Financial

Chinese takeover anyone?

The Daily Mirror are reporting China’s richest man is poised to make a takeover bid at Southampton.

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, boss of the Dalian Wanda group, who could make any club he buys the richest club in the Premier League.

Wang’s property development company is worth £19billion and his own personal fortune around half that figure. Now, Wang, 59, wants to break into English ­football to add to the company’s growing portfolio and is believed to be lining up a £175million bid for Southampton.

Forbes magazine ranked him the 128th richest person in the world as he is worth US $8.6 billion in 2013. In August 2013, he was listed by Bloomberg as the wealthiest person in China.

No disrespect to Southampton but if the Chinese billionaire is willing to splash the cash wouldn’t a London club with the Olympic stadium be a better investment for him?

In 2012 West Ham co-owner David Gold has admitted he’d sell some of his stake in the club if he can find an Upton Park sugar-daddy. He was quoted as saying He said: “You have to be a billionaire to make a major difference and there aren’t many of them about. How many Roman Abramovichs are there?"

Well it appears Wang Jianlin is out there, he almost as rich as Roman Abramovich and he wants to buy a English premier league club.

David Gold went on to say “Of course, I’d welcome a Father Christmas. But then you look and discover that it might not be the real Father Christmas. And you know why? Because there isn’t a real Father Christmas. He doesn’t exist.In an ideal world, though, if you ask what I’d like to see happen, I would like a very wealthy person to come and join us. David and myself are wealthy by normal standards, but not by football standards.”

I wonder whether Mr Gold and Mr Sullivan would consider selling up to let the club experience the kind of financial investment Manchester City and Chelsea have enjoyed.

David Sullivan was recently quoted as saying “If we go down we cannot afford to subsidise the club any longer”

If they sold up for £175 million they would re-coup the money they invested and allow the club they say they love to move on to a new chapter.


Talking Point

Why aye man. Why I can't really dislike the Toon.

There are some defeats that are worse than others. Stands to reason that there are some defeats that are better than others. A defeat to Spurs scores higher on the pain and suffering scale than a loss to Arsenal, for the simple reason that I hate Spurs with every sinew in my body and I merely find Arsenal an annoyance. In that same train of thought, there are some teams that I don’t really mind losing to, for a variety of reasons. I genuinely don’t mind losing to Newcastle because I have a secret admiration for the giant of the Tyne. Listening to another defeat was obviously not on my to-do list for Saturday morning, but ultimately, it was a loss I can stomach.

Why do I have this love for the Geordies you ask? Firstly, it’s more of an absence of a dislike, rather than love. There is only one club I could love. They command a grudging respect at a push. Fundamentally, I see many similarities between us and them. Two formerly majestic clubs who have trophy cabinets gathering dust, two fan bases that could rival each other on loyalty and passion stakes and two histories littered with memories of the times we almost made it, or the times management screwed us over.

“What is a club in any case? Not the building or the Directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get out clauses or the marketing departments or the Executive boxes. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.” Sir Bobby Robson

Sir Bobby got it, and in one immortal quote sums up a feeling about football that is almost impossible to encapsulate in fewer words. St James Park will always be the centre of the world for many Geordies in a way that the Olympic Stadium will never be for current West Ham diehards. A Magpie mate of mine recently told me he didn’t know how I was coping with losing our home. There are plenty of shared values between the two clubs. They also know what it means to cope with loss and disappointment. On a continual basis. The club has more than a fifty-year domestic trophy drought, at least ours isn’t that bad. And yet, week in week out, the faithful fill the seats. Both clubs are based on the unwavering, unconditional love of generations of families of fans.

Another reason I’m quieting admiring of the Toon is that they have produced some of the greats of English football, and pride themselves on their homegrown talent as much as we do. I grew up in the Gazzamania and then Shearer-era of English football. There were always Geordies on the telly representing my country, and at their peak were the recipients of national adoration. I remember seeing Saturday’s fixture many seasons ago, when AS was at his physical prime. As the hormonal teenager I was at the time would tell you, the man had thighs like tree trunks. Everyone else looked scrawny on the pitch next to him. I spent most of the match transfixed. Anyway. Back to how Newcastle mirror West Ham’s commitment to further local talent that have gone on to do well for England. Or close enough. That was supposed to be the point of this paragraph.

And ultimately, the Newcastle fans in my life are some of the most genuine, passionate, hopeful fans I know. The only thing that would come between them and getting to St James on a matchday is their mam. They have a love for the game that I see in the West Ham diehards in my life. More of a religious zeal than a love actually. Sort of like they would turn on you if you spilt anything on their hallowed black and white stripes. Or said anything derogatory about Gazza – seriously, some of the most ridiculous defenses of his most extreme behaviour came from my Geordie mates.

So in conclusion, yes another defeat hurts, but this defeat hurts less that others. If we are going to lose (and we clearly are going to continue to do so) then I’m a little bit pleased it’s to a club that I have grudging respect for, and not a team that makes my blood boil.


Transfer Gossip

Alou Diarra wants out!

Alou Diarra wants out of West ham this January transfer window.

Diarra told L’Equipe: “When I talk with other Frenchmen, I would have loved to experience the same as them – but there is a whole world between us. The great excitement of the Premier League – I am not experiencing it at all. Since the very first day people wanted me to accept that I am second choice. I’m in a dead end. It was a bad career choice and I need a real challenge. A January departure? Yes it is very likely. To France? I’ve explored it all.”

Diarra added: “The fact I was back from broken knee ligaments after six weeks without having surgery? Some people could hardly believe it. Anyway my situation has not changed. I am not fooled. I quickly understood he (Allardyce) didn’t rely on me, as I am again confined to the bench.”

West Ham are believed to have paid a fee of around £2.5 million in August 2012 for Diarra from Marseille who were keen to get his hefty £60,000 a week wages of their books.

In January last year his days seemed numbered after he claimed he was lied to by West Ham & agents.

After just five appearances in a West Ham shirt, Diarra claimed he was deceived by West Ham when they tried to lure him to Upton Park..

‘The speeches were so positive,’ Diarra told L’Equipe. ‘I was told that I was a priority for the manager’ ‘At 31-years-old, I wanted to find another league, and Marseille needed to reduce their wage bill, so it suited everyone ‘It was England, London, West Ham, a popular club with a true identity. It was an opportunity to settle in the Premier League. I did not ask, I trusted. ‘After a few weeks, I realised that there were a lot of lies. This agent has fooled me. Some people have made money on my back. Admittedly, I have three year contract but I’m not unhappy financially, but I came to play, not to take an early retirement. I am positively at breaking point.’

Allardyce responded at the time saying “It is a fact of life, I look at the situation and play what I consider the best team, and because of Alou’s long-standing injury he has found it hard to adjust to what is needed in the Premier League. If he is unhappy, he just has to tell me what he wants to do and we’ll see how we go from there. We’ll have that discussion and we’ll make a decision after that on his future.”

Not long after these exchange of words in the media he was shipped out to Rennes on a six month loan and his West Ham career seemed at an end.

In pre-season training he seemed ready to make peace with West Ham. He told the club website “I want to fight this season with West Ham, I’ll give 100 per cent in training and I’ll wait for my chance.I want to give my best for West Ham and we’ll see. I’m ready to play in the Premier League now.Pre-season has gone well. We work hard every day, and we’ve only lost one game so it has been a good start for us”


Player Performance Results

Vote: Player Performances v Manchester City

Click HERE to rate the performances of the West Ham players who “played” against Manchester City.

Oh, and I know I don’t know as much about football as Sam Allardyce but can anyone explain why we have been playing with two wingers and no centre forward all season, and yet the first game Andy Carroll starts is the one when we don’t play with wingers. He really has lost the plot hasn’t he?

#angry


Match Report

Match Thread: West Ham v Manchester City

Please use this thread to comment on the match as it progresses.


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