The Chairman Needs to Speak to Us

The weekend papers carried all sorts of lurid rumours about the likely fate of West Ham now that its chairman’s fortune has been devastated by the credit crunch. Much of it was probably ill informed speculation, but it is nevertheless very unsettling for all who have the club’s interests at heart.

I have no inside information about what is going on, but I do know – as someone who has a background in media relations – that the lack of any firm statement from the chairman will be seen by journalists as an indication that he is looking to sell. We’re told on C’Mon U Irons that he would rather sell any of his other assets that sell West Ham, but there are no quotes at all.

So let’s stop the speculation, let’s have some facts. We deserve no less.


29 Responses to The Chairman Needs to Speak to Us

  1. Perth Hammer says:

    Even if he should come out with a quotable statement, why should we believe him, Iain? Unless, of course, he says he will sell. Anything else could still be a mask to hide his decision to sell and to keep the price up.

    I’m afraid that what we have here is an owner, hit in his pride and his pocket, prepared to hang on as long as possible, all the while digging the club ever further into the mire. My bet is that he’ll hang on long enough to sell the big players in January, then sell the club.

  2. muddy says:

    I would imagine BG will want to be careful about what he says next as appearing to be desperate to sell will weaken his negotiating stance when it comes to the price. With the Sheffield United compensation claim hanging around as an unknown its even more difficult.

    In the past this board have kept their silence until they have something to say and usually their statements are well thought through.

    As a season ticket holder myself I am keen to know how things will work out, but I would rather hear the right things from the board than bluster to appease the media.

  3. Joe says:

    And you never speculate Iain?

  4. colney says:

    there is a part of me that says how many times do these directors have to repeat themselves? or is it we just simply dont trust there first statements?

    weird how we love the club but cant seem to love the owners? only villa seem to have got this one right so far.or is there another takeover club that has the full suport of there suporters?

  5. jimwhu says:

    ian ithought the writing was on the wall i remember you mentioned in one article you thought we might get bought out again bg and is little mob had no real expierence in runnig aclub like ours it would now just begreat to see the back of bg and get someone in with some proper dough what my biggest worry is the word administration

  6. Bedd Gelert says:

    Maybe West Ham United could be NATIONALISED !! Yay !!

  7. basildon hammer says:

    As Sheffield United claim we owe the 50 m in compo why dont we give them the club that way the poor misguided northerners get a better team with a better stadium in a better location plus better support and they can sell their stadium to Netto as they are poor up North.
    Also there will only be one team in Sheffield that being Wednesday

    I do like the other guys comment lets get Nationalised.

  8. DaDon says:

    My understanding is that the club’s been unofficially up for sale since the end of the summer. I suspect that they can’t say much at the moment as it might infringe the rules as regards takeovers, and in any case, any potential purchasers may want to keep this whole thing private until the transaction is complete. Look, for example, at the recent acquisition of Man City – that appeared to happen overnight but I bet it had been in the offing from the moment Shinawatra’s assets were frozen.

    I have to say I’m not overly concerned, the club is in good shape with decent cash flow and a large supporter base. Right now it’s better to owe money than be owed and as long as the club can service its debt (which we are led to believe it can) then we don’t need to worry. Even if there’s no transfer budget, we have enough good players to be OK and some great kids coming through.

    The trouble is that more the press speculate and predict the club’s demise, the more chance there is of it spilling into our performances on the pitch. So in that regard, they need to make a statement.

  9. Sam H says:

    Hi Iain, I agree that we need to hear something from BG.

    All we have been told so far is that he is a very wealthy man, and has his finger in many pies so to speak. Take from that what we will eh?!!

    I have sent you an email btw….did you get it?


  10. brooking still the best says:

    Just our luck, to be taken over by the only skint billionaire in history!

    I for one wont be to disapointed if the club is sold. For all the big promises when they took over, none of it happened. New players, new stadium, the end of us being a selling club. Yeah, I am still sure they have made more then they have spent since taking over, not any other club in the premiership can say that. So much for not taking money out of the club.

    Lets get an owner who makes good on the promise he wants the club to be a top six team and not one that just pays it lip service to appease the fans. An owner who wont employ weezels like Scot Duxbury and the like

  11. kevin mousley says:

    well put yourself in his shoes. If he is a busted flush coming out and saying so will hammer the price he could expect to get for the club and, if you come out and say, as he did last week, that there’s nothing to worry about, no one will believe him. I just think we sit tight, hope and take the speculation with a pinch of salt. I believe that west ham are a fundamentally sound proposition for money that’s serious about wanting to get invovled with the Premier League. Good brand, ( hate that word but needs must) sound fan base, reasonably wealthy fan base, London based ( I say this as a resident of Manchester!) strong youth system.

  12. Rob Marrs says:

    If I was him, I’d keep my cards close to my chest. It is clear, from media reports, that he is in a difficult place financially. If he comes out saying he wants a quick sale, it may mean that West Ham are sold off on the cheap.

    Not good for him, not necessarily good for West Ham in the long run.


  13. chris says:

    BG has to sell,hes got no choice,vultures are circling waiting for the situation to get desparate,but who will make the first offer for our club,officals say that we dont need to sell and that there are offers on the table thats because they dont want to sell for peanuts,but how long can BG hold out for? could this be a blessing in disguise 6th richest man coming in for us!!! sounds great just like man city, buy anyone we want, loads of money!!!!! but really do we want this,what has happened to football? if everyone is owned by billionares the prices of players will just go up and up with average players worth 10million and more,its just not the working mans game anymore…….ANYONE FOR TENNIS!!!!!

  14. Goatygav says:

    BG will do everything possible to appear as in control and will do everything he can to avoid being viewed as desperate to sell. He’s negotiating from a position of weakness and will give away as little information as he can. I don’t expect any news to come out of the club until a deal has been done.

    He will sell – I don’t think he’s going to have a choice. I just hope he does the best for the club and sells to someone who can help us develop in a stable and sustainable way.

  15. Scalyback says:

    I think that silence is about all that can be expected, assuming that the club is up for sale. The trouble is, why would some mega rich guy buy the club unless he is a supporter? Only to make money so whoever owns the club will be likely to milk it.

    The best thing that could happen as far as I am concerned is that BG sells the club to the Indian whose name escapes me, (unless a megarich hammers fan is available) and Duxbury gets the heave ho. At least then we will not have a Chairman or a CEO who we know cannot be trusted.

    West Ham needs to get out of the newspapers unless for the right reasons, fight the Mccabe claim and get back to being a football club.

    There is more than enough depressing news around without our beloved Hammers adding to it.

  16. Paul Nixon says:

    Iain: I agree. I’m fed up with fans and papers speculating on whether the club is for sale or not. You can only believe what you hear from the club. If that’s the case the club isn’t for sale and BG is not going to allow the club to faulter.

    I think we need to focus on the pitch, push the rest to the background and give the team a pat on the back – they’re 7th in the league right now, and could do with our support to try to climb up even higher. I would really like their results and table standing to get more media attention, but everyone is just fixated on the financial aspect of the hammers. Too bad: we’re actually doing quite well where it counts…will that last if we allow disaffection to hit home in the changing room?


  17. Upton Spark says:

    Nothing surprises me any more at West Ham as I have been supporting them for over 40 years!
    I feel let down after being given information a couple of years back about West Ham going into the Champions Legue in the next 3 years(some hopes)and that we would be bringing in some quality players to build for the future.
    The reality is that we are a laughing stock with most people we speak to,and the bl00dy Carlos Teves affair just won’t go away which really grates as far as I am concerned.
    My son and I are season ticket holders and like so many others give our time and money to the club but get little in return. We are now told that we may go into receivership and we may then be deducted points which could relegate us.
    Sheff Utd won’t give up either till they bleed us dry,and others are jumping on the old bandwagon and turning the knife.

  18. Hammers & Zvezda says:

    When people ‘go silent’ it often means they’re in deep shit….sadly, I fear the same this time! The EPL has been living beyond it’s means far too long and we could be the first club to feel the consequences. Bossman, free trade, inflated prices and greed do not create fair markets but eventually disruptive conditions…Blatter and Johansen created this mess and just like the ‘credit crunch’ they are no worse off but the poor fans, lovers of football and clubs with hearst as big as West Ham’s are made to suffer. Privatising the profits and socialising the losses is just unfair!

  19. The Headmaster says:

    The whole premise of Iain’s original post presupposes that the current board actually gives a toss about the opinions of us, the supporters. Virtually everything they have done over the past 21 months leads me to thge conclusion that the very last thing they will be considering just now is the ‘unsettling’ effect of all of the speculation or indeed what we actually ‘deserve’.
    Iain, old son, you just gotta stand in line like the rest of us and feed off the scraps we’re thrown!

  20. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson says:

    Any offers?

  21. Plaistow54 says:

    Yes Iain, it’s a bit of a poker game at the moment isn’t it. As was said previously, Gudmundsson probably doesn’t have the hand to stay in the game & is sitting back waiting to see how it progresses. The financial situation is changing almost daily. It would be great to hear something but it is unlikely, & everyone is watching trying to predict the outcome. So many problems & so few answers except hope that the club is sold to someone who has the financial backup to invest in the clubs long term future. Maybe people are waiting for a change of government in the U.S. & for things to stabilize. Again, as was said, all we can do as fans, & the players also, is be committed to the club & game. We have highly experienced leaders in Zola & Clarke, they know what it takes, & we have a good squad with heart. If we keep playing the brand of football that we are known for, i still think that in a couple of years when all this is a memory, we will be thinking about our next game in Europe. Forever the optimist.

  22. Goatygav says:

    Well said H & Z. It’s the real fans who suffer &, quite frankly, are the ones funding the ridiculous fees paid to agents and players. I don’t think we will go under however. We’re too attractive a prospect for that to happen. Even if we were to go into receivership we could easily be sold as a going concern.

    Compared to Leeds and what they went through we’re in much better shape financially. As a club we’ve been run prudently, much to the dismay of many fans, and the wage bill has been brought under further control this summer. Ironically it might be the sale of Zamorra, Pantsil, Ferdinand and McCartney that ends up saving us from going in to liquidation and the points deductions that would follow.

  23. Statements and comments are produced to give impressions. To try to get people to think something is going on or not going on within an organization.

    Considering the recent history of club-/owner-/Dux- statements, I don’t feel any need for another.

    We will not be told anything that might jeopardize an ongoing or future deal and I think the truth may just do that.

    As I said in one of my posts: In times of turmoil – trust no one!

  24. E1 says:

    We as a club are in a very good position, finacially we are worth 100 mill we have a total dept said to be 25 mill in comparision to the likes of portsmouth,wigan newcastle and even liverpool we are in a much stronger position pompey are worth around 50mill with adept of 31mill, wigan are worth 40 mill with a dept of 51 mill !!newcastle are worth a 150 to 200 mill with a dept of 95 mill can’t see why their price is so high can’t see them being worth much more than us ? and liverpool are worth 450 mill with a dept of 350 mill. so by selling players when we did and further reduction in squad size and a restructure of the wages we are far better off than most. the likes of hull, stoke,
    west brom, are only increasing dept to try and stay in the prem league and spurs must be very worried and for me are the most likley to do a leeds. as far as clubs in a better position than us there is only Arsenal man u and city and of course chelsea but he has just lost 11 billion !!! villa may be very simular to us , so all in all we as a club are a good prospect and a club who may not compete at the highest level (champions league) but who will be able to survive in the premiership and be more succsesful in domestic compations. The club will tell us what it’s plans are when it is the right time to do so and they have everything in place. Don’t panic we will not be amonst the first to go. My money is on spurs and sunderland.

  25. chris says:

    In times of turmoil sign a has been!!! tristan we have got to be joking!!! he was finished 3 seasons ago,legs have gone!!!what are we doing.

  26. hammeredcalv says:

    we have just signed Dieago Tristan ! on official web site !

  27. Goatygav says:

    Diego Tristan eh? – could be an awesome signing.

  28. Van Der Elst says:

    16/10/08 – Iain Dale needs to speak to us too.

  29. liam says:

    Ian the person who needs to speak to us is you! your blogs are becoming more inconsistent.

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