Fresh speculation over a West Ham United takeover has emerged from several different sources.
Back in April West Ham co-owner David Gold hit out after talk of takeover interest from Red Bull was linked to him (Claret & Hugh).
There was also speculation back in February that American businessman and 10% stakeholder Albert Tripp Smith was seeking new Middle Eastern investment in West Ham.
At the weekend a new report from The Daily Mail claimed Tripp Smith is putting together a US consortium with a view to buying a controlling interest in the Hammers from co-owners David Sullivan and Gold.
New West Ham takeover talk emerges
And yesterday yet more takeover speculation emerged as The Daily Star claimed a ‘high-powered’ Arab Emirates group was interested in buying West Ham.
The speculation has been encouraging for West Ham fans.
A large proportion of supporters have grown fed up with Sullivan and Gold as highlighted by the re-emergence of large-scale protests this season.
But fans wanting the owners out should not get their hopes up.
That’s after West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh – who have a direct line to Sullivan and Gold – emphatically denied the ‘nonsense’ claims.
Insider addresses new ‘high-powered’ Arab Emirates takeover claim
“This is the fourth take over in as many months and the one thing they all have in common is they are all nonsense,” Claret & Hugh state.
“I am sure the rumour is implying is the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) which is a sovereign wealth fund owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi who already own Manchester City and therefore cannot own a second club.
“The recent articles have contained a number of inaccuracies so shouldn’t be taken seriously, Smith stepped down from Blackstone at the beginning of 2019 and although he is a very wealthy individual he is not a billionaire and is not listed by Forbes in the US.
“The covenant that The Mail talks about does not expire next year as they suggest and in fact, is in place until March 2023. Smith often comes to West Ham games when he is in the UK but prefers to keep a low profile and avoids the limelight.
Senior source: ‘Completely made up story’
“Our senior club source speaking to us via email and in capitals about the latest claims said: ‘COMPLETELY MADE UP STORY!”
If indeed the rumours are linked to the Manchester City owners, Claret & Hugh are right.
The Premier League Rules define control as having a shareholding of 30% or greater. And PL Rule D. 2.2 stipulates that ‘no individual can have a 10% stake in more than one PL club’.
Sadly for West Ham that may not be an issue this time next month if David Moyes’s side do not start putting some points on the board.