Gradual rebalancing à la Genoa, justice gets involved in Brazil, no impact in Seville: Global distrust around 777 Partners

Gradual rebalancing à la Genoa, justice gets involved in Brazil, no impact in Seville: Global distrust around 777 Partners
Gradual rebalancing à la Genoa, justice gets involved in Brazil, no impact in Seville: Global distrust around 777 Partners

While the process of selling Standard is underway, concern is growing everywhere in the other clubs owned entirely or partially by 777 Partners. The image of the American investment fund is very negative. Overview of our file.

Genoa: maintenance and gradual financial rebalancing

A few days before the blocking of the SL16 Campus preventing the Standard – Westerlo match from taking place, the CEO of Genoa Andres Blazquez proclaimed his ambition by declaring that a bonus was included in the contract of his coach Alberto Gilardino in the event of qualification for the Cup of Europe next season. This is one of the great paradoxes of 777 Partners.

At Genoa, supporters and management seem delighted since the takeover in September 2021, despite the dispute with former majority shareholder Enrico Preziosi. The ultras of the Italian club are also the only ones among those whose club is owned by 777 Partners not to have signed the press release against the American fund, describing the multi-ownership as “harmful” and of “scourge”.

Genoa coach Alberto Gilardino. ©Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse

It is that on the shores of the Mediterranean, the return to Serie A after the shift last season, and the eleventh place this season, delighted the fans. “The stadium is 94% full, the team is performing well and Gilardino should extend his contract for two years,” List us a follower.

Financially, salaries have so far been paid on time and on time. Thanks in part to increased turnover, driven by the sale of defender Radu Dragusin to Tottenham for 25 to 30 million euros (€M).

There Gazzetta dello Sport recently wrote that the loss on the 2023 balance sheet (€32.5 million) was two times lower than the previous one (€61.7 million), “thanks also to the cancellation of the debt linked to the tax agreement […] The Genoa court gave the green light under a business plan based on remaining in Serie A which provides for a gradual financial rebalancing”. With the objective of a positive net balance from 2026.

We also learn that the support and guarantees of 777 Partners helped during the takeover of the club… But since the alleged fraud scandal, distrust is starting to spread in Genoa.

Hertha Berlin: a club in expectation

Teeth are gnashing in the German capital. After the repurchase of 78.8% of the club’s shares, validated in March 2023, Hertha Berlin was unable to avoid relegation to D2 last season, and had to use trickery to obtain its license.

In recent weeks, clouds have gathered above the Olympic stadium. To calm the anger of the supporters, the club tried to reassure, explaining that 777 Partners had so far paid 75 million euros of the 100 planned. The balance must be released during next season. “The second tranche was even paid seven weeks in advance, specifies an attentive observer. The aim was twofold: to demonstrate that 777 had liquidity and to send a positive signal at the time when the fund was negotiating the takeover of Everton.”

A little over a year after the arrival of 777 at Hertha, the public is disillusioned. ©(c) Copyright 2023, dpa (www.dpa.de). All Rechte vorbehalten

”Hertha BSC has taken a big step towards the objective of cleaning up its budget”, explained CEO Thomas Herrich, notably by a reduction “personnel and material costs”while focusing even more on the training of young people.

All this does not prevent the German Football League (DFL) from issuing certain conditions for the granting of the license for 2024-25. And, given his financial situation and the turmoil that helps Josh Wander and Steven Pasko, “It is possible that Hertha will have to look for other sources of financing,” according to the German press.

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The impact of 777 Partners’ problems on Hertha remains unknown.

A colleague adds that “the impact of 777 Partners’ problems on Hertha remains unknown. Here, we follow very closely what is happening in Liège, Vasco da Gama and the United States. But we must not forget that, last year, without the money from 777, the club would not have received its license…”

Finally, sportingly, after ninth place in Bundesliga 2, Hertha announced that the contract of its coach Pal Dardai would not be extended.

Habib Beye brought Red Star back to Ligue 2. ©AFP or licensors

Red Star: in Ligue 2 despite disenchantment from day one

We cannot blame them for having reversed their position. As soon as Red Star was purchased in May 2022, supporters expressed their disapproval. “The Americans arrived to immediate hostility,” they confirm to us in Paris.

However, the new shareholders did not carry out a profound revolution in this historic French football club, which they considered ideal for investment, due to its geographical location, its glorious past and the potential breeding ground for young talents in a city like Paris.

On the contrary. President Patrice Haddad was retained in post and the overall budget doubled, from €4 to €8 million to maintain a stable workforce. “Last season, the objective was already to move up to Ligue 2 but the club finished third. It was a relative failure given the quality of the squad.”

The budget should increase from €8 to €15 million for Ligue 2.

On the other hand, this season has been incredible for Red Star with domination in the standings punctuated by a title and a rise. “It’s a good team but not magical either. we are whispered. The stability of the core and the increased professionalization of the staff have paid off.”

All that remains is to prepare for Ligue 2… and the passage before the DNCG (National Directorate of Management Control), the financial policeman of French football. Coach Habib Beye has decided to leave to take on a greater challenge.

“The Standard’s vital prognosis is largely in jeopardy”: a criminologist assesses the extremely serious complaints against 777 Partners

The club’s budget will increase further to reach €15 million. “Contacts between Red Star and 777 most often take place via Don Dransfield (CEO of the football branch) and Johannes Sport (Global Sports Director). Josh Wander (CEO of 777 Partners) was supposed to come to watch the last match but was ultimately absent.”

From the latest echoes drawn from France, the latest revelations on the situation of 777 Partners do not really worry Red Star. “But one day is not the other”, tempers an interlocutor.

In this sense, the club published a press release on May 13. Extract : “The club would like to affirm that to date, the 777 Football Group has not only fulfilled all its obligations towards Red Star, but also regularly exchanges with the club on the budgetary construction of the 2024-2025 season […]”

In Liège, Berlin, Paris or Vasco de Gama, 777 Partners is not welcome.

Vasco da Gama: justice gets involved

It’s a fiasco in Vasco. About ten days ago, by court decision, 777 Partners was removed from the control of the club. This decision comes from the Brazilian justice system which says “concerned about its real financial capacity”. The stake of 777 Partners, taken in 2022, was thus reduced from 70 to 30% in order to prevent it from selling the majority of its shares.

Latest element to date: on Wednesday, the Brazilian justice system refused the request to suspend the decision. Two appeals were filed. But the judge upheld the order, for “avoid the danger of a worsening of the operational situation”, reports Globo Esporte.

According to ESPN Brazil, the president is looking for new investors.

For its part, 777 Partners reacted by publishing a note: “We take this opportunity to reassure Vasco players and employees, ensuring that as soon as this legal aberration is reversed, we will immediately regularize this sad situation.”

At the same time, according to ESPN Brazil, President Pedrinho would work on two fronts to bring in new investors. One of the avenues would lead to an Arab fund.

In the meantime, Vasco fans are still scolding fiercely. Currently thirteenth (out of twenty) in the championship (with six points in six games), the team is barely better than last season when it held on at the last minute.

Frenchman Dimitri Payet (ex-OM) plays for Vasco da Gama. ©Sports Press Photo

Melbourne Victory: a title to gag the critics?

The acquisition of a minority stake in Melbourne Victory, in October 2022 for around $6 million, followed the launch of the Australian low-cost airline Bonza created by… 777 Partners.

Football is poised for tremendous growth in Australia, and that’s why it’s strategically important for our group to be here. Melbourne Victory, with its success on the field and its passionate and loyal supporters, is the ideal club for us,” Josh Wander said at the time. It would even have an option to increase its shareholding up to 70%.

Melbourne Victory is close to a title, 6 years after the last one.

A few months after its first flight, Bonza’s fleet was grounded due to poor financial health. The football club is doing better. Financially (after several years ending in the red including a loss of $4.5 million in 2021-22) but also sportingly. Six years after their last A-League title, Melbourne Victory will play the championship grand final this Saturday against Central Coast Mariners, the outgoing winner.

But there too, the press and public opinion are worried about the legal troubles of its American shareholder.

The Melbourne Victory team is sponsored by Bonza, an airline of… 777 Partners. ©Sports Press Photo

Sevilla FC: less impact

In Andalusia, 777 Partners only has around 8% of the shares of Sevilla FC. But disagreements have arisen and, recently, a press release signed by some 1,100 minority shareholders requested clarification on the intentions of the American fund, while demanding that the club remain in the hands of Sevillians. Fans complain of a devaluation of their club, both financial and sporting.

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