David Sullivan’s partner Eva Vorley has revealed how he was forced to change the way he runs West Ham United.
Just over a year ago West Ham fans were in revolt.
Fan anger spilled over onto the pitch during that 3-0 defeat to Burnley last March. It left the Hammers board in no doubt over the strength of feeling from the terraces.
From protests to Pellegrini
Hammers fans had a long list of grievances. Chief among them were broken pledges over transfer spending and ambition as well as the move to the London Stadium.
Fast forward a year and things look a lot more rosy in the West Ham garden.
Title-winning manager Manuel Pellegrini was hired and backed with £100 million worth of new players.
A host of changes were made, and planned, in and around the stadium to improve the matchday experience in line with supporter feedback.
But perhaps the biggest indication that the penny had dropped for Sullivan was when he listened to fan ire and finally stepped back from the club’s recruitment.
Husillos was proof the penny had dropped
“Going forward, we’re going to completely rejig the recruitment,” Sullivan told whufc.com last year.
“I’m going to delegate the whole thing to a huge analysis and scouting system with a new head of recruitment.
“We’re going to have a massive video analysis department, increase the scouting department, every player will be looked at five or six times and we will not be signing a player based on when the manager’s not even seen him play, the manager will go and watch him play.
“We’re not going to sign players just for the sake of it.”
That head of recruitment was Mario Husillos who has enjoyed a hugely successful first summer of signings.
Now speaking on the final episode of BBC TV show Britain’s Youngest Football Boss – which follows Sullivan’s son Jack and his exploits running West Ham Women – the billionaire owner’s partner Eva Vorley revealed it was her two sons, Jack and Dave, who forced him to change his ways.
Sullivan’s partner reveals son influence
“You know when dad loses with the men’s (first team), he’s like distraught,” Eva told the BBC show.
“It like ruins his night, he’s very unhappy. And sometimes until the next day.
“He always wants more but that’s his personality and that’s why he’s been so successful.
“Over the years you and David as well have been quite vocal with dad if you think he’s made the wrong decisions.
“Decision-making is something that you’ll get right probably 95% of the time. And you’ll make the odd bad one and you just have to go with it.”
Sullivan famously revealed his sons had ‘begged’ him not to sign Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte in a revealing interview with The Guardian.