Message to Messrs Gold and Sullivan: Thanks for saving our club now please shut up
After a few topsy-turvy few years you could forgive West Ham supporters for wanting to have a boring time of it for month or two, if not a season.
The Carlos Tevez-inspired fight against relegation in the 2006/07 season that was sealed with a superb winner at Manchester United by the Argentine dynamo was nerve-wracking enough but in turn it precipitated a successful legal challenge from relegated Sheffield United over the dubious nature of the player’s ownership.
A £5m fine and a £20m in compensation was levied against the club which was not what the club needed especially as the world fell into financial ruin. The club’s Icelandic owners were hit particularly hard as their home country’s economy collapsed and West Ham were left with the looming spectre of administration, or even liquidation, before them
The sale of Anton Ferdinand behind manager Alan Curbishley’s back prompted him resign in protest and rookie manager Gianfranco Zola take his place. Another season staving off relegation also saw David Sullivan and David Gold take over the club and then dismiss the likeable Italian almost as soon as safety was achieved.
Their arrival was meant to herald a new era of stability and though the club may no longer have any substantial cashflow issues, some of their actions and interviews have been an embarrassment to the club’s supporters.
The club have been linked to ageing Brazilian, Ronaldinho, and to the next up and coming Samba star Neymar with no realistic chance of signing either.
But that pales into insignificance when placed next to David Gold’s assertions that he has been in talks to bring a certain David Beckham to Upton Park. The logic behind the potential move was sound – a boy from east London returning to his roots to help his local club – so while the possibility of Goldenballs returning to the Premier League was unlikely, it at least seemed credible.
There was, however, one problem – there had been no discussions of any kind with either the player or his representatives and Becks was more than happy at Los Angeles Galaxy, thank you very much.
Those really in the know – by which I mean bookmakers – knew this was a non-starter from the off with sports betting marketsoffering very long and tempting odds.
Gold had been telling porkies and he got rumbled.
Not content by making themselves a laughing stock in the nation’s press, the half of the ownership axis – David Sullivan – has now kicked off an unseemly public spat with Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.
The antipathy between the two clubs and their supporters is well known and perhaps Sullivan was merely trying to show that he shared the fans’ sentiments but stating that he is refusing to enter negotiations with Spurs over the sale of Scott Parker because they beat the Hammers to the signing of Eidur Gudjohnsen is infantile.
If he’s not for sale, just say exactly that. Why try and act like a big man in the press and actually come out looking a child?
The former Birmingham City owners have barely held the rudder at the Boleyn Ground for six months yet have already caused more than a few waves.
Expect a few more as West Ham embark on yet another rollercoaster season.