By George Overhill

22nd May, 2023 | 8:40pm

Everton takeover update: 777 Partners shy away on price after behind-scenes access to £141.7million debt on books

MSP Sports Capital have pushed ahead in reaching an exclusivity agreement with Everton while 777 Partners have been unwilling to pay a “significant” price after behind-the-scenes access to the accounts, BBC Sport reports.

The two American interests have been competing in a race to reach a deal with Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri, but the former have now landed in the box seat with talks ongoing before a final agreement is reached.

The breakthrough has comes after 777 Partners were given access to the balance sheets and in light of having an inside view of the debt the club is carrying have reportedly not been willing to make a suitably-sized offer.

According to the BBC Sport report on the development with MSP Sports Capital: “777 have had access to the ‘data room’ (financial accounts), but have not been prepared to pay a ‘significant’ price as they have looked at the debt on the balance sheet – which stood at £141.7m in the latest accounts.”

The Toffees require funding to go towards the new stadium development, as costs have increased by as much as half, amid suggestions that the developers may even have to take ownership if payments are missed.

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Any entity being allowed access to the club’s accounts and shying away at the sight of a significant level of debt isn’t a glowing endorsement of the finances at Everton.

But, while nobody is likely to be investing in the club purely out of an altruistic hope to see the Toffees do well, if it is seen as difficult to make a quick profit it would perhaps weed out interest from investors who aren’t committed for the longer-term.

The final week of the season is still yet to determine whether the team will be playing in the Premier League or the Championship, which has surely been a key factor throughout negotiations with either side, and Everton do go into the finale with the upper hand.

Making a breakthrough with MSP Sports Capital while top flight safety is still in the balance, while 777 Partners are holding back, would possibly suggest that the former makes more sense from a stability perspective.

But unless or until they, or anyone else, are announced as reaching a full agreement with Moshiri the details of the implications won’t be come clear.

The need to secure extra funding to put towards the increasing costs of building the new stadium appears to be widely accepted as paramount, so moving a step closer to that is in itself likely to be positive news.

But it is obviously necessary for that money to come from a source that have a sustainable plan for the club.