Gold missed a good opportunity to shut up

David Gold – this is what a victim looks like

Feel my blood enraged
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
With gasoline

David Bowie – Cat People

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.

David Gold’s cabbie (by @Stanwhu1)

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.

Eight reasons you might wish to protest

Three and sleazy – Sullivan, Gold and Brady

ON Saturday West Ham supporters will be gathering outside the London Stadium before the game against Everton to protest against the board. (For more details go to KUMB). Here are our top eight reasons why we feel the trio of David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady have failed the club.

Without supporters a club is nothing
The unholy trinity don’t appear to understand their money doesn’t buy ownership of West Ham United FC. They merely rent it for future generations. The owners of any football club are always the fans – memories, friendship, community, hopes, fears and dreams are not to be sold to the nearest bidder. The club tone is relentlessly hostile and the only people with whom they have anything like dialogue are the hated OSB – who are best seen as a focus group of unpleasantry and of use only for Brady to extort more money from fans.

Sullivan and Gold did not “save“ the club
For all the narrative about the money “put in” to the club, the reality is they have not spent a penny of their own cash. All finance wrongly attributed to them has been high-interest bearing loans. Sullivan and Gold have earned £16.8million over the last two years alone in above-industry standard interest from the club. Even if the club was in a rocky situation 10 years ago, that free pass they award themselves is not indefinite. Promises are seldom realistic, never mind kept – Brady’s “A world class stadium for a word class team” a classic of the genre.

The reputation of the club has been dismembered
Whether it is Sullivan’s behaviour towards other clubs in the transfer market, Brady’s loathed column in The Sun newspaper or the leaking of news via favoured websites the club are seen in the industry as a bad joke. Many other sides have a policy of refusing to deal with us. The tone in communication with supporters is most often condescending and lacking empathy.

The sale of Upton Park was for the benefit of David Sullivan’s bank balance, not the fans or club
Quite apart from the mystery of why the ground was sold to a holding company only to be immediately sold on again at nearly 100 per cent profit, the London Stadium is not fit for purpose as a football ground. There is no Family Enclosure, no singing area and little character – all thrown away because of the desire to sell tickets during a badly botched migration. The gaps between stands remain as a metaphor for the gulf between promise and delivery. The blowing up of a stand in a scene from a Sullivan-produced straight-to-DVD film could not be more symbolic.

The club infrastructure is a mess
As well as a dysfunctional stadium the training ground and Academy are a disgrace to a so-called Premier League club. Most Championship clubs would be embarrassed by the facilities at Rush Green – yet the two Daves barely let up telling us how much “they” spent. Far from the force it once was, the Academy is little more than a retirement home for former players short of a bob or two. Most of the good coaches have left and there is little in the way of basic communication never mind auditing and assessing the progress of individuals.

The appointment of staff is haphazard and without focus
There has never been a bona fide Director of Football nor recruitment manager with Sullivan jumping in and out of those roles according to who is asking the question. There is virtually no scouting system, with agents being employed at great expense instead. Of the five managers appointed during their tenure, only two (Sam Allardyce and David Moyes) have left the club in a better league position than when they started.

Transfer policy is unco-ordinated
Old and injury-prone players are routinely bought and over the top players given unwarranted contract extensions. Certain positions are all but neglected while there is a ridiculous obsession with strikers and attacking midfielders. There is little due diligence on background and no effort to incorporate players into any recognisable playing style or line-up. Players are seldom sold for full value and often as a means to mitigate a long-running cashflow crisis.

Most of all, on-pitch the club have failed
The three amigos have been at the club for almost exactly a decade. The money flooding into the club means they are currently the 18th richest in the world. On arrival the club was languishing near the bottom of the Premier League with a squad full of dead wood. Yet here we are 10 years later in exactly the same position.

Is it any wonder fans have had enough?

Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

Titles close

Scene: On the 276 bus to Stratford

Gordon Ramsey: I’m off to the east End of London, famous for gangsters, murderers and jellied eels. Today’s subject is “Club Jambon D’Ouest Uni”, a restaurant in West Ham’s ground where the owners are in a pickle. Since moving premises three years ago in an effort to grow the brand, customers are unhappy and many have left yet the standard on offer has dropped. Profits are down after a number of expensive ingredients turned out to be not worth the money.

GR: I’m due to meet owner David Sullivan.

Scene: On the centre spot at the London Stadium. GR and David Sullivan talk. Gordon holds his chin

GR: Hi David, what’s going wrong?
David Sullivan: I don’t know Gordon, I work my socks off – but everybody else keeps letting me down. I appoint all the chefs – but it can’t be my fault because I’m the man with the money.

Scene: In the restaurant. Gordon orders some food and casts his eye around. To camera:

GR: Wow! This is the oddest place I’ve seen. Décor soulless, no atmosphere. The seats are miles from the kitchen and somebody appears to have spilled red wine all over the new carpet. The tables have popcorn on them as a starter, the scaffolding decoration looks out of place and why are there no cups? Fuck me!

The food arrives and Gordon picks it about a bit before sending it back.

GR: My God! This is terrible. I need the toilet, excuse me.

Retching noises come from within.

Scene: In the kitchen. Chef Manuel Pellegrini stands in front of the microwave looking guilty

GR: Hi! Gordon Ramsay. You are the head chef?
Manuel pellegrini: Si.
GR: Do you think that was sufficient quality to get your customers to return?
MP: Si. We have a big kitchen mentality here.
GR: No pride, no passion, no preparation – you’re living on another fucking planet mate!
MP: I worked at the top restaurants in Madrid and Manchester, please don’t be rude.
GR: Rude?! Fuck off! Your Lasagne Al Fornals was underprepared – almost raw, the Cress was limp and the Wilshere Jack cheese just fell apart every time I tried to get it on my fork. The Pâté de Foie (Snod)gras with Scotch was ok but the only dish with any promise was the Rice.

GR: Mate, I was looking forward to a vintage Chilean red but all I’ve seen so far is cheap fizzy water.
MP: We are not in a good moment, I need another wingman.
GR: Fuck off! The only reason you’re here is to make a quick buck before you retire! You don’t care.

Scene: In the boardroom. Ramsay eyes the prawn sandwiches nervously. David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady look unrealistically confident.

DS: How was the food?
GR: Seriously? It was fucking awful! The French beefcake was all alone on the plate with nothing else – I was expecting some Gravy Diangana but the kitchen tell me they’ve will have to go to Birmingham to get any.
GR: As for the Spanish guaca-goalie, it was bright green and rancid – I expected something Fab but it absolutely stank the place out.

A bad smell – the guaca-goalie

GR: And your Brazilian dish couldn’t have been worse if somebody had boiled a sandal – a complete fucking Felipé flop!
GR: All your food is Fancy Dan – you need some meat and potatoes – good honest stuff that does a job.
Ramsay turns to Gold
GR: What about you Mr Gold, what do you do?
David Gold: I was born in Green St.
GR: What!?
DG: Yes, it’s true. And I used to play for the boys and now I drive a Rolls Royce and wear a blazer.
GR: Are you fucking serious?
DG: Oh deadly serious, Mr Ramsay, do you want to see my garden?
GR: Fucking hell, I’ve never met anybody so deluded in all my life!

Ramsay gives up on Gold – especially as he thinks he may need the toilet – and introduces himself to Brady.
GR: Hi, Lady Brady, pleased to meet you. What is your role in the process?
Karren Brady: I’m all about raising the profile of the place…
GB: Raising the profile? How?
KB: With my weekly piece in the paper and regular appearances on The Apprentice.
GR: Yeah, but what do you do for the customers?
KR: I’m the Vice Chair – and let me tell you, a good restaurant doesn’t need customers to be successful. No, I run a club called the Objectionable Supine Bootlickers, the OSB for short – and they tell me everything I want to hear. Sometimes we even offer them a few crumbs from the top table.
GR: So who gets feedback from the diners?
DS (interrupting): Oh, we don’t talk to them, why would anybody do that?
GR: Fuck me ragged, this place is a total shitshow and you lot are fucking amateurs. I can’t help you.

GR: I’m off!

Closing credits