By Chris Wright
We wouldn’t trust this pair as far as we could throw ’em
Dismayed at the ailing state of his beloved club, a West Ham fan has launched a crowd-funded campaign to petition co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to ‘name their price’ for their controlling shares in the club and sell up, with the long-term aim being to turn the Hammers into a fan-owned football club.
Hammers fan Andy Payne is the man behind the movement, outlining his mission via his petition page over at Change.org as such:
“[West Ham] are an English professional football club with a proud history and many fans who go back generations. The club faces relegation from the English Premier League, but worse than that, it requires a new direction.
“A series of managerial appointments have gone disastrously wrong and the owners must accept responsibility. A change of ownership is needed and the owners should be given the option to sell the club for the price that they name.”
“This is not only important to West Ham United fans all over the world, but football fans in general. These once proud clubs are now being relegated to playthings for rich and not so rich owners who are focused only on making money at the expense of everything else.”
Payne goes on to add that as well as AFC Wimbledon and Portsmouth in England, there are blueprints for big, fan-owned clubs all around Europe, with all clubs in Germany required to be at least 51% fan owned as well as the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid who operate within similar frameworks.
The idea is to wrest control of West Ham from the grubby paws of two ex-porn peddlars currently at the helm, let them name their price, pay them off accordingly with funds raised communally via supporter donations and let Gold and Sullivan be on their way.
The club will then be restructured to allow fans to make consensus decisions about their collective future direction. Sounds positively Utopian doesn’t it?
You can sign the petition here if you’re of a mind to do so.