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Decision justified as new boss arrives!


CandH blogger Allen Cummings explains why he had no option but to renew his season ticket – it’s in the blood you see 🙂




So  the deal we’ve all, or most of us at least, been eagerly anticipating is finally done. Pellegrini is the new ‘Manu’ on the block. No wonder I’ve got a smug look on my face.

Personal confirmation, if indeed it were needed, that I was ahead of the game. The decision I made last Friday to renew my season ticket was the right one. No doubt about it! YESS!

The emails and texts from West Ham had been arriving almost daily for the past few weeks. The message was being well and truly hammered home . June 1st, season ticket renewal day, was fast approaching and the club’s database was obviously showing I hadn’t exercised my option. Not made my decision to renew my ticket for the 2018-2019 season, as I had done for the previous 25 or more. Was this a sign the club were worried?

Were they concerned that after the traumatic season we have all just endured, both on and off the pitch, season ticket holders like myself would rebel. Cut up our tickets in a public display of protest. Withhold our support, and money, and stay away in significant numbers. We’d show ‘em!

Or were the constant communications simply an automated computer prompt? Like a government car tax or TV license renewal. Did the club really care about little me when they had a waiting list of thousands only too ready and willing to take up my vacated seat?

I fully understand the reasons some people have for giving up their season tickets, they aren’t cheap – especially for families! Travel difficulties can be a genuine problem, too. Spiralling costs can be a huge financial drain on the pocket.

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But beyond those and similar reasons I struggle. Hating the board? Loathing the stadium? Bitter at the move? For me they don’t, and never would, justify giving up on the team.

In the event they need not have worried. For me there was no real option. No decision to make. I wasn’t holding on to see who would eventually succeed David Moyes. Whether or not it would be Pellegrini, Benitez, Emery or anyone else for that matter.

I wasn’t hoping somehow we’d be linked with a succession of marquee signings. Back in for Carvalho. Pick up again on Dendoncker. Those unknowns weren’t going through my mind or weighing heavily on my decision making. I wasn’t about to be influenced by, as some regularly like to suggest, rumours put out by the board simply to sell season tickets.

Football doesn’t have a comparison site. A ‘Compare the Market’ or ‘Go Compare’ where you type in your details. Your personal requirements: Winning titles. Winning cups. Getting into Europe. Being part of the top six. Then press the submit button and the site comes up with a list of clubs as the best options for you.

If they did, West Ham certainly wouldn’t be an option. It’s obvious if that’s the kind of deal I was seeking I’d get much more for my money elsewhere. But my football world isn’t like that. It never has been otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today. So why would I change the habit of a lifetime? Stop supporting the only club I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Yes they’ve given me plenty of heartache. Yes they’ve frustrated me. Yes they’ve infuriated me beyond belief at times. But they have also given me some incredible moment of joy. They are in my blood. A part of me. I feel as much a part of their history as they are of mine.

You don’t give up that kind of bond lightly – if at all. Once a Hammer always a Hammer. In sickness and in health. Till death us do part. I made my decision out of loyalty and in good faith. Now I feel fully justified.

I have a much brighter summer to look forward to, and at the end of it the hope that next season under Pellegrini we’ll really have something to sing about again.


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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

2 comments on “Decision justified as new boss arrives!

  1. I renewed even before we were out of trouble.
    Like you allen i was going to go even if it was playing in the championship.
    Once it is in the blood it’s there forever.

  2. Good piece Allen. I have spent most of the last two seasons dreading Saturday. Man C – can we stop an avalanche? Watford away – not much chance. Stoke at home- draw is better than nothing but we need three points. Over the years I have had the discussion with my non footballing wife many times. Would you not be happier just coming to the shops. Aargh! Well ,going to the pub with some mates? Erm, maybe. You are a grown man getting in a mood over a bloody game of football? My six year old daughter to my delighted mother in law -We know when West Hammers have lost cos Daddy is in a really bad mood & won’ t talk to Mummy! (Although I finally won her away from the female influence at the age of 16 & she has been coming with me ever since.) At times in the last two years I have definitely pondered whether it was time to grow up & just do things on Saturday that I know I can enjoy. For the sake of my own health if nothing else.

    To be honest, unless things improve now (doesn’t have to be dramatic or quick just gradual will do) I think I owe it to my own sanity to at least scale it back. I have been, like Sir a Trev yesterday, hoping for better things but knowing the road is a tough one. But I can’t stop myself feeling annoyed that the PL grounds are quiet & empty for the next ten weeks, that the weather will be too hot & that people will be playing stupid games like cricket, golf & tennis. But that at the start of August it will be back to normal life. Anticipation. Hope. A blank canvas. Maybe a new superstar in claret & blue.

    At my age I should know better.

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