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Everton owner Moshiri’s £400 million link to Usmanov under scrutiny

former Everton owner Farhad Moshiri reportedly received over £400 million from companies linked to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

Documents obtained by the Guardian disclose that Moshiri borrowed £145m from a company owned by Usmanov around 2020. 

Between 2018 and 2022, he sold approximately £270m of shares in a company where Usmanov was the largest shareholder. 

However, there is no apparent evidence of payment for these shares, suggesting they may have been gifted.

Usmanov, one of the world’s wealthiest individuals and reportedly close to Vladimir Putin, has had longstanding business ties with Moshiri. 

They previously held a stake in Arsenal, with Moshiri selling his shares back to Usmanov in 2016 to finance his initial investment in Everton.

This latest information casts doubt on the nature of their relationship. 

It also raises questions about Moshiri’s true financial capacity, coming shortly after he announced an agreement to sell Everton to US investment firm 777 Partners.

In response to the documents presented, a spokesperson for Usmanov acknowledged that Moshiri and his companies were indebted to him and related entities. 

The spokesperson expressed hope that the debt would be repaid following the sale of Everton. 

However, the current UK sanctions on Usmanov have complicated any potential repayment. UK citizens cannot transfer funds to sanctioned individuals without government authorisation.

Internal documents reveal that Moshiri had significant debts to Usmanov’s companies, raising concerns about whether these funds were invested in Everton.

The extent of Usmanov’s undisclosed financial links to Moshiri also calls into question the former accountant turned Premier League owner’s estimated wealth, previously reported at £1.6 billion.

Windfel Properties, a company owned by Usmanov, loaned Moshiri £70m between 2020 and 2022, with an additional £75m borrowed by a Moshiri-owned entity during that period. 

Moshiri seems to have received approximately £270m from selling shares in USM, Usmanov’s conglomerate.

His ownership of a 10% stake in USM appeared to require a $200m payment, which remained unpaid as of March 2022, raising speculation that he may have effectively received a substantial gift.

Moshiri’s debt to USM was further diminished by his non-acceptance of approximately $90m in USM dividends despite having no apparent stake in the company.

These revelations underscore the ongoing questions surrounding the Everton owner’s relationship with Usmanov, particularly before the sanctions were imposed. 

Recent reports have also linked Usmanov to Everton’s managerial decisions and discussions with former manager Carlo Ancelotti regarding performance-based incentives.

Usmanov has consistently denied any direct or indirect ownership stake in Everton, asserting that Moshiri has made all club decisions and followed Premier League rules and laws.

During the period when Moshiri purportedly received £415m from Usmanov-related companies, he was publicly credited with investing heavily into Everton.

However, the cub has been seeking new investment since distancing itself from Usmanov following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with a proposed deal from MSP Sports Capital recently collapsing.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Moshiri’s estimated net worth is approximately £1.6bn.

He reportedly owns UK properties valued at over £100 million, including the iconic Royal Liver Building in Liverpool and several luxury residences in north London.

Some of these were allegedly gifted by Usmanov ‘not for money’, as indicated by Land Registry documents.

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