A personal message from the Chairman

A personal message from Chairman Eggert Magnusson prior to today's Premiership clash against Watford...

It has certainly been a baptism of fire since I took over the reins of this great football club a little over two months ago.

The results on the pitch have not been good enough, but I want you to know that my deputy Scott Duxbury, manager Alan Curbishley and I have been doing all we can to turn things around.

I think it fair to say we have invested what is a record for West Ham United in the transfer window and I honestly believe we have significantly improved what was already a talented squad here at Upton Park.

We have worked seven days a week, often into the small hours, trying to bring in the players who can ensure our survival in the Premiership. We are now entering a crucial period and the whole of the squad and the management team at the club is determined to succeed.

Our strategy for the transfer window has had to reflect the needs of the team and also the appalling run of injuries we have suffered. I think we have invested well, given the demands of this time of the season, and we have done so recognising the need to keep a balance in the overall squad. That includes preserving the club's wage structure and, despite some of the Press speculation, that is exactly what we have done.

For me, the club and our place in the top-flight is a passion and I know that my feelings do come through when I am watching a game - that is the way I am and I doubt it will ever change. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I care about this football club.

We have all had disappointments and frustrations in the last few weeks and there are moments in our games when I show my response - that is something I believe I share with everyone who loves this club. I also know how to enjoy our successes and I hope we will all have reason to do more of that in the weeks ahead.

It is true that recently we have been affected by some controversial referees' decisions too, but I am not one for excuses. What has happened has happened and that is now in the past. My focus is on the future.

Today's game is vital and in his column elsewhere in this programme Tony Gale calls it our Cup Final. I'm sure we can win this and launch ourselves into the run-in on a high note with your support and backing.

Since I joined the club, my wife and I have met many supporters and mixed with the local community at every opportunity. At every corner you can feel the goodwill and understand what this football club means to its fans.

I have met the players and talked to them often. I have seen them in training and have no doubt at all that they are a committed squad who only want to win matches. Our manager is the same and Alan and his support staff are truly focused on the run of vital games ahead of us.

Your support is vital to them. Even during this difficult season our fans have taken up every ticket at away games and most of our home matches are sold out. That is an amazing tribute to your loyalty and feelings for West Ham United.

The players need that warmth and passion that is truly West Ham to help carry them through this difficult patch.

The players know from Alan that they must give everything, we all want the same thing here at the club - to improve our position in the table.

We are West Ham United and I am proud to be this club's chairman win, lose or draw. We are all in this together, staff, players and supporters.

There is an old adage we should remember at this difficult time. United we stand, divided we fall.

Let's go out there and roar the boys on to victory - thank you, on behalf of the club, for your support and your loyalty in these challenging times.

Best wishes, Eggert Magnusson