What We're Reading

FA, Premier League Officials Pulled into West Ham Takeover Speculation

It looks as though there may be a bidding war between Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson and Isreali real estate magnate Eli Papouchaldo for control of West Ham United Football Club. It seems that different high-ranking English soccer officials are supporting each of the bids, according to the Independent. Football Association Chairman Geoff Thompson is supporting the bid led by Magnusson, while Richard Caborn, the Premier League chairman as well as England's Minister for Sport, is understood to be backing the rival Israeli bid. Magnusson seeks Thompson's help in organizing a meeting with West Ham chairman Terry Brown, who has been keen on selling the club for quite some time. The two were to meet Thursday to discuss a possible takeover, although it is believed the Icelandic has yet to secure the necessary funds to complete the transaction, which is estimated at between $122 and $140 million. That the Icelandic bid relies on borrowed money is thought to make it less attractive to West Ham's board. Meanwhile, the Premier League's Caborn is said to be supporting Papouchaldo's bid because the Israeli wants to see West Ham move into the Olympic Stadium being built in East London for the 2012 Games. Caborn welcomes that idea, but is opposed by Ken Livingstone, London's mayor, who plans to have the 80,000-seat capacity stadium scaled down to 25,000 after the games, when it would become London's home for other sports, like track & field. Papouchaldo's bid is a money upfront deal, which the West Ham board favors. The Israeli is also believed to be a close business partner of Kia Joorabchian, the Iranian businessman who orchestrated the move of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham.

Read the whole story at The Telegraph »

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