By 90Min
April 17, 2018

For the second consecutive season, the atmosphere around West Ham United has been toxic.

Owners David Sullivan and David Gold, alongside vice-chairwoman Karren Brady, promised West Ham fans the London Stadium would propel the club to the 'next level', with a 'world class team, in a world class stadium'. 

Sadly, the reality has been the polar opposite. As the club fight their second relegation battle in two seasons, fans frustrations have boiled over, leading to pitch invasions, protests and thousands of fans finally turning on the board.

From the outside looking in, and without knowing all the facts, it's understandable why opposition fans struggle to see why West Ham fans are currently so unhappy with their club.

In the summer, the club signed four Premier League proven internationals on big wages, negotiated the 'deal of the century' to become tenants in the Olympic Stadium for peanuts a year prior, and have the seventh highest wage bill in the country. Opposition fans maybe thinking: what is all the fuss? West Ham have always been a lower mid-table sort of team?

Firstly, the board have not been completely honest with the fans. We were told, 'you can trust us', after promising to deliver 'a world class stadium with seats close to the pitch'. The reality is quite different, as the retractable seating is scaffolding balanced on bricks being secured with cable ties. 

Along with the green carpet covering the running track, the stadium looks and feels very cheap and temporary. Other issues fans have are the lack of West Ham colours and branding, the neutral looking white seats, other events taking priority over home fixtures and shocking stewarding. It is very much below world class standards.

Christopher Lee/GettyImages

However the fans' issues with the board go further than the stadium. The lack of serious investment in the squad has left fans wondering why we left Upton Park. In two seasons at the London Stadium, the club have spent an average of £13.5m a season. 

We were told the stadium would propel the club to the 'next level', yet Championship clubs spending more. 

What was the point in moving if we are going to continue being in relegation battles and not spending significantly more money? West Ham are the 17th richest football club in the world, but the owners often plead poverty, heavily under bid for players in the transfer market and constantly remind fans about the debt the club is in. 

Fans are fed up of the constant PR disasters and embarrassing manner in which the owners conduct themselves. Sullivan has publicly criticised the signings of Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte, saying his kids 'begged him not to sign them', while Karren Brady published an article saying she hoped Tottenham won the league. 

When asked how he sleeps at night having spent £40m on Ayew, Snodgrass and Fonte, Gold replied, 'I don't', whilst the Sullivan brothers, Jack and Dave Jr, have also been heavily criticised for their unprofessionalism on social media.

Let's not forget the humiliating feud between David Sullivan and chairman of Sporting CP, Bruno de Carvalho, where Sullivan released proof of a typically low bid via email, having been referred to as one of the "dildo brothers" by de Carvalho.

Two seasons ago now, West Ham fans reluctantly accepted the move to the London Stadium because we were told it would take the club to the 'next level '. Is Sam Allardyce to David Moyes next level? Is a £30m net spend in the final season at Upton Park to an £11m profit in the most recent window next level? Is Jordan Hugill next level? 

The Next level for fans is £100m spent in the summer transfer window. David Sullivan is a billionaire who owns the 17th richest club in the world. Why did he take the club from Upton Park to not seriously invest in the team and be outspent by Championship clubs? 

The next level is a stadium that looks and feels like the home of West Ham United. Serious, expensive changes need to be made to the stadium to make it feel like a football stadium, such as the seats closer to the pitch and more West Ham colours and branding. 

The next level is a manager better than David Moyes.

Fans want change because they are tired of the board talking a good game, but failing to deliver time after time. If significant money isn't spent in the summer transfer window, the board will have displayed once again they cannot and will not take us to that next level they bombarded us with at Upton Park.

They have had four relegations to their name, and with a fifth very much still a possibility, fans have every right to be demanding that serious changes are made. 

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