The fans' view: Fans split over move but it will mean end of the 'homely' West Ham we love
More income and better players or empty seats and loss of 'home'?
Wednesday 05 December 2012
Today was momentous in the history of West Ham United. The prospect of moving to the Olympic Stadium could potentially allow this famous old club to rub shoulders with the giants of the English, and European, game.
Yet that possibility is anathema to some supporters who remain vehemently opposed to uprooting from the Boleyn Ground, our home for 107 years.
The most recent poll on the supporters' website KUMB.com, conducted shortly after the 2012 Olympics, showed 64 per cent in favour of moving. However, the previous poll conducted eight months earlier saw 61 per cent of fans vote against the move.
Those against argue that the Boleyn Ground is sufficient for a club of West Ham's stature. Where will the additional fans come from to regularly fill 60,000 seats?
Others are suspicious of the co-owners; is this simply just one final pay-day for David Gold and his business partner David Sullivan? Why would they sell a ground the club owns to take a tenancy elsewhere? And why have the supporters never been fully consulted about the move?
Yet those in favour of moving argue that the fantastic transport links mean fans from western Europe will only be a few hours away. And that more seats could mean cheaper tickets, enticing back supporters for whom Premier League football is simply too expensive presently.
Also, the prestige of playing in a world-famous venue in the globe's best-marketed league would attract some of the world's best players – paid from more lucrative sponsorship and marketing deals. Retractable seating will bring fans as close to the pitch as they are at the Boleyn. It's a no-brainer.
Whatever form the move to Stratford will take, it will certainly mean the end of "homely" West Ham United we know. All supporters can do is place their trust in the current owners to deliver their own legacy worthy of this great club.
Graeme Howlett is editor of West Ham fans' website Knees up Mother Brown: kumb.com
Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year
London 'needs affordable housing'
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Sami Khedira: Arsenal and Chelsea target signs pre-contract with Bayern Munich - reports
Arsenal vs Manchester United: Olivier Giroud and Mikel Arteta return from injury as Arsene Wenger delivers positive squad update
Dave Whelan: Wigan owner apologises for comments after Malky Mackay appointment but defends himself against anti-Semitism claim
Ched Evans: Sheffield United withdraw offer to allow convicted rapist to train with League One club
- 1 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 2 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
- 5 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine