West Ham confirm sale of 27 per cent stake of the club to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky – who already owns stakes at Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s – and the businessman could take over the club fully in the future
- West Ham announced Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has a stake in the club
- The Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s shareholder has a 27 per cent stake in the club
- The deal contains an option for Kretinsky to take full control in the near future
- The move would end David Sullivan and David Gold’s time in charge of the team
- Kretisnky has joined the West Ham board along with his colleague Pavel Horsky
Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s purchase of 27 per cent of West Ham was confirmed on Wednesday, adding investment which the club hope can take them to the next level.
Kretinsky, through the investment group 1890s Holdings and his colleague Pavel Horsky, completed the acquisition with the pair immediately installed as board members.
Kretinsky, 46, who co-owns Sparta Prague, was at the London Stadium on Sunday to watch West Ham’s 3-2 win over Liverpool.
West Ham have confirmed the sale of 27 per cent of the club to Czech Daniel Kretinsky
He was a guest of West Ham’s joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold and it is believed Kretinsky could buy a majority stake in the future.
‘Having been to the London Stadium recently to watch David Moyes’ team, I know it is an incredible time to become part of the West Ham United family,’ said Kretinsky. ‘I feel privileged to have the opportunity to help everyone here build on the proud traditions of this great club.’
The deal, which values West Ham at around £600million, reduces Sullivan’s stake from 51.5 per cent to 38.8 and Gold’s from 35.1 per cent to 25.1.
Kretinsky, nicknamed the ‘Czech Sphinx’, is also an investor in Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s.
Billionaire Kretinsky is understood to have the option to take over the club fully soon
His investment will be used to reduce the club’s long-term debt and fund ‘other key areas of focus’, one of which will include strengthening the squad to continue their progress in the Premier League.
Kretinsky also told West Ham’s official website: ‘I am delighted this detailed process has now been successfully concluded. I am passionate about football.
‘I greatly appreciate and respect the exceptional history and tradition of West Ham United as well as its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in many social programmes and initiatives.
‘The development and growth of the Club in recent years has been clear for everyone to see and I am delighted to be part of what I believe is a very exciting future ahead.’
West Ham have been owned by David Sullivan (right) and David Gold (left) since 2010
Speaking about Kretinsky’s move, Hammers vice-chair Brady added: ‘We are always looking to continue to progress and Daniel’s involvement brings investment which strengthens the Club’s position, and in turn will assist in the development of the Club’s key areas of focus.
‘David Sullivan and David Gold have always been very open about finding the right investors to join them on the journey as custodians of West Ham United, and Daniel’s strong business acumen and football experience will be of huge benefit to the Club. We very much look forward to working with him and Pavel.’
Kretinsky’s involvement in the club follows a large influx of Czech players who have signed for West Ham in recent years, including key midfielder Tomas Soucek, who is joined at the London Stadium by fellow Czech internationals Vladimir Coufal and Alex Kral.
West Ham are currently enjoying a brilliant start to the new season, with the Hammers beating Liverpool 3-2 last week to move into third in the top-flight and three points behind leaders Chelsea.
Moyes’ men are also unbeaten in four matches in their first ever Europa League group stage campaign, and are on course to qualify for the knockout stages.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady also plays a key role in the running of the club
West Ham have made several Czech signings in recent years, including Tomas Soucek (left)