Everton could seek fresh investors after Uzbekistan-born billionaire Alisher Usmanov has seen his assets frozen, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
While that has come as a blow off the pitch, the Toffees saw their Premier League survival hopes suffer a major setback when they were thrashed 5-0 by Tottenham Hotspur last night, leaving them just a point above the drop zone.
What’s the latest news involving Usmanov?
Usmanov, who has commercial ties to Everton, has had his assets frozen by the European Union after it announced further sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 68-year-old first linked up with the Merseyside club more than five years ago, with his USM Holdings company sponsoring the Toffees’ Finch Farm training ground.
He also struck a £30million deal to secure an exclusive naming-rights option on Everton’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
But the Toffees have cut ties with its Russian sponsors, including USM Holdings, after going to war with Ukraine.
The Mail on Sunday have claimed the sanctioning of oligarch Usmanov, who has fled to his bolthole palace in Uzbekistan since the Ukrainian invasion, has left Everton with a black hole of up to £300million in their playing budget.
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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Usmanov?
O’Rourke believes Everton may be looking for new big-money backers to head to Goodison Park to fill the void left by Usmanov’s assets no longer being obtainable.
The journalist feels the Toffees need more funds to be readily available if they are to stave off relegation to the Championship and bolster boss Frank Lampard’s squad in the summer transfer window.
O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “It might mean that Everton will be looking for financial investment just to help the club tick along and everything else.
“It’s going to be such a big summer for Everton. They will be desperate to stay in the Premier League.”
Could Usmanov’s sanctions have an impact on Everton’s new stadium plans?
According to Sky Sports, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri remains committed to leading the club from Goodison Park into their new Bramley-Moore Dock home.
The report suggests the financing of the stadium, away from the naming rights issue involving Usmanov, was always going to be coming from the external financial marketplace and that remains the case.
Everton will be hoping to head into their new surroundings as a Premier League club and Lampard, who was appointed as their manager in January, has insisted Usmanov’s lack of financial backing ‘hasn’t impacted’ his squad as they look to claw themselves out of a relegation dogfight.