Daniel Kretinsky looks like a safe pair of hands as we reach what appears to be an all change stage at West Ham. With the shareholdings now in a place where nobody has overall control the big question being when is that likely to change?
The Daves and Dan have apparently come to an agreement that there will be a period when they can buy each other’s shares and the likelihood obviously is that it will be the Czech doing the buying. In fact the ‘Put and Call’ agreement is mentioned several times in new articles of association lodged by the club’s parent company WH Holding Ltd last month.
It shows the terms of any takeover are already sealed, however the same terms are open to all existing shareholders. In reality, it means David Sullivan could buy David Gold’s 25.1% of shares making him the controlling shareholder again with 63.9%.
Equally David Gold could purchase either Sullivan’s or Kretinsky’s shares to become the single majority shareholder as the option is available to all shareholders. However, the reality as I understand it, is that the Daves will be ready to sell shares to Kretinsky who looks set to become the major shareholder in the financial year beginning April 2023 – a month after the so-called embarrassment clause expires.
That was the arrangement that meant the current board would be hit with financial penalties should they sell out. Having said that there is little chance of Sullivan or Gold simply walking away and the appointment of Jack Sullivan to the board indicates there will be an ongoing involvement from the family at board level.
However, it’s a new start but Kretinsky has already made it clear there won’t be wholesale buying of players in January claiming his experience at Sparta Prague showed that didn’t work. But let’s hope that a left-sided central defender in Oggy’s absence and a striker are on the cards at the very least.
It could be argued that his absence has made life difficult offensively as well as defensively as our main attacking outlet has been down the left where he has been largely responsible for getting such moves started. Interesting times ahead.