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A new Irons EIGHT point plan



By long time CandH follower Richard Di Bona who has posted this response to the question: “What kind of club do you want if the the current owners sell up?”


I’m not sure I want a “glory hunting” club. Look what befell Leeds going down that path. And the “move to the OS to take things to the next level” is IMHO one of 2 or 3 things at the heart of current woes.


First and foremost: I want owner(s) who will invest in the Academy and proper training facilities. The Academy used to be the pride of the Club, but just doesn’t seem to see that any more. I appreciate that re-investing here will not produce overnight results. But without it, we continue the slide into being yet another increasingly commoditised club.

Second – make the OS feel like home. Whilst GSB might have attempted things in this direction, there are still “tourists” in the home end, etc – it has to be OUR stadium.

Thirdly: A proper and professional set-up. If the owners are footballing people then we may have a grey area similar to what appears to have happened with Sullivan, Sullivan Jr and Brady (and her Sun column) (note: our owners seem to THINK they’re football people). Probably better to have owners, then an advisory board (the likes of Cottee or Brooking or even Noble in a couple of years on this – unless he goes down the coaching route)

Fourthly:  A meaningful plan (and I appreciate here that the Icelandics had one and GSB had their Ten Point Pledge). But one which is followed through on.

Fifthly (and maybe it should be further up the list) – proper acknowledgment of Independent Supporters. This means reinstating credentials for independent West Ham media also (e.g. KUMB). Ideally, supporter representation on the Board as happens in Europe (though I appreciate this might be unlikely)

Sixthly If a senior staffer – let alone Director – wishes to write a column in the Sun or other tabloid then they can, but they need to leave West Ham first.. And certainly no repetitive tweeting by scions of owners

Seventh: And perhaps most important of all: HONESTY. If they want to use the club as an investment to build-up then “flip” a few years later, be clear on this from the outset. If it’s a billionaire’s plaything, then say so. Or maybe put another way: whoever takes over needs a cogent plan, which they’re open about and which they’ll follow through on. And if plans change, then explain why and how direction is changing.

Eighth: the West Ham way. Football to entertain. Players who put in a shift. Much, much more important than signing a load of mercenary prima donnas.

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

20 comments on “A new Irons EIGHT point plan

  1. Should SGB sell (which I think is doubtful atm) good luck m8 for the search to find an Owner /Owners who tick all those boxes
    .we live in hope!!

  2. Quick question – if you poured millions (or even a few hundred) pounds into an enterprise would you give control to somebody else just because they supported it, even if they’d supported it for a long time.
    Did I also read recently that most of the owners of big clubs don’t invest or loan any money to buy players etc. they just buy the shares and expect them to be self funding – why should ours be any different. They might invest to enhance their investment or because they are genuine supporters but why would they do it to keep someone else happy.

    • If I bought a business and it wasn’t in my field of expertise then what would I do? I’d hire someone who knew what they were doing. This ties in with the self funding bit, if you have someone who knows what they are doing they set up a system that finds players with potential at low prices who then have a sell on value instead of wasting money on over rated or over the hill players looking for one last pay day.

  3. Theres tourists in all the London clubs not just west ham even me who used to have a season ticket at Upton park but now lives abroad is a tourist so harping on about that. Yes put club up for sale and see how many investors come forward but not at the greed of sullys 600mill fantasy.

  4. The problem is that there’s no doubt that an investor would be interested in West Ham. A premier league club in London, with a large stadium, a loyal fan base, good history and traditions of academy football. What they’re probably not interested in is the price that the club is allegedly worth in Sullivan’s eyes. The valuation scares them away and will likely stay that way until the owners can selll without having to pay a fee to the government.
    If they are put under enough pressure they may put the club up for sale and spin it that they are listening to the fans whilst holding the price so high that no one comes in.
    Suppose all we need to do is to answer this one question for ourselves, if we had Sullivan’s money what we do with it as true fans?
    I would invest in the training facilities so they were state of the art and invest in the academy so the best youngs players want to come to the club.
    I would trust in young hungry and home grown talent who want to play for the shirt. I wouldn’t rely on unproven prima donnas for 30-40 million a pop.
    I would have also gone for the LS. It’s a no brainer for me as in the long term I’m sure the stadium will be ours for peanuts and can then be redesigned.
    I would employ a director of football and instill a solid plan that remains consistent regardless of the manager in place at the time.
    I would have a scouting network that targeted the best young talent and looked at who they are as people to weed out the ones that only come for the London lifestyle.
    The club would have a strong identity and work ethic so anyone coming in would be surrounded by players and staff that demanded the same values. This would be made clear in the recruitment process.
    This is all a million miles away from what appears to be going on at West Ham right now.

  5. Training ground facilities are a joke porta cabins these are important for infrastructure for the club bringing new players and apprentices abroad let start at the back goalkeepers all good defence **** midfield noble rice good need 8 new players ASAP SGB are glue less been hammers fan 60 years worse team I have seen joke, Moyes is not the man to take team forward bring back some one who knows the club inside out Billy bonds

  6. If and that would be a massive if we could get someone interested to buy us to push us forward then first things first knock that god awful fish bowl stadium down and build a stadium that is actually built for football then we might get a bit of the old atmosphere back.Ground share with Charlton or do the Wembley thing for a couple of seasons while a proper stadium is built. Totally agree on new training facilities and have a proper blueprint and structure in place for where we want to be both on and off the pitch

  7. Just how would the club go about getting rid of tourists? Genuine question!

  8. To your point ‘SIXTHLY’, we play Liverpool twice in quick succession. They despise the Sun. Let your contacts and rival Liverpool sites know about this column by Brady. I am sure they can direct sun chants and banners towards this…

    Just a thought.

  9. Who are the tourists mentioned here.?.Not all Hammers fans were born within the sound of Bow Bells.Cannot start alienating and segregating the people who attend home matches and support the club.There are literally thousands of West Ham fans born outside London indeed born outside Britain.I am from Yorkshire but have supported this club with a passion for 45 years and gone through all the roller coaster of emotions it involves.At this present moment we need everybody who cares about this great club on side more than ever.

    • I think he is talking about people who don’t support West Ham and come for a day trip. Not people who support West Ham and aren’t from London!! I think you took that the wrong way.. You will never get rid of tourists now the ground is the OS. Especially as the ground will soon be 62,000.

    • Well said, 64. 1966 and all that inspired fans all over the world to follow the Hammers. Let’s not be elitist about it. The issue for me is that some people have unrealistic expectations of instant success about all aspects of life – career, relationships, housing and even football. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but following our club has never been about instant success or winning things regularly (fact!) – it just gets into your blood, wherever you were born or live. For me, that feeling has never diminished. That doesn’t mean we have to put up with rubbish on the pitch or in the boardroom, but we are all in it together. COYI.

  10. As Newcastle might soon find out, fans should be careful what they ask for.
    If their club gets taken over by the sports-washing SA Sovereign Wealth Fund, any future dissenters are quite likely to find themselves ‘disappearing’ (a la Jamal Khashoggi)………

    Our best route might be to persuade Trevor Brooking to head a suitable consortium of investors to either buy out the current owners or dilute their shareholding sufficiently so that DS does not have a controlling interest and the Baroness is history.

    Otherwise, who are the appropriate people that would want our club, anyway?

    If we get to the First Division, a fans co-operative could be the answer.

    The fact remains that, as things stand, fire-fighting is the best we will get……..

    • If West Ham is worth for example £300m, a fan buyout would need 30,000 fans to spend £10,000 each. Even a 50+1 would be more than £5k. A fan owned club would then be reliant on loans at commercial rates if additional capital were needed, without recourse to ‘soft’ loans from owners. Or the fan owners would have to raise more funds, perhaps through bonds (and that’s another story). I never wanted to sell my single WH share I once owned, and hope that there’s a growth in community owned clubs. But West Ham will not be one of them. And it never was, right from the start.

  11. I recommend reading the report by CLES – Democratising Football. An interesting read. But there’ll never be a German-style 50+1 rule owned Club in the Premiership, not unless there’s a fairytale rise of a club from non-league. Whilst the team is grossly underachieving, I don’t believe we have ‘extractive’ owners fleecing fans for every penny. Not with our Season Ticket prices. And we’ve spent big on players, and our wage bill isn’t low. Expecting owners to chuck tens of millions at the Club as a gift, is unrealistic, and unsustainable in the long run. Boom or bust anyone? Even Sovereign Wealth Fund owned teams can’t guarantee success these days…

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