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Joorabchian Receives Backing in West Ham Takeover Bid

Anglo-Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian, who helped orchestrate the transfer of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano from Corinthians in Brazil to West Ham United in England, has found the backer he needs to help finance a full takeover of the English club. Israeli businessman Eli Papoushado confirmed yesterday that he wanted to join the consortium led by the Iranian that could fund the $190 million takeover of West Ham. "After considerable thought, I have agreed to participate if Kia decides to go forward with any such project," Papoushado, a real estate magnate, said in a statement. To successfully take over West Ham, Joorabchian and Co. would have to come up with $133 million to buy the club's shares and $57 million to clear its debt. Added Papoushado: "I would like to confirm that I will not be taking part in any management but will be solely an investor. This statement does not suggest that there will or will not be a project in the near future, just a clarification of reports about my involvement as a potential investor with Mr. Kia Joorabchian." Papoushado is basically saying he's willing to back Joorabchian in any of his soccer investments, which may or may not include the acquisition of West Ham. A possible takeover raises speculation that things could change quickly at West Ham. Manager Alan Pardew, for one, would leave, as he has repeatedly said that he would not allow the arrival of Argentine stars Tevez and Mascherano to influence his decisions as a manager. During his time at Media Sports Investment, Joorabchian was rumored to have interfered in team matters and in the dressing room at Corinthians, which is owned by MSI. To gain control of West Ham, Joorabchian would effectively have to buy out West ham's three largest shareholders, who collectively own 70 percent of the club's shares.

Read the whole story at The Independent »

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