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One question for Irons fans -several for the board

It’s easy to swim with the tide – too easy….and no challenge whatsoever.

My personal experience over a long life has been that you learn your lessons in the hard times and you remain true to your beliefs unless there is a very good reason not to and you then find a way of thoughtfully changing things.

As I read through the forums I note those swimming with the current problems inside West Ham rarely entertain another point of view and do not see the words: ” I see your point…but” when confronted with another take.

It’s a social media thing probably.

The moans cover such as:

O Board out

O Manager’s crap

O Players don’t care

O We’re going down

O Liverpool fans are putting up a banner saying GSB out

O Lack of vision

O Lack of infrastructure

O Former players are board lovers for saying “stop the protests til the end of the season”

None of that may stop us entering the Championship and those who say otherwise are half and fully mocked for saying so.

My own position -before going any further – is as straightforward and has been repeated many times:

O We need Karren Brady out and a new CEO in.

O We need a proper director of football to develop a vision for the club

O and should there be an offer in the region of £300 to £350 million rather that £500 million for West Ham then it should be be given serious consideration.

Protest has its place but not, in my view if – as former players say – it will be unhelpful to the team’s chances of staying up.  That’s all that matters right now. They know!

I don’t care who the owners are so long as West Ham prosper but I’d really like to know how those who are desperate to see the current owners move on see it happening.

Let’s assume they say: “Ok we’re off” today. Noone knows how it would happen, who would come in EVENTUALLY so where do we go from there and what happens in the meantime while it happens. I don’t know – someone tell me please. Would it improve anything.

My own view is  a radical rethink is required on the infrastructure of this club  and that if it doesn’t happen we are in a lot of trouble.

Newcastle had their problems last season – results have changed things; Manchester United have their problems and Arsenal aren’t looking so clever this time around.

It’s natural to get angry…it’s natural to whinge and whine. That’s football but those fans swimming with the  tide need to ask one question of themselves and the board need to ask themselves a few.

Are we helping the team stay up…are we helping? If they are happy with their answers whatever they may be fine but I think I know what my own might be.

Oh and just to repeat again :  I don’t like the stadium or match day experience. It’s alien to my time as a fan of the game and would have preferred us to stay in Green Street.


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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

35 comments on “One question for Irons fans -several for the board

  1. They should look seriously at the Borussia Dortmund model, buy very young promising talent, who have the right attitude as well as the talent, and turn them into £50million plus players in a few seasons. The owners would be very happy not having to put their hands in their pockets too much, the fans would see young hungry talent every week, and there’s sustainability in the club. The current model of buying players on the cheap (or for free) who have long since reached their peak, but with very high wages, just bleeds the club of valuable finances, they have little to no re-sell value and it’s a vicious cycle to get out of, only relegation clears you of the deadwood, but this also strips you of every single decent player too as they want to play at the highest level.

  2. Let it never be said that the fans don’t support the team, I have been too many a game with friends around, also through wet wind and freezing cold to be served a lot of crap football yet we still come, our famous three are the main culprits that are causing this unrest yet again, with the naive approach in running a football club, spend in the wrong areas and then pull back and allow us to get in trouble, if i was to run my business as they do then i would be finished, yet our support etc allows them to hold on to our club for now, major changes are needed but i can never see that happening so what is left but, BOARD OUT.

    • How does that happen is my question along with will protests at games help to settle or unsettle the team.

      • Hugh as long as the protests are staged away from the ground I think that the fans have to demonstrate their unrest at the boards decisions. The biggest lie of all is the moving stadium would bring a first class team to a first class stadium. Those words are hollow and sound bites in reality we have a third rate team in a soulless bowl which is mainly scaffolding and gaps galore. I’m sorry they needed to be taken to task over this monumental decision which was possibly the worst made in the history of West Ham united. Not one fan up to the point of the move thought you know what we need to move out of Upton park so why did they do it ? They did for personal greed sugar coated as taking us to the next level. They have destroyed the fabric of this club, charging £700 for mascots , junior citizens its disgusting.
        get behind the team inside the stadia by all means but outside it show the contempt that these owners deserve.

        • My point centrally was that for now we need to concentrate on survival. If fans wanna protest as I wrote that’s their call but when we are seeing them planning a protest inside Anfield with talk of more to come at the LS if they can I’m against. My other point is that protest without a plan is pointless and I’ve done my share of political protesting. By and large it’s just a way of relieving frustration solving very little. I agree with the stuff about the move of course. I didn’t want it

  3. West Ham United is gone.
    I’m focusing my attention on the people that that happen for their own personal gain
    Now is a time for retribution and accountability.
    Board out above everything.

    • How?. Board out is repeated so many times. How do you think that’s going to happen?

      • The biggest problem us how long this has been going on for,,this is not just this season or even the last couple, there have been problems every season for the last 5/6/7 years it just Dosnt end ..this is why there is so much anger around.. it just never stops…
        How can fans be expected to keep supporting with a smile on there face , when there has been so much failure from top up bottom for so many years ..especially after the expectations…

        • I wasn’t having a rant – I think we have heard all the points in all the rants. I was hoping the piece could provoke some further thought and more lateral thinking. You are right but it goes way back beyond 5, 6 or 7 years to the Brown years and before. We ave always been a club without a real identity other than nice football but lower division. I’ve been here since ’62 and remember nothing else

          • Oh yeah definitely longer hugh,but what I ment was ,I’ve been an iron for 42 years but back then even with the trouble,, we had more identity than we do now ( Upton park was alot of it if you know what ii mean )and you sort of knew what you were getting ,even with the trouble back then the fans were angry of course, but I feel more so now because of the expectations and the talking so much from the board, we all went with it because we thought, well I don’t want to leave u.p but i will if it means champions league or a bit of glory from a cup..but we lost u.p and got no were near anything they promised…lots feel they have been taken for a ride ..then anger follows…sorry about mistakes, you get my meaning..

    • Chris Holman you’re spot on. The club as we knew it has gone. I agree with the protests even if we are down the bottom, Things have gone on for too long and they have to know we don’t want them.

  4. There’s no point campaigning for board out/sell the club at the moment. A drop to the Championship would substantially impact the value of the club (whatever you think that is today). No one is going to make an offer now and see the value of their investment drop massively at the end of the season.

    It’s a better use of the campaigning energy just to support the team.

  5. In a previous article about getting rid of the ” dead wood ” my thoughts on that statement is where would you stop on that statement??? At the very top? On say bad decision making?? Or At the bottom for poor performing staff? Because Only at the top has the power that makes or sanctions the decisions to hire or get in poor staff?? THE BUCK STOPS AT THE TOP that is if I’m right in thinking? why is there so much unrest at the club I’ve surported all my life?? I know all the upheaval of the move from what was a very spiritual home at the Boleyn to a stadium not really having the roots and all of the Boleyn has effectively not been accepted by some ? Unfortunately the mass of us supporters had no say in it and times have changed as a supporter in the new stadium is more or less told put up and shut up, any one who has different ideas are more or less castrized and called trouble makers? I am not one of the protesters I have to add, but one has got to admit there is two sides to a argument ? So I don’t have an answer. All I know is West Ham came from a worker’s team from the Thames Iron works and to my knowledge has had working class people as there supporters from back then to the present, supporting through thick and thin they have been and always will be the life blood of our historic club? Our owners have tried to take the club into the 21st century with all the media and TV channels and of course the new (Brady esk prawn sandwich brigade ) but change is hard for different people for all sorts of reasons but as the old saying goes ‘ if things don’t change they stay as they are !! ‘And that’s what I fear some supporters have no say in , and want more input in the changes but above all their biggest change seems to be rid of GSB which in a nutshell goes back to my earlier point THE BUCK STOPS AT THE TOP SO THE TOP HAVE TO SORT IT one way or another because it’s becoming more of the news than any thing else other than the game we love ENJOYING FOOTBALL AND BEING A FAN!!!

    • There are no answers and there will be no winners as far as I can see but the board need to show more contrition and admit their mistakes and talk regularly with the fans group =led by Sullivan and Gold. Brady is not a communicator and has riled too many. They are not gonna go just yet and there has to be some sort of move towards a compromise however uneasy that may be. Conflict and war can only harm the team in the end. But I could be wrong

    • Has a footnote has anybody seen Gonzos YouTube video “it’s our time ” ? Such a mickey take and funny 🤣🤣

      • I think that video will put their relationship with hugh under some serious strain

      • Gonzo’s certainly changed his mind about the stadium since his first visit. Like walking down Wembley Way, he said on approaching.

        Personally I still miss Duncan’s Pie & Mash shop. But then that closed before we left…

  6. It happens by them prefering not to reiside over a club where the majority of fans would rather they did’nt , once they accept that it will never change i’m sure they will start the sale process , could take years like it has at newcastle , i’m prepared to be patient whilst all the time supporting the team , when they’ve gone the healing can start , they dont suit us and we dont suit them , the protest group need to maintain their aproach of peaceful non stadium activity and the numbers will grow .

  7. Hugh I know you can only manage a home once a year, but honest mate there’s no booing where I sit and I certainly don’t hear any either.

    • pardon! I don’t think I mentioned booing I asked where this was all leading and what happens if the board walks away tomorrow. What was that about one a year? I remain a season ticket holder and if If I’m not there as often as some think I might be it’s because 1/ we have thousands of subscribers who are waiting for news and someone has to write it as was the case when I worked on newspapers- there are only two of us – and 2/ as I have said many times I really don’t like the stadium, Stratford or the match day experience one little bit. There’s a third. I often suffer serious breathing problems ia COPD which makes it impossible

      • IF there is no booing – then how are the player affected?

        • Black balloons, posters etc, no doubt accompanied by chanting. Unheplful. As for relationships being put under strain and one match comments. Naive and childish without any knowledge of anything. And how this embarrasses me or puts me under strain from anything is a mystery. Gonzo is one of my best pals and knows how to discuss like an adult. Avoid further personalised comments and stick to football.


          • No chanting at home games Hugh – only outside the ground where the players can hear it. You say we should all stick together and you appeal for support and no negativity and then there’s your buddy taking the proverbial big time. Surely it’s whinging and whining and not helping to keep the team up?

          • The protesters are currently talking about demoing at home games. Home or away ? Doesn’t matter. Just bloody support End of. Which BUDDY?..whoever u r talking about I am not a bloody clone of anyone. U also give the impression that you feel it’s a good idea that players can hear protests. All it means is they know they are at a troubled club who would wanna get out if we go down anyway. Not much logic in that as far as I can see

        • Ask Tony Gale and Steve Lomas – I assume you know what they did for a living

      • Oooops another massive own goal! Amilah Dobson, the member of the Junior Supporters’ Board who ‘s been trying to contact Brady, turns out is the granddaughter of the late Labour MP and West Ham supporter Frank Dobson.

  8. If they walked away tomorrow, whoever came in would need to spend a lot of money just to bring the club to a level commensurate with a professional PL entity.

    So, what do we actually want? A proper football stadium? The options being stay at the LS or move away. Where in the locality is there suitable land? So in reality we stay where we are and make changes maybe.
    Assuming the mayor gave the LS to us at no cost. It would need a major rebuild or, more probably, knocking down and starting again. Cost? Probably in the region of £1bn.
    A team to compete with the top 6 and in Europe?
    That’s going to need a major investment in both infrastructure and personnel behind the scenes. Cost? Substantial. What about the management team and players?
    A 25 man squad assembled at an initial cost of £800 / £900m or more plus continuing investment.
    We need to be realistic in what we wish for. Because without the appearance of a Sheikh or Oligarch we are not going to be at “the next level” or in a proper football stadium any time soon.

  9. What has David Sullivan got against Karen Brady then. Why does he want her out? Unfortunately gsb out means all three of them. Does Sullivan think that by sacrificing Karen Brady it will appease the fans and take the heat off himself?

  10. The situation is VERY clear to me and the solution is VERY simple….
    What does SUPPORTER mean?
    …. to give aid or encouragement to a person or cause.
    This CLUB is in a hole right now and IF we are Supporters, we have to pick a better time to air our grievances, because right now the team NEED the 12th Man behind them.
    It’s basic common-sense that no one would try to kill the thing that they love. So as that doesn’t make any sense, we need to reign in the negative emotions until the end of the season.
    Just say that the owners handed control over to someone or organisation that promised us the earth and then turned out to be worse than what we have right now??? No one wants to believe that it could happen…. but it HAS happened many times up and down the country at other football clubs. So for now, support the side and then we can have the discussions and debates once we have secured our Premiership survival. That’s as simple as it gets without raw emotion clouding my thoughts.

  11. wonder where we would be now if Sullivan and Gold had not taken over the club from the icelandic board ten years ago? lets give them some applause for that surely
    I feel it is time for Sullivan and Gold to go but after this season and hopefully when West Ham have survived to stay in the premier league. The moans and griping has to stop as this will put those with money from even thinking about buying the club, stop having digs at ex players because they know more about how it can feel to be moaned at match days than any of us who have never been professional players. I have fingers crossed that the two davids will think of their beloved team and decide to sell for a reasonable amount to someone who may be able to keep the team in the premier league in the future and hopefully move them up to the next level eventually

  12. I can’t be alone in thinking the move away from the decrepit Upton Park was needed, surely? Stuck in an area where the club was an anachronism, with 30,000 mainly white, mainly men suddenly appearing every two weeks in a largely non-white area that didn’t want us there, then disappearing a couple of hours later. The stadium was one of the worst in the league for space and facilities, taking twenty minutes to empty at the end of games. That one hour queue in the rain to get onto the Tube, the lack of parking…….only the pubs, caffs and pie shops were any good. Did I miss the huge footballing advantage we got from the place, when we consistently won the league and dominated Europe? No, I thought not. Sentimental nostalgia won us nothing.

    We couldn’t really expand further, so it was a choice of either going £1bn into debt to build somewhere new and playing somewhere totally alien for two seasons like Spurs or taking the OS and trying to turn it into a new home. The rumoured safe standing coupled with squaring off the side areas will make it much better. If people just stopped moaning and got excited when something good happened, the stadium would cease to be an issue. The key things are the support and the team. The owners and the stadium are effectively transient.

    I have to agree with Hugh – don’t go open-ended on the protests; there’s no guarantee anyone new would be any better (and most likely be based overseas and even more remote). A Saudi Prince? Really? Miss a penalty and get your hand cut off?

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