Despite a dreadful defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham are on the up as they sail through their last season at Upton Park. Th e Hammers have signed the majestic Dimitri Payet and managed to attract the impressive Manuel Lanzini and Alex Song on loan deals leading to strong team selection options.
The club is enjoying a period of relative economic stability and smart business decisions — most of which are being done at the urging of vice-chairman Karren Brady. Brady has been dedicated to improving life in claret and blue since her arrival at the club in 2010, however, she has not been without her critics.
They claim she enjoys the media spotlight a little too much and does not seem to value the club’s history. She was blasted over her suggestion the club could be renamed West Ham Olympic. Of course, the fact she takes home more than £600,000 per year. doesn’t help. She also apparently received a bonus of more than £1million when the club won the race to be anchor tenants at the Olympic Stadium. Th e question is though are we taking Brady and her hard work for granted?
Lady Brady is an extremely intelligent business woman who has done incredibly well to stabilise West Ham United to a point where they can attract a high calibre of player and then actually afford to pay them for their services. She was undeniably crucial in West Ham securing the Olympic Stadium and it can and should be argued that fans should be grateful for the opportunities she has created.
Karren has done well to work towards a stronger financial future at the club, and she’s dealt well with all the twists and turns along the way. Th e deal with shirt sponsor Betway came from an occasion in which she made gourmet lemonade from really rather unwanted lemons.
Previous shirt sponsors Alpari had to abruptly pull out of their deal aft er fi ling for insolvency, and instead of ironing some fetching white patches over the old sponsor, Brady managed to broker a record-breaking deal with Betway that doubled what Alpari had paid for the shirts. Her keen business sense has led to good fi nancial news in other areas of the business too.
As of the end of the 2014-15 season, West Ham reported a turnover of £120.7m, a record for us, and finished the year with a £8.5m operating profit. Brady’s website states that, since her arrival, West Ham have become one of the five fastest-growing brands in world football, and top-quality players are willing to come to East London as a result of this strong brand-building. It’s not bad for five years work.
It should all be smooth sailing for Lady Brady, but even though she’s worked hard to endear herself to fans, it doesn’t feel like fans are united behind the hard work she’s doing. Aft er she commented on a failed task performed on the Apprentice by tweeting ‘ £9 for a salad!’ she was relentlessly trolled on Twitter by her own fans reminding her of her own mistake.
Brady hasn’t always got everything right, but she is working tirelessly to keep West Ham in both good league and good financial standings. We owe Karren a thank you, or at least a peace offering of sorts, for what she’s brought to the club. She’s a valuable asset, a strong champion for West Ham’s finances and brand awareness, and as long as she keeps delivering, we should all be grateful she’s on our team.