Sam Allardyce’s West Ham departure was driven by the fans who brought his reign to an “inevitable conclusion.”
Since the 60 year old’s final appearance at the club, the atmosphere around Upton Park has lifted to the point where a sell-out crowd was ready to turn out in the middle of the season to watch a match against a team of part timers last night.
And the fact that by and large the Irons team was always going to be made up largely of Development Squad players makes that even more impressive.
However, the decision to allow Allardyce to walk away was clearly a big reason as fans hero, Slaven Bilic made his first appearance in front of the Claret and Blue Army.
One wonders how many would have been inside the ground had the former manager still been in charge.
In a TalkSport interview earlier this week co chairman David Gold had claimed that the board and former manager had felt that four years was long enough for both sides but explained nothing further.
However, insiders have made it clear to ClaretandHughthat the two central reasons were:
O the increasingly impossible relationship with the majority of the fans
O and the knowledge that nothing much was ever going to change in the style of play
We were told: “Certainly everybody finally agreed that four years was long enough as the tensions between Sam and the fan base increased.
“He was finding life more and more difficult and the reaction from the terraces following the previous season drove things to an inevitable conclusion.
“However both the style of play and tensions in the transfer market were also hindering relationships and in the end both sides agreed that a parting of the ways was the only answer.”
“There will always be plenty of goodwill and gratitude towards him for establishing this club back where it belonged but there is relief that period is now part of our history.”