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Who are potential Everton investors MSP Sports Capital and how they could invest

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 26/01/2023 Dave Powell
Centre of picture, Pete Taylor, Jeff Moorad and Jahm Najafi of MSP Sports Capital © Getty Images Centre of picture, Pete Taylor, Jeff Moorad and Jahm Najafi of MSP Sports Capital

As Everton slumped to a miserable 2-1 loss to fellow strugglers Southampton in the Premier League earlier this month, among the 39,00-plus crowd were some interested parties from across the Atlantic.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has been on the lookout for investment in the club and the stadium project for some time, engaging the services of US investment banks MUFG and JP Morgan Chase to facilitate that search.

A report in the Guardian earlier this week claimed that the club was for sale with a £500m asking price, something that has been denied by Moshiri when contacted by the ECHO on Tuesday, but in conversation with Everton's Fan Advisory Board last week he did reveal that investment in the stadium was "close".

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On Thursday it was claimed by Bloomberg that the US investment fund that had been linked with interest in taking a minority stake in the club were New York-based MSP Sports Capital, a firm with sporting interests such as the X Games and McLaren racing that also has European football investments in German side FC Augsburg, G.D. Estoril Praia in Portugal, Spain’s AD Alcorcon and Belgian side SK Beveren.

MSP co-founder and chairman Jahm Najafi, co-founder and CEO Jeff Moorad and vice-president Pete Taylor were all in attendance for the game against the Saints, the trio eyeing a potential investment opportunity.

But who are MSP Sports Capital?


Arizona-based Iranian/American Najafi started his career on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers, the finance firm that would become giant Citigroup. He founded private equity firm Najafi Companies in 2002 and had been one of the bidders for the Boston Globe newspaper in 2013 before it was eventually bought in a private venture by Liverpool principal owner and chief of Fenway Sports Group, John W. Henry.

Najafi is the second largest shareholder of the Phoenix Suns NBA franchise, which is currently in the process of going through a $4.5bn sale by majority owner Robert Sarver, and sits on the board of governors for the NBA itself.

Najafi, who founded MSP Sports Capital in 2019 with Moorad, also serves as vice chairman on the board of McLaren Racing following the closing of a £185m investment in 2020, one that began at 15 per cent but was set to rise to up to 33 per cent by the end of 2022.

Najafi is also part of the ownership group Bolt Football Holdings, an investment vehicle that was used to acquire 97 per cent of Beveren in 2020 and one where he sits alongside Crystal Palace shareholder and co-owner of Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, David Blitzer, as well as MSG Sports Capital partner Moorad.


Former sports agent Moorad is a well known and respected figure in sports investment circles, featuring eight times in The Sporting News’ annual 100 Most Powerful People in Sports list.

After selling the sports agency in 1999 that he had set up with partner Lee Steinberg 14 years prior, Moorad became an owner (12 per cent stake) and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team before leading a consortium that successfully bid for the San Diego Padres MLB team in 2009. He sold his share in the Diamondbacks in 2012 and the his shareholding of the Padres, of which Moorad and his group owned 49 per cent, in 2012 after it went for $800m, an increase of $300m over where the valuation stood when Moorad and his group acquired part of the team three years prior.

Moorad then created Moorad Sports Partners in 2013 and then joined global law firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius in 2017 where he serves a partner and chairman of the firm's global sports practice.

While with the Diamondbacks, Moorad was a hands-on CEO between 2005 and 2007 and was credited with being key in reorganising the financial affairs of the team and turning them into competitors in the MLB on a smaller market budget.

Moorad, who had been linked with potential investment in Tottenham Hotspur back in 2015, was along with Steinberg the inspiration for the 1996 Hollywood film Jerry Maguire, the title role which was played by Tom Cruise and made famous for the line "show me the money".


Also in attendance at Goodison for the Southampton match was Taylor, who holds the role of vice-president at MSP Sports Capital.

His presence in his MSP role would be notable when it comes to any prospective Everton investment. At MSP, Taylor is responsible for 'evaluating new investment opportunities, executing transactions, and supporting portfolio companies'.

Prior to arriving at MSP, whose offices are based on the famous Madison Avenue in New York, Taylor held the role of associate at Swander Pace Capital, a private equity firm in San Francisco, where he focused on leveraged buyout transactions within the consumer industry.



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