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West Ham board need to start somewhere

Yesterday’s article by Henry Winter in the Times hit the nail on the head when he said “Even for neutrals, it is impossible not to side instinctively with West Ham United’s aggrieved supporters in their increasingly tense stand-off with the co-owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, and Karren Brady, the club’s vice-chairman.

Many of the problems adding to the turmoil at the London Stadium course widely through modern football, particularly fans’ feeling of alienation from the club they love, who they were born to support. Reports of Liverpool fans’ plan to display a banner against Gold, Sullivan and Brady when West Ham visit Anfield on February 24 reflects broader backing for their cause. Neutrals standing a step back from this family feud in East London are surely consumed by one response: West Ham’s owners either have to sell up or open up and listen to fans’ concerns, work with them, not antagonise them, acting for the good of the club. At the moment, every day appears to bring another story of heavy-handed behaviour by the owners, charging mascots, banning fans. Gold and Sullivan, and Brady, need a new approach, less stubborn, more collaborative”

The chance of the two owners selling up in the short term is remote as is the removal of Karren Brady.

But maybe can they start small as a peace offering and build proving actions speak louder than words.

An announcement to make all West Ham match day mascots free of charge would be a first step and cost the club very little in terms of overall revenue,  announcing a date for free democratic elections for the Official Supporters’ Board (OSB) would be another quick win. Finally for the Vice Chairman to announce she is giving up her football Sun Column.

These three things would not be enough to stop the protest at the Southampton but would be somewhere to start rebuilding trust and fan engagement.


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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

17 comments on “West Ham board need to start somewhere

  1. In a nutshell “I don’t think any of that is ever going to happen”.
    But we live in hope.

  2. All good points Sean. Unfortunately Ms Brady has little history of changing her mind. The strong will she has needed to succeed in the male dominated football world seems so entrenched she is unable to step back, admit she is wrong and gain people’s respect by changing direction. Her complete lack of empathy and emotional intelligence for the West Ham fans and our club’s history is so apparent I would be shocked if she truly became fan focused (or customer focused in her words!).

  3. Everything would be forgotten about if they only knew how to pick a manager……………

  4. At the end of day these three only care about their pockets thats why they dont want or have any dialogue with fans. They will only sell if their pockets become affected by then the club will be in big trouble im affraid. Big shout out to Liverpool fans for their support next Saturday

    • If the owners only care about their pockets, why do we have some of the cheapest Season Tickets in the land?

      • Because both the stadium and the typical matchday experience are not good. Oh, and there are more seats than there are West ham fans willing to pay to fill them at most games.

        • But those seats are filled on a regular basis! West Ham are no different to any other club with big stadiums. They attract ‘outsiders’. What’s wrong with that when it’s a business – as every club is!!

      • Because the stadium isn’t fit for watching football, the quality of football is often and there are more seats than there are WHU fans willing to pay to fill them. It’s really quite simple.

    • Big spenders over the last 5 years. So not sure financial profit and loss accounts back this up.

  5. Sean very good article, reading the 2 comments and i have the same feeling not a lot will happen. I think the fans are not experiencing the MATCH DAY EXPERIENCE we hoped for, travel to the ground has been very poor [ trains etc] the stadium is of course a BIG issue, most are not enjoying it [apart from away fans]. the food / drinks is not far short of top restaurant prices for basic fare. The football has been pretty poor to be fair since the move. Like any football club / fans if the team was winning all the above drifts to the back of our minds. Also as pointed out SGB are not going anywhere soon, altering the mascot set up is an absolute joke [ well off parents only ]. It will be interesting if they alter their tune with relegation, the only plus in any of this is the ST prices which compared to most clubs is pretty good. but in a 2/3rds full stadium next season, they will be under immense pressure to improve our club. Relegation [if it happens] will be blamed on them which again is not totally true, once the 11 go on the pitch no one can do anything. But as ST holder from the 60s i have to say this is not the West Ham United i grew to love

    • Spot on, Jim!

      Although, charging for things that would cost them little or nothing if free, is merely piling on insult to injury and epitomises their whole ethos.

      It is the injury which needs addressing and would cost them money they either do not have, cannot borrow or will not part with.

      Removing things like mascot charging would have a very short-term effect and would hardly address the real underlying issues.

    • Lots of good points. Like you I am a fan from the 60’s – so none of this discontent with the team and the board is new. We’ve been here before – several times. I’d argue about transport links. They are far, far better than UP. Food and drink is pricey – which is why I prefer to use the excellent choice available at Westfield. You are right – if the team were winning there would be a totally different atmophere. The 11 on the pitch old the key!!

  6. Changing being a mascot to free of charge is a mistake imo. It would lead to an unimaginable waiting list. People love something for free. If you are at a busy train station and theres a stall handing out free packs of gum, most people would go in and grab a handful. They dont even want gum. They’re taking it because its free. Even making that gum 10p per pack instead of 70p would reduce the amount of people jumping on the bandwagon for something free just to have something for free. If the mascot is 700 quid, take it down to 200. Yes the waiting list would increase dramatically, but, it would be an achievable price for most families if they decided their child would welcome the experience. A good place to start maybe but just my 2cents

  7. Once again a journalist loyal to the Sunday Supplement writes an article to have a go at the owners. I suspect they’ll all be taking it in turns for a week or two. I f he thinks the Davids should consider selling up it would be helpful to know who is interested and how much they are willing to pay.

  8. Saw this elsewhere and it broke my heart

    Roses are red
    I’m claret and blue
    West Ham is dead
    Thanks to you know who

  9. Once again our board and unfortunate owners are found wanting (that and bruised egoes) by threatening legal action and taking on the media, when anyone could see it would be best to just let it blow over, and forgetten about by the next week. Instead its blown up in their faces.

    So predictable.

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