My West Ham background is as follows, I’m 36-years-old, been an avid fan since the mid 80s and been an on/off season ticket holder since 1992. This season, sharing a season ticket with two friends, finances have sadly dictated this.
Now it is fair to say that over the years I have certainly experienced more lows than highs when following the club, but something about the current situation feels very wrong.
I have early memories of the Bond scheme but in all honesty I was still a kid when this is all kicked off, and was not in a position to get outraged, I mean I was calling for Mike Small to get an and England call-up for crying out loud!! The club got relegated, but it eventually recovered under Billy Bonds and later with Harry Redknapp, to cement a place in the Premier League, playing football the West Ham way (yes media friends, this way does exist and we used to play that way not that long ago, anyhow you go back to your Liverpool love-in). I loved following West Ham back then and yes we lost a lot of games and we were rubbish, but we had our soul and were proud to be Hammers.
Things have not been the same since Harry left in 2001, now we all have our opinions on Mr Redknapp and his actions since leaving the club and the Billy Bonds affair leave a sour taste. Harry messed up with the Rio money and the time was right for him to depart and I would not want to see him return to the club.
The club messed up by not replacing him properly, we are a big club and the appointment of Glenn Roeder was so mind boggling stupid it still beggars belief, the club got away with it in his firs season, a very false 7th place, swiftly followed the relegation disaster of which the club has never properly recovered.
We got back up (just) under Alan Pardew, who served up some dross in the Championship, which was then disguised by that fantastic first season back up, combined with the Cup final. Thing under Pardew soon went tits up, he was out the door in came Alan Curbishley, we pulled of the great escape, then new owners soon went bankrupt (only at West Ham), Curbs, to the delight of a lot of hammers fans departed, Gianfranco Zola came in, looked good for 12 months, however, the club was skint, all our assets (the good players) were sold from under Zola, Gold and Sullivan came in, Sullivan undermined Zola, we stayed up, Zola got the boot, in came Grant, utter disaster, relegation.
So desperate times called for desperate measures and in came Sam Allardyce and he got us up via the Play-Offs which was followed by an excellent first season back in the Premier League.
I am thankful for what Allardyce has achieved in his first two years, but it was always going to come to this situation. The last two games I have been to, being Hull City and Crystal Palace have been truly depressing, I have come away from both games utterly fed up and bored out my brain and from where I stand in the Bobby Lower the feeling from fellow Hammers would appear to be the same, so Sam it is not just social media fans who have the needle with you and the way the team is set up.
What worries me so much now is that I am almost losing interest in supporting my football club and I am sorry but this is unforgivable and I blame Allardyce for this, together with the board who have been so focused on the Olympic stadium that they seem to have forgot what West Ham United Football Club is all about. The club is a business project for them and they seem content to let Allardyce run it as such, safe mid-table, no cup run, keep that Premier League money rolling in, charge top dollar for poor football, take us the fans for granted kind of way.
Sadly this is the way of modern football and I’m sure Aston Villa and Newcastle United fans will share our feelings. So when as fans we have the audacity to express our feelings we are told that we are not realists, what is the West Ham way, he happy with what you got. Well feck that I am football fan not a business man, I do my work in the week and I want West Ham and football to offer me more than what I am getting and feeling at the moment!
The media are obsessed with the so called bigger teams and when they report on other clubs out of the loop I always sense a feeling of disregard on their part, so the media are never going to offer us the fans a balanced ear piece.
So Gold, Sullivan and Brady have a look the club not the business, stop cashing in on Bobby Moore with your constant merchandising, listen to the fans please!
We have taken our medicine with Allardyce has had the short term effect, so thank you very much but time to go as I would like a bit of the old West Ham back.
This is a great club which has been so poorly run since 2001, can it be that hard to get something right?!