Don't expect loads of cash to be spent in January
20th December 2012 3:57pm GMT
Fans always want the best – like all of us, they are dreamers and as the transfer window approaches many will be believing that Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and many other top stars are on the way to their clubs.
There's nothing wrong about dreaming. It's what this great game is all about but the reality is that many many clubs are barely making ends meet.
For every Manchester United there's a Portsmouth and whilst I understand what supporters mean when they talk about signings "taking us to the next level" it isn't an argument that makes a great deal of economic sense.
For what they are really saying is that a couple of big signings would move them from perhaps tenth to eighth place or ninth to seventh. That's an argument which if repeated in other businesses would see the people responsible sectioned.
For there is actually very little difference between finishing two places further up if it has cost you a £10 million fee, say, and the same in wages. In four words: "It makes no sense."
We have to put a lid on the crazy spending which has seen so many clubs coming to the edge and I believe there's a new reality coming in at last.
Personally I believe this will be the lowest spending window ever and that's a good thing. We really can't, must not go on as we have been.
On an associated issue, I have read that young Raheem Sterling is either close to or has agreed a deal which is worth around £10 million over five years.
The young man is a superb footballer and it's great for any young person to find themselves in such a situation. It's the result of dedication and hard work to reach the top of his profession.
But I have to ponder things very seriously indeed when I realise that I have a friend – and he's typical of many – who can't afford to take himself and his boy to a game.
There has to be a change. As I say fair play to Raheem but without spectators he, and the rest of us are going to be in trouble. We call this the greatest league, the most exciting league in the world.
But when I see a wonderful old club like Pompey in such trouble I have to say that can't be the case. It's money madness and we at West Ham United will never get involved in that.
We are a massive success story and I believe if there was a vote for club of the year we'd deserve to win it. We scraped our way clear of relegation, then went down, came back and are in a very good position whilst reducing our debts.
The other club and manager that I have enormous respect for is Norwich City and Chris Hughton whose achievements mirror ours and who show what can be possible via great financial management.
So we won't be spending crazy money in this window. But we'll do whatever we need to and with players on the way back I think we'll continue what I consider a wonderful success story so far.
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and prosperous New Year.