The Americans in question are headed by John Jay Moores, worth a reputed $500m, and his mates.
John Moores is a name familiar to Evertonians, given the man who also gives his name to a university in the City was responsible for the Blues being known as the Mersey Millionaires during the 1960’s.
From a number of reports, however, the name is as far as the similarity goes with this particular takeover rumour.
The American Moores is indeed very wealthy, although not really in Premier League terms. He’s had experience of owning other sport clubs – MLB side San Diego Padres – although he left them on bad terms after allegedly pocketing 25% of the new $800m TV deal after he had sold the side.
Moores took over the Padres when they were in dire straits. He then added a number of star players and saw their fortunes rise, winning four regional titles and a national one too. Then the investment in the side stopped as the Padres looked to move into a new stadium, funded by others. Their performances dropped, but a new TV deal meant that Moores could sell for a massive profit.
There are reports that the American Moores is a philanthropist and has donated much of his profit to charity. Then there is the bit about him marrying his mistress. Hmmm.
The bit about the investment in playing staff sounds good enough, and there is the potential for a stadium move to be at least part-funded by other partners if the Walton Hall Park scheme can be pushed forward. There is also the new TV deal looming on the horizon. But would that see the American Moores sell up and leave us with an ageing squad that hadn’t been invested in for quite some time?
Would that matter?
Are we close enough that any initial investment in the playing staff could elevate us to a position where the team produced their own re-investment and retention through Champions League football and the revenues that brings?
Would the current squad need a continued investment on the scale of Manchester City’s?
Everton are yet to comment on the story (it’s not stories, it’s one, that has been repeated with no additional information) but if it is true that the club have signed a deal to allow Moores to look over the books, then it is a step towards new investment.
The use of the phrase “due diligence”, however, is misleading. “Proper” due diligence requires shareholder notification, and would only be undertaken once an offer and price had been accepted by the current board. It is much further down the line than this current interest.
Everyone knows that Bill Kenwright is unwell, and that at some point his health could force a sale – although he’s actually a year younger than the American Moores, who was born in 1944.
Could this be the point at which a 16 year stint as Chairman of Everton Football Club ends?