Pornography isn’t everyone’s cup of meat. However, it’s all around us. You are currently two clicks away from watching as much hot lovin’ as your body can stand. Quite whether this is a good thing or a deeply immoral thing, is open to debate. A mass debate, perhaps.
However, one thing is not in question. A lot of people have made a lot of money out of porno so it was only a matter of time before the proceeds started to dribble, or even spurt down to the Premier League.
But the takeover of West Ham by David’s Sullivan and Gold, whose money in large part comes from what we used to quaintly call jazz mags, along with what now seem rather tame flicks such as Emmanuelle in Soho, as well as a range of vibrating devices and other pleasure delivering mechanisms, has largely been welcomed.
There is no moral outcry in the East End that West Ham United, the club of England’s greatest captain, Bobby Moore, is being defiled by the sticky hands of two bongo barons.
After the likes of Shinawatra, the Portsmouth debacle, The Glazers and the gruesome twosome Hicks and Gillette, a couple of Brits with cash to spend courtesy of the male libido is these days seen as positively wholesome. The fans just heaved a sigh of relief and said; thank God it’s not a human rights abuser, a Russian oligarch or some Sheik who says he has money but actually appears not to have two grains of couscous to rub together.
How local parents will explain to their West Ham supporting kids where the money to buy West Ham has come from, is a problem most are prepared to accept if it saves what is one of England’s finest old clubs.
West Ham can claim to have had the best academy in the land since the war. The list of players they have brought through it is extraordinary. They don’t buy them in from some French academy at 16 and pass them off as ‘home-grown’ either. These are usually local boys who are spotted young and brought through a full youth system.
In the last ten years alone this has produced players such as Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Michael Carrick and new stars such as Mark Noble and Jack Collison to name just a few.
In short, West Ham do it the right way; local kids can and do still aspire to play for their local club and can see a route through to achieving that. That is an important social, civic responsibility for a football club to perform. Until recently, this may have seemed old fashioned but with the financial implosion in football, the cost benefits of growing your own talent has never been more logical. So West Ham, with a bit of sensible investment, stands a better chance than most of making progress in the Premier League.
Gold and Sullivan have said they’re in this for the long run and their track record at Birmingham shows they are not fly-by-night owners. Gold has spoken of a ten year plan after which fans will be able to look back and see how far they’ve come. Which, considering the source of the money they’ve rescued the club with, would only be appropriate.