Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes has confirmed making an offer to buy West Ham.
On the day current owners David Sullivan and David Gold unveiled Sam Allardyce as the club's new manager, Fernandes has decided now is the time to launch a takeover. The 47-year-old is the current owner and CEO of the highly successful AirAsia airline, and also the owner of Team Lotus in Formula One.
On his official Twitter page, Fernandes said: "For all you West Ham fans an offer has gone to the present owners of West Ham. Let's see if they accept."
Lifelong Hammers fan Fernandes first declared an interest in buying the club, or at least a stake in it, in November last year. On that occasion, it is understood he met with then chairman Andrew Bernhardt in Kuala Lumpur but was unable to agree a deal.
Talks, however, continued behind the scenes, with Fernandes poised to take a stake in the club in January. At that time, Sullivan and Gold had already undertaken the due diligence process and went on to to complete a buy-out.
In a strange twist, Fernandes expressed relief his purchase did not go through, but clearly now believes he is in a stronger position. With a Twitter follower pulling Fernandes up on the fact he said not taking over at West Ham was the best thing that had ever happened to him, he replied: "Yes, I did (say that).
"Because I was full on with Lotus. That has stabilised now."
Fernandes may feel given his more suitable bargaining position, and with the club only recently relegated from the Barclays Premier League, he may be able to acquire them at a good price.
For now, he intends to see what transpires, adding: "Won't be any more statements on West Ham. Keeping fans informed. Now we have to just respect the process. If something happens it happens. If it goes quiet it goes quiet."
Contacted by Press Association Sport, Fernandes refused to divulge any further details, stating: "That was just for the fans. Let's see."
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