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Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Gudmundsson ponders West Ham sale

By Simon Austin

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
Gudmundsson bought West Ham for 85m in November 2006

West Ham owner and chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson could consider selling the club, his vice chairman has admitted for the first time.

Gudmundsson had previously insisted he would not sell, but he has been severely hit by the credit crunch.

"He is evaluating all of his business interests, including West Ham," Ausgeir Fridgeirsson told BBC Sport.

"West Ham is a well-run club with no debt and is one of Mr Gudmundsson's most important investments."

The 67-year-old's business empire has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months.

Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank in which he was the biggest shareholder, went into receivership in October.


Then on Thursday, Samson Holdings, the holding company for shares in Landsbanki, filed for bankruptcy.

West Ham's shirt sponsor, travel company XL, had gone bust a month earlier and it later emerged that Gudmundsson had been the guarantor of a 163m loan given to the company.

And the Hammers could be liable to pay Sheffield United 30m in compensation after an independent tribunal ruled in favour of the Yorkshire club in the Carlos Tevez affair.

Gudmundsson bought West Ham for 85m in November 2006 and has invested a further 30m in the club.

Meanwhile, Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has admitted he intends to sell players in the January transfer window, even though he has not been given an ultimatum to cut costs.

"We will have a big squad when we have everybody back from injury so I may need to sell some players because not everyone will get a game but I don't have concerns.

"My job is to work with this team and improve it. For this year everything I need is in this squad."

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see also
Bank crisis hits Hammers spending
08 Oct 08 |  West Ham
West Ham suffer Tevez appeal blow
26 Sep 08 |  Football
West Ham unveil Zola as new boss
11 Sep 08 |  West Ham
West Ham end shirt sponsor deal
12 Sep 08 |  West Ham
End of big spending at West Ham
09 May 08 |  West Ham
West Ham accept 85m takeover bid
21 Nov 06 |  West Ham

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