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01st Sep 2016

Everton’s billionaire owner embarrasses himself with cringeworthy statement about not signing Sissoko

Oh dear...

Nooruddean Choudry

Mate, just leave it. You’re making it worse.

Seriously, our toes won’t uncurl after reading this. Firstly, there was the somewhat unedifying revelation that Ronald Koeman, a world-renowned football personality of rare standing, had to suffer the indignity of Moussa Sissoko not answering his calls on deadline day.

Secondly, there was the realisation that Tottenham Hotspur, and wily old Daniel Levy in particular, had pulled the rug from under Everton’s feet, and signed the Newcastle player with minutes of the transfer window to go. The Toffees assumed they had a done deal.

Then there was the somewhat transparent announcement that Everton had emphatically withdrawn their £30m offer for the French international midfielder…after it had already been snubbed by the player in preference for a move to White Hart Lane.

We thought that was the end of it. We hoped it was the end of it, for Everton’s sake. We mean, everyone was taking the piss but these things happen and you move on. You put it down to valuable experience and learn from it. But no, not Everton, and not Farhad Moshiri.

The billionaire majority shareholder came into the club in a blaze of publicity – suddenly the Blues could compete with the big boys again on an equal footing. They’d be inferior to no one in the transfer market and a new era was upon on. Everton would be spending big.

It didn’t happen, even when they tried. But instead of admitting they were pipped to the post by a Spurs side boasting Champions League football, or better still, just leave it, Moshiri decided to speak out and save face…in the most cringeworthy way.

The British-Iranian businessman has tried to spin the story and make out that they didn’t want Sissoko anyway, and not signing the player was due to some form of loyalty towards James McCarthy. His statement on Thursday reads thus:

“Sissoko is a great player. But when I bought into Everton, I made it clear I was proud to join a family. And we don’t turn our backs on our own. Keeping James McCarthy was a priority and ultimately we could not proceed with a deal that would jeopardize his place at Everton. We wish Sissoko the best.”

As you’d imagine no one is falling for his spin – reported by Jim White – especially as it is widely accepted that McCarthy would have been sold to Crystal Palace had Koeman secured Sissoko’s signature…

Next time, Farhad mate, just leave it…