West Ham bid no 'joke', fumes Tony Fernandes

03 June 2011 09:30

Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes hit back furiously Friday after English football club West Ham dismissed his offer for a controlling stake as "two bob" and "bizarre."

Fernandes, who owns budget airline AirAsia and Formula One's Team Lotus, said his bid -- announced on Twitter -- was not a joke or a publicity stunt but would have boosted the team after their relegation from the Premier League.

"Make up your mind Sullivan and Gold. One minute you say no offer then you say it's a joke offer. It was a good offer with good money and brought in good people," Fernandes tweeted, referring to co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

"Gold and Sullivan can say whatever they want," he said in a separate message. "I have been a lifelong fan and would have brought good money, good ideas, new people and a new belief."

Fernandes was responding to comments from Sullivan and Gold which suggested his offer drastically under-valued the club, which despite relegation is set to move to London's 60,000-seat Olympic Stadium after next year's Games.

"Tony Fernandes wanted to buy 51 percent of the club for two bob," Sullivan told London's Evening Standard.

"He thinks somehow that we are desperate to have him involved or desperate for the small amount of money he offered for 51 percent of the club."

Gold earlier queried Fernandes' use of Twitter to announce his bid, in a message posted on Wednesday.

"I find it quite bizarre that anybody makes an offer for any business via Twitter," he told Britain's Sky Sports.

Newly appointed manager Sam Allardyce, who has previously been sacked by both Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers following changes in ownership, also said he hoped West Ham would not be sold.

"That was one of the reasons why I took the job, because I didn't want any fractions in terms of change of ownership," he said, according to Sky.

"My reputation has already suffered wrongly by new ownerships at Newcastle and Blackburn dispensing of my services when there was no real credibility in that other than the fact that they were new owners and didn't want me."

Source: AFP