I never wanted to see West Ham leave Upton Park. I was, and have remain, totally opposed to it.
I believe the board paid the price for moving us to Stratford during the international break uproar. For me that’s the central reason for the outrage being felt by many although there are other issues. Yes, there were supporters who believed it was the right thing to do, but after last season there are fewer of them because of a lack of atmosphere at this place.
I speak to many who are unhappy with their seats and the whole set up at the London Stadium. I don’t go to the place because for me, this is not West Ham anymore. We have no assets, just a team. It feels wrong and those who thought it may work are changing their minds.
Some of them loathe where they are sitting and as a result aren’t bothering to turn up which is why you have so many empty seats on occasions. That, for me, is tragic. I never thought this would work. I believed that if they were going to move it should have been into their own purpose-built stadium on a site where there is plenty of ground between the A13 and A25.
You could have had the stadium, shopping complex, hotels and all the rest of it. It makes me sick to say this but I have to. Spurs are getting it spot on by building their own stadium next to White Hart Lane.
That’s what we should have done — no question about it. The ‘multitude’ of other issues being seized on by irate fans are easy to understand and the board will find it very difficult to change the mood. It seems that David Sullivan sees himself as some kind of director of football and that’s not right for me.
He has to be an owner doing what an owner does. Has he been involved in the game beyond that? No so he should stick to what he is good at and appoint a football person as director of football! I’m not sure — despite what they say — the current owners are in this for the long term but they are not going to throw the towel in on the back of crowd protests. It’s not Mr Sullivan’s nature as far as I can see.
Much has been made of broken promises and there’s one I can bring to mind — they have faff ed on replacing the supporters’ club and should have sorted it. Having said all that, the answer to our problems can be solved by the players on the pitch. Get a winning run going and the issues go away — it’s the nature of football.
Protests help nothing but having played in such an atmosphere, it makes little difference to players who simply keep their heads down and do what they do. The board has a very difficult job on their hands changing the mood but the fans should accept we have been through situations like this – and worse – and will keep the faith.
But let’s be clear — what happens on the field is all down to the players and manager. Slaven has a great squad and I can’t understand why we had such a bad start given that. At the end of the day it’s all about what happens on the pitch and nothing else. Slaven and the boys carry responsibility. for what happens out there.