Thursday, January 23, 2014

When Shadows Creep

As a kid, going to Upton Park was something I couldn't do as much as I wanted because my dad was a shiftworker (fireman), but when we did get there, you knew that it was a place that had the most amazing sense of history to be inside, you knew that history and pride was emanating from every corner. The banter between fellow supporters was always sharp and funny, mostly we would joke about a loss or someone's bad form, BUT we did it with humor and with a self deprecating irony.

Now that humor has started to slip away, the bad feelings and mood have worsened, and it's because there seems to be people that are trying to destroy the old fashioned value of the club simply to propel it into a bigger corporate cash cow. The average fan was torn about the Olympic Sadium move, most want to believe that it will be a change to the club's fortune and that it will attract more fans and more revenue.

The owners have treated the club like they are fattening a cow for market, it will move to a polished and corporate charged stadium that will attract sponsors and potential naming rights. With that we will attract investors and become a bigger club that will lose some of its identity and a feel of selling your soul to the devil.

There are people in charge that just don't seem to care about the average person that spends a weeks wages to take his family to football. It's a sad fact that small "family" feel businesses are being pushed into corporate identities and West Ham is no different.

I will continue to support West Ham from my home in New York, with my NYC Hammers family that are as passionate about the club as someone that was born there, and whenever I go to the hallowed ground of Upton Park.

For some supporting West Ham is a birthright, for others it was about following a particular player, and for the others they chose to support a team that had history, class, and pride, and weren't one of the "corporate clubs." I hope that continues to be the way we attract new fans, but within our new corporate culture I somehow doubt that will be the case for much longer.

Guest post by Peter Taylor

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