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Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 17:35 UK

West Ham chairman 300m in debt

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
Gudmundsson has admitted he may be forced to sell the club to cover his debt

The full extent of West Ham's financial strife has been uncovered after it was revealed the personal debt of chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson stands at £300m.

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

However, the 67-year-old's business has suffered a series of setbacks and his liabilities will increase pressure for West Ham to be sold in the summer.

"The situation is very bad," he told Icelandic newspaper Morgunbladid.

"I have everything on the line - personal liability extends to all of my assets.

"I'm left with the question, what is my position? I must admit that I'm a little lost. I just don't know what I will be able to keep."


A consortium of creditors led by Icelandic bank Straumur - which is itself in financial difficulties - is in talks about taking over West Ham.

However, control may end up in the hands of an asset management company appointed by the Icelandic government.

Whoever ends up in control, Gudmundsson's situation is so bad that his creditors are thought to be keen to cash in on one of his few remaining assets, meaning all that is needed is for someone to make a reasonable offer for the club.

West Ham insiders, though, insist they are wholly confident of meeting the conditions required to receive a Uefa club licence - needed if they qualify for the Europa League - and will submit the necessary accounts to the Premier League and FA before the May 31 deadline.

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see also
Zola chasing new Hammers contract
17 Apr 09 |  West Ham
Gudmundsson ponders West Ham sale
06 Nov 08 |  West Ham
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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Telegraph West Ham wait on Europe - 2 hrs ago
Setanta Sports Hammers fail to gain Uefa licence - 4 hrs ago West Ham owner 301million in red - but Zola says everything is looking good - 9 hrs ago
The World Game Zola remaining positive - 20 hrs ago
The Scotsman Zola still expects Hammers kitty - 21 hrs ago


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