Everton sells naming rights of its training ground in Halewood Finch Farm to a company founded by Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov who is Arsenal’s second largest shareholder with 30% shares of a club.
According to BBC, Usmanov is a close business associate of Everton’s major shareholder Farhad Moshiri and his company, USM Holdings, has struck a five-year agreement to rename the complex USM Finch Farm.
It is one of two deals worth a total of 75 million £ revealed by chief executive Robert Elstone at the club’s AGM this week. The other is for shirt sponsorship.
Moshiri’s plans for Everton also include an eventual move away from Goodison Park to a new stadium. His preferred option is the Mersey waterfront at Bramley Moore Dock.
Moshiri, who is is one of the main shareholders in USM Holdings, along with Usmanov and Vladimir Skoch, and Usmanov are long-time friends and Moshiri sold his stake in Arsenal to Usmanov to assist his purchase of a 49.9% shareholding in Everton for 87.5 million £ 11 months ago.
Despite Usmanov’s involvement with USM Holdings, there is no suggestion of a conflict of interest because he is not involved in the management of both clubs.
Apparently, Everton would only breach Financial Fair Play regulations if they were the beneficiaries of private investment as opposed to revenue raised commercially.
But it needs to be emphasized that businesses that come under the USM umbrella include Metalloinvest, the largest mining company in Russia.
Here’s a sneak peak in training at Finch Farm.