Looking back: Sullivan’s early thoughts


sullivan_5535cWay back in November 2014 – after a tearaway start to the Irons season – the club’s co-chairman David Sullivan consented to an exclusive question and answer session with ClaretandHugh.

He spoke of the early progress, his hopes, and expectations and touched on the trickiest and long longest running saga of them all – the manager and the pro and anti brigades he attracts.

Much water – some clear and some murky – has flowed under the Boleyn Bridge since then but sometimes it’s a good idea to look back and rem ind ourselves of what’s already on the record but perhaps forgotten.

So with the international break ahead of us, a much needed victory behind us and Leicester City in front of us, lets recall what DS wanted back then along with his views on the thorniest issue of all. 

CandH Have you been surprised at the progress we have made this season?

DS: Yes and No, in reality its too early to say the progress we have made, the season is 38 games not 11. HOWEVER, we are scoring a lot more goals and playing much better football.

CandH: You put situations in place – a closer cooperation with manager on transfer budget, attacking coach etc – that appears to have worked – would you agree?

DS: Sadly, its too earely to say, but the signs are promising

CandH: It’s a very open Premier League so far – is there any reason for us not to be thinking of European football next year

DS: I said at the start of the season that our target should be European competition. Six teams, other than Chelsea, are not sucking the points out of the table as they usually do.

CandH: I know it’s early days but would Diafra Sakho rate No 1 on your all time list of best buys right now.

DS:Right now yes, but judge him over the season

 CandH: There’s been a lot of talk about Andy Carroll’s future – can you tell us the true situation.

DS: He’s a very important member of the squad. He was sensational when he came on Saturday.

CandH: Can you confirm that there are no escape clauses in the deals of our new signings – notably Diafra and Enner.

DS: No escape clauses

 CandH: Can you update us on Winston Reid – the general view seems to be pessimistic.

DS: We are still in discussion with his agent

CandH: What’s the position on FFP.

DS: We have a wage cap this season for all players, including 124% employers NI of *£56m. Next year it goes to £60m. You can only exceed that figure if you increase NON TV income or make a profit selling players. We are right on the limit.

(*This includes all win and positional bonuses)

CandH: There seems to be a constant war between the pro and anti Sam brigades. Do you have a message for them?

DS: People are entitled to their opinions. We live in a democracy. I’d say ‘judge him over the season.’

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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


  • TysonM says:

    Fine,8 games to go & we can judge Dudley The Dinosaurs season.Dont think my opinion now will change in that space of time.Pls Davids,give me some value for my season ticket money.Watching us against Sunderland was like watching 8yr olds in a midfield,both teams chasing the ball around like headless chickens for periods of the game.How can that be good enough?.Even the sky presenters & commentators were embarressed to be showing that game live.When i watched the re-run i recorded it was shocking.No Sam Lover can see that as a way to progress,we are getting worse,its undeniable!

  • DGHammer34 says:

    If the David’s cant see now what a joke the fat man is they never will.
    Surely they can see our form dipped once he brought back Nolan and Carroll.
    Drop Valencia and stick Downing out on the wing that’s the way to play attractive football.

    Stan Colleymore said it was the worst game he had seen all season.

    Ive been going to Upton Park for 55 years and the last 3 have been dire apart from the pre Nolan/Carrol start to the season.

  • rads the modern man says:

    Allardyce has had four seasons now.I have watched worst seasons of football following The Irons,but they have generally been one off seasons.This has consistently been the worst football i have watched over a sustained period of time.If the Sams Fans are happy with it this way then fine.But i cant keep paying out money each year to watch this sh*t.He scrapped us into the Prem & gave us garbage last season & now we are back where we were last season,playing sh*t againSam Lovers will point out the spurs,man utd & chelsea games but what team doesnt lift themselves against the best.Burnley proved this against Man.City.Im sick of watching BFS football,If Sam football gets us to 9th or 10th every year then give me 11th or 12th but with some exciting games & football played.His football style is atrocious & i cant handle a 5th year of it.People put themselves in short term debt to buy season tickets in many cases.Give us something that justifies this Davids.PLEASE!!!!

  • bubs says:

    We always play well against the top teams because they give us room to play aswell,
    We were always everyone’s 2 nd team if not there first because of the way we played football,if a review were held today I doubt more then 10% would say the same,
    We need to play good football every game and get into a pattern,this will not happen under BFS so we have no choice but to move on,
    Bye Bye BFS your time is up

  • BrookingtoDevonshire says:

    I wish Claretandhugh could actually put the point over to the Dave’s and the media that the fans are not divided about Allardyce. It’s virtually unanimous that we are against him.I’d say it’s 80% against.
    The bench we have and options when there are a couple of injuries is diabolical.
    He won’t use youngster at all. He just puts them on the bench to fill the space. I don’t really think youngsters learn anything from watching a dire performance time and time again. Witnessing so called senior professionals going through the motions. What they would learn is having 10 mins or so at least and seeing how they cope,soaking up being on the pitch. This would be 10 fold to just sitting there with itchy feet. Putting Henry on the bench earlier for one and giving him some game time would of solved a massive problem.

  • lifeissobeautiful says:

    David sullivans latest thoughts are on the official west ham website in the from the boardroom section, where he talks about our current injury crisis and the importance of keeping clean sheets among other things.

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