Should We Leave The Boleyn?

According to THIS article just posted on the Daily Mail website, Eggert Magnusson has said that West Ham will leave Upton Park whether or not the discussions over the Olympic Stadium are successful. I’m not sure Mr Magnusson realises the tribal loyalties we all have to Upton Park. You can’t just dismiss decades of memories like that. I agree that if we cannot develop the East Stand then we may well have to look elsewhere, but are we sure those possibilities have been exhausted? I for one am not. I loved being in the East Stand and would love to move my season ticket back there if it was redeveloped.

However, it is important to retain a sense of perspective about this. We have to think about our ambitions. The truth is we can never take on the big boys unless we have the attendances to match. I reckon we’d easily fill 50,000 for the big games if we had the capacity. And if the prices were reduced for the smaller games it may be possible to get more than 40,000 for them too. If we can;t achieve that by expanding our horizons at Upton Park then we may well have to look elsewhere. But all I would say to mr Magnusson is this: if you don’t handle the PR of this correctly, you will face a backlash the like of which you have never seen before. Remember the ill-fated Bond Scheme? We do.

Robert Dunford has an excellent article on this HERE.


8 Responses to Should We Leave The Boleyn?

  1. Big George says:

    This a completely different fan base to the days of the Bond Scheme protest. You and me are in a minority in wanting to stay at the Boleyn. I still sit in the East Stand, wouldn’t move for the world.

  2. Johnny B says:

    It’s not a question of so-called “Tribal Loyalties”. That’s a popular conception punted by third rate sociologists. We are talking about a rich cultural history the likes of which many clubs in this country have lost for ever. The geographic space around the Boleyn and the rest of the East End is where this club belongs. You are right about one thing though: There will be a backlash the likes of which he has never experienced before if the Boleyn in torn down and we are forced to move to a dead space like the so-called new Olympic Stadium. These people made their cash -or rather the real man with his hand in his pocket- by being ruthless and bulldozing anyone who got in their way. As for Tessa and New Labour, well… Money, Money, money, it’s so funny… in a rich mans world! I don’t trust any of them!!!

  3. I’ve been watching the Irons at the Boleyn since 1973 and would miss the atmosphere and familiarity – but the area around Green Street has changed significantly over the last 35 years and most fans seem to travel in from further east. Hell, we want to be more successful and once we are we will attract loadsa Chelski/Manure supporters and they will be able to outpay genuine supporters for seats if the supply is limited to only 35 or 40K. At least a stadium within a couple of miles of Upton Park with capacity of 60K plus will ensure all those who go today (and have supported for many years) will still be able to find a seat. ¡Venga Irons!

  4. Rapidhammer says:

    Mr. Magnusson didn’t say that the capacity of the Boleyn couldn’t be increased. A move to a new ground should only be considered if there isn’t any possibility to enlarge the capacity of Upton Park. When he took over Mr. Magnusson said that he deeply respected the tradition of the club – the Boleyn is definitely one of the most important parts of this tradition!

  5. Hammersfan says:

    Surely if the club already has planning permission to redevelop the East Stand then it believed that Upton Park could be expanded. I’ve often been of the view that we wouldn’t need a capacity much more than 45,000, for the simple reason that London has six, seven, even eight major clubs, unlike other cities which have two at most. The kind of people who the Biscuit Baron wants to fill his 60,000 seat dream are the kind of people who go to Stamford Bridge today, the fair weather fans who sit their quietly and spend their money in the superstore. You won’t see that lot for dust should Chelsea get into trouble. The question is “do we want those people, who’ll drop West Ham at the first sign of relegation trouble?” Because it’s damn certain they won’t follow us back into the Championship, God forbid we end up there. The Biscuit Baron needs to pay attention to the kind of attendences we got during those two years. Those people are the true fans, the ones who’ll turn up week in week out no matter what league we’re in. For that, our beloved Boleyn is what we need, not some Meccano set on a motorway/industrial estate.

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