Investors and Takeover Talk at West Ham – update

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This weekend saw a couple of outlets running stories regarding share acquisition and  taking over of West Ham United – to be honest there doesn’t seem a weekend passing by without one such narrative finding its way into the public domain. The Shaquille O’Neal story of last week featured in The Sun and other outlets has largely subsided and even been branded as ‘self publicity’ by one commentator who claims O’Neal is simply trying to keep his profile high.

Quoted in footballinsider247, Everton’s former CEO Keith Wyness  suggested that Shaq’s interest in acquiring a stake in West Ham felt more aimed at keeping a high profile than a serious attempt at acquiring shares. Wyness, who now runs a football consultancy, suggested the larger-than-life basketball megastars’ interest ‘just doesn’t feel right‘ and  could be aimed at ‘keeping him fresh and relevant’ and ‘in the headlines‘ rather than a serious bid to replicate the actions of other US celebrities such as NFL legend Tom Brady and actor Ryan Reynolds who have purchased stakes in English football clubs in recent years.

West Ham United shareholders at present are David Sullivan, Daniel Kretinsky, the Gold Family and Albert ‘Tripp’ Smith. Of course we know some of these shares, owned by late owner David Gold’s daughter Vanessa, are currently up for sale if the right investor comes along.  The article in footballinsider247 claimed also that Kretinsky -who holds 27% of the shares in the club- had halted the process of acquiring 100% of the club shares and was involved in other projects including the current attempt to acquire 100% of the Post Office.

Probably until The Gold Family decide on a destination for that group of shares, these stories will continue to surface.  Valued by Forbes in May 2024 as the 16th most valuable soccer team at $1.1 billion (about £880 million), West Ham United would seem to be a pretty attractive option for well-heeled investors, especially as the availability of a small minority of shares is in the public domain. Wyness continued: ‘There has been gossip behind the scenes.. it’s difficult to know the timing but I think we’ll see a development within a year‘.  As he concluded: ‘I think it’ll be a big group coming in, so watch this space’.

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Like everyone else, lifelong WHU fan and season ticket holder in old BMU stand at Upton Park from 2003. Billy Bonds these days with my adult son and impatiently waiting for my Grandson to be old enough to initiate him before his mum grabs him for Man U. All opinions are my own very biased ones.


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