David Sullivan

Has David Sullivan made West Ham a laughing stock?

I’m sure it is not just me. I’m fed up of being the laughing stock of the Premier League. Again.
Since the Davids took over the pattern has been clear. David Gold is the wise old bird with a love of tweeting. David Sullivan is the brash, hands-on fanatic, like a kid with a brand new toy.

To be fair, they have pumped a substantial part of their personal fortune into the club, and for that they are to be thanked. They have (along with Mrs Brady) negotiated a move to the Olympic stadium for peanuts, which could be a masterstroke or the end of the club as we know it. But that’s all fine. What I take issue with is the manner in which certain things are done.

From the start Sullivan has been overly vociferous. In the days of Zola he was openly commenting on how pathetic some performances were. He also stated at one point that the entire West Ham squad were up for sale (apart from Scott Parker). Whether that was to deliberately undermine tha manager because they wanted their own man in (who laughably ended up being Avram Grant), or whether he just got over-excited with his new toy, the end result was cringing embarrassment and yet another face-palm of the highest order. Over the months that followed Grant’s appointment, Sullivan did manage to keep his comments to himself somewhat more, and when Avram Grant was rumbled for who he really was (just a randy old bloke who hangs around football clubs pretending to be a manager), the two Davids seemed to make the right decision (despite initial concerns) when appointing Sam Allardyce.

But things have slipped again since then. Sullivan’s teenage son, Jack, has a Twitter account. It must be with his father’s blessing, and perhaps it sometimes is his father in disguise, but some of the comments that get tweeted are not just unhelpful, they are unprofessional and damaging to the club. When Chamakh was signed on loan from Arsenal, young master Sullivan tweeted how disappointed he was, and that the player would not have been his choice. Many other tweets have followed, some saying uncomplimentary things about players we were hoping to sign. There was even a spot poll on whether we shouls sign a convicted rapist. Enough! What other clubs have to sput up with this complete lack of professionalism? In my opinion Sullivan senior shows a lack of class allowing this foolishness to perpetuate.

And finally, we have the lamentable business that was the recent transfer window. Carlton Cole turned down a new contract at the end of last season (if what we are told is correct), and despite just having Andy Carroll (who was out long term injured), Modibo Maiga (who has been unimpressive since his arrival) and a couple of unproven kids, we neglected to attempt to sign a second striker until the very last day of the window (and they were long shots at best). When Carroll got crocked again and we were left with nothing, we tried to re-sign Carlton Cole again who was now out of contract (having spectacularly failed to find a new club over the summer). Unfortunately for both parties, Carlton had spent too much time on the beach and was nowhere near fit enough. Doh! So West Ham scoured the remaining pile of out of contract players and managed to sign Croatian international and former Fulham striker Mladen Petric on a season long deal. On the face of it that sounded like good business, and a good stop gap until Carroll’s heel finally mended. But wait! It seems Petric is also unfit and needs a few weeks to get up to speed! Amazing! But wait, isn’t there that Carlton Cole chap? He was half decent. Let’s sign him again. And so it goes on.

So there we have it. I’ve had my rant. I’m grateful to the current owners for saving the club from financial peril. I grateful to them (and the manager) for guiding us back to the Premier League so quickly and keeping us there. I even think that moving to the Olympic stadium is a good move. Just please start showing a bit more class and professionalism. It would be much appreciated.

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