17/05/2024 41comments  |  Jump to last

Josh Wander and Steve Pasko, co-founders of 777 Partners, have stepped down from their positions as managing partners of the beleaguered firm, as reported by Josimar journalist, Philippe Auclair.

The duo were driving the Miami-based investment company's proposed takeover of Everton FC which they hoped to add to the global stable of football clubs they controlled through 777 Football Group, under the umbrella of Nutmeg Acquisitions, LLC.

However, after 777's budget Australian airline Bonza went into voluntary administration, a key source of funds in the form of A-CAP began pulling back after reinsurance subsidiary 777 Re had its credit rating downgraded, and the firm was sued in a New York district court amid allegations of massive fraud, B. Riley Advisory Services, whose expertise are in bankruptcy advice and litigation, were brought in last week to restructure the company.

Ian Ratner and Ron Glass of B. Riley have now been appointed as managers of 777 Partners LLC and sibling company 600 Partners LLC respectively, while Don Dransfield, formerly of City Group, is overseeing 777's depleted football operations.

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Wander, and to a lesser extent Pasko, has been a regular in the Directors Box at Goodison Park as 777 have attempted to get a buyout of Farhad Moshiri's majority stake over the line since September and his resignation from his role at the firm casts futher doubt on the viability of the takeover.

In the interim, 777 has loaned the Club in excess of £200m, much of which has gone towards the continuing construction of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock with the majority of it to be converted to equity in Everton should the takeover go through.

Moshiri recently extended the deadline by which 777 Partners had to come up with the funds necessary to satisfy the conditions set out by the Premier League before their approval could be granted to the end of May but there appears little chance of that happening as the Florida outfit goes through the process of restructuring its business.

777 recently had their assets in Belgium seized at the request of former Standard Liege owner Bruno Vernanzo while only yesterday a Brazilian judge took control of Vasco da Gama out of the firm's hands. 

Supporters groups from seven of the clubs which 777 either control or had minority shareholdings in united today in issuing a joint statement urging the Americans to "immediately leave our clubs".

Source: @PhilippeAuclair

Reader Comments (41)

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Niel Edwards
1 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:27:16
The plot thinnerns?
Brian Williams
2 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:30:58
Well if that isn't a sign that Moshiri should be saying "well you can fuuuuuuuuuuck right off" I don't know what is.
Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:31:26
He's got some balls, this Josh Wander, but when you're playing with other peoples lives it becomes a little bit too naughty.

Interesting that The Eskis saying that Everton will have to pay 777 Partners all their money back, so maybe this is what has kept Moshiri dealing with people nobody wants?

Whoever is trying to purchase Everton must be going through some negotiations, so hopefully Alan Myers is correct and we have got a few people who really care about Everton FC trying to grind a way through all the dirt.

Anthony Hawkins
4 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:46:49
I'm relieved this news effectively kills the purchase deal but would have preferred an alternate buyer to have been readied before funding being pulled.

The £6m will help to finish the season but what happens now?

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:47:51
The attached image on Auclair's tweet begins:

"On May 6, 2024, after consultation with B Riley, Mt Pasko and Mr Wander each resigned… "

This leads me to believe that The Bobble, Paul the Esk, and all the other ITKs have been sitting on this and letting us stew for the last 10 days.

That, or the date is a typo: "On May 16, 2024…"

Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:54:21
Now for some basic common sense, surely, but I've not seen any from Moshiri in this saga. Hopefully there's a serious parry with genuine interests in the well-being of Everton FC out there.

The new stadium is from a different dimension, it is truly magnificent and hopefully will signal a new era ahead for Everton FC.

Let's hope Masters doesn't pull any more stunts this next week once this season is over on Sunday. UTFTs!

Brian Williams
7 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:55:48
Typo gets my vote, Michael.
Lyndon Lloyd
8 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:56:46
And they would do that why, Michael? Isn't it the job of the "ITK" (with all the cynicism that the use of that acronym implies) to get info out there as quickly as possible and, more importantly, be first with it?

Or maybe, if it isn't a typo, that detail has only just been made public by B. Riley...

Jack Convery
9 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:57:50
Funny how all this coincides with the end of the season for Everton.

777's money loans have kept us afloat; otherwise, we'd have been in administration, unless Moshiri put his hands in his pockets, which he obviously does not want to do ever again.

I mean, where on earth did 777 get over £200M to pay EFC, when they couldn't find a few million to keep Bonza Airlines in the sky? The whole thing stinks and, in my opinion the FCA have had the wool pulled over their eyes for far too long.

Get EFC sorted out, Mr Moshiri, asap and give us a chance to compete next season.

ps: Who finances EFC over the summer?

Hopefully this is the last we hear of 777.

Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 17/05/2024 at 18:58:06
Just to be clear, is this distinct from what was reported on 10 May when they left the board of the football operations department of 777?

Have they now left the board of the company as a whole?

Anthony Hawkins
11 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:03:26
Jack @9,

There's every chance that 777 couldn't fund Bonza because the money was filtered into the Everton accounts. That's how a Ponzi scheme works.

Brian Williams
12 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:04:13
Dave Abrahams will fund the club over the summer, no problem. Their Tony will just have to wait for his mansion in Caldy a bit longer.
Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:06:58
It was irony, Lyndon.

I'm trying to find when B Riley were first mentioned in dispatches, but I thought it was after 6 May?

Yes, seems like it was 10 May:

777 hire restructuring experts

There seemed to be some confusion then as to which board Wander and Pasko had departed. Perhaps only now, nearly 12 days after the fact, we are getting a clearer picture?

Lyndon Lloyd
14 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:14:32
Fair enough, MK. It's hard to tell around here, sometimes 😉

In all seriousness, the situation at 777 is really quite fascinating. I'm intrigued to see if B. Riley can navigate the firm out of this without it all just imploding under the weight of all this litigation.

It's obviously of enormous interest to Everton given that we're in hock to them to the tune of a couple of Jarrad Branthwaites.

Stephen Davies
15 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:19:41
Reminder that 777 Partners co-founders Josh Wander and Steve Pasko “received approval from the Football Association (FA) to become directors".
Lyndon Lloyd
16 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:23:25
Stephen, it was also reported or suggested that they had individually passed the Premier League's OADT.

Again, if there's anything of substance to the many allegations against 777, it won't reflect well on Richard Masters et al at all.

Michael Kenrick
17 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:24:35
Yes, it's the latest crazy twist: gotta love it — 5pm on a Friday afternoon and this hits.

I don't know anything about B Riley but presumably they wouldn't take on this Ponzi monster if they did not think there was a real chance of rescuing the utter shambles that Wander and Pasko have left in their wake?

And even if they did, the monster is so much bigger than EFC, so it probably means little in terms of whether the apparently doomed take over will survive this latest Richter-scale quake…

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:35:30
Surely it can’t be anything other than doomed, with everything that is happening to 777, now, Michael?
Raymond Fox
20 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:35:37
If not 777 Partners… who else? There does not appear to be a rush to buy us.

Moshiri has a money black hole that's getting bigger all the time if he can't find a buyer.

It seems obvious that he's going to have to take a big hit to sell the club.

Dale Self
21 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:39:16
Wander and Pasko are likely removed in an effort to begin the process of limiting creditors’ losses, not rescuing 777.
Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:39:22
No rush, Raymond, but who knows what is going on behind the scenes, in the murky world of moneylenders.
Jamie Crowley
23 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:46:44
...5pm on a Friday afternoon and this hits.

Entirely by coincidence! Nothing to see here, just a quick news blurb right before the weekend.

** sarcasm so thick my stomach involuntarily empties of its own accord.

These absolute weasels are shocking in their lack of any ethics. The world is a playground to be manipulated, especially via monetary gain woven with deceit.

Michael, I know you're not a religious man, but is a tiny bit of you hoping there is a heaven and hell, and these fuckers roast for eternity?

Jamie Crowley
24 Posted 17/05/2024 at 19:49:47
Wander going full Airplane this weekend:

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing cocaine!"

John Wilson
25 Posted 17/05/2024 at 21:12:12
Wander says that 777 did not have a chance to submit a defence, so that is an interim remedy. Doesn't look good though the fact there are potentially many litigants. They need another private equity firm's money to pay for expensive lawyers.

If the lights go out on construction at Bramley-Moore Dock, now you know why. £200M, if this 777 takeover of Everton doesn't go through, will be demanded back – otherwise, some baseball bats and some shaking knees might have a joint encounter.

Jerome Shields
26 Posted 17/05/2024 at 22:20:24
Tony murky is the word for it.Probably we will get a expression of confidence Moshiri's PR firm.
Stephen Davies
27 Posted 17/05/2024 at 22:40:27
There will be an important announcement soon.
Not a solution but it will be positive
Jerome Shields
28 Posted 18/05/2024 at 06:38:36
I think it is important to note that, during the Bonza meltdown, Wander of 777 engaged restructuring experts. It was reported that Everton, where 777 Partners effectively call the shots, were about to engage Teneo, a restructuring expert. 777 Partners are now engaging restructuring experts. It does not matter if the co-founders resign, they are still calling the shots, because it is them that employed the restructuring experts.

It is only when a professional organisation with an equity interest and known expertise in restructuring takes control that serious restructuring will take place. Anything else is just pure bullshit.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 18/05/2024 at 06:55:03
I've heard that more than a few times, Stephen!

Maybe it's because 777 Partners have got some type of contract that good news keeps getting pushed back but football is like the fingers of the watch on my forearm and never stops moving forward unless the battery runs out, so things need to start happening very soon.

Early in June is the latest news but I don't know how many times I've heard a date that has never materialized over the last few months.

Jim Potter
30 Posted 18/05/2024 at 07:42:50
They've finally crossed the line of 'no purchase allowable' now haven't they?

And if Josh knows anything, it's his lines.

How Masters hasn't declared this rabble to be undesirables by now is ridiculous.

Mind you, he okayed the Saudis, so who knows where his moral compass is?

666 more like it.

Derek Thomas
31 Posted 18/05/2024 at 08:27:52
John Wilson @ 25;

777 Partners can demand their money all they like – take a number and get in line.

Tom Hughes
32 Posted 18/05/2024 at 12:16:18
Raymond #20,

Why would there ever be a queue of prospective buyers when we're already in a sold-subject-to-contract agreement, which stops any prospective buyers even doing their own due diligence.

Colin Chong himself has said that they've been approached by more than one interested party. One of whom has had further talks with prominent Evertonians who are trying to facilitate a better option than 777 Partners. Now, even MSP may be able to step up too. So, there are options and 777 are not one of them.

David McMullen
33 Posted 18/05/2024 at 12:47:22
Isn't it Wander who was driving this (take over of Everton)?

So without him it's adios, 777?

Sort of makes Moshiri's next move made for him.

Brian Cleveland
34 Posted 18/05/2024 at 13:13:26
Have they paid for their tickets in the Director's Box yet? Bill them at 10 million per person per game and set it off against the debt.
Phillip Warrington
35 Posted 18/05/2024 at 21:57:22
As supporters of this club, can't we do anything against Moshiri?

Being a supporter for 52 years, what's happening to our club is beyond me. This guy's neglect of his duties as owner of the club is bordering on criminal neglect, surely a class action against him for this to recover money lost after all he chose to be owner of Everton FC.

I cannot believe we are still thinking about 777 Partners when their business is crumbling around them and so are the clubs under their control, the one time I can say Thank You, Premier League.

Moshiri knowingly broke rules regarding financial issues (strange when he is a successful accountant) and now he wants to give Everton to a company facing bankruptcy themselves. Once again, strange given his background…

Is this his way of paying back supporters because they didn't like the way he was running the club?

Rick Tarleton
36 Posted 19/05/2024 at 06:53:22
It's all over now, maybe blue.
Eric Myles
37 Posted 19/05/2024 at 07:14:56
Rick #36, I always like a good Bob Dylan reference.
Duncan Lennard
38 Posted 19/05/2024 at 15:49:09
Moshiri, Oct15 2023: “The more time that I have spent with the 777 team, the more my confidence increases that we have found the right people to take the club forward in the modern era. They are highly professional and deliver exactly when they say they will, and I look forward to them achieving all their regulatory approvals and proceeding to completion on the timetable we set.”
The guy is either corrupt, a moron or a corrupt moron.
Si Cooper
39 Posted 20/05/2024 at 01:15:33
The money ‘lent’ by 777 was to be converted into shares when their takeover was ratified wasn’t it?
As the shares belong to Moshiri this is essentially a deal between him and 777, so I imagine there is a written contract he will have to honour and pay them back immediately rather than them ‘getting in line’.
As long as he actually has £200 million then he just needs to put it down as a(n interest-free) loan to the club which will then become part of his negotiations with anyone who replaces 777 as would-be owners of the club.
Jamie Crowley
40 Posted 20/05/2024 at 14:32:54
So back to what is really important for Everton now that the debacle of the Oliver Arsenal game is behind us…

With Coke Boy and Robin out of the way, surely there has to be another buyer???

And surely Moshri won't be waiting around until the end of May to find a buyer?

The sale of the Club has to be announced to another party early June and the actual sale has to be executed by the end of July. We can't have uncertainty and chaos going into next season!

Mark Ryan
41 Posted 22/05/2024 at 18:54:08
Niels Post at 1 has to be the best post of 2024. Loving the invention of a new word here on ToffeeWeb. Glorious. It even makes sense and conjours up images of a wedge-type shape getting less and less. Well done that man!
Christine Foster
42 Posted 22/05/2024 at 19:50:40
You have to wonder what conditions are attached to the loans from 777, what if any are the fallback conditions should they fail to buy the club.

Much has been assumed that they sit at the back in terms of security, but £200M with no security attached should the bid fail? Can't see that tbh, does the debt convert to equity? If so how many shares? What are the terms associated with the debt?

What happens to the debt if / when 777 go to the wall? They will be desperate to get their money back, so what leverage do they have? What's their end game to get out of Everton? Will a deal be done?

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