When I first started following West Ham ‘social media’ was having a chat with your neighbour whilst picking up the paper from the corner shop. There were no hashtags, no followers, likes, dislikes or status updates. ‘Check in’ was something that you queued for hours to do at an airport and a troll was a creature which only existed in mythology.
Times have changed………
The day to day business of our Club, most notably during the transfer windows, seems to be played out very publicly, with Twitter going into meltdown on a daily basis. Rumour and counter-rumour abound. ‘ITKs’ or ‘in the knows’ offer their inside information, often without source or validation. Were we to sign every player that we are linked with by the ITKs, we would have the largest squad in any league in the world.
My issue is not the fan exchanges that take place, in fact, these are often full of humour. I don’t even have a problem with the so called ITK accounts, even though they should more correctly be called IKNs (I know nothing!). Where I do often find myself hitting the home button is when I read the posts from ‘our own’. David Gold and the Sullivan brothers are prolific at times, tweeting everything from incorrectly captioned players, welcoming new signing Pedro Obiang with a picture of Angelo Ogbonna, to telling us not to go to bed on transfer deadline day! As you’ll recall, for those of us that did stay awake, nothing actually happened. Sullivan Junior teases us with his own brand of cryptic clue, often as simple one letter, the initial of a player perhaps?
Gold should know better and the Sullivan boys are perhaps ill-advised but, either way, is this really the way we want to see our Club’s business conducted? Are the Twitter timelines of fans of other clubs littered with such nonsense? Has Sheikh Mansour ever tweeted pictures of the wrong player? Did the Glazers tease Man Utd fans with a tweet reading ‘PP’ before making a world record signing? Has Roman Abramovich ever told Chelsea fans when to go to bed on transfer deadline day? I do find it difficult to believe any of these has ever happened. That said, your average Chelsea fan would be in bed well before 8 pm anyway, after all, they would have school the next day!
That said, come the summer transfer window, my fellow Hammers fans will have me convinced that we will be signing Lionel Messi with Ronaldo as a backup! Perhaps I just should just turn the clock back and ask Ron at the corner shop for all my transfer news.