Wednesday, 20th March 2019
Hammers United: a fresh approach
Filed: Thursday, 14th March 2019
Author: Staff Writer
A new non-political West Ham United supporters group has launched - with a vow not to make the same mistakes as previous high profile representation.
'Hammers United' officially launched on Thursday, thereby becoming the first fans group to emerge from terraces since last March's much-publicised anti-Board protests which led to the club being fined £100,000 by the Football Association for failing to control its fans.
The new group's secretary, Greg Hobbs, told KUMB that they are preparing to take the Board to task whilst attempting to re-unite the fanbase, which has been at loggerheads with itself since 2018's protests.
And Hobbs insisted that the group will be welcoming to all West Ham supporters, regardless of their background or political viewpoint - with the aim of getting more younger supporters involved in the process.
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"We'll be coming with a different approach," Hobbs told KUMB.
"I'm still young and I don't feel my age group is represented enough. It's one of my key goals to get more young people to sign up. I hear plenty of people my age moaning at games; now is the time to do something about it.
"I'm a different face with no past background - they can't really dig up any past on me, because I haven't got one! We're just coming at it from a different angle with a different demographic - one of mediation, rather than being a bit boisterous.
"If you elect younger individuals who no-one knows, you might be able to take this in a new direction."
In their launch statement, Hammers United insisted that they had no desire to be seen as a protest group and confirmed that they would not be seeking financial contributions from members - something that Hobbs sees as vitally important given other recent high-profile failures.
And as a result they hope to see membership numbers swell.
"We need to get as many people to sign up as possible before we take our next steps," he continued. "I think we've got to have at least 5,000 members before anyone will say 'who are they' - and I think we probably need closer to 10,000+ before the Board will take note.
"We have connections to the Board through David Gold but we can't just start slagging them off as they won't deal with us, which is what some previous groups may have done. For now we're just hoping to attract enough members so that we get noticed.
"At the moment all our energy is being spent on setting up. Then we'll put everything we can into getting what we've set out to do."
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The new group has launched with a 10-strong committee, compiled from supporters of various ages. Whilst the aim is to attract many younger fans, the experience of those who have followed the club for many years is not discounted.
Additionally a website and social media group have also been created to coincide with the launch of the group.
"We have a brand new website and a Facebook group plus moderators for both, so we won't have anything posted that's either untoward or politically incorrect," he adds. "We want to try and be as professional as possible.
"It'll be beneficial to have the input of all fans because their background, knowledge of West Ham and contacts are very, very good. I don't expect this to happen straight away but as soon as our following grows, the Board will have to take us a bit more seriously."
You can read more about Hammers United on their webite, which may be found here.