Hammers join the big boys


It seems that West Ham are joining the “Big Boys” as we appear to now have  an “affiliate club” in the form of Austrian club Klagenfurt after striking a deal for midfielder Andy Irving.

He is the one we signed and sent straight back on loan According to the Daily Mail ,Irving’s deal is said to be part of a larger deal between the two clubs that will see Klagenfurt become an affiliate club to the Londoners.

West Ham’s deal makes them the latest Premier League outfit to partner with an affiliate club – a strategy also employed by Brighton who have partnered with Union SG.

This means that an affiliate club will provide West Ham the opportunity to give players additional experience so they qualify for a Governing Body Endorsement which is required to play in England.

It works like this:

O An affiliate club will give us more flexibility in terms of talent recruitment. If the Irons spot a player who doesn’t have sufficient GBE points to be registered in England immediately, we can use the affiliate club as a holding area to give the player more experience perhaps domestically and internationally.

Then once they have enough points to qualify for a GBE they can be brought to the London Stadium and introduced to the first team.

Slightly confusing, but if it that is way we have to do things these days, so be it.

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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