Date: 16th July 2018 at 2:05pm
Written by:

OPINION

West Ham seem to have turned their fans around ahead of the new Premier League season, according to an extensive poll that was conducted.

From over 15,000 votes cast on Twitter, an overwhelming 63% said that they had a positive opinion on the board, with 29% neutral and just 8% saying they were still negative.

That’s an incredible switch from last season when the relationship between the Hammers board and fans reached an all-time low.

The fractious relationship turned sour in May when protests during the 3-0 defeat to Burnley saw co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan forced to flee the stadium for their own safety.

At that point there seemed no way back, but some frenzied transfer activity has turned the fans in a complete 180.

So what’s the secret behind the turnaround? Money and lots of it – West Ham have smashed their transfer record twice this summer.

That’s too simplistic though – Everton proved last summer that throwing money around doesn’t buy success or the support of fans.

First off, the board recruited a proven manager in Manuel Pellegrini. He came in saying that he wanted a young, attacking squad, to play the sort of football the fans had been crying out for.

He has since signed Ryan Fredericks (free), Lukasz Fabianski (£7million from Swansea), Issa Diop (£22.5million from Toulouse), Jack Wilshere (free), Andriy Yarmolenko (£18million from Borussia Dortmund), Fabián Balbuena (£3.6million from Cortinthians) and Felipe Anderson (£34million from Lazio).

That’s around £80-£90million, which is a huge amount of money, plus the added wages. Both Wilshere and Anderson are reported to be on six-figure salaries.

Looking past the money though, West Ham have made what look like fantastic signings. Yarmolenko and Anderson are the headlines but Wilshere could be the glue that binds the team together.

West Ham fans will be excited to get the season started but neutrals will be too, wondering whether Pellegrini can take his new side straight into the reckoning for Europe.

And the West Ham board will be delighted to see the results of the poll, with the results scarcely believable after last season.

Some West Ham fans will never forgive or forget, but most will be happy to raise a scarf in their direction and acknowledge the ambition that they’ve shown over the past couple of months.