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Board is simply reaping what it’s sown

Nigel Kahn has been the most prominent public critic of the West Ham board for several years.
And as the fans go into a furore over the situation at the club right now, CandH invited Nige to give his view on the state of things as he sees it. We are grateful he has interrupted his holiday to send us this piece.
By Nigel Kahn

I won’t say I’m disappointed in the fans reaction to the supposed failings of the board in the past week. It’s no secret I’ve never been their biggest fan since the day they took over the club and announced they wanted to move us to Stratford.

They gathered the support of the fans by making promises that I never believed they could or would keep, and I long said that they will pay one day for the false boasts of world class team in world class stadium. My biggest fear over the move was what would become of the club if we just stayed at the same old West Ham, just in a different stadium.

Well, if the past week is anything g to go by we are still the same old West Ham, making a pig’s ear of everything we do. It’s a trait that goes back decades through different owners with things never changing, but the venom at the current board has never been so strong as since the transfer window closed at 11pm on Thursday.

The Cavarhlo saga finally ended with him not joining the club, and many fans were upset at the lack of numbers coming in when added against the players leaving – had the board left us short?. Well DS answered that on Friday with his transfer window views on the official site. 

I may understand slightly why he felt the need to write that in light of the stick the board was receiving, but to point the finger at his manager, was actively blame shifting of the worse kind. Effectively it said, don’t blame me blame him.
The twist came later with Lisbon’s strange post about West Ham not even bidding for the player, which to be honest I don’t believe. It’s. been known for weeks we have been after him, it’s been put out there that we had a negotiating team in Portugal, and at none of these times has Sporting Lisbon denied this. There’s more than meets the eye that’s for sure in this matter and I doubt it will end here. 

The fans though see Lisbon’s statement and allied with the lack of player numbers of quality the “worm” is turning; fans want to protest, some wanting the board out. How and what form those protests take shape we are yet to see but the board have no sympathy from me. 
Having a presence on social media has it’s pitfalls. If  you put your head above the parapet you have to be prepared to take a few arrows your way and there’s now a legion of bowmen standing by to sling those arrows at the owners and Karren Brady. I for one understand why it’s got to this point.

The masters of media spin are now seeing how emotional football fans can be. This is not a shop, we are not customers, if we don’t deliver what you say, we don’t go elsewhere, we tell you how bad you are and it’s up to you to sort it out.
So board of West Ham it’s time for you to deliver. It’s time for you to stand up and sort this mess out of your making, not those of the Icelandics or Terry Brown, but  of your own.
Failure to do this will only will result in fan anarchy and while it’s distressing to see as it shows how bad the state of the club is. I i will have a smug smile on my face as you will be reaping what you sowed with the failed expectations you made all those years ago.
 The views expressed here are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of ClaretandHugh

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

26 comments on “Board is simply reaping what it’s sown

  1. I may be wrong but I don’t feel most fans are at that stage Nigel, I agree that the worm is turning for me anyway and from the posts of lots of others who have backed the owners previously. The team has to do something special and soon in 3 games time if we have no wins the worm may have turned into thousands of spitting cobras 🐍 time will tell, enjoy your Hols Nigel COYI’s !!!

  2. What is the most constructive way of registering disgust with the board without causing the club to implode? Should we follow the anti Glazer modus and start wearing Thames Ironworks regalia perhaps?

    • Straight jackets come to mind , cos he won’t go nowhere until as 32says things get much worse ! Demotion would probably be the blow that broke the horses back , but we could probably make him put his hand in the club plus account and spend some on that next level
      BS 😉

  3. I enjoyed reading this and i do believe in your take on things. Brave guy for saying what you did. I remember the BROWN OUT campaigns when we stayed after the game to voice the feeling.
    Some people like buzz words like HATERS!
    Passion is often confused.
    We are west ham and players come and go as do owners. We are the only thing that stays. We may have kids and work commitments but we still come back. JUST BE HONEST WITH US WEST HAM BOARD WE ARE TIRED AND WE KNOW YOUR GAME.

  4. I am glad a friend told me about this article. I remember years ago Nigel, Brian Williams and others telling me the move was wrong and being done for the wrong reasons. I was told the board were ultimate spin merchants. It was more than a prediction in retrospect. It was a prophecy of sorts. I didn’t believe them. Likely I didn’t want to believe them. Now I know.

    I’m picturing you, Nigel, with a wry but slightly sad smile as the events of the past few days have played out. Oh what we would do to have one of those Time Turners from Harry Potter.

  5. I seem to remember, when our current board took over, Brum fans posting messages warning us to expect many broken promises and false dawns….how right they were

  6. The club is already a long way down the road of losing its identity and being nothing more than a brand. Would love to see some true fans do an FC United or Wimbledon and start from scratch with a fan owned club. There’s enough of a base to do this plus umpteen celebrity fans who must also be getting disillusioned.

    I’ll always support West Ham but I’m also open minded about what it is really about.

  7. Enjoy your smug smile Nigel…. remember, excessive pride always comes before a fall.

  8. I told many of my fellow Hammers supporting buds they were no good from the get go but i certainly dont feel any smugness from being almost certainly proved right.
    Whats to feel smug about,i just feel pig sick not smug and it most certainly doesnt bring a smile to my face.
    Perhaps you are more needy and want to be proved right about everything.

    • Gary, nail on the head fella! COYI

    • Or perhaps back in the day I was called every name under the Sun by parts of the West Ham fan base for dareing to say I thought the owners were chancers.
      Some of whom now are calling them the same

  9. So we’ve moved to a new, bigger – and my eyes much better – stadium, and, in a transfer window where values have gone crazy, only brought in England’s (current) No1, a quality proven goal poacher, a league-winning right back (admittedly towards the end of his career) and a tattooed f**wit who may turn out to be a first class winger. If we’d bought any more, all the moaners would be complaining about the wholesale changes based on quantity not quality. Even now I read about us ‘lack of depth’ and us ‘needing numbers’, Isn’t that what turned out so bad last season? Plenty of mediocrity but little quality. You can usually get one but not both.

    Four weeks ago it was hailed as a great window for West Ham, but now it’s suddenly all rubbish. Some people – Nigel being among the most vociferous- were always against the move, so there’s a huge element of schadenfraude about his piece. To be honest, if he’d been promised full fat milk in his tea by the Board and they gave him semi-skimmed, he’d be up in arms with the broken promise and launching campaign.

    We didn’t sign any of a number of [often overrated and overpriced] players we were linked with in the press, and the Carvalho case looks to be settled in court as to who offered what and when. We were never going to be a top six aside inside the first few seasons of the move, but I’m confident we’re going in the right direction. OK, we’ve had three awaydays in a row and we’re bottom, but it’s not like we’ve never been there before. And sure, the stadium has other users and we have to fit in, but we’re tenants paying a pittance of a rent. The OS probably costs us less than the running costs of UP.

    So all I’d say is try to remember that we’re still West Ham, not Barcelona. Good times will come, bad times will come, but FFS will all the everyday keyboard warriors please stop whining – at least until we’ve played an equal number of home games?

    • Can’t say I know what schadenfraude is,
      But I have voiced no complaint of the transfer window,

      • Hasnt HH ever sent a bottle of it over for you Nige.Its a fruity little number 😁

      • 😂sadistic pleasure hunter of others misfortunes😂
        I would call them bullshyte promises en mass et all 7 years and still running the same story deserves to be told where we stand ??😤
        Must start writing in Hebrew old text ? That’s how we can get around tippexman chaps😉

      • Taking delight in the problems of others, a little like crocodile tears.

  10. haha – just had my detailed and non abusive reply to this post deleted.

  11. Its the swearing Neil.It gets binned.As a no1 culprit i am used to it but being rehabilitated.Its naff all to do with your view 😁

  12. Ah, fair enough, thanks.

  13. Smug smile? Really? What a strange little man.

  14. This whole episode is grubby at best. The “he said – she said” nonsense shows that our owners are doing what most of us feared. They bull****ted through their time at Birmingham and we were warned. They talk big but act like ‘potless’ amateurs. Saying they are suing Sporting makes no difference to fans either way. It would be better to let it die but a man with a Napoleon complex can’t do that…

    In my opinion a decent Chairman would have sacked Bilic in the summer. It would have been done without fuss or controversy by Daniel Levy for example. He would have realised that so much money was wasted on “cheap” signings that resulted in virtually all of them cleared out now. And a decent Chairman would have seen Bilic’s weird tactical plans for what they were. Bilic & Sullivan then compounded those errors by signing Fonte & Smodgrass for £18m to ensure our PL survival. Many suspect that signings are foisted on Bilic and many requests for better players fall on deaf ears unless they are £20m – £25m in a market where that buys an average player. Perhaps that is why even a grubby man like Sullivan feels awkward about sacking Bilic when Sullivan himself is pulling Bilic’s strings?

    So for me it doesn’t matter whether Sporting or Sullivan lied. The die has been cast and Sullivan has lost all credibility as a working Chairman. If Bilic had been fired in the summer and a new manager given a budget to build his squad, we would have had a fully fit squad that probably would have got at least a couple of points and avoided all this controversy.

    Sullivan’s best course is to keep a low profile while putting a plan together to hire a much better manager, pay whatever it costs and let him get the job done without interfering in football decisions made by the new manager and the Director of Recruitment. Is that possible? I doubt it…

  15. Wasn’t it two weeks ago Brady went on TV stating that she ‘hoped we could finish in the top six. Part of the issue with the people running the club is communication where instead of just saying we will try to strengthen the squad if possible, and leaving it at that, they have to start naming players, knowing full well potential transfers can collapse for any number of reasons. The result is increased excitement with the supporters followed by massive disappointment and anger. Sullivan will then do anything to shift responsibility away from himself for not getting the deal done.

  16. Spot on Nigel. But you’re wasting your breath in these parts.

    It’s all instant Sky gratification and FIFA 16 punditry here that leads to unrealistic expectations. Anyone who thinks the London Stadium is better than Upton Park clearly just watches games on TV. UP was a proper football stadium. The LS is a souless bowl around a distant green island in the middle of soulless retail park.

    I’ll now go back to cheering myself up by watching the 1980 cup run on YouTube…a real club, real fans, real clubs and homegrown players making up the core of the team.

    • Season ticket holder for thirty five of my fifty seven years, over 1,000 games, including always, never watch football on TV, don’t have a Sky or BT and don’t want it. Not blinded by Upton Park being a ‘proper football stadium’ – i.e. old, decrepit, no parking, not enough loos, no chance of a pie or tea, etc., etc.

      Good guess on my viewing habits though.

  17. Oh the snide w4nker Ray has pitched up to have a pop.You sad b4stard.No doubt this will be deleted but hopefully snide will see it first,the pr1ck!

  18. Well done raystewarts thats it insult fellow supporters.Puff your chest out and feel like a big man.

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