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David Gold (businessman)

David Gold
Gold in July 2014
Born (1936-09-09) 9 September 1936
Stepney, London, England
Occupation Joint chairman, West Ham United
Owner and Chairman of Gold Group International, incorporating Ann Summers
Net worth £350 million

David Gold (born 9 September 1936 in Stepney, east London[1]) is an English businessman. He was the chairman of Birmingham City Football Club until 2009 and since 2010 he has been the joint chairman of West Ham United.


  • Early life 1
  • Business career 2
  • Football clubs 3
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Gold was raised in East London and for some time lived at 442 Green Street near to West Ham's Boleyn Ground. He played youth team football for West Ham.[2] His father, Godfrey,[3] was an East End criminal, known locally as 'Goldy', who spent time in prison during Gold's early years.[4] His father was Jewish[3][5][6] and his mother was a Christian.[7]

Business career

Gold owns Gold Group International (GGI), the parent company of the retailer Ann Summers and lingerie chain Knickerbox. GGI was jointly owned by Gold and his brother Ralph, until he bought out Ralph's share in 2008.[8]

He co-owned (with brother Ralph) adult magazine company Gold Star Publications (GSP), including printing and distribution businesses, and a stable of titles including Rustler and Raider. He and his brother sold their interests in November 2006. In 2007, the brothers also sold their share in Sport Newspapers,[9] following falling sales and profits.

He owned corporate air service Gold Air International until he sold it in 2006 for £4.4m.[10]

Football clubs

Gold is the former chairman of Birmingham City F.C. In 2007 the Gold brothers were believed to be in the process of selling their share in Birmingham City[11] which followed Birmingham's return from relegation[12] and lower than expected profits.[13] After the club was relegated once again to the Championship in May 2008, Gold was quoted as saying he was considering stepping down as joint head of the board of Birmingham City.[14] He sold his Birmingham City shares in 2009.

In May 2005,[15] Gold bought the second FA Cup trophy at auction for £488,620, saying he wanted to prevent it being bought by overseas buyers.[16]

In January 2010 Gold and David Sullivan acquired a 50 percent share of West Ham United giving them overall operational and commercial control of the club. They were appointed joint chairmen.[17] They increased their share of the club to 30% each in May 2010 at a cost of £8 million.[18] His time as chairman of West Ham has been conspicuous due to several incidents. In August 2010 his Rolls-Royce Phantom car was attacked by Aston Villa fans outside a pub near Villa Park after West Ham's 3–0 defeat. The car sustained £8,500 worth of damage.[19] He described the incident as "the most frightening experience of my football life".[20] In November 2010 Gold criticised Birmingham City's new owners for reneging on their promise to keep him on as chairman following the sale of the club.[19] Birmingham City and their acting chairman, Peter Pannu, responded by banning Gold from their ground St Andrew's for Birmingham City's game against West Ham on 6 November.[21] Gold later issued a personal apology to Pannu on West Ham's own website.[22]

After the campaign against Malcolm Glazer's increase in the debt of Manchester United and Portsmouth going into administration in 2010, Gold has advocated regulating football clubs' debts. He feels it is "cheating" for a team to take on debts which they could never pay off without external assistance and that he "fears for the league".[23]

Personal life

In 1957, Gold married Beryl Hunt. They divorced in 1972. Hunt died in 2003. They had two children:[3]

  • Jacqueline Gold (b. 1960) is CEO of Ann Summers and Knickerbox Ltd[24]
  • Vanessa Gold (b. 1966) is the Managing Director of Ann Summers and Knickerbox Ltd[24]

In 2005, Gold wrote his autobiography Pure Gold with co-writer Bob Harris. This dwells on his early childhood poverty, ascent in business and involvement with Birmingham City.

As of May 2012, he lives with his fiance Lesley Manning, in Caterham, Surrey.[25]

In 2013 Gold's wealth was estimated at around £350m according to the Sunday Times Rich List.[26]


  1. ^ Christopher Davies (18 September 2009). "Birmingham's Brady bunch set for West Ham: David Gold drops strongest hint yet at Hammers takeover bid | Mail Online". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "West Ham's grounds for optimism over Olympic Stadium". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c The Independent: "Golden balls: West Ham United's co-owner reveals his cunning plan for the Olympic stadium" by Robert Chalmers 19 August 2012
  4. ^ Viner,Brian (3 October 2011). "'"David Gold: 'My dad was in jail, we were in abject poverty, West Ham was pure escapism. The Independent (London). Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  5. ^ European Jewish Press: "Jewish businessmen prominent in British 'Rich List'" 24 April 2006
  6. ^ Daily Mail: "We will investigate from top to bottom and the minority will be punished" By David Gold 26 November 2012
  7. ^ Pure Gold: My Autobiography by David Gold p. 25 and p. 50
  8. ^ Weir, Laura (28 February 2008). "Ann Summers co-founder steps back from business | News | Drapers". Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Sports Newspapers sale nets £1m fee". London: Telegraph. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "David Gold's game of two halves – Business Analysis & Features, Business". The Independent (London). 10 August 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Birmingham City | Yeung takes stake in Birmingham". BBC News. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "This Is The Most Important Battle Of My Life Says David Gold". Daily Mirror. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Birmingham City | Birmingham issue finance warning". BBC News. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  14. ^ Stuart James at St Andrew's (12 May 2008). "Sullivan and Gold on brink after venom of Blues fan protests | Football". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "UK | Birmingham City boss buys FA Cup". BBC News. 21 May 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  16. ^ "David Gold: 'I can't sleep at night. I lie there thinking over all the permutations – if we win, and Portsmouth draw, and West Brom lose...' – Premier League, Football". The Independent (London). 29 April 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  17. ^ "West Ham United Statement". West Ham United Official Website. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  18. ^ "Chairmen increase shareholding | News | Latest News | News | West Ham United". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  19. ^ a b MacAskill, Sandy. "Birmingham City acting chairman Peter Pannu is disgusting, says David Gold". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "David Gold offers reward to catch Rolls Royce vandals". Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  21. ^ "Birmingham ban David Gold from St Andrew's over claim". BBCsport. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  22. ^ "An apology to Mr Peter Pannu". Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  23. ^ Agencies (3 March 2010). "West Ham's owner David Gold fears more clubs will enter administration | Football |". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  24. ^ a b The Daily Mail - This is Money UK: "Golden girls take helm at Ann Summers" by Rupert Steiner 25 June 2011
  25. ^ The London Telegraph: "West Ham chairman David Gold on his rise to fame and fortune" by Natalie Graham 14 May 2012
  26. ^ Haran, Brian (26 March 2013). "Millionaire David Gold tells of winning over hearts and minds of Caterham neighbours". Surrey Mirror (Caterham, Surrey). Retrieved 19 May 2014. 

External links

  • David Gold – official site
  • Gold Group International – official site
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