More than 100 fans took part in the successful inaugural session of the club's Supporter Advisory Board on Thursday 26 May 2011.
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan was in attendance in the Legends Lounge at the Boleyn Ground to hear an open and honest exchange of views with the invited panel, who will go on to consult and inform on key issues concerning West Ham United. The aim is to increase communication at a crucial stage in the history of the club.
Thanking everyone for taking part and offering their time, Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said the panel had complete Board support and was all about the importance of listening to what fans had to say on all areas of the club.
After presentations including an update on the Olympic Stadium, the gathered guests were invited to air their views on specific areas such as matchday experience and retail.
After a number of submitted questions from the floor, the Chairman began the evening with an update on the managerial situation and also dealt with squad matters for the new season. Mindful of the ongoing process, he said: "The selection of the manager is of critical importance. We are spending a lot of time on it but we have a little bit of time to make a decision.
"As you go down the list there are pros and cons with a lot of people and we are looking for someone with a proven track record in the Championship or higher or in the Premier League who wants to come to us."
The Chairman said the club were hoping to appoint a British manager and that key first-team decisions would not be made until an appointment was made - save for contract negotiations that were open now. He added the 2011/12 Hammers would have "a core of homegrown players" and that funds would be available for several signings to supplement them.
The fans who had signed up to be present on the evening had to be recommended by five season ticket holders or members. With the aim to ensure they represent the core fan base of the club.
As such, the Board contained a wide cross-section of supporters, from season ticket holders to corporate members, corporate clients and Bondholders. On the night, fans came from far and wide - one even flew in from Madrid to be involved.
New Board member Craig Hughes welcomed the opportunity to play a part in the club's future, saying: "The Advisory Board is a fantastic platform to express our ideas and opinions on matters that affect the club we all love. Every fan has their own ideas and through this board we can advise the management on what real fans think."
Fellow member Rachel Beagles shared those sentiments, adding: "Fans typically complain that the management don't care. The Supporter Advisory Board should represent an opportunity to ensure that the views of fans are heard and that the matchday experience is improved for all."
Meetings will take place four times per year, while the club will also contact the Board whenever they want to harness their opinion on important issues.
The inaugural Supporter Advisory Board will consist of the following members: Steve Burton, Dave Tate, Michael Crowhurst, Christopher Maslin, Sue Hudson, Benjamin Lanyado, Paul Gibson, Graham Hatt, Tom Dowsett, Paul Fox, Iain Dale, David Halston, Amanda Ross, Howard Skolnick, Marcus Clement, Daniel Clement, Paul Reynolds, Ian Wearne, Satvir Atkar, Stuart Allen, Darren Morgan, Robert Haseltine, John Farren, Jack Boteler, John Yewman, Daniel Yallop, Ryan Marsh, Antoni Miziolek, John Walker, Nigel Salvage, Sherrie Goldsmith, Benjamin Hawkes, Kishan Teli, Anthony Hyams, Eamon Quinn, Dan Mason, Jason Zammit, Tricia Evans, Ian Jacques, Brian Shubrook, Ben Surdeau, Sean Whetstone, Robin Burt, Wolfgang Berger, Cecilia O'Herlihy, Jonathan Penfold, Pete Richardson, Leigh O'Connor, Victor Lindsell, Daniel Bloom, Norman Collins, Dee England, Steve Marsh, Jack Hess, Jason Rose, Richard Wood, Ian Anderson, Diane Keleghar, David Hall, Gary Portugal, Peter Hunt, Colin Morris, Steven Barlow, Tony Harries, Steve Joyce, Rachel Beagles, Carl Carey, Kevin Radley, Danny McGreevy, Norman McGuire, Craig Hughes, Mark Tilley, Andy Connacher, Ashley Bean, Simon Thomson, Robert Banks, Tony Barritt, Michael Evans, Barry Shelton, Rob Ford, Michelle Gabriel, Colin Crowe, Stuart Slaney, Peter Bruce, Warren Kober, Peter Whitelock, John Sussex, Terry Stokes, Lesley Craig, Stephen Todd, Craig Grote, Richard Francis, Eleanor Tilley, Tim Boughen, Trevor Norton, Nigel Kahn, Gary Davidson, Trevor Wisdom, Neil Duggan, Kirk Williams, Siobhan McManus, Gerry McCarthy, Stuart Dean, Vince Parker, Kathryn Upton, Anne-Marie White, Neil Martin, Stephen Trowers, Steve Ryder, Mark Taylor, John Parry, Nick Scott, Samuel Goddard, Bernadette Connolly, Christine Cowen, Gavin Dunstan, Ian Wicks, Victor Lindsell, Danny Meakin, Catherine Bayford, Steve Medhurst, Kevin Markham, Kevin Dunckley, Mike Corbo, Gary Boreham, Jill Dower, Ross McGlasson and Wallace Onnie.