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West Ham Takeover


John Simkin
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It has just been announced that David Gold and David Sullivan have taken control of 50 per cent of West Ham. Sullivan has just given an interview on Sky Sports News where he has stated that he will not sack Zola as manager (one of the rumours being spread via the media over the weekend).

It is good to have two, long-term West Ham fans in charge of the club. However, they clearly do not have the funds to turn us into a top four club. In his interview Sullivan made it clear that he would welcome other wealthy West Ham fans to buy the other 50%. It has been suggested that Tony Fernandes, might be interested in joining Gold and Sullivan in the project. If that happens, we could well be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

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The last couple of days have been a bit like watching a political news story break. Sky appear to feel obliged to film fans who think it's a good thing/bad thing/so so thing (delete as applicable ;)

Personally, I'm looking forward to a bit of calm, mid-table obscurity starting with comfortably avoiding relegation, though I'm not sure any club can expect an easy ride in these media driven days.

With the benefit of hindsight, I think a bit of mass hysteria kicked in when Tevez/Mascherano came in. The 'loaded' Icelanders didn't help when they came in with ambitions of Champions League.

The supporters will probably welcome some local involvement at the top of the club. Having followed it all I'd decided that Sullivan & Gold would be the most acceptable option at the moment.

I think that, now the ownership situation is (partially) resolved, the players and management will feel more secure and hopefully start to play to their potential. It's been hard work watching the last few months. Aston Villa was a good example. Admittedly a very good result, but frustrating to watch.

Nouble looks quite a prospect to me. Of course some people were expecting him to be the finished article at 18 years old. I've seen enough to feel confident that a Cole/Nouble pairing up front will give any defence plenty to think about.

It does appear that Sullivan & Gold will be making some funds available to strengthen the squad. As other investors come on board I guess we can all become hysterical again.

Then of course there is the proposed move to the Olympic Stadium...

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The supporters will probably welcome some local involvement at the top of the club. Having followed it all I'd decided that Sullivan & Gold would be the most acceptable option at the moment.

I think that, now the ownership situation is (partially) resolved, the players and management will feel more secure and hopefully start to play to their potential. It's been hard work watching the last few months. Aston Villa was a good example. Admittedly a very good result, but frustrating to watch.

Nouble looks quite a prospect to me. Of course some people were expecting him to be the finished article at 18 years old. I've seen enough to feel confident that a Cole/Nouble pairing up front will give any defence plenty to think about.

I agree. I was impressed by the news conference. There is no doubt that they are true fans. Sullivan actually said that taking over West Ham made no real business sense at the moment.

I think that Cole and Nouble are too alike to make a good partnership. Nouble did well against Aston Villa but probably needs another 18 months before he is good enough for regular starts in the premier league. I would like the club to buy Victor Moses from Crystal Palace. Although he is only 19 he looks a fantastic prospect. His parents were murdered when he was a child in Nigeria (they were Christians in a Muslim area). It was said that he had not spoken for two years after he arrived in England at the age of 11 because he was so traumatised.

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I agree. I was impressed by the news conference. There is no doubt that they are true fans. Sullivan actually said that taking over West Ham made no real business sense at the moment.

I think that Cole and Nouble are too alike to make a good partnership. Nouble did well against Aston Villa but probably needs another 18 months before he is good enough for regular starts in the premier league. I would like the club to buy Victor Moses from Crystal Palace. Although he is only 19 he looks a fantastic prospect. His parents were murdered when he was a child in Nigeria (they were Christians in a Muslim area). It was said that he had not spoken for two years after he arrived in England at the age of 11 because he was so traumatised.

Victor Moses would be a fantastic signing for West Ham. Un-surprisingly there seem to be several interested parties so it will be quite a coup if they pull it off.

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Victor Moses would be a fantastic signing for West Ham. Un-surprisingly there seem to be several interested parties so it will be quite a coup if they pull it off.

Gold and Sullivan said they will only bring young players like Moses at the end of the season. I suspect that he will go to Arsenal instead.

Their top priority is to buy two strikers who have shown that they can score in the premiership. I am not sure that those kind of players are available. Monaco forward Eidur ­Gudjohnsen is set to join West Ham. However, he has been unable to score for the French side all season. However, he might make a good playmaker.

The Sunday Times reports that Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy has agreed terms with West Ham and could complete a £2.5m move to Upton Park in time for Tuesday's Premier League game against Portsmouth. McCarthy was a good striker a few years ago but he is now 30 years old and has only scored one goal this season. How many goals will he score for us?

Interesting article in today's News of the World:

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/foot...S-REVEALED.html

David Sullivan walked into the chairman's suite at Upton Park and realised that behind the plush facade he had inherited a hammer house of horrors.

Along with partner David Gold, Sullivan had just paid £52.5million for a controlling interest in the club.

After an arduous takeover battle, it emerged that only Gold and Sullivan had the hard cash to buy into the club.

More importantly, only they were qualified to take on the challenge of reducing debts which, according to Sullivan, stand at around £110million.

And it hasn't taken him long to start doing some simple maths and flourish a red pen.

Sullivan has been staggered at what he sees as some of the excesses at the club, free spending that has continued despite the fact West Ham have been on brink since the business empire of ex-owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson collapsed 15 months ago.

"We have bought into an incredibly bad situation. At every level the club has been badly run," said Sullivan.

"I'll give you one simple example. It is now January and we have still got 21,000 first team shirts in stock at £21 each. Ridiculous.

"No proper decisions have been made. Bad deals have been done. This is the deck of cards we have inherited and it is going to take us time to play those cards."

West Ham's perilous financial position has forced them to take out loans on the promise of the next two years' Premier League television revenue, despite the fact they are far from guaranteed to beat relegation. Also, 70 per cent of a shirt sponsorship with SBOBET has been taken up front to stave off the threat of administration.

Gold claims the club needed to raise £20m by the end of the month, which would have meant the sale of Scott Parker and Matthew Upson and either Rob Green or Carlton Cole.

Some of deals that have heaped such a heavy financial burden on the club left the new owners barely able to catch their breath.

In summer 2007, Arsene Wenger was willing to off-load Freddie Ljungberg for £1.5m The player is believed to asked for £50,000 a week. In the end, they paid Arsenal £3m and gave the Swede near to £80,000 a week.

A year later, they realised he was not up to Premier League pace any more, and they paid up his £6m contract. Players such as Kieron Dyer, Craig Bellamy, Lucas Neill and Scott Parker joined on wages which were way out of West Ham's league.

Sullivan was staggered to discover technical director Gianluca Nani was being paid £300,000 a year while two full-time club doctors earned a combined salary of £400,000.

Sullivan's view is that if the pyhsios need any help then players will be sent to a specialist. The doctors will go and so will Nani.

Nani's track record in recruiting players has, for the most part, been disastrous.

Last January, he lured German Under-21 international Savio Nsereko to England for a fee touted at £9m.

The player wasn't up to it and has slipped back to Italy for next to nothing.

Sullivan's verdict on the squad is damning. He said: "We have an unbelievably unbalanced team. It doesn't take a genius to see we have more midfielders than we know what do with."

On the coaching front, Sullivan is astonished that, given the club's plight, it still opted to hand Gianfranco Zola a new deal so soon into his managerial career on a salary of £1.9m. Assistant, Steve Clarke is on £1.2m, thought to be double the salary of Manchester United's No 2, Mike Phelan.

Sullivan will also wonder why several new company cars were recently acquired, including an Aston Martin on a £1,500 a month lease.

Having brought Birmingham from the brink, Sullivan has a proven track record of putting football clubs back on track, even if it is painful.

As it stands the plan is simple. Sullivan said: "The short term situation is survival. The long term situation is our dreams."

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Crystal Palace in administration ? Moses will be going 'somewhere' then.

By the way, I listened to David Gold on Talksport last night with Mark Saggers and Alvin Martin.

He said that West Ham would change their name to West Ham Olympic "over my dead body" !

He will not have to make this sacrifice. The International Olympic Committee pointed out yesterday that "Olympic" is now a trademarked name and West Ham will not be allowed to include it in their new name. Not a good start for Karren Brady who clearly has not done her homework.

Sky Sports is reporting that Benni McCarthy's representative is claiming that Blackburn and West Ham have agreed a fee for the South African striker.

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Guest Gary Loughran

The greatest achievement to date of the new regime has been to force the 'resignation' of Duxbury, the incompetent, of Green Street. The criminal Brown regime gave Duxbury a golden handcuffs deal (2 years notice paid in full - thus ensuring we couldn't get rid of him in our time of direst need whilst he still gave himself £.5 million a year) to ensure he could continue the cretinous, villanous, greed inspired rape of West Ham Brown had set in motion.

Perhaps the last straw was Duxbury's failure to get a contract signed with Gudjohnsen subject to passing a medical PRIOR to the actual medical. The fact he then signed for the locust (Portsmouth watch out!!)Redknapp at Spurs is par for the course for Scott 'No more players will go to Spurs' Duxbury. (Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and West Ham have all went bankrupt shortly after Redknapp's tenure - Spurs have spent more than nearly any other club in the Premiership since Redknapp took over - Spurs fans beware) - Maybe if he had learned to read contracts, and not admit culpability in advance of legal rulings we would not have paid the FA £6 million and be in hock to the tune of £25 million with Sheffield United.

To think of Duxbury as merely incompetent is to completely misunderstood what has happened at West Ham and this thief's part in it.

Yes the Icelandic Abbott and Costello made mistakes, were flagrant with money - but they did try to make the club better. They did not try to line their pockets.

Next on the agenda - Getting rid of, Nani (the Italian Redknapp) the man who bought from his Father in law in Brescia the one and only Savio Neserko and between himself and Duxbury allowed him to move at a loss, including bringing in Da Costa, who, by all accounts, neither Zola or Clarke rate. Jiminez was an expensive abject failure, despite his gorgeous wife (sorry for losing track, I suspect Jiminez brings his missus to negotiations, hence clubs keep signing him despite the fact he is crap).

I know I've banged on about this for years and apologise for venting again.

Ultimately it's an acknowlegement that the new regime have done something good.

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