Zabeel Investments have been interested in investing in a football club for quite some time. They’ve spoken to Newcastle United and Manchester City in the past, are negotiating with Charlton Athletic and now have also spoken to West Ham regarding a possible take over.
While West Ham is arguably a more attractive option compared to Charlton, they are not exactly dying to sell or being crushed under the weight of unmanageable debt. Gudmundsson’s personal fortune has taken a hit but it’s unlikely that a billionaire would cash out on a sub-100m investment when his business interests outside Iceland are still functioning and stable. West Ham and football in general have bright long-term prospects regardless of the current economic climate and Gudmundsson would want to hold on as long as possible.
What’s more likely is that Gudmundsson will start cutting costs in an effort to make West Ham more profitable AND challenging for a top-10 berth in the next couple of years. The cost-cutting has already begun and while making the club profitable makes it a more attractive option for investors, it also means that the billionaire has more room to ride out the economic troubles of today and tomorrow.
Unless Zabeel come in with a substantial offer that surpasses what Gudmundsson values the club at, they’re not going to be successful.
I wonder how Charlton fans will feel if Zabeel end up buying them – it’s not easy to be the club someone has ‘settled for’ after fingering a host of other clubs.