West Ham confirm sale of 27 per cent stake of the club to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky – who already owns stakes at Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s – and the businessman could take over the club fully in the future
- West Ham announced Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has a stake in the club
- The Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s shareholder has a 27 per cent stake in the club
- The deal contains an option for Kretinsky to take full control in the near future
- The move would end David Sullivan and David Gold’s time in charge of the team
- Kretisnky has joined the West Ham board along with his colleague Pavel Horsky
West Ham have confirmed the sale of 27 per cent of the club to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky in a move which could see him take over the club completely in the near future.
Sportsmail revealed last month that Kretinsky, who is the largest Royal Mail shareholder and the second-biggest at Sainsbury’s, was in talks over a potential purchase of the shareholding which went through on Wednesday.
The agreement is understood to include an option for 1890s holdings a.s chairman Kretinsky to take over the club fully in the near future, meaning this move could spell the beginning of the end of David Sullivan and David Gold’s full control of the Hammers.
West Ham have confirmed the sale of 27 per cent of the club to Czech Daniel Kretinsky
Billionaire Kretinsky (above) is understood to have the option to take over the club fully soon
Kretinsky has now been appointed to the Hammers board along with his colleague Pavel Horsky, with joint-chairmen Sullivan and Gold also West Ham chiefs and vice-chair Karen Brady.
West Ham confirmed that the move will reduce their club’s debt, while Kretinsky’s investment could lead to a larger transfer budget for David Moyes’ team – who have already made a very bright start to the season.
Speaking about his new shares in the club, Kretinsky told West Ham’s official website: ‘I am delighted this detailed process has now been successfully concluded. I am passionate about football.
‘I greatly appreciate and respect the exceptional history and tradition of West Ham United as well as its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in many social programmes and initiatives.
West Ham have been owned by David Sullivan (right) and David Gold (left) since 2010
‘The development and growth of the Club in recent years has been clear for everyone to see and I am delighted to be part of what I believe is a very exciting future ahead.
‘Having been to the London Stadium recently to watch David Moyes’ team, I know it is an incredible time to become part of the West Ham United family. I feel privileged to now have the opportunity to help everyone here build on the proud traditions of this great Club.’
The sale of 27 per cent of the Premier League club means the Hammers are valued at around £600m, with Sullivan and Gold owning 86 per cent of the business between themselves.
The two businessman have been in charge of the Hammers for over a decade and have been open to selling a stake at the club for some time.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady also plays a key role in the running of the club
Speaking about Kretinsky’s move, Hammers vice-chair Brady added: ‘We are always looking to continue to progress and Daniel’s involvement brings investment which strengthens the Club’s position, and in turn will assist in the development of the Club’s key areas of focus.
‘David Sullivan and David Gold have always been very open about finding the right investors to join them on the journey as custodians of West Ham United, and Daniel’s strong business acumen and football experience will be of huge benefit to the Club. We very much look forward to working with him and Pavel.’
Kretinsky’s involvement in the club follows a large influx of Czech players who have signed for West Ham in recent years, including key midfielder Tomas Soucek, who is joined at the London Stadium by fellow Czech internationals Vladimir Coufal and Alex Kral.
West Ham have made several Czech signings in recent years, including Tomas Soucek (left)
Kretinsky, who is known as the ‘Czech Sphinx’ and is worth around $4billion (£2.96bn), already has some investment in football. He is already the co-owner and president of Sparta Prague and been has been linked to takeovers at clubs across Europe in the past.
West Ham are currently enjoying a brilliant start to the new season, with the Hammers beating Liverpool 3-2 last week to move into third in the top-flight and three points behind leaders Chelsea.
Moyes’ men are also unbeaten in four matches in their first ever Europa League group stage campaign, and are on course to qualify for the knockout stages.