Straumur: Show us the money!

WEST HAM S owners Straumur have shot down reports the club is set for a swift �100m takeover by a group of American investors by insisting that no formal approach has been made, exclusive by KIRK BLOWS. Reports have claimed that the Intermarket Group, led

WEST HAM'S owners Straumur have shot down reports the club is set for a swift �100m takeover by a group of American investors by insisting that no formal approach has been made, exclusive by KIRK BLOWS.

Reports have claimed that the Intermarket Group, led by US tycoon Jim Bowe, had opened negotiations to buy the cash-strapped Hammers.

But a source at Straumur, who own the club's parent company CB Holding, insists that no proposals have so far been made to West Ham chairman Andrew Bernhardt.

And while they admitted exclusively to the Recorder there is no shortage of interest in the club, no parties with the sufficient resources have yet to put their money where their mouths are.


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The source said: "A lot of people are interested in West Ham and, as chairman of the club, Andrew Bernhardt speaks with different people every day of the week.

"All kinds of people might say they're interested in the club, but don't necessarily have the money. Andrew is a polite man and will talk to people.

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"But no approach to buy the club has been made and there has been no proposal for us to consider."

Straumur were handed control of West Ham in June following the collapse of former chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's Landsbanki empire.

The Icelandic outfit initially suggested their intention was to keep hold of West Ham until they could sell the club at its true market value when the global economy improves.

And despite West Ham's latest accounts showing a loss of �37.4m for the year ending May 2008, it appears Straumur remain committed to their original plan - unless a realistic offer is received.

The source said: "Our position hasn't changed. It's easy finding people interested in buying West Ham, but much more difficult finding those willing to pay what the club is worth.

"Some people want the club for nothing. We may have to wait three years until someone is willing to pay what the club is really worth.

"If there is somebody out there with a pocket full of money and is in a position to take the club forward, then of course we would listen. But some of the figures quoted in the media are not realistic."

US mogul Bowe, the former president of the New York Board of Trade, went public with his plans at the weekend and claimed that West Ham supporters were involved in the potential takeover.

Bowe said: "There are five different groups we have brought together under one umbrella in a bid to buy West Ham.

"These are all people with a vested interest in the club because they are supporters and people who have their roots at West Ham.

"They have the money and the belief - they want what is best for the club, nothing else.

"We are in the early stages of our discussions with the club. But we are optimistic that we can develop a proposal that will benefit all parties."

It has even been claimed that the buy-out could be concluded within the next two weeks.

The Straumur source added: "So many surprising things have happened that we won't say there is absolutely not going to be a deal.

"But there is nothing for us to consider at the moment."

FORMER Birmingham owners David Gold and David Sullivan have also been linked with the Hammers, but the club's huge debts appear to have diminished their interest.

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