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Who are 777 Partners? Everton’s Prospective New Owners


Who are 777 Partners? Everton’s Prospective New Owners

777 Partners are a Miami-based private investment firm who were founded in 2015 by Steven Pasko and Josh Wander, and 777 Partners is now a name that English football fans will surely be hearing a lot more of following the news that the company had struck a deal, subject to ratification from the Premier League and other relevant authorities, to take over as the new majority shareholders of Everton Football Club.

The incumbent majority shareholder since 2018 is British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, whose current stake amounts to 94.1% of the club’s shares. If all goes well and the deal is ratified, then his shares would pass into the hands of Pasko and Wander’s company, and see the Toffees become the eighth club in 777’s multi-club ownership model.

With teams across three different continents already under their belt, the Merseyside club would arguably become the most high-profile club under the firm’s control, and considering the currently perilous financial state at Everton, they would also surely gain access to the vast amounts of money at 777’s disposal were a deal to go through.

The company are said to be managing more than $6 billion in assets, with the total net worth of the firm at a reported $12 billion. So, with a brand new stadium under construction and a desperate need to improve their current playing squad after spending the last few years flirting with relegation from the Premier League, is this takeover good news for the club?

Now private equity firms have long been held in contempt by football fans when it comes to club ownership – to the fans, these companies are vulture-like, with only nefarious intentions in mind for their beloved club. In the mind of the fans (and in pretty much most cases), the number one goal of these companies when investing in football is to ultimately make a serious return on their investment no matter what – the actual needs of the clubs and their fans are almost always at the bottom of the list of priorities.

So, are 777 Partners any different? Who exactly are they, and what might they be like as owners of a Premier League football club?

So, who are 777 Partners?

From their statement confirming the news of the agreement, Everton say “777 Partners has established a global multi-club platform providing access to strategic markets in the world’s most popular sport. 777 Football Group is bringing together some of the most historic football clubs in the world within a structure that creates significant synergies through access to world-class data and analytics, player development and global commercial opportunities”.

The firm’s own LinkedIn page describes itself as “an alternative investment platform that invests across a number of high-growth attractive verticals with a strong focus on financial services”, and they claim to invest across six key industries: “insurance, consumer and commercial finance, litigation finance, direct lending, media and entertainment, and aviation”.

777 made their first foray into football when they purchased a minority stake in La Liga side Sevilla in 2018, and since then, they have slowly been purchasing stakes in multiple footballing outfits across Europe, alongside a £7m investment for a 45% stake of the British Basketball League in 2021.

However, the firm has come under scrutiny for two things in particular, and this is where things get interesting. The deal will of course be subject to the firm and the men fronting the entire deal passing the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (formerly known as the Fit and Proper Person’s Test). After years of criticism for its weak standards, the test has been beefed up in recent years, and it will be interesting to see whether or not the firm is able to pass such a test considering the information about them currently out in the public domain.


The first point of scrutiny for 777 comes as a result of the fact that all of the clubs under the 777 Partners banner have struggled since their respective takeovers, but this is something we will get to soon. The second point, and one that paints the company in a much more heinous light, is their litany of alleged shady business dealings, alongside the past of Josh Wander himself.

Wander was arrested in 2003 on a drugs charge while studying at the University of Florida, an offence that saw the then-21-year-old placed on probation for a 15-year period. Now despite his offence, such an action could be chalked down to Wander being young and at university, an excuse that the man himself used in an interview with the Financial Times when discussing the incident, calling it a “stupid college thing”.

However, because Wander served his probation, it means that his conviction is a spent one, which means that this aspect of his life is highly unlikely to pose a challenge to him being named as a club director. But, that is not the end of it. In 2009, Wander was sued by the president of a company he worked at for allegedly “misappropriating confidential company information”. Another issue muddying the process are the concerns and allegations surrounding the activities of some of the businesses under 777’s control (it is important to note that as of yet, none of these allegations have been proven in court).

Investigative journalism site Josimar Football printed an in-depth piece in July of 2023 that detailed many (alleged) shady dealings carried out by companies under the 777 Partners banner. Further detail included reports of offers of illegal loans being made among many other exploitative financial practices.

All of this is not a good look at all, and it is a huge cause for concern for Everton fans. However, it is important to remember that if a prospective owner is under investigation for certain criminal offences, any deal can be blocked by the Premier League – and considering all the media buzz around all of these alleged actions, the entire deal could potentially hit some big bumps in the road soon.

Another issue plaguing 777 Partners is their reputation in failing to pay back money, and with questions already being asked over the sources and sufficiency of their funding for the Everton deal, it adds another intriguing layer to this entire saga. Wander himself has been sued a further two times by Amex and Bellagio Las Vegas for money owed to them by the businessman.

Most recently, the firm were a whole month late in making an almost-£1m payment to partners at the British Basketball League earlier this summer. Furthermore, Brazilian club Vasco da Gama, one of the teams already in the 777 portfolio, was hit with a transfer ban by FIFA around 2 weeks ago after failing to make payments on three transfers.

In light of such unreliability when it comes to making payments, will 777 be able to pass a Premier League Owners’ and Directors’ Test, where having the proof of funds and a reliable source of funding will definitely be looked into by the league? The total amount needed to initially purchase and fund Everton in the future, alongside paying off existing debts and the new stadium could likely exceed the £1 billion mark – a figure that some reports allege is well beyond 777 Partners’ current football investment capacity.

Ultimately, the picture that has been painted is an erratic and chaotic one - one of a company that has potentially engaged in illegal acts while seeming to have constant cash-flow problems, alongside the owner who is fronting the entire deal having somewhat of a checkered past. It does not make good reading for Everton fans.

Which other clubs do 777 own?

As stated, 777 Partners already have a number of football clubs in their portfolio, with the firm owning 100% of shares in three clubs. Genoa of Italy, Standard Liege of Belgium and Red Star FC of France are fully owned by 777.

They also own a 7.5% stake in Spanish side Sevilla, who were the first club the company bought into. 777 also owns a 64.7% stake in German club Hertha Berlin, a 70% stake in Brazilian side Vasco da Gama, and a minority stake in Australian side Melbourne Victory.

What has their ownership been like at other clubs?

This is another area that 777 Partners have come in for criticism – many of the clubs in their portfolio have struggled since the firm appeared on the scene. There has been practically no on-pitch success of any major note at any of the aforementioned clubs, and the investment in playing squads has been meagre.

Genoa suffered relegation in 777’s first season in control, but they did win promotion back up the following year. Vasco da Gama also won promotion in 2022, while Melbourne Victory and Red Star have been treading water in mid-table of the A-League and the French third tier respectively since the firm showed up.

However, fans of Hertha Berlin and Standard Liege have been the most vocal critics of the American company, with multiple instances of protests against the perceived poor ownership and direction of the club under 777 taking place.

Based on how the other clubs have been faring and the current state of Everton’s playing squad, it would likely be a similar situation on Merseyside were 777 to take control – more mediocrity. And when taking into account the vast sums of money that would need to be spent to get Everton back to where they want to be, which will not be easy for an investment firm that has an already erratic monetary policy in place, it does look like a successful takeover by 777 Partners would yield yet more difficult times for Everton.

Ultimately, 777 Partners’ portfolio of sports clubs looks to be full to the brim with struggling teams, both financially and on the field of play. Were a takeover to go through, would things actually be any different for Everton as part of such a group?