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There are growing calls for Everton to sever ties with significant sponsor Alisher Usmanov.

The Uzbek-born billionaire is one of a number of oligarchs to have their assets frozen by the European Union following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

While Usmanov has no official title at Everton, it is his holding company USM who own the naming rights to the club's Finch Farm training ground.

The 68-year old also paid £30million (€36m) for the option of naming rights on Everton's soon-to-be-built new stadium at Liverpool's Bramley-Moore Dock.

Usmanov's mobile phone company - Megafon - is the shirt sleeve sponsor of the Everton men's side, and the primary shirt sponsor of their women's team.

The EU Council said that, “Alisher Usmanov is a pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.”

They added he, “actively supported materially or financially Russian decision-makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine”.

Usmanov previously owned a large stake in Arsenal, before turning his attentions to Everton.

UK Labour MP Chris Bryant has been a vocal critic of Russian involvement in the Premier League since the Russian invasion began.

On Tuesday he told Parliament that, "We need to stand united. End of."

He added, "The government has said that it wants - quite rightly - to sanction Duma members, and it wants to sanction members of the Russian Federation Council but it's not been able to do so yet.

"Alisher Usmanov has already been sanctioned by the EU, but not yet by the UK. But I suspect he'll be pretty soon on a UK list.

"And Everton should certainly be cutting ties with him already.

"Roman Abramovich... well, I think he's terrified of being sanctioned, which is why he's already going to sell his home tomorrow. And sell another flat as well.

"My anxiety is that we're taking too long about these things."

Usmanov has responded to the EU sanctions strongly, releasing a statement which read, "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 reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor (sic), dignity, and business reputation.

"I will use all legal means to protect my honor and reputation."

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