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Moshiri talks about big loss, player transfers, new stadium and more

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Majority owner gives revealing interview

Everton v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round
Farhad Moshiri
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has lifted the lid on a lot of goings-on at the club, sharing his thoughts on the heavy defeat at Chelsea, player transfers and news about the proposed stadium away from Goodison Park.

Talking about John Stones and other transfers -

"I didn't want to sell. I did what I could to keep Romelu (Lukaku), which I managed to do. I looked at the club, and the three big stars were Romelu, Ross Barkley and John Stones.

"The boy (Stones) wanted to go. (Roberto) Martinez had promised him he could go the following year, but I didn't let him go until the manager (Koeman) said he could go.

"At the end of the day I do what the manager wants, because what is £47.5m? We tried to buy (Kalidou) Koulibaly from Napoli and they wanted £60m. We competed with Chelsea for him, went right up to the asking price and they didn't want to sell.

"Every defender now in Europe seems to be £50m, 29, 30-year-olds. It's Monopoly money, it doesn't mean anything.

"The manager had seven names, and four of those we got. With (Moussa) Sissoko we matched the asking price, actually paid more, we had all the terms agreed but we realised at the last minute, just before midnight (on deadline day) that he'd changed his mind. He wanted a Champions League club.

"Lucas Perez was exactly the same. He was all ready to sign and then Arsenal took him from us. (Manolo) Gabbiadini of Napoli, they sold Higuain and then decided not to sell.

"But you don't really know if that would have helped us. Lucas Perez is injured, Sissoko is suspended, and Gabbiadini has scored one Serie A goal since."

On his thoughts about manager Ronald Koeman -

"Koeman is Koeman," he said. "He does what he wants.

"He's ruthless. And if a player is not up to it, he uses another, and eventually he buys a new one.

"The job of the owner and the chairman is to hire and fire the manager, the rest is down to him. Our job is to back him.

"We trust him. He has the personality and the aura. It's a difficult landscape now, teams are getting £900m, £1bn kit deals, but there is always a way to compete. We will find a way, we won't let the fans down."

On the 5-0 loss at Chelsea -

"It completely ruined my weekend. It was terrible.

"I owned part of Arsenal, as you know, and when they lost 8-2 against Manchester United (in 2010) I felt the pain.

"It was immense. You just get numb. But the pain (on Saturday) was much deeper than when Arsenal lost. As a shareholder, you feel responsible.

"I avoided the Sunday papers, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I have tentatively had a look at the papers on Monday!"

He wasn’t all pessimistic though -

"We shouldn't forget that the last year we had a terrible run," he added. "We had the worst home record (in the club's history).

"Now, the club is going the right way. At the beginning of the season, our plan was to get into Europe and we are on track. The manager will strengthen in the areas he feels are necessary.

"It is not all doom and gloom!"

Finally, on the news that all Everton debts are paid off and a stadium decision is close -

"The fans must know we have done the hard bit. We have paid the debts, we are free to do what we want, we have the finances.

"I went to Liverpool with Bill (Kenwright), I visited the sites with the Mayor (Joe Anderson). The club has taken soundings from fans.

"In our mind, we know where we want to go. We are committed.

"I can reassure the fans that they will have a stadium that rewards their loyalty and their passion. That is a key aim.

"It is not the same as when Chelsea and Manchester City began their projects, which was before Financial Fair Play.

"We can only invest what we made last season, plus £7million. The way to compete is to build a big stadium, to increase our merchandising and commercial income. That is what we will do."

On when he first noticed Everton -

"It came onto my radar during Moyes' time. The passion of the supporters, and the fearless way the players tackled even the very biggest teams... it was a joy to watch.

"I followed the club from a distance, and then I got to know Bill. He educated me on the history and what the club is all about. It is unique, and I fell in love.

"In the end, there was only one big club left in England that I could invest in.

"Bill is an amazing man. The fans should know that he deeply loves the club. He actually gets sick when they lose, you can't speak to him, he goes into a dark room.

"He kept the club for 19 years without any money – nobody else could have done that.

"I did a year's due diligence on the club and I realised that it needed three things. It was heavily in debt, it needs a big stadium and the commercial income was extremely low.

"And for our club to compete in the North West of England, the new Hollywood of football with Guardiola, Mourinho and Klopp, we needed a star to stand on the touchline. That is Ronald Koeman.

"We have paid the debts, we have a very strong balance sheet and we need a big stadium.

"Those are the three priorities."