One of the least salient facts about Massimo Cellino, allegedly on the brink of a multi-million pound buyout of Leeds United, is that he has previously attempted to get hold of West Ham, currently clinging on to their precarious Premier League status. That move failed though, leaving the gorgeous, pouting Hammers ripe for acquisition by Messrs Sullivan and Gold, highly successful in the business of making soft porn available across the breakfast table in thousands of low-IQ British households.
The Hammers will doubtless be content with how they emerged from that transaction and have gone on to break new ground and establish new records under the leadership of their walrus-like manager, Fatuous Sam, the Allardyce man. One of these records was set just the other day when the ‘Ammers completed a 0-9 reverse over two Capital One Cup semi-final legs against Manchester City. It is thought that a nine goal margin of defeat at the last stage before Wembley is comfortably a record. West Ham did make a previous attempt at the biggest semi-final defeat over twenty years ago, losing the first leg 0-6 at mighty Oldham, but reverted to the mundane in an anti-climactic return encounter.
Time was of course that the ‘Ammers boasted a more positive cup pedigree, even ascending to the heights of World Cup victors in 1966, or so the fable has it in the desperate back streets and alleyways of Plaistow and Mile End. And of course, such conceits do afford the rest of the football world a gentle chortle or two, which really is what West Ham are there for in the first place.
It remains to be seen what will become of the proposed deal for Cellino’s purchase of Leeds, but some Hammers may ask themselves if this may not have been a better option than the stewardship of the porn barons. Only time will tell and the best basis for comparison may well be next season when the ‘Appy ‘Ammers and Leeds will once again be competing in the same division.