Filed: Friday, 18th March 2011
By: Staff Writer
Scott Parker has been talking about the differences between the West Ham United he joined four years ago - and the West Ham of 2011.
Parker was signed by Alan Curbishley during the ill-fated Gudmundsson & Magnusson era - just one of a number of star signings made in a busy 12-month period by the club as the owner and chairman went crazy in the transfer marker.
However that particular dream turned sour when Gudmundsson's business empire collapsed in the wake of 2008's worldwide banking crisis, leaving the club staring administration in the face.
One by one, the players signed on extortionate 'Magnusson contracts' - players such as Freddie Ljungberg, Craig Bellamy and Lucas O'Neill - have come and gone whilst the remaining few signed on lucrative terms during that period - the Dyers, Upsons and Fauberts - are set to leave the club shortly.
Yet Parker, one of the club's most valuable assets, remained through thick and thin - and only last year put pen to paper on a new five-year deal.
"When I signed, money was being spent," Parker told whufc.tv. "Players were coming in and the way they saw the club going was a lot different to now - or certainly the middle period before the [Sullivan & Gold] takeover.
"Things changed massively, it was well documented. So obviously that's been a big change but I was brought up at Charlton and played many years there so I understand the other side of it. It wasn't such a culture shock to me.
"But in all fairness to the owners now, they've come in with their vision of where they want to take the club and taken on a massive risk. Hopefully things will get better. They put some money in during January and brought the players in."
Despite the presence of light at the end of the tunnel, Parker admitted that the period prior to the arrival of Messrs Sullivan & Gold were the darkest of days.
"That was very difficult," he admitted. "Literally every day we were reading something in the paper - this player might get sold, the club might not [continue to] exist. As a player you read this and it's unnerving. We weren't doing too well in the league either so it was difficult.
"But I enjoyed it here; [now] I see the players I'm around and I think we've got a very, very good squad and a very good team."
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by Tim Davis
08:29PM 22nd Mar 2011
''Scott Parker you are a class act, West Ham's real captain and a man who our fans can relate to - unlike many footballers we see today.''
07:08PM 18th Mar 2011
''Scotty Parker - next West Ham manager.''