I almost cringe when I see the multiple emails arrive in the TBIR inbox (there is such a thing as database cleansing guys) from The Circus as I know that within a day or so my beloved West Ham will be lampooned in the press. So here is the latest ruse from the dynamic duo. A ten point plan for prosperity which is a great idea but please – spare us the crap here – on one hand it says they will buy before they sell and then they say they want to reduce debt – how does that work? And what about paying sensible wages it that equation so we don’t end up with another Kieron Dyer.
Point 1 – The new manager – “high-calibre manager who can deliver good football”. How does Avram Grant fit in this? He took over a great Chelsea team and got them to the Champions League final but won nothing. He took over at Portsmouth and they were relegated. How is that a great manager? Mark Hughes – again what has he won? Attractive football? Ask any Blackburn Rovers fans. I expect to see Alan Curbishley to turn up any day now – oh what fun that will be again.
Point 6 – Build a better image – How does making statements about changing the club name to West Ham Olympic, or publically undermining the players and the managers during a relegation fight help in this way? This is a top down process and my fear is that they will not be able to keep their mouth shut for long enough to stop tarnishing the brand.
Point 7 – Make it enjoyable to come and watch – I stopped going to games at Upton Park towards the end of the season because it wasn’t enjoyable. The constant “in your face” adverts being read out pre-game. Ridiculous publicity stunts and above all the failure of the club to stop persistent standing and swearing in such areas as the Family Section.
Point 10 – Listen to our supporters – What a laugh. Every email I have sent to the club has been ignored. Phone messages are never returned. The website gives no details at all on club contacts and communication is appalling. For instance links in email communications are broken, “Exclusive” offers on sale items in the Online shop are more expensive than if you are there in person.
Anyway enough of my rant – have a read of the masterpiece yourself.
STOP PRESS – Thanks to Jamie “Zulu” for pointing out that they set out a similar plan just over 12 months ago to Birmingham City fans – click here for some more broken dreams.
It may be the close-season but here at West Ham United we are all busy preparing for 2010/11 and putting in place the next steps to take this club forward.Having admittedly had a tough end to the last campaign, we are determined to build on the many positives we have at the club and use the summer months to make sure we hit the ground running next time around.
As the Board of West Ham United our pledge to you is to do the following:
1. Appoint the right manager
Our efforts are focused on recruiting a high-calibre manager with the necessary experience to deliver good football and, most importantly, results. A shortlist of candidates has been identified and the appointment will be made with enough time to prepare for pre-season.
2. Sign new players
For too long, the focus has been on players leaving rather than arriving. We will strengthen in the right areas to ensure an exciting and balanced squad that is well placed to cope with the rigours of a Premier League season. Our main aim will be to bring in players hungry to do well who share our ambitions and aspirations.
3. More investment in the Academy
Tony Carr remains at the heart of the club and his work in developing future first-team players remains essential for the long-term success of this club. We will make sure homegrown talent nurtured in the ‘West Ham way’ will always be given the chance to complement established players brought in from elsewhere.
To find out more about the Academy click here
4. Continue to clear the debt
We have a responsibility to ensure this club is never again placed in a perilous position. Great strides have been taken to get us on a sound financial footing but there is still a way to go. Difficult decisions have had to be made – and that will continue to be the case – but our bottom line on the bottom line is to ensure the club survives.
5. Freeze season ticket prices for renewals
We are delighted we have been able to freeze season ticket prices, save for the VAT increase, but we will not stop there. We are looking at more ways of rewarding those fans who make such a long-term commitment and have excellent offers for younger supporters, who are the lifeblood of this club. Member benefits will also improve.
To find out more click here
6. Build the status and image of the club
Our standing at home and abroad is rightly built on our proud history and our commitment to young talent. The values of the Academy of Football developed since the days of Bobby Moore define what we are all about. With the world’s spotlight set to shine on this part of London, the time is right to spread the word further.
7. Make it enjoyable to come and watch
We want to bring the fun back. It is a serious business but we know you work hard all week and want to kick back at the weekend and enjoy yourselves. We want you to be excited on a matchday, and not just about the style of football. We are looking at ways to improve our pre-match and half-time entertainment and will welcome suggestions.
8. Get closer to the community
This club does excellent work in the local area already but we want to move even closer to schools and businesses on our doorstep. We can extend our commitment to multi-sports, education and healthy living and show there is more to this club than just first-team football. We take our social responsibility very seriously.
To find out more click here
9. Go for the Olympic Stadium
Leaving the Boleyn Ground will be a wrench but the Olympic Stadium is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a financial and football sense. Our potential partnership with Newham Council promises to take this club to a new level, while protecting our history and traditions. To move forward, we have to move – but always with an eye on the past.
To find out more click here
10. Listen to supporters
Arguably the most important of all is our commitment to listen to what you have to say. We know we are just the custodians of this club. You who follow us every week, whether near or far, are the true owners. Whether talking to you online or in print, or face to face at fan forums, we will be open, transparent and available.
If you would like to express your views to please email email@example.com
To read Claret & Blue our free e-magazine click here
This ten-point pledge is just the start. We are here for the long term and our goals will evolve as we progress. We are proud to be here and will never stop working for you.All of us share the same hopes and dreams. It is not just about aiming for cup finals or derby victories but about feeling part of something together and all pulling in the same direction. As the name says, we are very much West Ham. United.
Thank you for your continued support.
David Sullivan and David Gold
David Sullivan & David Gold