Happy Christmas to all

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Happy Christmas to all

Postby MartinCearns on Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:56 am

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your loyal support to the club over the years in whichever division we have played.

I occasionally visit this messageboard, as do others at the club. It is a very useful and interesting form of feedback from a highly motivated section of the fan base.

I notice that there are some points which are raised more often than others. While I cannot comment on many of them for obvious reasons, I will attempt to give my personal view on some.

The sales of Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard Junior:

The sale of Rio Ferdinand was agreed between the manager and the board. The fee received was a UK record at the time and it seemed to be in the best interests both of the playing squad and the club.

Frank Lampard requested a transfer for personal reasons and it is never ideal to oblige an unhappy player to stay.

The appointment of Glenn Roeder:

Glenn had been extremely influential in the development and success of the youth team. As such he was a very popular appointment with the young stars who knew him well and whom we hoped would be the future of the club. As a player, he had been an excellent defender and we particularly looked forward to the benefit of his expertise in that area.

Player sales following relegation:

Obviously relegation was a huge blow for the club in every sense. It was provoked principally by injuries to first choice players, rather than by a more general lack of performance on the pitch, as evinced by a points total sufficient to keep us up in any other season.

Relegation necessitated a complete overhaul of our total outgoings – not just the players’ wages – in accordance with our income and commitments. All players and staff now have clauses in their contracts meaning they are paid at different rates in the Premiership and Championship. The majority of the players who have left the club either asked to leave themselves or were unwilling to accept the terms we were able to offer at the time.

Financial condition of the club:

Financial statements are in the public domain and I do not intend to add to them here. However, I will make two brief points:

The club has invested heavily in the stadium and facilities. This was unavoidable following the Taylor report, but it was also done enthusiastically by the board with a view both to the long-term health of the institution and to success on the field. Nostalgia aside, I would challenge any fan to deny that visiting the stadium is a more pleasant experience now than in the past.

This investment has of course left debts to service, and this must be the first consideration, regardless of the level at which we play. Repayments have been renegotiated and will be manageable in the foreseeable future in either of the top two divisions.

To conclude, we have come through a very difficult period, but one which has allowed a restructuring of many aspects of our operation which, we trust, will allow us to go on to even greater achievements in the future. But, come what may, the club as an institution is on a sound footing to ensure its survival well into the future, which will always remain the prime concern of the board.

Finally, I would like to thank you all again for your loyal and passionate support, and to wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Martin Cearns,
Vice Chairman
West Ham United Football Club.
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Postby Hoggy31 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:00 am

Thank you Sir.

Always fantastic to see someone from the club actually come out and speak to the people like this. Even more so important for us supporters that live abroad.

I'll catch up with ya's in 2009 when I'm over there (and also to see us win back the Ashes).

Merry Christmas y'all and keep blowing bubbles.

Hoggy
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Postby norfy on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:09 am

merry crimbo to all at the club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
please give generously in jan!!! there's a good chap!!!! :wink:
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Postby Mayday on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:12 am

Thanks very much for taking the time to post on this forum.

I definitely think the general feeling among supporters is that the club finally seem to be getting thier act together after several years of criticism.

Personally speaking I have never been so excited to be a WHU fan as I am now.

We have a great buch of enthusiastic and talented players and perhaps more importantly a manager who appears to know the modern game, learns from mistakes and is taking the club further and further forward every week.

I really do think Alan Pardew could become a West Ham legend and win us things for years to come.

My only request is that you (the board) please, please, please back Alan Pardew all the way and show ambition by providing him with the funds he needs to take the team to the very top.

Merry Christmas
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Re: Happy Christmas to all

Postby Major on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:13 am

MartinCearns wrote:I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your loyal support to the club over the years in whichever division we have played.

I occasionally visit this messageboard, as do others at the club. It is a very useful and interesting form of feedback from a highly motivated section of the fan base.

I notice that there are some points which are raised more often than others.
While I cannot comment on many of them for obvious reasons, I will attempt to give my personal view on some.

The sales of Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard Junior:
The sale of Rio Ferdinand was agreed between the manager and the board. The fee received was a UK record at the time and it seemed to be in the best interests both of the playing squad and the club.
Frank Lampard requested a transfer for personal reasons and it is never ideal to oblige an unhappy player to stay.

The appointment of Glenn Roeder:
Glenn had been extremely influential in the development and success of the youth team. As such he was a very popular appointment with the young stars who knew him well and whom we hoped would be the future of the club. As a player, he had been an excellent defender and we particularly looked forward to the benefit of his expertise in that area.

Player sales following relegation:
Obviously relegation was a huge blow for the club in every sense. It was provoked principally by injuries to first choice players, rather than by a more general lack of performance on the pitch, as evinced by a points total sufficient to keep us up in any other season.
Relegation necessitated a complete overhaul of our total outgoings – not just the players’ wages – in accordance with our income and commitments. All players and staff now have clauses in their contracts meaning they are paid at different rates in the Premiership and Championship. The majority of the players who have left the club either asked to leave themselves or were unwilling to accept the terms we were able to offer at the time.

Financial condition of the club:
Financial statements are in the public domain and I do not intend to add to them here. However, I will make two brief points:
The club has invested heavily in the stadium and facilities. This was unavoidable following the Taylor report, but it was also done enthusiastically by the board with a view both to the long-term health of the institution and to success on the field. Nostalgia aside, I would challenge any fan to deny that visiting the stadium is a more pleasant experience now than in the past.
This investment has of course left debts to service, and this must be the first consideration, regardless of the level at which we play. Repayments have been renegotiated and will be manageable in the foreseeable future in either of the top two divisions.

To conclude, we have come through a very difficult period, but one which has allowed a restructuring of many aspects of our operation which, we trust, will allow us to go on to even greater achievements in the future. But, come what may, the club as an institution is on a sound footing to ensure its survival well into the future, which will always remain the prime concern of the board.

Finally, I would like to thank you all again for your loyal and passionate support, and to wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Martin Cearns,
Vice Chairman
West Ham United Football Club.



Martin


If you are not on a wind up, can i make a suggestion?


Stop wasting your time surfing the net and go buy us a new Striker :lol:
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Postby The Delephant Man on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:14 am

Forgive me for being sceptical but is this for real?

If so, thanks for posting, it's nice to be appreciated.

If not, thanks for posting anyway!!
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Postby Keepers on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:26 am

We have a great buch of enthusiastic and talented players and perhaps more importantly a manager who appears to know the modern game, learns from mistakes and is taking the club further and further forward every week.

I really do think Alan Pardew could become a West Ham legend and win us things for years to come.



Martin listern to mayday . All we have ever wanted is the pride and
passion that the fans feel for this club transfered to the field of play.

I have seen it this season and long may it continue.

Merry christmas
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Postby Sound Kev on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:30 am

... you do realise that now you've 'come out' you have no excuse for not commenting on future issues .... good AND bad :wink:.
Things are rosy at the moment - mostly due to Mr Pardew ... a good time for you to reveal yourself i'd say .
hopefully it'll stay that way .

Lets not rest on our laurals though Mr Cearns , keep up the pressure , keep up the momentum ... and above all ...
LISTEN TO US - the supporters - heart and soul of this club !!!

ps - after reading the original post i think this is a windup :oops: :?
Last edited by Sound Kev on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Major on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:30 am

Martin

I forgot, one other thing, can you get rid of that tosser Sherringham?? Oh and can you get the numbers of a couple of the Hammerrettes

Cheers
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Postby Agurney83 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:44 am

Sack the Board !! 8-)
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Postby Adam 'The Smudge' on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:44 am

The Cearns dynasty is West Ham United. 8-)

Much obliged Martin.
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Postby Boogers Caravan Blues on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:48 am

Adam 'The Smudge' wrote:The Cearns dynasty is West Ham United. 8-)

Much obliged Martin.


Letter from Mr Bond Scheme - how sweet
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Re: Happy Christmas to all

Postby BMU.WIC on Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:51 am

MartinCearns wrote:I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your loyal support to the club over the years in whichever division we have played.


Loyalty comes as standard when you're a West Ham fan - I would have no hesitation in supporting the club even if we fell out of the Football League - you can't see into the future, I know, but then all the futurology in the world three years ago wouldn't have said we'd have fell out of the top flight with the team we had.

MartinCearns wrote:I occasionally visit this messageboard, as do others at the club. It is a very useful and interesting form of feedback from a highly motivated section of the fan base.


This is especially good to see, and should be encouraged at the Club from board level downwards (yes, even the ladies selling me a Balti pie at the 'Martin Peters' food bar in the BMU). Whilst it is always good to see the Club in a favourable light in the press, this forum is one of a few that demonstrate the diverse sentiments about the Club at a raw, base level without using the conduit of a few select journalists which may by accident or design paint a rosier, or indeed as we saw last season an overly negative picture of events. With the humblest of apologies to the likes of 'big gus', but hope you see where I'm coming from with my next sentence, your trade is dying on its backside thanks to the advent of always-on peer-to-peer communication. Word-of-mouth has always been powerful, it is even more powerful in the Internet age if used correctly can only be beneficial to West Ham - your 'delurking' is an example of this. I'm not saying AP should be debating team selections on here, but if he's lurking and taking a view then that is an example of using the medium correctly, to me.

MartinCearns wrote:I notice that there are some points which are raised more often than others.
While I cannot comment on many of them for obvious reasons, I will attempt to give my personal view on some.


Your absence of views on the Harry Redknapp saga has been noted. He won't sue, there's books in the public domain as I'm sure you're aware that HR hasn't made a libel challenge on regards events at the Club at this time.

MartinCearns wrote:The sales of Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard Junior:
The sale of Rio Ferdinand was agreed between the manager and the board. The fee received was a UK record at the time and it seemed to be in the best interests both of the playing squad and the club.
Frank Lampard requested a transfer for personal reasons and it is never ideal to oblige an unhappy player to stay.


At the time, we were getting a world record fee for Rio, and being brutally honest I thought the fee acquired for Frank was outstanding (then again, I think he is overrated and thought so in a shirt with claret as well as blue). The deepest problem was what Harry done with the money, having to put up with a Liverpool fan in the office ripping the piss out of me when Harry picked up such 'bargains' as Camara and Song, never mind employing the likes of Minto and Charles who were clearly not good enough to push the club on to the upper echeleons of the table, which we could have gone onto.

The finish one place above relegation under HR was no doubt a warning signal to the board, but I'm afraid decision taken in 2001-02 descended this club into a farce we've only escaped since May this year.

MartinCearns wrote:The appointment of Glenn Roeder:
Glenn had been extremely influential in the development and success of the youth team. As such he was a very popular appointment with the young stars who knew him well and whom we hoped would be the future of the club. As a player, he had been an excellent defender and we particularly looked forward to the benefit of his expertise in that area.


I'll sum up this paragraph for you - when Glenn was appointed, I was drinking with a hard-core Leyton Orient fan in the Oxford Arms in Whitechapel. He said to me, after delivering a belly laugh, 'he's relegated every club he's managed'. I held the naive view you express above and was que sera-sera about the appointment. Did you not even bother looking at his previous record in management? All the warning signs were there, and dammit, didn't we pay the price. It should not take a fan of a League Two club to point out the error of your ways. You cut out a lot of fan's hearts, and a hell of a lot of the soul of the club, by appointing him. Never forget that.

MartinCearns wrote:Player sales following relegation:
Obviously relegation was a huge blow for the club in every sense. It was provoked principally by injuries to first choice players, rather than by a more general lack of performance on the pitch, as evinced by a points total sufficient to keep us up in any other season.
Relegation necessitated a complete overhaul of our total outgoings – not just the players’ wages – in accordance with our income and commitments. All players and staff now have clauses in their contracts meaning they are paid at different rates in the Premiership and Championship. The majority of the players who have left the club either asked to leave themselves or were unwilling to accept the terms we were able to offer at the time.


Sir Trevor of Brooking tried his heart out, bless him, and any other season we'd have done the impossible. As stated earlier with the drink with the Leyton Orient fan, relegation did not come as a surprise to me, the comments eminating from board members such as Terence Brown as it being 'our turn' did though. I'm not one for debating the past but if getting rid of Glenn at Christmas would have done the job of ensuring we escaped relegation I'm afraid the board should have had the balls to do it. All the spin-off financial problems from relegation and indeed some of the dire football we were playing at times, the seeds were sown for that long before Glenn Roeder took the hotseat.

MartinCearns wrote:Financial condition of the club:
Financial statements are in the public domain and I do not intend to add to them here. However, I will make two brief points:
The club has invested heavily in the stadium and facilities. This was unavoidable following the Taylor report, but it was also done enthusiastically by the board with a view both to the long-term health of the institution and to success on the field. Nostalgia aside, I would challenge any fan to deny that visiting the stadium is a more pleasant experience now than in the past.
This investment has of course left debts to service, and this must be the first consideration, regardless of the level at which we play. Repayments have been renegotiated and will be manageable in the foreseeable future in either of the top two divisions.


Being a former accountant, I appreciate looking at the annual accounts to get a bit of grounding in how the club's performing on a commecial level. The stadium expansion has borne a heavy cost, granted, but was always going to be the correct decision in my mind. Am I correct in thinking should the liquidity of the club's finances remain as they are then we can expect to see redevelopment of the East Stand within two seasons to take our capacity up to at least 42,000 - the sell-outs we're managing currently would prove the capacity is needed, and wish the Club well with any negotiations between Stagecoach, Newham Council and yourselves. On one negative note I urge you to look into the situation of standing in the Bobby Moore Lower and the 'nightclub bouncer' security (Gold Range?) that is currently being employed there by the club. I've sat in the Lower, as well as a member of my family being a season-ticket holder there, my view is simply these 'gorillas', nay, 'Nazis' are causing more problems then they're solving viz the standing 'problem'. You have to either change the company or change the policy if you're to avoid a riot one night down there.

MartinCearns wrote:To conclude, we have come through a very difficult period, but one which has allowed a restructuring of many aspects of our operation which, we trust, will allow us to go on to even greater achievements in the future. But, come what may, the club as an institution is on a sound footing to ensure its survival well into the future, which will always remain the prime concern of the board.

Finally, I would like to thank you all again for your loyal and passionate support, and to wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.


I wish you and the club a very successful Christmas and New Year - we have come so far, yet against the odds. That much is written, we know it's 'the West Ham way' and the result against Newcastle recently shows us this - we played some of the best football in five years that I've witnessed at the Boleyn, yet were on the receiving end of a loss. There's only so much business acumen that can account for things like this, I know you have to operate with the times but the destruction of the 'football culture' in exchange for a commercial 'product' strikes me cold, to be honest. Bear in mind that the Club is very often freezing out the Club's working-class East London roots with high ticket prices. My family have supported West Ham since at least WWII, to my knowledge, but now my Dad is feeling the strain of paying for my younger brother, to go, and to deny them the chance of what previous generations had due to trying to get away with 'supply and demand' economics and charge top-dollar for an often sub-standard product in the last two years needs to be looked at. I do understand that there isn't a lot that can be done about this now football in general is operating as a commercial, very often high-stakes, concern, but it is something that can be done about at director level, club-to-club. You yourselves are being fleeced, and are merely passing the costs on to the fans.

MartinCearns wrote:Martin Cearns,
Vice Chairman
West Ham United Football Club.


Well if you're 'chalks', I've got a nice carving knife in for Christmas. :lol:

Thank you for your time Martin.
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Postby Romford on Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:10 am

Not sure if this is a hoax either but if it's Gospel then :doff:

One of the main problems with the board of the club is lack of communication from between them and us and the supporters.

Anything the helps the fans understand why the board are doing things will help our club become greater.
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Re: Happy Christmas to all

Postby Doubting Tomas on Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:40 am

MartinCearns wrote:
To conclude, we have come through a very difficult period, but one which has allowed a restructuring of many aspects of our operation which, we trust, will allow us to go on to even greater achievements in the future. But, come what may, the club as an institution is on a sound footing to ensure its survival well into the future, which will always remain the prime concern of the board.

Finally, I would like to thank you all again for your loyal and passionate support, and to wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Martin Cearns,
Vice Chairman
West Ham United Football Club.


First of all, true or not, Merry Christmas to you.

What makes you think we will go on to greater achievments in the future ?
Nothing the board has done in past would suggest that this will be case.

Please persuade Mr Brown that it's time to sell up and take the rest of the board with him.
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Postby pbenjy on Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:18 pm

It's Christmas, so let's take this at face value.....

Martin,

Twice in the past 20 years West Ham have reached the top 5 of the highest division in English football, only to rest on their laurels and get relegated a few seasons later. It looks like we are moving in the right direction once again, so PLEASE this time support the manager in driving the club on to the next level.

I'm 42 years old, I've probably got another 30 years left in me. I want to see West Ham win the league before I die.

And on that cheery thought - Merry Christmas and thank you for posting
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Postby Hugh Jargon on Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:35 pm

This great club could so very nearly be in a similar position to Nottingham Forest right now. We are still not out of the woods, I think the team may be playing 'above' themselves at the moment. Dont blow it in Jan. Give the manager what he needs. (AND if Alan doesn't think he needs a right back....tell him from me.............. HE DOES!!!!) :wink:

If you and fellow members of the board actually win the fans back, I think you have performed a minor miracle....we will see won't we? (And in case you are wondering that does not mean spend hundreds of millions we aint got....a sensible business plan encompassing investment in youg players is possible IMO
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Postby AlfieG on Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:36 pm

Dear Mr C (?),

You say this board is a useful and interesting form of feedback.

Perhaps you can give us all a couple of examples of where it has made a positive difference to the club?

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you too. :lol:
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Postby Ironball on Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:11 pm

Hello - Merry Christmas!

Well, if you're not Martin Cearns then there's probably someone from the club reading this thread anyway...

A few things:

1. 42,000 should not be considered West Ham's final ground capacity. If possible, the new East Stand should be built over the adjacent road to raise its capacity and/or provision made to add tiers around the ground. Even at 42,000, we would be lagging too many clubs to push forward, ie Man Utd, Newcastle, Sunderland, Man City, Liverpool (Stanley Park), Arsenal (Emirates), Chelsea, Villa, Spurs (after eventual expansion) and probably Everton as well. That's half the Premiership. Even Charlton have a medium term view of raising The Valley's capacity to 40,000. There should be no question about filling a ground of larger size provided the board has a long-term commitment to the club - in fact this is how to kill two birds with one stone. With a much larger capacity the club creates the potential to raise West Ham's fanbase with aggressive school discounting campaigns. So please do think big.

2. Please can you set in place some other longer term strategic plans. Things happen fast in football. For example, were Alan Pardew to leave the club, hopefully the board would be better prepared next time round and be able to put into motion a contingency plan with a preprepared list of replacements. The Curbishley/Maclaren fiasco must not happen again.

3. Well done to the club for initiatives such as the online casino (not sure how much revenue it brings in though). But let's not pussyfoot around. The most important initiative the club can undertake is a massive, market-swamping invasion of the junior scouting system. Bowyer, Beckham, Campbell, Terry, Parlour, Adams, King - all local kids who West Ham missed out on. Instead of sending the odd scout to the odd match on a tip-off, why not organise large weekly or monthly open-invitation tournaments? Spurs are holding two big junior training camps this Christmas within twenty minutes drive of Upton Park. What is West Ham doing?

4. Where is westhamtv? Where is the Asian marketing campaign? The club should be looking at actively fostering links with people who can expand the club's brand. Invite Elijah Wood over with twenty complimentary tickets once a season. Buy the next hot young Chinese star. Link up with Shanghai Rovers. Set the industrial-size bubble machines to stun on matchday. Set up an initiative promoting West Ham in Bangalore and Mumbai.

You get the message. There's lots of other stuff, but I have some last minute shopping to do :? To sum up, think BIG, because other clubs are thinking big, and it's not about growing, it's about keeping up.

Thanks for your attention and happy holidays again

Ironball
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Postby Claretdave on Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:29 pm

If genuine, thank you for your time.

But why did you sack Harry? :lol:
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