Feel my blood enragedDavid Bowie – Cat People
It’s just the fear of losing you
Don’t you know my name?
And you’ve been so long
I’ve been putting out the fire
ANOTHER day, another chapter in the continued attempts of the West Ham Board to publicly humiliate themselves. This time it is David Gold – who has prostrated himself before the fourth estate with all the self-awareness of Prince Andrew “doing the right thing” by sitting down with Emily Maitlis.
A naked attempt to prime newspapers into accepting a narrative of “West Ham thugs” should so much as a single coin be lobbed during planned protests is the nearest this club comes to strategy. Hardly surprising when their intellectual heft is supplied by Press Officer Ben Campbell, a man who thinks banning journalists from pressers will result in more favourable coverage.
Supporters who thought they may be hard done by having been promised “A world class stadium for a world class team” only to be given a ground unfit for football and a series of relegation battles could not be more wrong. Their gripes were airily brushed aside by Gold with reference to a mythical cabbie with whom he had a half-hour discussion. Leaving aside the suspicion you could only afford half an hour in a black cab if you earn the sort of money David claims he doesn’t, we find out the real victim in all this is… David! Apparently, his granddaughter has read he’s a liar. (You can only think they haven’t had the “pornographer” conversation yet).
David assures us nobody listens to the cabbie and asks “Is he on the television? Is he in the paper? No. All that’s in the paper is the guy that wants to kill me or burn my house down“. Words that are quoted in The Sun, The Mirror, the BBC and… you get the point – even if poor David doesn’t. That West Ham are one of only two in the entire football league who refuse to listen to their fans gets lost somewhere along the line.
As supporters we thought protests were regarding our money being used to stuff the wallets of Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady. However, the reality is it’s David who is “hurt” – even if the pain is not so unbearable he won’t take time off from tilting at a “Barbados” straw man to repeat the lie. Spoiler alert – incoming lie: “I’ve not received a penny in salary or expenses from West Ham in 10 years”, says David, who is unaware the club publish accounts every year that show exactly to what extent he and his built-up shoe-wearing colleague Sullivan rinse the club.
In a fit of naked despair Gold goes on to say he knows what Manchester United Executive Ed Woodward feels like after the latter’s house was attacked by disgruntled supporters throwing flares. We wouldn’t seek to diminish the effect such an attack would have on a person. Not so Gold, as he boasts, “I’ve experienced it four or five times myself” – a claim undermined by his annual invitation for everybody in the entire world to visit his garden – which looks at first glance happily unscathed by pyrotechnics.
Shock, horror! David isn’t the only maligned member of the board – Brady “works her socks off” for the club. An odd expression given her predilection for Christian Louboutin shoes, but he does have a point – she’d have to work pretty bloody hard at the London Stadium to get anything done given the amount of time spent at The Apprentice and writing her highly acclaimed Sun column, never mind roles at Syco, Taveta, as well as covering up for alleged abuser and racist Sir Philip Green not to mention popping in and out of the House of Lords.
As much as Gold claims victimhood, the reality is he and his cohorts have enjoyed 10 years unfettered access to the media to spread their – let’s be kind and call it propaganda, not lies – whereas protesters have enjoyed about four weeks. As ever with entitlement, the privileged few always feel hard done by. Some advice David: Now would be a good time to give us a well-earned rest from your pompous, thoughtless and self-obsessed posturing. You could even sell up – it might give you time to explain to your granddaughter how pornographers exploit the lives of girls who once had hopes and dreams just like hers.