West Ham play down latest talk of takeover

West Ham are treating with caution a pledge by an American-led consortium to buy the financially-troubled club for £100m. The club have indicated that they have only had the briefest of contact with the Intermarket Group, led by Wall Street financier Jim Bowe.

Having first spoken to Bowe on Friday, sources at the club said that they were surprised to see the American businessman, a former president of the New York Board of Trade, give an extensive interview to the News of the World yesterday. The American claimed that the money was being put up by individuals who were supporters of the club and even paraphrased a line from West Ham's "Bubbles" anthem when he said that: "Fortune has been hiding for too long".

However, the club currently regard Bowe as only a potential bidder along with five others who have also expressed an interest in the club over the last six months. West Ham are owned by CB Holdings who took control when Icelandic former chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson could no longer afford to keep up repayments on money he had borrowed to buy the club.

"The consortium comprises West Ham supporters who have made serious money in the City, the United States and elsewhere and who see the potential in the club, its fanbase, academy and playing staff," Bowe said.

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