In Friday’s British newspapers, The Guardian has the scoop that West Ham United’s Icelandic owner has just over two months to sell the club before his company, Hansa Holdings faces the possibility of being declared insolvent.
According to Guardian reporter Sachin Nakrani, “Interest has been shown but [West Ham owner Bjorgolfur] Gudmundsson, who bought the club for £85m in 2006, is struggling to finalise a deal having initially expected to raise £250m, a figure that is proving unrealistic in the current financial climate. This is something he needs to overcome by 6 March when, according to documents seen by the Guardian, court officials will reconvene in Reykjavik to decide if Hansa is in a position to repay its creditors, or has to be declared insolvent and subsequently stripped of its assets, including West Ham.”
If the worst possible scenario happens, West Ham would go into administration and receive an automatic nine point deduction by the Premier League pushing the Hammers perilously close to the relegation zone.
Now that we’re in the January transfer window, you can expect several West Ham players to be sold. Manager Gianfranco Zola has been told that he has to sell players before he can buy any, and it looks likely that Craig Bellamy may be one of the major players to go.
In other news, author and Guardian journalist Jonathan Wilson has written a wonderful article for The Financial Times about Herbert Chapman, “Football’s first modernist manager.” In it, he describes how the Arsenal and Huddersfield manager was instrumental in becoming the first modern manager who focused on formations and team tactics.
The Sun newspaper, meanwhile, is reporting that Aston Villa‘s Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor are both heading to the United States for speed-training sessions with Olympic gold medalist sprinter Michael Johnson, according to The Sun.
Lastly, the ever dependable Bill Turianski from Billsportsmaps.com has created a wonderful series of new maps to coincide with this weekend’s FA Cup matches. First, he has a photo gallery featuring Forest Green Rovers who’ll be facing Derby County at home this Saturday. Second, he has a map of England showing where the lower league clubs that are playing in the FA Cup this weekend are located in addition to stats on average attendances and more. To get the complete “picture,” read his entire article on the FA Cup.