“We are in the worst place in football”
David Gold admits he still aims to one day guide West Ham to the Premier League title despite currently propping up the top fight.
The Hammers are rock-bottom after just one win in 10 games and travel to Gold’s former club Birmingham on Saturday.
Gold, 73, and business partner David Sullivan sold up at St Andrews a year ago and bought a controlling stake at Upton Park in January.
They are working to turn around off-field issues, with the club up to £90million in debt, but despite replacing Gianfranco Zola with new boss Avram Grant in the summer the Hammers remain in trouble on the pitch.
“We are in the worst place in football, which is at the bottom of the Premier League,” Gold told the Daily Mirror.
“People say to me it is just as bad at the bottom of other divisions. I don’t think it is, being at the bottom of the Premier League you have the eyes of the world on you.
“Establishing ourselves in the Premier League and reducing debt, that is the key issue.
“Realistically if you take it stage by stage we have to retain our Premier League status, get to the new stadium and then hopefully maybe in five years we will start challenging the top six.
“But if you said to me what is our ultimate aim? Our ultimate aim is to win the championship. Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes.”
Gold continues to have faith in the Hammers’ hierarchy, with vice-chairman Karren Brady having followed the co-chairmen to Upton Park.
They only had five managers in 16 years at Birmingham, and despite a poor start to the season, Gold insists they will stand by former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss Grant.
“People say we are well-known for not sacking our managers,” he said.
“That is not necessarily a quality but what is a quality is choosing the right manager in the first place.
“We are proud of the managers we employed and the fact we didn’t sack many of them shows we employed the right manager.
“It is all about that chemistry. Nobody’s CV says I am a terrible manager and I have failed wherever I have been. All the CVs we looked at in the summer were quality CVs. The key then is the chemistry and is there a chemistry?
“Here we have an unusual structure with two co-chairmen and a vice-chairman in Karren Brady.
“There are three people where the chemistry has to work but there was no doubt in my mind having met Avram and spent some time with him that the chemistry is good and durable. Now all we need is hopefully the results will start coming.”
Gold helped rescue Birmingham from bankruptcy in 1993 and is proud that he helped bring top-flight football back to St Andrews.
“It will be mixed emotions on Saturday definitely,” he added.
“We paid £1 for Birmingham and having arrived, we saw the devastation. We saw the stadium hadn’t been touched for 30 or 40 years and we were thinking could we get our £1 back!
“That’s how dilapidated the entire place was but we did promise to get the club into the top flight. It took us a lot longer than we thought but we did it.”