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» Slaven Bilic says West Ham's chairmen deserve praise
Slaven Bilic says West Ham's chairmen deserve praise
Slaven Bilic insists West Ham are lucky to have David Sullivan and David Gold running the club.
West Ham are one of a dwindling number of Premier League clubs with English owners, while just this week Chinese businessman Jisheng Gao bought a majority stake in Saturday's opponents Southampton.
The Hammers' joint-chairmen are sometimes criticised by fans over issues such as the move to the London Stadium, transfer business and media appearances.
But boss Bilic said: "I'm sure they are very appreciated by the fans. The people who live for West Ham know how good the chairmen are for the club and how much they invest.
"It's better for the club to be run by someone who knows the history, the environment, the business part of it, someone who is not going gung-ho.
"Those clubs and those chairmen should be praised," he added. "Because it's not easy to resist those kind of offers. They should at least be appreciated, from the fans and from the whole of football."
Sullivan and Gold have invested heavily this summer in Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez and still hope to land Portugal midfielder William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon.
They also tied down key defender Winston Reid to a new six-year contract on Friday, keeping him at the club until 2023.
West Ham are still short of being able to compete with the inflated fees paid by major clubs, but Bilic insists money is not everything.
"Not every takeover is like Manchester City, or Paris St Germain, some takeovers didn't go that good," he explained.
"It's not a guarantee, some things you can't buy. You can't buy mentality, you can't buy tradition and you can't buy time.
"I don't care about the others," Bilic said. "But West Ham is on the right way and I think everyone connected with the club knows the chairmen are doing their best within the budget."
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