Potential Upton Park investor keen on 'real estate opportunities'

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The Independent Online

The Israeli businessman linked to the consortium considering a possible takeover of West Ham is reported to be interested because of the "real estate opportunity".

Eli Papoushado, a property magnate with hotel interests in several countries, has been named as a potential investor with Kia Joorabchian, the 35-year-old Anglo-Iranian entrepreneur who facilitated the club's signing of the Argentinian pair Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano last month.

However, the Israeli Ma'ariv newspaper has quoted Papoushado as saying: "I don't know how many players there are in each club, but in these deals there is always a real estate opportunity and that interests me.

"I have known Pini Zahavi [the so-called 'super agent' who is involved in the deal] for more than 30 years and he suggested that I should become involved because of the potential of the club," Papoushado added.

The build-up to West Ham's game at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Palermo last night was marred by fan trouble on the eve of the match.

"I was disappointed to hear what happened," said West Ham manager Alan Pardew. "Of course there are two sides of the story and I don't want to make any judgements. What I can say is that the police have been very helpful and the Palermo people were very nice to us."

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