Farhad Moshiri is severing his links with USM Holdings, the Russia-based conglomerate that he helped found with oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
According to The Telegraph, Everton's majority shareholder has stepped down from the board of the firm and will, presumably, resign as Chairman as the club moves to distance itself from Usmanov in the wake of Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine last week.
The move, reportedly confirmed by business databases in Moscow, comes after Everton announced they were suspending their sponsorship deals with USM Holdings and two telecoms subsidiaries, MegaFon and Yota.
Signage relating to MegaFon was removed from Goodison Park overnight and Everton Women played last night's match against Aston Villa with blank jerseys after the same company's logo was dropped from their kit.
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Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has joined the European Union in initiating sanctions of Usmanov whose mega-yacht was seized by German officials yesterday, a day after the 68-year-old Uzbek-born billionaire's private jet was tracked leaving Munich.
Reader Comments (38)
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1 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:02:34
From that article:
Moshiri stepped down from the board of USM, a Russian holding company that Usmanov founded, within hours of suspending the club's multiple sponsorship ties.
That's massive. Well done, Mr. Moshiri.
The article also says the club's sponsorship deals with Usmanov were worth £20 million per season, but Everton has decided to move on "permanently without Usmanov's support."
2 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:22:49
3 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:22:56
4 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:25:27
Or is it?
5 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:26:44
I will say this though, this club is absolutely cursed. It really is. I wait with baited breath to see what Moshiri says and does now but I'd be amazed if that stadium gets built now. We'll be Sunderland in a couple of years.
6 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:35:29
The financing of the stadium is of course still an unknown. Maybe there was no significant involvement planned to include Usmanov in that area, maybe it was pivotal. We just have to wait and see on that one.
7 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:37:03
Hope not but can see Bramley Moore taking a big hit over project timing, if not cessation of build totally.
8 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:38:07
9 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:42:28
10 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:43:10
As noted elsewhere, the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is likely to be stalled or at least delayed. Future ownership of the Club could also be in play shortly if Usmanov is the real beneficial owner. Not to mention what would happen if we're relegated.
11 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:45:21
I have no idea how involved Usmanov really is with us, neither do I have any idea how heavily involved he is with Putin and the Russian state. I just hope that ghoul stops reeking havoc and causing war (fingers crossed hes bumped off soon) and I just hope we stay up. Both currently seem unlikely.
The trouble that horrible bastard has caused is beyond comprehension. Hes has literally effected everything in the world and I cant even imagine what the people of Ukraine are going through.
12 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:48:41
13 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:50:30
14 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:54:27
The money for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock was supposedly being raised on the internatonal money markets and not directly from Usmanov although all has been quiet on that front for months.
Who knows how the current international situation will affect raising loans?
15 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:55:31
Cursed is being a nice quiet family living in an apartment in Kharkiv and a Russian shell comes through the window because some egomaniac psycho a thousand miles away ordered it.
16 Posted 03/03/2022 at 19:56:04
You don't know my best mate, I'd roll the dice on you, lol.
17 Posted 03/03/2022 at 20:06:12
Its a figure of speech.
No one even begins to compare anything thats going on with us, to that of what those poor people of Ukraine are going through. Lets not go there eh. Thats being silly. We all know that nothing compares to their desperate situation.
In football terms, we are absolutely cursed. Fact. Only we could find our “saviour” buyer and proceed to blow £400m on shite and have fuck all but a relegation battle to show for it, or buyer who turns out to be best mate of Putins best mate. Finally get our stadium move, or so we thought, and this shit happens.
Whilst were only a football club and its only a game, and it all pales in to utter insignificance compared to Ukraine, in purely footballing terms and us as a club, we are cursed. Absolutely cursed.
18 Posted 03/03/2022 at 20:11:51
Personally, I'm having quite a rough time at the moment. "Rough? Rough is being attacked by Russians."
You can still consider issues for people, clubs, organisations, businesses etc without minimising the conflict in Ukraine.
19 Posted 03/03/2022 at 21:21:49
20 Posted 03/03/2022 at 22:25:29
Moshiri and Everton reading the correctly room and acting accordingly.
Alleged old quote:
Reporter; "Tell me Prime Minister what will stop your Govt. carrying out its policies?"
MacMillan; "Events, dear boy, Events."
Let's see how the plot twists in a year, or less, maybe much less, because, as Harold Wilson said; "A week is a long time in Politics."
With Abramovich writing off (apparently) £1.5 Billion for Chelsea, does this drive another hole through FFP.
If it does, will we be allowed to use it...or is it just for Chelsea.
In theory (yes I know the taxman frowns upon that sort of carry on) you can give money to who so ever you want. Could Moshiri give money to Everton? (Mr Premier League, do you really want a founder member of both the Football League and the Premier League to go under?? which might be a dangerous question to get an answer to if you don't play in red, but thats another story) and that's without going into who gave it to him and when.
Darn these pesky 'Events.'
21 Posted 03/03/2022 at 22:27:34
22 Posted 03/03/2022 at 22:49:28
That's my understanding of the USM sponsorship and the likely raising of finance. As for Moshiri standing down from USM, it is preempting sanctions and associate connections.
On complex building projects, there are bonds and insurance that have to be in place before the contract starts. These distancing moves by the club and Moshiri could be to prevent a null-and/void insurance situation, as well as avoiding any contagion factors, resulting from being connected to a sanctioned individual or company.
Just as with Everton, Moshiri's shareholding in USM is probably offshore.
23 Posted 03/03/2022 at 23:06:30
24 Posted 03/03/2022 at 23:12:31
Its time to move on, and as Evertonians, we are used to riding the storms of football, and what life brings.
This will hopefully inspire Everton to victory on Monday night at Spurs.
25 Posted 04/03/2022 at 01:25:08
26 Posted 04/03/2022 at 04:54:18
Just think about that, a middle-aged guy with a good job and even more lucrative prospects walking away and signing up as an older guy to put his life on the line. The guy has a lot of bravery and integrity. God bless him. I hope he and his comrades stay safe.
27 Posted 04/03/2022 at 05:59:07
28 Posted 04/03/2022 at 10:41:32
Now we and the footballing authorities need to double down and get rid of all Israeli money and links for obvious reasons, Saudi money for it's destruction of Yemen, USA & er UK money for providing arms and training, bombing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, rendition, torture and many other things.
These are just a few so pretty soon we will all be funding our clubs ourselves, that is until another bottle is thrown and we are removed too!
Russian actions in Ukraine are despicable but I'm fed up with the media for choosing which bad boys we go after and which ones we don't.
I was lucky enough to travel to the USSR for work at the end of the Cold War and I found out from ordinary people that they were petrified of the West, I said "No, it's us that's scared of you!"
Turns out that we are just the same, scared of whatever the other side is capable of. Why? Ask the politicians and arms dealers.
29 Posted 04/03/2022 at 11:52:03
From wondering whether Usmanov's role was to somehow financially support his mate buying shares in Everton to suspicions he may be the real owner. In fact, we don't have an owner as such – we have a majority shareholder.
There's not an iota of evidence that Usmanov's interest in Everton goes beyond the sponsorship of his companies, companies in which Moshiri himself was until today involved, being Chairman of one of them. So the sponsorships might not even have been Usmanov's idea.
It's worth remembering too that, when Moshiri commenced buying up shares in Everton, Usmanov was still with Arsenal and trying, unsuccessfully, to become the majority shareholder of that club. Consequently, it would have been impossible for him to formulate any kind of plan to act in cahoots with Moshiri at Everton. That would have been against the rules in every respect.
True, such ideas might have arisen after Usmanov sold his Arsenal shares but I doubt it because the time to bring that to fruition would have been last summer, when a new company could have been formed and accordingly have immunity from FFP for a whole financial year. This is what Newcastle tried to do but couldn't get their deal over the line quickly enough. So their new company only had a financial advantage from last January.
There doesn't seem to be any reason to believe that the ending of these sponsorships also means the departure of some huge investor in Everton. There is absolutely no evidence of that.
30 Posted 04/03/2022 at 12:40:55
31 Posted 04/03/2022 at 13:06:26
32 Posted 04/03/2022 at 14:21:49
I have some sympathy for the oligarchs not rushing to denounce Putin as I imagine it's probably quite difficult to extricate yourself from his ‘circle of trust' if you want to retain life and liberty never mind wealth and influence.
If they have the choice, however, I would much rather they ‘retire' from accumulating wealth / power and rely on what they've banked, and very publicly speak out against what Putin has done.
33 Posted 04/03/2022 at 15:12:34
Thanks. I kept thinking of Moshiri in terms of Monaco residency, but of course you are right: he is a UK citizen.
34 Posted 04/03/2022 at 16:19:22
I hope the club moves on with purpose. The Premier League remains one of the most followed activities, globally, and is still attractive to brands looking to benefit from association.
More importantly, let's all do what we can to bring the terrible invasion of Ukraine to peaceful end as swiftly as possible.
35 Posted 06/03/2022 at 21:38:26
All these mega rich billionaires should be hiring a fucking hit man for Putin, this guy is a psychopath and IS capable of launching a nuclear attack – this is scary stuff, people.
36 Posted 06/03/2022 at 21:52:38
37 Posted 06/03/2022 at 22:25:22
We must all hope you are right!
38 Posted 07/03/2022 at 17:15:06
I kid you not cue the father Ted jokes.
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