West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady has spoken out to defend star man Declan Rice.
Brady is not the most popular figure at West Ham by any stretch of the imagination.
Some appreciate the sterling job she has done in turning around the club’s finances following the doomed Icelandic ownership.
But many more dislike the Apprentice TV star. And for those fans her rap sheet is lengthy.
From a plethora of broken promises over the move to Stratford to ill-judged comments about the club not having any ‘culture’ (Evening Standard).
Brady not the most popular figure at West Ham
Brady’s column in The Sun where she has often in the past talked about intimate West Ham business and the goings-on at rival clubs is also a major bone of contention for supporters.
Recently Sullivan reportedly reprimanded Brady after she publicly declared the season should be ‘null and void’ (Daily Mail).
Now she has used her latest column in The Sun to defend Hammers star Rice.
It comes after former Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy re-opened old wounds by criticising West Ham’s captain-in-waiting for snubbing the Republic of Ireland in favour of England.
McCarthy re-opens old wounds with Rice criticism
“How it went down (when Rice chose England)?” McCarthy told Gary Neville on Sky Sports.
“Well, it went down like a lead balloon! He played three games, I think he scored [in the U21s] and I think he kissed the jersey.
“I was pretty curt with him at the time, and I had to call him back and say: ‘Listen, I’m sorry, I wish you well, I hope you have a good career with England and with West Ham,’ because it’s his choice.
“He never played for me, it’s just I was so disappointed that we were losing such a good player!”
Brady did not take kindly to McCarthy’s comments and hit back in The Sun saying Rice is ‘no traitor’.
“Mick McCarthy’s implication that Declan Rice, one of the nicest, most professional young men I have worked with, was a traitor in choosing England over Ireland is ludicrous,” Brady said in The Sun.
Brady hits back to defend West Ham’s star man
“West Ham ace Rice had the right to make a judgment because he’s as English as I am — and don’t forget my name is Brady!
“So why should McCarthy have been so niggled by Rice’s renunciation? After all, Mick himself was born in Barnsley and opted for Ireland because his father, Charlie, came from there. Some would say it’s one way of having an international career.
“As Ireland’s manager, McCarthy operated what his predecessor Jack Charlton called the “granny rule”, a nickname I’m sure needs no explanation. There are dozens of Irish internationals born in England.
“Eighteen months ago Rice took a deep breath and, advised by his father, chose to disappoint McCarthy. You can’t blame the manager for trying to do the best for his country but he knows as well as anyone that Ireland has done very well out of the present agreement.
“I believe Rice made the pragmatic decision but the authorities should review the regulations under which such pressure can be put on players who have scarcely begun a career.”