Do you ever feel like you’ve been caught up in the middle of another man’s war, you’re being held hostage by some villainous bully who’s got you strapped to an electric shock rack and he’s about to flick the switch? Well, this is my daily dilemma as I consider all the hammering upon any old iron that would seek to send my emotions into a 1200rpm spin, without so much of a rinse at the end of play to wash my fears away.

“Most people in the world don’t really use their brains to think. And people who don’t think are the ones who don’t listen to others.” – Haruki Murakami

I, like most of the West Han fandom, have become increasingly upset and concerned by much of what has transpired over the last two seasons and most of it has nothing to do with the physical game of football, although to ignore the lamentable would be folly for sure.

My woe is more rooted in what I see and hear, what is being said and written…and much more what is not said and what is not written. Like many fans who may engage with the West Ham incidentals, I have been disturbed by the lack of opportunity and the seeming unwillingness of the owners and the club to deal with the issues in an expeditious manner but also in their inability to communicate effectively with the fanbase.

In business, whatever type of bean you sell, there are cornerstones that must not be ignored at any cost, for that will lead to the ruination of any magnate. Keep your customers happy and keep them informed…none of which has happened in recent memory! So what is going on within the club and most importantly what is going on in the minds of the board members who might feel that these cornerstones are not worthy of their attention?

The vocalised concerns fell upon deaf ears and early promises were not actioned, however, for some reason the fans were supposed to cease their petty venting and be grateful for their lot? The recent incidents at the Burnley game were not some spirited and moronic displays of petulance, these were fans who were driven to take action because of months of rhetoric with little substance from the owners. Irrespective on which camp you sit in, the protests did highlight to the world that all is not rosy within the West Ham world, and those more lucid and astute may question the reasons why as opposed to hurling blooded spear in condemnation.

I take great umbrage with any club owner…especially that of my club, who would not listen to the support and consider their bottom line as the only game in town. Whether or not that is their agenda, the overwhelming impression is that the club as we knew it and the fanbase are of little importance now, hence are treated with relative disdain and belittling gruff.

The fans have been calling for over two years, asking questions and raising flags to motion a point of order…but nobody bothered to answer, much less address the probings. What does this say about modern football and the relationship between the club owners and the club fans? What does this mean to the protagonists and the antagonists within this Shakespearian tragedy or is it just the standards to be expected within the fiery inferno of any divine comedy?

Since the inception of the Premier League, many purists of the game have become disillusioned with the corrupting effect of riches that have flooded into the pockets of clubs, owners and of course players too. The game I grew up with has become bastardised and the club supporters have become marginalised as every club merely chases the television money and devalues the fans and the worth of attendance figures.

This, I fear is the mushroom cloud we Hammers live beneath now as David Sullivan and David Gold have taken a club that was on its knees, in financial terms with the Icelandic consortium, and have exploited the system that delivers ever increasing revenues for their initial investment…and an investment that has increased in value by multiple factors since they took over. Very good business indeed, but this does not make a club and much less warms the synapses with the fans.

There was no room in their plan to ever consider the fanbase with the appropriate respect that was richly deserved…it was all about the potential of profit and never about the club, the football or the opinions of the support. This is the tragic indictment of the West Ham predicament and the catalogue of system failures and mismanaged affairs and practices. It is no wonder that they spun their tale to sell Upton Park and to move to the rented London Stadium…less cost, greater profits with minimal investment and much less justification too.

Increasing numbers of supporters began to raise the alarm, whilst others gladly went along with the facade as they were thankful of the extra 20,000 opportunities to watch home matches or were hoodwinked by the ambitions that many interpreted as promises. However, not until the status quo began to fray at the edges, that divisions within the fanbase itself became fractious which spilt over into media grabbing attention and would make the club act with iron fist in punitive measures.

Whilst I am embittered like many of the faithful, I am also bewildered and spent…lost in the forest of sycamores and oaks that tower above me and have blocked out the sun. I have raised my hand, like a schoolboy waiting patiently to ask a teacher to explain the lesson, but have been ignored…and much worse, the teacher has ignored us all and it transpires ‘Sir’ is an unqualified substitute whose only interest is in the easy pay check! Nobody it seems would hear my cries and nobody in the West Ham boardroom seems to care either!

“Dragonfly – Wolf Den – Colourful names!…It seems they abandoned you on direct orders.  These are the people you protect with your pain? You may scream…There is no shame!” Lieutenant Podovsky – Rambo First Blood II



By Gonzo

West Ham fan for as long as I can remember. I was flukey enough to watch The Irons beat Bury 10-0 in my first ever game . . . True to form, West Ham then went out and signed their central defender 😬

3 thought on “Dragonfly to Wolf Den…Can You Hear Me? ”
  1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m emotionally drained and if it wasn’t West Ham we were talking about I’d have walked away by now. And the sad thing is the three Stooges know it. They know that we’ll keep shelling out our hard earned cash in a stadium not fit for football watching football not fit for watching.. something has to give and eventually it’ll be us supporters who’ll lose faith and save money. I’ve been a West Ham fan for over half a century and the amount of money I’ve spent on my beloved club (god rest it’s soul) beggars belief. Brady, Gold and Sullivan see only £££. I see a football club. A community. A meaning. But all this is meaningless to the three Stooges.
    Are we doomed? Fated to live a football life with more downs than ups.. answers on a SAE to….

    1. Thanks and glad you like the column. Yes we’re all feeling it at the moment but everyday there seems to be something else that just adds fuel to the fire. It’s relentless at the moment for sure. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.