Following on from my blog yesterday, it has to be one of the most underwhelming transfer deadline days we have ever had! From waking in the morning being told we had ten bids submitted with the prospect of buying at least two only for all those ‘bids’ to crash and burn. Sorry we signed one, a player from the Championship we didn’t even know was being targeted. Don’t get me wrong, I will fully back Hugill. I will give him time to adjust and fingers crossed he will become another Antonio and Cresswell (well his first few seasons anyway)
Today I need to get something off my chest.
I will put it out there, I have been a backer of the board. I believe they initially started off trying to do the best for our club.
- They took over a complete shambolic system if you read what the Icelandic’s had left us with – massive debt, extortionate wage structure, unnecessary staff, etc etc. They made the club more profitable and reduced the debt.
- They believed moving us to the Olympic Stadium was the next step and they negotiated an unbelievable deal.
- They have put the money up for some expensive signings and generally improved our squad of players (ignoring the current injury situation.)
Lately though my opinion has been beginning to change. Even though I predicted a poor deadline day and people taking to venting their frustrations online, I can’t help myself.
Yesterday was a disaster. Yet again we are promised the world but, shock, horror, it doesn’t materialise. Every player we were linked with or had bids in for couldn’t wait to sign for someone else or stay with their own club. Looking at the players we were linked with yesterday when I posted my blog:
Ings – Never heard anything more on him
Slimani – joined Newcastle on loan
Amadou – reports suggested he was on route to London based on being linked with both us and Crystal Palace however it doesn’t appear as if we genuinely were interested.
Smolov – decided to stay put as we insulted his club with our offer.
Dendoncker – apparently, he wanted to join us but instead of our board paying the £20million that was being asked they arsed about yet again. They even had the audacity to regurgitate the same excuse about there being no time for a medical before 11pm which we all know is a load of s**t as the deal can be done ‘subject to passing a medical’.
It would seem our owners love of a good deal has got in the way of signing players we need. It also alienates players and clubs from wanting to do business with our club. If you were a player would you want to play for a club who obviously doesn’t really rate you if they don’t want to pay the asking price for you or will slag you off in the press? How many of our past players have we heard say the reason they joined West Ham was because John Lyall made them feel wanted by driving to their house personally and doing the deal? Yes, I understand times have changed, agents etc., but making a player feel wanted has not! If our owners really want a player its time they just put up the money being asked for.
And then, just to top things off yesterday we have the comments from our Director of Player Recruitment Tony Henry! I, however, feel this was intentional to distract the attention from our owners. The media pick up on this storyline and not the feelings of the fans towards the owners. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been given a massive pay off just for being made a scapegoat.
Now onto the London Stadium. I have long felt that there was certain behind the scenes agreements in place with us eventually being able to take ownership for the stadium at a rock bottom price. I always questioned the £8million to remove the retractable seating, it seems a tad inflated for 15days work. If the government / tax players believe this has to be paid each time for a half empty athletics event surely there will come a stage where it’s in everyone’s best interests to build an athletics stadium elsewhere. That being said I don’t believe the owners want this to happen during their time, it makes more sense to have this in the background and the club sold on the basis of the £2.5million per year for the 99-year lease. More appealing to potential buyers.
Another thing very appealing to potential buyers would be any debt. Our owners transfer activity this season would help this. According to transfermarkt.co.uk our profit in this season’s transfer market is £5.99m. How many Premiership teams make an actual profit in the transfer market these days?
It is plain to see our owners are currently doing everything with the sale of our club in their minds. Hopefully they will be successful and find a potential buyer with the drive, determination and commitment to turn our club into the European force the past two ownerships have predicted. We deserve it!
By Tony Close