Dan Friedkin Poised to Purchase Everton

Dan Friedkin emerged from the shadows at the dawn of the Coronavirus pandemic, taking our beloved AS Roma off James Pallotta’s increasingly frustrated hands in early 2020. While little was known about Mr. Friedkin at the time, apart from his automotive background, dalliances with Hollywood, and penchant for vintage aircraft, his acquisition was a breath of fresh air for a fanbase tired of the empty promises of the Pallotta regime.

Since acquiring the Giallorossi, Friedkin has remained relatively quiet compared to his predecessor. This taciturn approach may frustrate the media, but by remaining tight-lipped, Friedkin has ensured that the focus is on the men on the pitch. And while Roma has managed little more than a string of sixth-place finishes under his watch, the club did end its decades-long European title drought when they hoisted the inaugural Europa Conference League trophy in 2022.

Toss in his high-profile signings of José Mourinho, Paulo Dybala, and Romelu Lukaku, and Friedkin’s first four years at the helm produced more positives than negatives, but the Texan is thirsty for more football spoils.

According to multiple outlets, including The Athletic and BBC Sport, Friedkin is poised to acquire Everton. The lesser-known Merseyside club finished 15th in the Premiership this season, partly because it was docked eight points for violating the league’s internal financial rules. Still, as a member of the most lucrative league in the world, Everton was a highly sought-after purchase.

A decision over whether Friedkin wants to exercise the option of buying current owner Farhad Moshiri’s 94% stake could come by the weekend, with Friedkin thought to be flexible about the exact structure of any deal.

Friedkin has moved in front of four rival bidders, including UK-based investment firm Vici Private Finance, MSP Sports Capital, local businessmen Andy Bell and George Downing and a consortium involving a Saudi royal.

News of the Friedkin bid appeared to prompt the withdrawal from the process for that final consortium, which was being led by London-based businessman and lawyer Vatche Manoukian alongside the unnamed Saudi royal and families with a high net worth from the United States.

Meanwhile, The Athletic offered insight into the conditions that brought Everton to this point:

Any deal — subject to Premier League approval — would end months of speculation about the club’s future and comes only two weeks after a proposed takeover by Miami-based private investment firm 777 Partners collapsed…

The Athletic reported earlier this month that 777 Partners’ proposed takeover had fallen through following the expiry of a purchase agreement.

It meant that Everton were free to engage with other potential investors, having stated they would “assess all options for the club’s future ownership”.

Everton’s majority shareholder Moshiri, through Blue Heaven Holdings Limited, had reached an agreement with 777 in September to sell his stake in the club.

The transaction was expected to be finalised by the end of 2023, but the takeover was repeatedly delayed due to 777’s inability to meet all the Premier League’s conditions for the purchase.

And finally, bringing it back to BBC Sport, they shared an update from Moshiri himself, who expressed optimism about the club’s impending change:

“Everton fans deserve to be competing for trophies once again and we hope this deal delivers success for the club on and off the pitch. I want to thank our world-class investors for their support and we are excited to turn our focus to new opportunities to take great clubs to the next level.”

The initial reactions to Friedkin expanding his sporting portfolio have run the gamut thus far, with Roma fans greeting the news with a mixture of admiration, ambivalence, and outright hostility, fearing that Friedkin’s purchase of Everton will put Roma on the back burner or worse, portend another sale of the club.

Time will tell, of course, but in the short term, this likely won’t affect the Giallorossi’s transfer plans or ambitions for next season—we hope.

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