West Ham sold to CB Holdings

CB Holdings is an Icelandic asset management company who paid £100m for the club. They are a subsidiary of the Straumur-Burdaras investment bank, a nationalized entity taken over by the Icelandic government.
Ginafranco Zola and assistant Steve Clarke jobs are safe and some funds will also be made available for transfers. Steve Bernhardt the non-executive CEO of CB Holdings gave these assurances.
Bernhardt insisted that he viewed the Hammers as already being on the right course.
“We have one of the best young management partnerships in Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke and the team has evolved with a great mix of experience and young players coming through from the academy.”
He added: “CB Holding fully supports the executive management of the club and acknowledges the considerable progress achieved this season by Scott Duxbury and Gianfranco Zola. CB Holding has no intention of changing the executive management or direction of the club.”
Previous owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson who lost his fortune in Iceland’s financial collapse bade farewell to the club.
“As my fortunes have changed I now have to withdraw from the board of directors. I do that with a great regret but I am convinced that this change of ownership and control of West Ham United will advance the club in the present circumstances.”
A quick reading shows that the youth academy was singled out a number of times. West Ham has been very good at attracting football talent and nurturing them. It would appear that the internal route will be emphasized without burdening the club with high priced transfers or wages. Zola can also look outside for cut price talent. Players like Matthew Upson and Dean Ashton will most likely be sold to raise money.
Straumur-Burdaras Investment Bank filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the USA on June 3, 2009 listing both assets and liabilities as over $1 billion USD. The annual account statement for FY 2008 has been delayed as the investment bank completes its restructuring. A moratorium has been issued which delays payments to creditors, soon to expire this week.
Fitch gives Straumur a RR4 and RR6 in senior and subordinated debt recovery, respectively. So the entity ultimately controlling West Ham has average recovery prospects.

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