Magnusson to quit UEFA if Hammers bid succeeds

November 2, 2006

The Icelandic businessman behind a takeover bid for West Ham will step down from his position on UEFA's ruling executive committee if his attempt to own the club succeeds.

Eggert Magnusson will also resign as president of the Icelandic football association if his takeover goes through, a spokesman has confirmed.

UEFA president Lennart Johansson said today he was 'surprised' to learn about Magnusson's involvement and that there would be a potential conflict of interest if the 59-year-old became West Ham chairman.

The prospect of that happening remains only possible rather than probable as the club are still negotiating with a rival bid spearheaded by Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian.

A spokesman for Magnusson told PA Sport: 'Eggert Magnusson has confirmed he will step from his position on UEFA's executive committee and as president of the Icelandic FA is the takeover goes through.'

Johansson was in London today to launch his campaign to be re-elected as UEFA president.

Asked about Magnusson, he said: 'He has double loyalties if he comes through with such a thing - and if that happens my personal view is that he shouldn't sit on the executive committee of UEFA.

'I was surprised when I heard about it - because I wonder where the money comes from.'

Later, the UEFA president added he did not believe there was any conflict of interest at the moment.

Johansson said: 'I do not wish to be misunderstood. Eggert Magnusson is a good football man who I know would act in the best interests of the game.

'I do not see a conflict of interest while he is bidding and I appreciate the fact that he would consider his position if he were to become the club's owner.

'That tells me that he is a man of principle.'