West Ham sever all ties with Magnusson

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The Independent Online

West Ham United's owner, the Icelander Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, has assumed full control of the club in a move that has seen a severing of ties with chairman Eggert Magnusson.

Magnusson, the club's figurehead in the year since the 108m takeover by an Icelandic consortium, has sold his five per cent shareholding to Gudmundsson who also takes over as chairman.

Gudmundsson, a banker and businessman known as "BG" is rated among the world's richest 800 people. He becomes the sole owner of the Upton Park club and will now pursue his aims to move to a new 250m stadium and for the club to break into the Premier League's top four.

He is investing a further 30.5m in the club, but the cash will not be used for transfers after last summer's spending spree.

Gudmundsson said: "Eggert Magnusson has done a tremendous job as chairman, often in difficult circumstances, since our consortium bought the club 12 months ago. Eggert has decided to move on to new pastures and to pursue his other interests. We wish him well for the future."

Magnusson is expected to take up committee work with Uefa and Fifa.

Elsewhere, Milan's Brazilian striker Kaka was named as world player of the year by the magazine World Soccer yesterday.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who also won the young player of the year award for the second successive year, was second and Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United was third.

Alex Ferguson of Manchester United was voted manager of the year for a record third time.

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