Friday, September 01, 2006

West Ham Take Over Bid

West Ham have confirmed that Kia Joorabchian, the man who it appears has a controlling interest in Brazilian club Corinthians, was acting as the agent for Tevez and Mascherano and negotiated the deal in London.

According to The Independent,

"The deal was negotiated with very few at West Ham in the loop - it is understood the chairman, Terry Brown, and managing director, Paul Aldridge, were the only men in the know until yesterday."

Sky Sports News contradict this slightly by reporting that Pardew was informed of the opportunity on Monday and obviously grabbed it with both hands. The Independent also say that the Iranian agent Pini Zahavi was at Upton Park yesterday with Joorabchian. Both men have been, or are, involved with the company Media Sports Investments. Spanish newspaper AS has reported that Roman Abramovich also has a 15% stake in the company, but Joorabchain has consistently denied that the Chelsea owner has any link to MSI. According to the Spanish paper however, Abramovic's yacht was in Buenos Aires shortly before the Tévez deal was announced.

According to Sky Sports News both The Independent and The Telegraph today are reporting that this is the start of a £200 million blueprint to buy out West Ham. However this may be based purely on the knowledge that MSI tried to buy the club last year. According to the Hammers Mad forum Pini Zahavi was heard on Radio Five yesterday evening denying MSI were involved in a take over bid. However Brown has consistently said that the board would only sell to a bidder who would invest in players and take the club forward. I guess this deal could be part of an effort to prove that very point.

One thing I suspect is that in some way MSI have managed to retain some interest in the players and if they move on at the end of this season, as many people believe, West Ham might not see much of the transfer fees. The Guardian claim that MSI have sold their shares in the players to West Ham and The Telegraph have revealed some of the details of the deal (see story above).

As much as I agree with Tony Gale that we are one of the best clubs in the world, there is obviously more to this deal than those involved are revealing. Whether it emerges that this deal is part of a take over bid, or that it is just a one year shop window for the players before moving on, West Ham fans have every right to be excited and what already looked to be an exciting season for the club just got a whole lot better.

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