ClaretandHugh is delighted to welcome Mike Manera of ‘Mike on Monday’ fame as our latest exclusive blogger. Mike is claret and blue to his backbone and in his first piece for us, addresses the burning issues facing the club. Welcome aboard Michael!
Boo! Hiss! Naughty people our board. They are very far from prefect…. But have they destroyed / ruined our club? Do they really deserve the vitriol being lashed down on them from the away end at Watford? And does booing and jeering Andy Carroll achieve anything positive, other than making you feel better for doing it ( that is quite a positive).
Personally, I don’t believe the board have ruined our club. They are far from perfect though. But before I have a closer look at what I think they have got wrong and right, let me explain where I am coming from. I am a season ticket holder in the cheap seats, three rows from God in Block 228.
I have never met any member of the board, or been anywhere near an executive box. I’m just a supporter, who happens to have been a stand-up comedian for many years and does an “entertaining” Vlog show called Mike On Monday. What I’m saying is I’m no board mouthpiece. I’m a mad keen Hammers supporter with no axe to grind, other than wanting the best for our club.
So with that in mind, here is where I think the board have got it wrong…
· They Oversold the Stadium Move:
Personally, I like the new stadium. Yes, it has its flaws, but the move essentially means more West Ham fans get to watch their team play. Mind you, with some of the football we’ve had to watch that is more of a curse than a blessing. Still, the idea is a good one.
But… “World class football in a world class stadium”, “Next level”, “Champions league in five years” etc etc etc. It doesn’t matter that they never “promised” those things. They actually said they would work towards it. It doesn’t even matter that those quotes aren’t strictly correct. Those quotes are what I heard because as a fan, that’s what I wanted to hear.
People always take a rough approximation of what is actually said, and apply what they want to hear. It happens all the time. That is the only reason that The Conservative Party win elections. The board know this. They are clever people and have their own advisers who also know this. And they were happy to let us think it because it suited them at the time.
· David Sullivan:
Oi, David. A word of advice… Dude, you are doing way too much. You can’t be the owner, director of football, chairman, CEO, a scout, PR bloke, senior tweeter, contract negotiator and Lord knows’ what else all at the same time. I can’t think of another club with such a hands-on owner. Even if you don’t do all of those things, it seems to us that you do. You come across as a control freak. As owners go you are not actually that bad, but you need some senior executives and a bit of distance mate.
Karen Brady’s factually incorrect spouting in a newspaper, numerous tweets and media quotes from DS. I fully expect the West Ham PR manager to die early or at least to be seriously burned from all the fires he has to put out. Please think before you tweet/write/open your big mouth. The collateral damage from constantly shooting yourself in the foot is killing you.
The problem with the verbose outpourings is they hide what the club DOES manage to do. Lady Brady’s piece on transfer spending was factually wrong, which means that us fans don’t believe it. But if you use the same calculations that are used to disprove her, then you will see that we HAVE spent a lot of money over the past three years. Just not as much as she said we have. But that point has been lost due to our Lady’s bombast.
We have a half decent team on paper (though sadly, not on the pitch), the board are trying (unlike the team), they just lack direction. Yes, they need a much better dialogue with us supporters. They need to back chuckling David Moyes with some serious dough in January. But ask yourself this… Do you really want a change of owner?
Name another Premier League club where the owners have a genuine connection with the club? Or a genuine connection with the area? Have you seen what’s happened at Nottingham Forest? At Leeds? Or even at Birmingham since our two sold up? They were big clubs once. And let’s face it, the same thing has already happened to us with the Icelandic bankers. Fortunately, we were saved from that fate by… Oh, you know.
SACK THE BOARD?
I won’t be singing sack the board on Friday. It’s an empty gesture. The owners are the board, they will never sack themselves. All you are doing by singing that is a) making yourself feel better and look good in front of your mates, and b) digging an opinion trench. And as everyone knows, if one side digs a trench, the other side digs a trench as well. And then there will be no hope of dialogue or movement. We need dialogue, we need movement.
Do we need change? Yes, we really do. I know “Employ a sporting director” hasn’t got the same ring to it, but that’s what needs to happen. For us as a team and a club to move forward we need we need some serious football professionals on that board, and helping to run the club along with the Davids. We need direction.
We need to apply pressure in an organised way. Try joining the West Ham Independent Supporters Association (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any other supporters group and apply pressure that way. If enough of us do, they will listen. Just don’t start protesting at games. Instead, support the team, they need us.
The views expressed here are solely those of the blogger and are not necessarily shared by ClaretandHugh