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Daniel Kretinsky was pictured in the directors’ box as he closes in on a deal worth around £150million to acquire a stake of around 27 per cent in the club.
Known as the “Czech sphinx” for the dispassionate way he runs his business empire, the 46-year-old is the co-owner and president of Czech club Sparta Prague.
According to Forbes, the qualified lawyer’s fortune is valued at £2.9billion.
Kretinsky’s potential investment has been warmly welcomed by supporters and the sight of him at the London Stadium will add to the excitement around West Ham at the moment.
West Ham are flying under David Moyes are chasing a top-four finish and Champions League qualification following their fine start to the season.
Kretinsky’s deal would value West Ham at between £600m and £700m – around six times the price paid by co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold in 2010, when they inherited debts of £110m.
It has raised the possibility of a full takeover by Kretinsky in future, though Sullivan and Gold are expected to retain a majority stake until at least March 2023, when they would no longer be liable to pay any share of the profits from any sale to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which owns the London Stadium.
Sullivan owns 51.5 per cent of West Ham, Gold 35.1 per cent and Tripp Smith, an American financier, 10 per cent, with other investors holding 3.4 per cent.
Asked about potential investment from Kretinsky last month, Moyes said: “I do not know any more than you know but it sounds as if something is happening, yes.”