Everton fans cautious amid takeover reports

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Goodison Park. Pic by Vegard Grott © JMU Journalism

Goodison Park. Pic by Vegard Grott © JMU Journalism

Proposed takeover talks loom large at Goodison Park with Everton fans seemingly cautious over a potential £200m purchase by American investors John Jay Moores and Charles Noell.

It is 16 years since Blues chairman Bill Kenwright promised to find investment for the club, now this appears to be the final act for the West End theatre producer.

The US group, led by former San Diego Padres owner Moores and fellow entrepreneur Noell, were reportedly interested in investing in Swansea City and the pair have spent six weeks conducting a process of due diligence.

It is believed two China-based groups also remain interested in buying Everton. In October of last year, City of London sources revealed to BBC Sport that American investors, some with links to Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City, were exploring the purchase of the club.

Lifelong Evertonian Jonny Lennon told JMU Journalism: “I think to progress we need serious investment in a new stadium or a redevelopment of Goodison Park. If these guys can do that and invest in building our squad while holding onto our best players we can go places.

“New owners have caused chaos at their clubs but change is needed at the top because we have stagnated and fallen behind other clubs. I’m looking forward to do it and hoping for bigger and brighter times for Everton.”

However, his optimism was not shared on social media. Brian Sinnott tweeted: “After all the ‘Kenwright out’ years, the Devil is at the door and people don’t want it. This is the new football unfortunately, owners want profit.”

James Gerrard tweeted: “This Everton takeover could be the worst thing they’ve ever done. Beware of the Yankees. Ask Aston Villa how it’s going.”

Fan sentiment appears to err on the side of caution. Dave Clark said on Everton forum Toffee Web: “I’m so scared of this takeover. The Yanks have no clue about football and all they want is a huge return on their investment. I actually have no problem with that, but are the rest of you ready for it?

“Buy Everton for £200m, sell John Stones, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley for £150m and they get a bargain. Yes, it really is that easy and we the fans could do nothing about it. Be careful what you wish for.”

Whilst others claimed it was too little too late. Stephen Scofield said: “I’ve been looking forward to a takeover for years. But I feel, with the money from Sky next year, and Financial Fair Play is it actually worth it anymore? I fear we have missed the boat.”

About Lewis Phillips-Calvert, JMU Journalism