Next level NOW, say supporters

  • by IABATAC
  • Filed: Monday, 16th December 2019

A fellow member of the KUMB Forum recently said, "You cannot force out owners that do not want to go". It's true.

This has caused me to reconsider my position with regards to the board and accept that as much as I wish we could, we're unlikely to rid ourselves of Gold, Sullivan & Brady.

It's also made me think long and hard about the state of things at West Ham United and I've come to the realisation that had we stayed at the Boleyn, if our performances were exactly the same as they have been since the move and the club was being run in the same way it is now, I doubt very much if there would be quite so many calls for a protest.

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All of our owners, over the years, have been a shower - it's nothing new - but it's only this lot that sold our ground on the promise of being taken to the next level and all the other bullshit that went with it.

There are many varied reasons why individuals feel aggrieved but I am convinced that our dissatisfaction ultimately boils down to the fact that GS&B conned us into believing that selling the Boleyn and moving to the Olympic Stadium would take us to 'the next level'.

The facts are they have failed spectacularly to deliver and we have gone so far backwards that we have become a laughing stock, while they have become richer.

Whatever it is that annoys you about being a WHU fan, it will always come back to this: GS&B made a promise to us, we went along with it (some more willingly than others) and they have taken us for fools. This, in my opinion is the only show in town and GS&B's failure to deliver 'the next level' should be the target of protest.

So, as they're going to be around for the foreseeable, I think we have to relentlessly shame them with maximum publicity until they either (1) do the right thing and make good on their promises or (2) we give up and accept the status quo. And I'm not that keen on the second option.

Two years ago we tried to do something and it ended in disaster. Now we have lots of groups and individuals with different ideas about what to do. Ideally, we need one organisation to co-ordinate protests. Given the numbers that Hammers United appear to have, could they be best placed to do this?

Online forums need to come together and play a role in driving support and publicity for protests as well as disseminating information and providing updates etc. Video-based groups who have the reach could generate a lot of positive publicity for protests and need to play their part.

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All the influential groups need to meet, get organised and agree a unified strategy. We need a simple and consistent message that succinctly expresses our demand for what we were promised. Be it a chant, be it a banner, be it on a tee shirt or whatever, it has to be consistent.

To this end, I would advocate: NEXT LEVEL NOW! To me, this encapsulates everything that is lacking at this club. It is the undelivered promise for which our home was sold and represents a long overdue debt that GS&B need to make good on.

And in order to address the notion that with a couple of wins and some fans go quiet, I think this is possibly the biggest threat to the success of any protest that might take place. If we had played well and beaten Burnley that day poor old Sully wouldn't have been disfigured for life by the razor-sharp ten bob bit that sliced through his face.

I think the reason for this is that with so many disparate grievances its almost impossible to articulate them individually and the thing most likely to paper over the cracks is a half decent performance. But next level does not mean the odd decent performance.

This is why the fans need a properly organised protest with a clear and simple message in order to keep in mind what was sacrificed when we left the Boleyn and what was promised in return.

A win at Chelsea, or Southampton does not absolve GS&B of their responsibilities. I hope this marks the resurgence of West Ham United and sees us climb the table. But I will not forget what GS&B have done and I will not let it go until we get NEXT LEVEL NOW!

Anyway, I'm one fan with one small voice and alone I cannot make a difference. I'm prepared to accept that my ideas might be utter bollocks but, if those with more influence than me can come up with something better, then I'll be right behind it.

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