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Hammers United call for talks on fans concerns

There has been much discussion on the various forums over a planned protest organised by Hammers United. In the interests of balance and neutrality, ClaretandHugh asked the organisers for their reasons for holding the demo. This is their statement sent to us by Steve Law.

This article is written on behalf of those organising a protest about the owners’ stewardship of our Club. 

 

Hammers United instigated this protest but it is supported by a number of different groups and individuals. We are a disparate group with a committee made up of regular supporters well known amongst the fan base.

We would firstly like to say that we had not previously been asked to explain our motives or aims on this site as recently suggested, but have now been invited to do so and thank both Sean and Hugh for that opportunity.

We come together under the banner of being United for Change. We feel that since our move to the LS there has been so much marketing that the regular fan has been left behind. Many have quit, many are disillusioned and many no longer recognise us. This is not about results but about our identity.

We want either the existing owners to completely change their relationship with the support and deliver on the 10 promises made when they bought the Club, or for them to sell up to others who will.

At the heart of the problem has been the Club only having dialogue with their creation the OSB rather than with properly independent fan groups. We have tried to enter dialogue to express members’ concerns but the owners, OSB chair and even the Supporters Liason Officer have refused that saying only the OSB will be recognised. This has been another key example of the Club trying to manipulate and oversee events rather than entering into proper unfettered discussions about fans’ concerns.

Those concerns include the unsuitability of the ground, stewarding, away travel arrangements, investment, interest charged on owners’ loans, the apparent undersale of the Boleyn and a host of other things that we feel the Club has a duty to explain.

It is worth noting that UEFA, the PL and the Government have laid down regulations that include required dialogue with independent formal ISAs but that West Ham, along with the questionable Hull ownership, are the only 2 Clubs in the top 4 flights to refuse to do so.

The manipulation must stop and we need a strong, fully independent supporters’ group to seek to improve dialogue. The existing OSB should be disbanded, the SLO needs to represent the fans not the Club and we need to come together for mutual benefit.

Sadly it is only through the pressure of adverse media that the owners and Ms Brady in particular respond. We therefore urge all those wanting a change in direction to protest with us in a peaceful and yet vibrant manner.

Finally I can say that none of us want anything else. We have no personal agendas, no financial interest or ambitions. We just want the owners to fundamentally change their relationship with the support or to go.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author of this statement and do not necessarily reflect the views of Claret and Hugh

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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

12 comments on “Hammers United call for talks on fans concerns

  1. So if they sold up and an American consortium or any other buys , do you think they would care about supporters ? Would be about profits .It’s a business . Planning protests again makes West ham a laughing stock . Only a small minority support what your doing.

  2. Well, they might be a bit better at running a football club. They might put a more professional club infrastructure in place. What is clear is that we have gone nowhere under Gold Sullivan and Brady despite their ‘ambitions’ ‘aspirations’ whatever you want to call the stuff they spun to the fans.

  3. Well I have to say I like how that was laid out.
    All I’d like is for the club to be run professionally, with clear goals in mind with a forward momentum and year on year improvement.

  4. I have been a Hammers supporter for over 65 years. I am fed up with people purporting to represent “the fans ” with their own individual views. The owners whether you like or not are responsible for running the club and perhaps more importantly for funding the club.
    The financial situation is now much better than when they took over. The move to the Olympic Stadium was necessary step if the club had any aspirations. The Stadium is not as good as to could. be for football but neverthelesss is a superb stadium with great views for all spectators. The problem has been performance on the pitch, not the stadium. As fans we want to see a team that runs it’s socks off – that has only happened sporadically in the last 3 years. When that happens week in week out then the fans will respond. The current squad is good enough for a top half finish. We got a marquee manager, Pellagrini, and he was hopeless. Get behind David Moyes and the team and results will follow. Forget fruitless protests against the owners p- a waste of time & energy

  5. What makes you think they would want to talk to to some independent supporters group formed of the kind of idiot who would demonstrate the exact opposite, ie their non-support of the club by doing stupid things like running onto the pitch with a flagpole, throwing things and hurling abuse at the owners in the directors box, or going on pointless protest marches. They don’t represent the fans. They represent the hooligan element we could all do without. I would suggest people like this are doing more harm to our club than the owners ever could.

    • “They don’t represent the fans. They represent the hooligan element we could all do without.”

      what total and utter ****!
      What aspect of “We therefore urge all those wanting a change in direction to protest with us in a PEACEFUL and yet vibrant manner” do you not understand?

      This march is being organised by decent supporters with no interest in personal gain.
      If you don’t believe in what they’re trying to achieve, fair enough. But to suggest they’re in it for nothing more than aggro is bang out of order.
      I also wouldn’t mistake this protest with the one curtailed 2 years ago (funnily enough, Sully DID want to engage with certain fans not recognised by the FSA then).

      I’m sure you don’t mind allowing this through moderation Hugh, in the interests of impartiality.

      • THere’s a very bizarre rumour going around I moderate what I don’t agree with – that too is utter and total **** When the same sentiment is expressed in dreary terms over and over again I might because there is a limit to how much any of us can stand lol

  6. I do understand some of the views made for protesting but don’t agree with them. I like every real fan wants our team to win & perform well each time. I personally believe until we own the stadium we can finally call it home. Then & only then will our club truly prosper. COYI

  7. Sorry I have followed the Hammers for 54 years and it has always been the same old story. “We need a player”. There is a star available. “Let’s get someone in his style, that’s cheaper”. Oh forget it, let’s not spend the money at all, we can’t get who we want.

    All to often the Player goes on to help the Team that buys them to do well and we fight Relegation. Seen it done it, bored with it. No matter what the Board, what they want always wins. Smaller clubs with more enthusiastic Boards have done better. Even Southampton managed it, they bought Kevin Keegan, whilst we looked for Players like him. They have even finished in a higher position in the League than we ever have. Yet how much money have their Board had ?

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