PAI Capital – the firm behind a £400 million takeover bid for West Ham United – are due to release more details on their vision for the club imminently.
One of the questions we put forward to PAI resulted in an interesting answer.
Q) Are any of the people involved in PAI West Ham fans? Hammers News asked PAI.
To which the company responded: “PAI managing partner Nasib Piriyev is a passionate supporter of West Ham FC and the England national team since 1986.”
Beard the front man but what of West Ham supporting Piriyev in the background?
West Ham fans are aware of Philip Beard’s involvement fronting up the bid. The former QPR chief has a questionable record in the eyes of Hammers fans all too aware of the Loftus Road outfit’s struggles since his tenure.
So who is the mysterious Hammers supporter at the heart of PAI’s bid to take over West Ham from David Sullivan and David Gold.
Piriyev is described by PAI Capital as an entrepreneur with experience in petrochemicals, oil and gas, financial services and the consumer and retail sectors.
He is listed as a co-founder of PNN Group and AzMeCo as well.
West Ham supporters may have noted in PAI’s response to the question about whether any of the people involved in the takeover were Hammers fans that Piriyev has been supporting the club since 1986.
Piriyev looking to develop PAI’s international operations
That happens to be West Ham’s most successful top flight season since the 1960s – not that there is anything wrong with that. After all many fans would have started following the club having been enthralled by Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie blasting the Irons to that famous title challenge.
“Mr Piriyev has successfully developed numerous projects in Russia, Central Asia and the Far East over the past 15 years,” PAI Capital’s website states.
“These projects include the development of a petrochemical complex with a state-of-the-art methanol plant in Azerbaijan; engineering, development and construction of oil and gas condensate refineries in a number of the Central Asian states; and establishment of an international oil products trading company.
“In addition, through a former subsidiary, Buta Fashion Group, PNN Group previously owned the franchise and distribution rights in Azerbaijan for prominent fashion, jewelry and accessory brands including Alfred Dunhill, DeBeers Diamond Jewelers, Nina Ricci, Brunello Cucinelli and others. Buta Fashion Group was sold in 2015 and PNN Group retained the rights to the DeBeers Jewelers and Steinway & Sons brands.”
Next stop West Ham for family linked to Tony Blair in 2015 controversy?
Since 2019, Piriyev has been developing PAI Capital’s operations internationally and it seems next stop is east London and West Ham.
As seems to be the case with many wealthy, high profile people, though, controversy is never too far away.
West Ham insider Claret and Hugh have reported on Piriyev’s past. And that reportedly includes a failed bid to buy Marseille back in May 2020. Some would question why a West Ham fan would want to buy Marseille?
And back in 2015, his father Nizami – described as a former financial contact of ex Prime Minister Tony Blair – was arrested in Azerbaijan charged with a series of money crimes including fraud (Daily Express).
West Ham fans have probably already tried to research Piriyev’s net worth.
Unusually, though, a simple Google search of that term does not bring up any obvious results.