Election of WHUISA Committee 2018/2019 - Candidate Statements

Don Adams:

I have been an active supporter of the club since 1964 and a season ticket holder since 2002.

During the last year I have served on the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board as the representative of the over 65 age group.

In 2015 I took part in a five week programme jointly run by West Ham Foundation and a charity called Friends of the Elderly. I was nominated to run the groups Facebook page called Sporting Stories West Ham. I have since become a volunteer and attend all the five week programmes. I also run a monthly meeting for all those that have been on the programme based at East Ham Working Men’s Club called Any Old Irons.

I have recorded radio and television interviews as well as speaking at launch events at Reading, Brentwood and QPR.

As a member of the committee I would champion the older supporters and add my knowledge and experience to help the other committee members maintain a dialog with the club to the benefit of all the association members.

 

Malcolm Atkins:

I have been a fan for forty-five years. I have become a season ticket holder this summer. I occasionally blog for The West Ham Way website. I have been relatively positive about the board over the years, supporting the stadium move, albeit knowing I would greatly miss Upton Park. The Burnley game, which I was at was a real low for me, not so much the events but it seemed that fans were divided as never before which saddens me greatly. I believe the board must now deliver tangible evidence that they will invest in a team which justifies the stadium move.

The board needs to be more transparent about the stadium issues/future plans/legal battle. The Board, particularly Karen Brady need to be more aware of the damage done to our reputation through columns and statements. I believe protests should be carefully considered to ensure no impact on the team. For me this summer is the time the board simply must deliver. I believe to be effective the fans need to speak with one voice, I believe the democratic approach of WHUISA provides the opportunity to truly represent the view of the majority rather than the vocal minority.

 

Mark Gower:

Season ticket holder in the East Stand with his two daughters. Mark is a disabled supporter who has campaigned to improve accessibility at the London Stadium since the move. Mark is an academic, artist and designer.

 

Kevin Hind:

West Ham runs through my blood. I’m one of several current and former season ticket holders in my family. Unfortunately I don’t think the Board understands the fans and sees the club in purely corporate terms. I’m not satisfied with the new stadium partly because our tenancy is too restrictive and doesn’t enable us to make it a proper home. I want to join the WHUISA committee because action is better than just complaining.

I could bring the following skills as a committee member:

- I work in the digitisation industry and spend a lot of time working with complex technical specifications. With this and being a law graduate, I can help you navigate the complexities involved in (e.g.) trying to get a fan on the board.

- In order to get the best for our club we need to continue dialogue with the Board. This is better coming from people with cool heads, representing a group with a democratically-elected committee rather than a rent-a-mob. I’m an elected member of the local town council where I live and therefore I’m confident in speaking up for the people I represent as well as listening to alternative points of view.

 

Nigel Kahn:

"I am a lifelong West Ham supporter born in Plaistow, Newham. I am a season ticket holder at the London Stadium in the West stand Upper Block 217 and previously a season ticket holder in Sir Trevor Brooking Upper at the Boleyn Ground close to where I grew up and went to school.

I was a founding committee member of WHUISA in 2013 and a founding member of the West Ham United Supporters Advisory Board in May 2011. I was also a founding member of WHUSVIEW opposed to the move to the former Olympic Stadium.

I was a regular writer on Gary Firmager's OLAS fanzine and I am now a presenter on the West Ham podcast MooreThanJustAPodcast.co.uk. I am a keen historian on all things West Ham and have an established West Ham youtube channel in which I cover Hammers history and other topics about West Ham which need airing in the public domain.

My aim if elected is to make the WHUISA committee a broad church respecting the views of both pro and anti board supporters as well promote inclusion of all members on all decisions the association takes in their name"

 

Ron Legas:

With 6 decades of supporting our team behind me, I have the vigour of men half my age,experience gained chairing several successful companies, and time in my semi-retirement now available to bring to WHUISA.

I was Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi, taking them from a 12 man start-up to the UK’s No 1 agency employing 1,200 in just 10 years. I then founded a number of companies in the marketing industry, notably Leagas Delaney and Leagas Shafron Davis which achieved top 20 status under my Chairmanship.

The role of Chairman suits my inclusive leadership style and plays to my strength as a communicator. I have made many appearances on TV and radio, been a regular source of quotes for national and specialist press and spoken at dozens of Conferences. I qualified as a Leadership Coach 12 years ago and have since helped many high profile companies achieve their goals with the help of 1:1 and team coaching.

I believe that conflict and lack of trust are two of the most common barriers to success in any leadership team, and my mediating and motivating skills have proved very effective in a wide variety of industries.

 

Ian Morgan:

Hi my name is Ian Morgan Iv been a West Ham fan since I was born 35 years ago I used to live within walking distance of the ground in East Ham.

I have regularly attended West Ham since 1989 season and started going to away games with my dad in the mid 90s like many of us it’s now a way of life for me. I am still a home and away season ticket holder but have become like others very disgruntled with how the club is being run.

West Ham was always a family club and I feel the current regime have lost touch with us the real fans since our move to Stratford. I’d like to see them embrace the ideas of the many to bring the club back together and make us West Ham UNITED again.

I’m fortunate to know many of the former players some of who I’m now lucky enough to call friends i would love to see them honoured how they should be by our club and feel we are behind others in doing that. I’m a passionate fan and would love to be able to help make a difference in trying to get Stratford into what was promised a home where you left in no doubt you have arrived at West Ham United football club.

I don’t feel the new ground has given us that yet but in the fullness of time some with some investment and input from the board and the fans together, we can make it a home to be proud of.

Up the hammers

 

Mark Sandell:

"I take my sons to West Ham just as my dad took me for the first time in 1965. I want to work hard to make sure that in the future they have a club that has a meaningful relationship with all of its fans no matter their age or background. I want them to support a club that has a bond with its fans,not a relationship of mutual distrust. I'd like to continue the excellent work done by Mark and the committee to realise that West Ham is at its best when we are all singing Bubbles from the same hymn sheet.

I have been a journalist for 35 years, was the West Ham reporter for Capital Gold, have written for OLAS, NPLH and Upton Park Memories and have guested on the Stop Hammer Time podcast.I am Head of Communications at Kick It Out, the anti-discrimination football charity and have worked with the FSF and it's forerunner the FSA since 1990.

I would hope that my long experience of working around football and my media contacts would support the Chair and the new committee to get WHUISA the kind of coverage we deserve. Oh and my oldest son's middle name is "Paolo" "

 

John Ratomski:

Business owner, Hammers fan since the late 1960’s, and season ticket holder in the West Stand.

I joined WHUISA at the beginning of 2017 and was elected onto the committee last season. I proactively undertook a number of initiatives to increase membership and improve our links with other Premier League ISA’s/Trusts, the FSF and Supporters Direct to source information on best practise during our first full season.

As well as addressing international conferences, I have previously successfully chaired voluntary business groups and have the commitment, drive, and experience to lead a team to face the challenges for the coming season.

Last season saw WHUISA overcome a number of well-known challenges. Working with a dedicated team for the coming season I look forward to the opportunity to represent our membership with continued constructive direct dialogue with David Sullivan as a ‘critical friend’. In addition, we will work together to raise the WHUISA profile locally and nationally amongst other clubs and in the media, and will work closely with our membership growth team both within local communities and Hammers supporters in general.

 

Sean Whetstone:

"I am a lifelong West Ham United supporter and a season ticket holder at the London Stadium in the West stand lower Block 113. I was previously a season ticket holder in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower stand at the Boleyn Ground for many years.

I was a founding committee member of WHUISA in 2013 holding the position of Joint-Chairman in the association's infancy. I was also a founding member of the West Ham United Supporters Advisory Board in May 2011 and remain a member to this day seven years later. I have an in-depth experience of sitting on committees in both the education and charity sector successfully fulfiling different roles and remits.

I am the associate editor of the West Ham news website ClaretandHugh.info, a blogger on WestHamTillIDie.com and presenter on the West Ham podcast MooreThanJustAPodcast.co.uk. I have an established Twitter account called @WestHamFootball founded in 2009 which has 32,000 followers.

My aim if elected is to hold WHUISA to account to deliver on their core values and to ensure that the association is a truly democratic organisation that listens, involves and delivers on their promises to ALL of their members"