Friday, April 18, 2008

Who Will West Ham Show The Door?

There are no surprises that today's newspapers have picked up on the news that Curbishley has to sell players before he can buy. There are also no surprises that the papers think that the large wages of Neill and Ljungberg make them favourites to be sold.

What is surprising is that most of the papers are also including Dyer in their list of favourites for the chop. An injured player that no one is likely to buy until he proves he has recovered by getting some first team action. Yes I'm sure he'll be put up for sale.

Of course our friends at The Daily Mail are suggesting that West Ham will also be looking to sell their top players like Green and Ashton. The Mail will of course be writing an apology in September if the players are still at the club.

Season Ticket Rise

The club also announced today that season tickets will rise by around 5% next season.


Yesterday Google released an update for Google Earth. If you download the updated version of Google Earth you will find a new layer written by yours truly. My layer is in the Sky part of Google Earth (access via the planet at the top of the screen) under the 'Education Center' folder. The layer is called Virtual Tourism (one of my other blogs) and is really just a replication of what you can see at my Star Viewer website (lots of videos of stars and stuff).

Apart from including my work - which of course was a brilliant move by Google - the updated Google Earth is great fun. It now includes day and night lighting effects, faster loading of 3d buildings and street view imagery. Enough to keep anyone amused for half an hour.


At 9:55 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

Given the state of the economy in Iceland,the season ticket price rise was a dead cert. It s not pretty,but it had to happen if we re to have any realistic chance of affording new players. There are enough us who are fanatical enough(or crazy enough )to keep paying , and the owner knows it, so in that sense he s got us over a barrel.

Also a dead cert ,is that the usual media suspects wud print stories so well wide of the mark.
Let s begin with Ljungberg. Sure,he s on high wages ,especialy for a midtable club, and yes,he began poorly at Upton Park. But he s improved markedly from the start of this season. Highly unlikely that he wud be sold. On to Dyer- again virtually no chance of being sold ,mainly because of what Keir pointed out about his "unsale-ability". But for other reasons as well. The guy broke his leg - wasn t his fault ,so it can t be blamed on him being injury prone. Why wud we sell a player before he s even had a crack at the whip,before he s even shown what he can do? And also, Curbishley chose to buy Dyer. The owner approved the purchase. The owner has also solidly backed Curbishley thus far,in a manner a bit more forthright than the usual "vote of confidence". So to sell Dyer wud be effectively be sceond-guessing his manager , and implying that he doesn t truly back him. This simply is not going to happen.

As for selling Green and Ashton? Again ,highly unlikely. For a start ,doing so wud expose the club to relegation, which wud obviously be financial disaster. More realistically, the only way this owner is going to make money on his investment in west ham is if the club becomes a consistent top 6 side and /or a consistent good performer in domestic cups. He s not stupid- he knows that he will make no money if the club remain permanently stuck in 10th place. Whether you are talking about league ticket sales (non-season ticket holders),cup ticket sales, merchandising,Sky coverage,drumming up fan interest on other continents,corporate sponsorships-it all depends on the degree of progress the club makes .
Selling the likes of Green and Ashton (an in-form Ashton at least ) wud be more likely to see the club drop to 16th than move up to 6th or 7th.

Neill is a more complicated case. He s underperformed this season, but he s also the team captain (tho that remains to be seen if it s maintained next season) . There is also the issue of saleability- how many teams are prepared to pay Neill s wages after his lethargic campaign this term , and given that he s 30. Add his international commitments ,and there aren t going to be a lot of takers, so he also seems unlikely to go.

In my view ,the ones that will go, are players who are better suited to the Championship ,including a couple who have not featured at all this term. There are probably 3 who fit into that catgeory,none of whom will command large fees for obvious reasons. In addition to these,are a couple players who cud still survive in the Premiership as substitutes,but who again, wud not command big fees if sold. Then you get to a couple players who may command a decent fee if sold ,one of whom I think will go. I don t know which ,but my guess is that either Gabbidon or Collins will be sold,as both must be frustrated at the lack of playing time ,which will only get worse with the emergence of Tomkins .

So if you add up the revenue from the sale of 5 to 7 players,and the wage savings ,it s not huge, but it wud go a long way towards funding at least one high profile signing.

One thing that the club needs to examine ,on top of its medical and legal resources,is its PR machine. The club is getting better at countering the dross that gets printed in the gutter media, but it can do better still.


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