"Business, always business," a murderous character known only as "The Greek" answers laconically at the end of the second series of HBO's "The Wire" when asked by an
airline check-in assistant if he's travelling for business or pleasure. The phrase could increasingly apply to soccer -- it's less about the pleasure of the game, and more and more about
wages, shares and bankruptcy (both financial and moral).
Which brings us to our next absurd story. Former West Ham United chairman Eggert Magnusson
is suing current
owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
over the terms of his exit from Upton Park last year. He wants $1.7 million from Gudmundsson, who is trying to offload the club after the world economic
crisis hit his native Iceland particularly hard.
The two men bought the club together in 2006 through WH Holding Ltd. Magnusson was fired last year as chairman, and Gudmundsson took his
partner's 5 percent stake. Magnusson claims he's owed three months of wages guaranteed after his contract was terminated. A Gudmundsson source says this is nothing to do with West Ham, but a
personal dispute between the two men.
With West Ham still embroiled in a $50-million compensation dispute with Sheffield United, that's probably just as well. Gudmundsson,
meanwhile, is optimistically hoping to offload the team for just under $400 million as its Icelandic holding company Hansa faces bankruptcy. West Ham will play Aston Villa in an English Premier League
soccer game on Saturday.
Read the whole story at Associated Press »