By Nick Harris
25 March 2010
West Ham’s co-owner and chairman, David Sullivan, has today made a public apology on the club’s website for the “shambolic” defeat to Wolves on Tuesday, for the “disorganised” way the team played and for the “pathetic” showing against their relegation rivals.
In an open letter first sent to individual supporters on Wednesday and now posted on the club’s home page, he writes: “I was as angry and upset as every supporter in the stadium at the disorganised way we played, allowing Wolves too much space so that they looked more like Manchester United. This was the culmination of five defeats in a row, including an appalling performance against Bolton.
“We have a few very talented players in our team, but it is a very unbalanced squad. Individually we have some very good players, but this is not being converted into a good team performance. Nobody at the club should delude themselves that we are a good team. The table at this stage of the season does not lie.
“However, with some of the outstanding players we have, we can and must do better as a team. I apologise to every supporter for the pathetic showing on Tuesday night but I fully expect a dramatic improvement as we have so much individual talent.
“I accept that the club is in deep relegation trouble.”
The letter appeals for fans to turn up to the next game, against Stoke, and implores: “Saturday may be tense, on Saturday you will feel anxious and, at times, unsettled. I ask that we try not to transmit that on to the field, that we get behind the team and provide them with a platform. The rest is up to them.
“It’s hard being an owner. I’m finding it’s harder being an owner who is a supporter. I hope for happier times soon.”
The stinging criticism does not bode well for the future of manager Gianfranco Zola, although Sullivan’s co-owner, David Gold, has said Zola’s job is safe for the time being.