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It's deja vu for Sam Allardyce at West Ham

By Andy Sims

New West Ham manager Sam Allardyce may have walked into another boardroom takeover battle after Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes claimed he had made an offer to buy the club.

Just hours after Allardyce was confirmed as the new Upton Park boss on a two-year contract Fernandes, who attempted to purchase the Hammers last year, wrote on his Twitter feed: "For all you West Ham fans an offer has gone to the present owners of West Ham. Let's see if they accept."

Hammers co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan claim no formal offer has been made to them and branded Fernandes' decision to utilise social media to announce his intentions as "bizarre".

Allardyce will be hoping to avoid any boardroom upheaval having fallen foul of new owners when he was sacked by both Newcastle and Blackburn, following takeovers by Mike Ashley and the Venky's group respectively.

The 56-year-old said: "I'm bemused by the statement but my information, having spoken to David Sullivan, was that he was not wanting to sell West Ham because it's his club, it's the club he has always supported.

"That was one of the reasons why I took the job because I didn't want any fractions in terms of change of ownerships because my reputation has already suffered, wrongly so, by new ownerships at Newcastle and Blackburn, disposing of my services when there was no real credibility in that other than the fact that they were new owners and they didn't want me.

"It wasn't down to results, it wasn't down to how I'd performed as a manager."

Sullivan was dismissive of Fernandes' announcement, claiming no serious bidder would use such a medium to make an offer.

Gold was equally non-plussed by the news, although he admitted it was "interesting" and he would be happy to discuss any potential investment from the owner of the AirAsia and Formula One's Team Lotus, who is a West Ham fan.

"We would welcome it and I would be happy to sit down with Tony with a view to him joining the board and bringing in desperately-needed finances," said Gold.

"It's inconceivable someone would start negotiations in this way but you never know, we'll have to see what happens."

Belfast Telegraph


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