Everton and Alisher Usmanov strike £30m stadium naming rights deal

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has boosted his relationship with Everton FC by paying £30million upfront to seal a deal for an exclusive option on naming rights for the club’s new stadium. It can be recalled that Usmanov sold his shares at Arsenal for a reported £550m in the summer of 2018 and is a long term partner of Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Usmanov’s holding company USM already sponsors the club’s Finch Farm training ground and the Russian tycoon has now invested more money with an agreement in place for the naming rights of the proposed Bramley-Moore Duck which is set to be completed in 2023.

The specific details about the finances are yet to be made public but the PA news agency is reporting that it’s below the level of the reported £20m-a-year which Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur are considering for their new stadium.

The club will look to fund 60% to 70% of the estimated £500m cost of the new ground. The planning permission for the ground was submitted last month through a debt facility and two banks namely; JP Morgan and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group have also been engaged to ensure that other options are explored.

Regardless, the chief finance and commercial officer of the club Sasha Ryazantsev said Moshiri “continues to invest in the club and is committed to ensuring the new stadium project progresses” and is “excited by the plans and the progress made”.

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This latest development involving Usmanov was revealed as Everton published their accounts for the 13 months showing a loss of £111.9m despite posting the second-highest revenues in their history of £188m. The overall net debt fell from £65.7m to £9.2m due to a further interest-free loan of £50m plus his £100m-plus purchase price for the club for which he emerged as majority shareholder in February 2016.

“Last year I shared with you our club’s long-term vision to establish Everton as an elite club challenging at the very top of domestic and European competitions,” said chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale.

“I was unambiguous that this meant winning domestic titles and trophies, competing regularly in the Champions League…in a world-class stadium.

“This ambition has not changed. We knew it would be extremely challenging, that it would not happen overnight and that it is a longer-term journey at commitment.

“Mr Moshiri’s investment has been vital and impactful. However, this investment has inevitably had an impact on our short-term profitability.

“These results reflect our position in the early stages of a long-term investment cycle.”

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