The Lunatic Files: David Sullivan, Chester City, Louis Van Gaal

09 February 2010

David Sullivan on Tuesday did something very dumb in my mind by making the situation at West Ham United is in financially a more public matter then it had really any right to be. While I’m sure West Ham fans appreciate the honesty bestowed by one of the chairmen at the club, the way in which he went about it just 24 hours before West Ham host a tough Birmingham City side was not the wisest idea in the world.

Furthermore, the way David Gold tried to justify the comments to the BBC didn’t exactly help matters either. In summary of what was said: David Sullivan couldn’t believe the shape the clubs finances were in after taking over the club. Sullivan also feels that everyone from back room staff all the way to the players need to ‘voluntarily take a pay cut to prevent financial Armageddon happening to the club should relegation happen’. He even went one step further when he said that Gianfranco Zola was overpaid at 1.9 million pounds a year. Sullivan tried to backpedal tonight after Zola had a few words to say about the matter in his press conference, but this was not the best way to galvanize the club.

The words ‘this came as a surprise’ would appear to be the understatement of the day. If Zola didn’t know about these revelations before they went to press, I think it’s a fair assumption to say the players didn’t either. To put it bluntly, there were too many things revealed today that should have at least been brought up internally first before being revealed in the papers. Both Gold and Sullivan should have had the staff and players come together and just systematically brought up all these issues. From salary to cell phone perks, decisions should have been made in private before they became public knowledge. At least then everyone who truly needs to know first will know what the score is. That way if players and staff do decide to voluntarily cut costs first, it looks better in the war of public relations.

If you’re Portsmouth Football Club, it has truly been a difficult season. It’s truly been tough to find the bright side of life. Well Portsmouth FC fans, here’s something that could make your plight seem a little bit better: at least your club has fulfilled all its fixtures despite being paid late.

Meet Chester City, where on Tuesday the players decided just two and a half hours before kickoff to not play a conference fixture with Forest Green Rovers. Considering they have only received one week’s worth of wages in the last three months, I don’t blame them one bit. They have been more than understanding about the club’s perilous situation, and they need to be able to pay bills. Yes, money made in the Conference isn’t exactly something that will make one rich, and most of these players have to supplement their income elsewhere. However, there comes a time when the stand has to be made. The only issue now is if they follow through on it.

I truly hope both Portsmouth and Chester City survive these problems and come out the other end stronger clubs for it. Unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s going to be a while before that happens.

Despite Bayern Munich’s 3-1 away victory this past weekend to Wolfsburg, Louis Van Gaal was not happy whatsoever about his team’s performance. He even went so far as to call his squad’s performance ‘arrogant‘.
I can understand Van Gaal not being happy with his team’s play. FC Bayern wasted way too many chances while allowing Wolfsburg the opportunity to at least get back in the game. Had this happened against a side higher up in the table, they would have gotten back in the game. In truth though, on a day when Wolfsburg didn’t have their dancing shoes, Van Gaal’s only complaint should be the fact they gave up such a cheap consolation goal.

With Bayern Munich on song right now, Van Gaal needs to realize that his side is going to play with more confidence than I think he would like them to. The key is going to be balancing out confidence to where it does not turn to arrogance. It was their arrogance at the start of the season that right now keeps them out of first place.


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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