West Ham owners reject second takeover bid from US consortium
West Ham United, of English soccer’s top-tier Premier League, have rejected a second offer of £400 million ($519 million) from an American consortium to buy the club.
The group of investors, who are involved in US sport, first approached club owners David Gold and David Sullivan (pictured) at the start of August with an opening offer of £350 million, which was rebuffed by the duo.
The initial offer was based on the proposed £300 million takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi-led consortium, plus an extra £50 million due to the club’s London location.
They returned at the end of the month with an improved offer of £400 million, which the club said has also been rejected by the owners.
The bidders have now entered a cooling-off period and plan to monitor developments before making a fresh bid next month, according to The Guardian newspaper.
Citing a source, the newspaper said the group has drafted a seven-year business plan to improve West Ham’s finances. The club, who pay £2.5 million per year to rest their ground in London’s Olympic Park, made a pre-tax loss of £28.8 million in the last financial year and are facing more difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, sources at West Ham have questioned the strength of the group’s interest as there has been no proof of funding.
Sullivan and Gold have also seen their popularity fall amongst supporters since the club’s move to London Stadium 2016. At the time, they promised the club would challenge at the top of the Premier League, however, last season they only narrowly avoided relegation and have not signed any new players for the 2020-21 season, which started at the weekend.
Earlier this year, Gold, Sullivan and Karen Brady, the club’s vice-president faced anti-board protests from supporters over perceived poor management of the club.
However, Sullivan, who owns a majority shareholding of 51.5 per cent has previously said he is not interested in a sale but raised the possibility of bidders investing a minority stage.
Meanwhile, Premier League giants Manchester City has signed a multi-year extension to their deal with tire manufacturer Nexen Tire.
Under the extension, the brand will continue as sleeve sponsor of the men’s team, as well as the club’s eports team and has added the club’s women’s team into the deal.
Nexen Tire has been given branding rights across Manchester City’s Etihad Campus, including across the Nexen Tire bridge that connects the City Football Academy to the Etihad Stadium. Its brand will also be displayed on the team bus.
The deal also includes Nexen supporting community projects, such as the development of the City Football Foundation’s community pitch in East Los Angeles in California, as well as being the presenting partner of the Nexen Man City Cup, one of the biggest youth soccer tournaments in the US.
Elsewhere, fellow Premier League side Leicester City have renewed their partnership with Asian betting firm W88.
W88 first signed a two-year sponsorship deal with the club at the start of the 2018-19 season, which saw the betting firm become the club’s official betting partner. The deal was brokered by the Sportfive agency.
Under the renewal, W88 will continue to receive branding on pitch side LED boards at Leicester’s Premier League home games and Uefa Europa League matches during the 2020-21 season.
W88 will also be able to leverage Leicester City’s global brand in its marketing activities and develop content with the club’s players.