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I feel cheated

Filed: Friday, 10th November 2017
By: Ian Morgan

As a fan who has been going to West Ham since the early '90s, Iím not new to seeing a poor side that's lacking belief, fight or passion. Iíve seen the previous relegation fights and struggles.

But added to all of that was a enjoyable experience in the Championship and a couple of decent seasons under Big Sam. Also the fifth place finish and the flair of that Harry Redknapp team. The promotion side in the Billy Bonds era. And of course the final season at the old place!

But now, I feel that the heart has truly been ripped out of our club.

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I wasnít expecting instant success but we have been fed a string of lies. Getting us to accept that leaving our home of more than 100 years was what we needed, it now seems a bitter pill to swallow.

So, January 2010. Gold and Sullivan purchased the majority sharehold in the club, and brought along with them Karren Brady. Everyone was jumping from the rafters, the club saved from the rack and ruin of the Icelandic bank disaster.

Their first priority was to take over the Olympic Stadium and move us out of Upton Park and onto the infamous 'next level'. A year later and relegation under Avram Grant, when it was there for all to see - he was no longer the man to Ďkeep us upí and still they didnít act.....so, relegation.

Nonetheless, we accepted our fate and rebuilt in the Championship under Big Sam. With the deal for our move to Stratford now rubber-stamped, the process began of convincing the fans.

No vote allowed, but we were told we would take up residence for the beginning of the 2016/17 season. Fans forums galore and the promise of a home that we would leave us "in no doubt was the true home of West Ham United".

Images and drapes of former players and the glory days gone by. The statue of our three World Cup winners! We were even going to have Ďclaret and blueí seats.....what a future it looked!

Instead, the truth. Wven on the eve of our final home game at Upton Park, the talks had started with our MARQUEE £40 million, 20 goal a season striker. Yet, somehow the 'marquee striker' turned out to be a Millets pop-up tent.

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So, in the form of Zaza, we had another of the famous loans with view to a permanent deal on our books. We were told "we have never seen David Sullivan work so hard in a window", then "we tried our best". They only used that one on us three times!

Anyway, the first game in our new 'home' and I couldnít help but be totally underwhelmed with what we have been delivered:

- No sign of the digital wrap
- No drapes of former players
- No statues
- No free wi-fi
- Barely any claret and blue seats
- Rubbish non-retractable seating
- And changing our badge to adopt the word ĎLondoní


- Scaffolding
- Concrete blocks
- Rows of empty white seats
- Black and claret tarpaulins
- Gaps behind the goal the size of the old Chicken Run

The Board show little, if any, respect to our former players. Many of whom now feel so unwelcome that they will not step foot inside the place. The players you have chosen as 'Club Ambassadors' hardly set the pulses racing.

"A place where you are left in no doubt that you have arrived at the home of West Ham United," is how the stadium was described by Karren Brady.

If thatís what she thinks is fitting, then Lord Sugar should call her out on her own ability to deliver a product. He should be able to fit it in whilst slagging our club off and making a laughing stock of us to his BBC audience.

But still, you could forgive them the first season and put it down to the massive change, but whatís to follow, for me, was the final straw.

We had three away games to start the season, when we were told West Ham United would be the 'main tenant' and that we would have PRIORITY when it came to our fixtures.

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Any sign of what little identity we had in our 'home ground' was stripped for the Anniversary Games. In fact they couldnít even be bothered to put it back to how they found it when we left in May.

The Sir Trevor Brooking Stand's claret tarpaulin sign is still half covered in white, empty seats. Weíve been made to feel as welcome as the staff and stewards make you feel at the kiosks. And letís not get started on the Westfield security!

Moving on, there will be no home game on Boxing Day for the Hammers for the foreseeable future. Great!

Our recent visit to Wembley showed what can be achieved. Spurs have made the Wembley surroundings more like 'home' for just one season than we have done with our 99-year lease.

Their former heroes are at every game proudly wearing club ties and jackets. But itís ok, we have put up a tribute to the late great Bobby Moore - that should appease the 'customers', at least.

On to the squad and manager. If Slaven Bilic wasnít fit for purpose and they had question marks over his position going into his final season, why was he not replaced in the summer!?

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The players all knew he has just the one year left, it's there for all to see. There was a serious lack of effort, as was the case with Big Sam in his last six months in charge once they knew he was going.

If, three years ago, someone had offered me the squad we have now Iíd have bitten their hand off. But in truth, we have an aging defence and the lack of real investment (as shown by our net spend) has left us lagging behind other, comparable teams.

These are teams that we should be more than competing with, but instead we are currently looking up at. This is hardly "the next level"...

To compete with the 'big clubs' we were informed that we must sell Upton Park and move - thatís what they said. And as someone who doesnít expect instant success, Iíd buy into what I was sold, but this is far from the dream.

So I put it to Mr Gold, Mr Sullivan and Lady Brady - you havenít delivered on so many levels, so in the words of Lord Sugar:"YOU'RE FIRED!"

I donít trust you! I donít believe in your lies! Lie after lie after lie... broken promises galore... you can call yourself fans, but no fan of this club would have delivered to us what you have! Youíll never really care like what we do. FACT!

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Terrence Brown and those before you never promised the earth, so we didnít expect it. But the constant rubbish you have fed us has now taken its toll!

I canít even motivate myself to come to watch. I donít want to watch the club I love any more, in a stadium David Sullivan claimed 95 per cent of us are happy in! You donít know or respect your fans customers and you donít want to, either!

And if your statement of intent regarding moving us to "the next level" is Mr David Moyes, then you're even worse than I thought you could be.

Now, not everyone will agree with this but itís all about opinions - and this is mine! Anyway, rant over. I must now go and look for the heart and soul you have ripped out of me.

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.

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