A giant West Ham United crest which used to adorn Upton Park looks set to be sold overseas after the club’s owners refused the chance to buy it back.
The historic badge, which hung on the side of the Bobby Moore stand at West Ham’s beloved Upton Park until it was demolished in 2016, was recently discovered mothballing in storage in Greenhithe, Dartford.
When it emerged its owner was willing to sell the crest for £8,750, West Ham fan group Hammers United implored co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to do right by the club’s history and buy it back.
Sullivan and Gold reject chance to buy back historic West Ham crest for just £9k
But Hammers United has exclusively revealed to Hammers News that the duo have rejected the chance to buy it back. Despite it being available for a paltry £9,000 including delivery.
That’s despite a large majority of supporters making it clear to the owners that the London Stadium does not feel like West Ham’s home.
Hammers United alerted Sullivan and Gold to the situation in a letter to the club earlier this month – read the full story here.
But West Ham’s owners have now responded making it clear they do not intend to buy it back.
Instead the crest looks set to be sold to an overseas bidder and lost to the club’s heritage forever.
“We recently published an open letter, expressing our excitement at the discovery of this fantastic part of our heritage,” Hammers United told Hammers News.
“We immediately wrote to West Ham United to bring this to their attention.
Owners claim ‘practical reasons’ prevented West Ham from bringing famous old badge with them to the LS
“The club have now confirmed they were not interested in purchasing the crest. They state: ‘For practical reasons it was not possible to bring extra-large decorative items as part of the move five years ago’.
“They seem confused as to whether the crest was removed for the stadium move or some years earlier. We have been informed that it became the property of the demolition company; nevertheless, our owners do not want to bring it back to our club.
“Their response went on to remind us that they: ‘Continue to celebrate the history and heritage of West Ham United in many ways’.
“We emailed the club again on Monday 15th March, asking them to clarify that they would have no interest in acquiring the crest at any point in the future. To date we have had no reply. As such we can only assume it is not something they wish to acquire.
“Frankly, we feel let down.
“Our recent survey showed that 66% of all supporters believed our heritage was not suitably represented at The London Stadium. This was a fantastic opportunity for the club to celebrate our unique history. It is safe to say this news has disappointed the Hammers United Committee terribly.
“Hammers United cannot stand by and see a part of our history end up on the scrap heap. We have had positive talks with The West Ham United Supporters Club who have been extremely helpful and share our view that we must do everything to save our heritage wherever possible. They were supportive of exploring whether it would be possible to attach it to the old Supporters Club building immediately behind where the old Bobby Moore stand stood.
“We started negotiations on Thursday 18th March towards buying it on behalf of the club and supporters. The owner explained that whilst he had received a better offer from overseas, he understood the strong emotional ties the plaque had to West Ham United supporters and would sell to Hammers United for the lesser price of £8,750.
Giant badge now looks set to be lost to overseas buyer unless owners have a change of heart
“Should we purchase, there would also be removal expenses and a contractor would be needed to mount it. Therefore, we would need to raise in excess of £9,000; most of which would need to be obtained through donations from West Ham supporters.
“The Hammers United Committee discussed this on Friday March 19th. Regretfully, we decided that in the current difficult and financially challenged times it simply wasn’t right to ask this of the supporters. (Donations amounting to) £9,000 plus is just too much (to ask).
“It was with great sadness that we informed the owner of our decision on Friday evening. It seems that unless there is late intervention from West Ham United, the plaque is destined to go overseas.
“This was a marvellous opportunity to restore part of our great heritage and history and we can only hope that West Ham United who have the financial capability to purchase it, reconsider.
Another huge PR own goal for Sullivan and Gold?
“It’s no surprise that large sections of our fanbase continue to campaign for a change of ownership at the club. Whilst we are all thoroughly enjoying the football, our recent survey indicates that only six per cent of supporters feel positive about the running of all other aspects of the club. Please join us as we campaign for a better and happier West Ham for all our supporters. Join Hammers United here.
“Long Live West Ham.”
The snub looks set to be another massive PR own goal for Sullivan and Gold.
Like the Boleyn Gates in the club shop, the badge could have been displayed in or around the London Stadium.
The crest is part of West Ham’s rich history. It surely had a place somewhere in the club’s cavernous new ground. Particularly as it has been at the heart of frosty relations between supporters and the unpopular owners.
Instead it looks set to end up shipped overseas as some sort of collector’s trophy.
Unless of course Sullivan and Gold have a change of heart before it is too late.