Tony Fernandes ready to revive West Ham interest

16 May 2011 02:14
ShareTony Fernandes is ready to revive his interest in West Ham answering an apparent plea from supporters.

The Air Asia tycoon and Team Loutus Formula One boss revealed on social networking site that he will reconsider his plans to invest in the east London club just a day after their relegation to the Championship was confirmed after losing to Wigan.

He posted on Twitter: 'Gutted to see west ham relegated. How do u go from 2-0 to lose 3-2. If the fans want me to get involved I will.

'It's a great club and we fans have suffered to long.'

Hammer time: Air Asia tycoon Tony Fernandes has revealed he is willing to reconsider plans to get involved with West Ham

Just over 18 months ago, Fernandes was keen on taking the club over from the former financially embattled Icelandic regime. Despite his serious interest a deal failed to materialise and he lost out to current co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

The 47-year-old Hammers-supporting entrepreneur was invited to form a partnership with Gold and Sullivan but he declined since he wanted full control.

It is unclear whether his latest admission means he would reevaluate his decision or stage a complete takeover bid.

Although their popularity has seriously waned with West Ham fans following their Premier League demise, it is is unlikely Gold or Sullivan would be willing to part with the club - despite a serious level of debt that faces them.

The duo, who sacked manager Avram Grant after their costly 3-2 defeat at Wigan on Sunday and are searching for a swift replacement, face a monumental task to keep the club afloat, according to financial experts who have estimated their level of debt could surge past the ?100million mark due to relegation.

David Bick, chairman of Square 1 Consulting, states that the Hammers' descent into the npower Championship will cost them up to ?50million.

Decision time: Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold must choose a successor to Avram Grant in the Upton Park hot seat

Sullivan admitted last week that in the event of relegation, he and Gold would have to raid their personal fortunes for between ?20-?40m to keep the club afloat.

Bick fears a precarious future for West Ham if the joint chairmen refuse to provide finance during their campaign in the Championship.

'The loss of income from relegation, and this figure factors in the parachute payments, will be between ?40-?50m net,' he said.

'Apart from the loss of media money, there is bound to be a loss in season ticket income, hospitality and other matchday income.

'The Premier League division payment is about ?50m while the parachute payment for the first year is ?16million, so there's an immediate loss of ?34m.

'If they don't secure promotion immediately, West Ham's position will get more severe.

'Given their current position with debts of ?80m, it would be impossible to raise finance from bank loans now.

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'If the chairmen put in more money as loans rather than shares, that will only worsen the position.

'Sullivan has talked about loans of ?20-40m, so the debts could rise to ?100-?120m.

'That's a huge number for any club, but especially for a club in the Championship.

'If the owners put that money in, the club's position will be guaranteed for next season.

'If they don't I'd certainly fear for the future of West Ham.'

Bick insists the financial implications of relegation will be felt almost immediately which could increase the fans demand for Fernandes to jump on board as soon as possible.

'It's a very sharp drop in income in a short space of time,' Bick added.

'An additional problem for West Ham is that they're still due to make payments to Sheffield United after the Carlos Tevez affair, and I believe those payments are made in August.'

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Source: Daily_Mail