Empathy, not apathy

  • by IABATAC
  • Filed: Thursday, 6th June 2024

When the concession age changed from 65 to 66, apart from the usual suspects who do their level best to hold the club to account accompanied by the people who were going to be hit by that change, there was little support from other quarters.

In fact, there were a lot of comments coming back at those who raised the voices to the effect of, "stop moaning and enjoy the ride".

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The end result was the changes went through and lots of our most loyal fans saw their chance of a well-earned concession rate being pushed back another year on the flimsy grounds that this was all being done to bring things in line with government policy. What a crock!

And now here we are, a year on from that and we have the latest, and arguably most reprehensible, ticketing initiative ever to be foisted upon current and future West Ham fans.

I've no doubt that last year's reaction from the fans, who for the most part shrugged their shoulders and turned away, has given the board sufficient confidence to introduce its latest assault on its own "customers".

While the current "mood music" (I hate that bloody phrase!) on KUMB and across other social media outlets indicates resentment and even possibly rebellion, so it was the same last year with concession ages (and just about everything else the club has done to its long suffering fans) - and look what happened.

The club must have been of the opinion that the same would happen again when it took a wrecking ball to "affordable football" this time round. So where does the board's confidence come from?

There is one thing the club absolutely has to be sure of before it drops the corporate trousers and readies itself for a fan shafting - and that is FAN APATHY.

It comes in many guises; some fans can afford the price increases, others aren't affected by the concession ages and neither has the inclination to look much further. Some fans may be believe they'll never be the one in the crosshairs and therefore these things are just problems for other people.

Meanwhile, I dare say there are some who have been gaslit and browbeaten into submission over the years and will simply put up with it.

FAN APATHY. The club absolutely relies on it!

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We already know that pretty much every fan affected by the club's new ticketing policies is a shoo-in for any form of protest and we don't need to worry about their support - but the truth is, it simply won't be enough.

What's required is a bit of FAN EMPATHY on the part of those who remain to be convinced that not only has the club gone too far, but also that they should stand up for their fellow West Ham fans and that they can make a difference.

I doubt there's a reasonable West Ham fan anywhere who couldn't see that what the club is doing is morally wrong, even if they're not of a mind to do anything about it. YET!

It is to these fans that the case for action must be made. Anyone who knows anyone that falls into this category has a duty to to keep knocking on their door and to keep explaining why it is so important that they make a stand with their fellow fans when the time comes.

This is not about the manager.

This is not about the team.

This is not about the football.

This is not about the results.

We are all loyal fans who will support West Ham United FC through thick and thin. But we must also support our fellow fans who are under attack right here right now.

The club has chosen to roll the dice and if the West Ham fanbase does not come together this time, they will keep rolling those dice until there is nothing left resembling a fanbase any more.

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