Recent reports reignited talk that Red Bull could launch a takeover of West Ham United.
The Hammers may be the 18th richest club in world football.
But that has not been reflected on the pitch. Angry West Ham fans want co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to sell the club.
Among those reportedly interested – and not for the first time – was energy drink and sports giant Red Bull.
For some West Ham fans ANYONE is better than Sullivan and Gold.
An irrational fear of the Red Bull machine
Others, though, are more wary when it comes to Red Bull.
In 2017 Red Bull were linked with a £650million takeover of West Ham (Telegraph).
On the whole the Hammers faithful were dead against the idea back then. And some remain unconvinced.
But many of the underlying concerns are ill-informed and irrational.
In fact it could well be the best thing to ever happen to the club after a series of disastrous ownerships.
People don’t like change, it’s a common human trait, but the reaction to reports – even against the backdrop of the desperation for Sullivan and Gold to sell – have been surprising.
Misguided fears were once again spouted on social media when the new reports emerged last week.
Red Bull have the money and nous to truly make the fabled next level
Some supporters are worried the marketing machine would come in and rename the club, change the badge, the kit and all but erase Bobby Moore from the history books.
In reality none of those things would have happened, if there is one thing Red Bull isn’t… it’s stupid.
The company, worth over $10billion, has wide ranging sporting interests across the globe and is famous for spending big and wisely to make a success of its ventures.
In Germany, the club Red Bull Leipzig – which was originally fifth division side SSV Markranstädt before being purchased and rebranded – is reviled mainly because the owners have done everything in their power to invest as much as possible to make the team a success.
And they have done just that with the side rocketing up the leagues and now sitting pretty in second place in the Bundesliga and emerging as genuine challengers to Bayern Munich.
They have not looked out of place in the Champions League in recent years either and take on Tottenham in the last 16 later this month.
Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg haven’t done too badly under their ownership either.
Originally formed in 1933, 10 of the club’s 13 titles have come since the takeover in 2005.
Sociedad has shown that a revamped ‘Red Bull Arena’ could become reality
Two big problems the Hammers have is 1) a lack of the kind of investment needed to challenge the top six from Sullivan and Gold and the 2) London Stadium.
The athletics bowl arena is poles apart from Upton Park. And the magic has gone as a result of the move.
Some West Ham fans want new owners to ditch the London Stadium and construct a new purpose-built home made for football.
But if Red Bull take over it would surprise nobody if they at the very least bought the stadium from the debt-ridden operators LLDC outright and redeveloped it into a proper football stadium.
Those who are sceptical as to whether that is possible only need to look at Real Sociedad in Spain for proof.
It is 2020. It CAN be done.
And in terms of global branding, Red Bull really would be the ideal people to take West Ham to the next level.
At worst Red Bull would rename the stadium something like the ‘Red Bull Arena’. But is that really much worse than the London Stadium?
And like all the other top clubs, owners fixing naming rights and sponsorship deals for over-inflated sums would give West Ham the freedom to compete with the big boys in terms of Financial Fair Play.
Another major issue is West Ham’s poor quality training facilities in comparison to other Premier League – and even some Championship – clubs.
Red Bull would have the financial muscle to sort that out without any problems whatsoever.
Just Google the New York Red Bulls training facility to see the investment the company makes in that respect. Mind-blowing.
Take a look online at any of the Red Bull staff rosters too. A modern, no-stone-unturned approach is taken with a network of scouts, a focus on young homegrown talent both in terms of players and coaches and of course, being the best on the pitch.
Some fans fear the club would be selling out or selling its soul if Red Bull take over.
But that has already happened without any of the success to go with it.