David Gold heaps praise on under-fire fellow West Ham co-owner Sullivan in wake of Austin debacle

West Ham - Upton Park: Boleyn Ground

David Gold has lauded fellow West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan, describing him as 'special' as the dust settles on the Charlie Austin saga.

Sullivan moved to make amends this week by clarifying comments he made about Queens Park Rangers striker Austin when questioned about his transfer targets.

Speaking to the Knees Up Mother Brown podcast, Sullivan said West Ham wouldn't gamble on the forward and questioned Austin's long-term fitness by speculating that he 'had no ligaments in his knee'.

Austin reacted furiously to Sullivan's comments, posting a statement on Twitter labelling it an 'outrageous slur'.

The backlash saw Sullivan criticised by his own fans and in the wave of negative publicity that has followed, he has reportedly taken a vow of silence for the rest of the season, according to the London Evening Standard.

'Sullivan is special, we're lucky to have him'

But now Gold, his closest confidant and the man with whom he shares ownership of the east Londoners, has told West Ham's official website just how lucky the club is to have Sullivan.

"As the negotiations to bring in those new players enter their final stages over the coming week, I would just like to pay tribute to my fellow joint-chairman David Sullivan, as people just do not know the work he puts in," Gold told whufc.com.

"Lots of Chairmen go after signings but they don’t do the due diligence that David Sullivan does and that’s what makes him special.

"It’s tremendously hard work and most of it fails because of a thousand different reasons but it’s that due diligence that lands great players like Dimitri Payet.

"I am sure his efforts will once again come good for us all."

Yes Sullivan puts in the hours, but to what end?

While Gold rightly praises Sullivan for the long hours he has been working to bring in the best possible players for West Ham, many fans would argue it has been a waste of energy.

Yes, the club have signed eight players this summer, but only three of them are improvements on the first team in Dimitri Payet, Angelo Ogbonna and Pedro Obiang.

And the pre-season promise from the co-owners to 'invest significantly in the squad' has also been something of a red herring.

So far West Ham have a net spend of less than £18 million and have lost their best player from last season in Stewart Downing.

That figure is not a lot for a Premier League team in this day and age.

And it has left many Hammers fans feeling as if they have been somewhat duped in what should be a celebratory final season at their famous Boleyn Ground home of 112 years.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch