David Sullivan & David GoldDavid Sullivan and David Gold pose after purchasing West Ham United

“If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why’s he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business, if there was any competition.” – Carl Sagan – Contact

 

The ‘Inbetweeners’ rode in to town and took over our club, our game and dared to educate our minds. We are generations of scrutineers, sneers and cheers who have recorded little worth and even less volume than any would care to hear. We have changed and our game has changed with it, the network has morphed and the system has altered its code.

I often have the uneasy feeling that we have missed something along the way, that therein lies a message yet discovered but will reveal circular truths to our universe…we are not alone, we are not the creators and we have been force fed mistruths for too long that we fail to note night from day.

This is not a justification for all our yesterdays but merely a reflection of the modern game and how in the last six months we have witnessed a critical mass scenario that will have long term ramifications for all concerned. Whilst many fans live in the weekly trance of engagements, there is little to suggest that West Ham supporters are as clueless as some might stoop to justify.

 

There is a tangible realisation that if the unthinkable happens and we descend into the Championship, then we could face financial problems that could see us unravel for the very last time. ‘Hogwash!” you say but let me entertain you with some truths that cannot be muddied with the hopes of false prophets.

We currently do not have a tangible asset that is a stadium, so whilst we are paying a pittance in relative terms for rent…we are also over extending ourselves on player salaries. As yet we have not ventured into the big bad transfer world with any conviction but no doubt the club must spend more to deliver on promises made…which should never have been so forthcoming.

 

The mathematical model is based upon a stadium generating income from a capacity crowd and lucrative donations from television firms. With any kind of fall from grace, that will be savagely cut whilst our salary expenses may stay high until contracts run their course or we ship out the talent in favour of the cheaper and shallower. The argument that the club have 50,000 people on a season ticket waiting list warrants greater interrogation…if the Championship beckons then we shall see if that argument holds any water.

Many believe that the football bubble will burst soon, just as others said it would burst years ago…but never did. Few would argue that the ludicrous has become convention but fewer still would venture what spoils will turn our game into a circus where only the multinationals, princes of people and kings of industry would have a final say.

There are players who have barely passed puberty and are amassing wealth beyond our wildest dreams but with little guidance nor education on how best to protect and respect it all. There are heroic protagonists that would rather lie on the infirmary treatment table in a precautionary mode, rather than venture out as our ‘Bravehearts’. Indeed, there are the mighty warriors who stand tall with indignation against a referee’s decree, that would fist clap for fun with any other bemoaning foe…but would collapse like wilting daisies and roll around, clasping faces, waving imaginary cards if the slightest touch be felt to gain any dishonourable advantage.

People would think that we are too big now to fall upon hard times, but football is rhythmical and circular. Any team will suffer lows as well as highs but we have occupied the nowhere lands for too many years, surely this is our time to climb to oxygen deprived heights before we faint and fall? Surely Moyes is the kind of management calibre that will bring us fortune and salvation…surely our owners will deliver us from the mire of our own making?

Like many teams, West Ham have benefited from its Premier League standing, the owners have reaped great rewards and the fanbase has marvelled at talents that have worn our colours of claret and blue. We have lanzini, Arnautovic, Zabaletta, Mario to carry our flame…We had Payet and Sakho who left us with shame, but we’ve had countless in-between that were hopeless and never in the frame. We are habitual in our disapproval but mostly we are spectators of a passing juggernaut that has lost its brakes and steering.

Serie A, in Italy, was once seen as the top league in the world…where the greatest players would ply their trade, where television would aim its cameras and where European dominance was almost a forgone conclusion. However, they’ve had their ‘Twelve O’Clock High’ and are now suffering as the Premier League benefits and profits. Teams such as Modena have gone to the wall, whilst only this week Vicenza will suffer the same fate…even if a Porn Star would offer meagre assistance that would also feather her own nest. Oh the indignity! Oh the shame!

Is this a doomsday prophecy from beyond the stars that only celestial beings can tell or is this as stark as the pain felt for an ailing child that we all can share and hope to cure? We may have known there was something wrong within our club for a few years but we have let it flow over us like rolling mist on a still lake. We have seen how the game has changed, how it has become sanitised and monetised beyond our own reasonings but we have been powerless to stem the tide.

The message is clear. We must prepare ourselves for days of woe and challenge those who muddy our waters. The serial offenders have taken over but we must not block out the warnings…beware the Honey Monsters and look for the Stardust from Mars!

 

By Alf Gasparro

Jon Pope

By Jon Pope

Use to sit in the BML for 10 years, been a West Ham fan all my life, and my great grandfather was a founder member of the TIW. I also help run the Hammer Chat website.

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