There is a major European blow for West Ham co-owner Daniel Kretinsky this evening as Sparta Prague struggles continue.
Czech billionaire Kretinsky, who became West Ham’s second major stakeholder in November, owns Sparta Prague.
Hopes were high at West Ham when Kretinsky arrived.
But the club’s failure to invest in January has left Hammers fans angry at what they feel could be a golden chance of success wasted with so much to play for in the second half of the season.
Major European blow for West Ham co-owner Daniel Kretinsky as Sparta Prague struggles continue
Many West Ham fans are now questioning Kretinsky’s involvement at the club. And they will not get much comfort if seeking the views of Sparta Prague fans when it comes to the man known as the ‘Czech Sphinx’.
Kretinsky is something of a Marmite figure at the Czech club.
And murmurings of discontent in his homeland will undoubtedly grow after a major European blow for Kretinsky this evening as Sparta Prague bowed out of the Europa Conference League.
Sparta lost 3-1 on aggregate to 10-man Partizan Belgrade as their struggles continue. The winners of the Conference League are rewarded with a place in next season’s Europa League.
And Kretinsky’s side may have just passed up their only chance of European football next season as a result.
Because Sparta are currently third in the Czech Fortuna Liga, seven points off leaders and bitter rivals Slavia and second placed Viktoria Plzen.
Should Sparta not make Europe the heat will undoubtedly be turned up on Kretinsky in his homeland.
And expectant West Ham fans will be judging the investor too as the summer comes around with a big rebuild needed in east London.
There is one potential consolation for West Ham, though.
If Sparta don’t make Europe it avoids a potential conflict of interest which might have seen West Ham blocked from Europe next term if they manage to qualify again.
Meanwhile West Ham now know the identity of four of the teams they could face in the last 16 after the first batch of second leg matches this evening.
Atalanta, Sevilla, Porto and RB Leipzig secured their place in tomorrow’s big draw.
Meanwhile Barcelona are now 2-0 up at Napoli which means they lead 3-1 on aggregate.