aniel Kretinsky has agreed to an option for a full takeover of West Ham as part of his investment in the club.
Documents submitted to Companies House this week show a buy-and-sell agreement between Sullivan, 1890s holdings, the holding company Kretinsky used to buy its stake, and EP Investment Sarl, Kretinsky’s investment company.
As such, Sullivan has the right to sell his shares to Kretinsky at a previously agreed price, while Kretinsky also has the option to buy Sullivan’s shares.
With the share price already set in writing, that won’t change if Sullivan or Kretinsky resume their option – even if West Ham ends up in the Champions League spots this season.
The documents also show that there are provisions for other shareholders to be included under the same conditions.
Neither party is obligated to exercise their option, which will only exist for a certain period of time. West Ham did not disclose the timeframe for the deal, although any sale by Sullivan before March 2023 would come at a cost to him and his co-owner David Gold, who took a controlling stake in West Ham in 2010.
As part of the deal which saw West Ham move from Upton Park to London Stadium, it was agreed that if Sullivan and Gold sold the club for more than £ 300million, 20% of the profits would go to the owner from the land, the London Heritage Development Corporation.
With Kretinsky’s investment valuing the club up to £ 700million, if the option were triggered before then club owners would be forced to take a hit.
Kretinsky, 46, is not in the mood for a quick change at West Ham, however.
Writing exclusively in the Evening Standard this week, the billionaire explained how much he is keen to continue the steady progress seen over the past 18 months, on and off the pitch.
“I am extremely impressed with the work of David Moyes and his team who have improved their results over a long period of time,” said Kretinsky.
“This gradual development is, in my opinion, the healthiest way to build a strong club on a solid foundation and with the right attitudes and culture. I speak from experience. We have tried to accelerate the development of Sparta Prague a few years ago and the results have been disappointing.
“Improving the quality of the team is of course, but we prefer a progressive way which preserves and protects the ethics of the club and its values, including team spirit.”