26 March ~ Since David Sullivan and David Gold completed their loudly acclaimed joint takeover of West Ham Utd things have not gone particularly well for the club. It appears, however, that Tuesday's home defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers has proved a humiliation too far for Sullivan. The former Birmingham City co-owner seems to have been so dismayed by the manner of the loss that he has taken the drastic step of composing an open letter apologising to all West Ham fans for the team's "shambolic performance".
Rather than stopping at just one game, Sullivan goes on to say that the team were "appalling" against Bolton in their previous fixture, and that among other things: "Nobody at the club should delude themselves that we are a good team." The message then discusses the fond memories he has of a number of former West Ham players with particular reference to what he describes as "the cornerstone of England's 1966 World Cup win". An attempt to demonstrate that Sullivan is a "genuine" fan is no doubt designed to ensure that he is the last person the fans turn on in the wake of the team's string of poor results.
The events of recent weeks will seem a far cry from the positivity that followed the arrival of Sullivan and Gold, with extravagant attempts to sign Ruud van Nistelrooy abandoned as supporters were asked to come to terms with just how bad the clubs finances really were. The letter concludes by saying of their next game against Stoke: "Saturday may be tense, on Saturday you will feel anxious and, at times, unsettled." What their joint owner appears to have overlooked is that West Ham fans have been feeling that way for some months already. Dan Cook