As it the pot wasn’t stirred enough Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian, the man behind Tevezcherano and MSI’s takeover deal of West Ham, has come out and said that he believes the London club can go on and become the biggest in England – we’re assuming with Chelsea-like funding, of course. One of the interesting parts about the club soul vs. money debate, in particular with West Ham, is that Kia Joorabchian is supposedly a diehard Arsenal fan and had a box at Highbury.
A true football supporter, then.
Anyway, he believes the club can catch Chelsea in the very near future and Manchester United in the long term. Chelsea may have the recent success but it’s clear that Joorabchian believes that it will be a while before it can generate the type of support or supporter base that is built from natural progression and success. Clearly he has never made a trip out to Hong Kong after a Premiership title has changed hands.
West Ham, on the other hand, can probably be grouped in with Tottenham and Newcastle as having an extensive, global fanbase without actually winning anything for about 89458 years.
“I believe in the very near future West Ham can become bigger than Chelsea and maybe within seven years even challenge Manchester United,” he told The News of the World.
“As far as I’m concerned they have got a much bigger worldwide fan base than Chelsea.”
“Passion is a vital word in the success of a football club. Sometimes when I look at Chelsea despite their recent success I think it’s all a bit cold. They talk more about the brand than the football club.”
“And certainly I feel manager Alan Pardew can take West Ham into new territory, to challenge for the UEFA Champions League and even the title.”
The vote of confidence for Alan Pardew is also interesting. Considering Claudio Ranieri’s success at Chelsea before being replaced by a more glamourous coach, is Alan “Champions League Winner” Pardew really something that Joorabchian believes will happen?
Considering that West Ham were rarely mentioned in our ‘Big Clubs‘ discussion, and that their status as such has been debated extensively in the past, will a massive investment propel them beyond Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and even Manchester United as Kia predicts?