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Owner torn over West Ham future

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Owner torn over West Ham future

Post by Fabregas04 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:40 am

West Ham owner and chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson could consider selling the club, his vice chairman has admitted.

The Icelandic businessman had previously insisted he would not sell, but he has been severely hit by the credit crunch.

"He is evaluating all of his business interests, including West Ham," Ausgeir Fridgeirsson told BBC Sport.

"West Ham is a well-run club with no debt and is one of Mr Gudmundsson's most important investments."

The 67-year-old's business empire has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months.

Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank in which he was the biggest shareholder, went into receivership in October.

Samson Holdings, the holding company for shares in Landsbanki, are understood to have filed for bankruptcy on Thursday.

West Ham's shirt sponsor, travel company XL, had gone bust a month earlier and it later emerged that Gudmundsson had been the guarantor of a £163m loan given to the company.

And the Hammers could be liable to pay Sheffield United £30m in compensation after an independent tribunal ruled in favour of the Yorkshire club in the Carlos Tevez affair.

Gudmundsson bought West Ham for £85m in November 2006 and has invested a further £30m in the club.

Meanwhile, Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has admitted he intends to sell players in the January transfer window, even though he has not been given an ultimatum to cut costs.

"We will have a big squad when we have everybody back from injury so I may need to sell some players because not everyone will get a game but I don't have concerns.

"My job is to work with this team and improve it. For this year everything I need is in this squad."

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