777 Partners learn extent of Everton problems and ‘juggernaut’ potential in attendance for Luton Town defeat
The prospective new owners of Everton will have seen the both the potential of the club and the extent of the issues they will be inheriting at Goodison Park after attending the loss to Luton Town, says Paul Brown.
The former Daily Star journalist told Give Me Sport on 2 October that all the “highs and the lows” were in evidence over the 90 minutes of the 2-1 home defeat on 30 September, with the “incredible support” of the fans showing that the Toffees could be turned back into a “juggernaut” by the appropriate owners.
However Brown still alluded to the lack of certainty regarding the takeover as he pointed out that many will still have “major doubts” that the Americans are willing or able to oversee such a return to prominence.
Brown said: “If they didn’t realise before that the club has problems, they will know now. But having said that, I’m also sure that, despite the fact they own quite a lot of other clubs around the world, and these are clubs with passionate fans in their own right, they probably won’t have experienced something quite like they did at Goodison, because they’ll have seen the highs and lows in one all in one 90 minute match.
“I think that the thing for anyone coming to Everton is that it’s a sleeping giant. And if you can galvanise that incredible support from its fans, somebody with the right resources and the will to do it, it could turn Everton back into a juggernaut.
“So, they will have seen there was potential there for success. But I think many people have major doubts about whether they can or will do any of those things.”
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Risk and reward
It is evidently not going to be a cheap process to rescue Everton when the club are paying hefty interest payments on hundreds of millions in debt while running up huge losses.
And with a stadium project still ongoing that has ballooned in cost over its lifespan it is going to take deep pockets to fund everything the Toffees need at this stage.
But in terms of potential to turn a struggling club into a force there are arguably few alternatives that are so easily available, with Farhad Moshiri apparently wanting out as soon as possible.
The club’s history, its fanbase, the new ground once it is complete, and its presence in the Premier League make the possibilities for improvement huge.
Top flight survival remains absolutely vital to the entire situation since earning power drops dramatically in the Championship, and it has been tipped to mean financial oblivion at Goodison Park.
But when questions continue to be asked over 777’s spending power, particularly in light of late payments reported elsewhere in their business empire [Guardian, 2 October], there will remain plenty of people unconvinced that they are the ones to take advantage of the opportunity in the right way.