshiri has "strong connections" to Putin -- the link through Usmanov is secondhand and speculative. I know of no published accounts of direct interaction between Moshiri -- a British citizen since childhood -- and Putin.

Also, you accused Moshiri of similar strong connections to multiple "corrupt, violent and despotic individuals", which means not just Putin but others as well. Who do you mean?

Finally, regarding your post #157, I have never read a single report (and I looked assiduously) regarding any allegations that Moshiri made dirty money. You're obviously a good link-finder, per your response to Stan, so can you find a link to any reported account that Moshiri has ever been even slightly suspected of illegal activity?

Without those facts, all we have is unsupported speculation, innuendo and guilt by association.


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