It was billed as a treat for bored West Ham United fans but has it ended up backfiring on the club’s owners?
Football is cancelled for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Premier League will not resume until April 30th at the earliest meaning West Ham’s battle for survival is on hold.
West Ham don’t look like being back in action by then, though. The date will be revised and looks likely to be pushed back further given the country has been put into lockdown.
It has made for a dearth in entertainment for bored fans whether you are West Ham or anyone else.
West Ham fill the football void with Farewell Boleyn re-run
So when West Ham announced they were going to broadcast the thrilling 3-2 Farewell Boleyn win over Manchester United it promised to be a real treat.
West Ham announced they would show the entire match as well as all the pre and post match ceremonies.
“The entire Premier League match between the Irons and the Red Devils, as well as the pre-match ceremony and post-match celebrations, will be available to watch once again right here on whufc.com and on the West Ham United YouTube channel,” it was announced on whufc.com.
But the stream ended up backfiring somewhat on under fire owners David Sullivan, David Gold and their vice-chairman Karren Brady.
Well intentioned idea backfires spectacularly on owners
West Ham fans have been protesting against the trio this season.
A growing number of fans want the board to leave. They have made their feelings clear in a series of protests. And another was planned for the Burnley game in April before the enforced break.
And fans turned on them again as the re-run of that emotional game reminded supporters what they are missing.
The nostalgia of being back at Upton Park, seeing the stadium in all its glory under the lights and hearing the famous roar proved to be galling for fans.
West Ham fan forums, group chats and social media exploded with supporters reminiscing and hitting out at the litany of broken promises which lured them away from their beloved home of 112 years for an athletics arena with a claret carpet.
Nostalgic fans filled with regret and anger
The comments on YouTube too were a series of digs at the board.
And it wasn’t helped by commentators quoting the various pledges made about the move which the club failed to deliver.
Supporters enjoyed the trip down memory lane. But all it served to do was intensify anti-board sentiment and regret over the stadium move.
It says everything that the match is a painful memory for fans despite the glorious send-off.
Fans were also disappointed West Ham did not show the pre or post match ceremonies as promised.
Whether the backlash had anything to do with that is not clear. After all statements from the likes of Mark Noble during the post match show where he praised the owners and declared “We aren’t run like a circus anymore” have not aged well.
But as many supporters pointed out, it was typical of the club not to deliver on its promises.