No Gold Rush at West Ham

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.

Dale Moon

Discuss this post, and other items, in the Joys and Sorrows Forum.


9 Comments on No Gold Rush at West Ham

  1. give the guys some credit. brum are now bearing the fruits of what these guys done over a period. they did care, they did well

    give them a chance…it will work. they were the only real solution.

  2. I hope it does.

    I know a lot of Blues fans couldn’t wait to get rid of DS especially. I don’t fully agree with that, but there is no doubt that he lost connection with the fans 2 or 3 years ago.

    I have time for DG, but DS only ever had eyes on West Ham and said so to us – well that doesn’t EXACTLY help eh? lol

    The saved our club and put us on an even base, however they never really made that next step.

    As you say time will tell.


  3. The fact is Sullivan and Gold support West Ham unlike Birmingham City. They have openly said that they want to make the club great and this is not a business decision but a lifetime ambition.

    To be honest Birmingham City have struggled in most of my lifetime and Sullivan and Gold brought stability to what is today a club which has gone through its best run in its entire history and I think you will agree that your new chinese takeaway of an owner has had no bearing on this and instead it has been as a result of the decision to employ Mcleish and investment of new players by your previous owners who you so slate today.

    Short Memories…..and up the Hammers

  4. I think you’ve made a good point about them following West Ham, something I was inferring in my comment above. Personally I will always be grateful for what they did, and most Blues fans WILL acknowledge that they saved the club – however they did lose connection with the fans, and the more they pulled away, the more the fans perceived it as a lack of support. Not sure that it is about short memories to be fair.

    The other point is that there were lots of broken promises regarding players / transfer money etc – hence the negativity you will hear from Blues fans. I don’t think it’s s

    However once again I will say I am grateful for what they did.


  5. I’m concerned of West Ham. He is already talking of taking the Olympic Statium, to rent. That means he will sell our existing ground for housing in London, a lot of dosh going into his pocket. He has said there will be no fire sale, but we need a couple of extra players. Not sure he will put his hand further into his pocket. He says he is a West Ham fan, but first he is a business man and I don’t see any excitement ahead.

  6. Let me say straightaway that I appreciate what the previous Board did to save BCFC financially & to improve the situation on the field. I also have great admiration for David Gold, whose PR skills were constantly being put to the test trying to stem the trouble caused by DS spewing out invective against the fans in scattergun fashion. In addition there was the awful column from our ex-MD, where she almost torpedoed our promotion attempt. All that attack on the manager & the team should at the very least, have been kept in-house; again David Gold had to sweep up.Finally their lack of desire to sign Michel shows how they felt towards the club. It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but it appeared the move fell through because they wouldn’t put enough cash up-front. As West Ham owners & heartfelt fans, I think they may show a bit more ambition than they showed at Stans; but you can guarantee they’ll certainly put the finances in order

  7. They did well initially, but lost their way at Blues and eventually overstayed their welcome.

    I am grateful for what they did, its just a shame that they never owned up to their mistakes such as getting us relegated … DS was a loose cannon, the fans, the new owner, certain players, Beau Brummie, Yeung etc… were always scapegoated at convenient times…

    I enjoy reading the papers these days and reading about Birmingham and football, yes football! the new owners and business management just get on with it in the background. This is refreshing compared to the previous regime with their consistent stream of self publicising statements and promises…

    Enjoy the honeymoon period Hammers fans, your finances will get sorted out and your ticket prices will go up, oh yes, you WILL be funding this recovery in some way shape or form and your loyalty will be tested and challenged.

    You will not be top 4, unless DS is referring to the championship. The best that you can hope for under their stewardship is staying in the prem, year after year, especially as you will be playing with other teams’ loan players.

    This was the expectation of the majority of Blues fans, prem survival, nothing more, nothing less… they couldn’t even deliver that!

    Just remember these immortal words “I will not spend my sons inheritance”…


  8. Firstly, all the best for the future Hammers fans (off the field that is :-).

    I too am thankful for what the Sullivan, Gold, Brady gang did for us all those years ago, but I too will re-iterate that any survival will, in the end, be financed by YOU the Hammers fans.

    Sullivan et. al. sold Blues for a tidy profit (some may say that it way their skills that made Blues worth £80M, some may not), but either way that was £80M taken OUT of the club and into the pockets of the magic trio.

    Just remember that they are businessmen first and WH fans second. I would also suggest that you take any promises with a pinch of salt (especially Champions League football in 7 years!, even Man City would have been happy with that promise a couple of years ago and they have far more money to throw around). Remember it took them 8 years to get us back into the top flight, and I expect that behind the scenes, from a financial perspective, they would not be too worried about relegation as that would allow them to off-load expensive players who have relegation clauses whilst claiming ‘we had no choice in selling them!’.

    Quotes to be wary of…Sullivan ‘ALWAYS wanted to buy West Ham’ – he also ‘always wanted to buy Cardiff (where he was brought up, and hence his local club).

    Gold is totally against the idea of reducing ticket prices – in fact he said ‘reducing ticket prices will guarantee relegation’ but perhaps that is what he wants – see above point.

    DG is likeable and genuine – DS is a business man interested in profit, and he doesn’t care how many fans he upsets in the process (and don’t think WHU fans will be any different – as he is really a Cardiff fan anyway!).

    All the best anyway – I expect them to steady your ship, and for you to be playing boring CC championship football, with loan players, and the most expensive ticket prices in the CCL within 2 years – but at least you won’t owe £100M to anybody (but you will owe your souls to the new board, and they won’t let you forget it!)

  9. Lets just say the Sullivan/Gold and Brady lost the goodwill of the fans when they introduced a travel club with all its implications, then the surcharge on away match tickets, followed by Sullivan attack on the fans for not turning up to watch the Bolton game, when it was top price, on the telly and pissing down with rain.
    and lets not forget that bloody woman Brady, who attcked fans verbally, by calling them beer bellies that couldn’t take relegation after the anit1 directors demonstration aginst Blackburn, From day one they were out to fleece the fans, We owe them nothing

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