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Last Updated: Monday, 23 August, 2004, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Russians deny Everton bid
Everton could benefit from 20m of Russian investment
Boris Zingarevich is not planning to buy directly or indirectly assets abroad and this applies to his son
Boris Zingarevich's spokesman
Russian Anton Zingarevich's planned 20m investment in Everton has been denied by his billionaire father Boris.

"As far as we know he is not planning to buy Everton. He does not have the means." said a spokesman for Ilim Pulp, Boris Zingarevich's company.

Everton had hoped to hold a board meeting on Monday to rubberstamp the investment but that was postponed.

The delay was caused by chairman Bill Kenwright's rival Paul Gregg, who wanted time to study the proposal.

Zingarevich's spokesman added: "Normally, we would not comment on the situation around individual shareholders, but this is not normal.

"I can say that Boris Zingarevich is not planning to buy directly or indirectly assets abroad, I mean sports clubs.

"And this applies to his son and any investment funds as well."

Gregg, who had his own 15m investment plan blocked by Kenwright, said he hoped to discuss the Zingarevich deal before it was signed.

He said: "In order to ensure this proposal is in the best interests of the club it is only right I should examine it.

"I must also have an opportunity to meet those proposed as directors so I can understand fully their ambitions for the club.

"The paperwork only arrived this morning and as soon as I have had a chance to look at the detail I will be in touch with Bill to reschedule the board meeting."

Zingarevich, whose father Boris owns Russia's largest paper manufacturer, had been reportedly set to acquire a 40% controlling stake.

Anton, 24, reportedly made his offer through Fortress Sports Fund, which he owns and is based in Brunei.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said: "Anton is terrific. He's got an encyclopaedic football knowledge."

Reports naming Boris Zingarevich as the proposed principle new investor in Everton are incorrect
Everton statement

The club said it would not comment on Zingarevich's investment until the board meeting had taken place.

But Kenwright told the Moscow Times of Zingarevich's "passion" for football and insisted the 20m investment would be used in the transfer market.

"It is the ambition of myself and the sports fund to return Everton to its former glory," Kenwright said.

"We've been tracking certain players throughout the summer. We hope to announce who within the next 10 days."

It was claimed in a newspaper report on Sunday that Boris Zingarevich was the 20m investor but Everton moved quickly to deny that.

"Reports naming Boris Zingarevich as the proposed principle new investor in Everton are incorrect," said a statement.

But the club did not deny that the son of Boris was behind the deal, and that is expected to be confirmed soon.

In all there are seven investors in the Fortress Sports Fund.

One of them, Christopher Samuelson, said of the Everton bid: "We will run the club as a business and not as an ego trip."

Samuelson is chief executive of Mutual Trust, and a former principal at Valmet.

That firm was part owned by Menatep, a holding company through which tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky controls the troubled Yukos Yuko.MM oil firm.

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