Kapital Football Group chairman Joseph DaGrosa is ready to look elsewhere after Southampton’s majority owner Gao Jisheng failed to lower his asking price (around £200 million) for the club, and West Ham United have been named as one of his alternatives.
The Hammers fit the profile of clubs that Kapital is targeting as the American investor eyes a Premier League takeover, but whether he is willing to meet their price tag remains to be seen.
West Ham were linked with a takeover last September, but co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan rejected a £400m bid from an American consortium, and Football Insider claims they now value the club at around £600m.
DaGrosa has broken his silence amid links with a Premier League takeover, detailing his plans to get an acquisition done fairly soon.
“If we wanted to write a cheque for what sellers are looking for right now, we could close a deal today if we wanted to,” he told Off the Pitch.
“That’s not the issue at all. We pride ourselves on being disciplined investors. We’re not looking for a fire sale price on clubs,”
“We thought in the EPL, for instance, we’d see a tendency in the second half of the season certainly start to return to some semblance of normalcy. That hasn’t happened. No one wants to be negotiating or closing during the summer trading window.
“So, logic would suggest we would want to get a deal done, and the seller would want to get a deal done, prior to going into the summer trading window because that radically affects the finances of clubs one way or the other. For a clean break and a clean start certainly a deal needs to be done before the summer transfer window.
“Hopefully, we will get something across the goal line. But one thing I’ve learned in my going on 30-year career in private equity is if you get that first decision wrong, you’re stuck for a very long time with hundreds and hundreds of other decisions to make up for that first bad decision.”
DaGrosa was hoping to get around 25% reduction in price, and that has not happened yet, with West Ham and co (Southampton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United) not looking to take a huge loss at the moment.
The Hammers owners are said to be willing to sell the club for the right price having become unpopular with the fans, but their stance could change if manager David Moyes leads the side to Europe at the end of the campaign.
That is certainly within reach given their impressive start to the 2020-21 EPL campaign, and a top-seven finish could lead to an increase in the owners’ £600m asking price.
From the look of things, not even £450m will be enough to convince the West Ham chiefs into selling the club, and DaGrosa will probably have to look elsewhere if he keeps insisting that the coronavirus pandemic has wiped at least 25% off the value of Premier League clubs.
In other news, a BBC pundit has commented on West Ham’s top four chances.