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Board concern as they hit rock and hard place

West Ham’s board are caught between a rock and a hard place as the performances and results get worse.

Make no mistake the concern is very, very real.

Listen to the fans and they would sack Pellegrini now….look at the finances and it’s far too soon with Pellegrini and a back room of ten to pay off.

With 18 months left that would amount to over £20 million plus and as I was told  by an insider last night: “It’s not as though there is an obvious candidate available.”

On top of that would come the cost of new players required by whoever took over plus the cost of him and his back up team.

Obviously there are always those who will talk in terms of pay offs amounting to millions as though it’s like buying a cup of tea.

But with the club likely to record a debt of approaching £30 million at some point in the near future the idea of piling close to the same again on top if it after a bad run of results doesn’t seem the most fonancially prudent solution.

That’s the ROCK!

Now for the HARD place: There are no guarantees in football, no promises and no certainty that things will get better over the short or middle term so there#s an argument which says: “You can’t afford not to sack.”

At the moment nobody at board level has an answers – a scenario that became clear in two or three conversations last night – there’s deep concern over signings and current form.

There is no quick fix which is the response by those caught up in the social media atmosphere of “do it now.”

As far as I can see Pellegrini and the team have 10 games in front of them to get this problem sorted as far as I can see and should they still be in the same sort of trouble at the end of them on January 18 that would be my deadline to wave the management team goodbye.

It also supplies the time required to identify a new target

We’re told these are really tough fixtures but I don’t quite see it that way. Five of them are against teams positioned from outside the top six – Spurs (home), Saints (away), Palace (away) Bournemouth (home), Everton (home).

The other include neither Liverpool or Manchester City and I wouldn’t entirely write us off against Arsenal at home or Chelsea away.

A few weeks ago Man United were being written off as a team in disarray, heading for relegation. Remember the song we sang at them: “You’re not a big team anymore.”

As I write they are 2-0 up against Brighton and in seventh place.

I’m really not trying to make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear and at some stage over the next three months the board will need to sack Pellegrini if things don’t improve in my view.

Yes, they are worried – deeply worried but for me it’s Janaury when the axe should fall if it needs to at all!


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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

41 comments on “Board concern as they hit rock and hard place

  1. Hugh, sorry but I think you are clutching at straws and trying to put a positive spin on a really gloomy period for the club. I can’t blame you though but those teams outside the top 6 you mention are miles ahead of us currently on form /and the depth of their squads, even with some of those games being at home… and the fact that you said you would not be writing us off against Chelsea away… Gosh with their speed in attacking areas
    they will annihilate us, it will be like lambs to the slaughter unfortunately.
    I just cannot see us turning things around at present… Fabianski and a fully fit Antonio will help but we are so weak all over the park it’s unbelievable. I also detest these international breaks but honestly this break will just soften the humiliation we as supporters are currently experiencing. All the best.

  2. If they wait until mid January they may by that stage be in terminal decline. The have to evaluate the cost of relegation and if that is way beyond the Pellegrini pay off that should act before Christmas & bring in Eddie Howe.

  3. It’ll too late by then Hugh .

    • we all applauded the owners for appointing pellegrini. But questions have to asked about the length contract given to him and his team that we now cannot afford to terminate.
      Hindsight now tells us stay away from china when recruiting. Hindsight all tells us he was over the hill and we should be looking for managers on the up not looking for a final pay day

  4. Maybe if the club didn’t sell half the squad in the summer & spend a pathetic net £25m we wouldn’t be so poor..
    Sold or released all 5 of our frontline & brought in 1+ 1x nobody
    Release a reasonable keeper & sign 2 Muppets
    Spend £26m on an exciting midfielder & not play him
    Desperately need an defensive MF + defender but buy neither.
    Started another season with excitement & top six ambitions only for the roof to fall in by November.
    We need owners who invest every year & not once just to keep us happy for a year or so.
    We have now lost Noble & Lanzini due to injury & who have we got to replace them with??
    It’s going to be a long cold winter as a hammer

  5. How did we get to 30 million in debt when we only pay a pittance for our ‘ new home’ ??? Weren’t we told by those supposedly in charge that the Olympic or London or whatever it might be called in the future stadium that this was the Golden Gate to better times??? The net spend over the last few seasons has been tiny, keeping our squad paper thin. All that said isn’t this the real West Ham way?? The failure to spend on the squad when we finished 3rd user John Lyall, The destruction of another squad that had the likes of Coke, Lampard, Ferdinand etc, the biscuit empire debacle, buying every has been under Curbishly, Pardew having affairs with all the players wives, Abram falling asleep at his desk??? Dress it up as you will but lack of investment, lack of discipline and lack of ambition has made us the Del Trotter if the premiership without the laughs, it gutting for sure but there seems less anger and more of an air of sick and tired resignation

  6. I watched newcastle v Manchester. Newcastle had a player I had not seen before. Wore a white head band, was lightning quick and very tricky. As I made my way to last weeks game against Newcastle of one thing I was certain. Having reviewed the previous weeks Newcastle game, our management were certain to play Frederick’s because he is the only player we have who could stay with the white headband. Instead out came zabaleta. Headband should have scored 2 goals and generally ran us ragged. Such failure of management bodes ill for the rest of the season.

    • That is a very good point.If a manager and his 10 man backroom staff cannot pick up on something that was so blatantly obvious to us all way before kick off( i said on this very forum St Maximin would run Zaba ragged).I try to be optimistic as you have to being a Hammers fan.Its always a giant roller coaster ride supporting this team.We never seem to be able to sustain any form and when we bomb ,God we are as bad as anybody out there.The Oxford defeat almost drove a nail into the coffin and its spiralled into this appalling run with no sign of ending.The squad is threadbare and full of injuries in every position meaning he cannot drop all these out of form players and that is purely and simply down to owners and management and nobody else.The buck stops with them and they are reaping the whirlwind as Bomber Harris Famously said.Time to dip into the U23s pelle and maybe they can save your bacon.

  7. Another apologist for the premierships worst board

  8. What fills me with despair is that Pelle now does not seem to want to think about a Plan B. As important as the victory at Everton last season was the follow-up goalless draw with Chelsea at home. IMHO what helped in those matches was playing a 4-3-3 with 3 proper midfielders who could defend(Rice, Noble and Obiang) – now Noble (before being injured) is pushed further forward and poor Declan finds himself over-run. I believe that it is the system as much as the players that are at the root of our problems. For all the so-called creative players we are not actually creating very much – largely due to a lack of pace

    Anyway we will watch and see what happens

  9. The Board only have themselves to blame for the current predicament. They’re out of their depth running a Premier League club, and need to recognise that. Until the owners and Brady move on, the Club will never progress!

  10. It may well be that MP has his mind elsewhere – there is civil unrest in Chile – and as a consequence is acting in such a manner.
    I mentioned earlier about giving him gardening leave until the New Year and letting Dmitri Halajko take first team responsibility for the next 7 games. He is doing wonders with the U23’s and may well galvanise the first team.
    What have we got to lose?

    • Do you know Ajay,That is a great suggestion.Give Pelle the next 4 games and if there is no improvement surely Pelle will have to go.. Bring in the man who is doing so well with the U23s Halajko, as someone who could start to introduce certain young players if he feels they are ready.It is the same approach England took with Southgate.

    • Reality says … West Ham 1st team is in a huge mess. And it looked so ever since this lazy bunch came back from their holiday break. All the pre-season matches gave us a glimpse of what we could expect.
      Roberto and Martin looked like decent signings then, until we saw the first signs of Roberto … totally useless.
      Pelligrini was picked up in China trying to get rich, and brought to West Ham where that could be achieved. He is totally happy sitting on this pile, and clearly look unfazed by what’s happening around him. He does not look able, and interested in getting the players attitudes, fitness and sharpness right.
      The fact that it could cost millions to fire him is the board’s problem. How can you employ someone without targets, and periodic measuring stages to ensure being on track. Ie .. after first 10 matches where should we be in the log. And we do we target being mid-season and year-end?
      Are these measurements in place. If not, why not. Then the problem is … the board. So the millions loss in order to replace Pelligini is … again on the WH board.

  11. Imagine thinking Chelsea Away is a game where we can get a result. The attacking quality they have going against our back line is a 5-0 waiting to happen. Should’ve never made Pellegrini the 2nd highest paid manager in the league. Guy is stubborn and never has the correct team selection

  12. Sell Rice to Utd for £80m, pay off Pelle & Co at £20m, then invest £60m in the squad. Simples.

  13. Interesting suggestion Ajay – one question that I have been asking myself is where Halajko came from or who appointed him – he seems to be doing great at the moment – I for one would support such a move

  14. Leicester City are showing our board to run a football club. 1. Experienced intelligent British manager
    2. Exciting, young, paced and creative team
    3. A football stadium fit for purpose

  15. Typing comments on this website with constant pop ups is like watching West Ham

  16. Essex irons says it all perfectly for me. Either finish the rebuild or sell up and get in someone who will back the money with thier mouth ,.

  17. I think the 2nd week in January would be too late to make a change. Has to be earlier If we continue to look this bad every week.

  18. Im not going to attack the board as the real problem at this moment is not them. I was happy that the David’s came in when they did and we should keep that in mind in these troubled times.
    However, to suggest that the club has 10 games before it needs to make a decision is not such a good one. The next 4 games are more than enough for the board to make up their mind if they have to change. If they decide not to then they must consider spending much more money than intended to at least give us some pace, the DM that we’ve needed for ages and support for Haller.

  19. I agree, 4 games, let a new manager have 4-5 games to work out what he needs in Jan, first week in Jan not the last. Get Cullen, Diagana etc back off loan, may not be the best but we need some options and put pressure on existing players.
    Our squad just looks so thin its unbelievable.
    This is Pelegini’s team, buck stops with him now.

  20. I want to know why The BOARD agreed to give him 8 MILLION a year???? It’s absolute ridiculous and now Pellegrini has lost the plot we can’t sack him because of the pay off. It’s unbelievable really…The whole thing is a shambles

  21. Let’s be honest the games you listed there, a few weeks I would have relished,now any game is fraught with danger,the manager has lost the plot, he’s never been in this situation before and for all his experience he looks just as baffled as us!
    He is not going to galvanise the players let’s be honest,I’ve had enough of his attitude,and his excuses and I want him gone,I know the players are culpable but you play in the image of your manager and there’s no passion there,let’s settle out of court somehow and get rid or be in so much trouble by January it could be a nightmare to get out of!

  22. We will be relegated by then..yeah they will have to pay up to get him out but it will be a lot more when he takes us down …we dont just lose games we don’t even compete ,and if the players were bothered about him then working hard is something they can control, and they havnt bothered…he has to go now… it’s no good being angry on the Saturday and as the days go by you start to make excuses for him tgen by the dayof the nxt game your forgetting how bad it is ..stick with your Saturday views because it is very bad and no matter how you dress it up its not changing…

  23. Too be honest have some top class players, but they seem to have gone a wall, soit begs the question has he lost the dressing room

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