Some Class And Dignity Returns To Football

Charlie Austin hit back at West Ham co-owner David Sullivan yesterday, after Sullivan had explained why the Hammers would not be bidding £15M for the QPR striker, and basically left the impression that Charlie’s knee could go at any time and he would be out of the game.

Charlie had failed a medical two years ago at Hull City, only a month or so before he signed on at QPR from Burnley.

david sullivan

David Sullivan – co-Chairman of West Ham

As a reminder this is what Sullivan had said yesterday:

“Firstly, we haven’t got £15M to spend under the Fair Play rules.” “Secondly, he failed a medical at Hull a couple of years ago.”

“They say he has no ligaments in his knee, who knows? To sign a player for £15M is a big risk.” “He could go on for years, but knowing our luck his knee will go in his first game and that’s the end of it”

“If we had £100M to spend we may say ‘we’ll spend £15M and gamble one-sixth of our budget’.” “But it’s not one-sixth of our budget, it’d smash our budget to bits.”

“And he didn’t keep Queens Park Rangers up.” “If he’d kept them up single-handedly you might say it was different – and a few of those goals were penalties.”

“16 goals is still very good, but when we played QPR last year they had to win to stand any chance of staying up, and he wasn’t very good.”

Some of those comments about “knowing our luck” probably relate to Andy Carroll who West Ham paid big bucks for, and the Geordie is also on a massive wage at the Hammers.

Since he left Newcastle over four years ago, Andy has been injured an awful lot and is currently out until October with his latest long term injury.

Shortly after those comments circulated from Sullivan, Charlie himself hit back  on social media – and said this:

“I feel I have no option but to address the inaccurate, misleading and uninformed innuendo about my physical condition that has been raised today by an individual who is not privy to my personal health history.”

“It is one of a number of inaccurate reports about my so-called injury problems which have been made over the summer.”

“For the record, there is nothing wrong with my “ligaments”, as has been suggested.”

“My strength and performance in pre-season has been excellent and with two goals in my last two games I don’t think there is any doubt that my match sharpness is as good as ever.”

“I scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season, which would not be possible were I feeling discomfort or pain.”

“Like many professional footballers, I have the legacy of injuries picked up over my career but the effect on my day-to-day training and on matchday is non-existent.”

“For a senior figure at a Premier League club to insinuate that I could break down at any moment is an outrageous slur on my professionalism and the work that has gone into making me the footballer than I am today.

“I am fit, strong and looking forward to Saturday’s home game against Rotherham.”

We agree with Charlie – that is a slur by David Sullivan, and he had no right to make those comments,  but with social media gone seem to be the days when people were civil to each other.

That’s a good and mature response from Charlie Austin to Sullivan’s rather brash, uninformed and unfair statements on the state of Charlie’s knee.

It also doesn’t help Austin or QPR to sell their striker in the next 10 days.

Newcastle may not even need another striker brought in over the summer, given that defenders have to be the first priority.

But we’ve been impressed with Charlie’s professionalism and class he has shown over the last few months, as he awaits a possible move to a big club.

It cannot be easy for the recently married 26 year-old but one thing is for sure – he has a lot more class and dignity than David Sullivan.

Comments welcome.