Takeover talk affecting the players, says Zola
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has urged the hierarchy at Upton Park to conclude a takeover deal soon as he feels the constant speculation is unsettling the players.
The Hammers have been subjected to a host of takeover rumours in recent weeks and the Italian believes the situation is affecting matters on the pitch.
“All this talk is affecting everybody and the sooner we get it sorted the better,” said Zola.
West Ham currently lie in the relegation zone and it was thought that Zola would have to sell some of the team’s stars in January in order to alleviate debt hanging over the club.
CB Holdings are in control of the club but are seeking new investors with the Hammers £38m in debt. To make matters worse, on Friday they were hit by a £115,000 fine for crowd trouble during their League Cup clash with Millwall.
It now appears that two businessmen are locked in a two-horse race to take control of the club.
Former Birmingham City chairman David Sullivan is believed to have a strong interest in making a bid for the club, while Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino is also said to be interested.
But it appears Tony Fernandes, the chief executive of Air Asia and an apparent lifelong Hammers fan, is front-runner to purchase the club.
According to reports, Fernandes is ‘90% there’ in concluding a deal for the club.
It is believed that the Malaysian businessman is a avid supporter of Zola whereas should Sullivan take control of the club, it has been suggested that he would look to replace the Italian manager with former Manchester City boss Mark Hughes.
West Ham travel to Villa Park on Sunday to take on Aston Villa in the Premier League.