Billionaire set to buy 27 per cent stake in West Ham with club valued at £700m

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is set to purchase a 27 per cent stake in West Ham United with the club valued at around £700million.

The 46-year-old trained lawyer is nicknamed the 'Czech Sphinx' for his investment style and already owns large stakes in both the Royal Mail and J Sainsbury.

He bought a 40% stake in 12-time Czech champions Sparta Prague in 2004 and has been the club's president ever since.

His investment in the club could signal the end of the 'GSB' era of David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady, with Kretinsky understood to be considering buying a majority stake down the line.

The Athletic reports that the deal has been in the works for a number of months, with Kretinsky's proposed investment considerably higher than other offers received in the summer.

Gold and Sullivan reportedly turned down two takeover bids from PAI Capital, a group headed by London-based Azeri businessman Nasib Piriyev.

Kretinsky's investment may prove the beginning of the end of the 'GSB' era at West Ham, named after co-chairmen Gold and Sullivan and vice-chairman Brady.

Many fans have been calling for the sale of the club for a long period of time, with grievances at the move to the London Stadium and investment in the squad.

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Sullivan and Gold are the majority shareholders in the club with 51.1% and 35.1% stakes, respectively, after purchasing the club back in 2010.

Kretinsky is set to purchase a stake in the club, valued at around £700million, with the cost of his investment affected by the club's deal with the London Legacy Development Corporation for the London Stadium.

The agreement over their tenancy at the venue requires Gold and Sullivan to pay a percentage of the profit from selling the club to London's taxpayers.

The news of a potential new investment comes a day after the Hammers announced they had received planning permission to increase the capacity of the London Stadium to 62,500.

West Ham are now into their 10th consecutive season in the Premier League and are playing in the Europa League group stage for the first time this season.

They qualified for Europe following a sixth placed league finish last season and have won their opening three games in the competition.

Domestically, they sit fourth in the league after nine matches and beat Manchester City on penalties on Wednesday night to reach the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time in four years.

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