Last updated : 23 August 2004 By editor

From The Guardian:

'The Zingarevich family are worth an estimated £362m and are proposing to buy about 40%, equating to a controlling stake, in Everton through a special share placing. The money will be issued via a trust fund established in Brunei with Anton Zingarevich, the 24-year-old son of Boris Zingarevich, the 75th-richest man in Russia, to play a hands-on roll in the running of the Premiership club.

While negotiations over the investment package have not been helped by the disclosure of the identity of the scheme's main backers at the weekend, the Russians remain committed to the plan which will ease the financial predicament at Goodison Park. Everton are saddled with debts approaching £40m, albeit with much of that securitised, and desperately need to add to their squad before the transfer window closes at the end of August.

The Russians had been keen to preserve their anonymity and will have been dismayed by reports over the weekend which identified Boris Zingarevich, a 44-year-old entrepreneur based in St Petersburg, as the latest foreign millionaire hoping to make an impact in the Premiership. Zingarevich - who is involved in a long-running legal dispute with the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in Moscow - amassed his fortune with his brother, Mikhail, in pulp and paper manufacturing.

The influx of Russian money will increase the chances of the England striker Wayne Rooney signing a new five-year contract at Everton, albeit a deal which will include a get-out clause which will allow him to leave for around £25m. Rooney is due to start jogging today as he continues his rehabilitation from a broken metatarsal sustained during Euro 2004.'