West Ham United Independent Supporters Association (WHUISA) says it won’t be joining the club’s new Supporters board due to lack of transparency, democracy and the restrictions the club is imposing on its members.
West Ham announced they will be replacing the much derided Supporters’ Advisory Board (SAB) for this season with a new “West Ham United Supporters Board” (WHUSB).
The committee of WHUISA have decided they won’t be applying for a place on the new body.
When West Ham announced the decision to abolish the discredited and unpopular SAB they invited views and suggested the new body will be more democratic and transparent.
WHUISA entered into the spirit of things on behalf of our 4,500 members and contributed several ideas to make the new body more representative of the fan base attending the London Stadium.
The club didn’t reply and despite representations and offers to meet from National Fan Organisations and WHUISA, the club went ahead with a model that is barely changed from the previous regime.
The club decided to make a change in the aftermath of the protests during the Burnley Premier league match in March. However with the appointment of a new manager and a few players added to the squad they seem to believe it’s business as usual.
With the decision to appoint members to the WHUSB rather than hold elections to positions, membership of the new group will be dependent of the patronage of the board. It can be neither open, transparent nor frank. It is doomed to failure.
Other issues include.
· Effectively having to agree to non-disclosure of any matters discussed unless approved by the club management
· Disproportionate weighting towards Bondholders/Corporate supporters.
· No trust from vast majority of supporters.
WHUSIA chairman John Ratomski said “Einstein said ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’ and by that definition, this proposal is insane”.
“The WHUSB is no different to the discredited SAB, an organisation which was widely loathed by the majority of supporters.”
“We call on Karren Brady and the board to meet with WHUISA, the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct to come up with a plan that is democratic, transparent and representative.”
“The new WHUSB will do nothing to mend the fractured relationship between the fans and those that run the club”
For more details contact WHUISA Chairman John Ratomski by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHUISA is an independent supporters group affiliated to the Football Supporters Federation.