Moshiri's funding intensifies Everton's push for success

LONDON • Roberto Martinez has admitted Farhad Moshiri's investment in Everton increases pressure on him and his players to "show we are ready to take the football club to the next level".

Moshiri, the British-Iranian billionaire who until last Friday owned 15 per cent of Arsenal, will acquire an initial 49.9 per cent stake in Everton subject to Premier League approval and ultimately plans to become majority shareholder.

The 60-year-old is worth £1.3 billion (S$2.55 billion), according to Forbes, and his impending arrival signals "a new era" for the Goodison Park club, according to their manager.

Martinez has met Moshiri, who was one of three parties to hold investment talks with Bill Kenwright before the Everton chairman and fellow directors opted for a deal that values the club at £175 million.

While the Monaco-based businessman's talks with the manager have not covered finer details such as this summer's transfer budget and requirements, the Spaniard admits that Moshiri wants "a winning team" and to accelerate the process of trying to qualify for the Champions League.

The manager will be aided by the club's decision to demolish their wage cap this summer, although he will have to convince the likes of Ross Barkley, John Stones and Romelu Lukaku to remain the team's core on long-term contracts.

"Straight away you get challenged internally and we have to show we are ready to take the football club to the next level," he said.

Everton travelled to Aston Villa for their Premier League match yesterday 12th in the table. They are closer on points to the relegation zone than the top four, with a woeful return of four wins from 14 home league games undermining Martinez's aims for the season.

The manager claimed Moshiri "knows how difficult it is to have a vision and to put that into practice".

But he admits there have been no assurances over his job from Everton's impending new investor. "No, and I don't need that," the 42-year-old said.

"I'm the manager and I know it's a results business and I'm going to be judged on my job; that doesn't change. What I'm very relaxed about is I know Everton will be in good hands with the new investor.

"He's someone who understands the heritage of our club. He's not someone who wants to take Everton as an investment, he's someone who wants to make Everton successful and bring a winning team."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2016, with the headline 'Moshiri's funding intensifies Everton's push for success'. Print Edition | Subscribe