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Meltdown


Filed: Friday, 1st September 2017
By: Rio Barlow


16 months ago I walked away from the Boleyn Ground, full of sadness that I was leaving my second - nah, sod that - my true home.

But I was also filled with joy. I'd witnessed one of the greatest seasons of football I've had the privilege to witness. My team was playing with style, flair and had a never say die attitude that I'd not witnessed in way too many year. We didn't know when we were beaten.

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Being two down was no longer a death knell, but almost seemingly a challenge that was easily overcome. We we're the fittest I'd ever seen us. It was almost as if I was watching a completely different club to the one I was brought up with. Of course there were disappointments, it wouldn't truly be West Ham without them now would it?

I knew the move to the Olympic Stadium would be hard. I expected a dip. History shows when a club moves ground this happens. What I wasn't expecting however was the almost complete meltdown of the club in the 16 months that followed.

Our Chairman's love of his own voice and publically playing his cards whipped up a buzzing fanbase into a frenzy as we allegedly pursued big name strikers. We all know how that panned out.

A scattergun approach to buying that was more akin to a trolley dash than a quest for excellence. The promises made about the stadium itself weren't fulfilled to the specifications set out, as penny pinching and arguing between the club and the stadium owners left those in the middle, 'us', with a far from ideal experience.

We were promised world class on and off the pitch. The reality was more remedial class. Our board had years to prepare for the move, but still managed, despite extensive jolly ups, sorry research, delivered the worse migration seen in British football.

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With more spin than messers Murali and Warne combined, they played their propaganda out, via their media connections, to such an overblown extent, that it seemed the only thing missing from the campaign was the former Iraqi Minister of Information Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf.

They undermined their manager, they alienated the fans, they wiped out the feel good factor in a time when it was needed most. Disquiet was met with dismissive and underhand methods of counteraction. When the image is threatened, the claws come out.

Maybe it was a first season at the new home blip? This Summer has proved it wasn't. Again the media undermining of the manager has come to the fore. Again the penny-pinching attitude towards the transfer market has made us look embarrassing. Again we look like we have been lied to over the terms of our tenancy.

The catalogue of errors, media spin, failed transfer policy, lack of investment in both team and stadium and failure to deliver on their own 10 point pledge of May 2010 has led us to not what we were promised, the 'next level', but to a state of despair and clinging to a forelorn hope our threadbare, disgruntled and injury prone/ridden squad can survive.

You've failed Sullivan, Gold & Brady. You've failed me, my friends, my kids and the support of finest club in the land. Is a laughing stock of a director of football, a mismash bowl of scaffolding and tarpaulin and a demotivated squad, rooted to the foot of the Premier League befitting of the 15th richest club in the world? No.

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Sell up and spend the money you've milked from us elsewhere. You said you wouldn't stay where you weren't wanted. Well no one wants you here anymore. And just to remind you, you have previous in this - the following from Birmingham City fan and former KUMB member Mickey07, writing back in 2009:

"Welcome to the world of very average players being signed from the fizzy pop leagues! To find out what approach Sullivan, Gold and Brady will take towards West Ham just look back in the archives for their time at Birmingham.

"Firstly, they'll tell the fans that you are in debt (their figures, not necessarily substantiated) and the fear created justifies the inevitable increase in ticket prices in the summer (Birmingham were more expensive to watch than Man Utd).

"Secondly, they'll blame high wages for the club's problems, but then make out that you will spend a huge sum of money on a 'star' player's wages (conveniently unnamed) - there was never any realistic chance that the player would sign, but gives the supporters the false impression that these guys are prepared to back big transfers.

"Thirdly, they'll avoid spending any money on facilities by trying to move the club to a new ground that someone else has paid for - ie the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Witness the failed campaign aimed at getting the City Council to pay for a new stadium in Birmingham which the club would move to but not contribute towards.

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"Birmingham's fans, like those of any club, can certainly be accused of periods of unrealistic expectation but then it was Sullivan himself that made comments about Champions League qualification, not the supporters.

"Being regularly reminded for 15 years of how our club was 'saved' eventually wears a little thin.

"Sully loves a gamble on mickey mouse, no mark players that he thinks he's going to sell for 20million in a few years. And before every transfer window, he will promise you the world and deliver little/nothing.

"If you think [former CEO Scott] Duxbury is bad with spin, just wait until Sullivan starts! He will definitely surpass Duxbury, and within two or three years time you will definitely be doing this."


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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