Reports have claimed West Ham United’s summer transfer budget will be just £25million but is that a smokescreen?
The Hammers appointed title-winning manager Manuel Pellegrini last summer.
And West Ham co-owners Sullivan and Gold backed him with an unprecedented £100 million spend in the transfer market.
The recruitment was much improved on recent seasons too.
Fans worried big spend was a one-off
Bargain £7million buy Lukasz Fabianski is on course to win the prestigious Hammer of the Year award.
Record £40million signing Felipe Anderson has starred while Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop have proved shrewd acquisitions for a combined £30million.
And £17.5million Andiy Yarmolenko looked a superb addition until an unfortunate Achilles injury.
The big spend and Pellegrini’s philosophy has made for a more comfortable and enjoyable season all round for Hammers fans.
Some fans are sceptical it will prove to be a one-off when a consistent outlay over a number of years is needed.
Rumours claim base summer budget is just £25m
That theory has been fuelled by claims this week that Pellegrini will be given a base transfer budget of just £25 million this summer.
Twitter source EXWHUemployee confirmed the rumours. But he insisted more would be added from player sales and depending on where the club finishes in the league.
I said this on the show but it then includes any player sales on top! Final league position also changes it a bit too
— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) March 7, 2019
The figure is a paltry one in the modern day game.
And co-owners Sullivan and Gold are risking the wrath of fans just one year after angry protests tried to force them out.
Does announcement and Noble comments point to smokescreen?
But could the rumours be a smokescreen? Boasting of a big transfer budget would only drive the prices up of any players West Ham were to go for.
Have the club hinted they are ready to go big again this summer in a brief message to fans announcing season ticket sales.
Announcing that the renewal window was open for season ticket holders West Ham said: “We’re building something special, but we can’t do it without you. Season ticket renewals are now open.”
We’re building something special, but we can’t do it without you.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) March 12, 2019
Given the recent history between supporters and the club’s owners it would be a risky strategy for the club to promise it is building something special and not back it up.
Homegrown captain Mark Noble was also wheeled out in the announcement backing up the club’s statement (whufc.com).
“There is a genuine feeling around the place that we are now building something very special,” Noble said.
“With everyone pulling in the same direction, there is no doubt we have the potential to be a force in the Premier League. I have to say, I have really enjoyed this season, and I believe we can enjoy next season even more.”
Time. Will. Tell.