There have been plenty of highs and lows at Upton Park over the past ten years or so, with managers and players coming in and out on a yearly basis have made it extremely difficult for consistency and stability for the Hammers fans. A second spell in the Championship in the space of 7 years for West Ham has made the supporters more passionate and loyal than ever.
Areas of the media and rival supporters brand Hammers fans hard to please and fickle, something that is an understandable opinion but they will find it hard to back the statement up. With the farce that has been the running of the club since the Icelandic group took over in 2006, it has been tough to watch at Upton Park, but the clubs’ fans have never turned their back on their side and turn up week in week out.
This season has been a prime example of the support that is one of the best in country. The East-End club do not have the biggest stadium in the Championship but do have the highest attendances in the league. For a club that has been relegated after a dismal show last season that takes loyalty to consistently turn up each week and get behind your team. Away from home it is a similar story that has been the real positive from relegation in my opinion.
West Ham will consistently sell out their away end at opposition’s stadiums but this season has seen the club take that to another level. Once the allocation is sold out, the co-chairman applies for more tickets and that is something that the poorly supported clubs with bigger grounds are more than happy to accept.
For example a record breaking 6,800 Hammers will be at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday for the league visit to Coventry after there were 5,000 at Hull a week ago. The club have confirmed that the 4,700 tickets available for Reading away in two weeks time have also been snapped up, emphasising the terrific support this season for the promotion favourites.
Newcastle United had a similar situation when they were in the Championship a few years ago, going on to become a strong Premier League force once again and that is the long term aim for West Ham. For a team in the Championship to be supported as well as the Hammers have been this season is remarkable and people questioning their loyalty should rethink that.
The majority of supporters I have spoken to are fully behind Sam Allardyce and the owners; despite what the press may tell you; and with the club sitting second in the Championship table, there are reasons for optimism for all Hammers fans and it is the start of something special at Upton Park with everyone singing from the same hymn sheet once again.
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