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Even West Ham owners now shaming Mike Ashley and Newcastle United with response to virus crisis

5 months ago
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Fair to say that West Ham is rarely held up these days as a great example of how a football club should be run.

Owners Gold and Sullivan, plus the likes of vice-chair Karren Brady, not exactly covering themselves in glory.

However, fair play to them for the statement they have now released, detailing their response to the virus situation.

It comes to something when even the West Ham owners are now shaming Mike Ashley and Newcastle United.

What West Ham have done:

The owners have injected £30m into the club and committed to paying all normal staff 100% of their wages, instead of exploiting the government’s furlough scheme.

Senior staff in the shape of vice-chair Karren Brady, manager David Moyes and their chief financial offer, have all agreed a 30% reduction in pay.

With the above establishing a level of trust between owners and players, the West Ham squad have agreed to defer part of their wages whilst football is suspended.

Meanwhile, at Newcastle United:

Mike Ashley has fled the country to his Miami mansion, Steve Bruce has also left Tyneside during this virus crisis for his second home in Cheshire where we are told he is doing some farming, whilst Lee Charnley is his usual anonymous self.

Mike Ashley not even allowing the club to put out any statements announcing, never mind explaining/justifying, his actions with NUFC – such as furloughing almost all staff who aren’t players or senior coaching team, plus insisting on taking full season ticket payment by direct debit from fans for 2020/21 despite nobody knowing when that season will start.

West Ham official statement:

‘West Ham United can confirm that a series of measures – led by the Board, first-team players and the manager – have today been agreed to ensure the Club can continue to support our staff, fans and local community through this difficult time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the entire nation with a challenge the vast majority of us have never experienced in our lifetime. It continues to impact all of our lives, both personally and professionally. Like many organisations across the globe, the Club has been looking at every option possible to achieve continuity and to ensure that we can protect and safeguard all of our staff and the future viability of our football club.

The Board of Directors have been working tirelessly behind the scenes exploring every possible avenue, with our main priority in these unchartered times being to keep those around us and their families safe. We can confirm that a number of measures, including the following, are now in place:

• The first team playing squad, led by captain Mark Noble, are supporting the effort by deferring a percentage of their salaries during this period of postponement

• Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold and fellow shareholders have agreed to inject £30million cash to help ensure stability

• The Joint-Chairmen, who have not taken a salary or dividend throughout their 10 years at the Club, are deferring interest payments on shareholder loans

• Manager David Moyes, Vice-Chairman Karren Brady and Chief Financial Officer Andy Mollett taking a 30% reduction

The savings created by the measures above will support the entire infrastructure of the Club and enable us to retain jobs and continue to pay 100% of staff salaries. It will also help us to continue to support the most vulnerable in our community. Through our award-winning Foundation, and the Players’ Project we have delivered, West Ham United has pledged £28m and saved the NHS £1.4m in the 150-Club diabetes programme alone – and these vital life-saving programmes need to continue.

Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: “I would like to say a big thank you to David Moyes and his backroom team, our captain Mark Noble and our fantastic squad of players for the commitment and determination they have shown to offer their help and support.

‘’I would also like to thank the shareholders whose support through this injection of equity once again demonstrates their commitment to the future of the Club.

“The Joint-Chairmen and I are truly proud of how they and everyone at the Club has stepped up to play their part in this situation – we are in it together to support one another, our community and our Club. That is the spirit of the West Ham United family.

“There is still a long and difficult road ahead but we remain committed to doing everything we can to support those most in need, and together we will come through it stronger.”

Captain Mark Noble said: “As players we have been in constant dialogue with the Club since the situation around COVID-19 emerged and I am proud that our entire squad have made clear their strong desire to play our part in helping to support others through this situation.

“At West Ham United, we are one team and our priority reflects the Club’s aim to help ensure the staff get 100% of their salaries while we are unable to play our matches. We continue to do all we can, collectively and individually, throughout this period for the benefit of those around us, our colleagues, our supporters and our community.

“On behalf of the players I send our best wishes to all of our supporters and their families, especially those who have been directly affected by the virus, and I look forward to the day that we can all be back together again.”

The thoughts of everyone at West Ham United at this time are with all those affected by COVID-19, particularly the more vulnerable members of our community. Please continue to look out for yourselves and for each other.

Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.’

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