I’ve been a Hammer since the day I was born and it actually pains me to write what is most likely my last article about West Ham United.
As a football fan you can get very emotional during 90 minutes. Anger and disappointment mainly contributes to being a West Ham, fan with the slight element of jubilation and bittersweet feeling when winning a game we were destined to lose. But being a West Ham fan is completely different to every other fan supporting another football club.
I’ve seen more relegations than cup finals since I came in to this world in the winter of 1986. I wasn’t even alive in West Ham’s most successful ‘Boys of ’86’ season. I havn’t seen my club win silverware of any real significance, promotion and European qualification do not scream of champions material, it’s basically a token of congratulations for doing just enough to develop.
I’ve seen my club get taken over three times, from Terry Brown to the miserable Icelandic regime and to what we see today under David Gold and David Sullivan. It is today’s ownership that has made my decision to drain my body from the claret and blue blood which entered me many years ago.
This club is owned by West Ham fans, fans that care about the club, but when money is involved your head overrules your heart and sadly their heads are not good enough to run this club. We were all promised bigger and better things, but even when they promised Champions League football within seven years, you just had to laugh.
For a club of our size and structure we should have been putting our main focus on winning League Cups and taking the Premier League with a pinch of salt. To qualify for Europe via a short cup competition would have been the right direction, not neccessarily a day out at Real Madrid or Bayern Munich to get heavily beaten in a group game. The Champions League is not a dream let alone a reality, and in those seven years we could have doubled our trophy collection.
I was and still am in favour of the Stratford move. I always felt that we needed a bigger stadium and an infrastructure which allows the club to grow and develop. I loved Upton Park, but the area was so dense and to win trophies you need to have a bigger home – even if your are renting it.
The only two issues with the move is that they haven’t engaged with or supported the fans. I mean, who wants to pay 45 quid to see Huddersfield Town? No disrespect to the team but with the current Premier League income from TV revenue, surely ticket prices could be half the quoted price to give the working man a chance to see his team more often? Yes, they do season ticket schemes but not many people can buy a season ticket, and it’s even harder now by allowing non-West Ham fans to come in over genuine die hard supporters.
The other issue is that they haven’t moved the social community, a community that built this club in the first place. All the things that made West Ham great have been left behind two miles down the road, and this was their biggest error.
Talking of errors, the recent sacking of Slaven Bilic is a hard one to take. Although it was due and deserved given the performances from the end of last season, it is truly heartbreaking to see an ex-player fail at the top.
Slaven was a brave man for taking that job and putting his cult player status on the line to taint his relationship with the fans. We all wanted him to do well, but facts are facts and there is a reason he isn’t in the job today. He left with so much class, I kind of wish the club stood by him and backed him with a new deal to remove any element of doubt that could affect his performances.
That might of sent a very strong message to the players to act as to whether they want to play for Slav or not. That way we would see who really cares about this club and who just wants to leave because they’ve crashed too many cars in Emerson Park and got three kids with three different women in two different countries.
The biggest kick in the proverbials is the appointment of David Moyes as Bilic’s successor.
David Moyes, the most overrated managerial candidate since Avram Grant. The board said they have learnt their lesson from their mistakes in appointing certain coaches but I think they must have forgotten that already. The only reason they are getting Moyes in is because he is out of work, cheap and desperate to take on a Premier League club to prove he isn’t a failure – unfortunately for David, he is a failure and has had three chances, one of those with the reigning champions.
The board have panicked and have appointed an uninspiring man to inspire a team sitting in the bottom three. This appointment is the last straw because these saviours of our debt ridden club are again taking a shortcut and not investing in a manager who could completely turn our misfortunes into successes. So because they are not investing their money back into the club, I’m not investing my love, passion and commitment in to the club either.
So from this article forward, I can confirm my resignation from supporting West Ham United whilst Moyes, Brady, Gold and Sullivan are in majority control.
I don’t want the old West Ham, I don’t want the current West Ham. I just want a new West Ham. One that I can be proud of and encourage future generations to support and at the moment, promises are equally matched with lies and false hopes.
My love for West Ham has just faded and died. I may have endured a trophy-less 30 years being a hammer, I just can’t bare seeing it for another 30.