The Miami-based investment firm owns several clubs as part of its multi-club model, with majority stakes in Standard Liege, Red Star Paris, Hertha Berlin, Genoa, Melbourne Victory and Vasco da Gama, as well as holding a minority position in Spanish side Sevilla.
777 Partners have come under heavy scrutiny ever since agreeing a deal to acquire Farhad Moshiri’s 94.1% shareholding in Everton back in September, with their ownership of other clubs in their stable of clubs coming under the spotlight, as well as a number of legal matters relating to other parts of the business, including its aviation investments division.
The Campeonato Serie A will get underway for a new season in April, and Vasco will return for pre-season in the coming weeks in preparation.
Ahead of the new campaign, Josh Wander, who along with Steven Pasko co-founded 777 Partners in 2015, has addressed fans of the Brazilian club, stating a “long lasting” commitment to the club.
In a statement made via Vasco’s club website on Sunday, Wander said: “I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Ramón Díaz, his staff, and our squad for their commendable efforts in finishing the season in a stronger position.
I am filled with gratitude and immense pride for the collective achievements of our club and community, from the exceptional players, coaches and staff, to the unwavering support from you, our dedicated fans. Together, we are charting a course toward a long-term, stable, and successful future, on and off the pitch.
“While it is disheartening that our fate hinged on the final match, I am pleased to see that the decisive action taken in the middle of the year brought much-needed steps towards continuous and positive change. For this season, we’re working hard to strengthen and improve our squad to be competitive during the 2024 Carioca, Brasileirao and Copa do Brasil tournaments.
The work of our newly-appointed sporting pirector, Alexandre Mattos, can already be seen with important renewals and additions to the team and coaching staff – and I’m sure he’ll continue to do great work.
“Off the field, we have much to be proud of as we work towards transforming Vasco into a financially sustainable organisation. By the end of 2023, we increased revenues by over 60%, reduced our debts by R$100m, and increased player value by over 200%.
We expect even better results by the end of 2024, led by Vasco SAF CEO Lucio Barbosa and CFO Kátia dos Santos, who have transitioned from interim to permanent roles. Their unwavering dedication to stabilising Vasco SAF has earned my full confidence and support.
“We look forward to continued positive dialogue with the new leadership team at the Association, just as we’ve had with President Salgado and his team over the past 18 months. In the same light, we want to extend our best wishes to new President Pedrinho.
We believe that a strong Vasco comes from a tight collaboration with SAF and the Association, something we will always strive to preserve and improve upon.
“In the 18 months since the creation of Vasco SAF, we have made substantial progress in addressing the challenging situation the club faced. However, recognizing that much more work lies ahead, I want to assure you that our commitment to Vasco is long-lasting.
Myself and the team at 777 Partners are determined to provide the club with a solid financial foundation which is critical to ensuring sustainable success for many years to come.
“Looking ahead to the next season, our focus remains on improving performance both on and off the field. As always, we are dedicated to seizing every opportunity to enhance the club.”
Whether 777’s words strike a chord with Vasco fans will likely be determined as to how they play out over the course of 2024, a year when the owners are aiming to further expand their football portfolio with the addition of Everton.
777 are still awaiting regulatory approval for the deal from the Premier League and the Football Association. The firm was given approval by the Financial Conduct Authority last month, one of the three regulatory bodies they needed to satisfy.
What had been a decision that had been expected to be reached within 12 weeks, prior to Christmas, has now rumbled on into 2024 and could well drag on into next month.
With the company having provided £150m in funding for working capital since September, much of it used for stadium construction costs and payroll obligations, there is a desire from the US firm’s end to see a swift resolution to the matter in the coming weeks, with the firm not willing to prop up spending indefinitely.
Sources close to the company say that there remains confidence in the deal going ahead, as evidenced by the capital commitment, but that no assurances over timescales or a potential decision has been fed back as yet.
Everton have been rocked by a second charge by the Premier League in a little over a year over breaches of the League’s Profit and Sustainability Regulations (PSR).
The club have been referred to an independent commission over the matter, with Nottingham Forest suffering a similar fate.
Everton are already in the process of appealing the 10-point deduction that was imposed following the independent commission hearing late last year in relation to breaches for the previous financial year.
The 777 position remains that they were aware of potential risks and there are clauses that exist within the heads of terms in relation to the price paid depending on the outcome of certain matters that would have a detrimental impact on the club’s ability to remain a Premier League side.