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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 September 2006, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
West Ham on the up - Joorabchian
West Ham United
Kia Joorabchian, who has been linked with a multi-million pound takeover of West Ham, believes the club can become the biggest in England by 2013.

Joorabchian helped bring Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to Upton Park.

He is a friend of Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili, who has confirmed his interest in the club.

Joorabchian told the News of the World: "In the near future West Ham can be bigger than Chelsea and maybe in seven years challenge Manchester United."

He added: "Their manager Alan Pardew can take West Ham into new territory, to challenge for the Champions League and even the title.

"United are obviously an exception. Like Real Madrid they are huge all over the world but there is massive potential at West Ham.

"Why? Because the club has such passionate supporters and a fantastic history. As far as I'm concerned they have got a much bigger worldwide fan base than Chelsea.

I have heard about the news reports concerning West Ham - our proposals are that all clubs must show who owns them

Uefa treasurer and Fifa delegate Mathieu Sprenger

"That goes back to part of the history of the club - having three World Cup winners in Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters."

Argentina World Cup stars Tevez and Mascherano joined the Hammers in a shock deadline-day move from Brazilian side Corinthians on Thursday.

West Ham confirmed to the stock exchange on Friday that they are having "exploratory discussions" over a possible takeover.

The identity of the group behind the bid has not been revealed - but under new proposals set to be adopted by Fifa, they will not be able to remain anonymous.

World football's governing body is determined for there to be transparency regarding the ownership of clubs and will soon no longer allow investors to purchase teams under the name of a business, while they themselves remain anonymous.

Uefa treasurer and Dutch FA president Mathieu Sprenger was recently asked by Fifa to investigate investment funds and mystery backers buying into football clubs.

Sprenger told the Mail on Sunday: "I have heard about the news reports concerning West Ham. Our proposals are that all clubs must show who owns them.

"It will not be enough simply for them to show that a company owns them. They will have to show who is behind that company as well.

"The Fifa congress unanimously supported these proposals in July so there is support from all the confederations for this.

"The Fifa president Sepp Blatter wants them to be written at the Congress next July.

"It doesn't matter if a takeover happens before the rules are instituted - from next year all clubs would have to show their ownership and who is behind them.

"If he (Joorabchian) took over at West Ham, he would have to show that. For the integrity of competitions, it has to be made clear who is in control."

West Ham in takeover discussions
01 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd
West Ham sign Tevez & Mascherano
31 Aug 06 |  West Ham Utd
How West Ham pulled off a coup
01 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd


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