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Everton agree £30million deal with Alisher Usmanov’s USM for naming-rights option on new stadium

The billionaire’s links with the Toffees grow ever deeper

Russian President Vladimir Putin opens the monument of Yevgeny Primakov in Moscow Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Everton have agreed a £30million deal with USM for the option of becoming the sponsor of the club’s proposed new Bramley Moore Dock stadium.

The deal, announced at Tuesday’s AGM, sees Alisher Usmanov’s holding company effectively pay to have first option on any naming-rights deal for the new ground.

USM will pay Everton the money even if they ultimately decide not to take up the option to sponsor the stadium.

The deal was agreed last week and the cash will be exclusively used towards the funding of the new ground.

The Blues submitted detailed planning permission shortly before Christmas and hope permission will be granted by the summer, with the build time estimated to be three years.

USM already have a number of other agreements with the Toffees, including sponsoring their Finch Farm training ground and stadium branding on matchdays.

In an interview with the Financial Times last week Usmanov said he was open to supporting his good friend Farhad Moshiri in any way he could. This latest deal is another example of that.

Meanwhile, board member Sasha Ryazantsev revealed that Everton have enlisted international banks JP Morgan and MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) to assist in the funding of the new stadium.

The banks have been working with Everton for the past year, assisting the club in finding private institutions that will fund the majority of the £500m required to build the ground.

Ryazantsev says those institutions will cover “60%-70%” of the costs with equity investment – likely from Farhad Moshiri - covering the rest.

Everton’s majority shareholder was not present at the AGM as he was in “deep discussions” with a potential stadium funding investor.