Football: Premier League approves billionaire Moshiri's Everton investment

Aaron Lennon celebrates after scoring the second goal for Everton on March 5, 2016.
Aaron Lennon celebrates after scoring the second goal for Everton on March 5, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - The Premier League has approved the proposed investment into Everton by British-Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri, the Merseyside club said in a statement on Tuesday.

Moshiri, a former Arsenal shareholder, ended Everton's long search for investment when he bought a 49.9 per cent stake in the Goodison Park outfit last month.

His close relationship with Bill Kenwright and willingness to allow the chairman to remain in a position of power at the club, at least in the short term, was believed to be a factor in clinching the deal.

Kenwright, a leading film and theatre producer, had been looking for major investment for more than a decade, having bought a controlling stake in Everton from Peter Johnson for £20 million (S$39.4 million) in 1999.

The club have won the top-flight title nine times and the FA Cup on five occasions, albeit not since 1995 when they last lifted a major trophy.

Forbes estimated Moshiri's personal wealth at about £1.3 billion before he sold his Arsenal shares last month to Red and White Holdings partner Alisher Usmanov, the London club's second-largest shareholder.

Everton, who are 12th in the Premier League with 10 matches left this season, host Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday.