It is fair to say that vice-chairman Karren Brady is not the most popular person among fans at West Ham United.

The list of grievances West Ham fans have against Brady and the club’s co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are well publicised and unwieldy.

From promises made about the big move from Upton Park to the London Stadium to her – thankfully now less regular – columns airing West Ham’s business and talking about rival clubs and players, often in damning terms, in The Sun.

Indeed one such column infamously interfered directly with West Ham’s ability to sign a player – Islam Slimani – when Brady upset the tragically departed Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Fair to say Baroness Brady is not everyone’s cup of tea at West Ham

From referring to West Ham fans as “customers” and saying West Ham is a club that did not have any ‘culture’ (Evening Standard).

In the interest of balance she has done a good job in many aspects too.

Brady has played a key role in streamlining the club’s finances.

West Ham were reportedly on the brink of administration in 2010. Now the Hammers are officially the 17th richest club in world football.

And from Sullivan and Gold’s point of view she did her job by landing the Olympic Stadium in what has been described in financial terms as the ‘deal of the century’.

Photo by BEN STANSALL AFP Getty Images

Captain Noble speaks out to defend Brady ahead of the return of capacity crowds to the London Stadium for the first time since the dawn of the pandemic

That all cuts little ice with West Ham fans, though, who often make their feelings clear to the Baroness on social media and during protests at games in the past. Brady is the ‘B’ in the now commonly acronymed trio GSB used as part of some West Ham fans’s ongoing GSBOUT campaign.

Now, though, West Ham captain Mark Noble has spoken up to defend Brady in an interview with The Times.

 

Ahead of the return of capacity crowds to the London Stadium on Monday night for the first time since February 2020, Noble was speaking about the difficulties he faced as captain during the pandemic.

And Noble told The Times that Brady was key to the club doing all the right things during one of football’s darkest periods.

 “I was honest. When (the 2020 Premier League shutdown) was over I didn’t really want to come back to football, I’d had enough,” Noble told The Times.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
Photo by Ian MacNicol Getty Images

‘I know she gets some stick, but she was great with the club’

“I worried so much about the staff here, I worried about my players and we were doing the charity stuff with the (Premier League) captains, my own charity stuff. My wife said, ‘Mark, I saw you less in the pandemic than when you were playing.’ Because I was just sat in my office on a Zoom screen, like six, seven hours a day trying to sort everything out.”

While clubs such as Spurs were trying to get handouts from the Government and some players across Europe – including former Hammers star Dimitri Payet – were refusing to take pay cuts, Noble led players in taking a wage deferral to protect the jobs of ordinary workers at West Ham.

Meanwhile David Moyes and the vice-chair Brady took 30 per cent wage cuts.

“I know she gets some stick, Karren, but she was great with the club,” Noble added.

“We done it properly. There was no way I was walking back in the canteen after lockdown and seeing our kitchen staff or physios taking pay cuts, given the money we’re all on.”

In other news, Rice ‘happy and committed’ at West Ham after new contract threat.

And Moyes delivers honest assessment of main man’s future this season and beyond.

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