Southampton and West Ham are the latest to supposedly be the subject of takeovers bids, begging the question: Why is football susceptible to so many rumours?

21 September 2020

Photo: PA Images Clubs face a difficult task of balancing between giving too much and giving too little. When it became apparent that Newcastle United were not going to be taken over by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, alternative bidders emerged – such as the Singaporean firm Bellagraph Nova Group.

A flamboyant culture and a lack of transparency contribute to a "perfect storm" of rumours, according to a professor.

Clubs are trapped between staying silent and expecting rumours to fade away naturally or officially dismissing reports, potentially giving oxygen to amateurish claims.

An M&A advisor believes the PR factor of being associated with a Premier League club is not to be underestimated.

Stories are easily planted and picked up by desperate news outlets under pressure by a changing media landscape.

Emil Gjerding Nielson

Lately it seems like every day there is a new person seemingly about to take over a club in the Premier League. Disregarding the fact that we've spent the better part of the year talking about Newcastle United's supposedly impending takeover, Southampton and West Ham are the latest to allegedly be the subject of full buyouts.

However, since Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng's purchase of Southampton in 2017, the largest share transaction in the English top flight has been Silver Lake's purchase of a minority stake of around 10 per cent in Manchester City last year. 

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