David Gold and David Sullivan have charged West Ham £18million in loan interest since 2010 — scandalous considering “even Mike Ashley hasn’t charged a penny.”
That is according to football finance guru and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking shortly after the 11-year anniversary of Gold and Sullivan’s West Ham takeover.
And while the powerbrokers haven’t taken home a salary in that time, they have earned considerably from charging interest on money they have lent the East London club, as Maguire revealed via Twitter.
Not been paid a salary but have charged the club over £18 million interest on the loans. pic.twitter.com/TLs3njyeww
— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) January 18, 2021
According to the Sunday Times’ Rich List, Sullivan is worth £1.15billion and Gold £460m.
The spreadsheet wiz questioned the need for the pair to charge interest given that the £18m they have made throughout their ownership is pocket change considered next to their monumental wealth.
“Initially they were charging about 6% and now they’ve dropped it to 4.5%,” he told Football Insider.
“It’s a double-edged sword. I think it probably works out a little bit cheaper than if they were borrowing from a bank.
“But from Gold and Sullivan’s point of view, it’s a very good return. So I think the owners are probably benefiting slightly more than the club.
“Spurs are borrowing at 3.75%, Manchester United around about the same. Admittedly they are bigger clubs than West Ham, so you would expect them to be borrowing at slightly cheaper rates.
“But Gold and Sullivan are getting a decent return on that. It does seem strange given that David Sullivan is a billionaire in his own right. He’s been very successful in the property market and clearly has other historic interests as well.
“Why he needs to get an extra million or two a year from West Ham, I don’t know. It seems very harsh. Tony Bloom hasn’t charged a penny, the Thai investment at Leicester, they’ve not charged a penny, even Mike Ashley doesn’t do that and hasn’t charged a penny. So it doesn’t reflect particularly well on Gold and Sullivan.”
While 5th-place West Ham are flying high in the Premier League this season, footballing success in the Gold-Sullivan era has been sporadic at best.
They were relegated to the Championship in 2010-11 and although they were re-promoted at the first attempt, the Hammers have achieved just two top-half finishes since.