BCR Sports acquire large slice of Everton

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The Independent Football

Paul Gregg, Everton's second largest shareholder, has sold his 23 per cent stake in the club to BCR Sports for around £7m. Everton will not reveal the names of the people behind BCR Sports but reports last night suggested Robert Earl, the casino and leisure entrepreneur, who founded the Planet Hollywood chain of restaurants, is behind the transaction.

The deal has been brokered by Bill Kenwright, the club's chairman and majority shareholder and should Earl be involved he would be expected to help provide funds for the club.

Kenwright and Gregg bought out former owner Peter Johnson in 2000 only for the pair to fall out once the proposed stadium move to the King's Dock collapsed. Since then Gregg has been keen to recoup the money he invested into Everton.

The deal will be welcomed by Kenwright, who has found Gregg an obstacle to his plans for the club, who are looking at building a new stadium out of Liverpool in Kirkby.

* Arsenal could be without Freddie Ljungberg for around another month because of his calf problem.

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