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
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?