‘We don’t need £30m loan’ – Everton tells Metro Mayor

In September Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham offered Everton a £30m loan and £15m grant for its new £500m stadium – now the club says the loan is unnecessary. Tony McDonough reports

Everton
Image of Everton FC’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock

 

Everton Football Club has told Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham it will not need a £30m loan that was offered towards the cost of its £500m stadium project.

In September 2021, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) approved a £45m funding package work around the new arena at Bramley-Moore Dock at Liverpool Waters. This comprised a £15m grant and a £30m loan.

On Monday, said he had been informed by the club that it will no longer need the £30m loan as it had found “alternative sources of funding from the private sector”. However, it is still expected the £15m grant towards public space and heritage sites  around the project will be accepted.

In a statement Mr Rotheram said: “As with all investments supported by the LCRCA, assurances were sought that the project aligned with our investment strategy and significant due diligence was undertaken to ensure that the project would provide value for money.

“As one of the largest construction projects in the north of England, coupled with long-term commitments to regenerate the local community, the LCRCA supported the scheme on the basis that it could be the catalyst for the transformational regeneration of communities across north Liverpool and south Sefton.

“Earlier this year, Everton Football Club notified the LCRCA that it had found alternative sources of funding from the private sector and would therefore no longer require the £30m loan.

“We are in contact with Everton about the next steps on the £15m grant that is intended to preserve the historical aspects of Bramley-Moore Dock, support was the development of the site create jobs for local people and attract visitors to the region

Everton FC and its main contractor Laing O’Rourke broke ground at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool Waters in August. It is hoped Everton will leave its current home at Goodison Park in Walton and kick off the 2024/25 Premier League season at the 52,888-capacity stadium.

The entire build is scheduled to take around 150 weeks in 12 separate phases. The initial enabling works are expected to take 32 weeks and are being funded by majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

 

Farhad Moshiri
Everton Football Club majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri

 

On Wednesday last week, Everton announced it was suspending sponsorship deals with three Russian businesses linked to Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov. This was in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It said deals with USM, Megafon and Yota would be suspended “with immediate effect”.

USM sponsored Everton’s Finch Farm training complex, a deal believed to have been worth £6m a year and had an option on naming rights on the new £500m stadium being built at Bramley-Moore Dock. That deal was worth £30m to the club.

In October 2020, Everton Women secured a new commercial deal with MegaFon. The multi-year principal partnership agreement was the biggest commercial deal in the women’s team’s history.

Later last week it was reported that Mr Moshiri has stepped down from the board of USM, owned by Mr Usmanov who is facing sanctions by the UK Government over his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The businessman, who sold a 30% stake in Arsenal FC in 2018, has already had his assets frozen by the EU.

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