There are many banners that have been held aloft during protests against West Ham United co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold in recent years.
One in particular was not only prophetic but captures this particular moment in the club’s tempestuous recent history quite eloquently.
The banner, first held aloft by disgruntled West Ham fans during protests back in March 2018, says ‘Some people create their own storms then get upset when it rains’ alongside a picture of Sullivan – the club’s majority owner.
Storm in a… soulless bowl
Well a storm is very much enveloping West Ham once again. This isn’t a storm in a teacup, this is a storm in a soulless bowl.
And according to the vast majority of West Ham fans – and club legend Trevor Sinclair (talkSPORT) – it is a storm very much of Sullivan, Gold and their vice-chairman Karren Brady’s own making.
True to form, and just as the banner states, an upset and ‘depressed’ Sullivan took to talkSPORT yesterday to moan, whinge and deflect blame.
There were no questions from Sullivan’s good friend Jim White about Mark Noble’s tweet, about the lack of money being spent despite West Ham’s Prem rivals passing the £1 billion mark, about why the Hammers are taking season ticket money from fans when so many other clubs are not.
But this is talkSPORT. And they have never pressed Sullivan or Gold with the hard line of questioning they should. Instead they inadvertently handed the Hammers hate figure a shovel and left him to dig.
‘Depressed’ Sullivan plays the blame game merry-go-round
Mental health issues affect everyone and do not discriminate based on your bank balance.
But it was galling for West Ham fans – or indeed anyone listening to Sullivan’s interview – to empathise with a billionaire complaining of depression over his loss of income and inability to make signings during the middle of a pandemic which has left millions out of work and thousands dead.
And somehow that wasn’t even the worst bit.
Sullivan had a clear agenda during that interview.
He broke a long media silence to drag West Ham’s once good name through the mud again.
Brady was doing a fine job of it on her own with her regular column in The Sun.
And Gold’s recent return to Twitter after a six-month hiatus has been as disastrous as ever, posting a picture of Grady Diangana as if to suggest a bright new future for West Ham only for the young star to be sold against the manager’s wishes just two weeks later.
Beginning of the end for a marriage filled with hate
At least Sullivan’s interview cleared up a few things. West Ham fans now know whose fault it is that the club Sullivan, Gold and Brady have had in their possession for the last decade is such as shambolic mess.
Why the club they ripped from its beloved spiritual home on the promise of some fabled, mythical next level is so unfathomably badly run.
It is, of course, the fans’s fault. And Manuel Pellegrini’s fault. It’s Mario Husillos’s fault. And David Moyes’s. It’s the expensive signings’s fault. And Covid-19’s fault.
Insinuating that West Ham’s fiercely loyal fanbase – starved of success for 40 years – are in any way to blame for this mess would be unthinkable at any time.
But to do it just days after the club announced 88% of us (44,000) had handed the owners our hard earned money in such precarious circumstances – in what is effectively an interest free loan – by renewing season tickets is just crass.
Hammers United, the growing group of angry West Ham fans trying to hold Sullivan, Gold and Brady to account and pushing the GSBOUT campaign, perhaps best summed up Sullivan’s interview.
“Thank you to David Sullivan for (sic) breathing new life into the GSB OUT campaign. Absolutely clueless. #GSBOUT,” they said on Twitter yesterday.
Thank you to David Sullivan got breathing new life into the GSB OUT campaign.
— Hammers United (@HammersUnited2) September 23, 2020
Perhaps Sullivan has just given this storm cloud a silver lining?
Because surely now, if there was any doubt before, it is the beginning of the end for Sullivan, Gold and Brady at West Ham.