Rio Ferdinand throws support behind PAI bid to take over West Ham as former Irons academy starlet delights in being asked to ‘play a big part in the club’ if consortium takes control from David Gold and David Sullivan
- Rio Ferdinand has backed PAI’s bid to takeover at former club West Ham United
- The consortium have agreed a deal in principle to lease the London Stadium
- However, West Ham’s owners say they have no intention of selling the club
- Ferdinand says he would be delighted to ‘play a big part’ if the takeover succeeds
Rio Ferdinand has backed the £400m West Ham takeover bid which was exclusively revealed by Sportsmail last month.
Ferdinand’s support for UK-based consortium PAI Capital came as they announced they have agreed a deal in principle with London Stadium owners, the London Legacy Development Corporation, for a long-term lease that would see them ‘taking full control of the stadium’ were they to agree a deal to buy the club.
Former England captain and Hammers academy product Ferdinand said: ‘We love this club with a passion, both Anton and I are really happy that PAI want to come in and help improve the experience for fans and I’m delighted they have asked us to play a big part in the club if their bid succeeds.’
Rio Ferdinand has backed PAI’s proposed takeover bid for former club West Ham United
The consortium have seen their approach – described as informal by Hammers insiders – rejected by the club’s majority shareholder David Sullivan.
But they have stepped up their attempts to secure the club and gain the support of fans with their move for the stadium and revealing plans to upgrade it.
The attempt, and that the LLDC entered into the discussions, has been met by surprise at West Ham.
West Ham are the current holders of a 99-year lease, paying the LLDC £3m a year to rent the ground, but have no plans to sell the club representing a major obstacle to PAI’s plans.
The consortium has agreed a deal in principle to lease the London Stadium from the LLDC
However, owners David Gold and David Sullivan currently have no intention of selling the club
The long-term lease deal PAI have agreed with LLDC is ‘on condition of PAI successfully concluding a deal for majority control with the current owners of West Ham United.’
Former QPR chief executive Philip Beard, a consortium member, said: ‘The only thing holding us back for now is the reluctance of the club’s owners to engage in constructive and realistic negotiations. We believe they are willing to sell and hope we can make progress in the coming weeks.’
A West Ham spokesperson has said: ‘We have received no formal offers to buy the club.’
Lyn Garner, LLDC chief executive said: ‘LLDC has always been open to discussions with potentially interested parties, including the current owners of West Ham United, as well as any credible possible investors into the Park, and this remains the case.’
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