Supporters of West Ham are quite rightly growing frustrated with the club’s apparent lack of awareness, as disappointment following the decision to move the club from it’s historic Boleyn Ground to the Olympic Stadium this summer continues to grow among the fanbase.
A below-par start to the season leaves the Hammers looking like potential relegation candidates and a plethora of problems have arisen at the stadium, from fans being ordered to sit down at all times, to a lack of security and some supporters not even being given seats on the opening Premier League game of the season as they had yet to be installed.
But beyond those problems, Hammers fans have been left disappointed by a severe lack of atmosphere at their new home. Popcorn stands and the like have given the ground more of a ‘family day-out’ feel than perhaps some supporters feel necessary.
Although it’s important that families are given the platform to go and watch football in a safe environment, many more traditional fans have been left feeling disillusioned by the move. Despite a clear fracture between the club’s fans and board at the moment, Karen Brady hailed the move and ‘rebrand’ a success in midweek.
Even if the club do see the move that way, using words like ‘rebrand’ is a recipe for disaster when dealing with complaints from supporters who wish to be treated as supporters rather than customers. Perhaps, however, those supporters have to reach a compromise with Brady, plus owners Sullivan and Gold.
Before they arrived in East London, West Ham were in millions of pounds worth of debt and this move, although there are some early speed-bumps to contend with, was required if WHUFC are to contend with their more illustrious neighbours in the capital.
Although the frustration from these supporters is more than understandable, perhaps they simply have to be patient. Would the complaints regarding the stadium be quite so audible had the team enjoyed a better start? The move is pinching at the moment, like a new pair of shoes.
Andrew Taylor from Bettingpro.com believes that with players like Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Winston Reid, West Ham have the quality to turn the season around and once they start to do that, everything will start to look a little more rosy in the London Stadium garden.
By Dean Smith