From the Boardroom - David Gold

West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Gold looks ahead to a big Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round tie at Blackburn

Good afternoon,

The year 2016 is so important to us for so many reasons. It’s 50 years since we won the World Cup with Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. And of course we will bid farewell to the Boleyn Ground, which will be a momentous moment in the history of West Ham United.

And what better way to mark both of those events than bringing the FA Cup back to East London.

As a Board we have tried to make sure that happens. We made significant funds available for transfers in the summer and have secured a number of key first-team players, like Dimtri Payet, on big, long contracts.

On the pitch we’ve also done well and currently sit seventh in the Premier League. I think right now, though, the FA Cup just feels more important than the league as to win the cup or even to just get to Wembley would be a massive achievement in such a crucial year.

I know how important it is to the fans as well. It’s also a time in the Club’s history where everything is coming together. It’s like a perfect storm where we’ve got a great manager, we’ve got players, who are exceeding our expectations, and the best fans in the country.

Have we ever seen support like this? It is just exceptional for us to take 7,200 fans to Blackburn on Sunday, especially when you consider it is not the easiest to get to for a 2pm kick off.

The fans are not only showing their loyalty on Sunday, but they are also demonstrating it with their commitment to our new Stadium next season. We are now seeing a huge surge in demand for Season Tickets, which is not only showing that they are passionate but there are a lot more of them than some people previously thought!

We were much maligned by the press and our critics who said that we wouldn’t fill a 54,000-seater stadium as we don’t have that many fans. Well we proved them wrong. Not only will we fill 54,000 seats but we will have a waiting list for Season Tickets for the 2017/18 season already.

There is no doubt that Slaven, like us, would accept slipping the odd place in the league at the end of the season if it meant us putting out our very best side in every round of the FA Cup. And that is what we will do on Sunday.

Everyone around the Club - the Board, the manager, players and fans want to win this trophy in this very special year for our Club.

Thank you for the role you are playing and for your fantastic support.

David Gold