West Ham United’s takeover saga is by no means over as a major update emerged earlier this week…
As revealed by the Evening Standard, investment firm PAI Capital are set to launch a second bid to purchase the East London-based Premier League outfit, having had their first offer of £400m rejected by majority shareholder David Sullivan, who described it as “derisory”.
The consortium, which involves managing partner Nasib Piriyev and former QPR chief Philip Beard, are determined to negotiate a deal.
Piriyev told the Evening Standard that they were granted access to the club’s business data around six months ago and that PAI Capital did provide proof of funds, despite reports on the contrary.
“If Mr Sullivan does not agree to our offer price, he has the full right to do so because the shares are his private property,” he said. “Although I do believe any owner of a Premier League club and a brand of West Ham’s calibre must also feel a duty to the community and fans – but what he cannot do is simply say that we are not serious.
“That is false information, but we are not going to fall for this move and do not want to escalate any conflict.
“So, with all respect to Mr Sullivan, we will continue pursuing this opportunity and make our best efforts to get him to agree to our offer and sell his controlling stake of the club.”
It’s certainly no secret that the relationship between Sullivan, David Gold and Karen Brady and the London Stadium fanbase has been rocky for the past few years.
When staring down the barrel of relegation at the end of the 2019/20 season, thousands of fans protested against the board across a string of matches. Meanwhile, their trip to Anfield to face Liverpool saw some supporters unfurl banners, reading: ‘Run like a circus – Owned by clowns’ and ‘GSB out – Sold a dream, delivered a nightmare.’
David Moyes then, thankfully, steered the club to safety.
However, later that summer, GSB sanctioned the exit of promising academy gem Grady Diangana, who had signed a six-year deal at the club only 18 months earlier. And this caused further uproar, with even captain Mark Noble venting his anger at the club.
The Scot has since guided the Irons into the Europa League but those feelings of anger against the ownership have not gone away, with supporter group Hammers United planning to protest, once again, before their home match with Manchester United next month.
PAI Captial seem relentless in their attempts to take over the club from Sullivan and co, so this should give the West Ham faithful plenty of hope. It may be a long and drawn-out process – you only have to look at Newcastle’s situation – but at the very least, there’s genuine and public interest that could see GSB out the door.
This latest claim from Piriyev should leave many around East London absolutely delighted.
AND in other news, “Is a worry” – ExWHUemployee drops fresh West Ham transfer update…