Hugh Southon’s Last Word: You can take the rough with the smooth but the buck stops here

The past 10 years under GSB have now merged into a mess of warring parties

Making a sensible and realistic appraisal of West Ham United’s place in football generally and among its own supporters right now is a mystery which even Sherlock Holmes may have issues solving.

The past 10 years under GSB have now merged into a mess of warring parties with the protestors unable to forget the move from E13, the lack of success since, the regular change of managers and the resulting loss of identity both in the club’s footballing image and at large.

Whichever way you want to diagnose that the buck stops at the top! Fact of life – it always does.

It’s not all bad. We have managed to rid ourselves of yo-yoing between divisions over the last a10 years and remain a Premier League outfit – JUST!

But the move from the Boleyn to a rented stadium down the road, rather than building our own, is an issue that will rankle until many of us pass into the great football stadium in the sky where naturally Mooro will be skipping the team.

David Sullivan, Karren Brady and David Gold have to be held responsible for what has been happening over recent years at the club.

They have been accused of all sorts from asset stripping to betrayal of the club’s roots – both points of view are probably over the top – but among the more gregarious and forthright, it’s an argument that has been heard more than any other.

That’s presumably because people who are angry usually make the most noise: those who are relatively happy with things tend to get on with their lives.

Recent history has left more than its mark on events and reputation with the move from Upton Park being an impossible smear to remove for many.

Like most other fans, my best footballing memories are buried in the place and Green Street, but it was a disastrous place to reach and the new stadium – if nothing else – offers much superior rail links back to town. Let’s be frank; it had also become very 19th century. Change was required, but our own stadium would have been preferable.

On a good day, when the team is performing, the London Stadium rocks and I am not among those who pine for a return to The Boleyn – romanticism is all well and good but I’ve always believed in changing things I can, not worrying about those I can’t.

I get that some will hold it against the board forever but frankly, fear or favour, I can live with the current situation simply because in the end there’s no alternative.

For all the issues, outrage and tantrums West Ham remains a great football club which no doubt will one day be sold – but more likely for around £400 to £500million million rather than the £800 million being mentioned.

But there has to be a buyer – and there never has been. Putting it up for sale would make no difference, because if people want to buy something they will come in regardless. 

Until that happens, nothing is going to change however much noise is generated but the football can change and become more professional hopefully along the lines mentioned above. 

Whatever does or doesn’t happen in the future, I for one will forever be blowing bubbles

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