West Ham sold to Icelandic banks

West Ham have been sold to a group of Icelandic banks in a deal understood to be worth just over £100m.

The new owners are CB Holding, a company mainly owned by the Straumur-Burdaras investment bank who have appointed one of their senior directors Andrew Bernhardt as the new non-executive chairman.

The new regime have moved swiftly to assure manager Gianfranco Zola and his assistant Steve Clarke that their jobs are safe and that some funds will be made available for transfers. Chief executive Scott Duxbury will also remain at the club.

Bernhardt said in a statement: "I am delighted that an agreement has been reached and look forward to working with Scott Duxbury and his team in the coming years.

"We have one of the best young management partnerships in Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke and the team has evolved with a great mix of experience and young players coming through from the academy.

"I can assure fans we will sanction investment in new players, but all within the parameters of sensible budgeting based on revenues generated by West Ham United.

"It will be my job to help facilitate this continued progress on the pitch, while ensuring the club's success is built on a strong financial footing.

"We have an initial two-year plan which includes improving the infrastructure at the club and we will be getting to work on this as soon as the new board is appointed."

Previous owner and chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, who lost his fortune in the credit crunch, and vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson have both left the club.

Bernhardt insisted that he viewed the Hammers as already being on the right course.

He added: "CB Holding fully supports the executive management of the club and acknowledges the considerable progress achieved this season by Scott Duxbury and Gianfranco Zola. CB Holding has no intention of changing the executive management or direction of the club."

Duxbury insisted that the uncertainty of recent months had not been laid to rest.

He said: "This is an agreement that will secure the long-term future of this football club. Change is always unsettling, but I believe the new owners led by Andrew Bernhardt will bring stability to West Ham United and I hope all our staff and fans will join me in welcoming them to our club.

"At the same time, my best wishes and thanks go to Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and Asgeir Fridgeirsson.

"This will allow us all to concentrate on next season and beyond, with Gianfranco Zola, technical director Gianluca Nani and I working to build on what we have achieved. We are all committed to a long-term vision.

"We are playing great football, have our academy at the heart of the club and are looking to the past to move forward in the right way."

Gudmundsson expressed regret at being forced to end his ties with the club.

He said: "I want to thank everybody at Upton Park for unforgettable years. The players, fans, management and staff have all contributed immensely to a period of progress, a period where the club has sharpened its vision, strengthened the first team with young homegrown talents and laid a solid foundation for self-sustainable operations of West Ham United as a strong Premier League football club.

"As my fortunes have changed I now have to withdraw from the board of directors. I do that with a great regret but I am convinced that this change of ownership and control of West Ham United will advance the club in the present circumstances."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea