Everton Faces Potential Takeover Bid Led by London-based Vatche Manoukian

A consortium led by the London-based businessman Vatche Manoukian has reportedly entered the running to buy Everton after the collapse of 777 Partners’ proposed takeover. Manoukian, a partner at the tech investment firm IMS Digital Ventures, has made a £400m bid to buy the club alongside investors from the US and the Gulf, according to the Athletic.

The interest from multiple parties comes after the period of exclusivity between the club’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, and 777 Partners, a US investment group, expired on 1 June, with Everton subsequently declaring they would “assess all options for future ownership”.

Others to have emerged as prospective owners include the Everton supporters Andy Bell and George Downing, who previously lent the club £158m in partnership with MSP Sports Capital, which is also reported to have launched a separate bid. John Textor has publicly declared a desire to sell his 45% stake in Crystal Palace to open up the possibility of investing in Everton, while the Roma owner, Dan Friedkin, has also been linked with buying the club.

According to the IMS Digital Ventures website, Manoukian began his career in the UK as a lawyer “before moving to the US to help a private family office build, develop and operate one of the largest and most successful gaming and entertainment companies in the world”.

The attempt by 777 Partners to take control of Everton was beset by problems after it agreed a deal with Moshiri in September, with the firm struggling to meet the Premier League’s conditions to complete a takeover. Sean Dyche, the Everton manager, expressed concerns last month about what transfer business the club would be able to conduct his summer without new owners, and given the potential risk of entering administration.

“If the [777] takeover doesn’t happen, or a takeover, then it will probably be juggling dust, not sand,” Dyche said. “If someone leaves, how do you get the next one in who is as good as the one leaving?”