A group of UK-based shareholders have had a takeover bid of more than £400m rejected by West Ham majority shareholder David Sullivan.
Sullivan, alongside his business partner David Gold, have owned the Hammers since 2010 and have not always been popular with fans. The club’s move to the London Stadium has been a particular bone of contention, but West Ham’s on-field underachievement and poor recruitment have also been criticised.
In more recent times, Gold and Sullivan have moved out of the firing line, mainly thanks to the success that manager David Moyes has brought on the pitch. Last season the Hammers secured a highly impressive sixth placed finish, securing Europa League football in the process.
This, combined with their terrific stadium and London location, makes the club an attractive proposition to investors. According to the Daily Mail, one group has launched a takeover bid. The consortium – which includes former QPR chief executive Philip Beard – have made an opening offer in excess of £400m, but it has been swiftly rejected by the current ownership.
The group remains determined to negotiate a deal. Beard, one of the driving forces of the plans, was part of London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics. The group is keen to not only invest heavily in new signings, but also redevelop the land around the London Stadium to ensure the legacy of the games is fulfilled. They are also said to be ‘disappointed’ by their first offer being refused.
It is not the first time in recent years that West Ham have been subject to a takeover bid. Previously, Gold has asserted that he rejected approaches from an American consortium. Further back, an offer even higher than the £400m tabled by Beard and co was also rebuffed.