West Ham bidders cannot remain anonymous

September 3, 2006

The individuals involved in the West Ham takeover talks will not be able to keep their identities secret if their bid is successful, according to new proposals set to be adopted by FIFA.

World football's governing body is determined for there to be transparency regarding the ownership of clubs and will soon no longer allow investors to purchase teams under the name of a business, while they themselves remain anonymous.

Iranian-born businessman Kia Joorabchian's Media Sports Investment group are believed to be behind the current bid to buy the Hammers after they helped facilitate this week's surprise signings of Argentinian World Cup stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

UEFA treasurer and Dutch football association president Mathieu Sprenger was recently asked by FIFA to launch an investigation into investment funds like MSI and mystery backers buying into football club.

His task force, which also includes Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and Labour peer Lord Faulkner, came up with the proposals which are set to be adopted by next summer.

And Sprenger warned whoever the West Ham bidders are that they will soon have to make themselves known if any takeover is completed.

'I have heard about the news reports concerning West Ham. Our proposals are that all clubs must show who owns them,' Sprenger told the Mail on Sunday.

'It will not be enough simply for them to show that a company owns them. They will have to show who is behind that company as well.

'The FIFA congress unanimously supported these proposals in July so there is support from all the confederations for this.

'The FIFA president (Sepp Blatter) wants them to be written at the Congress next July.

'It doesn't matter if a takeover happens before the rules are instituted - from next year all clubs would have to show their ownership and who is behind them.

'If he (Joorabchian) took over at West Ham, he would have to show that.

'For the integrity of competitions, it has to be made clear who is in control.'