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Men's Football Bubbles aren't the only thing fading and dying at West Ham's London Stadium

BE IT a new club in the fashion of FC United of Manchester or fans marching through the streets of east London, one thing is clear, West Ham supporters have come to the end of their tether.

As a sign in the crowd at the London Stadium over the weekend alluded, fans were sold a dream when they left Upton Park for pastures new.

Talk of challenging the top clubs in terms of signings and European football have yet to come to fruition.

Instead, Dimitri Payet was sold and that kind of marquee player has yet to have been signed to replace him.

Sure, Pablo Zabaletta, Patrice Evra and Joe Hart are now all wearing claret and blue. But these are three players past their peak and no matter how much some might try to paint Hart as England’s No 1, he is failing to hold onto that mantle like an incoming shot or cross.

Instead of a Carlo Ancelotti or Roberto Mancini in the dugout, the Hammers are currently riding with David Moyes. No offence to the Scot, but this isn’t the same manager as the one who left Everton for Manchester United as Alex Ferguson’s successor.

Had West Ham hired that guy, fans may have warmed to him a lot quicker. But Moyes is in a rut, which in truth made him the perfect candidate for West Ham.

The stadium switch never made sense. Sure, teams should reach for the stars and strive to get bigger and better. But from the beginning, moving postcode into a soulless building was destined to fail.

The money generated by ticket sales has been surpassed by the gigantic TV deals. It means whether you are playing in front of 60,000 or 20,000, you are able to attract the same quality of player.

And with rumours that the move is generating an extra £8 million, did Upton Park really die for this?

David Gold and Sullivan needed to stay at the Boleyn Ground. Expand that capacity or knock it down and build it up bigger and better than before.

Either way, it would have been the right move and Tottenham have come out the real winners.

Daniel Levy’s plan to knock down the Olympic Stadium and rebuild it into a football stadium ultimately handed West Ham the keys to the property in Stratford.

And now Spurs are rebuilding White Hart Lane. While we wait to see how the move pans out, there is a general acceptance from Spurs fans.

This was never the case among those supporting West Ham. And while the protests against the initial move were fairly mute, largely due to the lies fans were fed, in hindsight it is fairly certain there would have been a bigger backlash had decisions been taken out in the open.

But when it’s all said and done, rebuilding the Boleyn would have cost money. And what Gold and Sullivan ended up with was a free stadium and they dumped the costings on taxpayers.

The duo, alongside Karen Brady, are making awful decisions both on and off the pitch and fans have every right to protest.

Scenes on Saturday were ugly and a minority of people went too far. Running onto the pitch in the manner that they did, infighting among the crowd and hurling coins at the directors’ box should not be tolerated. 

If fans want to make a demonstration on the pitch then there is a safer way to go about it. Minutes before kick-off, half-time and at the end of the match are “better’ times to take to the pitch.

Leyton Orient fans managed to successfully protest on the pitch last season. It can be done.

While there will be those who disagree and argue that under no circumstances should fans make their way onto the playing field, how else are fans meant to be heard?

They had planned a protest prior to last weekend’s game which was called off amid allegations that the club’s board met with a violent hooligan group.

The club have denied this but it isn’t a good look regardless.

So when a peaceful solution is taken away, fans felt there was no other alternative than violence. Which is wrong. But in the heat of the moment, clearly all rationale went out the window.

And it wasn’t exactly difficult for fans to make their way towards the West Ham and Burnley players. 

Videos were released of stewards sleeping during the game. No-one is going to risk their safety for a part-time job on low wages. Perhaps stewarding at a football match should be a job with proper training. A union is must.

There are those who argue that fans and stewards at the Boleyn were friends. That relationships were built over decades and that those stewards were actually doing their jobs, as opposed to those over the weekend who clearly don’t know to control fans to a competent level. 

I’m sure it’s easy for Gold and Sullivan to believe that the team is theirs. Technically it is. But West Ham Football club are so much more than two old men.

And as a fan it must be extremely frustrating having your club’s owners undermine the manager on social media. If it isn’t them, their kids are confirming and denying news via Twitter.

The club ends up looking like a joke, with no cohesion at the top which is where it matters most.

You look overall at the direction the club is going in and it only points down. And that stadium in the Championship will look more out of place than Andy Carroll on the pitch.

Something needs to give. Gold and Sullivan need the club in the Premier League if they are to make any money when they eventually do sell the club.

The potential revenue the stadium will make is solely dependent on playing against the likes of the Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal.

In no disrespect to the Championship, ticket sales will drop dramatically if they do get relegated this season.

There is talk on social media of fans looking to start a new club, a phoenix club, if you will.

You only have to look at FC United of Manchester and take a glance at the newly formed Wimbledon to see that this can work.

A small stadium near where Upton Park was located could provide fans with a safe haven from what West Ham has become. A club which puts football back at the heart of fans, and not maximising the club’s bank balance.

Walking away from West Ham would clearly be extremely difficult, should this happen. Plus starting a club from scratch isn’t as easy as video games Fifa and Football Manager make it look.

Without a few wealthy fans or ex-players backing the idea, it would be difficult to get off the ground. 

Not to mention finding a stadium to ground-share and getting approval from the Football Association and League if they are to be recognised as a professional club and not just an amateur Sunday League side.

There is the Mile End Stadium, which is used by the Leyton Orient women’s side. That could be a short-term ground-share solution.

But are fans ready to completely turn their back on the Hammers?

West Ham supporters have attempted, and will continue, to stand up and fight for their club. But so far to no avail. 

They don’t expect to finish inside the top four. They don’t expect to be winning trophies every year.

At the bare minimum they want a club where those in charge actually care about the club and have the team’s best interests at heart.

Just like the Bubbles chant goes, West Ham’s dreams are truly fading and dying in the middle of an Olympic Stadium no-one wanted.


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