Trevor's Task

In part one of an exclusive two-part interview, Trevor Brooking explains why he has accepted West Ham's offer of joining the Board of Directors at Upton Park.

"I'm really excited and flattered because to be the first player to be invited onto the board; it is something I'm very grateful for, and it's a very privileged position," he says.

"The business of football is mushrooming and expanding all the time.

"From the club's point of view it has been a difficult few weeks and I think it was felt that closer links at boardroom level with the football side would be extremely useful.

"And with my strong bond and affinity with the club I was only too pleased to accept.

"I'd like to feel I could become the fans' representation to try and fulfil the ambition that we all feel.

"I think when you actually sit and look at the so-called financial constraints, that situation will improve with the development of the ground.

"26,000 is a restriction and by the end of this year that will be improved - which will help enormously.

"The thing about being a selling club and always having to move the better players on is something that has been there in the past.

"Rio's departure and even Frank's this summer almost adds weight to the people that want to point that criticism.

"What is crucial now when you see the ground development and the money that is around in the game is that West Ham have got to try and reverse that perception.

"Having sat down for a little while now before making this decision I feel confident that we can take the club forward over a longer term strategy which perhaps hasn't been there and now it's a case of trying to put that in place.

"I think fans will accept it more if they see something happening gradually.

"I wouldn't mind selling a top class player if you get a couple of top class players in!"

Trevor says short term needs and long term plans have to be balanced, and adds: "I think what has been the concern is that you sell a top class player and you try and make do with players that are perhaps not of the quality that you sold and that's when supporters think we are never going to improve.

"I do believe that if you plan it long term you can begin to bring in the sort of quality players that you need to if we want to move on.

"The thing is not to jump in, and the problem area if you have not got football involvement at board level is that you tend to react to the manager and whatever the particular crisis is at the particular moment.

"The manager should have the decision as to who comes or goes but, in the long term, you could be going into a strategy which has benefits over a longer period while also helping the manager to react to immediate situations.

"The manager lives in a world today where he has to look a little bit more short term because fans look from one month to the next on how the club is doing.

"Whilst football is a business now, the board has to look at both areas to get an overall package if you want to see progression on the field.

"Harry said himself he wanted to rectify the sort of situation where the likes of Rio Ferdinand leave.

"I would like to feel that we don't let such players go now without ever using the money to bring in what we might term better players.

"Players like Michael Carrick and Joe Cole should feel convinced that the club is moving on.

"We have to convince players that the club can move that next rung up the ladder.

"It's important to clarify that this was in the pipeline for a while and this was going to happen irrespective of what was happening on the coaching and managerial side.

"Glenn is the manager by right and it is quite right that he should get on there and do whatever he feels need to be done.

"I'm just there to forge a closer link with the board and the playing side.

"Then we'll see how it develops from there."

*Don't miss part two of our exclusive interview with Trevor, to appear on the site soon.