Well renowned West Ham insiders Claret and Hugh have suggested three quick simple fixes for the board to get the fans back onside.
It is an unusual move from the website, considering their well-known strong ties to David Sullivan, and it is widely believed that they are the 71-year-old’s mouthpiece.
They did deny this to some extent, however, claiming on Twitter that they are not ‘massively connected’ to the board any more than any other so-called ‘insiders’:
No more massively connected than many others. I don’t go out socially tho there are some who do
— Claret and Hugh (@ClaretandH) January 26, 2020
Whether that is true or not, there are problems at West Ham that cannot be denied. The players are underperforming, and there is a strong disconnect between the board and the fans.
Fan unrest at boiling point
The Hammers fans are sick and tired with what they perceive to be a lengthy list of unfulfilled promises.
There have been numerous protests against the board already and the vast majority of the London Stadium faithful want the duo to sell up as soon as possible.
The really frustrating thing about David Sullivan and David Gold is that they do things that really don’t help themselves. For instance, charging up to £700 to be a match-day mascot (The Telegraph) is quite frankly ludicrous.
With just a few simple changes, perhaps the board might be able to get the fans back on side. They need to work with the people who keep the club alive, not against them.
So what can be done?
Claret and Hugh detailed a simple three-point plan that might make inroads to doing just that:
“Maybe can they start small as a peace offering and build proving actions speak louder than words. An announcement to make all West Ham match day mascots free of charge would be a first step and cost the club very little in terms of overall revenue, announcing a date for free democratic elections for the Official Supporters’ Board (OSB) would be another quick win. Finally for the Vice Chairman to announce she is giving up her football Sun Column. These three things would not be enough to stop the protest at the Southampton but would be somewhere to start rebuilding trust and fan engagement.”
And Claret and Hugh could not be more spot on. Things will not change overnight, but the board need to start doing things that prove they have the fans’ interest at heart. Something that was alluded to by Henry Winter in his recent column for The Times.
And the sooner they start making little changes like the ones suggested by C&H, the sooner the club can move forward.