The Premier League are set to investigate a naming rights deal at Everton’s new stadium with billionaire Alisher Usmanov, with rival clubs concerned that the deal could break financial rules.
The Russian billionaire has an estimated net worth of $13b and was a former shareholder at Arsenal until he sold his stake to Stan Kroenke. He is also currently a business partner with Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri.
According to the Daily Mail though, executives of Premier League clubs are worried about an illegal arrangement, with Usmanov’s holding company USM having spent £30m on the option to buy the naming right of Everton’s future stadium.
The main investigation that is now set to be carried out is whether the Toffees may be breaking profit and sustainability rules.
The Mail state that Everton will be questioned over whether £30m is a fair market rate, and whether Usmanov is an independent party. Should they be deemed guilty, then they could be forced to repay some of the money involved.
However, Everton are confident that there shouldn’t be any problems, and it does indeed comply with regulations.
Interestingly, Everton announced this deal on the same day it was revealed that they had suffered losses of £29.7m, and although they are still financially within Premier League rules, Usmanov’s offer of £30m could be a huge boost for them.
The new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is expected to be completed in either 2023 or 2024 and will have an initial capacity of 52,000, and will be primed for safe-standing in some areas should the laws change by then.
Much like Tottenham’s new stadium, Everton’s new ground will feature a large single tier stand. The demolition of Goodison Park will come as sad news for Toffees fans, but with bigger clubs benefiting from having grander stadiums, Everton know they need to keep up.