Tag: West Ham United

A Rant Or Three

While I was ‘away’ at the Asian Cup, English football ‘personalities’ maintained their capacity to infuriate – through stinking hypocrisy as much as the usual pig ignorance. Brady Everybody on the planet bar a couple of Buddhist monks in Bhutan (only a couple, mind) has had their say on Andy Gray’s and Richard Keys’ departures from SKY. So I feel almost duty-bound to join in, late though I am. Although at the risk of upsetting a few feminists who aren’t concentrating (a risk I’ve taken before), Karren Brady is the source of my ire. At least the Key/Gray sackings haven’t been turned into ‘Graygate’ or ‘Keygate.’ And the “only a bit of banter” excuse has been well and truly squashed. But Brady’s attempted climb to the moral high ground fell ay base camp. As well as being unoriginal and unfunny (“perhaps Richard thought I was too busy making the tea and washing up to take his call”), Brady’s suggestion that she refused to take Keys’ call of apology because she was “heavily occupied with the West Ham and Newham Olympic Stadium bid” doesn’t wash. How long would it take to tell Keys to shove his apology where the sun doesn’t shine because he wasn’t sorry for his views, just for getting caught airing them? I’ve just timed it. Admittedly, I speak quickly. But it took me ten seconds –...

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The Olympic Stadium’s Legacy Must Be As It Was Intended

The final submissions, then, are complete and now comes the waiting game. The tug of war over the Olympic Stadium has become one of the more unseemly events of the football season so far, a desperate battle for a piece of land that very few people involved in football had a great deal of interest until it became clear that there was a chance of building a vast, new stadium there on the (relatively) cheap. With an open letter issued by a group of former British Olympians stating that removing the track from the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 games would mean that the stadium would, “effectively become an Olympic Stadium with NO Olympic connection or legacy”, the question of whether Premier League football should be muscling in on what was supposed to be a legacy for British athletics is one that has finally become something of an issue over the last few days, and this is a question that should be at the forefront of the minds of those making the final decision over this issue. Tottenham Hotspur’s bid for the stadium seems to have little going for it other than that they will get a new stadium for £200m less than if they stay in N17 (which is questionable in itself) and the fact that they will be able to turn an operating profit from it. How...

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Spurs And The Olympic Stadium: Stratford Hotspur Or A New Beginning?

Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club are well-versed in the history of where their club comes from. The stories of grammar boys meeting under gaslight on a street corner are well woven into the fabric that makes up the history of the club, but the question that their supporters are now asking is not where they have come from, but where they will go going to in the near future. For a long time, it felt as if their move in the Olympic Stadium, five miles from White Hart Lane to Stratford, was either an attempt to lever concessions from the bodies involved in their already-public redevelopment plans to rebuild their existing ground or as a back-up plan for if they ran into difficulties over what was presumed to be their Plan A. Over the last few weeks, though, it has started to become increasingly clear that the owners of the club are serious about this move, and it is threatening to divide the club’s support in a season that, on the pitch at least, could yet end up being their most successful in decades. From the perspective of the club itself, a move to the Olympic Stadium makes pure, economic sense. The redevelopment of the White Hart Lane site will be expensive, in no small measure on account of the work required to be done the area immediately...

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2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

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Match Of The Week: Sunderland 1-0 West Ham United

They could have been forgiven for believing that they had turned a corner, of sorts. Going into this afternoon’s match at the Stadium Of Light, West Ham United had won two straight matches following a run of just one win since the end of September. Now that this particular semi-inflated balloon has been pricked, though, a feeling of claustrophobia has begun to lower itself upon the Boleyn Ground this evening following a defeat at Sunderland that leaves West Ham back at the bottom of the Premier League. While they are still in touch with the pack of clubs above them (they could yet be out of the relegation places by Christmas), this season long ago started to take the feel of a relegation season. Recent messages from the club regarding Avram Grant’s future at the club had been mixed, with talk of his position being untenable being coupled with a statement from Karren Brady to the extent that Grant would not be replaced, even if relegated come the end of this season, should they have failed to beat Wigan Athletic last weekend. They managed this and followed it up by thrashing a second string Manchester United in the League Cup during the week. This may have left Grant feeling a little more secure than he was eight or nine days ago, but the fragility of such confidence was in...

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