‘I wouldn’t want a Newcastle-style takeover – we deserve better’

New owners have been a popular talking point for West Ham fans over the last few months with talk of the PAI capital takeover, but Newcastle beat us to a takeover. A consortium consisting of PCP capital partners, Reuben brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia have bought the Tyneside club for a reported £300m.

This takeover has made Newcastle the richest club in the Premier League by some distance with the main shareholder, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia having a reported net worth of a staggering £320 billion. The takeover has caused mass debate in mainstream media and on social media for a variety of reasons.

Most of all, there is upset about the credibility of the new owners. When there was talk about the possible takeover back in April, there was big protest against it due to the chairman’s links to the Saudi-led attack of Yemen and his reported involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The country does not have the best record with human rights laws and many are infuriated that representatives of the country have been allowed to take over a Premier League side. The other main worry about the takeover was the possible hyper-inflation it could cause within the sport.

Football is already an incredibly lucrative sport with the average Premier League wage being around £60,000 a week. Newcastle’s new owners, however, are worth over 10 times more than Manchester City’s owners who are the second richest in the league. This has led to worries that Newcastle could start to offer extortionate wages in order to attract players.

Rather hypocritically, teams such as Manchester City and Chelsea tried to oppose the takeover as for them, Newcastle look to be a big threat in the very near future. In terms of the Newcastle supporters, the aim for a while has been to get rid of now ex-owner Mike Ashley.

Supporters of Newcastle believe Ashley was underinvesting massively and was just holding onto the club for the sake of it. They’ve now been given hope with their new owners and many believe with the money that may be available, they may be able to rise back up to the dizzy heights at the top of the table.

It is hard to argue that their jubilation at the takeover is unjust due to the issues with the new owners as it isn’t the fans that chose the owners. I imagine many West Ham fans will be very happy when Gold, Sullivan and Brady sell the club regardless of who is coming in.

There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming transfer window for Newcastle. With such rich owners a major overhaul is expected within the next few windows. However, due to financial fair play Newcastle are reported to ‘only’ have around £200m in January.

Many players have been linked to the club with Declan Rice unsurprisingly being one of these. This may come back to bite me but I can’t see Declan Rice moving to Newcastle any time soon.

Firstly, Rice already has the best teams in England vying for his signature with top wages already on offer. I also don’t think that Newcastle are going to be competing within the next few years.

There’s inevitably going to be a long transition period in which they develop their squad, training facilities and academy. Something that doesn’t happen overnight. I think Newcastle will be aiming for players in the £30m-£40m bracket to begin with to bolster their squad as a whole rather than spending their whole budget on two or three players.

Players such as Jesse Lingard, James Tarkowski and Callum Hudson-Odoi are the sort I’d expect the Magpies to go for at first. Lastly and most importantly, Rice is currently playing for the biggest team in the country so there’s no need to move. Personally, as a Hammers fan I wouldn’t support a takeover of the same nature as Newcastle despite my intense desire to get rid of Gold, Sullivan and Brady.

I think I’d find it very hard to support owners who have contributed to human rights violations that the Newcastle owners have reportedly been involved with. I’d prefer a more legitimate owner or group of owners who are upfront and fully above board even if that meant a much lower net worth.

I don’t think our next owners have to come with barrels of money to be a success with West Ham. I believe our fans care much more about the club’s values, doing the right thing and progressing sustainably.

As we are currently seeing, the team can perform to a high level with a lack of investment if the squad ethos is correct and the manager is up to the job. Of course, I’m not implying that I’d be happy with owners such as those in charge of Norwich as I want us to progress and build on our recent success, however, I just don’t think we need to prioritise big money over our history and values.

In the last few days some positive rumours have surfaced about the beginning of the end for Gold, Sulllivan and Brady. Many news outlets have been reporting that Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky is in advanced talks to buy a 27% stake in West Ham with the view to increasing this to a majority stake in the future.

Kretinsky is reportedly worth around 4 billion dollars and is the chairman of Czech club Sparta Prague. Of course, we shouldn’t get too carried away by these rumours as we all know how the PAI capital saga went, but Kretinsky seems to be a much more suitable man for the job and is an owner that I’d be very excited about.

The next few weeks could be very interesting for Hammers fans so keep an eye on the rumours.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.