The Polish knew about all solidarity didn’t they? Published 28/03/18 on Moore Than Just A Club
In a bygone era, when an independent Polish trade union emerged from beneath an oppressive and suppressive communist regime, it then morphed into a political movement…led by Lech Walesa which ultimately led to quantum changes within the Polish political landscape.
Some might think that the West Ham fans have been living under a similar footballing regime for too long and now it is time for a change. A change in the system, the manner and an ousting of those rulers who would act with self serving practices that leaves the club vulnerable and the fans disconnected from the team and the affairs of the Hammers’ state.
“Obviously people want social calm, but if you do not let clever and ingenious people to participate, obviously there must be some dormant volcano that will erupt, sooner or later.” – Lech Walesa
There is no doubt that a groundswell of opinion has emerged over the last two years that would question the motives and actions of David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady. Being fuelled by their apparent disregard for the feelings and emotions of fans who mourned the loss of the former home at Upton Park and who now were occupying a ‘soulless bowl’ in which nobody feels really comfortable in.
Whilst in the last week, it has emerged that the club have been fighting the stadium owners on various issues without success, and the Mayor of London himself has been taking a closer look at the stadium affairs too, the club have also been fighting against their own fans and nothing they do would appear to appease any demanding advances from inquisitive minds and vitriolic aspirations.
The game against Burnley descended into chaos in the second half and the team simply capitulated in the shadow of the horror show…well horrific for the board perhaps but for others it was an act of defiance and shout for freedom! The fans that ran onto the pitch, those that reputedly threw coins at the director’s box were given lifetime bans, whilst others who were caught, on CCTV, fighting will probably suffer the same fate. The club had to be seen, in the eyes of the FA and the media, to take swift and decisive action, lay down the marker and deter any future protestations…however in doing so they have potentially alienated a large percentage of the fan base even further.
Whatever they do now…it is divisive for the fans and for the team of players who are torn between sympathy for those perceived devils who would protest and those Beelzebubs in the boardroom. These actions from all quarters are tearing the club apart from its foundations with little on the horizon that would offer hope of a resolution.
The board are stuck between their corporate responsibilities and the wishes of the fans. They may now feel they have made mistakes, but apologies and rectifications have just come too late now. So all might well be asking, “What now?”
Where does the club go from here and how can it unite for the sake of itself…if not permanently, then merely a stay of execution until the season ends? The manager and team must pull together now and largely ignore what is going on in the stands and within the corridors of power. They must gel as a unit, play to their strengths and take the fight to whomever is the opponent of the day. The manner of victory is not important anymore…triumph be its own master and points be the spoils of war.
There have been calls from every corner for the fans to unite in support of the team for the upcoming games. Many might feel aggrieved that their support has ever been in question, whilst others would merely act upon a rallying call. These are not times to look left and right at fellow fans…these are times to look dead ahead, shout and be clear, urge and cheer, raise glasses to bolster courage to never fear.
Whether ably assisted by social media opinion hunters or self imposed war mongers…the fact remains that the fanbase has become increasingly fractious, both with the club and owners…the players and with itself too. Nobody is claiming victory and nobody is giving up their fight…but in the name of a few more games the conjoining aim of every fan is to help support the team to pull themselves out of this mess they have got themselves into.
This is not a slight on personal or group endeavour and although there is much confusion that lurks amongst some fans about the directions of protestations…there is a dream that all fans yearn to keep alive. Survival is the only game in town now and the Polish knew all about it didn’t they? They too had many internal hurdles to overcome, but just as the West Ham faithful face similar internal hurdles, there can be solace in knowing there can only be one immediate action…Solidarity…Isn’t It?