Fans' Forum Feedback

WEST Ham United held its third Fans' Forum at Upton Park on Monday evening (24th January), with another 29 supporters attending to fire their questions at Managing Director Paul Aldridge and Financial Director Nick Igoe.

Once again, a number of high-profile issues were on the agenda most notably the Club's financial position, where Nick Igoe assured supporters West Ham United is not facing administration.

"The Club will not go into administration," he insisted. "Most businesses operate with debt, but after a turnover of £35 million a year West Ham United is capable of servicing its debt and remaining solvent.

"Obviously our aim is to return the Club to the Premiership and when that happens give West Ham United every chance of remaining in the top-flight."

Paul Aldridge added: "We reinvest as much money as possible in the team and fully support the manager in his efforts to strengthen the squad.

"However, West Ham United has been around for over 100 years and we have a duty to protect that heritage and not do anything that will jeopardise the Club."

Everything from Kiosk to Season Ticket pricing was discussed, with supporters voicing their opinions on a wide range of topics, from the position of the Upton Park scoreboards to the Kids For A Quid scheme, which has attracted mixed reaction from fans.

"Kids For A Quid was started to attract the next generation of fans to Upton Park," explained Paul Aldridge. "We wanted to keep it very simple and encourage as many youngsters as possible to come to matches. It has been very positive, but we have to be fair to other supporters in the ground, and the scheme may be reviewed in the future to link it in with adult or family tickets."

So far, the Fans' Forums have proved a hit with supporters, and those that attended yesterday believed the evening had been a success.

Season Ticket Holder, Brian Easter, said: "The Forum went into a lot more depth than I had expected and I thought it was an honest exchange of views. Most fans I know would love the chance to sit down and interact with the Club's Directors and I think the Forums are a positive step in the fans' involvement with the Club."

Lifelong supporter, Baz O'Connell, added: "It was very educational and a great experience for fans. Hopefully, more supporters will get involved in the Forums and the Club can make it a regular event."

Fans were also treated to a special showing of West Ham United's new Reebok home and away kits for next season, which were almost as well received as model Samantha!

The next Fans' Forum on Monday 21st February 2005 is now full, however the Club will announce more dates on the website and in the matchday programme soon.