West Ham United take on Burnley this weekend, almost 18 months to the day since the angry protests which gave this fixture meaning.

Deeply unhappy with a host of broken promises and pledges over their move from Upton Park to the London Stadium, West Ham fans made their feelings known that day.

Some even took to the pitch. One was rugby tackled to the ground by captain Mark Noble.

It was a dark day for West Ham United. But it seemed to have achieved its purpose, to force change.

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Angry protests forced change

Unpopular owners David Sullivan and David Gold retreated from the limelight.

They appointed a manager with great pedigree in Manuel Pellegrini. And they finally spent the kind of money they had pledged to upon leaving West Ham’s beloved Boleyn Ground by handing the Chilean a £90million net transfer kitty.

Sullivan and Gold even appointed a director of football in Mario Husillos to oversee recruitment.

Efforts were made to improve the matchday experience for supporters at their new home, which was dubbed soulless by so many.

The changes were welcome, much-needed and worked – for a time at least.

But in reality they were only a sticking plaster on a gaping wound.

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Plaster on a gaping wound

And now, with West Ham in freefall after a paltry £25million net spend in the two windows since, the resentment between supporters and owners is bubbling to the surface again.

 

Forums, social media, radio phone-ins and West Ham fan sites have been awash with fierce criticism of Sullivan and Gold.

Supporter groups continue to take issue with the duo for a multitude of reasons.

Seeing the beloved East Ham Working Men’s Club disappear from the East London skyline was another dagger to the heart for fans this week.

And given it is directly linked with the decision to leave Upton Park, shots have once again been fired at the owners – read full story here.

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Pellegrini in the spotlight but owners are the problem

Pellegrini has taken a lot of flak of late, and rightly so. His tactics and team selection have been questionable.

But most West Ham fans are in agreement that the problems start and end with the owners.

There is a growing sense of deja vu at West Ham. And the irony that Burnley are next up – albeit away from home – is not lost on fans.

A heavy defeat like that fateful day in March 2018 and another uprising against the board may not be far away.

Win at a difficult away ground and suddenly optimism will flood across the fanbase again.

Such is the life of a West Ham fan. One thing is for sure, it is certainly never dull.

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