Thursday 8 June 2023

Hats off to the two Davids!

In the 13 years that David Gold and David Sullivan have owned West ham it has rarely been fashionable to praise their role in the club. 

Their relationship hit rock bottom with fan protests after the move from Upton Park to the London Stadium as the team struggled to perform at their new home.

But the Davids stuck to their guns, following a conservative path, refusing to drop managers until they had been given a fair chance and rarely splashing silly money in the often crazy transfer market.

Right at the beginning they promised affordable football in a grand stadium with a team competing at the top table. 

No doubt they might have managed their PR a bit better at times but there can be no doubting that they have delivered on those early ambitious targets!

With season tickets starting at just over 300 quid, a decent ticket transfer system, a stadium that is super-accessible, comfortable and pleasant to visit, a team that we not only love but feel proud of and that has a solid connection with our academy system, a youth team that is winning league and cup doubles, and now our senior team winners of one of Europe's three competitions. 

Oh, and that academy has produced one of the most sought after players on the planet right now - Declan Rice is a gifted midfielder but his worth is surely doubled by his impressive character - one of the best ever role models in English football? 

Hats of to the Davids - no doubt some cynics will say that all this happened despite rather than because of how the club is run but that's just simply not a realistic analysis. In reality, D&G  have been dedicated, patient and determined. 

I met David Gold in the club bar at Southend United at a pre-season friendly back at the beginning. He was a warm and charming gentleman who was generous with his time and bought us a drink. It was hard not to be impressed by the man and his genuine love for the club.

Wind forward to 2023 and for me the one great sadness in all the joy of the Prague adventure was that Mr Gold didn't get to witness his dream being delivered. 

Yes, we will have times when we aren't best pleased with goings on at the club but would anybody prefer to have the directorship arrangements at Man Utd, Liverpool or Spurs?

Rest in Peace Mr Gold and I truly hope that you witnessed this past 24 hours in some celestial way.