The green greed and the long grass of a summer’s home!

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The green greed and the long grass of a summer’s home! Published 10/04/18 on Irons United

Whilst the masses were hopeful and transfixed during the battle at Stamford Bridge, there were others that would consider the game a write off before the first whistle blew. Of course the fate of the club did not rest upon this solitary result, however there was crucial value in amassing any amount of points. The performance in itself was of little importance, however in terms of gaining confidence for the next few games, it may yet prove vital.

The owners are hopeful just as the fans are, however their aspirations for club prosperity are overshadowed by their financial ambitions and profiteering which may not be of any use for the future stability of the club.

There are many divisions within the West Ham fanbase but there are those who would just wish to avoid relegation so that they can enjoy the Premier League status…and there are those who would demand greater ambition to challenge for higher places. Just about enough is definitely not good enough anymore, nor should it ever be!

The challenging Championship sides view the likes of West Ham with envious eyes…not because of a sense of ambition or even a template to reproduce, but rather because they see a club that has faltered and has barely remained in the show that is laced with gold, but they would also consider themselves as equals in terms of quality…perhaps they have a point!

The West Ham board fear nothing more than relegation, whilst the fear for many fans is the continued occupation of the club by rogues in horrible clothes. One cannot underestimate the huge financial loss that relegation would mean, not only in terms of television revenue steams but also from attendance figures too. The bottom line of the club would be affected and it would require a massive investment to recover the issue…and investment that may not be so forthcoming given the financial debt the club already carries.

The fans would scream for the owners to write off the existing debts, but the owners would ‘lose’ too much money on their investment. It’s a merry-go-round, it’s a circus and it’s an absolute financial farce! Without the revenue streams, there would be less to invest and the obligatory fire sale would ensue. Players’ wages would be severely cut and certainly overpriced and overpaid bit part players would be shed from the ranks…which in itself may not be a bad thing.

Over the last couple of seasons, West Ham have struggled to bring players into the squad, certainly those on the manager’s hit list…and many other clubs have shied away from dealing with  the dysfunctional and amateur-hour Hammers, which has led to paying players highly inflated wages merely to entice them to play. This is not good business on any level, but certainly for players that do not feature enough or have not made an impact that most would have hoped for.

David Moyes implied that decent players would not want to play for the club if the fan protests and dissension continues…Oh how off base and colour was he! The reason players do not want to come to West Ham is that the board have not been willing to pay anywhere near the prices being asked for…even low balling which alienated themselves from the selling parties.

The club have ignored fan’s concerns for over two years and only when the spectre of relegation became a distinct possibility and even probability, then they decided to sit up, take note and get concerned. The reason the club is in the situation it is in right now, in terms of league position and the quality of performances over the last two seasons, is because the owners failed to recognise the fragility within the system and failed miserably to support the managers and reinvest in the squad…preferring to make best on profit potential from their investment.

Premier League standings will hide all ills from the wider footballing world because of the financial rewards that are on offer, however if they were to scratch beneath the surface of most teams they would note that most clubs are operating on very narrow margins…and the balance can be upset by the slightest wrong move.

Whilst the owners’s actions composed the song to the marches and protests, they have in some ways been able to keep the financial hellfire away from the doors because of operating at vastly reduced costs within a rented stadium. Fans may not like the stadium, may be incensed by actions of stewards or the general atmosphere and layout, however because the operating costs of the stadium are not West Ham’s burden, then that relieves the fiscal stress on the club…even if they become relegated this season or in the future.

However, whilst that is a positive, it is being overridden by the negativity of the last two seasons and the lack of proper investment. One would think that business owners would recognise the necessity to reinvest into their business, however that has not happened leading to many fans to conclude that they are merely asset stripping the club and waiting for a big payday when they eventually offload it to another fat cat with even less scruples.

Whilst the manager and the team are still in the middle of a battle to gain points and possibly secure gainful employment for next season, the club should be looking to the summer to make the many corrections that are required that will build a better future for all concerned. The owners will be scrutinised now from all fan quarters but also from within the footballing world and the media houses too, to see how they react and what structures they put in place to attempt to recover the situation. Win, lose or draw…things must change!

The fans have suffered from an unrelenting hay fever that has lasted too long and would look to the club to provide the antihistamine to calm all panic and pains. However as long as the owners prioritise the greed of the green and continue to walk in the long grass of a summer’s home, then the fans will have to suffer much longer as the club slowly dies from the inside.


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