Fans Meet Brady – Truth or Spin

   Nigel Kahn is a lifelong Hammers fan, podcaster and was a regular writer for OLAS. He’s a West Ham historian and archivist of all things Claret & Blue. 

 

The Infamous Bloggers meetings were held again this week, on Thursday the people with “their finger on the pulse” of fans feelings were invited to attend a meeting with Karren Brady at the London Stadium.
West Ham fan Tv, Ex and the Blockhead boys, Blowing (smoke up bradys) bubbles magazine and KUMB were in attendance, Considering that double that amount went to the first meeting we can only wonder at why the others stayed away.
What was discussed that night is starting to be revealed with possibly the most in-depth piece coming from the Carlton Cole boys, but what did actually go on there and Brady’s replies to the questions, do they stack up.
Reading through it looks to me that some of her answers are left unchallenged when actually, it has holes running through it.
I’m no genius on FFP but the reason we smashed our transfer record on Arnie is down entirely to the extra TV money which meant a few clubs smashed their transfer record.

DEBT
We’re 50 million in debt apparently, but that is operating debt, not including the 7% interest bearing loans the owners have put in, is that not a debt as well.

INCOME
@SDCC The club are obviously generating a greater income to that at the Boleyn Ground since moving to the London stadium. Karren was adamant that the income is being put back into the club for player wages, renewing contracts, bigger transfer budgets, improving Rush Green training ground etc
That greater income is 10 million, buys us around 3/8ths of Arnautovic without his wages or agent fess etc etc. so a bit disingenuous from KB there

TRANSFER POLICY
@ SDCC Potential players coming in to the club was confirmed as a joint effort collectively between the manager, David Sullivan, Tony Henry, and scouts. However the manager has the absolute final say on any transfer dealings
The fact DS is actively involved in player transfer policy should worry us, and perhaps then highlights why there is discord generally between the owners and our last two managers.
No Owner should ever be involved in transfer policy, as its the manager that gets sacked if it all goes wrong, DS buys a wrongun, who sacks him?

TICKETING
@SDCC ‘Affordable football’ was the topic of discussion at this stage. The club currently have 10k season tickets at £99 each. The £70/£80 tickets for children (Band 1) are in the 1966 seats, and this was justified by wealthier families purchasing these tickets for the experience.

THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR CHARGING ANY CHILD £70/80.
How many kids for a quid games have been held at the London Stadium? We used to have at least 3 a season may be more at the Boleyn, I cant think of 1 since we moved into the LS.

BOLEYN CASTLE RETURN:
@SDCC The club are open to the idea of the castle returning to programmes and on the walls. Stencils on the side of the stadium, or having a castle feature hanging inside the concourse are being discussed, but not confirmed. Timelines of our history may appear outside and pictures in the ground from great days gone by.
A sop to the fans, an interesting one though, I was present when KB attended an SAB meeting and said she wanted the Castle off and replace it with the OS silhouette,
A full 2 years before they put out the updated badge. Brady having a change of mind, well theirs a first. Then again, ill wait till we see what action they carry out in this regard.

FUTURE FIXTURES COINCIDING WITH ATHLETICS:
@SDCC Future home fixtures at the London stadium will no longer coincide with athletics. Future Boxing Day home fixtures haven’t been ruled out either.
Pre season friendly anyone, qualification for the UEFA cup in the future would be interesting as well know, early rounds we would be put in start in JULY. As for the boxing Day game, I don’t believe its written in stone no home games ever, but considering game timing can be changed by the stadium advisory group which WESTFIELD, POLICE & NEWHAM also sit on, I can’t ever see the SAG to agreeing to having over 100,000 shoppers and 60,000 football fans in the same place. Imagine on Boxing Day a fire alarm activation in Westfield just as the football empties out. CHAOS. That is why I believe it will never happen, and I reckon the club know that.

CURRENT BADGE/CREST:
@SDCC The club are aware that the majority of the supporters aren’t keen on the current badge. Ideas and suggestions have been noted and taken into consideration.
To be filed under Ignore,

MUSEUM MEMORABILIA:
@SDCC The memorabilia from the museum at the Boleyn Ground is in storage. Ideas & locations around the London stadium are currently in discussion for its use.
Laughable, there is nowhere left around the stadium, unless they close off part of the shop, Its not even west ham that control the tours of the stadium, its LS185. As from memrobillia in storage, not much left after the fire sale auction when we left the Boleyn. http://westhamauction.com

STADIUM MODIFICATION:
@SDCC There are no current plans for any structural modification to the London stadium. However there is a long term plan in place to square off the arches at the front of the stands, and fill the voids in the corners.
This is a joke right, the seats need to be curved to allow the moving of the seats properly, squaring off will make the moving backwards and forwards of the seting even longer and more expensive, UNLESS of course Athletics get chucked out, but then we moved to an Athletics stadium that wont even hold Athletics. Allied to that the rake of the seating will have to change if its moved further forward, possible obscuring the front upper tier rows, I could go on but I wont, as this will never happen. There is 66,000 seats in that stadium, why spend more money the club don’t have on something that wont actually raise them money.
The club have also dismissed the idea of claret Astro turf surrounding the pitch because it was too expensive as “rubbish”. The LLDC will only comply with the club if the surrounding Astro turf is ‘London stadium blue’, which the club will absolutely not go ahead with as its Tottenham’s colours. The club are making a genuine attempt to have this overturned & are extremely confident in doing so.
Legal costs are racking up?
The Bobby Moore statue is expected to be removed from Upton Park & will be at the London stadium as of next season. A LOCATION IS YET TO BE DECIDED?
How about the empty plinth in the champions place already built to take the statue. How can a location yet to be decided when the position is ready and waiting.

The article finished with this

@SDCC Finally, the board take full responsibility regarding mistakes that were made during the transition to the new stadium.  Karren acknowledged that the 95% of fans happy with the stadium stat was just a throwaway figure mentioned by David Sullivan in a Sky interview and wasn’t based on any research. They’re proactively noting ideas on how to improve a match day experience for West Ham supporters & making it feel more like ‘home’. It was a very productive meeting which lasted up to almost three hours, and everyone present put forward some valid points and asked some important questions which were answered in detail by Karren.
Productive?
Not seen any proper detail, but then we won’t, as much was classic Brady “off the record” tit bits.
Still fair play to Kev from @SDCC and to EX on twitter for answering questions on this thrown at him, at last they put something out. WHUISA met with club the same day, and yet they have put out nothing. Not even a press releasing admitting they had met the club.
And the club wonder how the REAL WEST HAM FANS GROUP is so popular.
Fans feel let down, and when fan groups go to meetings and the information coming back lacks real substance then fans get angry. I get why those invited attend, it’s better to be inside complaining than outside complaining, problem is, the club never let the complainers in that can counter the spin they give them in these meetings.
I text a friend after the Watford away game that Civil war is coming, I still believe that now.

2 thoughts on “Fans Meet Brady – Truth or Spin”

  1. A good article generally Nigel and it raises several salient points and generally thanks ; However was it necessary to add your two pennorth at the end
    I realise that you don’t necessarily get on with everyone, but if we want to make progress we all need to UNITE against the common enemy, not start internal scraps with statements like “. WHUISA met with club the same day, and yet they have put out nothing. Not even a press releasing admitting they had met the club.”
    sorry to say this as there is a lot of good in both sides but grow up ffs.

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