West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has called a £ 400m bid to buy the club “scornful” and insisted the refusal of the takeover bid was in Hammers ‘and fans’ interest as it was at best a “vague strategy” that did not have football at the heart of it.
The offer came from a UK consortium that includes former QPR chief executive Philip Beard.
A UK-based consortium including former QPR chief executive Philip Beard wants to buy West Ham / Julian Finney / Getty Images
But despite initial media reports suggesting the group had plans to take West Ham to the next level and make the club a “great strength”, including an increased transfer budget for manager David Moyes, Sullivan has conversely claimed that the interest is driven by a opportunity to win.
“They never produced any evidence of funds,” Sullivan told The Athletic. “[They] had no interest in the football side and saw it as a real estate move. It was a property not a football deal for them.
“We have no desire to sell the club, but are contacted by many strange and wonderful people who lack money and have no experience of running a football club.”
Sullivan and business partner David Gold became joint chairman of West Ham in January 2010 after acquiring a 50% stake in the club. They increased it to 60% later that year, while Sullivan himself became the single largest shareholder in 2013 when he bought another 25%.
West Ham’s fortune on the pitch has been up and down over the past decade. The Hammers were relegated from the Premier League in 2011 and returned immediately via the Championship play-offs. They later finished seventh in 2015/16, resulting in Europa League qualifiers, but were placed in the bottom half four times out of five seasons between 2013 and 2018.
West Ham fans have previously protested against Gold, Sullivan and longtime ally Karren Brady / Sam Bagnall – AMA / Getty Images
Recruitment policies have also been widely criticized, either over-exploiting the wrong players – such as Felipe Anderson, Sebastian Haller or Andre Ayew, or not spending enough.
Moyes’ first full year in his second spell as manager saw West Ham sixth last season, a top league in 22 years and qualified directly for the Europa League group stage.
Prior to joining West Ham, Sullivan and Gold played in Birmingham for 16 years.
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