For Once, the club have avoided another PR nightmare

Author: . Published: at 9:58am

Written by : George M.

If we take a minute to think back on the last four years at West Ham there have been two things which popped up regularly; dodgy football and relentless mismanagement of the club. Since we turned off the lights for the last time at Upton Park, the club has gone on a run of making a bit of a fool of itself to the general public. Journalists have been having a field day on our club during this period, pretty much frothing at the mouth whenever the club faulted in something.

During this Coronavirus period, the club have managed to avoid the dodgy football label by not playing at all. However, the club still had the opportunity to make a mess of things off the pitch. The virus situation presented Premier League clubs the opportunity to either do the right thing or do the wrong thing. This ‘thing’ was the question on whether to furlough non-playing staff and keep clubs’ players on their full wages.

A few Premier League clubs jumped the gun early and announced that they would furlough most or all of their non-playing staff but not touch the wages of their players. It was interesting to see that Tottenham would be one of the clubs making the despicable decision to furlough their non-playing staff. The press jumped on them like a pack of wolves and the negative articles were pouring out left, right and centre. This was a deserved reaction – but the question loomed over West Ham fans’ heads; would the club follow the footsteps of their London rivals?

On the 10th of April the club made a statement that the chairmen, manager and squad would be deferring some of their wages to help keep the club stable and ensure that the non-playing staff would be able to stay on their full wages. For once in almost four years, West Ham did not walk into a PR shit storm. Us fans were so used to waking up the next day to see our club in the papers and main pages of football websites saying what a terrible club we are and shame on us for being in the wrong again. The decision made by the team and owners was completely the right decision and it makes us fans proud to hear the fact that the privileged members of the club have the common decency to help those who do not have the same advantages.

Obviously, this good news never made the front pages because to other fans, West Ham not messing up isn’t an interesting read. Therefore, this news was not as widespread as times we have seen previously but at least for us fans, we could hold our heads up high and be proud of a decision our club had made. Let’s just hope that the club can learn from this and make sure every decision is made with the thought, ‘how will this make us look and how will people react?’.