A wealthy Mexican group is looking at the possibility of buying a Premier League club in London and West Ham United could fit the bill.
Speculation over the future of West Ham has been rife – on and off – for the last two to three years.
Various parties have been linked with takeover bids for West Ham.
It was the latest in a long line of takeover rumours – which included Red Bull, Americans and Arab Emirates wealth funds – to emerge over the last year.
There have been calls from some West Ham fans for David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady to leave.
West Ham have been at the centre of takeover talk for some time
The trio have been acronymed GSB as part of the GSBOUT campaign.
Most of the animosity stems from the club’s move from West Ham’s beloved Upton Park to the London Stadium and broken promises relating to it.
Tensions are already simmering among some fans after reports David Moyes will not be given much money to spend this summer.
Back in Feb, West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh claimed Sullivan and Gold would want at least £500million for the club.
Could West Ham now be eyed by a Mexican group who already own a club in their home country and want to expand to the Premier League. And specifically London.
Alejandro Irarragorri, founder of Grupo Orlegi, has told Sky Sports of their desire to take over a Prem side as part of a ‘multi-club structure’.
Mexican group want Prem club – preferably in London – as part of expansion to Europe
Grupo Orlegi own six-time title winners Santos Laguna who have been massively punching above their weight under the owners.
Orlegi have implemented an innovative recruitment structure based around analysis and statistics and it could pay off with a seventh title soon.
The group also owns Club Atlas – for whom ex West Ham star Ravel Morrison played – as well as Tampico Madero.
Now, Irarragorri has told Sky Sports the Mexican group are ready to expand to the Premier League.
And he is convinced that his vision represents the best way for clubs to maximise potential and defy the odds.
“Fans like to hear that a very wealthy entrepreneur has bought their team and he is going to pour money into them,” says Irarragorri, speaking to Sky Sports.
‘We have to do something different to compete’
“I don’t think that is the way to go these days. The stakes are so high now that this is no longer a hobby.
“Yes, you might have some crazy billionaires who want to do that but I don’t think it is the case. In the long run, you have to understand who you are and what you are dealing with…
“Here, we have a big four,” he says, referring to America, Cruz Azul, Pumas and Guadalajara. “We cannot compete on a budget with them. We are a mid-market club. It is just like the Moneyball thing. We have to do something different to win against those big clubs.
“We are probably the most successful club in Mexico on and off the pitch. What do I mean by that? Results on the pitch but also selling players. It is a rare combination actually. It should not be true that you can sell all these players and still have success on the pitch…
“Are we looking to the Premier League? Yes, constantly. We are heading towards that. Let’s see how it goes.
‘What Man City did 10 years ago is impossible to replicate today’
“There are a lot of good examples of multi-team ownership but I don’t see we have seen anything in terms of what they could be reaching in terms of sports synergy yet.
“What Manchester City did 10 years ago is impossible to replicate today. That boat has sailed. The only way that a team can bring themselves to that level today is through a multi-team structure. That is the business now.”
West Ham fans might not like one of the key concepts behind the Mexican group’s modus operandi, though. Selling your best players in order to invest. It is described as ‘sometimes necessary for progress’.
Despite supporter backlash, Roman Abramovich does not look set to sell Chelsea anytime soon.
And the Kroenke family last week told Daniel Ek they have no interest in selling Arsenal.
Tottenham fans have protesting in small numbers but Joe Lewis’s ENIC are not expected to buckle.
Crystal Palace might be an option but given the disharmony bubbling under the surface between West Ham’s owners and the club’s fans it seems the London Stadium may be the obvious port of call.
But whether Sullivan and Gold would sell before 2023 – when a levy on any sale expires – seems highly doubtful.