Everton new stadium: Usmanov buys UK£30m naming rights option

Everton new stadium: Usmanov buys UK£30m naming rights option
USM, the holding company belonging to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, has purchased a UK£30 million (US$39 million) naming rights option for top-flight English soccer club Everton’s new stadium.

Usmanov has already agreed an annual value and term to sponsor the Premier League side’s 52,000-seater venue at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Everton did not reveal how much the naming rights will be worth per season, although the Telegraph reports that it is below the annual UK£25 million (US$32.5 million) Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly seeking for a sponsor of their new ground.

Everton’s deal with USM, which has sponsored the club’s Finch Farm training ground since 2017, does not guarantee that the holding company’s name will be attached to the new stadium, but it does give Usmanov an exclusive first option ahead of other potential suitors.

Speaking at Everton’s AGM, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, the club’s Chief Executive, said of the USM agreement: “This innovative deal secures additional commercial revenue for the club and the option premium we are due to receive will be exclusively used as the club’s further contribution to the project’s equity.”

The announcement comes shortly after Usmanov told the Financial Times that he was “thinking about” investing in Everton, whose owner Farhad Moshiri is a close friend and business partner of the former Arsenal shareholder.

Usmanov’s investment provides a welcome boost to Everton’s coffers after the club revealed record losses of UK£111.9 million (US$145.5 million) for the year ending 30th June 2019.

The deficit comes just two years after Everton made a UK£30.6 million (US$39.8 million) profit in 2017 and represents a UK£98.8 million (US$128.5 million) increase in losses on the previous year.

The Premier League’s financial regulations allow for a cumulative UK£105 million (US$136.5 million) loss over three years, with Everton’s total loss in that timeframe now amounting to UK£94.3 million (US$122.6 million).

The club still achieved their second-highest revenue during the 2018/19 financial year, bringing in UK£188 million (US$244.5 million), owing largely to a 32 per cent uptick in commercial activity.

On the pitch, Everton have enjoyed an upturn in form since the arrival of Manager Carlo Ancelotti, and sit 11th in the table after their recent 1-0 win against Brighton and Hove Albion.

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