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Our own worst enemy

Filed: Monday, 26th November 2012
By: Kit Robinson

So, another defeat at White Hart Lane and some more abusive chanting from West Ham fans. What is the effect of such behaviour upon the other West Ham fans, the performance of the team, the public perception of the club? Is there a financial knock on effect to the club and the fans because of this behaviour?

Once again a minority of our fans have let all of us down. The club will probably be investigated yet again, financially punished yet again, castigated yet again. And where does the money come from? Out of all of our pockets. Just as we are currently hoping to invest in a world class stadium we are making ourselves look like we simply donít have the class or deserve to move up in the world.

Whether you want the club to move into the Olympic Stadium or not, such chanting only has the knock on effect of making the club unpopular to business, to sponsors, to television etc. Or is there really no reason for sponsors to drop the likes of Lance Armstrong or steer clear of the likes of Jimmy Savile? But I bet these so called fans will still be the first to moan that we canít afford decent players or complain about the cost of tickets, when it is their stupidity that in the long run costs us all money.

I witnessed myself anti-semitic chants at a pre-season friendly a few seasons ago and was frankly embarrassed. I have no religious beliefs but itís just not funny, it would be intimidating if I were Jewish. But we were playing Hampton and Richmond!

I know that the Spurs fans themselves refer to the Jewish elements of their club but it is only our own fansí crass stupidity to copycat fascist Lazio fans and make all of us look like idiots. I do not hold these views or think they are amusing so it shouldnít be assumed that I do just because I support West Ham. And does anyone have to be told that in so many ways, referring to a fan being stabbed is wrong?

We look pretty pathetic to have to resort to abuse when we are frankly not as good as the opposition. Booing Defoe, the chants, all they do is fire up them up so weíre on a hiding to nothing. Iím hardly the most PC of people myself but when i see that our taunting is helping us lose games then iíd prefer it to stop, thanks.

We end up looking like a bunch of idiotic losers. I know we have a rivalry with Spurs but letís start making sure that we do our talking on the pitch not off it. And if that doesnít happen, then take it like men and come back to fight another day and not look like kids jealous of the next door neighboursí better Christmas presents.

No doubt as with the clashes with Millwall fans in the past and claims that it was opposition fans fault or the police, someone will claim this was somehow someone elseís fault. If you want to make a fascist statement then stay at home and write a book about it, Hitler did pretty good business with Mein Kampf.

If youíre such a hero anti-semite, go and help Hamas in the Gaza Strip, or is the fact youíll be fighting with Islamists too difficult to contemplate? Donít go to a match and hide behind other fans and chant your racist bile when we donít support your views and everyone loses out because of it. It is cheap thrills for people with no convictions. Youíre not doing it in my name.

I know that there are fans that will disagree with me but even if only for financial and performance reasons, letís knock this on the head and give it a miss. We take a great pride in the fact that we were one of the first clubs with black players, even one of our most famous fans was black.

Or would we rather do without the likes of Yossi Benayoun? Or is it all ok with him because he is OUR Jewish player? This kind of ignorant attitude is from the past. As with the Olympic stadium we need to start having a modern attitude for the greater good of everything to do with the club or remain as relics of the past.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by Jurjen
10:59PM 27th Nov 2012
''I couldn't agree more.''

by German Fan
04:15PM 27th Nov 2012
''I was very disappointed when I heard about these chants at White Hart Lane. I'm a WHU supporter from Germany, I've been to three home games and in Copenhagen. I didn't have the impression that racism is a problem at West Ham supporters and that's why I was pretty shocked.

I want to say to the supporters who hear chants like that: Go to a stewart and make sure that these scumbags get kicked out of the stadium. If you don't want to do that, kick them out on your own! Racism and anti-semitic chants aren't funny, so nobody should look away. COYI.''

by paul
02:08PM 27th Nov 2012
''i agree with your comments on this whole heartedly we shold not be singing about stabbed fans and Hitler at all, but don't you think this has been highlighted because it's West Ham?

Spurs are about to be sued for employing people to spy on us and tap phones and this is totally unacceptable as well, are we the first team to sing such songs at White Hart Lane? No, is the correct answer. Man Utd and Liverpool sing disgusting songs to one another all the time again highlighted after this years game (Hillsborough and Busby) but there's no FA investigation.

i work with a lot of Spurs fans and they see most of it (apart from the Hilter and stabbing songs) as genuine banter between two local rival teams. Are you telling me no one sang anti-semetic songs at Highbury last week?

I agree that this is detrimental to the club, but let's not think that this is just West Ham and no other team does that or similar.''

by Gary Lewis
12:16PM 27th Nov 2012
''I agree wholeheartedly with the message in this article. I have always supported West Ham since I was a young boy and always will.

As a Jewish fan I was deeply embarrassed by the events of Sunday, moreso because all my in-laws are Spurs fans and were at the game to witness the actions and hear the chants of so called football fans.

I take my daughter to West Ham and she loves going to games and is now passionate about supporting the team. However the chanting and actions of a minority now mean she will be constantly reminded of what some West Ham "fans" are like by her Spurs supporting grandfather and uncles.

I hope the culprits are rooted out and given the bans they deserve and let the decent fans carry on following their team through thick and thin.''

by Hammer Head
11:07AM 27th Nov 2012
''Agree with every word. Not do we only have a Jewish player but also owners.
How must they be feeling?

We know how mush the FA love us. (I can see a big fine coming. Lets hope we do not have points deducted as well). Not one of our greatest hours on or off the pitch.''

by Nellie
11:07AM 27th Nov 2012
''Nice article; sums up my feelings about the minority of unreconstructed buffoons who still follow football.

V Southampton I saw some very smartly dressed "supporters" who kept shouting "racist" every time a foul wasn't given to a white West Ham player. When Andy Carroll miscontrolled a ball they give it a chorus of "you're just a white Carlton Cole". They thought they were clever becasue they hadn't actually said anything that out of context could be deemed racist or offensive. In context they were just shite; the sort of so-called support no club needs.''

by Paxton Regulars
09:59AM 27th Nov 2012
''Well said - that approach must apply to every club, my own included. I was at the game on Sunday with my fellow Spurs fans and sat near the away support. 'Minority' is a shield term here because the away end was vocal and vitriolic... and I for one do not believe that the hard core of travelling fans from the lunatic fringe represents the many thousands of decent honest Hammers fans country-wide.

Support your team, banter with the opposition, by all means but when the abuse starts, watch it rebound. Rightly or wrongly, 'Yid army' chants are no more than a self-defence mechanism. Stop the anti-semitism and Spurs fans will have no cause to use the term.
As you rightly said, not those songs and not in my name!''

by Tonka
09:37AM 27th Nov 2012
''Well said.''

by john powell
07:11AM 27th Nov 2012
''Some great points well made. If the energy that went into the unacceptable behaviour is directed positively in support of our players, we can and will contribute towards an even stronger future.''

by Dave@spurs
06:56PM 26th Nov 2012
''Well written, I may be a Spurs fan but even I can accept the Hammers play great football, but it's a shame the fans have to spoil it. Millwall in disguise you aint, so why act like it?

I am not the only one who sees the talent at West Ham, football as it should be played. From the board to the pitch the club is well run, most of your fans know it. OK you lost at the lane but there is another game around the corner, the game doesn't need bigots, not from the Irons or the Black Lawyers. It's about football, nothing else.''

by Craig
06:24PM 26th Nov 2012
''I agree totally Kit, I'm embarrassed to be a season ticket holder today. The banter at matches is one of the best things about Upton Park but there can be no room for behaviour of this nature. These immature racists do not represent us, the majority of fans who love our club. ''

by marshall lyons
06:21PM 26th Nov 2012
''I'm a Spurs fan and Jewish. Nice to read from a true Hammer.''

by Andy Woodcock
06:18PM 26th Nov 2012
''From a Spurs fan: Well said mate; fair play to you! There's no place for this behaviour in any part of society.''

by H Hearst
06:16PM 26th Nov 2012
''Nice article. Shame that my 83-year-old dad, who manages one game a season these days, had to witness that. As he said to me on the way home: "I never thought I see and hear that again". He was a refugee from Berlin...arriving here in 1938. Nice.''

by Steve
06:14PM 26th Nov 2012
''Congratulations on a well written article. I am a Spurs fan who was born and brought up in Poplar. My brother supports West Ham and I cannot understand the animostity that comes from both sides between or two clubs.

In my formative years, I enjoyed many visits to Upton Park and revelled in seeing football played by both sides that entertained and entralled me, by players that I copuld aspire to.
But yesterday was apalling; even before the game seeing WHU supporters walking down the High Rd, carrying their drink and baiting the crowds to attack them is not football. WHU have a history of support from the Jewish community, Jewish players and Jewish finance so how the hell can the minority take such a stance and glorify fans being stabbed and condone Adolf Hitler defies belief.

The action of the club in reacting with bans is welcomed. Let's enjoy the on-pitch rivalry and leave our clubs open to players and supporters of every creed and race. If they are good enough, let them play!''

by Kenneth Gjertsen
06:09PM 26th Nov 2012
''Well written. I'm a Spurs-guy myself, just to set the record straight. One thing I don't get, no matter which club you are supporting, why abuse the opposite team? Isn't always better to salute and cheer your own boys. I don't think your team playes better by singing and abusing the other team.''

by BigT
05:43PM 26th Nov 2012
''As a life long Spurs fan and admirer of West Ham Utd I was pleased to read this article which I believe shows the true spirit and feeling of "the Hammers fans". Hopefully the few mindless idiots will be dealt with and we can put this behind us. Good luck for the rest of the season.''

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