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Karren Brady suggests West Ham fan protests are now a distant memory

West Ham director Karren Brady was extremely unpopular with a section of the club's fans. Photo: Leon Neal

Jack Ingleby

West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady believes the West Ham fans who were critical of the club's owners have been silenced by the team's achievements under the guidance of manager David Moyes.

Brady and owners David Sullivan and David Gold have been the target of constant attacks during their time at the club, with the controversial move to the Olympic Stadium and the decision to bring Moyes back to the club sparking big protests.

Yet West Ham's run to the latter stages of this season's Europa League and their push for top six finishes in the Premier League has seen fans end their opposition to the Hammers ownership, with Brady delighted by the change of mood.

"The Premier League conduct a survey every year about how fans feel about how supporters feel about their club and when we put David Moyes in charge, the feeling of positivity about West Ham was at 29 per-cent," reflects Brady, speaking to the Sunday World at a Simply Business event.

"Now it is 99 per-cent, so people will agree we have taken giants strides forward. The average is 82 per-cent, so we are at the top of the list for how positive people feel about their club.

"In life you get your ups and downs and you have to have your vision and stick to it. You have to be convinced your vision is right and even though people doubted us, they can now see that we have made great strides."

Karren Brady is vice-chair at West Ham United football club and sits in the UK’s House of Lords

Brady has been a champion for women in business since she came into the game in a prominent role at Birmingham, amid much cynicism from a male dominated football community in the UK.

Yet she believes she has changed opinions of those who doubted whether she could do the job at the highest level of the game.

"Someone sent me a photo recently of my wearing a tiny pair of shorts and holding up a football on the first day I went into Birmingham, you wouldn't have to do that today," she added.

"When I first got involved in the sport almost 30 years ago, women were banned from boardrooms so we have come a long way, but this research that Simply Business have done show we have a long way to go.

"I have never felt out of place in a boardroom. I knew I deserved to be in the room, but it was a difficult environment being in a minority of one in a male dominated space.”

"That's why I have spent my career championing women and bringing other women into my business to work with me. Championing women in the work place is very important to me.

"I feel I've always taken every opportunity that has come my way and never been afraid to be ambitious.

"I have worked very hard to create a career I'm very proud of. I've taken risks, taken my knocks and got back up. You only live once, but if you do it right, that is probably enough. In life, you get your ups and downs. You have to have your vision, stick with it and even if people doubt you along the way, you need to stick to your convictions and believe in what you are working towards."

Karren Brady is backing the Simply Business campaign to empower women in the workplace. More information HERE

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