Everton auditor considers withdrawing, raising questions about Everton club’s finances

Sources reported that the auditor of Everton Football Club is considering giving up his role in signing the club’s accounts, which raises questions about its financing and ownership.

The Guardian understands that accounting firm BDO has informed Everton that it will not undertake the work, a decision that sources said is linked to Farhad Moshiri’s ownership of the Premier League side. The company has audited the club’s financial accounts for the past two years, but it is now believed that the Merseyside club is looking for a replacement.

Moshiri – who was said to be worth £1.7 billion on the latest Sunday Times Rich List – he was It was widely reported that it was offering the club for sale. Moshiri says he is not looking for a buyer.

Both Everton and Al-Mushiri said BDO remains the club’s auditor. A Moshiri spokesman said: Your assertions [about BDO] It is based on nothing more than their refusal to discuss a client’s matter with a third-party journalist.

“In line with the company’s best practices, we are following an audit rotation. However, BDO remains our auditor and has not resigned.”

BDO declined to confirm that it would audit Everton’s recent accounts, which covers the year through the end of June 2022. However, two confidential sources with internal knowledge of the events told The Guardian that BDO has unceremoniously withdrawn from the audit and is not doing work on the accounts, although Everton He did not give notice of this to Companies House.

By law, all UK businesses are required to audit their accounts, unless they are small enough to qualify for an exemption. With a turnover of £193m and net assets of £49.7m, Everton are required to have an auditor sign off their accounts. It is unusual for a client audit firm to be left scrambling to find an alternative.

Everton’s annual report is due to be published by March 31, 2023, according to Companies House, giving the club about five months to resolve the situation or find a replacement auditor. Lenders, investors and potential buyers of the club will require audited accounts before doing business with the club. The Premier League rules also state that Clubs must submit audited accounts to the League Council In March of each season.

The club’s finances have been in the spotlight since international governments imposed sanctions on Alisher Usmanov – a billionaire oligarch and longtime business partner of Meshiri – following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Usmanov’s USM Holdings started for five years Everton training ground It is worth around £12m a year in 2017 and paid £30m for the first time Naming rights option At the club’s new stadium, which is currently under construction at Bramley Moore Quay in Liverpool. MegaFon, which is Owned by USMAnd the Russian smartphone company Yota, part of the MegaFon group, sponsored Everton Women.

club All sponsorship deals suspended With Russian companies backed by the billionaire oligarchs when he was put under sanctions in March.

Moshiri’s spokesperson added:[Moshiri] He was a minority shareholder in USM Group, the former sponsor of the club of which Mr Moshiri was president before he resigned and cut all ties after the Ukrainian invasion. Any commercial or sponsorship relationships with USM were terminated at the same time. These were later replaced by other sponsors.”

In the last financial year to the end of June 2021, the club lost £120.9 million, on top of the £139.9 million it lost the previous year, according to accounts held at Companies House.

The club is also in the middle of trying to raise funds to complete the construction of the new stadium. that it Costs escalated and he It is expected to be worth 500 million poundsat the latest estimate.

BDO became Everton’s auditor for the fiscal year ending June 2020, succeeding Deloitte’s “Big Four” accounting firm.

Until Moshiri bought Everton, he was Co-owned Arsenal with Usmanov. he is First time purchase 49.9% of Everton March 2016, using the proceeds from the sale of his stake in Arsenal to Usmanov. he has Since increase Everton owns 94%.

The club has struggled to make an impression on the field in recent years, finishing just two places above the Premier League relegation zone last season – while not winning a major title since lifting the FA Cup in 1995. Nevertheless, Everton are one of the clubs most Historic in the country, as a founding member of the Football League and playing more seasons in the English Football League First Division than any other team.

Moshiri insisted that the club’s finances remain strong. His spokesman said: “The club is not for sale. We have been public about it. The pursuit of investors to complete the financing of the stadium and strengthen the team is the only objective.”

After his assets were frozen in March as part of the sanctions imposed by the European Union, Usmanov said in a statement: “I believe that such a decision is unfair and the reasons used to justify the sanctions are a set of false allegations and defamation that harm my honour.” Dignity and business reputation. I will use all legal means to protect my honor and reputation.”

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