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West Ham wins Olympic Stadium – On balance I am happy

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 22 March 2013

It looks as if we will be playing at home in an 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium for 99 years starting in c2016. Like everyone who supports West Ham I have mixed feelings. Green Street may be a shit hole but it is our shit hole.

I shall miss the various cafes where you can have some exceedingly unhealthy food before and after the match. I shall miss the Queen’s dive though it is. I shall even miss my Jamaican barbours. And I shall miss Upton Park. For all its faults it is a ground with atmosphere. I have some very happy memories of the place.

But if we can start to fill the Olympic Stadium West Ham will have the financial muscle to be a Big Club and I know this will sound like heresy to some West Ham Supporters but I’d like to win something now and again. The question is can we fill an 80,000 seat stadium. Right now we sometimes struggle to fill a 34,000 seat stadium. There are c26,000 season ticket holders. If we are serious we need to double that number.

And that means that we need to engage a charismatic manager who can start RIGHT NOW to reach out to the wider community in East London and Essex and who will make a long term commitment to the club. If the contract of fat Sam is renewed in May then we can look forward to three more years of football which does not turn anyone on and three years with a manager who will not be there after 2017. And who does not have the charisma to reach out and get folks signing up for season tickets, etc.

If West Ham is serious about becoming a top six club it has to hire someone NOW ( well in May) who can deliver a seven year plan not only on the park but also in the wider community. There is only one man who can do that and that man is. Paulo di Canio.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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