The chairman of West Ham fan group Hammers United has spoken exclusively to Hammers News ahead of today’s protest against the club’s owners.

David Sullivan and David Gold bring up 10 years at the West Ham helm on Sunday.

But instead of a party, it will be marked by a protest from a large group of West Ham fans ahead of today’s crunch home game against Everton at the London Stadium.

West Ham go into the game 16th in the Premier League table, just one point off the relegation zone.

They do so with David Moyes in charge for a second time. While supporters respect the job Moyes did first time around, many feel the appointment was typical of the Sullivan and Gold era; cheap and unambitious.

Of course some West Ham fans appreciate the job Sullivan and Gold – and even vice-chairman Karren Brady – have done during their time in East London.

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Protest not party to mark decade under owners

Particularly given West Ham’s perilous financial state when they first arrived in January 2010 after the doomed Icelandic ownership.

But you will be hard pressed to find many of those among the members of Hammers United.

The fan group was set up to try and ‘improve things for all West Ham Supporters young and old’.

With over 8,000 members and counting the group of disaffected Hammers fans are pushing to be recognised by and engage with the club’s unpopular owners.

It is a case of deja vu for West Ham boss David Moyes on his return to the club.

A few months after taking over in his first spell Moyes’s side saw their 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Burnley spark fan protests which spilled onto the London Stadium pitch.

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Bubbles speaks out about what Hammers United is aiming to achieve

Lifelong West Ham fan Paul Colborne – aka Bubbles – became the poster boy for the uprising as he planted a corner flag in the centre of the pitch that day.

Some fans disagreed with the protests spilling onto the pitch. But for Colborne it was action he felt he had to take – and a sacrifice he had to make – to get a message across.

Now as chairman of Hammers United, Colborne is aiming to achieve that in a different way. The group has arranged a static protest outside the Aquatic Centre near the London Stadium on Saturday from 1pm until 2pm.

Some supporters feel a protest could breed negativity which might in turn jeopardise the team’s battle against relegation.

But West Ham fans are a fiercely loyal bunch. And they will be raucously behind their team come kick-off no matter where they stand over Sullivan and Gold.

Colborne joined Hammers News for an exclusive chat about Hammers United, the protest and what he hopes it will achieve.

“We started in March and already have nearly 8,000 members,” Colborne told Hammers News highlighting the strength of feeling among a section of supporters.
 
“We have a committee of nine. I am the chairman, joint secretaries are Lee Rogers and Steven Cross. We are totally democratic and are fully affiliated to the Football Supporters Association. The only other West Ham groups which are full affiliates are WHUISA and Pride of Irons.

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‘They are always at war with the fans and it really doesn’t need to be this way’

“On Saturday we hold a static protest by the Aquatic centre from 1 until 2pm. This is to hold the board accountable for their failed 10 point plan, as well as many other undelivered promises.
“It is also for change. We have circulated an open letter to the board which will be handed in after the protest.

Read Hammers United’s letter to the board in full here

“Short term we ask the club to meet for meaningful discussions.
“They are the only Premier League club that do not meet with their democratically elected fans groups. Instead they hide behind their puppet OSB. This is against all the football governance guidelines.
“Long term we want real change. There are so many things that could be made better for the fans but perhaps the all encompassing thing needed is a more enlightened approach from the board.
“They are always at war with the fans and it really doesn’t need to be this way.
“At this stage the protest is to hold them accountable and for change. If they remain entrenched in their position then the goalposts will have to move and the campaign will have to turn to GSB Out.”
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