The exclusivity period for the sale of English Premier League (EPL) soccer’s Everton to US private equity firm 777 Partners has expired.

Everton will now “assess all options for future ownership,” and “continue to operate as usual,” despite seemingly being reliant on cash injections from 777 over the last few months. The club had not been able to speak to other potential owners until the exclusivity period ended on June 1.

777, which struck an initial agreement to take control of Everton from current owner Farhad Moshiri (and his company Blue Heaven Holdings Ltd) last September, had been given until 5am UK time on Saturday (midnight on the East Coast of the US) to complete the share purchase deal for Everton but failed to do so.

777 (which already has stakes in soccer clubs across Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Belgium) had initially hoped to conclude the transaction by the end of 2023 but has never managed to meet the standards of ownership set out by the Premier League in its rule book. Indeed, last month, the league told 777 that proof of funds must be sent through, and that the firm's £200 million ($253.9 million) loan to the Liverpool club must also be turned into equity.

The league also wanted 777 to show that it had the means to pay off a debt of over £150 million to the MSP Sports Capital organization.

However, 777 never managed to satisfy the league on these fronts, and indeed over the last month or so has been facing public financial issues, notably being accused of running a “fraudulent scheme” in a US civil court filing by London-based Leadenhall Capital Partners and Leadenhall Life Insurance Linked Investments Fund. Meanwhile, the Bonza budget airline owned by 777 entered voluntary administration in late April.

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Everton is planning to move into its new Bramley Moore Dock stadium (for which costs have increased to £760 million) in 2025-26.

The club was deducted a total of eight points (over two separate incidents) last season, for a duo of breaches of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

The club said in a statement: “The agreement between 777 Partners and Blue Heaven Holdings Limited for the sale and purchase of the majority shareholding in the club expired today (June 1).

“The club’s board of directors recognizes the considerable level of financial support 777 Partners has provided the club over recent months and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for this. The club will continue to operate as usual, while it works with Blue Heaven Holdings to assess all options for the club’s future ownership.”

One option for future Everton investment is US businessman John Textor, currently a part-owner of Everton’s EPL rivals Crystal Palace.

In a statement late last month, Textor confirmed that his Eagle Football Group, which manages his stakes in soccer clubs across France, Brazil, and Belgium (as well as Palace) has appointed the Raine Group to facilitate a sale of his Palace holdings.

That would then legally enable him to buy a stake in another EPL club.

Textor told The Athletic late last month: “Everton represents the best of English football: the struggles, the glory, the want. I love that it’s out of London. Everybody should want to buy Everton right now. That kind of club is what I’m referring to. How great would it be to take one of these great English clubs back to sort of glory?

However, he added: “I suspect the problem with Everton is it won’t be available by the time we would be ready for it.”