Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thor's Hammers?

The main player it seems behind Eggert Magnusson's consortium seems to be Icelandic businessman Björgólfur Guðmundsson. It has been rumoured that his incredibly rich son Thor Bjorgolfsson might also be involved in the deal, but at least one other West Ham site has received letters from his lawyers stating that this is untrue, so I won't dwell on that rumour.

However the wealth of Thor is something to behold. The Times listed him in their 2005 Rich List as the 125th richest person in the UK, which makes him worth about £400 million. Forbes on the other hand claim he is Iceland's richest man and is worth at least £1.4 billion. I'm sure a lot of West Ham fans will hope that Thor does become involved in the club and that even a small percentage of his riches find their way to Alan Pardew's transfer kitty. I'm also fairly certain a lot of fans won't be too interested in how Björgólfur Guðmundsson and his son became so successful.

Last year The Guardian carried an article on the rise of three Icelandic businessmen, two of them being Björgólfur Guðmundsson and his son Thor Bjorgolfsson's and their incredible success in post-communist Russia. The article carried some thinly veiled hints at how they might have succeeded in creating a successful brewing company Bravo International, which they later sold to Heineken for $400 million, at a time when their competitors in St. Petersburg's mafia-ridden brewing business were being murdered or having their factories mysteriously burned down.

The last thing West Ham fans want is to go the way of Chelsea but it seems in at least one aspect we now have something similar; we are both being bankrolled by successful businessmen who struck it rich after the fall of communism in Russia.

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