West Ham co-owner David Gold has been looking back on 10 years of being in the chairman’s seat in East London and says that taking on the job was a big risk for him and David Sullivan.
Talking to Blowing Bubbles, Gold admitted that if he wasn’t a West Ham fan, he wouldn’t have dreamed of buying into the club in the state it was in.
‘I remember it so vividly, like it was yesterday,’ David Gold told Blowing Bubbles when reminded that next month marks 10 years since he and David Sullivan took over West Ham.
The anniversary date is January 19 and back in 2010 the joint owners set out early objectives of addressing the imbalance of our squad, and tackling the “crazy wages” some players were earning.
At the time David Sullivan pledged to take West Ham into the Champions League with their ‘seven-year plan’, which would involve spending ‘lots of money’ and also moving West Ham from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium.
Sullivan also pledged his support for our then manager Gianfranco Zola by telling the media: ‘We appointed four managers and parted company with two at Birmingham in 16 years. We believe in our managers and give them the time and support they need.’
Move forward 10 years, and we remind David Gold of the promises made, pointing out while they only had four managers during their 16 years at Birmingham, they’ve had six in 10 years at West Ham.
When asked if he could travel back in time what advice would he give the 2010 David Gold, he replied: ‘The first thing I’d say is: “Are you sure?” Not in a million years would I have touched West Ham had it not been for the fact I was a West Ham fan
s from birth.’
‘It came so soon after we left Birmingham as well. The plan was for us to take a year off and visit other clubs before deciding our next move. I’d gone to Charlton, Brighton, I had conversations with Simon Jordan at Palace, and also the then chairman of Southampton.
‘At the time, they were all basket cases and then West Ham became an option and that was the worst out of the lot. But the worst was to come when, having done the deal, every cupboard we opened, another skeleton fell out.
‘Slowly but surely we got to the bottom of things, we cleared out a lot of the deadwood and Karren Brady was relentless in getting us back on our feet – but then we got relegated, which set us back.’