Corporate Juntas & Mariah Careys

West Ham Opinion

The hum now forgotten and replaced by an indignant shrill from an advancing mob…pitch forks in hand, flamed torches burning the night air…ready for a lynching whilst the onlookers stand bemused and popcorn fed.

The so-called protectors of our realm have been caught napping whilst we have struggled to defend against neighbouring invaders. We had been weakened by plagues, pestilence and impoverished performances, yet they did not unshackle the iron gates giving access to the caches of gold.

As West Ham United fans, we are fully aware of our former plight when global economies fell, Icelandic volcanoes erupted and we got more than our fingers burnt. I for one was relieved when we had British saviours ready to bring us from the brink of despair. We needed firm hands to steady our financial ship and Allardyce to bring us stability as we reset and rebuilt…but did anyone really check the small print?

Now we have a new house that is yet to be our home, although dividing opinions with many looking back with rosy claret and blue tinted spectacles! We have Premiership standing, although precarious since the move and a financial fog that makes many of the faithful look upon the club with dubious eyes.

More and more, those occupying the thrones have failed to splurge with any ostentatious intent as demonstrated by others in the leading pack…but did we expect that they would or even should? If we were back at Upton Park then I would be one of the first to plead against any frivolous expense, rather forsaking any fanciful ambitions in favour of stability and solid financial footing.

However, we are not there now, that chapter has been condemned to a distant memory as we were sold an ambitious tale to send us into a dizzy spin. I did not want to move, I did not believe we would be in the running for European destinations nor did I fall for the open chequebook routine to drop our jaws in incredulity and awe. However, I went along with this plan for better days, carried away by a TV drama starring David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady.

I hoped for a quantum leap into an uncharted universe, to jump into hyper-space by warp factor ten, only to be thwarted by a formidable Klingon flotilla of deceit, unrealised ambitions, apathy and loose tongues. Captain Kirk would’ve slammed these upstarts into the brig for their antics…but should we dare give them a reprieve?

Whilst many would glare and question the diva-like posturing of the trio, there are sympathisers of a team that faltered and attracted unwanted attention. We have had a rough time of it for a couple of years and they haven’t covered themselves in glory either, however misguided and questionably duplicitous their actions may have been, they too have been caught up in a whirlwind of revolt and a backfire that has sent shockwaves throughout the whole club.

One error feeds another, one unfortunate incident breeds more and one misplaced interview demands a more intense review of their public relations policy…however, the way the club is doing business on our behalf seems wholly inadequate at times, lacking ambition, devoid of commitment and languishing in the reeds…a crouching pussycat and toothless newts hiding in embarrassment.

For many, the damage is already done, a relationship soured and irrevocably broken…for others, there might be pardon potent but actions speak louder that any laudable proclamations. In recent weeks there has been a diminishing return of bovine faecal matter and a reserved stance, aloof and quiet…almost too quiet perhaps.

When the board reached the end of its tether with Slaven Bilic last Halloween, so began the night circus performance to find a replacement, however all too soon David Moyes was appointed which appeared to confirm what many fans had thought for some time. The club lacked ambition and were only interested in the short-term financial gain or rather more to reduce their costs.

This appointment, both cheap and myopic, would send the ‘Twitterati’ into overdrive…bemoaning, lambasting and ready to launch head first into confrontation that did little to endear us to them or vice versa. However, did they know something that we failed to see? Had they looked into the crystal ball and predicted a calming of the waters to lead us to a destined treasure island?

I think not! However, fortunes have favoured the brave as Moyes and the gang have put together a string of results and performances that have eased tensions somewhat and certainly taken the focus off that which ails us. Although the issues remain and there is a lethargy to restore allegiances, our gaze is now directed more on the team performances and our commentary has shifted towards tactical tunes, starburst players and asinine donkeys occupying the starting lineups.

However, there is one unmissable fact that cannot hide in the shadows…we are not competing in the transfer market as we thought we would. Premature promises were made and which are yet fulfilled, however, our actions speak ambitions of yesteryear and less of gold filled pockets. The Premier League with the unfathomable amount of money sloshing around requires us to loosen the purse strings and enter the market with intent…not to shop in ‘Poundstrether’ anymore but open an account at Harrods.

Whilst the counter-argument of overpriced mediocrity is fair, we are falling short when market forces demand higher stakes and commitment. Whilst Moyes and his coaching team have worked wonders thus far with a fragile and shallow field…it may indeed be a task too grand to last the test of time.

As a threesome at the helm, they have both succeeded and failed in equal measure…although many would argue there still lies a greater imbalance! They have steadied the ship through the financial rip tides and raging torrents of abuse, have made headway in a cumbersome move but have rocked the boat on so many levels that fans may fear a bale out required or will hope for an impending buyout.

In Moyes, they have found a manager who has been around the block a few times and can play the corporate game but will stand fast against any of their nonsense too. Perhaps Moyes has delivered a few choice words and home truths that have made them take stock but has yet to make them grab a bargain nor splash out on Champagne.

Whilst they profess to have the club’s best interests at heart, it has appeared their interests have been more self-satisfying and serving until now. Perhaps Moyes will urge them to show the long-awaited ambition during the summer, perhaps he will convince them to trust in him for a longer term…or indeed trust in anyone else with a more committed appointment.

We require less of the fruitless approaches and more spirited advances when taking interest in players that would bolster our ranks. We require a commitment that will drive us forward and upwards…we do not expect to be victorious in our quest but least venture into that night with purpose. If all else fails, then at least you tried and we supported you along the way.

We want more business like owners with professional aptitudes and well-drilled orators…rather than Corporate Juntas and Mariah Careys! We can all do better!

About the Author

Alf Gasparro
Life long West Ham United fan, football purist, love motorcycles & soaring with the birds, usually to be found with my head in the clouds...sometimes known as RevelatorAlf