Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'
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Since the momentous decision when West Ham United were announced as the recommended preferred bidder to occupy the Olympic Stadium post the 2012 Games, There has been much coverage in the press and great discussion surrounding the decision.
But what does this really mean to Principal Stakeholders “The West Ham United Supporter”?
The club were seeking a fully representative cross-section of the supporter base to the “Supporter Advisory Board”. The only two criteria on the application form is that you must support the club and must have a relationship with the club, whether that be a season-ticket holder or Academy member. Those keen must potentially be available to attend quarterly meetings and be regularly contactable via email/phone. The selection process will take into account each individual’s application and overall balance of the Board. Deadline for applications was 18th March.
The club first revealed details in the December home matchday programme against Manchester City that a fans consultation panel would be setup and that more details would follow over the coming weeks. This would be an independent body with a direct voice to influence and suggest on key areas such as the stadium move, kit design and all fan-based issues.
11th December 2010
10th March 2011
The club were inundated with applications for the new panel, which has been set up in line with the club’s policy of listening to those who matter most. With the deadline for entries passing, the club have been going through all forms received and extended the deadline from applicants until Wednesday 6th April.
30th March 2011
With the deadline passed and as a non Season Ticket Holder I decided to make an eleventh hour plea to the club to reconsider the entry level for applications to the Supporters Advisory Board. On the 8th April I which was accepted.
7th April 2011
INVITATION TO ATTEND
No surprise to those who know me, I got my invitation signed by David Sullivan and Karren Brady
27th May 2011
Boleyn Ground, Legends A Lounge
There were approximately 100 invitees to the inaugural first meeting of the Supporters Advisory Board in the Legends. The Club was well represented with Chairman David Sullivan, Vice-Chairman Karren Brady and Director of Youth Academy Tony Carr.
Heads of various departments including Tara Warren (Marketing), Debbie Silver (Retail), Greg Demetriou (Media), Ben Illingworth (Operations Director) and Olympic Project Director Ian Tompkins were also in attendance.
The aim of the first meeting was to set the scene and to increase communication at a crucial stage in the history of the club.
AGENDA (Please see copy above)
The following are some of the key points raised along with other items of interest raised during the evening, there was certainly a feeling by those of us who were present that the Club are genuine when they say they want supporter opinion on a wide and varied range of topics and that they value those opinions. Certainly later in the evening there were some very good suggestions made by heads of departments to do with a whole range of aspects.
Tara Warren opened proceedings by welcoming everyone and gave a brief outline of the evenings agenda.
David Sullivan (DS) was very open, open as he could be by giving an update with the situation regarding the appointment of a new manager and any player movement for the upcoming season. The job of manager was offered to a candidate yesterday, the Board felt the person would be an extremely good appointment but that there were personal reasons why the candidate may not accept the job - DS thought the result would be known as early as the following morning. He also went on to say that they were “mindful of the ongoing process and the selection of the manager is of critical importance, the club are looking for someone with a proven track record in the Championship or higher and that the successful person would be British”.
Although the mention of the recently sacked Carlo Ancelotti brought a wry smile to his face
As these notes were being compiled No appointment has been announced.
There followed a short Q and A
David Sullivan said that the players left after the departures would not be strong enough to win promotion so there would be new faces arriving but not much is likely to happen until a new manager is appointed.
The new season ticket prices would be officially published tomorrow - the Club were keen to reward season ticket holders and there will be reductions on merchandise and other bonuses
Tony Carr gave an Academy update explaining the process from the very youngest team right through to Youth team level. Explaining the catchment area the club can recruit from and the stiff competition from other nearby club’s to find new local talent.
Ian Tompkins (Olympic Project Director) gave an Olympic Stadium update. Ian came across as being very knowledgeable about all things Olympic Stadium and is clearly the right person to take us forward.
Before the meeting we were asked to submit one question:
Tara Warren explained the Proposed format / Setting the agenda / Role of Board members
With four specific “Areas of Interest”, invitees were asked to rank the area of interest by assigning a number next to each subject group.
1 represents the strongest area interest and 4 indicates the area you are least interested in.
As one of the major West Ham United Memorabilia Collectors on all things Claret and Blue. The one area I'm most interested in would be the reinstatement of the Club Museum, although the previous one served a purpose, it had no real connection or link between the club and the supporter. Everything on display was coming from the side of the club, and nothing from the other way round "The Supporter". There are many of us out there who have impressive collections of memorabilia and would welcome the chance to display at the club museum.
The four options were:-
Club Products (Kit / Ticket Packages / Merchandise)
Commercial / Marketing & Communications
My question to Chairman David Sullivan and Vice-Chairman Karren Brady:-
"Are there any plans for a Club Museum in the Olympic Stadium and would supporters have the opportunity to exhibit their collections on a revolving basis?"
To which I'm happy to report is a very strong YES
After consulting with a couple of heads of departments at the club, and with my memorabilia collecting habit it was decided that my strongest area of interest would be “Olympic Stadium” with the Sub group of “Club Museum”.
The meeting was scheduled to last for 90 minutes, but lasted nearer 4 hours. Hopefully once Supporter Advisory Board members have been assigned to one of the above four areas of interest, more concrete information can be communicated. Other interesting points outside of the main meeting were:-
There could be a Handbook produced for the start of next season, the Media manager is keen on doing one and will contact the current programme printers. Surprise, surprise Stuart Allen has offered to help if the club wants to proceed.
There has been no definite decision on the League structure the Reserve team will undertake for next season, it has been suggested that the team may only be fulfilling friendly fixtures.
There will be another meeting in a few months time and there will also be “fans forums” taking place over the Summer months which will tackle the on-the-pitch issues.
Please check the West Ham United website for further information when available.
Timeline to the Olympic Stadium