Stewart Downing criticises Gold and Sullivan, claims they made West Ham departure difficult

Stewart Downing says West Ham is a 'difficult place to get out of'.

Middlesbrough playmaker Stewart Downing has told BBC Radio Tees that the owners at West Ham made his move 'difficult'.

Downing, 31, impressed for West Ham last season with six goals in 37 games last season, but chose to leave Upton Park this summer for a move back to hometown club Middlesbrough.

The move back to the Riverside Stadium was a huge surprise to many considering that Boro are playing in the Championship, but it's clear that Downing felt he would have a better chance of success under Aitor Karanka this season.

Speaking about his move back to the North East, Downing told BBC Radio Tees that for a while, his transfer was up in the air - and blamed West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan for making exits 'difficult', suggesting that the pair are entertaining in their activity.

"Some days I thought 'I could be heading back home today', and then another week, and a fee has to be agreed," said Downing. "West Ham is obviously a difficult place to get out of, if you've ever dealt with the owners...they're certainly entertaining," he added.

Gold and Sullivan have heavily backed manager Slaven Bilic this summer, bringing in a host of big-money signings such as Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang and Dimitri Payet, but it's clera that Downing has questions over their style.

The former England international suggested that his move to Middlesbrough was made more difficult by having to negotiate with Gold and Sullivan, who are experienced businessmen and will continue to do the best for their club - even if it frustrates players at times.

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