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What West Ham takeover means

Simon Austin | 13:04 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

The sale of West Ham could be the least exciting takeover in the history of the Premier League.

Without fanfare, CB Holding announced it had bought the club and would not be changing the way it was run.

There were no promises of star signings or qualifying for the Champions League, as there had been when previous owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson arrived at Upton Park in November 2006.

Nevertheless, the takeover is hugely significant because it saves the famous east London club from administration.

This was a realistic prospect, according to the new owners.

Gianfranco Zola
On Monday, an arrangement protecting West Ham's parent company Hansa from its creditors came to an end, meaning even one of its small creditors could have requested its liquidation.

This could have led to the Premier League docking nine points from the Hammers.

CB Holding was set up last week by creditors of Hansa. It is 70% owned by Icelandic bank Straumur, with the remaining 30% held by Byr Bank and MP Bank, which are also based in Iceland.

CB's spokesman, Georg Andersen, insists Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola will have a transfer budget this summer and will not be forced to sell the club's best players.

"We want to make a clear distinction between the financial side of the club and the football side," he told me. "We will leave the football side of the business to Gianluca Nani, Scott Duxbury and Gianfranco Zola, while we focus on the financial side.

"Selling our best players would make absolutely no business sense, because it would jeopardise the potential future price. We will try to hold the value of the club and enhance it if possible."

The financial side of the club will be overseen by new non-executive chairman, the publicity-shy Englishman Andrew Bernhardt.

On the field, the club will continue the policy implemented by Gudmundsson and his vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson - of bringing the best academy talent into the first team, signing promising youngsters from overseas and keeping a tight reign on the wage bill.

"We are not going to throw money around left and right - we don't run businesses that way," Andersen said.

The new owners expect to be in charge at West Ham for at least another two years because of the current economic climate.

"When the markets return and we get offered a decent price, as well as someone who can support the club better than we do, we will sell," Andersen said.

"We don't think it's feasible to try and sell the club at the moment though and can't realistically see anything happening in the next two years. Of course anything is for sale if the price is right, but we can't see that happening tomorrow."

Gudmundsson had been trying to find a buyer for the club since the end of last year, when his business empire began to collapse. Although there was interest from several parties, the offers they made fell dramatically short of Gudmundsson's asking price, which was initially more than £200m.Jack Collison

Not one of the buyers even reached the stage of carrying out due diligence on the club.
After the excesses of Eggert Magnusson's tenure as chairman, when West Ham lavished huge salaries on the likes of the injury-prone Freddie Ljungberg, the club now appears to be very well run.

Fridgeirsson has overseen the development of vastly improved training and medical facilities, homegrown talent such as Jack Collison, Freddie Sears and James Tomkins have made an impact in the first team and director of football Nani has made astute signings such as Valon Behrami and Herita Ilunga.

Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke have also proven an effective management team and the Hammers finished ninth in the Premier League last season.

CB Holding's promise of "more of the same" could be just what the Hammers fans want to hear.

Comments

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  • 1. At 1:58pm on 08 Jun 2009, God_Tony_Yeboah_21 wrote:

    They are back from the brink, this could have gone much worse with the problems the chairman had with money

    Glad too, good to see a team like the hammers competing in the upper reaches!

    Hopefully my Leeds will be back there someday too

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  • 2. At 2:07pm on 08 Jun 2009, bancroftboy wrote:

    i think this is actively a good thing.
    leave the football to the pro's, make sure the club is run on a sustainable basis, and when the economic situation improves sell the club again.
    the fact is that there is currently a football bubble, just like the financial one that popped recently. everyone seems to think that the only model for success is spending more and more by borrowing more and more. sooner or later on a premier league club is going to go under and the whole edifice will start to crumble. hopefully todays news means that west ham will be ok

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  • 3. At 2:07pm on 08 Jun 2009, shaun248 wrote:

    here we go again another company that will be with us for a couple of years and go again, when are we gonna get owners that love the club and the history, i know terri brown was all about the money but he loved the club and let redknapp do his job, i just hope the new owner with get rid of this nani bloke, spurs, liverpool, man u, chelsea and arsenal etc dont have a director of football and there all doing ok, where as newcastle have one and are now looking at the championship.

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  • 4. At 2:21pm on 08 Jun 2009, dodger9 wrote:

    As a Hammer, all I can say is phew! Stability here we come!

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  • 5. At 2:23pm on 08 Jun 2009, DennyCraneWHU wrote:

    Well, that's nice.

    I wonder what will happen in two years time? The Chinese seem to have a lot of spare cash. It can't all go into stockpiling commodities.

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  • 6. At 2:26pm on 08 Jun 2009, Hammerdoc wrote:

    Simon, it looks like you have some of your facts wrong (nothing unusual there - The BBC never managed to produce a factually accurate article on the whole Tevez debacle, so why change?).

    WHUFC was never in danger of going into administration.

    The parent company, Hansa, owned several other businesses as well as WHUFC, so even if it went into liquidation there is no indication that it would affect West Ham - in fact, it is very likely the Club would have been sold as a going concern.

    Straumur are effectively saying they will continue to run West Ham in the same manner as Gudmundsson, which begs the question: Why change, and why now? If they are planning to wait for two years to realise their asset, they may as well have left the current regime in charge!

    It doesn't all add up at the moment...

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  • 7. At 3:02pm on 08 Jun 2009, 49 and thats a wrap wrote:

    #6, maybe it doesn't add up for you because your facts are wrong?

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  • 8. At 3:05pm on 08 Jun 2009, william harper wrote:

    Hammerdoc i think you are wrong in stating that the hammers were in no danger of admin. Southampton thought that but as the law stands the administrators found that the club and the parent company were inextricably linked so you could easily have been dragged down,fortunately the hammers have been saved by the actions of the consortium of creditors.Obviously they saw no chance of salvaging any of their losses so the take over has in effect saved you from administration and given them hope of recouping their capital in the future.best of luck for the future,your team played some lovely stuff last season,keep up the good work.

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  • 9. At 3:28pm on 08 Jun 2009, z1gp1g wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 3:29pm on 08 Jun 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #3

    Many overseas clubs do have a director of football, and it seems to work for them. There seems to be something of a stubborn reluctance to the issue in this country.

    Perhaps Zola, given his origins, would not be so hung up on it as older skool managers are. They always claim there are never enough hours in the day, someone else comes in to do some of the work, and they moan at that. As long as the position is transparent and each party knows and accepts their responsibilities, then there should not be a problem.

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  • 11. At 3:36pm on 08 Jun 2009, stuart_hammer996 wrote:

    omdz why are hammer fans saying this is a bad thing
    its all good because 1. we have stability finally
    2.nani (what a guy) duxbury and zola can now fully concentrate on developing a team which is all ready at a high level
    3. we will now be able to attract players, i feel that the financial problems hindered the club into signing high quality players

    and yeah simon a few facts are wrong, the premier league said that west ham could not go into administration and face a points deduction as the club's member is west ham plc and the club had three bodies west ham plc, hansa and west ham holdings ltd so therefore any financial problems hansa faced would not implicated the club in terms of premier league

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  • 12. At 3:46pm on 08 Jun 2009, In Zola We Trusted - Next Up The Undertaker wrote:

    #6 - hammerdoc, I think it may be sretching it to say we were NEVER in threat of Administration? Yes Hansa had other operations and we were not in the same boat as the Southampton holding company, BUT do you really think it would have taken too much for the PL to kick us where it hurts with a nine point deduction if we hadn't have moved Hansa out of the way?

    This is a step in the right direction, we have avoided more contraversy for sure and the reason BG has to go now is so that he can start to repay some of his debts, all the while Straumur can get the business running properly, take some money out along the way and then sell us at a profit in a couple of years.

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  • 13. At 3:53pm on 08 Jun 2009, nlhammer wrote:

    'The sale of West Ham could be the least exciting takeover in the history of the Premier League...'

    Aah, what a shame - no real scope for you to bash West Ham then?

    You can't even mis-quote/second guess/copy from the tabloids Lucas Neill's salary anymore cos he's left.

    Hey, there's always Newcastle...

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  • 14. At 3:58pm on 08 Jun 2009, Noneofyourbusiness wrote:

    This deal basically makes West Ham more stable but also effectively puts the club on a care and maintenance basis for the next 2 years at least until someone with ambition & plans for the footballing side comes along.
    The new owners goal will be preserving Premiership status at the least possible cost and will be entirely dependent on the ability of Zola and Clarke to develop the team broadly as it is with ,hopefully, a continuation of seemingly the best set up for developing young players in the country.
    Tony Carr has been awarded a testimonial by the club this summer (i'd give him a Knighthood myself) and his work in finding more of the ilk of R Ferdinand, Lampard , J Cole & more recently Collison & Tomkins will determine how the club gets on.

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  • 15. At 4:05pm on 08 Jun 2009, NorbertUpNorf wrote:

    #8 - Regardless of any 'inextricable link' between holding company and club, the situation at West Ham in comparison to Southampton is completely reversed.

    Southampton's holding company only went into administration as a result of the failures of the club, so although the club itself was technically not in administration, that was only because the liabilities were all effectively passed to a holding company.

    West Ham on the other hand are a viable club, yet their holding company was not. The fortunes of the club have not impacted on the holding company, rather the holding company's fortunes threatened the club.

    #6 is totally right in this regard as I understand it.

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  • 16. At 4:08pm on 08 Jun 2009, Oakham Iron wrote:

    Valedictory you are incorrect. The issue with Southampton was that there were no other businesses in the group, hence the inextricably linked statement. This is not the case with Hansa as it is a true parent company with a number of subsidiaries, hence no concerns of administration.

    In terms of the takeover, it is really just a matter of moving the ownership to the people who have the investment(debt). So no change of direction. The decision to hold onto the club is a sensible financial decision. Even more importantly it gives stability. Now thats a novelty for us these days!!

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  • 17. At 4:25pm on 08 Jun 2009, English1313 wrote:

    No 9
    I am fed up with uneducated coments like yours. WHU did what wrong.... oh they didnt declare who owned Tevez. Does that really matter, no, you try finding out who actually owns some companies, and you will just come up with this or that holding company regeistered in some remote Country. Football should be about what happens on the pitch, yes WHU did wrong by the rules but its not their fault you dont like the punishment they were given.
    In my opinion this has dragged on for too long, you are probably a Sheffield Utd supporter who cant except they were not good enough to stay up.

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  • 18. At 4:36pm on 08 Jun 2009, BeppeSignori wrote:

    West Ham could have done so much better with the money they had. If Zola had the cash Curbishley had they'd be fighting over 5th place with Villa and Everton.

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  • 19. At 4:42pm on 08 Jun 2009, Hammerdoc wrote:

    #7 and 8 - Southampton copped a points deduction as it was proved that the Holding Company derived all of its income from the Club (ie the holding company was nothing more than a shell designed purely to avoid the points deduction). Hansa were not in the same situation. They owned several other businesses, so their entering administration would have no direct effect on the running of WHUFC (in fact, it's the creditors who have taken over, which pretty much confirms my point).

    #9 - Not worth debating unless you bother to acquaint yourself with the facts of the case...

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  • 20. At 4:51pm on 08 Jun 2009, Steej23 wrote:

    This is very good news for Hammers fans, who can genuinely look forward to next season with no serious worries or problems on the financial side of the club. I wish I could say the same for my team...

    Having got over the lavish spending during Magnusson's reign as you mentioned Simon (see Ljungberg, Lucas Neill etc.), they should again focus on combining overseas flair with the raw talent of their academy products. West Ham have a youth system to rival anyone's. I am truly jealous that they can boast the likes of James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Freddie Sears, when all Liverpool have to show for their academy are Jay Spearing and Stephen Darby, who will most likely not get anywhere near the first team in their time at the club.

    I wish good luck to West Ham next season and their fans can look forward to another Europe-chasing season.

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  • 21. At 4:54pm on 08 Jun 2009, HardWorkingHobbes wrote:

    For people comparing the West Ham situation with the Southampton situation.

    The Football League have different rules to the Premier League with regards to this sort of thing so comparisions cannot be made.

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  • 22. At 5:33pm on 08 Jun 2009, leeds-well-be-bk wrote:

    The thing with all these super rich is they never know when to sell up or their business have high barriers to exit so they cant cut and run. And it seems all of them want to own a football club so when the economy shrinks... the club, them and their suffering businesses are all tied together which is a negative outcome of the way money rules football these days. :/

    Hammers are one of my favourite non leeds teams, dont know why i just admire the club and felt something was missing from the premier league when they were gone (ofcourse that might have been us ha!) Wish you good luck.

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  • 23. At 5:35pm on 08 Jun 2009, tonyparksrun wrote:

    You've just joined the list of clubs for sale behind Newcastle and Everton for the right price 'when the markets return'.

    Expect travellers from the East arriving soon and I don't mean Upminster.

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  • 24. At 5:43pm on 08 Jun 2009, Simon Austin wrote:

    Thanks for your comments everyone

    #5 - DennyCraneWHU....that's a good point. Scott Duxbury talked about stability being brought to the club, but the new owners admit they are not football people and are not in this for the long haul. They hope to sell the club in about two years' time - and if a better offer comes before then, even sooner.

    #6 - Hammerdoc...both the previous owners and the new ones have told me the club was on the verge of going into administration. The Premier League has also been monitoring the situation very closely, and that was their understanding. What is your basis for thinking otherwise?

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  • 25. At 6:18pm on 08 Jun 2009, VINCYHAMMERS wrote:

    Great news for all hammers fans.The club can now look forward to the new season with high hopes.

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  • 26. At 6:22pm on 08 Jun 2009, Pat McGroin wrote:

    At the risk of sounding descriminatory - it can't be a bad thing to lose some Icelandic businessmen surely?

    Rangers fan in peace (Glasgow Rangers - don't panic)

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  • 27. At 6:55pm on 08 Jun 2009, cheeryhammersRus wrote:

    dont no why there people who are not that happy with this takeover, im over the moon with it it means zola has some cash to splash, not the amount we would of liked but with that nani bloke, stevie clark and zola, im shore they will buy descent priced players and plan for the future with a squard that is more then capable of getting into europe but mor importently we hav no threat of admi and a 9 point penalty, keep up the good work boys and lets av a gr8t season, UP THE HAMMERS

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  • 28. At 7:04pm on 08 Jun 2009, Swiss_Pauli wrote:

    @Simon Austin - did you ask each set of owners the reasons why they thought the club was on the verge of adminstration? If not, why not? If so, why didn't you at least sketch out these reasons in the blog?

    Presenting the threat of adminstration as the reason for the sale makes it sound like both parties were acting in the interests of the club, when the reality could be that both parties were acting in their own interests: BG to pay his creditors, and majority owner Straumur to pick up an undervalued asset (which would help their own ongoing restructuring).

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  • 29. At 7:16pm on 08 Jun 2009, Greatesthammerfan wrote:

    I am pleased that there is going to be stabiblty with the club. But I am concerned that if things go pear shaped, that the new owners might just treat the the club as an asett rather than a football club.
    P.S. I am glad Sheffiled United did not gain promtion, I hope they get RELERGATED and out of the league. (Money grabbers!)

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  • 30. At 7:35pm on 08 Jun 2009, In Zola We Trusted - Next Up The Undertaker wrote:

    Hammerdoc #6 & 19......

    I think Mr Austin is waiting for the source of your information which would lead you to state -

    "WHUFC was never in danger of going into administration"

    Just because Hansa was setup differently to the Southampton Holding company, then it doesn't mean we were imune to going in to Administration or being investigated by the PL.

    Some people really need to get a reality check and take the rose tinted glasses off, bottom line we were in a sticky situation, to say the least.

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  • 31. At 7:47pm on 08 Jun 2009, hunterSWestHam wrote:

    This so-called take-over makes me feel reactively moderated. Let's keep in mind the creditors are the owners.

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  • 32. At 7:54pm on 08 Jun 2009, tlmal89 wrote:

    Simon, very good read but you have linked administration in this context to the wrong wikipedia page!

    It correct reference is here -

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administration_(insolvency)

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  • 33. At 8:02pm on 08 Jun 2009, Hammerdoc wrote:

    Simon,

    As I said, it just doesn't add up. Maybe the previous and new owners were a bit economical with the truth.

    BG repeatedly stated that the Club was a viable concern, and Straumur have stated that they will run the Club in the same way that BG did. If this is the case, why was administration a possibility? Why the takeover?

    This affair has more questions than answers at the moment...

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  • 34. At 8:32pm on 08 Jun 2009, Hammerdoc wrote:

    "On Monday, an arrangement protecting West Ham's parent company Hansa from its creditors came to an end, meaning even one of its small creditors could have requested its liquidation.

    This could have led to the Premier League docking nine points from the Hammers."

    Why? Hansa had many assets, one of which was WHUFC. It is obvious that WHUFC is a viable concern, otherwise why take over? Had Hansa been liquidated, WHUFC would have been sold for a fraction of its true value(as would other assets). The reason for the takeover is to ensure the Creditors get a worthwhile price for their prize asset.

    Talk of administration sounds like a smokescreen to me...

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  • 35. At 8:36pm on 08 Jun 2009, In Zola We Trusted - Next Up The Undertaker wrote:

    Hammerdoc if the affair has more questions than answers then how could you possibly go out on a limb and state we were never going to go in to Administration? If anything it just cements the fact it could have been a possibility, no?

    Our owners being economical with the truth, I hear you there, I mean how far do we have to go back to feel that was NOT the case?

    The books had to be closed up, we already had our 3 month extension and the auditors wouldn't sign off because of the SUFC debacle, there were plenty of reasons this had to happen and BG had to cross one of his debts off the growing list.

    Just like we didn't know what obsurd amount Griffiths would grant in compo, we probably also didn't know how far in to this the PL would go snooping either.

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  • 36. At 11:18pm on 08 Jun 2009, The One-Armed Man wrote:

    Always had a soft spot for West Ham due to my dad being a huge fan. Literally, he's a bit chubby. But thats a different story.

    I'm glad this has happened, and happy that Zola and Clarke are going to be left to do their jobs, which I have to say they have been doing very well. Come on you Irons! I want to see them challenging for the (Ridiculously named) Europa Cup positions next season. If Fulham can do it, West Ham can do it! As long as they get rid of that a r s e Boa Morte anyway.

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  • 37. At 11:45pm on 08 Jun 2009, JimmyScalyback wrote:

    If this latest change in ownership means West Ham are going to get a period of stability away from the spotlight for non football reasons then great!
    What has pleased me just as much is the number of supporters of other teams who have commented and expressed having a soft spot for the Hammers; dare I believe we are getting back to the days when WHUFC were many peoples second team?

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  • 38. At 11:55pm on 08 Jun 2009, malcfactor wrote:

    A stop gap nothing more but if it's the best we can currently hope for, so be it.

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  • 39. At 02:11am on 09 Jun 2009, redforever wrote:

    What it really means is that West Ham can join the rest of us, overpaying for makeweight players, getting into massive debt, and staring bankruptcy in the face! There is nothing quite like having "new" ownership, full of promises.
    Welcome to the "money" club.....from a bitter Liverpool fan, yearning for the days when the chairman was a local businessman who loved football, but knew enough to stay in the boardroom!

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  • 40. At 03:14am on 09 Jun 2009, nicknepal wrote:

    What a surprise, the club still have nothing about this on the official site. Very quick with most things...

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  • 41. At 06:50am on 09 Jun 2009, jmb wrote:

    So most clubs are now either up for sale to the highest bidder (preferably a rich man), or owned by rich backers. There can't be much longer to go until we reach the stage where the era of football clubs being rich men's playthings starts to wane.

    There are only so many trophies to win each year and so most of the rich men will get no satisfaction year on year and start to look for a better high.

    Further, most rich men like their massive egos to be massaged, if they are suddenly unpopular and having nasty things said to/about them, then they won't stay long either.

    Ultimately, the second tier clubs will be put up for sale by bored, slightly-less rich men and just like Newcastle, there will be large discounts all round and heavy losses to sustain.

    Then the big clubs will have an even bigger gulf and no-one will want to buy a second tier club because there is nothing to play for and no hope of bridging the chasm. The path taken by Man City will be especially interesting, if they fail to break into the top 4 and win trophies soon, it will be proof positive that you can't buy your way to the top. Then I expect the exodus to start in earnest.

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  • 42. At 08:22am on 09 Jun 2009, Simon Austin wrote:

    Couple of things I didn't mention in the piece (which you might have read elsewhere by now):

    The CB in CB Holding stands for Claret & Blue.

    And Straumur, who own 70% of CB Holding, are themselves in financial difficulty. They are currently under the control of the Icelandic Financial Services Authority, although Andersen stressed that the bank had not been nationalised.

    It certainly means West Ham won't be lavishing much money on transfers this summer. Zola is likely to have to sell before he can buy.

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  • 43. At 08:32am on 09 Jun 2009, Simon Austin wrote:

    #28 Swiss_Pauli... I tried to explain this in the piece. Sorry if it wasn't clear.

    Hansa (West Ham are their key asset) were on the verge of going into administration because yesterday was the end of the moratorium protecting them from their creditors. Once that ended, a creditor could request the company's liquidation.

    #32 tlmal89... good spot, thanks. I have changed that.

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  • 44. At 10:42am on 09 Jun 2009, Swiss_Pauli wrote:

    #43 - What you don't explain, Simon, is the nature of the relationship of the football club to its holding company. If the football club is a going concern, and Hansa merely a beneficial owner then liquidation of Hansa does not mean West Ham entering adminstration. If, however, West Ham isn't a going concern, or if it owes Hansa significant sums of money (e.g. via a leveraged buy-out) then the effect of Hansa entering liquidation would be very different for West Ham.

    Interestingly, Straumur listed under its assets quite a lot of companies that sound identical to those once owned by Thor Bjorgolfsson.

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  • 45. At 12:35pm on 09 Jun 2009, Mightyblooze wrote:

    It's good to see a team like WHU saved from the financial wolves. I've always admired their footy, and wish them good luck for 09/10.

    As an Everton fan (since 1968), I used to wish for a multi-billionaire sugar-daddy for my club, but not any more. All it seems to bring is constant change and unpredictability. Just look at David Moyes and ol' empty pockets Blue Bill to see how far having (relatively) no money can get you!

    COYB

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  • 46. At 1:17pm on 09 Jun 2009, Cantanker wrote:

    why is it nine points and not ten points for going into administration?

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  • 47. At 2:14pm on 09 Jun 2009, VOR1 wrote:

    Sorry Simon, but you still don't appear to have answered the question that Swiss_Pauli posed yesterday; namely, did you ask both sets of owners why they thought the club was on the verge of administration, or perhaps more significantly, to quantify (in terms of a percentage?) what the real risk of the club going into administration actually was?
    Should we conclude from your earlier answer that administration for the club was imminent & certain, or that it was just a vague possibility? As you asked yourself, what was your basis for believing either scenario to be the case?

    I can't help thinking that if you're going to write about what 'might have happened', you at least owe it to us to quantify or support your viewpoint with something a little more revelatory, incisive or substantive. After having been subjected to the absurd suppositions of Lord Griffiths over various 'what if's & maybe's', I'm inclined to think it's the least we deserve from a responsible journalist such as yourself.

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  • 48. At 2:51pm on 09 Jun 2009, Simon Austin wrote:

    Ironsinblood/ Swiss_Pauli...I was told by both the former and new owners that there was a "realistic prospect" of West Ham going into administration. Wasn't given a % chance sorry.

    I am not a financial/ business expert, which probably shows, but the explanation I was given was this: Hansa were on the verge of going into administration because Monday was the end of the moratorium protecting them from their creditors. Once that ended, a creditor could request the company's liquidation.

    What would have had to happen, I believe, is that the administrators would have been called in, leading to a points deduction and a block on the signing any new players.

    The administrators would have tried to restructure the company/ repay creditors/ eventually sell it on.

    The creditors (mainly Straumur) believed it would be better for them to form a company and take control of the club, preventing it going into administration.

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  • 49. At 5:25pm on 09 Jun 2009, stuart_hammer996 wrote:

    Simon, I'm sorry but a bit more research is needed, west ham was never under the possibility of administration, this is because of how the ownership of the club was.
    even though hansa was the holding company, west ham holdings LTD and west ham PLC also existed in the structure.
    west ham PLC was regarded as the member organization by the premier league, meaning that any sporting sanction against the team could not be considered in respect to any financial issues relating to the holding company

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  • 50. At 6:13pm on 09 Jun 2009, In Zola We Trusted - Next Up The Undertaker wrote:

    Interestingly Mr Duxbury has now refuted claims that WHU were close to Administration. Personally I find it hard to trust what comes out of the mans mouth, especially after the Tevez affair where he was supposed to be the legal whizz kid behind Aldridge not dislosing the third party MSI agreement to the PL, then the whole "oral cuddles" saga just muddied the waters even more, add a witness to the crime and it's to the tune of 25 million in compensation. (why did Dixbury never get called to give his version of events, neither did Aldridge......hmm, smell anything yet?)Now I could have him all wrong but he is either very unlucky, misunderstood or just disliked, perhaps all three? or there is no smoke without fire.........you choose.

    Regarding Simon Austin's article then I think he has been very fair, and when questioned has responded what his source of information was, I don't think he is hyping the "administration" piece up and I don't see how anyone could say "it was never going to happen", because there had to be a possibility that the PL would get their noses into it at the drop of a hat, if only to make up for their own mistakes in 2007?

    #46 - It's NINE points in the PL, 10 in the football league. In fact the PL ruling hurts more, because you only have 38 games and not 46 to recover.

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  • 51. At 6:57pm on 09 Jun 2009, Cantanker wrote:

    thanks and that makes sense i suppose

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  • 52. At 1:10pm on 11 Jun 2009, Londonhammerette wrote:

    I know this is a little late, but not one of you are actually talking about the football. considering what we had going on behind the scenes last season we finished in a strong posistion. The pressure has eased off and as a die hard West Ham fan I will looking forward to the european fight next season and at 3pm most Saturdays I will forget the credit crunch for 90 mins and enjoy the beautiful game!

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  • 53. At 08:43am on 13 Jun 2009, Hannahp1 wrote:

    The Hammers are and always have been important to british football, due to the way they have tried to play the game. As well as their skill in producing local talent year after year.Now we also have a great management team, which could be the teams best ever.Since Zola's team have been in control the passion of the players,has returned after being lost for a year or two.We need to keep hold of Upson if we can.

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  • 54. At 08:19am on 14 Jun 2009, Hannahp1 wrote:

    The banks now will protect £50,000 of our money if any thing goes wrong. Have the FA got ant plans in place if the money dries up in any of our leagues. Or will they be hung out to rot.The banks a few years ago we in a very strong position and like us all can not see around the corner, now look at them. Lets hope the FA have some good impartial scouts out there.If not Ronaldo could be on the market for £80 or exchanged for an old Ford van to get the rest of the team to away games.

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  • 55. At 08:12am on 17 Jun 2009, Rat wrote:

    Why doesn't this organisation require an enormously long period of due dilligence like the consortium buying Portsmouth?

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