Some West Ham United fans are hoping for US investment after a new report claimed ‘ultra wealthy’ individuals and firms have their eye on Premier League clubs affected by the global health crisis.

Earlier this year West Ham’s unpopular owners David Sullivan and David Gold revealed the club is hugely dependent on the bumper TV rights money in the Premier League.

In fact West Ham described it as a ‘necessity’ after announcing £27million losses (BBC Sport).

The global health crisis has since put a big dent in West Ham’s finances.

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West Ham facing financial turmoil?

The Hammers hierarchy appear to have been making noises that the club will be seriously impacted.

Reports and claims from a host of sources include reliable insider ExWHUemployeeFootball InsiderFootball London and Claret & Hugh.

West Ham have been linked with a number of takeovers since 2016. The likes of Red Bull (Telegraph) as well as individuals from the Middle East and America have been reportedly interested.

Now a new report from Sport Business claims ultra wealthy individuals and firms in the US are looking to invest in Premier League clubs who are struggling as a result of the crisis.

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‘Ultra wealthy’ US investors waiting to pounce on PL clubs – report

“Major investors are showing an increased appetite to secure preferred shareholdings in Premier League clubs and as many as nine EFL Championship teams could be available for sale as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a sports investment specialist at an international capital raising firm,” Sport Business reports.

“Adam Sommerfeld, head of sports investments at Certus Capital Partners, who describes his client base as a ‘who’s who’ of private equity players, NBA and MLS owners, ultra-high-net worth individuals and media firms, said experienced investors are looking for bargains during the crisis in anticipation of a rebound when top-flight leagues return to action.

“He told Sport Business: “We’re currently seeing significant interest in preferred equity deals across the top European leagues, mainly from our US investment groups.

“These are seasoned sports investors who are looking for positions in football which they can grow as the market returns, without engaging in full buy outs.”

Sommerfeld said his firm was in “advanced processes” to finalise a mixture of equity and debt deals with teams in the English Premier League, Serie A and La Liga that had become more compelling with the likely return of top-flight European football. Two weeks ago Germany’s Bundesliga returned to action and the English Premier League is in advanced talks to do likewise.

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Investment more likely than takeovers

He suggested major clubs are more receptive than usual to selling minority stakes to shore up their financial positions and help them see out the crisis.

Whether one of those clubs is West Ham remains to be seen. But the Hammers have reportedly been on the hunt for new investment and allowed Albert ‘Tripp’ Smith to purchase a 10% stake in the club in 2018.

However West Ham fans hoping for a big money takeover might be disappointed. Sommerfield says individuals or firms will be less likely to write the $300-500million cheques needed for a takeover.

The report has been circulating among West Ham supporters on fan forums, WhatsApp and social media.

Some are hopeful West Ham will attract a takeover or significant investment after growing fed up of Sullivan and Gold.

Others are more sceptical over US investment in English football as previous owners have a limited history of success.

Here are some comments from West Ham fans on Twitter about the new report.

Some Hammers fans hope for US investment, others not so sure

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