This morning Hammers United, by way of invitation, attended a virtual meeting hosted by the club in conjunction with the FSA where we were part of preliminary discussions around the safe return of supporters to the London Stadium. We were pleased to attend on your behalf and to finally be recognised as the voice of our 13,312 members, positioning your views and numerous concerns.
These discussions were, by their very nature, exploratory and will be rapidly evolving as football in general looks to bring fans back to the game. We can assure all our members that your interests will be truly represented as these discussions progress in line with the government issued ‘Return to Competition – Safe Return of Spectator Guidelines’ (RTCSRS – click here if you fancy a read) and with the support of the FSA.
At this time, besides informing you that talks have begun and reaffirming that your concerns and best interests are at the forefront of what we do, there really is little more to add.
What is very clear is that in a world which it is still in the midst of a global pandemic, at a time when supporter confidence and experience as long-suffering Hammers fans is at an all-time low under the current ownership of our club, there is a long and tough road ahead.
After another terribly disappointing campaign and now that our premiership status is secured, just like in the rest of modern society, there is a huge amount of work to be undertaken by the club. West Ham United and its business partners must understand this in order to balance commercial goals against moral obligations and deliver an inclusive spectacle that is worthy of the beautiful game and it’s greatest fans.
We are encouraged by the opportunity taken by the club to finally engage with us as an independent supporters’ group and would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued efforts which have allowed us to reach this milestone. You are Hammers United, and it is your support that has raised our profile and highlighted that change is needed.
We hope that today’s meeting is another step taken towards achieving that end.
Your committee and I couldn’t be prouder seeing the strength and passion of your support on display, outside the stadium on matchdays, at away games, in the bars and pubs, at the train and tube stations, on-line, socially and on our demonstrations, showing the watching world how much we all love and care about our great football club, and the need for change there.
We may not be able to safely return to watch our beloved Irons just yet, and we know many amongst our rank and file were frustrated to the point of despair about the matchday experiences prior to the lockdown. . . but rest assured that we will remain tirelessly working on these and many other issues on your behalf.
We are and remain Hammers. . . . United.
Stephen “Tross” Cross