Criticism of West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan appears to have been misplaced after a revelation from Slaven Bilic.

Hammers fans staged angry protests last year after losing patience with co-owners Sullivan and David Gold and their vice-chairman Karren Brady.

Supporters had grown tired of broken promises over transfers and their move to the London Stadium.

One major bone of contention was the club’s recruitment.

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Fan protests driven by broken promises

The owners promised fans the stadium move would enable them to compete for top players and spend more in the transfer market.

They failed to back up their words with actions, though.

And supporters grew sick of Sullivan in particular seemingly meddling in transfers, particularly during Slaven Bilic’s tenure.

Some fans believed Sullivan was using agents to identify and sign players.

And – like most football supporters – they firmly believed that undermined the manager.

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Sullivan took transfer flack as Bilic hinted at boardroom interference

Indeed Bilic himself even hinted at boardroom interference over transfers during his time as Hammers boss (The Times).

That left many West Ham fans feeling sorry for the Croatian believing he was forced to work with a squad of players that were not his choosing.

But now Bilic appears to have absolved Sullivan of blame. That’s after breaking his silence on West Ham’s transfer policy during his time in East London in an interview with BT Sport.

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‘I have to say I had the power’

“There was three of us (doing the transfers), it was between the chairman, we used to have a director of football who was not in charge, and me,” Bilic told BT Sport.

When asked by Paul Scholes whether Bilic had final say on transfers, after a long pause, he added: “Yes, yes I did.”

“I could have stopped some players. It wasn’t as if (the owners were saying) ‘Here’s £10/20 million to go and get (a player).

“To be fair it was (Dimitri) Payet, (Manuel) Lanzini. To be fair Lanzini was this Argentinian guy who went to Al Jazira and was a completely unknown player for the whole Premier League and the chairman let me do it so I have to say that I had the power.”

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