Magnusson discusses Hammers future with Pardew

November 14, 2006

The Icelandic takeover bid of West Ham has moved into pole position with manager Alan Pardew today meeting the businessman leading the consortium aiming to buy the club.

Eggert Magnusson, also a UEFA executive committee member and president of the Icelandic FA, met Pardew this afternoon and talked through his plans for the club.

Magnusson has already committed to working with Pardew, who has been under pressure after a poor start to the season, and providing money for new signings in the January transfer window if the takeover goes ahead.

The Icelandic consortium's team are continuing the process of due diligence - inspecting the club's accounts - and a formal offer is expected to be made within a week and perhaps as soon as Friday.

After being initially rebuffed by West Ham chairman Terry Brown, the Magnusson-led bid looks to have surged far ahead of a rival attempt, which was being headed by the Iranian-born Kia Joorabchian and backed by Israeli property tycoon Eli Papouchado.

The Joorabchian consortium also went through the due diligence process and had meetings with Brown and Pardew, but an offer has not materialised.

Brown now looks to be keener on Magnusson, who was given a guided tour of Upton Park earlier this week.

Billionaire financier Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, chairman of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, is supporting Magnusson's bid for the club.

Magnusson, who along with other members of the consortium are also putting up some of the money, met West Ham chairman Brown last week and indicated he would be prepared to offer £75million, with the bulk coming from equity rather than borrowing, and would also be prepared to take on the £22.5million debt.