Everton owner Farhad Moshiri says the Premier League club is not for sale but is close to securing investment to help build a new stadium.
Moshiri told the club’s Fans’ Advisory Board that he was looking to help fund the construction of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-Moor Dock in a video posted on the club’s website, recorded before Saturday’s defeat by West Ham United.
The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Moshiri had offered to sell the Merseyside club, who are in the Premier League’s relegation zone, and sacked manager Frank Lampard on Monday.
When Reuters asked the club to comment on the Guardian report, an Everton spokesperson said the video clarified Moshiri’s views.
“The club is not for sale but I have spoken with big investors to fill a gap (in financing) the stadium. I can do it myself and the reason I want to do it is to bring big sports investors to Everton. We are close to closing a deal,” Moshiri told the Fans’ Advisory Council.
“The deal does not involve selling the club at all. It brings more experience in terms of sponsorship and commercial development and many specialist sports investors have that knowledge. The stadium is the best we can do with our project at the moment, on time and on budget. Once “Overcoming the negative results of the team, the fans can begin to dream with me. The stadium has never been a luxury for Everton, it is a necessity.”
Everton has not been relegated from the top flight since the 1954-1955 season, but it has won only three times in 20 league games this season and is penultimate.
Moshiri sought to reassure fans that the team could still turn things around.
He added, “Everton’s ambition is to be part of the major clubs. We were part of the major clubs. Our goal is not to be in the relegation centers. Our ambition is to qualify for the European championships.”
“We didn’t succeed today, but we have laid the foundation to do so. We will get there, but we can only achieve it together.”