A BBC Panorama special will reportedly look into Alisher Usmanov’s involvement in Farhad Moshiri’s investment in Everton FC.
The question being raised by the programme is whether Usmanov is too heavily involved, considering his Arsenal stake. The Premier League prohibits any individual buying into one club if they own 10% or more of another, and Usmanov owns over 30% of Arsenal, so investing in Everton would be prohibited.
The 64-year-old hasn’t directly got any stake in Everton, but The Times report that the BBC have documents showing Moshiri’s Arsenal stake was a gift from Usmanov, which would make the Arsenal shareholder the source of the funds for Moshiri’s Everton investment.
Everton and Usmanov have both denied any involvement by the billionaire in their club. But considering USM Holdings, a company Usmanov has a 48% stake in, is sponsoring Everton’s training ground, the BBC clearly believe there is enough reason to warrant an investigation.
We’ll have to wait for the full two-part programme on Sunday and Monday to know the extent of their discoveries, but it’s worrying to have a major shareholder so seemingly involved in another club, despite the clear restrictions on it.
With all the nonsense going on with the Arsenal AGM, and Kroenke and Usmanov’s battle for supremacy at the Emirates, this latest development is yet another distraction from what a football club should be about, i.e. football.