West Ham co-owner David Sullivan defends City absence

David Sullivan
Sullivan, together with David Gold, took over West Ham in 2010

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan said he decided not to attend his side's defeat to Manchester City because of the Hammers' miserable away form.

"Watching our poor away performances week after week, and not having the ability to influence things, has impacted on us," Sullivan explained.

He opted instead to watch the match on television, where it was screened live.

Fellow co-owner David Gold and vice-chairman Karren Brady also chose not to travel to Eastlands for the 2-1 defeat.

Gold has recently been in hospital, where he was treated for cholangitis - an infection of the common bile duct - and septicaemia.

West Ham remain bottom of the Premier League, three points from safety with only three games left to play. They have won only twice away from Upton Park in the league this season.

Sullivan said: "My family think I'm mad devoting so much time and money to the club and, as the match was on TV, I decided to watch it on TV.

"We couldn't influence the result, we donated the cost of a private plane to a charity for terminally ill children, we thought that would do more good.

"Had it not been on TV we would have been there. None of us draw any salary or expenses from West Ham United. We are not £20,000-£60,000-a-week footballers.

"We only took 1,100 supporters. Like us, the bulk of the West Ham United supporters preferred to watch it on TV. We'll be at Wigan, as will 4,500 supporters."

The Hammers host fellow-strugglers Blackburn on Saturday and travel to Wigan the following weekend, before ending their campaign with a home game against Sunderland.