Why West Ham’s Asset Stripping is Actually a Good Thing

West Ham’s owners, the Two Davids, are being accused of “asset stripping;” a move to lower payroll in hopes of increasing the club’s potential value in preparation for a sale.

Asset stripping is an on-brand move for the West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold, as a quick Google will show you how they made their millions.

Hammers fans consider the Board’s sale of Academy grad Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion for £18 million pounds to be the most significant betrayal of faith and finances since Judas sold Jesus for 30 silver pieces.

Since September, #GSBOUT – the moniker and directive for West Ham majority owners David Sullivan, David Gold, and Vice Chairman Karen Brady – can be found trending after every loss. Fans’ ire resides not just in failure, but in a never-ending spin cycle whereby the Board tells tall tales of blame devoid of any accountability.

As the European transfer window closed on October 5th, West Ham were, as usual, linked with about every player and their mum. GSB’s approach to the transfer market is always the same; sniff around aimlessly like a dog searching for where to leave its scent, then leave a stink.

The sum of West Ham’s activity? eleven players out and two in. The senior squad is down to just eighteen outfield players and three goalies. For context, this is currently the smallest squad in the Premier League, and smaller than Sheppey United who plays in the Southern Counties East Football League.

My colleague George Grieve gives a thorough account of Why it’s time for Sullivan and Gold to Sell West Ham United. In short, the owners have either no vision or no ability and acumen to implement one.

But there is reason to be optimistic. After all this, six weeks into the 2020/2021 season sees West Ham sitting in the top half of the Premier League, tied for the 5th best goal differential.

The mercurial club waxed the Wolves 4-0, found themselves eviscerated by Everton 4-1, and levelled Leicester 3-0. If you want consistency, go follow Bayern or a team backed by petrol pounds. This is West Ham after all – you must be at least as tall as Tomas Soucek to ride this up-and-down roller coaster.

In order to meet the Premier League maximum 25 man roster, there will be plenty of opportunities for academy players to earn a cap. I have been firm, but to be fair none of our deadline day departures played pivotal roles.

Often injured Jack Wilshere will be at Rangers. Former record signing £36 million Felipe Anderson joined FC Porto for a season-long loan, which may actually boost his transfer value by providing him with much needed regular first-team football.

24-year-old Ireland International Josh Cullen, who earned caps for a couple of recent cup ties, was sold to Belgian side Anderlecht. While I’d hate to see him go for only £800,000, it beats losing England International and my one true love Declan Rice, who has been with West Ham’s academy since he was 14-years-old.

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Michail Antonio, West Ham Legend, has scored 10 times in his last 11 games. And even though he has played at just about every position on the pitch, it looks like we finally have a striker who scores goals and gives his all every game.

Seriously, under the Two Davids West Ham have signed forty-two forwards. The most successful on that list is Demba Ba, who played twelve games in 2011 before leaving. Number two is Marko Arnautovic, whose brother and agent Danijel forced a move to Shanghai Evergrande for a cut-rate price.

While no Ballon d’Or candidates arrived via the international market, West Ham have been linked with a handful of Championship bargains who are itching for a chance to play in the big leagues.

To quote East Ham native 21 Savage, one such championship target Said Benrahma may not be Mr Right, but he is Mr Right Now. West Ham have learned their lesson by investing big money in players that want to use our club as a pit stop to the big six – ones who are “more concerned with blowing up than growing up” in East London, as Mr Savage so eloquently puts it.

Even the likes of Harry Redknapp are imploring the David’s to find a Goliath willing to take the club to what fans believe its rightful place is – a perennial top ten finisher in the Prem. A club that is capable of deep cup runs and attractive football.

GSB’s tenure has been a Quixotic venture – two windmills powered by hot air while going nowhere fast. Hammers fans everywhere will be praying their successor is a real giant, with deep pockets to match our ambition.