West Ham United legend Tony Cottee has taken the unusual step of defending the club’s under fire owners David Sullivan and David Gold.
But he admits the owners’s relationship with West Ham fans is beyond repair.
Cottee was speaking to The West Ham Way Extra Time podcast this week when he was asked his thoughts on Sullivan and Gold.
It comes as supporters continue to protest for the owners to leave the club.
West Ham fans continue protests against owners
Last week Hammers United coordinated a symbolic day of protests.
Billed as ’10 PLEDGES, 10 POIGNANT PROTESTS. GSB OUT’ West Ham fans staged a series of protests against Gold, Sullivan and their vice chairman Karren Brady by highlighting the failings of their tenure and calling on them to put the club up for sale.
There were 10 main protests held simultaneously at poignant locations; one for each of GSB’s infamous pledges made after taking over the club over 10 years ago.
The resentment among fans has not dissapated despite improved results and performances on the pitch. Indeed one of the catchlines from protesting fans is ‘support the team, not the regime’.
Social media is flooded with the GSBOUT hashtag in posts and profile names.
But speaking to The West Ham Way Extra Time podcast on October 29th, Cottee tried to offer a considered view.
Cottee defends Sullivan and Gold but admits bridges are burned with fans
He did however concede that bridges between fans and boardroom are well and truly burned.
“There are some things that they’ve done well,” Cottee told The West Ham Way Extra Time podcast this week.
“I always acknowledge that when they took over the club back in 2010, there weren’t too many people putting their money down. There was lots of talk at the time but the only ones who actually put their money where their mouth is, is the current owners. They deserve credit for that.
“I wouldn’t say they’re my friends but I know them well enough to know that I honestly think that they think that what they’re doing is in the best interests of the football club.
‘It’s a broken relationship’
“I think that’s how they think about it but I know the fans have got a different view of that, different ideas.
“I don’t think the relationship between the fans and the current owners can ever be rebuilt.
“That probably works both ways, I’m not sure whether the owners appreciate the fans and the fans certainly don’t appreciate the current owners. It’s a broken relationship and I don’t think it’s ever going to mend.
“We just have to wait and see how it pans out.”