Today's evening standard.

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Brookbonds73
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Today's evening standard.

Post by Brookbonds73 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:58 pm

David Sullivan interview: ‘Results matter most but overall West Ham are in a far better position'
EXCLUSIVE: David Sullivan opens up on 10 years as co-owner with David Gold


No Premier League club could honestly have charted their journey over the past 10 years without admitting to one or two bumps in the road.

In West Ham’s case, though, the highway travelled over the past decade by the current owners, has been full of twists and turns — and has rarely been flat.


On January 19, 2010, David Sullivan and David Gold acquired a controlling interest in the Hammers, who were £110million in debt and had administration edging ever closer. The club were 16th in the table and looking nervously over their shoulders.


A decade on and as they approach Saturday’s home encounter against Everton, they are 16th in the Premier League — and still looking nervously over their shoulders.

On the lack of playing progress, Sullivan told the Evening Standard: “I would like talk about what we have achieved on the pitch but unfortunately, despite our investment and best efforts, we have not made the progress we all expected under the club’s most high profile and proven manager (Manuel Pellegrini), having brought in a new director of football (Mario Husillos).

David Sullivan interview: We've got to make more progress at West Ham
“What happens on the pitch is obviously what matters most to our supporters and is our main focus.”

Today was the funeral of one of West Ham’s greats, Martin Peters. The club’s fans are hungry for more heroes like him — and the kind of success he, Bobby Moore and Sir Geoff Hurst enjoyed.


That is the measure of the challenge which faces Sullivan, who is the majority shareholder with 51.1 per cent — and 83-year-old Gold.

On the day they took over the club, Sullivan talked about a seven-year plan, ending with Champions League qualification. That ambition seems as far away now for supporters as it did back then.


He also mentioned his and Gold’s aim to move from the club’s atmospheric but cramped home at the Boleyn three miles down the road to the stadium which was, two years later, the centrepiece of London’s Olympic Games.

That is an ambition which, led by vice-chair Karren Brady, they have realised, almost doubling their home attendance capacity and helping to promote West Ham into 18th place in the Deloitte Football Money League’s top 20 richest clubs in the world.


Numbers behind the duo's reign
455 - matches played by West Ham since Sullivan and Gold took over

165 - wins, their most productive season being 2011/12

111 - draws - Stoke and West Brom have had the most stalemates against them

179 - defeats

Many fans have never taken to the London Stadium, while others speak positively about facilities and improved transport links.


During their decade in charge, Sullivan and Gold have appointed five managers and a sixth — David Moyes — twice.

Gianfranco Zola was in situ when the pair came in, but didn’t last long. Avram Grant followed and was a disaster as the club were relegated.

Sam Allardyce took the club back to the top flight in his first season and steadied the ship for a further three before the owners responded to fans’ criticism of his playing style and replaced him with Slaven Bilic.


The charismatic Croatian guided West Ham to seventh, their highest position in the Premier League, in 2016 — their final season at the Boleyn — but was sacked the following November.

David Moyes succeeded Bilic on a short-term contract and steered the club to a relatively comfortable survival, but the owners nevertheless decided not to renew his contract and instead brought Pellegrini back from China on a three-year contract.

The fans initially liked the Chilean’s expansive playing style and, with the owners giving him money to spend, the team finished a creditable 10th.

This season, however, has been an increasing struggle, with Pellegrini looking increasingly intractable before Sullivan and Gold eventually pulled the plug last month and asked Moyes to return.

“There are times when we have been really close to pushing on,” said Sullivan. “For two years we were on the verge of reaching the Europa League group stages and that might have provided the platform for more consistent success, but we still feel we’ve moved in the right direction and made progress.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing and perhaps it was a mistake to have let David Moyes go the first time. The easy option this time around would have been going for someone new, but we feel David is the right manager for West Ham.


“Manuel Pellegrini, an appointment which was welcomed by the supporters, had won the Premier League with Manchester City but ultimately, despite being a good manager, he wasn’t the best fit for the club.”

Low points during the Sullivan-Gold decade have been relegation in 2011 and angry protests during a home match against Burnley in 2018, so has Sullivan ever regretted becoming one of only six current British owners of Premier League clubs?

“No,” he replied. “We came to West Ham because we are lifelong fans and we came to make this great club better. We stabilised it first, which was key, and now we are trying to match the investment we’ve put in with higher finishes in the League on a consistent basis. 


“I love West Ham and I deeply feel every moment. Every day I am thinking about how I can make the club better.

“Overall, I believe the club’s in a far better state than 10 years ago. We have some regrets, including the appointments of some managers, but we feel we have the right one now and we are confident he will do well for us.

“We’ve spent £210.4m net since the move to London Stadium, we have the cheapest ticket in the Premier League, the highest number of season-ticket holders in London and the seventh highest home attendance in Europe. 

“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve delivered in the community. The Players’ Project will see us invest £28m by 2021, but our community work goes far beyond that.

“I am also really proud that the stadium is affordable and accessible to working families, thousands of kids can come for £99 a season. That was really important to us and I see that as a real social achievement. 

“We can’t please all the supporters, but we do listen to them and we are trying to enhance that relationship by improving the stadium for them, as well as attempting to give them the best team possible to watch on the pitch.”

One of the stands at the London Stadium bears the name of club legend Sir Trevor Brooking.

“I had a great affinity with Upton Park throughout my career but I couldn’t have really understood it if the owners had said ‘no’ to the chance of moving to the London Stadium,” said the former Hammers midfielder.

“The biggest challenge for the club now is to improve things on the pitch and for the supporters to see the extra money which is being generated being impacted on their League position. The first step now has to be to stay up.

“If that happens, then next summer will be key: how we move on to the next stage and become a top-eight side, which we’re all hoping for, is the challenge.

"It’s all there in place but now they have to fulfil that potential. That is the bottom line. The owners, the fans, myself included, want to be looking forward, not the other way.”

Personally I think it's a croc of horseshite, but make of this what you will.
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Brookbonds73
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by Brookbonds73 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:08 pm

I had a feeling this would come out before the protest march. And low and behold here it is.
They even throw in Martin Peters funeral (R.I.P Martin) and add a piece from Sir Trev for good measure.
Detestable creatures.
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JayK
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by JayK » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:13 pm

I don’t find it easy to hate people but that fuckin dwarf. I’d stand, laugh, point and cheer if he was stood there pleading for help while melting in a pot of acid or eaten by pigs
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COYI!!!

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Clayton
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by Clayton » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:18 pm

JayK wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:13 pm
I don’t find it easy to hate people but that fuckin dwarf. I’d stand, laugh, point and cheer if he was stood there pleading for help while melting in a pot of acid or eaten by pigs
Or trampled to death by West Ham fans fleeing from all his bullshit ?
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ToneLoc
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by ToneLoc » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:21 pm

No coincidence with the timing of that.
Once again he scores an own goal because all he’s doing is attracting more mainstream media attention.
That didn’t end too well for him last time.

Doesn’t learn from his mistakes this bloke does he.
You’d have thought someone with a media background would be a bit less shit at it?
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Brookbonds73
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by Brookbonds73 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:24 pm

I just wonder if it's narcissism, insanity or just plain old taking the piss. I suppose you could link all three really.
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palerider
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by palerider » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:29 pm

I loathe that little piece of shit.
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ToneLoc
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by ToneLoc » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:30 pm

Brookbonds73 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:24 pm
I just wonder if it's narcissism, insanity or just plain old taking the piss. I suppose you could link all three really.
I think the bloke’s a sadist and a mashochist.
He just seems to love a right old tear-up.
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prince of wales
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by prince of wales » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:43 pm

BrookBonds.

Please could you let me have the writer's name please.I will EMail him asking for the right to reply and make a balanced debate.
Thank You.
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ToneLoc
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Re: Today's evening standard.

Post by ToneLoc » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:51 pm

prince of wales wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:43 pm
BrookBonds.

Please could you let me have the writer's name please.I will EMail him asking for the right to reply and make a balanced debate.
Thank You.
Ken Dyer

https://apple.news/AVSJn7Q22QGWH6dQRyavSxQ
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