To protest or not? That is the question

On New Year's Eve it was announced that supporters' group Hammers United would be staging a protest against the club's current owners and their stewardship of the club.

Since then, many strong opinions have been aired both in favour of and against the demonstration. Here are two of the best, one in favour of proceeding with the protest - but first, one arguing that it will be a self-defeating exercise.

NO to protesting: by TonkaTwo

It's ridiclulous, the timing couldn't be worse. And let's be clear - even if you protest on a weekly basis David Sullivan never has and never will have the slightest concern about West Ham United Football Club. Sullivan cares only for his personal wealth.

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On the assumption that Sullivan will never fund the development of the footballing side of West Ham beyond survival, until the day arrives that he sells the club without having to turn a penny of it over to the government - based on every bit of evidence over a number of years - then David Moyes is actually (as proven historically at a skint Everton) the best chance we have of building some kind of foundations on the shoestring budget Sullivan will provide.

Sullivan won't change. You won't change him. All you can do by supporting this act of self-righteous posturing by Hammers United is create further unrest and damage to the confidence of a team already struggling to keep their heads up.

I've watched quietly from the sidelines as Hammers United got increasingly entitled as their numbers increased. It's my view that they are now putting their own agenda ahead of the team they claim to support. Support West Ham United. Not Hammers United.

Long after Hammers United go the way of every other Ill-conceived fan group broken up by the petty egos of the assembled types that typically have the time and inclination to put themselves forward for such positions of pretend influence, West Ham United football club will still be here.

To be clear, I hate Sullivan. Despise him, in fact. I despise what he and his lackeys have done to our club. He's a charlatan, a cheap pimp profiting from our collective love for West Ham United.

But you won't change him, because a bloke that made his dollar peddling soft porn is not going to be in the least bit fazed by static fan protests - and certainly not one led by people that are already starting to look like they are putting their own ego and agenda above that of the football team we all profess to support.

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I'm going to repeat this. Sullivan cares about money. Not the club. Certainly not the supporters. Just money. Whatever you plan, it has to attack him in the wallet to work. Money is the only thing that matters to him, so money is the only thing you can hurt him with.

But again, however you odds it, the timing of any protest right now absolutely sucks.

For now, we should be supporting our team through this time of transition and stop whinging like entitled children because we didn't get Carlo Ancelotti or Niko Kovac or whatever other fantasy manager you convinced yourself would come to a West Ham that has no ambition beyond treading water in mid-table until the club is sold.

It's alarming that Hammers United are using the noisy hysteria around the Moyes appointment to push themselves forwards as mock saviours and heroes. Alarming because it indicates opportunist thinking that, to my mind at least, positions Hammers United ahead of West Ham United.

The reality is simple enough, fellas. Everyone in football knows what West Ham are about under Sullivan. Survival, on the cheap, until sold. We should be glad Moyes thinks he can work around that handicap and build something of worth. Pro Moyes or anti he's here, give him a chance, more importantly support our team.

The only protest required right now is that each and every one of us hurts the owners in the wallet. Buy nothing that puts money in their pocket. You don't need a fan group full of Chairmen and Vice Chairs and Directors and Executive Officers and Secretaries and Treasurers or any other somesuch vanity.

You. As an individual. Put nothing in Sullivan's pocket. And support your team loudly and proudly knowing you are supporting only them, not Sullivan.

YES to protesting: by IABATAC

We, the fans have been debating the sorry state of things at West Ham United for several years. On the KUMB Forum there are countless threads and individual posts highlighting various causes for complaint and when taken into account with other forum and video channels, it is clear that things cannot continue as they are.

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It doesn't really matter what the individual or collective dissatisfaction happens to be - the majority of us share the main ones and can argue till the cows come home about the smaller ones. When all is said and done, the responsibility ultimately lies with the three custodians of our club, David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady. Their catastrophic failure to deliver on their commitments and promises to us is the reason we are where we are today.

Following overwhelming calls for action from their membership and from across the wider West Ham United fan base, Hammers United have stepped up to the plate and announced a protest against Gold, Sullivan and Brady, the root cause of everything that is wrong at our club.

This decision to protest has not been taken lightly and neither is it a knee jerk reaction. The logistical and legal minefield that has to be negotiated is both complex and time consuming. Much effort has previously gone in, and will continue to go in, to ensuring that any form of protest will be meaningful and have a chance of affecting change.

There is never a "right time" to launch a protest and there is criticism from some quarters, especially with regard to the effect on the players and new manager. This criticism is valid and needs to be addressed.

I can safely say that this is not a protest about the players or David Moyes. We are all 100% behind the team and manager. We want David Moyes to be successful and we want to see good football from our players. This has never been in question. Our focus is solely on Gold, Sullivan and Brady and their stewardship of our club.

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I believe that both David Moyes and the players are big enough and professional enough to get on with the work for which they are well paid without being distracted by our issues with Gold, Sullivan and Brady.

Furthermore, they're not so far removed from us to be unaware of what has been happening off the pitch and I dare say that one or two of them would be out there with us on 18th January if they weren't fortunate enough to be playing for West Ham United. When the whistle goes, we will always be behind the team and willing them to win - always have been always will be.

It's great to see so many in favour of this protest including most recently WHUISA. This is very welcome news and as each day passes more and more fans are offering their support. I appreciate that there are some fans with reservations about the efficacy of protesting but I can only say the following: Should we just sit back and do nothing as our club is destroyed on our watch?

This is happening right now before our eyes. Even if I felt we had no chance of succeeding I would still stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are willing to at least try. I couldn't help but feel a sense of duty to support my fellow supporters, if only so that in years to come I could say "I knew there was a problem and I did something about it." I would urge everyone, who feels/knows deep down that Gold, Sullivan and Brady cannot be allowed to go unchallenged in the way they have run our club, to support this protest.

Only if we stand together do we have a chance of getting our club back. Roll on the 18th of January.

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