Evertonians have long been excited about potential investment in the club by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
The Uzbek-born business magnate is a long-term business partner of Toffees majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, with both men combining to purchase a stake in Arsenal in 2007.
Moshiri subsequently sold his Gunners shares in order to buy into Everton two years ago, leaving Usmanov with a 30% stake.
Ever since there has been talk of Moshiri being joined at Goodison Park by Usmanov, whose net worth is believed to be around $15 billion.
The following year one of Usmanov’s companies, USM, signed a five-year naming rights deal with Everton’s Finch Farm training ground.
Now, a little snippet in the Daily Mail has added fuel to the rumours . The report claims there “is talk” current chairman Bill Kenwright could step down and be replaced by Usmanov.
This may well be citing reports from the Dutch media last week. Contained within reports detailing Marcel Brands’ move to Goodison were rumours that Usmanov was also potentially on his way to Merseyside.
If it were to happen then it would give Everton the kind of financial muscle to compete with anyone in football, even Manchester City.
But before you get too excited, a lot would need to happen for Usmanov to move to Goodison.
Despite his hefty shareholding Usmanov has no influence at Arsenal and doesn’t even hold a seat on the board. Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke shows no sign of relinquishing his stake but has no desire to purchase Usmanov’s shares either.
That leaves Usmanov with a hefty shareholding but no influence on the club - and the same would apply to anyone who buys his shares. Is there anyone out there willing to pay £700m and not even get on the board?
Usmanov has also stated repeatedly that he has no intention of selling his Arsenal stake despite his obvious frustration at not being able to wield any influence at the Emirates Stadium.
I’d recommend Toffees fans remain highly skeptical of these rumours for now, though the fact they keep cropping up suggests there may be something in it.