American Billionaire Albert 'Tripp' Smith Buys Stake in West Ham to Join Hammers' Board

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American Billionaire Albert 'Tripp' Smith has bought a 10% stake in London side West Ham, according to Sky Sports.

The businessman has acquired the last remaining block of shares left by the Hammers former Icelandic owners. And he also replaces Daniel Svanstrom on the club's board.


Smith has attended some of West Ham's games this season, and it is understood that he purchased the shares as an individual, not on behalf of his company, Blackstone.

Founder of GSO Capital Partners, the 52-year-old sold the company to Blackstone in 2008 for $1bn and is now the manager of the asset management firm, which is based in New York.

Even with this latest development, the Hammers are still controlled by majority shareholders David Sullivan and David Gold, who bought their stake from CB Holding, the said Icelandic former owners.

CB Holding had obtained shares after Iceland's Stramur Investment Bank collapsed in 2009, and this recent deal brings an end to an 11-year association between West Ham and Iceland.


West Ham's board is now comprised by the following members: 

David Sullivan (co-Chairman): appointed January 2010

David Gold (co-Chairman): appointed January 2010

Baroness Karren Rita Brady (Vice Chairman): appointed January 2010

John Andrew Mollett (Secretary): appointed December 2012

Tara Warren (Marketing): appointed July 2015 

J Albert Smith: appointed September 2017

The club are the latest to have American involvement, but they're certainly not the first. Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Swansea City are all controlled by individuals or companies from the United States.