A question of trust

During the January transfer window, many of West Ham United's Premier League peers were unable to invest in their playing squad because of Financial Fair Play (FFP).

However West Ham United were one of the few clubs that had that competitive advantage that we could - and these are not my words, but those of Kieran Maguire and The Swiss Ramble. Not West Ham fans with claret and blue specs - the neutral, financial football experts.


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Our main shareholder, David Sullivan saw it as an opportunity to save costs rather than strengthen, push the club forward, and support the manager. He's left the manager in the summer (whomever that is) with a mountain to climb in terms of squad rebuild - and at a time when FFP will restrict us far more.

I won't post "I told you all so" in the summer when we hear about FFP in the first few weeks of the window to manage our expectations or justify selling Lucas Paqueta and/or Mohammed Kudus, but I'll certainly be thinking it.

That "cost rather than ambition first" mindset the current chair has demonstrated repeatedly in the past decade, when the club has been doing well and the manager has demonstrated he can out-perform available resources. Their reward? Reduced squad quality.

It then becomes largely self fulfilling. It happened with Sam Allardyce's last season, it happened with Slaven Bilic too. The manager doesn't feel supported, it undermines them - they may start making shorter-term decisions.

The players, consciously or subconsciously feel the club isn't pushing on, don't need to try as hard in training as there is no competition. Some may want out. That all seeps through to the fans - criticising players for lack of effort, with some blaming the manager - support at the ground is nervous, critical even.

Players don't want the ball, they make errors and stick to the safe and negative passes. I'm not suggesting David Moyes doesn't have some accountability - he clearly does and the football style is not what I'd like - but to dismiss the physical and psychological impact of the window takes the human aspect out of it completely.

And we've seen first hand that human aspect already with two prior managers under this same ownership.


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Some supporters think it's a given that another manager will come in and deliver similar results and better football because we happen to be in the top 20 rich list for income (note, not wages or transfer spend, where West Ham are distinctly average in Premier League terms).

Why would anyone think that, if the chairman has repeated demonstrated that competing to finish that high is over-achieving and will result in less support financially?

This club, like any organisation has been put into a holding pattern as a result of the chairman's lack of leadership. It's not the first time, yet people are bending over backwards to place all of the blame on the manager. Have some balls and show some leadership, for goodness sake.

I don't know if Moyes is the right manager for us. I'm genuinely neither Moyes In or Moyes Out (personally I think it's nonsense that there are simply two camps). My tendency is risk averse and staying loyal until it's clear the current manager won't deliver any more success for us.

If he goes in the summer, I'll be supporting the new manager and hoping they do push us on. I get the debate around the style of football - I massively respect KUMB members who have that view, and stick to that without trying to degrade all the achievements and contribution of Moyes to the quality of player brought in during the past few years.

Still, it utterly baffles me that people can't see the chairman as the bigger issue. The emotions around the Moyes debate only serve to contrast more to the completely apathy that appears directed to the chairman's position - despite this being the third time we've seen a manager's slow death accelerated by a transfer window signalling and encouraging that death.

I simply don't trust Sullivan to choose the next manager. No comparison to what other clubs did in the transfer window should excuse yet another demonstration of "not fit to run the club". He (under pressure from David Gold) got lucky with Moyes, that luck seems to extend to Moyes being blamed for far more than the style of football people are seeing.

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