Mark Noble says West Ham was a circus before this change was made

The Hammers captain claims the club was in a mess before co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold took over six years ago.

West Ham United captain Mark Noble has told the London Evening Standard that the club was akin to "a circus" before David Sullivan and David Gold took over as co-chairmen in January 2010.

Prior to the former Birmingham City pair's arrival, Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson oversaw a period of mediocrity before the collapse of shirt sponsor XL and the Icelandic banking system left the club in a serious financial crisis.

That off-field turmoil saw the Hammers relegated in the first full season under Gold and Sullivan, but the pair led the club to an instant return to the top flight, and just four years on from their promotion the club is now challenging to break into the Premier League top four.

Noble, who has been at the club throughout all of the upheaval and is currently captaining the side to their best season in recent memory, hailed the impact that the new chairmen have had on the Irons both on and off the field.

The 28-year-old told the Standard: "The key word is stability. In a way, the club was run like a circus in some stages over the last 10 or 20 years, [but Gold and Sullivan] have brought in good players and put in money and that was what was needed. That is why the club is moving the way it is.

"We have had a tough 10 years. We had the different people in charge, five or six different managers. Now it seems like the chairman and [vice-chairman] Karren Brady have done a great job of settling the club down – running it properly and that gives you a platform from which to move on, to progress.

"They have brought in a great manager and, together, they have brought in great players. That is the way it should be done."

West Ham are reaping the reward of the approach of their owners this season under the new management of former Croatia boss Slaven Bilic.

Bilic's management, in addition to the form and quality of marquee signings such as Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini, have seen the Hammers competing for a European spot for the majority of the season.

Last weekend's 2-2 draw with Chelsea has left the Irons sitting in fifth place in the Premier League table, just a single point behind Manchester City and what would be a first-ever participation in the Champions League next season.

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