Eggert Magnusson is the new chairman of West Ham and he celebrated with a winning start against Sheffield United, doing a little dance on the sideline. Magnusson's takeover has met with universal approval from fans, football pundits, and the media. He has been welcomed by Alan Pardew and his players. In fact, Magnusson's ownership is a poke in the eye for Sepp Blatter who had singled out the West Ham buyout as an example of his concern at foreign investors taking over with little interest in developing the game.
Moreover, Magnusson's relationship with Bjorgflur Gudmundsson, the Icelandic billionaire behind the takeover, seems perfectly transparent compared to the Media Sports Investment (MSI) bid. MSI's public face is Kia Joorbachian but MSI is owned by Badri Patarkatsishvili, a business partner of Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch in exile in the UK. Both Patarkatsishvili and Berezovsky are wanted criminals for charges ranging from tax evasion to murder. The transfer of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham seems to bear the imprint of Berezovsky who exerts a secretive control over MSI.
The death of former KGB spy, Alexander Litvininko, an associate of Boris Berezovsky, in a London hospital by polonium poisoning, and whose deathbed statement accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of ordering the poisoning has led to a very tense diplomatic dance between the British and Russian government. The Russian government has been quick to counter by issuing a statement “If you ask the question who had the most to gain from all this, the answer can only be Berezovsky, a man who by his own admission is out on a campaign to discredit Putin and the Kremlin.”
The matter is sensitive enough to suspend all dealings with MSI, till an investigation sheds light into who was responsible for the death of Litvininko. Of course, companies like MSI will just move to another turf where they can engage in their practice of third party ownership, the politically correct term for bodyshopping.