A Mr Mike Hanna, claiming to speak on behalf of a group of five shareholders in West Ham United plc calling themselves "Whistle" who collectively hold a total of 1,203 ordinary shares in the company (0.006% of the issued share capital), on Monday announced that his group had secured the support of sufficient shareholders to require a series of resolutions to be tabled at the company's AGM on 8th December 2003 proposing the removal of the three executive directors of the company, Terence Brown, Paul Aldridge and Nick Igoe.
Trevor Brooking, Charles Warner and Martin Cearns, who are all referred to in a letter to some shareholders dated 7th November 2003 from Mr Hanna's group, have each confirmed that they have had no contact from any representatives of this group and have further confirmed that they wish to disassociate themselves completely from the group and its objectives.
The company has today written to Mr Hanna advising that written requisitions have been received from shareholders.
These shareholders represent approximately 0.8% of the voting rights in the company.
However, the Companies Act 1985 stipulates that requisitions for members' resolutions must be deposited with the company no later than 6 weeks before the AGM.
Mr Hanna appears to have misinterpreted the Act as the requisitions have not been deposited with the company within the correct time limit.
For this reason, the resolutions proposed by Mr Hanna cannot be included within the business to be dealt with at the AGM.
However, the company is prepared to facilitate a procedure whereby the resolutions can be voted on even though there is no obligation under company law for it to do so.
The company has made an offer to Mr Hanna that it is prepared to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting to put the resolutions to shareholders.
The company has made this offer in the interests of maintaining an open dialogue with all shareholders and because it does not wish to be seen to defeat Mr Hanna's proposals merely because of his failure to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act.
The board will however vigorously defend its management record at any EGM so convened and is confident of winning the support of the vast majority of its shareholders.
A further announcement will be made regarding the EGM once Mr Hanna has accepted the company's offer.
The company hopes that holding this EGM will be an opportunity to bring this issue to a conclusion and thereafter enable the company, its supporters and shareholders to focus on taking West Ham United forward.