WEST HAM co-owner David Gold has revealed how he had to reassure his granddaughter he could be trusted to tell the truth.
Gold and the Hammers board have come under sustained fire from angry fans over the past two seasons.
Many fans have still not forgiven Gold, fellow owner David Sullivan and vice-chair Karren Brady for moving from Upton Park to the London Stadium in 2016.
And Gold, 83, who described himself as “hurt” by what he insisted were “malicious” claims about how he and Sullivan operated at the Hammers and previous club Birmingham, went on the front foot as he opened up.
He said: “The story is we’re liars and have taken all the money — and all of it is wrong.
“We’re not liars. We make mistakes but we’re not liars.
“David Sullivan is not a bad person. He wants the club to be successful.
“Karren Brady wants the best for the club.
“She works her socks off and then you read these terrible things.
“What happened the other season against Burnley, when we had protests during the match, was a terrible experience.
“My ten-year-old granddaughter said, ‘Grandpa, what do they mean? You’re not a liar, are you grandpa?’
“I mean, what do you say to a ten-year-old? It was dreadful.
“It’s not like we’ve taken all the money out and gone off to Barbados to sit in the sunshine, or bought a yacht.
“I’ve not received a penny in salary or expenses from West Ham in ten years.
“I know of owners or chief executives earning £3million a year and more. At Birmingham, we saved a club which was about to go into administration.
“It had been in the third division, we took it to the Premier League and when we left it, it was in tenth.
“And we rebuilt three stadiums.”
Asked if he felt the fan anger was misplaced, Gold said: “I spoke to a cab driver yesterday and we had half-an-hour talking and he was thrilled with the stadium.
“His kids love it, he was telling me about his day when he goes to a match. That’s fantastic.
“But is he on TV, or in the paper? No.
“All that’s in the paper is the guy that wants to kill me, or burn my house down. That’s the problem.
“We’ve got a stadium which holds 60,000, from one which held 35,000.
“As a boy, as a fan, all I remember is a club in the old second division.”
David Moyes’ side have dropped into the relegation zone and face trips to Manchester City and Liverpool next.
Gold added: “I’m confident we’ll stay up. David Moyes is a good guy.
“He’s inherited a very difficult situation and we’ve got every confidence he’ll get us out of it.”
As for his own commitment to the club and if he might consider selling his 35.1 per cent stake, Gold smiled as he maintained: “That’s our prerogative.
“I might sell my car.
“But do I look like I’m in it for profit?
“Nobody believes the story but how can a kid in the East End, with his a**e hanging out of his trousers, how can that guy end up making it in the Premier League?”
West Ham recently made headlines for banning a fan who was caught wearing an anti-board “GSB OUT” T-shirt after landing a pitchside flag bearer gig.