Please not the Icelandics all over again for West Ham amid worrying new Daniel Kretinsky claims doing the rounds.
It could only happen to West Ham couldn’t it?
With David Moyes transforming West Ham on the pitch during a meteoric rise over the last years, hope sprang eternal when Czech billionaire Kretinsky became the club’s second biggest stakeholder in November.
After living in the shadows of their rivals for so long – and without a trophy for over four decades – suddenly West Ham fans could see a bright future.
The tempestuous 12-year tenure of David Sullivan and David Gold not quite ended. But Kretinsky’s arrival widely seen as the first seed planted in bigger plans for a full takeover.
No arrivals in the January window saw board resentment from West Ham fans bubble back to the surface.
But many are – quite rightly – keeping their powder dry on judging Kretinsky too soon with expectations high ahead of a busy summer at West Ham.
We’ve been here before, though. West Ham thought they had hit the jackpot when the Icelandic investment bank Straumur, led by Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and fronted by enigmatic chairman Eggert Magnusson, took charge and started splashing the cash.
Like West Ham’s anthem, though, those dreams soon faded and died. The Icelandic economy collapsed and West Ham were plunged into financial crisis eventually leading to the arrival of Sullivan and Gold.
There was a collective groan among West Ham fans this weekend, then, when worrying Kretinsky claims emerged in light of the tragic scenes in Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion and the dreadful footage coming out of West Ham star Andriy Yarmolenko’s homeland puts football – and life – seriously into perspective.
Please not the Icelandics all over again for West Ham amid worrying Daniel Kretinsky claims
But a side story to the conflict, it is reported, could seriously damage the main source of income for West Ham’s co-owner Kretinsky.
Much of Kretinsky’s wealth comes from his energy firm EPH of which he owns 69%.
EPH specialises in gas transmission mostly from Russia to central Europe. As a result, Kretinsky has dealings with Russian firm Gazprom which has this week been subject to sanctions and stripped of its £50m UEFA sponsorship.
Not only are there doubts over the financial stability of Kretinsky’s main source of income, the likes of The Telegraph have even suggested the “Czech Sphinx” and his company could also face sanctions.
The latter seems unlikely. And while there are much more important things at stake than West Ham having money to sign a few players in the coming years, it does cast a shadow over the glimmer of light that had broken out at the London Stadium.
With so much uncertainty, nobody can say with any surety what will happen.
But please not the Icelandics all over again for West Ham. Surely the Hammers cannot be that unlucky.