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Exclusive: PAI Capital speaks to Hammers News about ambitious West Ham takeover bid
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Exclusive: PAI Capital speaks to Hammers News about ambitious West Ham takeover bid

PAI Capital – the firm behind a £400 million takeover bid for West Ham United – has spoken exclusively to Hammers News on its plans.

Renewed takeover talk emerged when The Daily Mail reported that the group of UK investors – fronted by former QPR chief Philip Beard – had seen a £400m bid for the club rejected by majority stakeholder David Sullivan.

The Daily Mail report made big claims about an increased transfer budget for David Moyes and redevelopment of the London Stadium as part of the takeover bid – which is being fronted by former QPR chief Philip Beard.

But Sullivan broke a long silence to publicly comment on PAI’s reported takeover bid, describing it as ‘vague’ and ‘derisory’. And the West Ham chief also said it was motivated by property rather than football.

PAI Capital have since hit back at Sullivan’s claims and insist proof of funds was provided and the apparent asking price was met (Sky Sports).

Photo by Catherine Ivill AMA Getty Images

PAI spokesman said it was never firm’s intention to enter public debate regarding takeover bid

Many disgruntled West Ham fans were frustrated to read reports that the bid had been knocked back.

That’s because a large section of supporters still want Sullivan, fellow owner David Gold and their vice-chairman Karren Brady to leave the club.

Others voiced concerns over a lack of detail regarding PAI Capital’s bid – which has been championed by celebrity West Ham fan Thomas Skinner.

Hammers News approached PAI Capital for an interview. A spokesman for the firm explained that Beard and his associates were too busy for an interview by phone or in person but would do so over email.

PAI Capital has now responded to a series of what we hope you will agree were pertinent questions regarding the proposed takeover bid for West Ham United.

And the firm has confirmed its plans to offer an increased transfer budget will hinge on how much they have to pay Sullivan and Gold for the club.

PAI also confirmed its commitment to investing in recruitment, scouting, training facilities, the academy and the London Stadium – which the company confirmed it intends to try and own outright.


PAI Capital speaks exclusively to Hammers News regarding ‘ongoing negotiations’ to buy West Ham and plans for the club

And the company also exclusively told Hammers News it is planning to release a more detailed vision for the club on Wednesday evening.

For full transparency we have decided to run the interview in full, in question and answer fashion.

“PAI Capital LTD was not planning for a public debate over this potential transaction,” a PAI Capital spokesman told Hammers News.

“Following the comments by David Sullivan last week and our partner Philip Beard’s formal reaction, we have now prepared a press release that will be issued tomorrow afternoon.

“We hope that our release will cover most of the numerous questions we have received from the club supporters’ community so far. In the meantime, please find below brief answers to your questions, we hope these are helpful.”

Q) Under Sullivan and Gold West Ham fans have been frustrated by the lack of what many see as consistent ambition in the transfer market. Philip Beard stated the manager of the club would have more money to spend under PAI. But can you give fans an insight into the scope of that ambition, would PAI invest in the playing squad significantly more than Sullivan and Gold to enable the club to become a more consistent challenger in the top six?

A) PAI Capital’s plan is to develop the club within a viable business model that guarantees long term to compete at the top level of english football.

In case our takeover is successful there will be a budget allocated to strengthen the squad. The scale of the follow up investment directly depends on the price we will end up paying for the purchase of the club.

PAI managing partner Nasib Piriyev is said to be a passionate supporter of West Ham since 1986. Photo by David M Benett Getty Images

Firm of investors reveals more detail on takeover plans will be released

Q) Many fans are concerned by Philip Beard’s association with QPR and the struggles they have had since their own takeover where they feel money was wasted and the lack of a coherent plan has seen the west London club stuck in the Championship since relegation. What can he tell fans to reassure them the same mistakes would not be repeated at West Ham if a takeover bid is successful?

A) PAI Capital has an experienced and solid team that developed a clear vision for the club going forward in case our take over is successfully completed.

We will release more information and the vision in due course.

Q) Will there be investment in the club’s scouting and recruitment?

A) Yes. Our business plan also includes investment in club infrastructure ie training grounds, youth academy and women’s team.

Q) The club’s training ground and facilities are the subject of much derision. Rivals such as Brighton, Leicester, Tottenham, Norwich and several others have invested significantly in developing training facilities. Would this be on the agenda for PAI?

A) Yes. Please see above.

Q) Much of the takeover talk revolved around the London Stadium and surrounding areas. What specifically would be the plan for the ground – would the money be put up to seriously redevelop the stadium to move the seating closer to the pitch and change the aspect like has happened at real sociedad with their own inherited Olympic Stadium?

A) Yes. More info on our vision to be released by PAI this Wednesday PM.

Q) Would PAI look to secure the stadium outright so West Ham own their own ground again? How realistic a possibility is that?

A) Yes. More info on our vision to be released by PAI this Wednesday PM.

Q) Many West Ham fans have noted Beard’s mention of the Olympic Legacy. In general West Ham fans care little for that and are concerned that it has been mentioned given how unhappy we are with the stadium in its current guise. What can you tell us about that?

A) We strongly believe that the club, the stadium and the park must be united in single ownership and work as a whole.

More info on our vision to be released by PAI this Wednesday.

Q) Are any of the people involved in PAI West Ham fans?

A) PAI managing partner Nasib Piriyev is a passionate supporter of West Ham FC and the England national team since 1986.

Q) Will PAI engage with fan groups?

A) Yes.

Q) Have you been given any encouragement that a bid for the club could be successful. David sullivan has always maintained he would only sell West Ham to new owners with serious money who are able to take the club to a different level. Do PAI fit that criteria?

A) We do fit the criteria. Current owners are focused on agreeing on their asking price. PAI Capital is not in agreement about the price at the moment.

We hope that the ongoing negotiations will be successful and beneficial for both sides.