Everton takeover bidders 777 Partners may not be able to make January signings

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Everton takeover hopefuls 777 Partners are in a race against time to pass the Premier League’s owners and directors’ test. Reports indicate that completing the process before the January transfer window will be tight, as Sean Dyche attempts to guide the Toffees away from another top-flight relegation battle.

Outgoing Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has overseen a troubled period at Goodison Park, with the club in a state of financial disarray. A deal has now been agreed between the British-Iranian businessman and 777 Partners, who are set to acquire his 94 per cent stake.

While the private investment company are believed to be ‘confident’ of passing the Premier League’s owners and directors’ test, the i newspaper state that the whole process could take around 12 weeks.

That would take Everton right up to the start of the January transfer window, meaning any delay whatsoever could dash 777’s hopes of improving Dyche’s squad with new talent.

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And the possibility of a delay cannot be ruled out, with the American firm facing questions from fans and supporters’ groups over their sources of funding, legal issues and patchy record in football club ownership.

The journey towards Premier League approval started last week with the submission of documents by 777, who recently signed off on a ยฃ20million loan to provide cash-strapped Everton with working capital.

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Fans are keen to establish the facts surrounding how the takeover hopefuls will fund their lucrative new stadium, and the impact of their multi-club model. 777 already owns several other major teams including Hertha Berlin, Genoa and Standard Liege.

The Toffees’ perilous financial situation meant that Dyche and sporting director Kevin Thelwell were forced to operate on a shoestring budget during the summer transfer window. Forwards Beto and Youssef Chermiti were both brought in, but significant funds had to be raised through the sale of Alex Iwobi, Moise Kean and Demarai Gray, among others.

Dyche has even admitted that Everton will look to reopen negotiations with Tottenham over the terms of their deal for Dele Alli, which was struck in January 2022.

The midfielder arrived at Goodison Park on a free transfer, but Spurs will be due ยฃ10m under the terms of the agreement once he hits 20 appearances, prompting Dyche to raise the possibility of a new deal which ‘works for everyone’.

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