West Ham TV presenter Holly Worthington has written a balanced article on PAI Capital.
The West Ham fan and former Miss England finalist asks some very good questions in the article on her own blog called Hollseey.com
How transferrable is their expertise to running a football club?
With their skills lying within financial services, healthcare, retail and technology sectors, it’s a big difference to running a football club. While Beard has experience in a football environment, he also resigned with QPR 17th in the Premier League (as well as facing FFP issues).
How will PAI Capital improve the experience for fans and visitors to the stadium?
While this has been mentioned as their goal, it would be interesting to see what this entails. It first relies on buying the stadium and then would depend on which changes that they intend to make. There has also been talk of using ‘West Ham legends and prominent personalities in sport’ to help the club’s development, however the role they will play is unclear.
Where is the money coming from and what role does everyone have?
While PAI Capital manage clients’ assets, this is not their money. It is their client’s money that they invest with the goal of making profit. As such, any money invested will be done with the goal of making a profit for their investors. This means we don’t know how much of the proposed £500 million is owned by which parties, which could play a part in determining how many decision-makers are required to work together.
How much reinvestment will there be?
This is the key question. Realistically, no takeover bid is done with the purest intentions, particularly for a consortium, and it will be seen as a money-making investment by the potential new owner/s. The real question lies within their ability to spend money upfront and willingness to sacrifice profit at the beginning to get the club into a more profitable position. Buying the stadium itself will put them into debt, meaning this must be recovered but not at the expense of club performance. If it’s their clients’ money being invested, they will have to deliver profit, meaning the club could be the second priority when it comes to funding.
How much would they change the stadium?
Anybody that has been to the London Stadium can see that improvements need to be made. The changes needed to make fans happy would be significant, however, the ability to do this structurally, as well as the cost associated with this could limit PAI Capital’s ability to make fast changes.
You can read Holly’s full article at https://hollseey.com/2021/07/30/everything-you-need-to-know-about-pai-capital/