Friday, May 27

Supporters Advisory Panel Report

Here is Michelle Gabriel's report back from the first meeting of the WHU Supporters Advisory Panel (SAP!)… some interesting stuff here:

My question was the first to DS, so I had my 15 seconds of fame last night. There wasn't really scope for me to ask follow-up questions. My question was not intended to find out names, but more to find out what the criteria were for the new manager. This is what I gleaned from the rather rambling response:

automatic promotion is their aim
they have always achieved automatic promotion in the past
the manager must have a proven track record [in getting automatic promotion]
the manager must have been involved in the game within the recent past - ruling out Hoddle et al
they are looking for a British manager but DS mentioned that they would consider a foreign manager of the right calibre (Ancelotti was mentioned) and had ruled out PDC because he currently doesn't have experience

DS said that they had made an offer on Thursday to someone whom he though most supporters would approve of. IMO this would rule out Davies as I can't imagine the majority of supporters approving of his appointment! I think it also rules out MON as DS would have been more certain about supporter approval. He said that if the offer is turned down it will not be for West Ham-related reasons. KB and DS left part-way through the evening, to "see a man about a dog".

Tony Carr was asked the direct question, both informally at my table and formally to the whole group. He very skilfully and endearingly passed, mentioning that his expertise lay in youth development. Although stressing that patience is required for his job, he mentioned some "youth" who he thinks have real potential: Tombides, Robert Hall, Blair Turgot, Leo Chambers ('a Glen Johnson playalike'), Elliot Lee, Sadlier. He encouraged supporters to come to Little Heath to watch matches for free on Saturday mornings.

Regarding player appointments, and whether they would move players prior to the appointment of the manager, this is what I noted from DS:

they might renew players but preferably not prior to the appointment of the manager
they had made a colossal offer to an existing player to stay with the club
after letting 3/4 players go they will invest in new players - they know that what we will have left won't get us promoted
more money is available for players than was available at QPR or Norwich last season
Hines has turned down what the Board thought was a generous offer and this is now going to a tribunal
Spence has been offered a new deal, but is desperate to play, and is therefore waiting to see whether he would fit into the new manager's plans
the Icelandic banks have always supported their proposals, even when they wanted to buy Big Mac (which DS insisted was at Zola's behest)

I also found out in casual conversation that Upson and Dyer have already left the club. Like the Silence, I have already forgotten about them.

We saw the new away kit, which is sky blue. Everyone loved it but I can't tell you any more because we had to sign the Official Secrets Act. There was a whole lot more to the evening, which was overall a fantastic step forward for the club, I thought. I will update the list later...


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