As fans of Leeds United, Rangers, and even Swindon Town can attest, a Red Bull takeover rumor is one of the more reliable ways to cause a stir in British soccer circles.
The suggestion that West Ham has caught Red Bull's attention was never the most credible RB's-coming-for-your-club story, but it was the most recent. And it may be one of the more short-lived.
The Sun splashed a characteristically punning headline on a story that implied Red Bull was not so much going to buy West Ham as steal it.
BREAKING: West Ham are being targeted by drinks giants Red Bull for a shock £200m takeover. [The Sun] pic.twitter.com/35O7QY0mpr— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) December 25, 2016
The valuation seemed a little low for a Premier League club, even one striving to avoid relegation this season. And perhaps it was the almost insulting price tag that quickly drew West Ham's ownership out to refute the story. Jack Sullivan, son of David - co-owner of the Hammers - revealed a much higher offer had already been rejected:
1/2 Re red bull story in sun today,completely out of date and figures wrong we turned down £650m in august. We have no desire to sell out— Jack Sullivan (@jsullivanwhu) December 26, 2016
No desire to sell our heritage and be called red bull West Ham. #coyi— Jack Sullivan (@jsullivanwhu) December 26, 2016
His father put out a statement on the club's official website:
We did have a tentative approach to buy the Club for £650m from external investors in August this year, but I want to reiterate that we, the current owners, have NO DESIRE to sell the Club unless it is to somebody like the King of Saudi Arabia who can take it to a level we cannot ourselves hope to reach.
The other half of West Ham's leadership committee, David Gold, issued his own statement on Twitter:
I am unaware of any communication with the company that own Red Bull. dg https://t.co/nI38JlQgnV— David Gold (@davidgold) December 26, 2016
And Red Bull also moved quickly to stamp out the rumor. Oliver Mintzlaff, head of RB Global Soccer, told Bild there was no intention to buy West Ham.
Sleep easy, West Ham fans: seems you have dodged the RB bullet.