At last English Premier League club West ham United are emerging out of the shadows of a certain Eggert Magnússon.
The man who is regarded by most West Ham United fans as an intelligent marketing mind who has done much for the club and by some as just another greedy businessman ready to sacrifice football at the altar of Pluto has severed all relationship with the club and left with a black bag stuffed with some hot cash to no one knows where.
On Thursday the former president of the Football Association of Iceland (KSÃ), Eggert Magnússon, sold all his stake at West Ham to the club majority owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson. Magnusson had his 5% shareholding stocks in the club bought by his Icelandic compatriot Gudmundsson and departs to focus on his overseas invesment.
Magnusson of course leaves with his head held high and no regret whatsoever about is tenure at the club. He says:
Now that I need to focus a little more on my interests overseas, I think it is the right time to stand down. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at West Ham. From the moment that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and I formed the consortium to bid for the club, it has been an honour to be involved.
Magnusson also paid tribute to the West ham fans:
The last 12 months have not been without their challenges but I feel that we have emerged stronger and fitter as a club. I would also like to pay tribute to the West Ham fans who, I believe, have shown themselves to be the best in the country. My thanks to everybody who has worked with me in my time here and I wish the club every success for the future.
Eggert Magnússon headed the Icelandic consortium that took over the club in November, 2006. He was also the one who was responsible for the sacking of Alan Pardew after a run of extremely poor results drove the club to the foot of the table. He then assigned Alan Curbishley with the task of managing West Ham and the former Charlton Athletic boss saved the Hammers at the end of the season or be it by 3 life-saving pints.
Magnusson is also credited of seeing off the third-party saga that hovered for a long time over Argentine duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. He is also said to instrumental in staving off the Sheffield United allegation.
Magnusson and Gudmundsson are old friends and the departure of the former has certainly brought a rue to the heart of the latter. This is what club owner Gudmundson said while announcing the news of Magnusson’s departure from the club:
Eggert Magnusson has done a tremendous job as chairman, often in difficult circumstances, since our consortium bought the club 12 months ago. Eggert has decided to move on to new pastures and to pursue his other interests. We wish him well for the future and express our thanks for all that he has done for West Ham.
While Gudmundsson was the source of the millions to the club, Magnusson was the person entrusted with the task of spending it according to the club’s purpose. Eggert Magnusson stepped down as the executive chairman of West Ham United in September this year but remained as the non-executive chairman of the club.
Gudmundsson is pushing for a move to a new £250m, 60,000-seater stadium, with a site having been identified at an old Parcelforce depot next to West Ham tube station.
“We are seeking to build some truly solid foundations for the future ambitions of West Ham. This is a great football club, with tremendous heritage and tradition and the most wonderful set of supporters.”
So what do you think about all this? Will there be any changes at West Ham now that the football mind behind West Ham’s proposed big future has gone away? How will the planned £250 million, 60,000-seater stadium project go on?