Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Coup de Foudre

Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eggert Magnusson
is to step down as West Ham's executive chairman, it was announced today. Magnusson will remain as the club's non-executive chairman and the Hammers' Icelandic owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is to take a more hands-on role in the club. Gudmundsson will continue to chair the board of West Ham United Holding, with his close aide Thor Kristjansson as both vice-chairman of the holding company and executive vice-chairman of the club. Scott Duxbury remains chief executive and an expanded executive team will be announced in the near future, with this body directing the overall strategy of the Club.

While an executive team will be appointed to handle the day-to-day running of things, Magnusson will continue to be heavily involved and will keep his own stake in West Ham. The Board has decided that in order to move to the next stage of the Club's development a broader management team must be put in place. The shake-up is intended to take West Ham forward in their plans to break into the top four in the Premier League, and move to a new stadium.

Addressing the changes, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson said: "I am so proud of what we have achieved since becoming involved with the Club and I am grateful for Eggert Magnusson's contribution to West Ham throughout this time. Of course there have been challenges but we have made real progress and can be confident about the future. It is now vital for our longer term ambitions to become one of the leading clubs in England playing for honours both at home and in Europe that we strengthen the senior team at the Club and build a truly professional management structure for the future."

Eggert Magnusson said the time was right to "stand back a little". Speaking on the official site, he said: "We have worked hard to create stability and optimism sometimes in very difficult and trying circumstances. I think it is now important to broaden the management team so that we can deliver the bright future that is opening up for the Club. I have enjoyed my time as Executive Chairman but feel the moment is right to stand back a little as we move into a new and exciting period."

Although the timing of these developments may come as a surprise to many people, the recent Observer Sport interview with Gudmundsson, in which Eggert Magnusson was presented as a marginalised figure, did appear to presage changes ahead. It is being reported that Mike Lee, the former communications chief of the Premier League, Uefa and the London 2012 Olympic bid, may now be in line for a director’s role after advising Magnusson on PR strategy over the last year. Finally, the club felt the need to reiterate that the changes will have no impact on manager Alan Curbishley and his coaching staff, who will remain in control of all football matters.


minijonb said...

"Finally, the club felt the need to reiterate that the changes will have no impact on manager Alan Curbishley and his coaching staff..."

haHA! are they joking? any change at the top will filter down, just as the change of adding two South Americans to the playing squad destabilized the team last year.

i think the club is headed in the right direction, but the road will be more bumpy than smooth.

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