In a statement to the West Ham club website, the board have announced that following talks with the club, the fan protest is cancelled. The 10th March protest, organised by the Real West Ham Fan Action Group was expected to be attract thousands of Hammers fans, before the home tie with Burnley.
The board’s statement appeared on the official West Ham website, Karren Brady said:
“We are grateful the supporters‘ groups have taken this decision and in doing so have acknowledged that together we are stronger. We have held constructive talks aimed at improving the London Stadium, making it look and feel like the home of West Ham United, improving the match-day experience and other areas of concern.
“We will endeavour to communicate the changes as and when they happen so that everyone can have confidence in the process. I want to assure our supporters our primary goal is to make them proud of the Club they follow.”
Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold added:
“Our supporters are the heart and soul of the Club, a rich part of its glorious past and, most importantly, the cornerstone of its future. We fully understand our role to act only as custodians on their behalf.
“We have always sought to have an open and transparent relationship with our supporters and we will continue to work with all our supporters’ representatives in the best interests of our football club. We have listened carefully to what they are saying and have already begun a programme of improvement.
“Whilst we know it will take time, we hope and believe that the work we are carrying out together will deliver a real, long-term benefit for all supporters of West Ham United.”
The RWHFAG made a statement on their Facebook group:
“RWHFAG was set up in November to galvanise the board into recognising that the REAL West Ham had died in the move from Upton Park to the Olympic stadium, that the promises made to keep the spirit alive had not been met and that with no evidence of meeting those promises despite the efforts of various supporter groups over time something had to be done differently.
Our aims were encapsulated in the saying “a stadium fit for football an experience fit for fans”. Broadly speaking that incorporated potential uncovered seating pitch side, stewarding, heritage, the memorial garden, disability access and the overall fan experience - big flags in the ground, half time, statues, walkway to the ground etc.
The march was put forward as an option as we had little traction following a meeting in January where we outlined our aims and given other groups similar experiences after meeting club representatives.
The threat of the march has indeed brought Karren Brady to several meetings and David Sullivan to one and the agreement to work with the RWHFAG on finally delivering in a meaningful way on the groups aims. We hoped when we set out to get to this position - that we have achieved this much in such a short time is a testament to the power of each and every member of this group.
The reason we called the march - to get the board to listen to us to acknowledge our legitimate concerns and to work with us have been achieved - on this basis the RWHFAG see no further reason to march, which some individuals found difficult to accept but is nonetheless the position.
This means that £20K plus - the vast bulk of the money raised - less expenses for stickers,flyers etc - will now be going to the Isla fund and presented at half time at an upcoming game. We will be contacting our founder members to discuss a way ahead for the group in our ongoing dialogue with the club to deliver on the commitments made to us. We would like to thank everyone for their support -RWHFAG members and the supporters and admin of all the other groups we have worked with to get us to this position where the board are listening to and working with the supporters for the benefit of the club as a whole.
We believe that the club and the board want to deliver these changes and see the power of working together on this. This is a great opportunity for unity of purpose between the club and West Ham fans and that we can all work together for the common goal of making West Ham as great as it can be.”