Dirty David Sullivan spills beans on Ba’s Toon contract (and Ravel bid)

Posted on February 19th, 2012 | 49 Comments |

Demba Ba wearing a blonde wig.
Ba: Gets 50% of next transfer fee says Dirty David.
West Ham owner, “Dirty” David Sullivan (not to be confused with the other West Ham owner, “Dirty” David Gold), has been spilling some interesting beans of gossip on Demba Ba’s Newcastle United contract to the West Ham fan site “West Ham Till I Die.”

Sullivan, who of course is one of the owners of Ba’s prvious club, West Ham, claims to have heard amongst other things that Demba Ba would receive no less than 50% of any transfer fee should he be sold on from NUFC, also confirming that his latest club did pay around £2 million to Ba’s agent. He also claimed that Newcastle United bid £4 million for Ravel Morrison, even though he signed to Dirty David’s West Ham for a package which he claimed was only “up to £2 million.” When the transfer went through in the January transfer window, the media only reported a fee of up to £1 million. More on that story later though. Lets get back to the main feature of this story, Demba Ba and his Newcastle United contract.

Of course, as we already know, the African goal machine had a get out clause in his West Ham contract, something which Sullivan bitterly regrets in hindsight seemingly, and the reason why he is now playing for us. However, if what Sullivan said is true, receiving 50% of any subsequent transfer fee should he be sold on from Newcastle would cartainly be another huge incentive for his Tyneside move!

But enough of my pre waffle. After confirming that Ba did have the relegation get out clause from West Ham, Sullivan was asked by the interviewer, Iain Dale:

“How did that work? Did we pay money to Hoffenheim?”

To which Sullivan replied:

“I’ll tell you exactly what happened. We wanted to loan him, but Hoffenheim said they wouldn’t loan him as they could get 6 million euros for him from Stoke. He then failed the medical at Stoke. I went back and asked to loan him again. Again they said no, but they would sell him to us. So we paid €500,000 down, which was almost like a loan fee, and then we’d pay 5 ½ million euros starting the next season depending on how many games he played – one level of payment in the Championship, one level of payment on the Premier League. I’ll have to make the figures up because I can’t remember, but something like 25,000 euros a game in the Premier League and 10,000 euros in the Championship. Demba Ba signed a three and a half year contract with us. We had a deal where his salary would be halved if we were relegated. He said, “Well on that basis, I have got to be allowed to walk if we get relegated”.

“What we should have said in retrospect – but none of us thought he would score so many goals – is that we’d be happy to give him £40 grand a week in the Championship. In the end I offered him £45 grand a week to stay but he wouldn’t take it. What we should have said was that if we don’t halve your salary, you haven’t got a get-out. The failure to put that one line in the contract cost us very, very dearly. As I say, he was on £35 grand a week and I offered him £45 grand a week to stay, but he went to Newcastle. His agent got £2 million to take him to Newcastle.”

Iain Dale: “So do Newcastle now have to pay to Hoffenheim the money you would have had to pay?”

Dirty David Sullivan: “No. That’s why Newcastle could always outbid us. It was our deal with Hoffenheim.”

Iain Dale: “So Hoffenheim got stuffed, then.”

Dirty David Sullivan: “Yup, they got half a million for him. This didn’t work for anyone except Demba Ba, and Newcastle.

“I’m told he’s got a £7 million get-out at Newcastle and he gets half the money over that. They keep denying it but I think you’ll see in the summer – He will leave Newcastle or he’ll get a monstrous rise to stay there. If they get about four million, half will go to him, so if they sell him for £7 million they’ll only net about three because they paid his agent £2 million to get him out of here. Getting £3 million is not bad, but for a player of his quality it’s not fantastic.” (You can say that again, Dirty David!)

“It’s one of those mistakes that happen, but it’s probably one of the worst mistakes I have ever made in my life. It just didn’t enter our heads. It didn’t enter anybody’s head that he’d score enough goals that we’d want to give him £40k a week and his old club £15/20k an appearance and we’d still be relegated. In reality that’s exactly what happened. The agent just threw it in at the last minute. He said “Obviously if his salary is cut by 50% you’ve got to let him walk”. We thought, OK, if we get relegated, do we really want a £40k a week striker in the Championship? Well, we would have because he was devastating. If he was with us now and his knee had held up, because remember, he did have a very very bad knee, I think we’d be 15 points clear, I really do. He’d be cutting through those defences.

“You live and you learn.”

Iain Dale: “You can say that again.”

Hmmm, well that’s not a sure thing by any means. Sullivan only said “I’m told” for a start, implying that he doesn’t know this for certain, and he rightly points out that Newcastle United have denied this. So, at the moment, it is still well witin the realms of “gossip,” though it is intriguing gossip nontheless!

Moving on to Dirty David’s daring swoop for Manchester United’s talented but troublesome youngster, Sullivan began with how the club managed to snare him despite interest from several Premier League clubs, including Newcastle United. Eventually, he speculated that the reason West Ham may have got him was because they were now a Championship club and hence not a rival to Manchester United. Here’s that part of the exchange:

Iain Dale: “When I first heard about this deal I was convinced Harry Redknapp would hijack it, as he specialises in rescuing difficult players. But I suppose he was in court at the time and couldn’t pick up the phone to Sir Alex!”

Dirty David Sullivan: “Ravel is a young man. It might be that Man U let him go because we weren’t in the Premier League. We have always got on well with Man United. Newcastle were in strongly for him, we were told. I really think he will be in our first team before the end of the season. He wants first team football so that appealed to him. I met him, and I think he had never met the owners of Man United. Maybe that persuaded him to come. Time will tell if it was a good signing or a bad signing. But I can’t say any signing we’ve done up to now is a fantastic signing. Actually, to get James Tomkins to renew was a good development – not a new signing, but nevertheless.”

And now for the juicy bit as far as we Newcastle United fans are concerned:

Iain Dale: “Were there clubs on for him?”

Dirty David Sullivan: “Newcastle bid £4 million for him.”

Before I conclude, it must me said that the pornographer who along with his West Ham partner, “Dirty” David Gold, rose from “mags to riches” (so to speak) has come up with some right old guff in the past. Also, as he says himself, he is only going on secondhand information. It may have been a “quid pro quo” in exchange for higher wage demands, after all, Ashley may have figured that for once, he wouldn’t get much sell on value for Ba anyway because of his degenerating knee. This may be the reason why Ba is only on a three year contract rather than Ashley’s preferred 5-6 year ones, but I’m just speculating wildly there. Once again as Sullivan says himself, we may indeed find out if there is indeed something to it in the Summer one way or another!

You can read a transcript of the full interview here.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1092 articles on this blog.

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49 Responses

  1. Sullivan was being totally honest here. You should be thanking him for it- you wouldn’t have know it otherwise. Hoffenheim were screwed when we signed Ba, we got screwed when we lost him. You’ll get screwed when he moves on. It sucks, but we all know players are in the box seat and clubs like yours, mine and the Germans are just left to rue what might have been if he’d stayed or our club had got proper money for him.

    Onwards and upwards-it’s all about the colours! COYI!

  2. well this would make sence.

    i know there was alot of talk about benba ba when he arrived. i heard that denba wanted a sign of fee from newcastle, but the board refused. as far as im aware he is on a pay to play deal.

    so to compensate not having a signing on fee it seems like he has a signing off fee, which would make sense.

    instead of chipping away at £35 million we chip away at the price we get for that respective player.

    but obviously that causes problems. if a player knows he can get cash for leaving why would he need to hang around? especially with the lower wages ashley has stapled to the club.

    but and i say but, if that player has to increase his value, like suggeted(share of the profit) anything over £7 million is therefor divided 50/50. that in turn means the player has an incentive to improve, has an incentive to play better and improve his game. if demba want 5 million when he leaves he there for has to play well enought for him to be worth £17 million. which can only be good for the club.

    as it happens i think dembas contract might change and surely there must be talk on a removal in the buy out clause if one actualy exsists.

    if demba does go in the summer. at least it will be to a worthy cause. but if he left for any club other than Marseilles it would surely leave a bad taste in everyones mouth. if he leaves for £7 million and we get £3million it will show Lamearse and Cashley made just as many mistakes as Gold,Sullivan,Dildo and Summers.

    so lets hope the board dont look mugs by the end of the season with demba smiling all the way to the bank(with or without his blonde wig)

  3. So, if he only cost 7 million WHU will be slinging in a bid for him then? Sour grapes again for Mr Jazz Mag and his cronies, having seen ‘Arry not do the job he gives a full-length resume of how he bottled the deal. Never mind. This is just a bitter ploy to unsettle the player, maybe through his agent, and get some revenge for having taken Nolan off our hands until he is limping around the pitch on a frame for a good weekly bung. It’s no more than a case of our oily market trader shafting your smut peddler. That’s life.

  4. The £4 million bid Newcastle made was for Tomkins!! As reported in the press at the time and here confirmed by Sullivan…Actually, to get James Tomkins to renew was a good development – not a new signing, but nevertheless.”

    Iain Dale: “Were there clubs on for him?”

    Dirty David Sullivan: “Newcastle bid £4 million for him.”

  5. I really hope there is a confidentiality clause in Ba’s contract as dirty david etc need to learn to shut it!!

  6. An uncomfortable percentage of what he said is just 2nd hand speculation. There’s only one point to why he’s being outspoken and it isn’t constructive.

  7. The fact that all this has already come out via harry or other sources makes it irrelevant so no, ‘DaveWHU’ we shouldn’t be thanking him, now run along back to the championship with real madrid/england’s next manager

    Most toon fans I know are pretty much expecting Ba to leave in the summer if we don’t finish in europe, and I don’t blame him as he’s kept us in and around that top 6 pretty much with his goals

  8. Interesting story, having i’m sure, more truth than fiction.
    Though not exactly surprising, knowing the sleazy side of the game, it comes as no surprise why clubs are more inclined to not make public , the smaller print on contracts.
    Guess that’s why we bought Cisse and are still looking at young strikers.
    Gotta say Sturride is a tremendous prospect and seems upset due to a percieved lack of playing time,and who knows? may want out.
    And it seems NUFC is no longer Siberia, that it has attracted some good players and are reflecting that in the league, though i’m sure it’s also known, the club is by no means the most generous in the league in regard to wages.
    Could you imagine this club with Sturridge and Jr. Hoilett, with their pace and goalscoring abilities, devestating!
    Thats four or five guys who know where the net is.
    I guess i just had enough of both long ball and wingers who’s primary role is defending, wingers have traditionally been attackers and very effective in the role.
    Plus a lineup like above would create a great spectacle for the crowds, not being afraid to take people on and everyone who’s watched Sturride and Hoilett know what i’m talking about.
    Could create a side to rival KK”s you score three we’ll
    get four.
    Thats unless of course you prefer a boring game seven players defending and the same next week and the week after.
    No thanks, i want entertainment.

  9. to be honest i can see him leaving in the summer, but at least has has done us a big favor by persuading his friend cisse to join us and given time to him to settle.

    he seems like a nice guy, who through no fault of his own might have a shorter career than most, so let us not be to selfish and wish him all the best no matter what he chooses, his football career could be over before it has begun so lets give him all th support he needs.

    i dont think ba will be playing into his 30s, no matter how good his knee is holding up, holding up isnt a good word to use for any football player. every game he plays is a bonus, and every game he plays for us is an even bigger bonus.

    so let us at least give him his dream without disrespect if he leaves for Marseilles in the summer i for one will wish him all the best.

  10. DaveWHU says:
    February 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    “Sullivan was being totally honest here. You should be thanking him for it”

    Whatever his faults Dave, I would say that as an owner of West Ham, he does seem to have been more open and honest with fans than habitual liar, Mike Ashley, has been at NUFC.

    I stick by my assertion that he has spouted some right old guff in the past, and he is indeed “Dirty” David. ;-)

  11. Did you people read the small print on this article in WHTID?
    You can refer to it but not cut and paste it as it is copyright to that website. Dumbo’s!!!

  12. Bondsy says:
    February 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm (Edit)

    “Did you people read the small print on this article in WHTID?
    You can refer to it but not cut and paste it as it is copyright to that website. Dumbo’s!!!”

    Yes I did thanks, Dumbo. It doesn’t look like you did though. :-)

    I only quoted a small part of the interview, and gave full acknowledgement of the source, along with a link.

    “NOTE TO NEWSPAPER JOURNALISTS: If you quote from this interview, please have the courtesy to quote the source.

    “NOTE TO OTHER WEBSITES: You are expressly forbidden from copying and pasting this whole article onto your own site. Quote by all means, and do link, but wholesale copying and plagiarising may reap some serious consequences.”

  13. Agreed Worky -ticket- Sullivan can and does talk tripe- I believe the technical term is Harryitis. But what he has said in the Ian Dale interview has been fascinating.

    Anyway i’ve strayed far from home so will clear off back to the championship as I was so nicely advised to by Arfa Chance. By the way Arfa – personally I’d rather have a manager who fantasised about managing Real Madrid than one who say, fantasised about sh@gging his own player’s wife. Not that I’m suggesting for a moment that any manager would do that.

    Good luck for the rest of the season lads.

  14. If he had come in and we had payed him massive wages and he has done his knee in which was and is entirely possible, then we would have been a laughing stock and we’d have been stuck with him. What we have gone is an extraordinary return on a player this season and we should be enjoying ourselves. Of course in the summer we will look to renegotiate his contract. He will get a pay rise and I imagine even more incentive based clauses. I would think other members of the team should have some similar clauses as it may motivate them to similar feats.

  15. DaveWHU says:
    February 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    “Anyway i’ve strayed far from home so will clear off back to the championship as I was so nicely advised to by Arfa Chance.”

    He doesn’t mean it DaveWHU ;-)

    Fans of other teams are always welcome on this site if they aren’t just spouting the usual insulting shite. We’ve even had Sunderland fans on here sometimes and that’s like Millwall for your lot!

    I appreciate your comments and I don’t intend anything malicious towards the Dirty Davids. Mike friggin’ Ashley on the other hand…

    Hope you get back back up to the Premiership anyway, which is where you belong. I hope Birmingham City do too because of Chris Hughton, and their fans have always been very nice on here too.

  16. No worries Worky ticket,

    Always felt there were similarities between our two clubs (and no i’m not claiming we’re as big a club as Newcastle before someone shoots me down in flames). We are both under-achievers with incredibly loyal, passionate supporters. You and me both support proper clubs. Thanks for the best wishes- hope it happens. And like I say, best wishes to your lot too. Take care.

  17. Think i’ll stick with Ashley rather than the chuckle brothers at West Ham.

    They could have changed upton park to the Ann Summers Arena, or Rampant Rabbit Park or even The Razzle Arena.
    Mind more cool than SportsDirect Arena.

  18. Worthyticket – I’m hapy with how you’ve done this. Have no fear, I’m not going to sue you. My warning was aimed at other West Ham sites who have copied and pasted the whole lot and passed it off as their own interview!

  19. DaveWHU says:
    February 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    “No worries Worky ticket,

    Always felt there were similarities between our two clubs (and no i’m not claiming we’re as big a club as Newcastle before someone shoots me down in flames).”

    I’m not into all that who’s bigger than who stuff, but it is undoubted that both West Ham United and Newcastle United are proper clubs with great histories and should really be in the top division. Big Sam will probably get you up but my god his football is excruciating to watch sometimes, and his head can even bigger in the metaphorical sense than it is in the literal sense unless he’s changed dramitically in recent times? We know all about that. ;-)

    I would really appreciate it if you could give us your thoughts on Pardew from his West Ham days?

  20. Iain Dale says:
    February 19, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    “Worthyticket – I’m hapy with how you’ve done this. Have no fear, I’m not going to sue you.”

    Thanks Iain, I always try to acknowledge my sources and include a link if possible as that’s what I was taught to do.

    I’ll check out that political ‘blog of yours when I get some spare time!

  21. The more you look into it the more it seems we have royally rodgered a number of clubs in this piece of business. Totally unlike the old guard in the Newcastle board room. Where Ashley rightly attracts critisism for various goings-on; I feel in this instance credit is due. It will be interesting to see what happens in the summer, but I wager there will be some more smart business from this recruitment team.

  22. BillytheFish says:
    February 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    “They could have changed upton park to the Ann Summers Arena, or Rampant Rabbit Park or even The Razzle Arena.
    Mind more cool than SportsDirect Arena.”

    More “classy” than Sports Direct too Billy!

    “Razzle” belonged to Sullivan and Gold’s great rival, the now deceased Paul Raymond, also of “Men Only” and “Raymond Revuebar” fame. Divven’t ask me how I know that! :-)

  23. Ah yes Paul Raymond, now you mention it I remember him. Had to hide a set of step ladders in my school blaser, that top shelf was a bugger to reach! :)

  24. DJG says:
    February 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    “Ah yes Paul Raymond, now you mention it”

    Do you remember Fiona Richmond though DJG?

    Dirty David had Mary Millington, and Raymond had Fiona Richmond.

  25. Hi again Worky-ticket,

    When Pardew came we were in a terrible mess. We had no money and the terrific young players we’d developed had all been flogged off on the cheap – the ultimate fire-sale, after relegation. Cole, Carrick, Glenn Johnson etc. Pards came in and struggled for a long time- I don;t think he realised just what a mess he inherited.

    Many fans turned against him but he had spent the little money we had well on hungry young players- Reo-Coker, Harewood, Zamora, etc. They may not sound a lot now but a the time the made a hell of a difference. And all were his signings. And Pards then gave young West Ham lads Elliott Ward and Mark Noble their chance and we went on a great run and conjured up a play-off win. We expected to struggle but the next season was amazing- comfortably staying up by playing lively, free-flowing football and only being denied a worthy cup win by Steven Gerrard. We loved Pardew.

    Then a strange thing happened. It all seemed to go to Pardew’s head. I remember seeing him on the box at horse racing and listening to him sound like Billy big-time all of a sudden. He was gone within months. You’ll have heard the rumours- I don’t know the truth of them but he did seem to have lost his way. Whilst we know they were not his signings the way he handled Tevez and Macherano was inept. We shipped ten goals without reply to Reading and Charlton and he was out. It split the fans.

    Overall he’s remembered fondly. He is capable, and if we had not gone up in 2005 we would have gone down the pan. Maybe he can keep his feet on the ground nowadays as a result of the second half of 2006- I genuinely hope so.

    Sorry for the long post- but you did ask mate.

  26. DaveWHU

    There are definately some similarities between the clubs. I wonder what your opinion is about Allardyce? He doesn’t suit the style of play at either club IMO and he wasn’t very popular with the fans here. He’s certainly as ‘big-headed’ as Pardew if not more and I far prefer the football under Pardew.

  27. Hi DJG

    I’m not a fan of arrogance and agree that Allardyce has that ‘quality’ by the bucketful.

    Just like Pardew he inherited a mess and his appointment split the fans. It still does.
    I was not a fan of his, but could see that we needed a street fighter. Our debts are well known and if we don’t go up we’re in trouble. The similarities with the job Pardew faced when he joined us are uncanny.

    He shipped a lot out and boughta lot in. He had to. And I have to say that he has produced the most organised side I’ve seen since the mid-80’s. The contrast with the shambles Grant delivered could not be clearer. The football hasn’t been pretty- but it’s coming. He got the basics in defence right and with Vaz Te and Maynard coming in we now look more of a threat, and far better balanced.

    We have played both of our last two games with 10 men from very early on against Millwall, who will always be up for it against us, and Southampton, the team many reckon are the best in the league and picked up 4 deservd points. The team spirit has been amazing and I am proud and hopeful.

    It may be my claret tinted glasses but he’s won me over. And I hope he has good reason to become even more big headed by the end of April!

  28. DJG personaly i dont thing allardyce is big headed.

    i know he didnt grace us with flair, but i find him very down to earth and honest.

    the comments he made about him being the best manager in the world, being capable of managing real madrid, millan and barcelona were as far as i can grasp tongue in cheek.

    if people cant see this then they need to wet their dry sense if humor.

    as person i find him a decent man, not the bland boresome manager like macarthy or old man stoke.

    he playing style wasnt much to write home about but im not a blinded fan to turn everything the guy does into a negative.

    although allardyce didnt work out for us it doesnt take anything away from what he has achieved elsewhere.

    personally i like him, just no where near newcastle united.

    as for pardew, the recent snaps taken at tenerife didn’t do his ego any leveling im sure.

    but lets hope wor shola can keep his feet on the ground.

  29. DaveWHU says:
    February 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    “Sorry for the long post- but you did ask mate.”

    No, that’s great Dave. Personally, I find to be “capable,” and it’s hard to argue with our own league position this year under the circumstances, but he he only seems to have one game, and seems to be a bit lost when he needs a “Plan B.” His one game is a very “English” hardworking 4-4-2 with an emphasis on defence and trying to bang lots of crosses in from the flanks, not very “free flowing” but I can see what you mean from that good season he had with your lot. I even remember him getting a big head too as you write.

    He certainly seemed to have some problems in his second season though and West Ham were in trouble by the time he was sacked. There are still echoes of the problems he had with talented players who don’t quite fit in with his method.

  30. Someone from Newcastle, actually has the nerve to call someone dirty. You live in the pikiest area in England, how much is your annual salary? £4k?

  31. James i would not call him dirty,but 1 things for sure,if i shook hands with him id check all me fingers and rings were still there lmao,whats with the words pikiest area in England mean

  32. Chuck says – Bout time we had a clean-out get some of the deadwood off the books – I think we will all agree about that mate, but there appear to be no takers for them !
    We had to pay to off-load Smith, and I think we are still paying to keep Xisco in some spanish reserves somewhere. Shola had one failed loan deal (Stoke if I recall correctly) and that’s about it – we’re stuck with them.
    It’s a daft system cos some of them would do well in the championship – they would be happier & the clubs would benefit, & we could do an Ashley (ie get someone younger, cheaper & better in).

    Idealy we would do an Ashley on a Boseman !

  33. I think James is mixing up Newcastle with 5’1and & boro when he talks about ‘pykiest’ place in england like.

  34. James says:
    February 20, 2012 at 2:30 am

    “Someone from Newcastle, actually has the nerve to call someone dirty. You live in the pikiest area in England, how much is your annual salary? £4k?”

    I live in London actually James, not in the east end though thankfully.

  35. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm


    me & you, NW massive!”

    I’m just “N” Clint, I used to live in Camden for a while though. Marquis road.

  36. Oh!
    I thought it was NW ‘up your way’, my bad!


    Does that come under islington or harringey?

  37. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    “Does that come under islington or harringey?”

    Islington (just) Clint. Every other car is a Prius and everyone reads either the Guardian or the “Indie.” We have a Waitrose too of course. I can’t go in there though; the smug, middle class vibes in there just make me feel too nauseous. I’ve tried it a few times but I just can’t hack it.

  38. worky,

    i totally know where you’re at on waitrose mate.

    I find it really strange that there’s one on Holloway Rd. Doesn’t seem ‘up market’ enough!

    They give you the evil’s in there, it gives me the collywobbles!


  39. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm


    i totally know where you’re at on waitrose mate.”

    I was serious about Waitrose, I tried it two or three times and I just had to walk out without buying anything in the end. We have a special middle class Budgens as well with a gourmet island and extensive wine section. I don’t get the “vibes” in there though and I’m a big fan of the special cheeses in there.

  40. worky,

    i’ve totally done the same in waitrose, the Mrs. point blank, absolutely will not go in there.


  41. It’s not so middle-class in KTown/Tufnel Park, don’t get much snootyness ’round here. Though you can find it, if you look.