The protracted West Ham ownership saga was concluded last night after David Sullivan and David Gold finally pushed through their takeover.The pair have sealed a deal worth £105million for a 50 percent of the club and will taker on their debts.
manager Gianfranco Zola will be given a chance to prove himself to the former Birmingham City owners, who have promised to invest in the squad before the end of the month.
Strengthening West Ham’s threadbare attack is the priority and money is available immediately to fund moves for Manchester City’s Benjani and Monaco’s Eidur Gudjonsen.
Sullivan and Gold will also push ahead with plans to relocate from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium after the London Games in 2012.
Key to the relocation plans is the appointment of Karren Brady as vice-chairman. Sullivan will assume the role of chairman and Gold is expected to take a seet on the board.
The deal was struck late last night after a day of tense negotiations. Malaysian businessman Tony Fernades is understood to have run Sullivan and Gold the closest, although the InterMarket consortium also spent the day in talks with West Ham’s corporate brokers Rothschild. However Sullivan and Gold appear to have been the most serious bidders all the way through the complex process and were the first to put hard cash on the table.
The news that his job is safe will come as a major relief to Zola, as former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes had been hotly tipped as the man the new owners wanted to revive West Ham’s fortunes.
Such was the level of speculation about Zola’s future yesterday that bookmakers stopped taking bets on him becoming the next Barclays Premier League manager to loose his job.
But now the uncertainty has been resolved, Zola has had an opertunity to concentrate on ensuring West Ham’s Premier League status. They are currently in 16th place.