Lord denies backing £15m Everton plan

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The Independent Football

Lord Grantchester has denied claims by the Everton director Paul Gregg that he is the provider of the £15m Gregg has offered to invest in the club.

On Friday, Gregg named the Cheshire farmer as a major player in the move to oust the club's chairman, Bill Kenwright, but the Labour peer's comments seem to justify Kenwright's desire not to commit himself to any change until he sees clear proof of finance.

The statement said: "I'm a lifelong Evertonian and I share in all Evertonians' disappointment and frustration at seeing our great club failing to compete at the highest level. I understand the desire for change and, with this in mind, I have had preliminary discussions to see how the present difficulties could be put in the context of a long-term solution for stability.

"It is not the case that I am behind Mr Gregg's proposals to underwrite funds for the club and, indeed, I have not seen Mr Gregg's proposals for the board.

"Any solution needs to underpin the future of the club. A short-term measure, while providing temporary respite, must not be burdensome to the future. The present circumstances can't be helpful to [the club's manager] David Moyes.

"I look forward to the board's proposal to make progress with a clear vision for the development of Everton Football Club and my family will continue to have the best interests of Everton at heart."

Kenwright now seems certain to carry on in charge. He said: "We are still waiting for a formal proposal and evidence of finance."

Moyes, whose team travels to Hillsborough to play Sheffield Wednesday tonight, said: "This is too big a football club for it to be handled in the way it has been. We have to pull together as a club. I will make sure I do my side with the players. I just hope that everybody else at the club can do the same."

Kenwright has also been headingnegotiations over Wayne Rooney's new contract, and a spokesman for Rooney's advisers said: "It certainly will be unlikely that any real progress will be made until the future of the club is sorted out."