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An empty feeling

Filed: Saturday, 1st April 2017
By: Gary Steer

Are David Gold and David Sullivan really West Ham fans?

Before I begin writing this article I just want to say that West Ham fans are brilliant! I am not too sure about the two above though. Are they really interested in what the fans want? I know football is a business (blah blah blah) and these two guys are businessmen, but they are not turning out to be good football club owners.

I have written previous articles elsewhere and been slated for having an opinion, but we are all entitled to have a say. I listen to TalkSport and like most people I believe Jason Cundy doesnít speak too much sense! But the other night he said "Bilic should walk" - and I totally agree with him on this.

Slaven has been treated abysmally by the Board, but why should anyone be surprised? What a pile of crap they recruited in the summer! Thereís no point moaning at the players. If another company offered you better money to do a job you knew you werenít good enough for would you still take the job?

You cannot blame Bilic because his hands were tied. There is no way on earth he wouldíve wanted the likes of Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nortvedt - and building a team around Andy Carroll again is suicidal! The owners must be able to see heís a liability. Yes, great on his day but injured every other month - yet they continue to make him the focal point!

I believe the club is in complete disarray. ím not surprised Dimitri Payet left, he is far too good a player and he was poorly let down. Had they gone out and spent £50-60million on new players to compliment him then we may have seen a different story.

Iím sick of even looking at that stadium, I absolutely hate it. Designed with a pitch 50 feet away from the pitch! Mark Noble has suffered becoming so exposed on such a huge surface and he is so often the scapegoat. Itís hardly ever full, so whatís the point of attempting to increase the capacity when you canít even fill it as it is?!

The owners have spent too much of the last year talking nonsense. The digital wrap to go right around the stadium and the promise of top four football? Come on, seriously, who are you trying to fool!? No player with any ounce of self respect would want to join such an amateur circus!

The manager shouldíve been backed last summer with the £30million striker he was promised. I know fans will say "oh we did try but nobody wants to go there", but did they really try that hard? I donít believe they did. They are so tight with the cash itís unbelievable. They are duplicitous and always trying to cut corners, whilst the fans are treated like dirt and fed lie after lie. I refuse now to be part of it.

"Well youíre not a real fan!" I hear you groan. And I should stick with my team through thick and thin. Well, for all these new fans who have become keyboard warriors slating the team during a match and then waxing lyrical about the same player ten minutes later, I have attended games for 30+ years, often involving 12-hour round trips.

So before anyone moans, I used to be one of the most loyal fans you could ever meet. And like most Hammers, it is was as much a joy watching them play as it was to stand in that fiery atmosphere.

I had heroes whilst growing up: Paolo Di Canio, Frank Lampard Jnr and Joe Cole. Even though the latter two are roughly my age I loved them and idolised them. However, I look around now and see very little that inspires me.

Iím not going to waffle on about how hard life can be - we have all had our bad times - but when you experience life-changing traumas it makes you realise that many footballers are simply pampered, overpriced and overpaid primadonnas.

Many are not heroes, some are clueless about life whilst others don't possess an ounce of resolve. They donít even have to think for themselves. I do not get excited or breathless about the thought of watching West Ham players running out onto a pitch anymore.

In fact, you could offer me a free season ticket and I would happily sell it. (Like a lot of 'fans' selling their final Upton Park match ticket - remember?)

So enough is enough and I have voted with my feet. Iím no longer going to attend games, purchase merchandise and continue to increase the owners' bank balances and egos. I asked myself "why do I even bother?" on hundreds of occasions. If something isnít right change it, donít moan!

For five years (from 2011-2015) I was an official partner of the club (merchandise-related). In that time I was always paid late, my emails were never replied to until Iíd sent 10 and called 10 times more! It used to be a family club where you could pick up the phone and call, but now you sit on a premium rate phone line where half the time you donít get through and get charged £40 for the joy of it!

The unprofessionalism is unbelievable. You have David Gold attempting to justify the Board's decisions on Twitter and David Sullivan spouting off to the media. Why would a club be like this and why would you want to join it as a player or manager?

I wasnít a big fan of Big Sam but he was treated like crap, Zola too. They're continuing the trend now with Bilic. (The less said about Avram Grant the better.) The board potentially couldíve got Martin OíNeill back then, but as usual their big mouths got in the way!

The fans are fantastic, but my previous Ďlove' for West Ham United has just died. I understand fans will say Iím this and that but I refuse to be part of this anymore.

I used to hear people say "I love West Ham, even though I donít support them". You just donít hear this anymore because theyíve just become a laughing stock in nearly every single department. Other fans and teams have no respect for the club. It is a below average club with world-class fans, although these fans are always sold down the river.

I have been blinkered for so so many years but the club are light years behind and the new stadium will not catapult them into the top four. Some fans slate me for being honest, but you canít help the way you feel. Some people can accept being kept in the dark and live a lie.

West Ham United FC died and became history when the club left Upton Park. Itís now a soulless, commercial enterprise and although I still look out for results and want to see them do well, sadly Iím no longer a die-hard fan.

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.

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