Filed: Thursday, 13th September 2012
By: Jason Eves
We say 'hello' to yet another new member of our team of writers as Jason Eves explains why all Hammers supporters should be feeling positive in the wake of the recent transfer window...
The dust has long since settled since the takeover of our beloved football club at the beginning of 2010 - a takeover announced as a Ďhomecomingí from our new owners David Sullivan and David Gold. But once the welcoming parade had ended for these two Eastenders, things slowly started going downhill in terms of public relations.
An event that will last long in the memory of many Hammers was David Sullivanís tirade and outburst in regards to Ďevery player is for sale except for Scott Parkerí. Although his rant can be justified in hindsight for some of the gutless displays we turned out in that doomed season, blasting the team did no favours to a camp with low morale.
Growing pains were always going to a part of the parcel as the board were getting use to their new surroundings. Mistakes were made and we washed our hands of the square pegs that were occupying the hotseat and bid farewell to bloated wages on the payroll.
But since relegation, as well as there being a shake-up in the playing and coaching staff, the board shuffled their pack too with Sullivanís no-nonsense rants being swapped for the smoother, more optimistic tones of business partner David Gold. I believe having Gold as the boards' mouthpiece and spokesperson is the best choice for West Ham.
Not only does he answer to the media and press, he can also reach the fans on a personal level via Twitter (although some fans may be left disgruntled that he can only answer their queries in no more than 140-characters). It goes to show how far social media has come and how it can be utilised in the right hands.
The eccentrically-dressed Sullivan, however, has taken a backseat response to the Twitter phenomenon, but passes on all transfer gossip and news to his son Jack Sullivan.
Itís a statement of intent from our chairmen that they are willing to be as transparent as possible with the fans and to build bridges with the Hammers faithful along with repairing frayed relationships that may have occurred in the past.
EYE ON THE BALL: Co-Chairman David Gold
One chairman who I have seen adopt this same strategy is QPR chairman Tony Fernandes who famously made his announcement that he made a bid for West Ham - as well as slating the board - through his Twitter account (unfortunately I couldnít find a screencap but a report of the incident can be found here).
Iím sure we all casted envious eyes at QPRís lavish spending over the last few years, signing some exciting players that will grace Loftus Road this season. But I have renewed optimism with the board, they are keen to stress the importance of financial stability and restraint. And a year of paying Premier League wages in the Championship was always going to be a risk worth taking as we retained the nucleus of our team. Fortunately that gamble paid off, albeit through the skin of our teeth in the play-offs.
Iím glad Sullivan and Gold adopted that approach rather than having the heart of the team ripped out. They allowed Big Sam to work his magic with a plethora of established players joining our ranks. We also managed the hindrance of the utterly ridiculous lawsuit from our old friends Sheffield United that Sullivan admits is still yet to be paid off, which Iím sure has impacted upon our transfer kitty for the current season.
Despite that, the board have still managed to dig deep and also bring in some impressive signings, ranging from the savvy dealings in the free transfer market to the marquee signings of Andy Carroll and club record transfer Matt Jarvis, with both signings being met by widespread appraisal from the Hammers faithful and the media alike. The chairmen have been more than kind and allowed Allardyce to bring in his old guard of Kevin Nolan, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Matt Taylor, which could well have been the catalyst for Andy Carroll to switch from Merseyside to life in East London.
I feel as though the board have come on leaps and bounds since they claimed a majority share of the club, prising us from the fingers of the Icelandic investment bank Straumur. Weíve come along some bumpy trails and lessons have been learnt, with some being more severe than others. But we have only bounced back stronger and more hungry than ever for success.
Gold and Sullivan are as keen as ever to match the ambitions of the supporters and build towards the future. Whether it be at Upton Park or the Olympic Stadium, with a decision set to be made on the tenancy by October.
I personally think us moving to the Olympic Stadium can only be beneficial for the club. It would provide us with an adequate springboard to propel ourselves to the next level. Along with the increased TV rights deal set for next season, it could provide a warchest for Allardyce to add to our ranks and improve our facilities - such as our fabled Academy.
Only time will tell on our season butthe early signs are encouraging. Letís just get behind the team, the gaffer and especially our board and turn the page on their past misdemeanors. I think they have more than made up for it and have breathed fresh optimism into this previously wounded beast.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
by t r eves
07:44AM 15th Sep 2012
''Splendid piece of work, the research put in is very impressive. We are all very proud of you. Love from Grandad.''
11:34AM 13th Sep 2012
''A very well written article with good comment, however, one small point - Matt Taylor never played for Allardyce prior to arriving at West Ham.
I agree with the sentiment of the article also, we should count ourselves very lucky. Long gone are the days of the Icelandic Consortium and TB.''
11:24AM 13th Sep 2012
''Very good article, I think you have got the balance just right on how the Board have done. As you say let's all get behind West Ham and support them even when thing aren't going so well at times. "We Are West Ham's Claret & Blue Army"...''
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