London: Are West Ham misleading supporters?

source: FSF.org.uk

London: Are West Ham misleading supporters? Almost 9 out of 10 match-going supporters of West Ham United are against the move to London’s Olympic Stadium – claim fans’ group WHU’S VIEW. Their survey stands in opposition to previous claims by club representatives – Football Supporters Federation reveals.

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Last month West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady claimed fans who were presented detailed plans of the planned stadium move, were supportive of the idea. The club has previously denied the need for any public opinion survey, be it poll run at Upton Park gates on matchdays or independent research within WHU’s fanbase.

Supporters’ group WHU’S VIEW decided to take that challenge and ask fans what they think. Their poll done in April asked: “Based on all available information do you agree with West Ham United’s proposed move to the Olympic Stadium?” 13.4% said ‘Yes’, while 86.6% said ‘No’. The results have been sent to the London Legacy Development Corporation, Mayor’s Office, FA, DCMS, and West Ham.

Opinions shown by 2,431 supporters asked before entering the stadium are in opposition to WHU’s claims. WHU’S VIEW? say: “There has been no widespread consultation or attempt to seek the views of the vast majority of supporters. Prior to the initial bid in 2011, West Ham United invited comments from supporters by email, but there has been no publication of the views submitted, the number of emails received, nor any indication that supporters’ comments had been acted upon.

“West Ham United have relied upon a single meeting with 49 members of the Supporters Advisory Board (SAB) Olympic Group for ‘consultation’. At the SAB meeting on 23rd February 2012, the club presented some information about its bid for the Olympic Stadium. Those members present were required to sign a confidentiality agreement so were unable to discuss this with other supporters.

“The club appointed one SAB member to collate comments from supporters, but did not make a general request for feedback, for example a statement on its website. Many fans are concerned that the club’s comments in the media with regards the level of support for a move have been made without consultation, ignores the SAB report, previous polls and as such may misrepresent the views of the majority of fans.”

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