By George Overhill

15th Sep, 2023 | 2:10pm

Everton shareholders slam 'baffling' takeover news between Farhad Moshiri and 777 Partners ahead of Arsenal clash

The Everton Shareholders Association have reacted to the announcement of a takeover agreement between Farhad Moshiri and 777 Partners by calling it “disappointing” and “baffling”.

The group of minority shareholders posted on Twitter Friday (15 September), in the wake of the news out of the club, to decry the fact they had received “only a few minutes warning” while questioning the “poor timing” of the announcement in the run up to an important game against Arsenal on Sunday.

Moshiri and Everton are accused of treating supporters and shareholders with “disdain”, with the current owner and proposed new ones encouraged to “walk their engagement talk immediately”.

The EFCSA wrote: “We note the intention of largest shareholder Farhad Moshiri to sell his shares to 777 Partners Receiving only a few minutes warning of this proposed change of ownership is disappointing and yet again, the poor timing of club announcements before important games is baffling.

“The owner and the club continue to treat shareholders and fans with disdain and we encourage the current and (proposed future) owners to walk their engagement talk immediately – that fans are the most important asset at any football club.”

Bill Kenwright was also criticised for releasing a combative open letter on 21 April, the day before a key match in the relegation battle against Crystal Palace which finished goalless [Michael Ball].

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Whether this buy-out goes ahead or not it does suggest a lack of focus on the actual football team for key figures at the club to overshadow the build up to important matches repeatedly.

Sean Dyche will probably not be delighted by the distraction of the off-field machinations being ramped up so much as he looks to get a result against Mikel Arteta.

And it doesn’t portray anything close to transparency when there is no information on how the deal will be done in the official statement, and the other shareholders are already unhappy with the manner of the announcement.

Given 777 are tipped to be unable to get the requisite support from all the parties necessary in order to complete this transaction, it isn’t an encouraging sign for them that the EFCSA’s reaction is less than positive.

Perhaps the takeover goes through in the next few months as the two sides of the deal are indicating, or perhaps it doesn’t as various journalists seem to suspect.

But it seems like it is a move that will face opposition either way and the team will continue playing against a backdrop of uncertainty around the club.

In other Everton news, private admissions of doubt over the profit and sustainability hearing next month have been made by figures at the club.