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Is this a bloodless coup?


Filed: Tuesday, 23rd April 2019
By: Paul Walker


Are we about to see a dramatic twist in the ongoing war of words between the clubís Official Supporters Board and WHUISA, the independent fansí group that declined to join Lady Bradyís brainchild last summer?

There have been determined moves these past few weeks to woo WHUISA into giving up their stance and coming inside the OSB organisation. And it looks to have come to a head in the sun of last weekend, when OSB chairman David Baker and his WHUISA counterpart John Ratomski held talks over a beer ahead of the Leicester game.

There was also a second meeting prior to the match between OSB member Sean Whetstone and Lew Ozarow, currently WHUISA membership secretary but, I believe, is signing emails this week as WHUISA chair-elect.

So happy and convivial was everyone, that Ratomski and Baker posed for pictures in the sun that have been out on social media. It was put to me that one picture looked like Jeremy Corbyn meets Tommy Robinson (sorry gentleman, couldnít resist that, no offence, the likeness is amusing, if you like that sort of thing).


John Ratomski (WHUISA) & David Baker (OSB)


There have been meetings in the past between the two chairman, but WHUISA have always opted to remain outside the Brady umbrella, questioning the lack of democratic elections and transparency. Itís an argument that has been aired regularly with the club backing their independent selection process.

All this comes as WHUISA are holding their annual elections, and it would be fair to say they have had difficulty finding candidates for some senior posts. Several well-known West Ham luminaries were approached to help, but to no avail.

And thatís where Whetstone comes in. A founder member of WHUISA and elected onto the committee last year, he opted to resign soon afterwards when it became apparent that the group would not be changing their stance on OSB membership.

It is understood that Whetstone was proposed as new chairman, but now is seems he will be rejoining the committee, with voting ending on April 26.

Now this is where the rancour comes in, because some WHUISA members are up in arms at what looks like something of a bloodless coup. Why would anyone who is already on the OSB, and benefiting from its patronage want to be a committee member of a group outside the official body?

You might think that it allows the possibility of being able to influence WHUISA policy against the clubís Board, and maybe a way could be found to unite the clubís fan base under one banner. You have to feel that WHUISA are being dragged kicking and screaming into the fold...




The prize, it seems, is the positions on influential committees that WHUISA have, not only with the Met Police, but also with the influential Football Supportersí Federation. The OSB covet those roles and in the last OSB minutes, Baker asked if the club could sort this problem out and allow his organisation to take on those roles.

Bringing WHUISA in house, so to speak, would solve that problem. WHUISA are FSF affiliated and their position would then be taken over by the OSB.

The club have refused to engage officially with WHUISA, and any other fansí group not in the OSB, and it now looks like WHUISAís influence could be diminished by the recent negotiations.

It seems that sooner or later their membership will be asked to vote again on joining the OSB,where the choice will be sitting on the outside and slowly withering away, or becoming part of Bradyís gang.

Up to you boys, but you may feel that you have been politically tucked up by manoeuvring that would impress the Trump administration, or Momentum, what ever side of the fence you sit.


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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