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Mystery of West Ham John Lyall gates resolved

brownThe mystery of what happened to the remaining West Ham John Lyall gates has finally been resolved. The three remaining gates which were put up for auction last year through Hilco with a live auction and webcast at the Boleyn Ground in June was purchased by former West Ham chairman Terry Brown.

Three of the famous gates were relocated to the new club shop outside the London Stadium but the club claimed there was no room for the remaining three gates.

Bids were invited for the pair of John Lyall gates started at £5,000 with the additional gate accepting bids starting at £2,500. We have been told  by the auction house that the gates failed to make their reserve prices but a private bid  by Brown was accepted by the club which was in excess of the reserve price in the action.

Brown made over £33m from the sale of his 7 million plus shares in West Ham to the Icelandic consortium in 2006 after 15 years in charge as chairman which included the fated Bond scheme. In his final full season as chairman he received over £1m comprising his salary, bonus, benefits in kind and pension payments.

The former West Ham chairman later launched a legal battle for damages of more than £5 million in 2008 claiming he was sacked without notice and sought damages for the loss of his £492,000 yearly salary and chauffeur. He also sought recompense for  his loss of pension contributions, as well as the use of eight seats in the directors’ box and car parking for the rest of his life. West Ham later settled out of court with Brown and he is instated as honorary life president.

In August 2010, it was announced that Brown had acquired a small amount of shares (3.8%) from West Ham United’s holding company in conjunction with John Harris CBE and his son Daniel. Combined, their initial investment was £4,000,000. 


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West Ham squad arrive home

Home1The West Ham squad are arriving home this evening from their five day warm weather training in Dubai.  Many of the squad boarded a Emirates flight in business class earlier today for the seven hour flight back to London and others will follow on.

ClaretandHugh have been told that the West Ham squad are on a number of different flights so their arrival home will be staggered back to London this evening.

The squad have been given the morning off  tomorrow morning to recover from any jet lag but will be back in training tomorrow afternoon at Rush Green as they prepare for their away game against Watford on Saturday evening.

Hopefully they have recharged their batteries for an attempt to push further up the Premier League table in the remaining thirteen games. West Ham are in tenth spot on 32 points which is the same points as Stoke City but three goal difference worst off. West Brom are in eighth spot five points ahead of the Hammers with Everton on seventh on 41 points. Manchester United on 48 points in sixth place will be a step too far this season but a ninth or seventh place would do nicely.

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Hammers aim to tie up key player this summer

antonio2212_726West Ham have tonight cleared finally cleared up season-long speculation that Chelsea may be ready to move for Michail Antonio in the summer.

And ClaretandHugh was told the leading Hammer of the Year candidate is set to be offered a new summer deal which “will reflect the value we have of him as a player.”

New rumours arose today that a possible swap deal may be on the cards with Michy Batshuayi arriving in a swap deal involving Antonio.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is a known admirer of the Hammers wide man and has been regularly linked with a possible move for him.

But we were told this evening by a key London Stadium insider: “There has been no bid or inquiry at any stage and the boy is under contract until 2020 anyway.

“He is absolutely key to the squad and is set to be offered a new deal in the summer. He has done brilliantly for us and we will offer him a contract which will reflect the value we have of him as a player.”





Mayor struggling with London Stadium investigation

30khan2302cThe London Mayor, Sadiq Khan is struggling to find an auditing company to take on the independent review of the London Stadium transformation over-spend and spiraling running costs.

He announced his inquiry on 1st November last year but many companies have reportedly ruled themselves out through conflict of interest as they were involved in the former Olympic Stadium project at some point in the last seven years. 

BorisThe Mayor’s  team has approached several independent auditing companies to invite them to bid to carry out an investigation over a £50m over spend, as well as major practical problems with its operation. The companies invited to bid have been asked to demonstrate how they would provide an expert analysis of:

 · The history of the London Stadium including all relevant construction, financial and operational arrangements, with a particular focus on the stadium’s conversion into a multi-use arena and the subsequent negotiations and arrangements.

Coe · The key decision points and contractual commitments that were made. That includes the financial and operational projections that informed the investment of public money into transformation works, and who was responsible for them.

 · Whether the work leading to the decisions and commitments made was sufficiently robust and subject to appropriate levels of due diligence and negotiation to ensure that value for money was achieved for the taxpayer.

120416 LOCOG Aerials_037 · The stadium’s financial viability in terms of its ongoing and future operating costs, and the income of the current working arrangements.

If they do manage to finally find a company they will also be asked to produce a report for publication that identifies any lessons that can be learnt. Their report will be expected to cover three distinct phases in the history of the London Stadium, which include:

 london-stadium-fans·  The Olympic bodies’ original decision making in determining the design and nature of the Stadium built for the Games and what thought was given to how the Stadium would be used post-Games.

 ·  The decision making in the tendering for and delivery of the Stadium transformation in light of the original design and its legacy objectives.

 . Decisions relating to the current operational arrangements for the Stadium.


‘Noble Factor’ set to raise its head

slaven-bilic-and-mark-nobleWith Sam Byram being reported fit for action this weekend Slaven Bilic has an interesting selection issue at Watford.

For should  the right back return to  the team at Vicarage Road that will release Cheik Kouyate to move into the midfield position he prefers and the one in which he is clearly more effective.

And that will again create a ‘Noble Factor’ which has been on the cards all season without – for various reasons – it ever coming to a head.

There is now little question that a Kouyate/Obiang midfield partnership is seen as the Irons’ best option but with Afcon intervening and the Byram injury problems an issue, we have yet to see it bed down.

The Vicarage Road clash may be the first opportunity for it to happen and that will put big pressure on the captain who has hardly enjoyed one of his most impressive seasons.

Byram’s form can of course be another issue but should he show that he is indeed the answer to the right back situation Noble’s role in the team could become interesting to put it mildly particularly with record signing Andree Ayew ready to return.

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Boleyn Developers warned of risk of unexploded ordnance

keepout_UXOA report commissioned by developers Barratt London has revealed a medium to high risk of unexploded ordnance underneath the Boleyn Ground stadium and surrounding lands once used by West Ham.

The ground investigation report by RSA Geotechnics was submitted as part of planning documentation to Newham to again permission to build 842 flats on the site of West Ham’s former home.

Bomb1The report says: A review of the historical maps as part of the desk study indicated that the northern part of the site had been subject to bomb damage, as four ruins were located within this area of the site.’

In addition to the above, historical information for the Boleyn Football Ground published on the West Ham United Football Club webpage indicated that in
August 1944 a German V-1 Flying Bomb landed on the south western corner of the
football pitch, which caused severe damage to the ground, but also resulted in a fire
that gutted the Club’s offices.

bomb2Based on this information a risk of unexploded ordnance (UXO) was identified and a Preliminary UXO Risk Assessment was undertaken for the site by MACC International Limited. The risk assessment identified a credible UXO threat. The historical information reviewed as part of the preliminary assessment indicated
that six high explosive (HE) bombs landed within the site boundary, with a further
two landing on Castle Street just south of the site, and a third landing just north of
the northern site boundary. The site was also noted to be within an Incendiary
Bomb Strike Footprint. The risk level was considered medium to high risk for works to be undertaken in un-worked post war ground.’

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Kouyate shows off his dancing moves

Team mates Jonathan Callerri and Diafra Sakho were happy to post video of their mate Cheikhou Kouyate dancing in a restaurant in Dubai. The team went out on Saturday night in UAE as part of their team bonding during their five day warm weather training. The squad are due to return back to the UK today.

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Video: Sakho’s sea run shows big progress

Diafra Sakho has posted a video giving the clearest indication yet that he is recovering well from the back injury has that has made him a regular absentee from Hammers action.

The Hammers striker is expected to be back in mid March and Sakho posted the video showing him running in the sea alongside the club’s physio.

The West Ham squad are due back later today from the warm weather  training in Dubai which appears to have done Sakho in particular much good .


A post shared by Diafra Sakho (@iamdiafrasakho) on

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Reid happy as Hammers toughen up

Winston-Reid-714445Winston Reid knows the Hammers are getting better and better.

The are no longer a team that falls apart when the going gets tough and but one that is improving with every outing.

And assessing the progress, Reid said: “In the last game we played against West Brom, even though we were 1-0 behind, we were the better team throughout the game, whereas we might have crumbled a couple of months ago.”

“We didn’t get the win in the end but over the 90 minutes that was probably our best performance of the season.

“It’s obviously a bit different when you go away from home because you know that, at some stages of the game, you’re going to be under pressure, but we’re improving which is good.”

“I think getting a couple of new players in has freshened things up and everyone is on the same page,” he explained.

He refuses to analyse the Payet affair saying: “I don’t want to pinpoint the whole situation on Dimi, because I think that would be unfair.

“He had his own issue which he had to deal with in his own way, which he did, and we’re past that now. He’s happy and we’re happy as well, so we’ll just move forward and do our best.

“It’s been good. Obviously it takes time to build up an understanding but it’s improving with every game. Jose and Snoddy have fitted into the group really well, and that’s also important, that we’ve signed not only good footballers, but good people as well who fit within the group.”


Mark Noble is not dirty

mark-noble-ander-herreraJim Daly of the Daily Mirror has ranked West Ham’s Mark Noble as one of the dirtiest players in the Premier League. Mr Daly included Nobes in a top ten of players rival fans love to hate suggesting our captain was hated by rival fans.

Daily wrote: “The nastiest type of midfielder possible masked under an East End cheeky-chappie facade. West Ham fans understandably love the little terrier and it’s not hard to see why; local lad who grew up two miles away from Upton Park who has notched up 400 games for the club but to fans of any other club he’s a dirty enforcer who will not only leave his foot in, he’ll take it off, wrap it up and send it in the post to you.”

The truth is Robert Snodgrass is the West Ham player with the most fouls, his thirty seven fouls put him in fourteenth place in the league table this season followed by Cheik Kouyate with twenty seven, Michail Antonio  and Winston Reid both have twenty five each. The Premier League statistics table lists Mark Noble way down in 71st place with twenty four fouls this season. Manchester Paul Pogba tops the table with fifty three fouls.  Our Mark Noble dirty?  I don’t think so Mr Daly!