Russian oligarch who bankrolled Everton has 500ft-long £600million superyacht SEIZED amid crackdown on Putin’s cronies

RUSSIAN oligarch Alisher Usmanov has had his 500ft long superyacht seized amid a crackdown on Putin’s cronies.

The exorbitantly wealthy tycoon, who bankrolled Everton FC, is stuck on dry land after the £600million luxury vessel was confiscated by German authorities on Monday, according to reports.

EPA
Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov has been slapped with sanctions by the EU[/caption]
Getty Images - Getty
His superyacht has been seized by German authorities amid the invasion of Ukraine[/caption]

It marks the latest significant step in Europe’s scheme to suffocate wealthy Russians with sanctions.

Dilbar, custom built for 68-year-old businessman Usmanov, is the largest yacht in the world in terms of internal volume.

The 512 foot spectacle of the sea – said to be his prized possession – will now remain at shipyards in the northern city of Hamburg.

The superyacht has been docked there since late October while undergoing a refitting job.

It comes after Usmanov was slapped with an EU travel ban and had his assets frozen in a crackdown of Putin’s powerful pals.

Dilbar is said to cost up to £60million to run every year and boasts a behemoth 82ft pool, two helipads for VIP guests, a beach deck and a floating observation bay.

Usmanov splashed out on the superyacht in 2016, dipping into his fortune that he made through investments in metals, media, telecommunications and sport, including a stake in Arsenal FC.

The extravagant vessel and the thriftless displays of wealth among Russia’s elite have come under intense scrutiny in wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

But the oligarch slammed the sanctions imposed on him by the EU, branding them “unfair”.

In a statement published on the website of the International Fencing Federation, of which he is president, he wrote: “On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union.

“I believe that such a decision is unfair, and the reason is employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honour, dignity, and business reputation.

“I would use all legal means to protect my owner and reputation.”

But he has managed to escape UK sanctions, despite being targeted by the US and EU.

Incredibly, he is still able to operate with freedom on British soil.

Everton FC announced they have cut all of their sponsorship ties with Usmanov, as it emerged over 2,000 Ukrainian civillians have been killed in the war with Russia so far.

DROP IN THE OCEAN

Usmanov did have a £6m deal to sponsor The Toffee’s training ground and his company Megafon was the sponsor of Everton Women.

The billionaire also has a £30 million first-refusal agreement in place over the naming rights of the new stadium.

And Usmanov’s influence at Everton does not stop there since he has close business ties with owner Farhad Moshiri and sits on the Everton board.

He even played a role in the appointment of Frank Lampard and participated in his interview for the job, according to The Telegraph.

Usmanov previously held a 30 per cent stake in Arsenal which he sold in 2018.

The billionaire – dubbed one of Putin’s “favourite oligarch” – has hired top London law firm Schillings in the past to defend his reputation.

He said in 2020: “How can I be scared of sanctions when I have experienced things in life that were much more severe?

“I don’t deserve them, so it will be hurtful if they come.

“I don’t get involved. I don’t interfere in any political issues.”



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