(Bloomberg) -- Everton FC’s main financial adviser, Deloitte LLP, is scrambling to find new backers to save a takeover of the struggling club by US investment firm 777 Partners amid fears that the deal could collapse, according to people familiar with the matter.

Deloitte has been seeking fresh funding from sports-focused investors and lenders to get 777’s deal over the line, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The current preference is to attract a partner for 777 instead of getting an entirely different bidder who would need to go through the whole process from scratch, including clearance from the Premier League, one of the people said. The club isn’t currently seeking rival bids because it is bound by an agreement with 777, though the situation could change, the person said.

Miami-based 777 agreed to buy Everton last year, but recently asked for more time to complete the takeover, and pushed back its target closing date until the end of May. The extension request came after 777 faced scrutiny from the Premier League into its source of funding and capacity to fund the club sufficiently.

Representatives for Deloitte, Everton and 777 declined to comment.

777 has held talks with private markets investor Blue Owl Capital Inc. about arranging a £360 million ($445 million) loan tied to the club’s new stadium, Bloomberg has reported. One requirement of any Premier League approval is that 777 repays a £158 million loan to a group of investors led by MSP Sports Capital, a rival sports investor. The loan was due to be repaid earlier this month, but 777 sought an extension, a person familiar with the matter has said.

“In missing the debt deadline for the MSP loan, 777 highlighted it has cash-flow issues,” said Kieran Maguire, lecturer in football and finance at the University of Liverpool. “The markets consider 777 to be high risk, so lenders are either asking for high rates of return or just walking away.”

Everton became heavily indebted after its current owner, Farhad Moshiri, ramped up borrowing to pay for high-profile players and build a state-of-the art stadium in Liverpool’s Bramley Docks. Its problems have been compounded this season by the docking of 8 points so far in the Premier League for breaches of financial fair play rules which have contributed to the team being in danger of relegation to the second tier of English football.

777, which owns a string of football clubs including Serie A team Genoa and Hertha Berlin in Germany’s second tier, has already lent Everton about $200 million to keep the club running, the people said. Without further funding from 777 or another source, there are fears that Everton could go into administration, a form of insolvency in the UK.

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