Like most other West Ham fans, I am really pleased to see Winston Reid sign a contract that will see him spend all but the rest of his playing career at West Ham United.
I am delighted for the Club but I also take an immense amount of personal satisfaction after taking such a hands on role in the negotiations with Winston and his advisors.
It has probably been the longest running set of talks I have ever been involved in and, yes, I was worried we would not find a positive conclusion. I do not blame Winston, though, as it was important he took his time as this was such a big decision for him and his family.
But I have learned in life that you should never give up and our perseverance in this instance has paid off by signing up one of the top defenders in the Premier League to a contract that will see him spend his peak years with West Ham United in our stunning new Stadium.
It is that Stadium and the progress we have seen on the pitch this season that helped me convince Winston that West Ham were the Club for him long-term. There was a lot of speculation in the media about Winston’s future and I know that some of Europe’s top sides were taking a look at him and understandably he wanted to play for a Club that would be challenging for and competing in Europe over the coming years.
As a Board we firmly believe that we will be doing that once we have settled in to our new home and signing Winston up alongside James Tomkins gives us a platform to base our defence around for the next five to six years. Mark Noble has also pledged his future and I am pushing ahead to see a couple more first-team players follow suit by the end of the season.
These are incredibly exciting times on and off the pitch at West Ham and the fact that we have been able to sign up someone of Winston’s stature and ambition is a statement of where we are going as a Club. I cannot wait to see what we can achieve during the course of his stay here.