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U.S Private equity firm 777 buys Everton FC

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Everton have been sold to 777 Partners, the struggling Premier League club said on Friday, with the U.S. private equity firm taking over from Farhad Moshiri in a deal reportedly worth more than £550 million ($685m).

The Miami-based investment fund said it had signed an agreement with British-Iranian billionaire Moshiri to acquire his 94.1% stake in the club.

“We are truly humbled by the opportunity to become part of the Everton family as custodians of the club, and consider it a privilege to be able to build on its proud heritage and values,” said Josh Wander, founder and managing partner of 777 Partners.

The firm 777 Partners has a number of clubs in its portfolio, including Italian side Genoa and Belgian team Standard Liege, while they also have stakes in LaLiga club Sevilla and Australian A-League side Melbourne Victory.

Everton are in the process of building a new stadium. Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
In the club’s statement on the sale, Moshiri said he believed 777 Partners “are the best partners to take our great club forward, with the benefits of their multi-club investment model.”

Moshiri, a former Arsenal shareholder, first bought a 49.9% stake in Everton in 2016. By January 2022, he had increased his stake to 94.1% with a £100m capital injection.

But despite investing nearly €750m ($799.65m) in transfers to build the squad since Moshiri’s arrival, Everton have slipped out of the top half of the table and have fought relegation battles in recent seasons.

Everton narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight in each of the last two seasons and are 18th in the standings and without a win in four games this season.

The Merseyside club take on Arsenal on Sunday in their next game.

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European Leagues

Motherwell stuns Rangers at Home

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Impressive Motherwell secured their first victory at Ibrox in nine years to end Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers’ 11-game winning run.

Theo Bair’s early strike – his 11th goal of the season – was cancelled out by James Tavernier’s 60th-minute penalty.

But Dan Casey headed the eighth-placed side’s winner that swings the title race back in the direction of Celtic.

Philippe Clement’s side remain two points clear at the top of the table.

However, reigning champions Celtic can regain the lead they enjoyed for much of the season when they visit Heart of Midlothian on Sunday.

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell told BBC Scotland just before kick-off that he felt he had a formula to frustrate both sides of the Old Firm.

His side had lost by a single goal on their last visit to Ibrox and they rarely looked back after making a composed start that was in stark contrast to their surprisingly nervy hosts.

When centre-half John Souttar made a mess of trying to intercept a through ball to Jack Vale, the striker exploited the space behind and set up strike partner Bair for a 15-yard finish off the far post.

Rangers looked shaken and disjointed, but they gradually grew into the game only to find goalkeeper Liam Kelly and his defence in defiant form.

With winger Ross McCausland forced off after a strong Casey challenge that did not even produce a booking, replacement Fabio Silva ought to have equalised with his first touch only to shoot weakly straight at Kelly.

Rangers thought they had equalised, only for Cyriel Dessers to be ruled offside, but they eventually did after Stephen O’Donnell’s slide into Silva produced the penalty from which Tavernier fired his 21st goal of the season off the underside of the bar.

The hosts piled forward hoping to repeat their midweek comeback win over Kilmarnock.

However, Blair Spittal had already fired a warning off the crossbar before Rangers’ equaliser and the hosts’ defensive frailties were again exposed when the midfielder’s cross found Casey to provide the killer blow in a thrilling finish.

Home defeat is not the ideal preparation for Rangers as they travel to meet Benfica in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday (20:00 GMT) before visiting Hibernian in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals, while Motherwell are not in action again until hosting Aberdeen in the league on 16 March (15:00).

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European Leagues

Tottenham left it late again

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Tottenham left it late again as three goals in the final 13 minutes saw them come from behind to eventually see off Oliver Glasner’s Crystal Palace 3-1.

Ange Postecoglou’s side came from behind to win for the fifth time this season as they once again did it the hard way, having trailed to Eberechi Eze’s wonderful free-kick shortly after the hour.

The hosts should have been ahead by then when Timo Werner wasted a glorious chance when played clean through, but they struggled to create against Glasner’s dogged visitors until they eventually pulled level.

Brennan Johnson’s sheer determination saw him beat Joachim Andersen out wide and allowed him space to tee-up a simple finish for Werner to level with his debut Tottenham goal.

Spurs ended up handing Glasner a harsh welcome to the Premier League when they went in front three minutes later, as Cristian Romero nodded home James Maddison’s brilliant hooked cross.

Heung-Min Son then put the gloss on what had seemed for so long to be a miserable afternoon for Spurs as he raced through late on to seal victory with his first club goal of 2024.

 

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European Leagues

Axel Disasi header rescues point for Blues

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A late header from Axel Disasi rescued a 2-2 draw for Chelsea at Brentford after Yoane Wissa’s stunning overhead kick had given the hosts a second-half lead.

Chelsea looked to put their Carabao Cup final defeat further behind them having beaten Leeds in the FA Cup on Wednesday and they were on course to do so when Nicolas Jackson deservedly headed them in front during the first half.

Brentford had been hanging on for half-time but were transformed after the break, with Mads Roerslev pouncing in the box to equalise within five minutes before Wissa’s brilliant acrobatic volley put them ahead.

Brentford looked to put the game to bed late on as Sergio Reguilon’s header hit a post but it was Disasi who had the final say, nodding home at a corner in the 83rd minute after Bees goalkeeper Mark Flekken had cheaply conceded the set-piece.

 

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