West Ham have been taken over by asset management company CB Holding. Chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson have resigned from the club’s board.
The new non-executive chairman, Andrew Bernhardt, has assured fans that it will be ‘business as usual’ at West Ham, with money available to Zola for buying new players but also that all spending will be ‘within the parameters of sensible budgeting’, making it clear that the club had to be treated as a business and not a joy ride.
Bernhardt also made it clear that the football management team of Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke remain central to their plans for the club.
“We have an initial two-year plan, which includes improving the infrastructure at the club, and we will be getting to work on this as soon as the new board is appointed.”
Scott Duxbury – who will stay on as CEO, said:
“This will allow us all to concentrate on next season and beyond, with Gianfranco Zola, technical director Gianluca Nani and I working to build on what we have achieved. We are all committed to a long-term vision.”
This is good news – not only is the speculation about West Ham’s future over but with the club now in ‘stable’ hands, they can build upon last season’s success and move forward towards strengthening West Ham as a club and also as a business institution.
However, this isn’t a long-term solution, even though the new owners (or caretakers for that matter) more or less share the same visions of success for West Ham as any fan on the street might. CB Holding will run the club for the next 2 years, stabilise and improve on it and once the global economy turns around, make sure that West Ham is well-positioned to be sold as a premium investment in London / in the English Premier League.
As long as they ‘stay out of the way’ and let he people who know most about football get on with their jobs, and as long as the management and the players do what they’re asked to do, West Ham United should be fine.