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Stratford musings

Filed: Friday, 22nd March 2013
By: Believer

I am one of the many who would be happy to rebuild the Chicken Run and have a mid-40k capacity Boleyn Ground. It could be more than intimidating - like it still can be in its current guise.

However I am also all for change and would love a brand new, shiny stadium. A football stadium. Not a stadium that will be used by rugby, athletics and big American trucks for a fun-filled, family weekend.

The problem lies in the fact that to achieve either of the above, we need cash. A considerable amount of it. If we listen to Gold, Sullivan and Brady, we have apparently searched far and wide for investment.

Maybe they are being too greedy; maybe investors don't want a club stuck in Upton Park in the big, bad East End. We will never know the truth of that as they will never tell us. We will only find out if we are going to get investment in the OS once we're actually in there.

We, as fans and season ticket holders, have been whittled down to a chosen few to represent us all at a couple of Supporter Advisory Board forums and sworn to secrecy. Said numbers have seen artistic impressions. Question is, are they the real drawings or just samples of ideas? Again, we will not know until we make the move.

The BG is now apparently falling apart and needs massive repairs. (despite three quarters of it only being built relatively recently). Parking around the ground will soon be a little bit more difficult than picking six aways on your Saturday coupon.

Coincidence? The board want the Olympic Stadium and they want it bad. They want it that bad that I would lay money on a brown envelope heading in Hearn's direction (IMO only, of course).

Now, I have had a thought. Probably a bit 'fairy tale', but here goes. What if we do get bought out? What if a very rich person - or group of people - would only buy us in the OS?

What if they take us over and realise that there is massive potential? What if they decide that it would be worth cashing in on the lease to American football, rugby, athletics and concerts and recouping their money from the OS that way ?

What if they decide that with the huge fanbase associated to us, they could in actual fact build another stadium, fit for football in the Olympic Park? What if they decide that the Olympic Park could become a massive sporting area with their multi-purpose OS and their club, West Ham United, stabled in a 60,000 capacity, state-of-the-art football stadium ?

I believe in hindsight that ever since the Icelandics became involved and it all went wonky for them that we have been facing this decision. No serious people wanted to take us over. We were between a rock and a hard place.

G&S came in and put their money where their mouths were. They f*cked up initially with the management situation but we are back in the Premier League and heading for mid-table in our first season back.

Yes, they take the plaudits for the good times and blame every man and their dog for the bad. Tell me who doesn't? It's the way that a lot of successful businessmen roll. I can live with that.

They have had a vision. One that most likely involves them making a load of money - but come on, they are no 30-somethings.

Gold is in his mid-seventies, for a start; surely they would not put all of our history and heritage in the bin so that they and their families can add an extra £50million to the £300million or so that each will inherit on their deaths? They must surely have a belief that this is for the long term benefit of the club?

I have not seen any designs and I will not pre-judge anyone who has who doesn't like what they have seen. Yes, it will be sad to leave Upton Park but it was also sad to see the old West Stand and the North bank etc demolished.

We look at Cockney Hammer's long-running 'good old days' thread on the KUMB Forum and reminisce. That stadium has gone. It's long gone. The turrets now at the front look cheap and nasty, but we live with them.

The point I am trying to make is that we support the club. Our kids support the club and their kids will also (in most cases!) support the club. We need to have a club to support. G&S seem to think that we wont be able to compete by staying where we are. Maybe they are right and maybe they aint.

What I do know is that they are successful, self-made multi-millionaires and I'm not. They didn't get that rich by making silly business decisions. I truly hope that they haven't made this as a business decision and that they have done this as supporters of our club.

Time will tell...

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by surrey hammer
01:21AM 23rd Mar 2013
''Where will the money go from the sale of Upton Park? To 'pay back' all those millions that Gold & Sullivan have put in?

Because then the club will have NO permanent home, no place to retreat to & lick wounds if times ever get tough - which they can when you owe £35million.

I'm afraid that the prognosis is not good when clubs sell their birthright & become tenants. If at some future stage they can't afford to pay the rent - they get thrown out. Selling your ground, that you OWN, is a very risky business.''

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