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New stadium, new owners, new Everton?

How the Liverpool club will change after the 777 Partners purchase

New stadium, new owners, new Everton?  How the Liverpool club will change after the 777 Partners purchase

Nestled away in the often overcast northwest of England sits a proud city, one with a name as recognisable as any major city in the world, and one that, once heard, evokes images of football, and perhaps The Beatles: Liverpool. Whilst some, perhaps the majority of you reading, will almost immediately relate Liverpool to the colour red, but there is another side, with its own vast history and exceptional fanbase, Everton Football Club. The eighth most successful English team of all time, Everton, founded in 1878, were the tour de force in English football throughout the 1980s, often only rivalled by their cross-city compatriots. Yet, following their FA Cup success in the 1994/95 season, The Toffees have failed to coax another piece of silverware into the cabinet, with a 2009 FA Cup Runners-Up medal being the best they could achieve. Regardless of their inability to win a trophy over the last three decades, Everton have almost always played with the aura of a solid Premier League side. A major contributing factor to Everton’s ability to maintain, until recently, a commendable level of consistency is their home, Goodison Park

Goodison Park was opened on 24 August 1892, by Lord Kinnaird and Frederick Wall of the Football Association and has stood since as a beacon of blue amongst a sea of red. Having beaten Bolton 4-2 in the first game hosted at the stadium, there appeared to be an inevitable sense of heritage ready to seep into every corner of the stadium, heritage that still stands today, but not for too much longer. Now, there is a new kid on the dock. Everton’s £500m, 52,888 capacity Bramley Moore Dock Stadium overhangs the famous waterway that separates the city from Birkenhead and the distant towns and villages of North Wales. Inevitably, there will be a split amongst the fanbase with regards to moving from the hallowed turf of Goodison to the soon-to-be newly built Bramley Moore Dock. However, with the club struggling on the pitch, and the fans experiencing a minor form of Tantalean punishment season-on-season, perhaps a break from the past might allow the club to build for the future successfully. 

Everton’s interim CEO and Stadium Development Officer Colin Chong explained that: "In the coming months we will be consulting supporters further on our digital journey and the migration process as we seek to make a fully informed decision on when the first competitive game for our senior men’s team will be played at Everton Stadium. This will be our home for generations to come, so our ambition is to ensure we get this right for everyone. It may have been a difficult and turbulent season on the pitch, but I know that in Everton Stadium we have a glimpse into the future of football for our great club.” Fans may also take comfort in the fact that Farhad Moshiri, the 94% majority shareholder at Everton has recently been bought out by new owners 777 partners. Given that the state of footballing success could hardly be lower for The Toffees right now, a financial boost may be exactly what Dyche need in order to navigate their way out of the Premier League relegation waters. 

Those Everton fans unable to stomach potentially bad news may want to avoid the following few lines. Whilst 777 partners have built themselves a beautiful footballing portfolio, on-pitch success seems to be hard to come by for any and all of their clubs. Most notably, Sevilla, of whom 777 partners own 15%, have impressed on the European stage when given the chance, their domestic form, especially this season, has been woeful, sitting on three points after four games and one place above the relegation zone. Genoa, who the Miami-based company bought for an estimated €150m, sit lower-mid table in Serie A having been promoted to second place from Serie B the season prior. Brazilian side Vasco De Gama sits third bottom in the Brasileiro Serie A whilst Standard Liege, a Belgian behemoth, sits one place outside the relegation zone.

The stadium build itself has been called into question over the last two months, in particular following the death of a construction worker, Michael Jones, 26, on the site who was caught between a ladder and a beam, suffering fatal head injuries an enquiry was told. That said, a pre-inquest review hearing will be held on 29 February 2024. We can only wish his family well. Therefore, with the performances on the pitch requiring work, a switching of ownership not looking overly positive given the larger picture, and the fact that there are seemingly constant rising costs of the development, life for The Toffees faithful is anything but sweet. Having said this, the club will survive, and the fans will continue to support the team regardless of the challenges. I have been fortunate to spend the last three years of my life in the wonder of Liverpool. Take it from me, the Everton faithful are as determined as ever to see their club return to their true level.