Thursday, 4 February 2016


Still don't know what I was waiting' for, And my time was running' wild
A million dead end streets and, Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet, So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse of, How the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes, Don't want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes,Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes, Just gonna have to be a different ma


Bowies starting Lyrics to Changes perhaps point out to not only the club, but myself as well.
Football is changing, no, actually football has changed whether for the better is a different argument but for those of us over 40 we possibly spend too long arguing its not for the better. As football has changed/modernised so to survive have the clubs, and none more so than those at the top, and West Ham is a top team so it has to change and modernise and conform if it wants to stay a top team.

The changes though for some are hard to take, and for me, feel like a bitter pill to swallow, everything now seems more about pushing out the Brand rather than just running a football club. The badge change is perfect example of Brand taking over the football thinking. The removal of the castle as it symbolised the old club, the Boleyn ground soon to be no more, the addition of the word London, not contentious for many, but for those like me it is another nail in the coffin of the Old West Ham. The club in its presentation before the decision was rubberstamped by the fans said that a majority of overseas football fans had failed to say where west ham was by looking at its badge and its name. Basically they didn’t realise West Ham was a London Club, for a marketing guru like Brady, that would alarm her. London is apparently already a top brand when used in marketing, associate yourself with London and the fans abroad may suddenly decide, West Ham is the team to support. To an middle age East Ender who don’t even holiday abroad as he thinks this country has plenty to offer, that is barmy, to change the clubs Badge just to identify itself to fans who have no connection with the area of London the club is supposed to represent.

Problem is nowadays the foreign money can be bigger than the income raised from the match attending support, just look at the next Foreign TV contract for the premier league and the income each of the 20 Shareholders of the Premier league gets to see why clubs now are wanting to project themselves abroad. Football is big business and I have to change with it, or it will leave me behind.

The club no longer is here to represent the local area, it represents anyone from anywhere, fans now come from far and wide, and with the advent of the internet you can now watch every hammers game round the world, instead of fanzines like this being a staple of the supporter its the chat forums where fans around the world can chat daily. At first I struggled with this concept, and at times I still do, mainly as reading Germans bleat on about Charlton fans complaining about the OS Deal just make me bang my head against a wall and scream, WTF has it got to do with you, but the mad thing is with this new Media explosion of the last 10 years ive made so many new friends, from the Moore than just a podcast gang or the Surrey Mockney Hammers as I like to call them to Dave from New York who writes the match reports on Westhamtillidie web site.
Years ago the very thought of someone from New York watching the game on TV being able to write a match report would have had me screaming, the worlds gone mad, but I’ve changed, I actually enjoys Dave’s reports, thing is, on TV you get to see everything so you can comment with authority, you don’t have to be at the game. See, just there, im embracing change, many may not believe it but its true, thing is I have to change I realise that now otherwise the hatred will eat you up. It seems ive spent the past 5 years arguing with the club over this over that, having a tainted love affair. There is a phrase that there is a thin line between love and hate and it was if that line was close to being crossed, almost like a couple in throws of breaking up creating arguments just for the sake of it to hasten their eventual Divorce. Luckily though ive realised that nothing becomes of the constant haranguing, the club has changed, it will never be what I thought it was while I won’t just sit back and enjoy the ride, with the new dawn arriving next season I want to enjoy the football, as that is after all what we are about, Football.

Don’t get me wrong though, I will never accept the move is right for the club, everything they want to achieve they could of achieved at the Boleyn, but the ground will change in August and unless I want to be consumed by hatred for those that run the club I have to change.
It may take time but change I will.

Time may change me, but I can’t change time.

A few things from the recent SAB meeting that took place at the ground.
The club have only not taken the full away ticket allocation only once, against Swansea, and that was because it was the weekend before Christmas and generally in the past its not the best attended fixture. Many have moaned about why the club only took 3,000 off Liverpool for Saturdays cup game, but after STH priority points they had only sold 1,500 add to the fact we sent back 500 tickets for the August game and the late KO leaving returning by train virtually un-doable it seems the club got that right.
Ive complained recently of High match day ticket prices and I got an explanation on why. It seems it stems from the fact that this season we have 5,000 more season ticket holders than last, with STH getting discounted game by game price that would leave a drop in match day income, thus to rebalance the income they need to raise it from match day ticket sales. Like it or not, that is the clubs take on it.
The club can move the statue to Stratford, but they failed to say the Newham have only agreed to that as long as it is replaced, luckily I knew this and pointed it out to them, in fact I said why not leave Bobby is situ and put a new statue at the stadium, so watch this space.
For long time Disabled fans were treated differently from the general fans and not always for the better, well it seems they have in migrating the Disabled fans treated them exactly the same way as general STH, and that is disgracefully and that was the Disabled fans take on it not mine.
Standing will not be permitted at the OS and if someone stands in front of you, tell a steward who has to deal with it, and lastly, no running on the pitch on the last game of the season V Swansea though it seems that could be Man United as if either of us make the FA cup semi’s the our game will need to be played later, except there may not be enough time to arrange before the official Boleyn farewell, in which case all festivities for Swansea will move to the United game.
One other thing, there are 400 ex hammers still alive and the club hope that by end of the season everyone would have been invited to a game, this im pleased with as I did ask of this at a farewell Boleyn SAB meeting a couple of years ago.
The club listening to fans, now that is a good change.