The John Lyall Gates at the entrance to the Boleyn Ground

I want to be forgiving, I really do, but my ability to be so charitable has withered away as the season progressed and it is less about team performances, not so much about the stadium and all of the ongoing issues, but mostly about the manner in which the owners and the vice-chair have conducted themselves during this whole fiasco move.

“The foolish man conceives the idea of ‘self.’ The wise man sees there is no ground on which to build the idea of ‘self;’ thus, he has a right conception of the world and well concludes that all compounds amassed by sorrow will be dissolved again, but the truth will remain.” – Buddha

David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady have all voiced their opinions when really they should have remained mute. I have yearned for club hierarchy that would diligently do their business behind closed doors and be like those of other clubs, let the manager be the face of the company. The problem with our administration is that they have big egos and an even bigger appetite to be in the media spotlight and have done little to correct their suicidal PR gaffs.

David Gold may indeed be the senior statesman in this ugly affair, however he is a shrewd businessman, so the protestations of innocence are less weighty than he would have us believe…even if he is 82yrs old. As for David Sullivan, he has manipulated all and sundry to serve his own ends. The West Ham majority shareholder has acted solely in his own interests and not in those best served for the club. The two have conspired to make good business on the back of the club, have taken the money and have filled their pockets.

The first year accounts made for sobering reading leading many to ask again where is all the money and what about all of the promises that they have failed to deliver. The club still has debts in the hands of Sullivan and Gold and seemingly they are not to enthusiastic about clearing those debts…why? Because they earn a lot of money from it, albeit not as much as if they had they investments elsewhere allegedly.

Whilst they would claim this is sound reasoning, there is much to be concerned with here. They made their choice to invest their money into West Ham. There was no pointed gun to the head…they saw an opportunity to buy a club in financial difficulty and execute their long held plans to bleed a club of all resources, move them into a rented stadium and feed from the Premier League trough for years to come.

Karren Brady does not escape criticism in this whole affair as she was the master manipulator before, during and after the move to the London Stadium. This has been as much about her ego as it has about the Davids’ agenda…she has been victoriously divisive during this period with little evidence of regret.

They were aware there were problems with the stadium, yet they carried on regardless! They continued to spin their tales, deflect criticism and ignore the numerous concerns from the supporters which has infuriated and alienated in equal measure. Can anyone say they were really surprised by what happened at the Burnley game when so many fans were ready to march and the club managed to convince the original organisers to cancel it just days before…with offers of fixes and promises of address.

For most fans, the weekly diatribe emanating from the boardroom has simply compounded woes and led to growing anger from right across the supporting spectrum. Of course the transfer window failures, the feeble justifications and the ridiculously low net spend over three seasons has fuelled the fire already given much coal to burn by the lacklustre team displays and woeful cup exits too.

If ever there was a time for the three amigos to get together and act to add sutures to deep cuts, then it was now…but they have had numerous opportunities over the last two years and have failed to do so. In fact much of their commentary has been dismissive, deflecting, contradictory to truths and divisive too. They have not responded to questions nor criticisms and have not delivered on promises made…even if they only believe now they were ‘failed ambitions’


Not once during this time have any of them apologised for their deeds, nor have they owned up to errors and made concerted efforts to make good on all issues. Only in the last week or so have they attempted to address fans but never with a face to face forum and a public airing of their meetings.

David Gold appeared on The West Ham Way podcast, David Sullivan made a ‘corporate’ video released on the West Ham website, whilst Karren Brady took to twitter to try to address some fan’s questions, however it was hardly a demonstration of concession nor admission of blame…but rather a justification of their actions littered with more mistruths that fans were able to unearth.

One would assume they believe all West Ham fans to be hard of hearing, lacking brain cells and challenged in sight because they have continued to force feed their drivel for so long, they probably believe it themselves too. The weak link in this plan is that all fans are aware and are much more intelligent in these matters than they might appreciate…they have vastly underestimated the supporting masses and this has eventually come back to haunt them.

They know now they are on the back foot as the fans voices have got bolder and louder with journalists taking note and broadcasters soon following too. The lid has been lifted on Pandora’s box and all mayhem will ensue, truth will come out and let justice be done thought the heavens fall.

Sullivan, Gold and Brady may want to use apologetic words now…but it is all too late to gain favour and to win any sweethearts back. This should have been addressed as soon as the first problems arose at the London Stadium, but they chose to ignore that in favour of continued high returns. The first rule of good business is to always listen to the customers and their concerns. They have failed over and over again, regardless of who’s sorry now, the damage has been done and there is only one more card to play. No more jokers, no more aces for the kings and queen…pack up the cards and bags, put the for sale sign up and find somewhere else to peddle your wares. Enough is enough…and it has been so for too long now!


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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