So just as the bulbs in my garden start to show along comes a sky fall of snow that quickly covers them up. They’re still there frozen, ready to go again. Their time will come and in a few weeks every thing will look rosey in my garden.
A couple of months ago something new started to grow outside of the club. Disgruntled and disillusioned fans formed a group joined by followers of other supporters sites. The Real West Ham Fans Action Group was founded and many like-minded supporters quickly joined. A majority joined in the hope that the owners and board would address concerns and the lack of transparency shown by the club prior to and after our arrival at The London Stadium.
Distance from the pitch, the club crest, stewarding and our financial situation and lack of on-field spending were all on the group’s agenda. The RWHFAG hoped the club would take onboard concerns about our heritage, better facilities for the disabled, the walkway to the stadium, a fanzone and a memorial garden for supporters no longer with us. The RWHFAG felt the best way forward was a march before the game against Burnley next Saturday. Many followers liked what the group stood for and jumped at the chance to show the board how they felt. Permission would be required by the police and council and donations were sent to the group to cover costs. The club contacted a selection of supporters groups including the RWHFAG and a meeting was arranged and the points I’ve stated and many others were raised.
As a result of the negotiations and the response from the club, the march has been cancelled. The march was intended to show solidarity amongst fans frustrated at the plight of the club since moving home. Expectations were to look up not down. The cancellation has left many upset that they won’t have the opportunity to voice an opinion and show defiance against the beleaguered board.
This has left a rather sour taste in the mouths of many anti-board fans. Don’t take my word for it, check out Twitter and some of the prominent social media sites. Be prepared for some industrial language and some rather toxic and poisonous points of view on both sides. Whatever happened and was said at the meeting or meetings is irrelevant now as the march isn’t going ahead. It’s job done for the board who didn’t want bad press and huge disappointment for group members hellbent on marching.
So where does this leave us now? Life will still go on but divisions amongst supporters are wider than before the march was even thought of. There’s talk of breakaway groups still intent on marching and I’m sure whoever takes the lead others will follow.
The RWHFAG raised awareness that supporters were unhappy and the board have taken their points onboard and if we’re led to believe, be acted upon. Time will tell. If anything the group have highlighted how many disenchanted fans there are, whether changes are made and implemented remains to be seen. As it stands it’s one nil to the board. I think it’s unlikely it’ll stay that way for long. I can see this going to extra time with one side just edging it in a high scoring game.
There’ll be a march of some sorts next week, whether it is 100 or 10,000 remains to be seen. A gauntlet has been thrown down and its unlikely it’ll lay on the floor for long. There are three sides to every story; your side, their side and the truth. We’ve heard two, let’s hear the third.
By next Saturday my bulbs will be looking forward to the warmer weather, hopefully it won’t be too frosty at The London Stadium.