West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has admitted his performance within the club has not been adequate enough, and has solely blamed former boss Slaven Bilic for the side's recent demise, insisting his children begged him to sack the Croatian over the summer.
The 68-year-old, whose name has been cursed by Hammers fans repeatedly over the past few weeks, sat down with The Guardian's Jacob Steinberg and opened up over his standpoint and the motives and reasoning behind certain decisions he has made in recent times.
Chelsea will be without David Luiz and Danny Drinkwater tomorrow.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) December 8, 2017
Conte said: 'it's disappointing news to be without two players, but f*ck it, it's only West Ham'
The Irons currently find themselves deep in the relegation zone, one point above rock-bottom Swansea City and three from safety, and the businessman has admitted duties within the club, as well as his own, have not been fulfilled to expectation, as well as the possible side effects if the east London club are not able to escape the drop.
"I feel I haven’t done well enough”, Sullivan told the Guardian. “Nobody’s done well enough. I work my socks off, but sometimes it’s not good enough. It’s going to be very damaging if it (relegation) happens. We’d have to do whatever it takes to keep the club afloat.
"If we go down, we’ll come straight back up. We always come straight back up. We had to put £30m in the last time.”
Joe Hart not starting for West Ham against Chelsea this weekend. Adrian in.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) December 7, 2017
However, despite West Ham currently finding themselves in turmoil, and calls from certain supporters for heads to roll within the London Stadium, Sullivan has stated his intentions are to be very much part of the Hammers' future, alongside business partner David Gold.
“David Gold is 81, it’s his whole life", the Welshman went on to say. "He has nothing in his life except West Ham. He has no hobbies. He has a family but he has one granddaughter. I love football and I want to be nowhere else but West Ham. We’re not in it for a quick buck.”
Speaking of which, the Irons' move from Upton Park to the London Stadium in 2016 has been well documented, with a number of issues surfacing since arriving in their non-owned home.
However, from the majority of the public's perspective, the Hammers hierarchy opted for the switch in order to reap a financial benefit, something Sullivan simply does not agree with.
“We’re about £10m a year better off”, he said. “It’s not going to change our lives.
Conte surprised at West Ham struggles:"Yes, yes, I must be honest. They have a good squad and to see them in this position is a bit strange."— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) December 8, 2017
“I just think we feel like a big club. Not a tinpot club. When players come to look at West Ham, they look at where you play.”
Part of the promises to fans to soften the blow ahead of, and during the move, was the prospect of hosting the pinnacle of world football inside their new state-of-the-art ground.
It was said West Ham would climb the ranks of the Premier League and face the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus in Europe's peak competitions.
However, the reality is a much bleaker outlook, with the Hammers currently staring relegation in the face and being guided by a man whose lack of tactical nouse and transfer market dealings forced an early exit from his last three positions.
But the only part Sullivan blames himself for is not pulling the trigger on Bilic sooner, going on to claim that all transfer dealings hang on the shoulders of the Croatian, apart from the successful ones, of course.
“I should have got rid of him in the summer”, he added. “But beating Tottenham in the last home game and beating Burnley was just enough. My family gave me such grief for not doing it. I thought he’d sorted things out.
I see the occasional tweet slagging the real West Ham fan group off saying "nows not the time"— RJK (@Robbiejamesking) December 6, 2017
It's exactly that attitude that let them sell The Boleyn and rent that khazi
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“I’m very involved with physically bringing in the players. I’m not involved in the strategy. The manager says he wants Fonte from Southampton and Snodgrass from Hull. My kids begged me not to sign them.
“I regret it in a way, the first year I was more involved and the next two years I was less involved. We’ve let the manager pick who he wants.
“Maybe going forward we won’t. We have to take a look at the age of the players we’re signing. We will have to bring in two or three in January. They won’t be old journeymen, they will be young players. They won’t be 32.
“We have to get in the top six eventually. We’ve had a go and it hasn’t worked. We’ll keep having a go. We’ll keep changing the model and try different things. We dare to dream.”