Czech billionaire announces West Ham deal


Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has completed a deal to purchase a minority stake in West Ham United, the club announced on Wednesday.

Both the men’s and the women’s teams have enjoyed positive starts to the season. The men’s side sit in third place in the Premier League after manager David Moyes’ side claimed a 3-2 home victory over Liverpool on Sunday, leaving them just three points behind leaders Chelsea.

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Meanwhile, the women’s side are in sixth place with two wins after six games as they look to build on their ninth-place finish last term.

The deal comes amid public protests from the West Ham fans in recent years over majority owner David Sullivan and minority owner David Gold following a move from to the London Stadium in 2016.

The club said in a statement: “West Ham United is pleased to announce that Czech investment group 1890s holdings a.s has completed the acquisition of 27% shares of WH Holding Ltd.

“A successful global investor, businessman and lawyer, Mr. Kretinsky’s investment follows diligent negotiations with the shareholders, including West Ham United joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold.”

The men’s side’s fortunes have flourished since the arrival of a strong Czech contingent since 2020, including midfielders Tomas Soucek and Alex Kral, and right-back Vladimir Coufal.

Kretinsky, who owns Czech top-flight club Sparta Prague, and his colleague Pavel Horsky have been appointed to the board of directors at West Ham.

He earned his fortune by building his energy group EPH into a major player in Europe, buying up unwanted coal power plants before expanding into other energy sources. EPH had assets of €18.5 billion ($21.39bn) in 2020.

“I am delighted this detailed process has now been successfully concluded,” Daniel Kretinsky said.

“I am passionate about football. I greatly appreciate and respect the exceptional history and tradition of West Ham United as well as its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in many social programmes and initiatives.

“The development and growth of the club in recent years has been clear for everyone to see and I am delighted to be part of what I believe is a very exciting future ahead.

“Having been to the London Stadium recently to watch David Moyes’ team, I know it is an incredible time to become part of the West Ham United family. I feel privileged to now have the opportunity to help everyone here build on the proud traditions of this great club.”

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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