Paul and George went to meet the club for a get to know you session with the club on Wednesday afternoon. This meeting was originally scheduled for 01/03 and then 26/04 but events conspired against both parties for these dates. It was relaxed and friendly, lasted for 90 minutes and there was a lot we agreed on but a few things we didn’t.
It was all very informal, no minutes were taken. They wanted to know what we were about and we wanted to see how they felt about us.
Interim Joint Chair Paul and Committee member George were there from the WHUISA side. West Ham had Tara Warren (Marketing Director), Jake Heath (Supporter Liaison Officer), Max Fitzgerald (Head of Media Relations) & Dan Francis (Senior Copywriter).
They welcome our involvement and we are developing contacts at all levels at the club. While they say the all supporters are welcome to contact Jake directly, it’s clear that our involvement will help with getting issues resolved. We’re looking to see how that pans out over the summer.
We’ve been involved with a few cases now including the Club Cash debacle, some ticketing and banning issues. We’re also closely aligned with the National Football Supporters Federation (FSF) who are able to provide brilliant support if things get really difficult / legal.
The club still see the SAB as the primary forum for supporter feedback. They will only give us one representative on the board which we think is disappointing considering we have over 700 members. The next SAB meeting will be on Wednesday 24th May.
Lots of people have problems with the SAB and we think it is far from perfect but we feel we have to be involved if asked. If you have any issues you would like us to raise at the meeting next Wednesday get in touch. If you are a WHUISA member and are attending as an SAB member or know someone who is, do let us know.
This is the time, after our first season at the new stadium, for you to send us specific points about the stadium, stewarding, transport and the match day experience. The key is not just to raise your point but give your alternative / resolution. They have promised to listen to the SAB so this is the chance to put that to the test.
The club acknowledged the current make up is less than perfect but say next season will be more representative and include various other large supporter groups. They talked about disability, corporate and LGBT groups, beyond that, we’ll see. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this.
We feel a review of the SAB is necessary with more focussed representatives as well as more regular meetings and feedback given. The minutes of the SAB in January and one follow up post on the clubs official website in March with only 2 meetings a season, one of them in the close season, is too infrequent.
We have asked to be involved with police meetings before high profile games like Spurs. It means that we can give our input but also feedback to our members. We were very well received in November last year at the Chelsea EFL post-match FSF led meeting with the Met, West Ham and stadium operators. The club are saying that they will choose people to represent fans from the SAB. We don’t think that’s great from a true representation of the fans view and are pushing on several levels to be specifically included in the future.
Supporters with disabilities
We know we have a few members with disabilities and you may find this interesting. The club says that it has a disabled SAB (DSAB) and that it represents both people who use wheelchairs and ambulant disabled supporters. This was new information to us. Is anyone on here a member or know anyone who is? A google search has come up with this, did anyone join?
Has anyone been consulted by this group or been contacted by the club with regards to this ? We made the point that many people consider themselves to have disability but haven’t registered with the club. At the Boleyn they just got on with it. If you have any disability we’d really like to hear from you on how you feel the London Stadium has worked out this season as well as what can be improved upon.
Twitter & WHUISA membership
Just a reminder that @WHUISA2017 will be the only twitter account soon. Please follow if you want to keep updated with WHUISA news. Social media followers are important for all sorts of reasons
Also, if you know anyone who would is a Hammer but not a member of WHUISA, give them a nudge, the more members we have, the more the club will listen to us. http://www.whuisa.org/join-whuisa/
Always West Ham
WHUISA interim committee.