Gold: Move will make us elite

The Hammers have launched a new commemorative strip ahead of their final season at Upton Park before switching to Stratford, where they will play in a 54,000 capacity stadium, around 20,000 more than the Boleyn Ground.??

That will see their match-day revenue dramatically increase, putting them among the division’s top earners and Gold says that will have an impact on the pitch.??

“We are hoping West Ham will be in a position very soon to worry the top five and have them saying: ‘Who are these upstarts? Who do they think they are?”‘ he said in an interview with BBC Sport.

“As far as challenging these great clubs, it is very, very hard. Southampton challenged last season, and there is absolutely no reason why West Ham can’t emulate them.

“There is a big difference between realism and hope. Realistically, in the next five years we would expect to be knocking on the door of Europe, whether that is by finishing seventh or eighth or by winning the FA Cup or reaching the final.

“The longer-term aim is we want to frighten the big boys of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. We want the big five to be looking over their shoulders.

“Obviously, attendances have a lot to do with performances on the field, but taking all things into account we are optimistic of filling the stadium, 99 per cent of the time.

“Every time we get an update on ticket sales, they are the best we have experienced. All the targets we have set ourselves are being met.”

Gold does not believe there is any risk in the appointment of Slaven Bilic, who enjoyed a spell at the club in the 1996/97 campaign.

“He doesn’t have experience as a Premier League manager, but he does as a player,” added Gold. “What he will lack in years of experience, he will make up for with youthful dynamism.

“He interviewed well, and last week we went to the Olympic Stadium, spent half a day with him and it was a good feeling.

“I like the way you can have chemistry between people. He is a relatively young man with drive and desire.

“I think we are going to see attacking football. With the players we have, and others coming in, we will have a natural attacking bias in our squad.”

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