West Ham agree significant investment deal with Czech billionaire

West Ham's evolution on the field could be married up with significant investment off it
West Ham's evolution on the field could be married up with significant investment off it / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

West Ham have agreed a deal that will see significant investment into the club from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, 90min can confirm.

The 46-year-old is an established figure in the world of business, and owns significant stakes in both Royal Mail and J Sainsbury. He also owns a 40% share in Sparta Prague, who regularly participate in the Champions League, and serves as the club's president.

Kretinsky has been in talks with majority shareholder David Sullivan for a number of months about investing in West Ham, and 90min has been told that a deal is now in place - one that will see Kretinsky become the second highest shareholder at the club.

Investment company PAI Capital had previously engaged in talks with the Hammers over a potential takeover, but their valuation and vision for the future fell well below the expectations of Sullivan, who owns more than 50% of the club.

The deal agreed with Kretinsky will see West Ham release more shares, diluting the current shareholders - this will allow the money coming into the club from their new wealthy investor to benefit the club as well as the existing shareholders.

Kretinsky's investment - which will see him take close to a 30% share - values West Ham at around £600m, and is the first step of what is likely to be a full takeover of the club in the future - one that will end the decade-long 'GSB' era.

The news of a significant cash injection is a further boost for the club after they announced that they have received planning permission to increase the matchday capacity at London Stadium from 60,000 to 62,500 - making the club's ground the biggest in the capital.

There's also been significant progress on the field, with David Moyes' side continuing their whirlwind progress over the last 18 months with a fine start to the 2021/22 season.

On Wednesday night, West Ham eliminated holders Manchester City from the Carabao Cup - they've won the last four editions of the competition - and currently boast a 100% winning record in the Europa League after winning three group games out of three.

The Hammers are also doing well in the Premier League, sitting fourth in the table after taking 17 points from a possible 27.

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