From the Terraces - Madrid Hammer

Our Madrid Hammer asks whether Manchester City's model is the only way to chase success

Our Spanish-based Hammer asks whether the Manchester City model is the only way to chase success...

The disappointing performance and defeat against Manchester City showed the gulf in class between the two teams. We could not keep hold of the ball and seemed to lack pace and ideas going forward.

Defensively, we could not contain the energy and creativity from the City players. It was painful to watch.

When you invest millions in attracting world class players, you know what you are going to get. They are paid huge wages but you can see the hunger and desire from players like Aguero and Silva to keep at the top of their game. Whether it is pressing in midfield, breaking at pace, chasing down the ball or finishing, the best players can do it all.

Like Manchester City, do we need a billionaire investor to move to the next level and challenge for European football?

In recent times we have seen an ever increasing change from English owners in the Premier League to foreign billionaire investors who splash out their wealth on building global powerhouse clubs.

Another example is Spanish team Malaga, which went from La Liga also-rans to Champions League qualifiers in just a couple of years thanks to the wealth of a Qatari investor and the management of Pelligrini. Then for no apparent reason, the investment stopped. The reasons for this loss of interest were not clear but one constraint could have been how a club like Malaga can cut its cloth to comply with the Financial Fair Play regulations to build sustainability.

From the fans perspective, there is nothing more exciting than an open cheque book to sign the best players but be careful what you wish for because an owner can go from hero to zero in next to no time. Just ask the fans of Birmingham City, Blackburn and Leeds United. English football is littered with examples like this. History suggests that smart business people do not always make a seamless transition to being smart football club owners.

At West Ham, we are lucky to have the two Davids and I personally thank them for bringing our club back from the brink of disaster. In a short space of time, they have been reducing the debt, building a better squad of players and are leading us into the future as an established Premier League Club. They really do understand what it takes to run a successful football club.

From time to time, they have spoken about bringing on board a wealthy investor – if it makes sense. After all, the club looks like a much more attractive investment proposition compared to when the current owners took over the reins. But let’s not be too hasty!

An additional wealthy investor in the club seems a desirable objective and of course big money can help a lot. However, what it cannot buy you is the emotional attachment to the club, a full understanding of the DNA of the club and the “West Ham Way” (which, as an aside, should be the name of the road leading to the new stadium!).  This is what the Davids have in abundance.

If the Davids think that we need additional investment then we can trust them to make that decision and find the right partner for the club. However, we do have to comply with the investment limits of the Financial Fair Play rules so for me, though, I would be happy to stay as we are, invest in the team and grow the club in a self-sufficient and stable way to avoid any further off the field troubles in the future.

Hasta Luego!

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United FC.