Here is Dale’s take on today’s announcement of DS and DG taking over at West Ham.
The well publicised 50% takeover of West Ham United by David Gold and David Sullivan has seen the re-emergence of a partnership that will provide anything but ambition to the struggling London club.
I am aware that many loyal bluenoses will wish the new owners the best of luck with their new investment. They will remember them “saving” the club from the dire days of the Kumar’s and lifting the club out of administration in doing so. The £700,000 brought to buy the club from the liquidator BCCI in March 1993 saw the dawn of a new era at the club. They will cast their minds back to the average gates of 7,000 during the darkest days of the club and the facilities that were in desperate need of some attention. All of this under the era of the club pales in significance with the achievement of Premier League football and the 17 year long wait to be reunited with the old enemy in the country’s top division. The legacy that Sullivan and the Gold’s should of left was of vast improvements on and off the field, a club to be proud of and an emotional farewell to a club that was the focal point of their day-to-day business for the past 16 years.
However. The outspoken Mr. Sullivan put an end to any gracious departure that many were hoping for with his “FACT” sheet posted on the official site and with his dramatic claims following the angry demonstrations amidst the clubs relegation at the end of 2008.
“These people don’t know anything about business or about football. I have had enough. I don’t want to be here next season. All those out there who want to buy it, they can buy it. Please buy me out, David [Gold]. There are five or six clubs out there who would welcome me with open arms. It is time to move on.”
Since then he has continued to rant and rave about what a brilliant job he done in turning the club around. Yet I pose the question, when will the time come when the egocentric, bitter and self righteous EX co-owner realise that we, the fans, have stopped listening?
West Ham is in a financial state not too dissimilar to us all those years ago. Starring relegation in the face and in debt to the sound of £50m to banks and £40m to clubs, and any Hammers fan would welcome new owners and fresh investment. But here’s what will happen for all those “lucky” Hammers fans that will have the same little man sitting in the corporate seats at Upton Park that we had down St.Andrews.
I do believe he will steady the ship. The books over time will be cleaned and the finance of the club will improve. Along with David Gold, for whom I have a considerably more amount of admiration, they will lift the club out of their situation and will run a professional business, the way it should. That said, the bravado surrounding “a top 4 finish” will have those in the capital watering at the mouth. In reality, it will not happen. The way in which Sullivan will run the club will see stability and credibility but in terms of ambition and him parting with vast quantities of his own money will see false promises. It seems to be a double edged sword with Sullivan you have a tightly run professional businessman at the held but not a man to bring entertainment, value for money or ambition to your club.
I thank the Gold’s, Sullivan and Brady for what they did during most of their time at the club, but we have moved on with a new owner and look forward to the times ahead. Hopefully, with the takeover now complete at West Ham he will do the same and part verbal company with our club, Birmingham City.