We all know what it means to be a West Ham fan. We all know what it takes, too.
This season has been tough so far. A fantastic new stadium hasn’t reaped the instant rewards we all hoped it would, while injuries to key players has held the squad back from really fulling its true potential.
So it’s no wonder fans are upset. “We want our club back” calls a large section of supporters, despite the club still being there, standing strong.
It still baffles me as to why there is still such a negative feeling towards the board. Yes, the move to London Stadium wasn’t executed the way it perhaps should have been and yes there have been issues both on and off the field, but this is still the same board that saved us from the unthinkable. Some will claims someone else would’ve come and saved us but there are two problems with that opinion.
Firstly, the only other man willing to save us was Tony Fernandes, who went on to buy QPR and has subsequently struggled to make them anything other than a sub-standard Championship team with nothing going for them other than a struggle to finish in the top half of the Championship each season.
And there’s the simple fact that regardless of whether someone else would’ve saved us or not, it’s still David Gold and David Sullivan who did. It wasn’t anyone else, it was them, and they deserve respect for that.
They haven’t been perfect all of the time, sometimes they’ve been unbelievably naive and stupid, but their best intentions have remained throughout.
Anyway, regardless of all that, one fan has taken it upon himself to record a video which is, essentially, an open letter to the board. He’s calling for the board to remember what West Ham United stands for instead of trying to capitalise on the modern game and the financial benefits it brings.
It’s a fantastic video. Recorded with heart, passion and truth. It sums up exactly what it means to be a fan of West Ham United and calls on the board to remember the fans before they embark on making the club a brand. You can watch the video below. Trust me, it’s very good…
Modern football, though, is one you either have to adapt to and take advantage of, or ignore and fall behind everyone else. This is the sport now, regardless of the club’s history and ethos.
Manchester United is a global brand, yet it continues to be a successful football team (apart from the last couple years, admittedly). A club can be both and it can be successful at both, but it needs the fans on board to have a chance of doing so.
The problem at the moment is that the club are trying to do so much too quickly, while the fans are continuously being stubborn and refusing to get on board with the idea that the club is actually moving with the times.
I desperately miss the Boleyn Ground as much as the next West Ham fan – I had a season ticket there for 19 years – but I’m still able to understand that the club has to move forward in order to remain firmly in touch with the direction in which this sport is going. If we didn’t then we’d be swallowed up and spat back out in the not too distant future and the consequences would be unthinkable.
Had results been better on the pitch so far this season, the current outrage and ill-felling towards the very men who saved us from financial collapse would be nowhere near the level it is now, if at all.
The final scene of the above video incapsulates what the fans and this club should be about moving forward. A full London Stadium, singing Bubbles in unison. Loud and proud. Why isn’t that happening every game? Fans moan of a lack of atmosphere but continue to either refuse to go or won’t do their best to create an atmosphere when they’re there.
The above video is brilliant, it relates to every single West Ham fan out there.
Get behind the team and the rest will fall in to place.