Monday, 19th February 2018
United we stand
Filed: Monday, 12th February 2018
There seems to be momentum gathering to derail the forthcoming march and divide our support base at a time when unity is what will define us as supporters.
I think you have to do little more than look at the number of other supporters groups and websites that are joining the march under their own banners, to recognise that the levels of dissatisfaction at the repeated broken promises to the fans of this great club have reached a tipping point.
I have nothing but respect for those who have the understanding and foresight to recognise the damage being done, and the prospects of further damage being done without change, to this club.
Many seem to overlook that dialogue and communication was attempted with the club on a number of occasions by a variety of independent supporter groups. The contempt shown to them by the board was little short of a disgrace. The only option left was to march on 10 March.
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Football fans come in all shapes, sizes, colours and flavours. Some of us are educated, some are not. A huge number across the spectrum however share a common frustration and disappointment at being constantly over-promised and under-delivered against, and sadly - shamefully in fact - feel they are being systematically detached from the club they have supported for years.
In many cases generations of fans are attending the march, which is being led by the Real West Ham Fans Action Group to highlight frustrations that range from poor stewarding, to bad disabled fan experiences, to under-investment and challenges on how the so called "saved from liquidation" package has become a series of loans with our owners seemingly profiteering from the mistakes of the Icelandic regime.
To dismiss your fellow fan in the manner a number of fans have, without understanding how and why they are exercising their right to protest, is to demonstrate a lack of understanding on your own part.
All I'd ask is that you engage and examine the points and pledges made by the Board, the complete lack of demonstrable progress we have made against them and the lack of value for money that we as supporters are receiving - while the debt at our club fails to reduce significantly despite increased 'investment' from third parties and the sale of the beloved Boleyn Ground, player sales and a number of increased revenue streams.
I can think of no board of directors, in any line of business that would survive after such a failed transition period as has been witnessed at West Ham United.
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Those who will march on March the 10th recognise and wish to highlight those failings, hold the current guardians of our great club accountable for their failings, get them to take responsibility for them, and drive the change that we as fans deserve to see given what we collectively signed up for.
As West Ham Fans, our resolve was tested by a previous board with the Bond Scheme. 'United We Stand' was adopted and we drove change, the right kind of change which all supporters benefitted from. On Saturday the 10th March, we march - and with the grace of God, we will once again drive the change that our club needs for the benefit of all West Ham United supporters.
Nothing stands in the way of progress - that much is true - but I'll leave you with a quote from Dr Martin Luther King Jnr from back in the day. "Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself".
And a small ask - please engage and understand the frustrations of your fellow fan, and respect his or her right to demonstrate. Looking forward to and will be proud to march under the KUMB.com banner on the 10th.