Maybe some of you could know me already a little bit.
I’m so sorry for some that are still living in the middle-age, hates the name of Joan of Ark and who have forgotten that we were brother in arms in all the last wars, I’m a froggy, a French citizen.
Be reassured I just start with that not to argue, not to put on paper that I’m proud to be French.
First reason for that is that even if I’m not ashamed about my birth place, I’m considering myself more as a world citizen than anything else. If I would I would more insist on my Italian origins than on the French education I received.
Second and last reason for that is explaining that I’m not one of the 250000 French living in London but a pure foreigner obliged to watch most of the games on TV or via Stream and of course, speaking English maybe better than common French but for sure not as fluently I would like.
Those will be perfect excuses if articles are not in perfect wording.
For sure I’m not a Cockney-born guy. I’ve not spent hours as a kid playing in the priory park on Grangewood street. I’ve not grown in a house in one of those parallel streets between Barking Road and Central Park Road.
Anyway I’ve to say that I’ve experienced in those last seasons some of the most emotional moments in stadium with West Ham and I’m really attached to the club and to its stadium by now. Ok my first time at Upton Park is really recent as it was in April 2010 but I’m now about to compare with some other places and the magic is in East London, not anywhere else. I’ve had the opportunity to go in most of the big stadiums in France, some in Italy and Germany and I’m going to tell you how much I love England for the football attendance.
Two weeks ago I experienced for the first time the Olympic stadium in Rome. I used to go to Florence and Milan, but not yet in the Italian capital. First thing to know is that Italian stadium for serie A games looks empty. Only around 35000 people were therefore the game with Genoa, with As Roma standing in the top 7 of the table. Shame that with only 2 clubs for a region of around 4 millions citizens, you cannot have more people in the stadium than in our Boleyn.
Second of all, in those stadiums you have ultras, or kops. But the rest of the stadium does not participate really to songs or support. Of course Italian people are expressing satisfaction or disappointment but nothing is really organised on large dimension to provide a regular noise. Another point, football is a white thing in Italy. There are a lot of talks about racism in English football but be convinced that the situation is much more positive on that point in the UK than in southern countries.
Atmosphere in English stadiums is much more emotional than anywhere excepted Germany where it is more or less the same. Stadium are full of people, the Boleyn is coloured of Claret and Blue. People are singing the Bubbles. People are supporting the team
The Boleyn is special, popular, historically charged of idols that remains in the heart of people, closed to the pitch in order to provide our energy to players. Nothing can be compared to the experience of being in such place, especially for people who can attend to such games only 2 or 3 times a season.
My comparison with the Olympic Stadium of Rome is not done without any idea in mind. West Ham United will probably, surely, move to the Stratford Olympic Park. My trip to the As Roma game has completed the multiple times I’ve attended to a game in Paris in the Stade de France. The Athletic running track is causing really an impact on the attitude of the people present and the sound of chants. David Gold is always insisting on the fact that retractable seating is the condition of he agreement much more than the financial talks.
I would add a major point, Ticket pricing, Travelling fans from Suffolk, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Paris, Rome, Milan (for our Martelli d’Italia), Germany or Belgium should be organised in order to have more than 35000 attendees in order to avoid to move from a place where everybody is behind the team to a very expensive empty Wigan like place.
West Ham United is at a crucial stage where it could move to a higher level for a long time. Let’s trust the Board and our owners in this as they’ve already shown us that they were able to assume financially their projects for the club