West Ham owners to increase their stake in club

West Ham's co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan are to increase their stake in the club to 60% - and they plan on offering supporters the chance to buy shares.

West Ham's co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan are to increase their stake in the club to 60% - and they plan on offering supporters the chance to buy shares.

The former Birmingham owners are now looking to increase their stake in the Upton Park club and they want to attract new investors ahead of next season.

That plan potentially includes giving supporters part-ownership of their club.

"We are in the process of increasing our ownership from 50% to 60% by buying another 10% from Straumur. This will inject a further £4million in to help cover the shortfalls in the finances over the summer," Sullivan wrote in his programme notes ahead Sunday's game against Manchester City.

"We hope to find other investors who want to buy some of the club and thereby inject further funds.

"In a few months' time we are considering a general shareholding where supporters can buy shares in the football club. Every penny raised would be used to pay off debts and buy new players."

But there no suggestion from either Gold or Sullivan as to whether West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola is part of their plans for the future.

The Hammers would not be the first club to be part-owned by the supporters, with Arsenal fans owning a 12% stake in their club.