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Proposed sale of Finch Farm causes concern amongst Everton fans

Football News 24/7
PROPERTY consultancy DTZ has been appointed to sell Everton Football Club's training complex at Finch Farm on behalf of a private client of the firm.The Training Complex was designed by specialist sports facilities architects AFL and was completed in 2007. The building provides 70,000 sq ft of high specification training facilities set in 55 acres, including a gymnasium, medical village, media centre, dining facilities, offices and education centre for the Everton Academy.

According to one fans website- FollowEverton.­com, the club acquired the land for Finch Farm in 2006 – but sold the land  to ROM Capital for £2.1mil as the board were unable to produce the funds to develop the training facility. ROM Capital completed the training ground to the clubs specifications in 2007 – the training ground and land was at this point then valued at just under £10mil. This all meant that Everton tied themselves into a lease deal with ROM Capital which would cost the club over £110mil over  a 50 year period after the yearly payment increase as a result of 2.5% compound interest is taken into account. The club are currently paying just over £1.25mil a year ‘rent’ – a payment which the vendors suggest is ’secured’ against the Sky TV money.

Everton do have an option to buy the ground back – and are able to exercise this once every five years – the next opportunity will be in July 2012 when we would need to find £16.5mil to fund the purchase. A mortgage deal would have saved the club a significant amount of money in 2006 – but it appears that this may not have been an option, given the club has already sold and mortgaged all of our fixed assets and the board can not or do not want to guarantee loans, this may well have not been an option. Finch Farm is being marketed for a price of just over £15mil plus VAT.

Another Everton web site - daisycutter raised the spectre of a potential sale earlier in the month - speculating that it was part of a bigger plan to sell the club as well to an interested party - believd to be Indian - but ther is no tangible evidence of this from what we cans see.

Finch Farm is for sale by an investment company realising an asset - at face value it shouldn't in anyway alter the club's activities or tenure at Finch Farm.

JB

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