• Striker took a pay cut to help fire West Ham back to top flight
• Contract talks with Robert Green a priority for West Ham
David Gold had a smile from ear to ear, Mark Noble was proudly wearing the play‑off winner's medal that was going with him on his stag-do in Dubai later that evening while the man who scored the opening goal and also had a hand in the winner could not help but chuckle at the "Sex, Drugs and Carlton Cole" banner held up by West Ham United supporters. "I can't condone the drugs part," Cole said, "but sex, we all love. You know what I mean?"
It was that sort of day at Wembley as West Ham raucously celebrated their return to the Premier League after a 12‑month hiatus that would have brought considerable financial pain had it been extended. "It would have cost probably another £30m," said Gold, West Ham's co‑owner, when asked what the ramifications would have been in the event of defeat. "It's painful. If you own 150 oil wells, then it's no problem. If you own 150 Ann Summers shops …"
Now there is another, albeit much more welcome, need for investment. Gold predicted "the club's got to find £20m to ensure it doesn't get relegated" from the Premier League, which seemed like a reasonable figure to put on the price of survival on the back of West Ham's performance against Blackpool. Blackpool had three decent opportunities before West Ham took the lead and Ian Holloway's side also dominated for long periods after the interval, carving open a defence who always looked vulnerable.
Had a couple of those Blackpool chances been converted, Sam Allardyce may have been facing a fight to hold on to his job this week. Instead, the West Ham manager was asked whether a new contract, to replace the 12 months remaining on his existing one, was likely.
"Not for me. I don't need one. I'm my own man now," said Allardyce, sounding a lot more confident than he had looked in the tunnel before kick-off. "I don't need the security of a contract to work in this game. Somewhere down the line in the middle of next year maybe, but not now."
Other contract talks are more pressing. West Ham have made a priority of negotiations with Robert Green, the former England goalkeeper who is out of contract in the summer. Discussions with Noble and Cole, who both have 12 months remaining on their deals, are expected to take place soon afterwards. Cole was close to joining Stoke City last summer but rejected the move and sacrificed a fair bit of money in the process to lead the line in West Ham's promotion assault.
"I've kept my mouth shut for quite a while but I did take a wage cut to stay in the Championship," Cole said. "Half my wages just went. I thought 'I want to help the club get back to where we belong'. I didn't want to leave the ship. I would not have been able to live with myself. It is just such a reward to get to the Premier League again with West Ham at the first time of asking. It was like D‑Day for all of us.
"No contract talks have been planned but we will see what happens. Hopefully both sides will be happy that I sign a new contract. I am here to help West Ham and if there is a relegation clause, then I am happy to do it. You can't be on Premier League wages in the Championship. I know money is a massive factor in everyone's career, and obviously I want to earn as much as I can, but when you don't deserve it, as you have been relegated, you need to work back to where you need to get to."
Allardyce paid tribute to Cole for demonstrating "a real show of love for this club" as well as for scoring 15 goals this season, the last of which was the superbly taken strike that gave West Ham the lead here. Ian Evatt was caught ball-watching on that occasion and Blackpool will also have nightmares about Ricardo Vaz Tê's scrappy winner, when the forward rammed home from close range after Cole's stabbed effort had squirted into his path via a touch from Matt Gilks, the goalkeeper.
Thomas Ince scored in-between to equalise for Blackpool, and for a period it seemed only a matter of time before Holloway's side would add a second. "They had gone and I think we had them," Evatt said. "Sometimes in football, you don't get what you deserve and we definitely didn't get what we deserved. I think we were much the better team. I think we play the game in the modern way, we don't smash it up to certain players, we try to pass it properly and play through midfield and that's something to be proud of."
Evatt's comments felt like a less than discreet dig at West Ham's style of play, which has also been a source of frustration for the club's supporters at times this season. For Allardyce, though, it was always all about getting West Ham back in the big time.
"The fans will know we're not going to win as many games next season as probably we've won this one," he said. "But if we get the right team together and get the right team spirit, then we'll give it a right good go."