Filed: Friday, 6th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
A group of supporters, the majority of whom are actively opposed to the board's plans to move West Ham United to the Olympic Stadium held their inaugural meeting at the West Ham United Supporter's Club on Wednesday evening.
In attendance were a number of supporters, many long terms fans of the club, who convened for the open meeting hosted by campaign group WHUs View? The group have been campaigning for a ballot of season ticket holders over the move - a request that the owners and vice-chair Karren Brady have thus far ignored.
"WHUs View? arranged a meeting at the Supporters' Club on the 4th April to confirm the polling of supporters at the home matches against Birmingham and Brighton," read a statement released post-event.
"Once again we discussed the merits and deficiencies in carrying out a poll ourselves before any plans have been shown to supporters. Once again, however, it was agreed that in the absence of any proper consultation by the club, with the outcome being decided by the 21st May and with no plans to be shown until after that final decision, that this will represent the only opportunity for attending supporters to have any say in the biggest decision our Club will ever take.
"Tara Warren, the Club’s Marketing Director, attended the meeting to listen to further pleas that the Club conducts an independent ballot. This could be more sophisticated than a simple yes/no vote, could be sent to a large database of fans and could be based on an undertaking from the Club with regards sightlines, roofing and branding etc. Ms Warren said she would speak with Ms Brady about such, but it seems obvious that the Club will not conduct a ballot despite previous assurances to the contrary.
"One supporter remarked that if the Club were asking the fans to trust them in deciding to move stadium, then the Club should equally trust the fans in asking for their opinion on such. It is worth noting that it seems to be accepted by the Club that there was a requirement to consult and that they say they have done so.
"The Supporter’s Club were also represented at the meeting. They have 500 members, have an elected structure, are independent of the club and own the freehold to the premises in Castle Street and they, perhaps, more than anyone else can be said to represent our fan base. They too have not been consulted about a move from The Boleyn and complaint was made to Ms Warren about such.
"At the Birmingham game, then, supporters will meet at the Bobby Moore statue from 3pm to distribute leaflets containing a polling slip that can be completed and collected at the game, posted to a PO Box or completed on line. We have 15,000 leaflets printed and the more help we can get in handing them out and in encouraging all supporters, whatever their opinion, to vote the better.
"The leaflets also contain a Comments box. Some may not wish to vote and to say why, which is why we have included such. We repeat that we are not a protest movement but a single issue campaign that has pressed for a ballot of all fans, whatever their views. Our poll will be imperfect, we know this, but all we are trying to do is what the Club should have done and indeed pledged to do.
Please have your say – it will be the only one you have."
Karren Brady claimed on Tuesday to have 100 per cent backing over the move to Stratford from members of the Supporters Advisory Board - a claim that was later denied by members of the SAB itself.
David Gold, speaking to LBC 24 hours later adjusted his numbers slightly to boast 98 per cent support from the club-led SAB - before insisting that 70 per cent of West Ham supporters backed the move to the OS.
However Gold's claim was in stark contrast to the results of four KUMB.com polls held over the course of the last two years, from which no more than 57 per cent of voters have ever backed the move (see previous results).
OS to stage Rugby World Cup matches [2nd May 2013]
The KUMB.com Podcast: Episode 8 [1st May 2013]
Allardyce: gulf in resources, not effort [27th Apr 2013]
End of the road for Hearn [27th Apr 2013]
Supporter consultation under way [25th Apr 2013]
Brady on OS [19th Apr 2013]
The KUMB.com Podcast: Episode 6 [3rd Apr 2013]
Not guilty, plead spy trio [3rd Apr 2013]
Ok, ok [1st Apr 2013]
01:03PM 11th Apr 2012
''There is a good article on MirrorFootball by Steve Stammers confirming why West Ham should not move to the Olympic Stadium.''
08:40AM 7th Apr 2012
''It's simple really - just purchase 30,000 sheets of paper - green on one side and red on the other and distribute outside a home game. and at half time get everyone to vote buy showing green side for YES and red side for NO - simples.''
01:32PM 6th Apr 2012
''Bob is right. The area will be a ghost town if West Ham move and umpteen businesses will go bust. I have written to the Mayor of Newham, the Newham Recorder, Boris Johnson and David Cameron pointing out that more jobs will be lost than created and none of them are interested. In fact Newham Council are pushing for West Ham to get the stadium by wasting £40m of the rate payer's money. He may not be everybody's cup of tea but Barry Hearn is probably the best hope of this move being stopped.''
10:57AM 6th Apr 2012
''The SAB is a farce and Gold/Sullivan/Brady their puppet masters. I wonder how many of the businesses around the Boleyn Ground who rely on their match day income to survive have been asked for their opinion on moving to the Olympic Stadium?''
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