9 reasons why everyone hates... West Ham
Please note: This is the last in our series featuring several other Premier League teams getting the return treatment, so no, we aren't just picking on you. Oh, and the below doesn't necessarily represent the views of FourFourTwo. Over to Paul...
In the process of putting together this list, I took a moment to reflect and ask myself the question: do I actually hate West Ham?
I mean, sure, they’re literally taking money out of my pocket to pay for their appalling stadium, there's the bubbles, and supporters that dress like low-rent Jacamo brand caricatures from The Only Way Is Essex (only with even more unintelligible accents). Oh, and the oft-repeated ‘alternative fact’ that West Ham are the only club in the Football League’s 129-year history to actually win the World Cup. (Fake news! Sad!)
But hate is a strong word, usually reserved only for Tottenham and the feeling of arriving at Fulham Broadway on matchday having left your wallet back at the pub. No, West Ham are too ridiculous to hate. To hate them is to hate comedy. Of all the 92 clubs in the league, West Ham are by far and away the most hilarious. From jellied eels to Russell Brand, from the West Ham Way to the tragedy of their supporters, they're a feast of Gold TV brand comedy reruns to be cherished.
So no, I don’t hate West Ham, but here are seven reasons why I’ll probably die laughing at them one day.
1. The owners
Has anyone ever looked more ridiculous at a football match than Sullivan? Apart from that pirate fella at Arsenal, probably not.
Just look at David Sulivan, the man who dresses like a Tsarist gnome (a piece of merchandise surprisingly lacking from the Poundland cave of wonders that is the club’s megastore). Has anyone ever looked more ridiculous at a football match? Apart from that pirate fella at Arsenal, probably not.
David Gold, meanwhile, looks like a man who's been through some heavy stuff, although over 30 years with Thurston Bois’ pocket-sized Stalin will probably do that to you, in fairness. No doubt haunted by the ghost of Sam Allardyce, Gold probably spends his days staring wistfully at a picture of Jermain Defoe surrounded by copies of his own autobiography, Pure Gold.
They're the kind of East End double act that make Del Boy and Rodney look like Einstein and Newton, and they're in charge of an actual football club. Sullivan and Gold accumulated their considerable wealth by flogging purple dildos in Soho, which in a fantastic twist of irony is what they’re basically watching flail around the middle of park every Saturday.
2. Celebrity fans
They can often be found donning a flat cap, too, presumably handed to them by the club in a desperate attempt to make them look like an ordinary fan
Russell Brand. James Cordon. Ray Winstone. Steve Harris. Danny Dyer. Phil Jupitus. No, you haven’t stumbled onto a Celebrity Come Dine With Me in the seventh circle of hell. These are just a few of the famous faces that have a hammer-shaped hole in their heart.
The mere fact they support West Ham wouldn't be so bad if their other supporters didn't go on about it every time one of them turns up at a game, wearing a grimaced expression which roughly translates as "I hope one of these unwashed louts doesn't touch me or my expensive jacket". They can often be found donning a flat cap, too, presumably handed to them by the club in a desperate attempt to make them look like an ordinary fan.
Perhaps dining out on a famous follower is something to hold onto in place of, oh, I don't know... AN ACTUAL TROPHY OR SOMETHING.
3. Carlton Cole
So good they signed him twice.