Still a conversation worth having

Andy McConnell is a committee member of West Ham United's largest independent supporters' group, Hammers United.

Like many fans he noted with interest the comments of West Ham United's Matchday Producer Jayne Quinton in a recent interview with online magazine FC Business, in which she suggested concerns over the configuration of the London Stadium were no longer a "conversation piece" amongst supporters.

His thoughts, as originally published on KUMB's Facebook group, follow...

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Jayne Quinton had a lot to say about how wonderful the London Stadium is. The following is my take on what she had to say.

"The fans appear to have accepted that the stadium is now their home, it's not a conversation piece any more. That's more about keeping Declan Rice etc - that shows how far the club has come."

To say that supporters being more concerned about "keeping Declan Rice etc" is a sign of "how far the club has come" is quite staggering.

We've always been concerned about keeping hold of our best players as we have a rich history of selling them off. So no change there. And with GSB running the show there is good reason for supporters to be concerned, if the last few transfer windows are anything to go by.

But suggesting that concerns about holding on to our best players means we aren't capable of having issues with the LS is a nonsense. We can hold more than one opinion at the same time.

"Our priority has always been to give our fans the best night of their lives - and that's what we have done. We know we have done our job when the amount of stuff on social media is so happy."

If "the amount of stuff on social media is so happy" is the metric by which you choose to measure supporters' satisfaction, then we really are through the looking glass.

Just ask some of those supporters who've fallen foul of the latest round of "evictions" and "re-bandings" which have seen friends and families who have sat together for years split up and moved to seats with a worse view.

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"If fans come in early and want a party, we're ready to go," she said, highlighting the recent arrival of a pitch-side DJ who is located in front of the Bobby Moore Stand. "The fans have really adopted him, he's bridged the gap with them."

Call me old fashioned but I want to go to a football match, not a rave and personally I'd take Whistling Jack Smith belting out I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman if it meant we had something resembling an actual football ground.

And what "gap" has the DJ "bridged"? The only gaps I'm interested in bridging are the chasms between the upper and lower tiers and the distance between row 1 and the pitch.

"We always have a 'Bubbles' spot and that's a key moment because that's our song. We pride ourselves on putting on the best show possible - and we have a strong team with a strong mix of creativity and technical abilities to do that. We did look at other clubs who were bringing in lasers, but we felt the fans were getting left behind in a way so when we sat down, at the top of the list was that we needed to take the fans with us with these pre-match shows. We are not competing with other clubs, we are just doing this our way for our fans."

It's supposed to be a WORLD CLASS FOOTBALL STADIUM not an Elton John residency at CAESAR'S PALACE! And as for the "Bubbles" spot... FFS!

The only words that ring true in any of this are: "We are not competing with other clubs". Yes, I've taken these words out of context, but it's for their own good.


You can sling a couple of quid at some pyrotechnics and call it progress but all the other clubs with whom we should be competing (assuming "Champions League football" was more than just a throwaway promise to convince us to move from the Boleyn) have proper football grounds, are capable of winning trophies, finishing in the proper European qualifying spots (not the Conference League) and are able to attract quality players that improve their squads which ensure they have the best chance of holding on to their best players.

* What's your take on the stadium? Do you think the club have got it just about right or do you, like Andy, think there is still much to do? Let us know on the KUMB Forum's 'Olympic Stadium' thread.

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* Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the highlighted author/s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official policy or position of

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