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On This Day in 2010: David Sullivan and David Gold complete takeover of West Ham

The business partners acquired a 50 per cent stake in the Premier League club.

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David Sullivan, left, and David Gold, right, took over West Ham in 2010 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

David Sullivan, left, and David Gold, right, took over West Ham in 2010 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

David Sullivan, left, and David Gold, right, took over West Ham in 2010 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

David Sullivan and David Gold completed their takeover of West Ham on this day in 2010.

The business partners acquired a 50 per cent stake in the Premier League club, with an option to purchase the remaining 50 per cent, in a deal that valued the Hammers at £105million.

The pair, both Hammers supporters, had turned their attention to the east London outfit after selling Birmingham, where they had been in control 16 years, earlier in the 2009-10 season.

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David Sullivan and David Gold oversaw West Ham’s move from Upton Park to the London Stadium (Mike Egerton/PA)

David Sullivan and David Gold oversaw West Ham’s move from Upton Park to the London Stadium (Mike Egerton/PA)

David Sullivan and David Gold oversaw West Ham’s move from Upton Park to the London Stadium (Mike Egerton/PA)

West Ham had been controlled by a consortium led by an Icelandic bank since the previous year. They, in turn, had assumed ownership after former chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson ran into serious financial difficulties.

Sullivan and Gold’s purchase ended a long period of uncertainty at the club, which at the time had overall debts of around £100million. It was completed after Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian businessman who subsequently bought QPR, pulled out of the race.

Sullivan and Gold brought with them Karren Brady, a key part of their business set-up at Birmingham, as vice-chairman.

Sullivan spoke immediately of a “seven-year plan” to qualify for the Champions League and to move the club from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium.

It makes no commercial sense for anyone to buy this club. It is a serious messDavid Sullivan

He conceded, however, the heart had ruled the head when it came to the investment.

“We would not buy this club at all if this wasn’t West Ham,” said Sullivan, who along with Gold had owned a stake in the club two decades earlier.

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“It makes no commercial sense for anyone to buy this club. It is a serious mess.”

But Gold added: “We are not potty fans. We are sensible in our approach, and are measured.”

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Manager David Moyes is hoping to guide the club into the Champions League (Mike Egerton/PA)

Manager David Moyes is hoping to guide the club into the Champions League (Mike Egerton/PA)

Manager David Moyes is hoping to guide the club into the Champions League (Mike Egerton/PA)

The pair later increased their holding. Their plans suffered a setback when the team was relegated to the Championship in 2011 but they bounced back the following year and have remained in the top flight since.

The club moved to what is now known as the London Stadium in 2016. Champions League football is yet to be achieved but, under David Moyes, they challenged for it last year and are doing so again this term.

Sullivan and Gold brought in investment from Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky last year. He bought a 27 per cent stake which could give him the footing for a full takeover in due course.


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