ISA to fight hostile takeover bid

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 1st May 2019

The West Ham United Independent Supporters Association annual general meeting is scheduled to take place this Saturday morning in Hackney Wick.

Beginning at 11am, the independent supporters group convention will take place at the White Posts Cafe on White Post Lane, London E9 5EN.

And this year's meeting promises to be a controversial one, after it was claimed that members of Board-appointed fans group, the Official Supporters Board (OSB) will attempt to wrestle control of WHUISA from the current hierachy.

The reason behind this, according to those hinting at a hostile takeover is because the ISA is recognised by the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) as West Ham's only meaningful democratic and fully independent supporters group.

And with the OSB unable to obtain 'associate' membership within the FSF, due to the lack of elections for those individuals appointed as members (which are deemed a necessary part of that specific level of membership), it has been suggested that the OSB will seek to vote favoured individuals onto the ISA's committee.

However in order to prevent the OSB from proceeding with their project, two motions have been raised ahead of the meeting which would prevent WHUISA officers from holding a position on the OSB - which, if passed on Saturday, would scupper any such plans.

Talking about the forthcoming meeting on the Stop Hammertime podcast last night, writer James Keans - better known to West Ham fans and KUMB readers as HeadHammerShark - urged ISA members to attend the meeting in order to help quell any ambitions the OSB may harbour of gaining control of the ISA.

"The club have to engage with a fans body. So what West Ham have done, and no other Premier League club has, is refuse to engage with the independent, democratically-elected group and just create their own," he said.

"I think it's important that if you are an ISA member, you go to that AGM because there is a suggestion that OSB members will go to the meeting and attempt to force down the motion, take committee positions and take the ISA onto the OSB.

"This would do two things: it would strip the ISA of its independence - and I would have no interest in being a member in that scenario - but it would also allow the OSB, by stealth, to gain as FSF-affiliated position.

"This would allow them them to go and sit next to other independent supporters associations at those meetings and represent West Ham. The reality of that is that we would lose our independence as a fanbase.

"And I think that a lot of people who have joined the ISA would object to that."

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