West Ham United captain Mark Noble has risked the wrath of some fans by praising the club’s owners.
David Sullivan and David Gold bring up 10 years at the Hammers helm on Sunday.
But it will be remembered for the rising resentment against the board from a large section of the West Ham fanbase.
A fan group called Hammers United was set up to try and ‘improve things for all West Ham supporters young and old’.
With over 8,000 members and counting the group of disaffected Hammers fans are pushing to be recognised by and engage with the club’s unpopular owners.
West Ham fans set to protest against owners
The group has planned a protest before Saturday’s crunch home game against a revitalised Everton.
And homegrown Hammer Noble, who describes himself as a fan on the pitch, has praised Sullivan and Gold in his latest column in The Evening Standard – which at the time of writing has not been published online, only in paper.
The skipper highlights the fact West Ham have only been relegated once during Sullivan and Gold’s tenure as an achievement.
“Sunday sees the 10th anniversary of our owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, in charge at West Ham,” Noble said in an aside to his Evening Standard column.
Noble risks supporter wrath by praising 10-year tenure
“During their time at the club, we’ve been in the Premier League for all but one of those 10 seasons. And I can’t complain at that. We’ve moved out of our historical home to the London Stadium, settled in and people have got used to the new surroundings.
“I’ve been with the club throughout that decade and we’ve had our ups and downs – as all clubs have. We’ve bought some really good players and some good ones have moved on.”
Captain’s comments may divide fans
Noble’s words are sure to raise eyebrows among some supporters.
Others might agree with the captain. The club was in a perilous financial state when Sullivan, Gold and vice-chairman Karren Brady arrived.
What it does show is that the club is certainly not all pulling in the same direction at the moment.
The owners must try to build bridges with the supporters if West Ham are to move forward and progress.