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Top ten a pipe dream under current regime?

Filed: Wednesday, 25th April 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's record under the club's current administration is the worst in the Premier League era.

Since the old Division One disappeared in 1992, following the formation of the Premier League in a breakaway from the Football League, West Ham have had three majority owners - Terry Brown (1992-2006), Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson/Straumur (2006-2010) and David Sullivan & David Gold (since 2010).

And whilst teams on the much-maligned Brown's watch averaged a 14th-place finish, and under the Icelandics' far-shorter-lived reign an even more impressive 11th, performances under the Sullivan/Gold banner have resulted in an average finish of just 15th - the lowest of all three majority owners.

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Terry Brown hands over the keys to Eggert Magnusson in 2006

The shy Brown, who was eventually hounded out of the club following a storm of protests and negative publicity in the first half of the noughties saw the club achieve seven top ten finishes on his watch (14 seasons in total), including United's second-highest top-flight finish of 5th under Harry Redknapp in 1998/99.

And whilst West Ham also finished in the top half of the table twice in the Icelandics three seasons (under Alan Curbishley and Gianfranco Zola), they have managed it just once since Sullivan and Gold arrived at the club eight years ago - in the final, emotional season at The Boleyn Ground (Slaven Bilic).

In terms of Cup competitions, the Brown era resulted in the club reaching five quarter finals and one final (the 2006 FA Cup Final) whilst there was just the one quarter final during Gudmundsson's three-year tenure.

However since Sullivan and Gold arrived at the club there have been four quarter final appearances and two semi finals - both in the League Cup - although two were in the duo's first season (an FA Cup quarter final and a League Cup semi) under Avram Grant, which also resulted in relegation to the Championship.

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New owners Sullivan & Gold pictured in 2010

Brown & Cearns

Seasons: 2nd* (92/93); 13th (93/94); 14th (94/95); 10th (95/96); 14th (96/97); 8th (97/98); 5th (98/99); 9th (99/00); 15th (00/01); 7th (01/02); 18th (02/03); 4th* (03/04); 6th* (04/05); 9th (05/06)

Average position: 14th
Top ten finishes: 7/14 (50%)
Relegations: 1 (2002/03)

Gudmundsson & Magnusson

Seasons: 15th (06/07); 10th (07/08); 9th (08/09)

Average position: 11th
Top ten finishes: 2/3 (67%)
Relegations: 0

Sullivan & Gold

Seasons: 17th (09/10); 20th (10/11); 3rd* (11/12); 10th (12/13); 13th (13/14); 12th (14/15); 7th (15/16); 11th (16/17); 15th (17/18)

Average position: 15th
Top ten finishes: 1/9 (11%)
Relegations: 1 (2010/11)

* Denotes a season in the Championship (second tier)

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