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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Magnusson gets green light for Hammers takeover

The Icelandic businessman behind the takeover of West Ham has vowed to bring the good times back to the club - and to keep faith with manager Alan Pardew.

Eggert Magnusson, who is due to take over as chairman in a couple of weeks, said he would explore the 'long-term possibility' of West Ham eventually moving to the 2012 Olympic stadium.

The club announced to the Stock Exchange this morning that their main shareholders including chairman Terry Brown had agreed a price for the sale - £85million plus an agreement to take on West Ham's £22.5million debt.

Magnusson, 59, said: 'I am both delighted and honoured that Terry Brown and his colleagues wish to support our offer for West Ham. We can now end the uncertainty of recent weeks and move forward into the next phase of development of this great club, with Alan Pardew leading our efforts on the pitch.

Magnusson also said funds would be made available for new signings in the January transfer window.

He added: 'I will be continuing talks with Alan Pardew on how he sees the future on the playing side. This is very much his domain and he has my full confidence and support.

'He already knows that funds will be made available for the January transfer window but we need to discuss his needs and the investment that might be required to strengthen the squad.'

Regarding a possible move to the Olympic Stadium, Magnusson added: 'In terms of the club's location we are buying what we see, which is West Ham United at Upton Park.

'However, if there is an opportunity to discuss a long-term move to the Olympic Stadium I would like to explore that, recognising that there will also need to be an athletics legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games.'

Magnusson insisted there was 'genuine excitement about what the club could achieve' and praised billonairae financier Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's role in the takeover.

He added: 'The main financial supporter of our bid, Mr Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, has given me full backing and responsibility to take the club forward. He and I have known each other through football for many years and we share a passion for the game, particularly here in England.

'Mr Gudmundsson's commitment to the club is vital and he also believes that we can build something very special here at West Ham.

'There is a genuine excitement in the club about what we can achieve together, which I hope the fans will share.

'This club has so much to be proud of and I want everyone who loves and supports the club to bring their pride and passion to help build this next stage of West Ham's future.'

Magnusson also said he is keen to maintain West Ham's reputation for passing football.

He added: 'As we move forward we must not forget the club's great traditions, particularly in the training and development of young English players.

'All the way back to 1966 and the World Cup winning team of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, this is something that I have admired about the club. I am very committed to protecting and growing this part of the club's work.'