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How much have the owners invested into West Ham

One of the more recent questions from West Ham supporters is how much David Gold and David Sullivan actually invested in the club to get us to the proverbial next level.

In January 2010 David Sullivan and David Gold paid £52.5m to purchase 50% of the shares valuing the club at £105m at that time.

In May Sullivan and Gold increased their share of the club to 30% from 25% at a cost of £8m, with £4m going to the Icelandics and the other half to the club taking their overall investment in shares to £60.5m.

In 2013 David Sullivan invested another £25.5m to buy a further 26.2% of West Ham shares taking their combined shareholding to 86.2% later selling 4.5% of shares to Gold. ( Current shareholding: Sullivan 51.1% / Gold 35.1%).

The final share deal had a clause that the Icelandics would in turn loan the money immediately back to the club as a bank loan including interest. As part of this refinancing deal David Sullivan also loaned the club an additional £6.7m as a bank of last resort charging interest. This loan was repaid over three years to David Sullivan and the Icelandics with the final payment on 31st May 2016.

Gold and Sullivan have also invested a total of £52.2m in shareholder loans to the club between 2011-2014. No additional shareholder loans have been made in the last four years. (2014=£3.5m 2013=£10.5m 2012=£35.2m 2011=£3m )

These shareholders attracted the accrued interest of between 6% and 7%.  By 31st May 2016 this interest balance had reached a balance of £12.338,680 and on 12th August 2016 the owners paid themselves £4.2m of the interest owing to them.

The outstanding balance of £49.2m in Shareholder loans is due on 1st January 2020 but in 2017 the interest for these owner loans was reduced to 4%. The 2017 accounts are due out next week so will update us the position on the loans in the last season.

So in summary Gold and Sullivan paid £86m for their shares with £4m going to the club and £82m going to the Icelandics.

Sullivan made a bank loan to West Ham in a re-financing deal in 2013 for £6.7m which was repaid with interest in May 2016.

Sullivan and Gold loaned £52.2m to the club between 2011-2014 and have accrued £12.3m in interest up to 2016. They have paid themselves £4.2m of it in August 2016 but the full balance is not due until January 2020.

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

38 comments on “How much have the owners invested into West Ham

  1. Why the constant jabbing at owners that kept us in the Premiership and are trying to take us forward ???? .
    It’s getting on my tits .

  2. We lost today to a far superior team . No amount of demonstration will improve our Team .
    Get used to it ;;; as I have been doing for the last 60 yrs ,,,,, not five minutes .
    Give us a bit of time ,,, we are staring to look good . A heavy loss was to be expected . I , like any supporter was hoping for a result , but reality kicked in today …. we are not ready and haven’t been for the last 50 or 60 yrs . It won’t happen overnight but , we are starting on the right road at last .
    So. Called Real West Ham Fans need a medical .

  3. What utter *****cks. Did you miss the fact that we were relegated?

    We always get beaten at Liverpool. No-one’s angry about that. People are angry about being lied to. You appear to wilfully ignore all the evidence put in front of you regarding those lies. You believe the nonsense that Sullivan is a West Ham fan. And you presumably object to the largely factual article above because it outlines the truth about their investment.

    Imagine – 7% interest on loans to a massively cash generative business where you entirely control those cashflows. Jesus wept, some fans. Then they peddle this nonsense that they could get more elsewhere and that the banks would charge more. Both of which are lies, given the risks involved in making those loans, and the prevailing rate of commercial loans. Because people wake up suddenly its 4%. That tells you the mindset.

    We didn’t create the expectations – they did. And they used those expectations to sell a move to a stadium utterly unfit for purpose, for many. Some may like it, you included, a whole lot don’t, despite the fact they turn up to support the team. But even if you like it can anyone in their right mind describe it, like Brady did, as ‘world class’.

    You need to get your head out of your a***.

  4. As Sean shows above the owners have put in a lot of there own money, again proving that the March is at least partly based on false grounds. Not that I object to it. Just needs some genuine cause to go with it.

  5. I don’t consider this as ‘having a go at the owners’ at all. He’s just laying out the facts. At no point does Sean cast any opinion. We’ve just become so used to people having a jab that we’re conditioned to look for the snide angle and argue.

    I’m grateful to the owners. I don’t mind that they’ve set lofty expectations. That’s a good thing. Sometimes expectations and ambitions are not achieved. You can analyse the reasons why, try to learn from it, and go again.

    If you (reading this) are honest with yourself, you’d find that many times during your life you’ve claimed something, promised something, set expectations that have failed. It’s no different for G&S – it’s just that their achievements and failures are a lot more prominent than our own.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Sadly, many will, because they want to deflect the frustrations of their own failures onto those who of prominence – it’s much easier than looking at their own faults and fixing them.

    • You are right! I am just setting out facts without comments or opinion. I see so many incurracies written over the finances I like to spell it out and the reader can decide for themselves.

      Some may read as anti board thinking they haven’t invested enough while others will see it as pro board think they invested much of their own personal fortune at great risk for little personal gain.

      It is up to you to decide

      • Did you see the actual documented transaction for these figures Sybil or have you been given them on a piece of paper ! I’m not being sarky mate but I’ve read a different account ? They actually paid less than what I read by approx 50% for the 50% shares!
        Personally I’d like to see them investing in players that make the club richer with success rather than freebies and loans etc , the question is can they compete or not in the current market and can they run a club without the baggage that comes with them which were all aware of ! This summer will tell us that on the recruitment front the running of the club without the side show I’m not so sure of !

        • They paid £52.5m for the shares without a doubt, I have seen the paperwork. What is not clear is whether some of that money went into cash flow for the club which was in serious difficulty at the time. Obviously, the creditors for the Icelandics wanted as much money for themselves as possible however as 50% shareholders it didn’t make sense to them to inject more cash. Gold and Sullivan injected some of the cash from the share transaction into the club. I don’t know the exact amounts but it makes sense.

          • How much was the club up for then and what was the debt ! Cb holdings said 38 million and sully said 110 ?
            The club was valued at 210 million not 110 ?was the ground in that figure ?
            It don’t sound right to me mate ! Sully says were still in 100 mill of debt ??
            I’m no accountant but it just doesn’t seem the figures are right ! That’s probably because I don’t trust em ! 😉

          • The club was valued at £105m in 2010 because that is what they offered. Debt can be counted in many different ways.

            I did this last year to explain why DS says we are still £100m in debt but we are not really https://www.westhamtillidie.com/posts/2017/08/02/explaining-west-ham-s-100-million-of-debt

            The Boleyn Ground was listed in the accounts as £70m as a replacement value as a stadium but there is a market for 35,000 stadiums so the real value was the land. That was sold by open auction for £38m

            This my WHTID article in 2013 on the original £100m debt https://www.westhamtillidie.com/posts/2013/09/25/west-ham-s-debt-explained

          • In 2010 West Ham had £110m of debts made up of £50m owed to banks £40m owed to other clubs and £20m owed to Sheffield United.

            In 2016 the ‘£100m of debts’ is made of £61.4m owed to two Davids from shareholder loans and £35.5m to other clubs for transfers so just under £97m.

          • Cheers Sybil ! All clubs must be operating in the same way but still able to buy big ! Selling the ground cleared the owed other club debt ? So all that’s left is what we owe the owners ? @ 7% to 4% ongoing ? They must be paying Sheffield utd £4 a week 8 years on ?
            It doesn’t seem that they want us debt free !
            If we don’t pay out for players up front where’s the all TV money ?
            All we’ve been spending ( wasting on ptsbd ) is 21 mill a year ? Everything is remortgaged ! I’m waffling and trying to get me head around it but its difficult
            If you’re not a accountant knowing how to bull💩 using invisible ink and the like 😉 .
            There must be a bank balance and a considerable war chest surely .!
            If not they can’t live up to the promoting of the track ?
            Quoting big time charlie transfers was branding bull💩 was a selling point and is one of the gripes supporters have ( not the customers ) 😉
            10 march is going to be interesting ,talking to others about their concerns will be a insight ! And make some talking points !
            Can’t wait as we all want the best for the club don’t we ! It won’t hurt the club
            In any shape or form , its a march of concerned supporters not a siege of Stalingrad ? Up the hammers !.

          • Just a thought Sybil ? If we don’t pay up front for players then we weren’t in debt for them as no money was passed on from the banks ? It must be just on paper and interest payments only on eventual moneys released periodically ?

            Just a thought ?? What do I know lol not a lot 😂

    • Agreed. I only ever heard the 2 Davids outlining their vision of what could be possible with the help of the new stadium, and better financial foundations. I was never promised anything. Nor was anyone else. There was no definite time-scale given ( certainly not 1.6 years after moving to the new stadium ). It’s yet another false reason for the March.
      Again I don’t object to it, but I won’t be there.

  6. even idiots can sometimes get organised.

  7. So in theory they put in zilch of their own money because everything they put in they will get back plus interest. So theyre actually making money from the club.

    • They bought the shares for £86m which they will not see return unless they sell as dividends are unlikely to be announced. They claim they will not sell in their lifetimes.

      They have loaned over £52m in shareholder loans which they may receive as much as £20m In interest over 9 years but it could be argued that gold could have earned much more from his investment fund he took it out off earning in excess of 10% and Sullivan would earned more investing it in London property which is his investment thing.

    • I had the same conversation with a fan in a pub today ! He was saying that they’re getting their money back what they paid for the club and he feels they are just looking after themselves before the promises of world class team in a top class stadium ? He said that he didn’t think they will deliver on their promises because the goal posts have changed ( no pun)
      In the transfer market ! He’s marching on the 10th , not to get them out but to let them know we want them to deliver what they said ! He was 67 years of age ! He’s doing what he feels right he said !

    • Bill it’s a business – you live I presume in a capitalist society… and the idea of any business is to make money. They’re even doing it in China these days.

  8. they’re not tight, they’re just not particularly good at what they intend to do. that just makes them look tight, despite them actually being a bit incompetent.

  9. The point about this is that they wanted to move to the OS to increase the value of the club. The fanbase weren’t clamouring to leave UP. They created this not us.

    It wasn’t about having ambitions/aspirations; we were told that the only way that we could move forward was to move to the OS. It wasn’t vague or aspirational. What did Brady say;

    ‘A world class stadium with a world class team’.

    There’s any amount of similar bull**** out there from these liars. It’s all on video for crying out loud. Gold saying the seats would be the same distance as at UP. Utter lies, that they must have known were lies.

    Lots bought it, me included. So we moved. What do we get? Scaffolding on bricks in an athletics stadium in the middle of nowhere and today wing backs with a combined age of 69. We’re four points above the relegation places. The owners have spent **** all relatively speaking.

    Wake up and march on the 10th.

  10. £86mill for control of a club that the general consensus says is now worth £400mill, is not bad business.

    The ‘saving’ of the club probably happened in the first couple years after taking control. What annoys me is the constant references to it. As my other half would say – what have you done for me lately.

    Finally, it’s not the actions of a board committed to taking the club (up) to the promised ‘next level’, to take money out of the club in interest, or dividends, or cutting back on (player) investment.

    Can’t wait to see what they’ve done with £38mill from the sale of Upton Park when the accounts are published this week.

  11. One way or another the owners’ financial intervention saved the club at a moment of genuine crisis. That’s a given. Get over it.

    As for the detail, I don’t have Sean’s facts. Whether they are shared as propaganda for the owners is a matter for individual interpretation. Either way it would not alter the reality that the owners financial intervention saved the Club from possible bankruptcy.

    As for their true motivations for this action – sound business, a predetermined decision to sell The Boleyn for dosh, a love of the club, narcissism …who knows? – the same applies, nobody but the owners know the answer and we only have conjectures to lob into the digital mix.

    What is indisputable is that the owners have spent and earned money from their purchase of the Club. Sean’s data is the most credible and comprehensive out there. Respect. What is equally indisputable is the miserable failure of the owners to turn their grandiose rhetoric into hard success. If evidence is the key to objectivity and fairness, then the owners are failing quite spectacularly to ensure a ‘word class’ leadership strategy for the Çlub, and we do not have a ‘world class’ player recruitment strategy.

    And, in the spirit of reason and objectivity, the evidence of the owners strategic leadership failures when it comes to acquiring coaching talent can be summed up in four words: Slaven Bilic, David Moyes.

    The owners bailed the club out – true. As there were no other candidates in sight the owners could be said to have saved the WHUFC brand. The other truth is that the abject failure of the owners in delivering a sustainable leadership strategy has done little to enhance the club’s brand in the eyes of the football world, and lots to diminish it. Travesty. No bias, objective evaluation only and that based on what we have all experienced.

  12. The other point is: replacing someone else’s loans/debt doesn’t actually increase the investment or capital employed in the club, it just gives the directors to take money out again without paying tax whenever they want.

  13. These people don’t like the real figures given by Sean, so they create there own; and these are the people telling us to go on a march.
    There is the real ‘ bad state of the club.’

  14. Looking slightly at the bigger picture:
    What ownership would you prefer? Dodgy Icelandic Merchant Bankers or Dildo Salesmen…..??

    • …or the QPR owner or the dodgy consortium that Cottee was trying to put together. The Daves were forced to sell Birmingham after the their know nothing fans turned against them. Brum look to be headed to the second division. (hurray!)

  15. I agree that the owners saved the club from meltdown – we could have been another Portsmouth

    However it would be nice if they could show a bit more class – such as not making comments about sons begging them not to buy Snoddy and Fonte (I think that in the victories over Swansea and Spurs, Fonte played a key role in keeping us up last season), not saying that Bilic should see out his contract and two weeks later firing him and saying we should have fired him at the end of last season, Karen Brady not making comments about other clubs in the Sun

    I am certainly not in the know but suspect that BFS was offered the job before Moyes and turned us down partly becuase of his previous experience of having to deal with young Jack’s posts (BTW I think that we are much better off with Moyes than BFS)

  16. We were told that to compete we had to move to the LS as BG couldn’t be redeveloped, so after 16 months people are calling them out on not having a world class team. Did you think that would happen over night, hey presto bang & world class players suddenly appear??
    We weren’t sold the idea of moving, we didn’t have a choice in the matter..where does it say that if the fans didn’t like the idea the club would stay??
    Can owners just dump £m’s into the club without calling it some kind of loan? How much do these ‘real’ fans know of the running of the club or are they going on transfer dealings, the badge & the gap around the pitch? Just walk in to the office on monday morning & say ‘here’s £200m, go buy whoever you want..
    Like it or not there is a busines side to football clubs & every single penny that comes in to the club can’t be spent on the playing side. Keeping this witch hunt going is doing the club no good at all. Brady is an employee of the club & I expect is told what to do. I agree she should shut up about us in her comic book column each week.
    I am right in thinking the club needed to clear all outside debt by the time of the move? Money from sale of BG went on that & the cost of the move?
    The board are nowhere near perfect but we could have a lot worse to put up with..

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