The West Ham Player Awards and the problem with our football club
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 27 April 2018 at 10:02pm
I was lucky enough to attend the West Ham Players awards last night and thought I’d share with you some of my thoughts from the evening.
The evening took place at the Intercontinental hotel by London’s O2. And was hosted by the very professional Gabby Logan with Alvin Martin as co-host. All in all it was an interesting night. Kenny Brown received a much deserved Lifetime Achievement award, Conor Coventry picked up the Dylan Tombides award, Declan Rice was Young Hammer of the Year for the 2nd year in a row, the ladies team got a much deserved mention with Ellie Zoepel winning the Ladies Player of the Year, Pedro Obiang won the Goal of the Season for his absolute thunder bastard against Spurs and Marko Arnautovic took home the big awards of Signing of the Season, Players Player and Hammer of the Year.
In the middle of the awards was a very poorly ran auction with lots going for multiple thousands of pounds. The auctioneer could not read the room at all, meaning it was long, drawn out and totally un West Ham.
All in all the evening was ok but I doubt I would ever go again. This is really down to a couple of reasons
The Awards are in aid of The Academy – Surely the Academy is just part of the club? This just feels like a way of the club making more money from loyal fans. They should 100% have made this about raising money for charity (Isla Caton possibly) Surely academy funding should be just part of running a football club? It shouldn’t need external fan funding. Imagine one of the top 6 doing this
The Players- The behaviour of most of the players last night was disgusting really. Gabby Logan said ‘Please don’t bother the players during dinner, they are doing a meet and greet afterwards, if you bother them, this will be cancelled!” Although I didn’t agree with the threatening nature of this message, what Gabby said was common sense, its plain decency to let someone enjoy their meal. However, as far as I saw no one bothered the players and at the end of the night there was a small roped off area separating the fans from the players and a grand total of 7 players came out to meet the fans for about 5mins (Josh Cullen, Declan rice, Pedro Obiang, Arthur Masuaku, Marko Arnautovic, Edimilson Fernandes & Sam Byram) Really disappointed in Mark Noble particularly, he should be dragging those players out. There were 2 young boys who were stood by the rope hoping to meet their heroes and were left sorely disappointed, was very sad to see (was also disappointing for their dad who had spent £400 on tickets for them!)
I have to say the only exception to this was young Declan Rice who spent the rest of the evening meeting and greeting fans. This guy is a true gent and I seriously hope he stays at West Ham for a long long time to come. I am not a board lover in any shape or form, but I must also give respect to David Gold who was there the entire evening and spent lots of time talking to fans. David Sullivan was nowhere to be seen (shock!)
It really isn’t a big ask of players to show some appreciation to the fans, it’s clear to see that it’s been a crap season and this just goes to show you how much our heroes care about the fans. This for me epitomizes everything that is wrong with the modern game, the majority of today’s players are overpaid champagne charlies who don’t give a toss about the club and the fans. I sincerely hope there is a big clear out in the summer!
In summary, I believe the Player of Year awards have lost their way. They really shouldn’t be held until the season is over. Also, this should be about the fans rewarding the players for performing well home and away after a long season and the players thanking the fans for their support. As it turns out, it appears many of our players think they are better than the fans and don’t need to give us time of day. Hopefully someone with some sense sees these issues and they change in the future, but I won’t hold my breath.