West Ham co-owner David Gold hits back at 'porn' jibe with passionate defence of club on Twitter

West Ham - Upton Park: Boleyn Ground

West Ham United co-owner David Gold has launched a passionate defence of his club after taking offence at a post on social media site Twitter.

Gold, who is a keen user of Twitter and has 123,000 followers, was irked by a tweet which suggested West Ham United was a club "built on porn".

The Ann Summers founder responded by defending the East London club with an impassioned reply.

He said: "Our club is built on tradition, a passion to succeed, a fan base that is unequalled and led by men with belief."

West Ham fans will no doubt applaud their co-owner for defending the club's honour and values.

The inflammatory post was taking a swipe at Gold and fellow co-owner David Sullivan's business backgrounds.

West Ham Gold

Gold is West Ham born and bred and was raised in poverty on Green Street right opposite the club's beloved Boleyn Ground stadium.

It was there he first learned about business, operating his own little stall selling items to try and make a profit.

Those were the humble beginnings of a man who now part owns his boyhood club off the back of his business endeavours.

The 78-year-old owns Gold Group International, the parent company of the retailer Ann Summers and lingerie chain Knickerbox.

He used to co-own adult magazine company Gold Star Publications, including printing and distribution businesses, and a stable of titles including Rustler and Raider until he sold his interests in 2006 before selling his share in Sport Newspapers one year later.

He also owned corporate air service Gold Air International until he sold it in 2006 for £4.4m and has an estimated net worth of more than £350 million.

Partner Sullivan is Britain's 128th richest man

His Hammers partner Sullivan has a history in the porn industry and was the long-standing owner of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport which he sold for £40 million.

Earlier this year Sullivan was named by The Sunday Times as Britain's 128th equal richest man, with assets valued at £850 million.

So while the antagonist in this case may have felt he was making a valid point, should we not instead be celebrating the success of two British businessman who have fulfilled their childhood dreams of buying and running their beloved football club?

Of all the 20 Premier League clubs only eight are owned by British businessmen and to Gold and Sullivan's credit they pay their taxes in this country.

The ethics and morals behind how one acquires one's wealth is always up for debate.

You could argue that oligarchs such as Chelsea's Roman Abramovich should not be able to profit off the natural resources of his country for example.

Whatever the perception of Gold and Sullivan outside of West Ham, on the whole Hammers supporters are grateful to the duo for effectively saving their club from administration and possibly worse after the ramifications of the Icelandic banking collapse nearly bankrupted the club.

The pair, assisted by vice-chair Karren Brady, also negotiated West Ham's move to the 54,000 Olympic Stadium from next season and recently pledged their future to the Hammers.

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