Tuesday, February 18

Daily WHUFC News - 18th February 2014

A fitting farewell to the Boleyn Ground
West Ham United are calling on supporters to offer their views on a fitting
finale for the Boleyn Ground

As West Ham United prepare for a future at the Olympic Stadium, the Club are
pressing on with plans to finalise a fitting farewell to the Club's home of
110 years. With two-and-a-half years to give the Boleyn Ground the perfect
send-off, the Hammers are calling on supporters to leave their mark on
The Hammers' Supporter Advisory Board (SAB) members have already got the
ball rolling and this is your chance to tell them how you envisage the
Club's final Upton Park season taking shape. So should you know an SAB
member and would like to share your ideas and memories, please get in touch
with them. During a recent meeting, the SAB discussed the prospect of themed
matches for each and every game of the final season and the celebrations
surrounding the very last game. The Club is also collating opinion on a
grand final-curtain event. Meanwhile, the SAB showed a great deal of
interest in the auction of Boleyn Ground memorabilia, as well as
commemorative tours in the final season. As it stands, the SAB has already
offered the following suggestions and the Club is keen to compile many more.

· A countdown clock in the Boleyn, ticking down to the first whistle of the
final game.
· Breaking the world record for the most people simultaneously blowing
bubbles on the last day at the Boleyn.
· A commemorative programme similar to the very first ever issued.
· Guard of honour of both former and current players as part of the last
moments at the Boleyn.
As expected, there were differing views on how exactly the final Boleyn
Ground game might shape up and similarly on the look of a commemorative home
shirt. With that in mind, the wider consultation of the fan base is even
more important, so make sure your voice is heard.

For the full report of the SAB's last meeting, click here, while the
Farewell to the Boleyn Ground focus group is set to reconvene on Tuesday 25
February. Future consultation topics will include:
· What would supporters like the commemorative kit to look like? Should it
be the traditional claret and blue or a limited edition kit?
· Suggestions on possible themed matches, allowing supporters to vote for
their favourites.
· Detailed list of what Boleyn Ground tours should include in the lead-up to
the move.
· Begin to outline and elaborate on plans for a closing ceremony at the
Boleyn Ground.
· Thoughts on how the Club can best collate fan stories and memories through
the years at the Boleyn.
· Conduct a detailed discussion of possible items to be included in the

The SAB is your platform and the Club looks forward to hearing from as many
supporters as possible in the coming weeks and months,not least with the
prospect of celebrating the Club's 120th anniversary next season.

Macca looking forward to Open Training
West Ham United assistant boss is looking forward to welcoming Season Ticket
Holders to training

West Ham United will swap their warm-weather training camp for a setting
closer to home when they host an exclusive open training session for Season
Ticket Holders and Corporate Members at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday. The
Hammers will train in front of the fans as the preparations for Saturday's
Barclays Premier League clash with Southampton continue. Gates open at 10am,
with training scheduled to begin at 10.30am, and assistant boss Neil
McDonald is looking forward to allowing the supporters a behind-the-scenes
look at how the first team squad prepares for a game. McDonald said: "The
fans have been fantastic, even when we haven't been performing to where we
thought we would. They stood by the team, so it's great that our form is
improving as it sends people home with smiles on their faces. "We'll try and
show them what we do, all the way from pre warm-up to warm-up, a little bit
of possession and finishing. It just gives them a little outline of how we

McDonald believes the week of training in Dubai has set his team up for a
strong end to the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League campaign. The Hammers have
visited the Middle East for similar trips the last two years, with promotion
to the Premier League and a top-half finish last season being secured upon
their return to action. "I thought it was a great camp," he continued. "It
was perfect timing for us, as leading up to the last few weeks, we hadn't
been getting good results, so fixing the trip up in itself had a motivation
for the lads as they had something to look forward to. "We got some good
results, beating Norwich, Aston Villa and Swansea, and drawing with Chelsea.
The results have been fantastic over the last three or four weeks and that's
just cemented the good week we had in Dubai. Hopefully we can get the same
results when we come back. "We hope this trip has a positive impact on
results like it has done the previous two seasons. Everybody coming back
from injury has given everyone a boost. The signings that the manager has
made have done the same and there's lots of competition for places. "That's
certainly shown at the moment - we have Winston Reid who was at the heart of
the defence before who can't get in the team because we're keeping clean
sheets and playing well. "The bar has been set a little bit higher, which is
great, and everybody is full of confidence - that has shown on the field in
the last four games. When the confidence comes back everyone performs that
little bit better and everyone has a smile on their face.
"Certainly Dubai has made everyone happier too, because it was beautiful
weather, we were staying in a beautiful place and training was at a
fantastic facility, so hopefully that will kick us on for the rest of the

The Hammers made the most of the conditions in Dubai to train with the sun
on their backs and McDonald says the benefits will be both physical and
mental in nature. He continued: "You can see from the photographs that we
were able to train in t-shirts and shorts. The weather, as everybody knows,
has been horrendous at home over the last few weeks, so it has been good for
them to get some vitamin D in their bodies. "We were still doing a little
bit of technical work and work in the gym. It was time for them to relax
their aching bodies, because the majority of them have played a lot of games
over the Christmas and January periods."

West Ham returned to London on Sunday, although Andy Carroll and Joey
O'Brien remained in Dubai for additional warm-weather work as they remain
unavailable for first team selection due to suspension and injury
respectively. McDonald explained: "With Joey's shoulder injury, it's good
for him to do some work in the sea. It's good for him to have the sun on his
back when he's working, so that will try to cheer him up because you know
what players are like when they're injured. He's been out with the rest of
the lads and that's fantastic for him. "For Andy it's just a continuation of
his rehabilitation, really. He's worked very, very hard to get himself fit
and he's made an impact since coming back. "Unfortunately he got sent-off
against Swansea, and we still can't believe that happened. He's still got
one more game of his suspension against Southampton, so we decided to leave
him out there with the rehab fitness coach Eduardo Garcia. He's there with
both of them to do some work in the sun, and Andy will come back ready and
raring to go for Everton."

The public gets what the public wants
Filed: Monday, 17th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

Referee Mark Clattenburg is to take charge of West Ham United's Premier
League clash with Southampton this weekend - his first Saints appointment
since they filed a complaint against him last year.

The south coast club reported Clattenburg to the Professional Game Match
Officials Board back in December when it was claimed he told Saints captain
Adam Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England -
you never used to be like this". The complaint was later dismissed by the

It will also be the first time that Clattenberg - who West Ham supporters
ironically chanted for during the 3-1 victory against Chelsea in December
2012 - has officiated a United game since New Years' Day, when he dismissed
Kevin Nolan in the 2-1 defeat at Fulham. That was the most recent incident
in a long charge sheet for Clattenburg where the Hammers are concerned.

On New Years' Day 2013, the Durham official angered Norwich boss Chris
Hughton for refusing to either of two penalty appeals - correctly, so it was
later proved - in a 2-1 win for the Hammers at the Boleyn Ground. Earlier
that season he was criticised for being "card happy" when booking ten
players in a 2-1 win for West Ham at QPR.

In 2010 Clattenburg left fans questioning his parentage on no less than
three occasions. A 4-0 Carling Cup quarter final win against Manchester
United would have been even more emphatic had he spotted a clear foul on
substitute Zavon Hines in the game's closing stages, whilst his decision to
rule out Freddie Piquionne's perfectly legal injury time 'winner' at Wolves
baffled many.

The FA Cup 3rd round tie with Arsenal in January at that year also ended
controversially when Clattenburg ignored a clear infringement on Alessandro
Diamanti with the score at 0-0. West Ham went on to lose the game 2-1.

Clattenburg had previously left Gianfranco Zola fuming during a 3-3 draw at
Hull in November 2009 when awarding a soft penalty against Julien Faubert -
though Zola's mood improved somewhat when the 38-year-old failed to spot a
far worse offence by Matthew Upson later in the same game. Zola was less
forgiving three months previously when Clattenburg refused to award a
penalty when Luis Jimenez was tripped inside the box by Spurs' Essou-Ekotto.

Lee Bowyer was another victim of Clattenburg's back in 2008, when he was
dismissed for what appeared to be an innocuous challenge during a 1-1 draw
against Birmingham. The FA agreed and rescinded the card on appeal.
Then-manager Alan Curbishley had also criticised the referee in January of
that year for denying Bowyer (again) a clear penalty at Manchester City.

West Ham's biggest away win in recent years - a 5-0 thrashing of Derby
County at Pride Park back in 2007 - was also marred (very slightly,
admittedly) by Clattenburg's decision to award a free kick instead of a
penalty when Luis Boa Morte was felled inside the area during the first

Getting mean
Filed: Monday, 17th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham required 17 points from their remaining 12 Premier League fixtures
to match the mean number of points accrued by the Club in the Premier League
since the turn of the century.

The Hammers have spent ten seasons in the top flight since 2000, since when
the various teams - managed by Harry Redknapp, Glenn Roeder, Alan Pardew,
Alan Curbishley, Gianfranco Zola, Avram Grant and now Sam Allardyce - have
averaged 45 points over the course of the campaign with an average
13th-place finish.

Currently, West Ham have accrued 28 points from their first 26 games, just
slightly lower than the average tally of 30 points (with an average position
of 14th) for the same period at this stage.

However Sam Allardyce will be hoping his team can continue their excellent
recent form, which has earned West Ham ten vital points from their last four
outings - keeping clean sheets in all four - for the remainder of the
2013/14 season.

In order to achieve the average points tally of 45, West Ham need to take
1.4 points per game for the remainder of the season.

Go on my sun!
Filed: Monday, 17th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce will be hoping the mid-season trip to Dubai will have a
similar effect on his team's fortunes to that in the last two seasons. Since
first making the now-annual trip with his squad at the end of February 2012,
Allardyce's West Ham have posted generally favourable results immediately
after returning to the UK. Two years ago, when still a Championship side,
the Hammers returned from Dubai at the end of February before embarking on a
seven-match unbeaten run that finally ended with a 4-2 home defeat against
Reading on the final day of March - the only defeat they suffered prior to
the end of the campaign. And last year the Hammers guaranteed their Premier
League place thanks to another decent run of form that followed the trip.
Despite losing 3-2 at home to Spurs - thanks to a last-minute Gareth Bale
'worldy' - in their first game back on British soil, only one of the seven
subsequent fixtures was to end in defeat (a 2-0 reversal at Chelsea) as West
Ham went on the secure a top ten finish in their first season back in the
top flight. Speaking about the 2011/12 promotion push last year, Allardyce
recalled: "We had a fantastic finish to the season and I still think the
trip that we had at this time last year was a big benefit in the end for
getting us promoted into the Premier League. "Nearly everybody does it today
which obviously is a benefit to you and the team, and the results when you
come back."

Allardyce will be hoping his team can emulate that form in the next few
weeks, when Southampton (h), Everton (a), Hull City (h) and Stoke (a) await.
West Ham are currently 11th in the Premier League with 28 points from 26
games - just two points shy of last season's tally at the same stage.

First five back
How a rejuvenated West Ham performed after returning from Dubai

2011/12 (February 2012)
Spurs (h) 2-3
Stoke (a) 1-0
Chelsea (a) 0-2
West Brom (h) 3-1
Liverpool (a) 0-0

2012/13 (February 2013)
Cardiff (a) 2-0
Watford (h) 1-1
Doncaser (h) 1-1
Leeds Utd (a) 1-1
Middlesbrough (h) 1-1

2013/14 (February 2014)
Southampton (h)
Everton (a)
Hull City (h)
Stoke City (a)
Man Utd (h)

Antonio Nocerino joined West Ham to aid World Cup push
Last Updated: 17/02/14 4:00pm

Antonio Nocerino is hoping to enjoy a productive loan spell at West Ham
United and force his way into Italy's World Cup squad. The combative
midfielder completed a move from AC Milan towards the end of the January
transfer window and will see out the season at Upton Park. He has been eased
into English football by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, making four substitute
appearances so far. It is the 28-year-old's intention to soon step off the
bench and into the starting XI, with a desire to take in regular football
having driven his switch from Serie A. Nocerino believes that if he can
convince Allardyce that he is deserving of a prominent role in his Premier
League plans, than a seat on the plane to Brazil this summer could also be
within his reach. A man who has been capped on 15 occasions by his country
told Radio Deejay: "I hope this spell with help me get back into the Italian
squad. "One of the reasons I came to West Ham and to the Premier League is
to play on a regular basis. "My first objective is to play for West Ham and
help the club move up the table. "From that, if I am playing well and I get
picked to go to the World Cup in Brazil, that will be an added bonus."

By ExWHUemployee 17 Feb 2014 at 22:05
West ham Till I Die

"Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes
life meaningful". –Joshua J. Marine.

I like to think I set myself challenges and that I have met the majority
that I have. However, I have never set challenges as great as Jonjo Heuerman
or achieved as much as he has and all by the age of 12. I have followed
Jonjo's work from the very start as he raises money for charities very close
to my own heart and of course is a fellow Hammer. As Jonjo is about to
embark on his next challenge on Tuesday 18th Feb, I thought it was the
perfect time to ask him some questions and find out more about his work.

I am sure most people who follow West Ham know of your work but could you
please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am 12 years old and I was my Nanny's only grandson when she passed away
from bowel cancer. I started secondary school in September and I have only
just told my school that I fundraise. I like to keep my school life and my
friends separate from my fundraising. I really like meeting people and I
love football.

What else do you like to do when you are not raising money?

I love to be at West Ham United, I have been a season ticket holder since I
was 4 years old. I also collect 1966 World Cup and West Ham United football
memorabilia. I'm just a normal kid and I do normal things. I play on my Xbox
and I love to play football and see my friends. My favourite time is playing
football with my dog. She is a great goalkeeper. I am really interested in
cooking and I would like to be a chef when I am older.

Which charities do you raise money for?

I fund raise for The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. I chose this
charity because my Nanny and Bobby Moore both died from bowel cancer.

When and how did your charity work start?

When my Nanny died my sister did some fundraising. She raised £10,000 for
our local hospice. I watched what she did and I helped her. I wanted to do
something for my Nanny's memory too so I asked my Mum if I could walk from
Wembley to West Ham United. She is not very good at directions and she
thought because they were in London they were close. My first walk took me 3
days and was 27 miles and I way 9 years old. I started on my own with my
family and I was on TV a lot and when I finished lots of people came to walk
with me.

I do my walk every year in February half term because it's the same week as
my Nanny and Bobby's anniversary. People from around the world come to walk
with me and people send me angel names of people who they lost to cancer
too. I put all the names on my walk Tshirt and I read out the names on the
last day of my challenge at a special memorial ceremony. I have walked
almost 200 miles now for nearly 300 angels. I also help by organising events
all year too.

Can you tell me about some of your biggest fundraising events?

My biggest event was The Big Football Tag. I asked every one of the 92
English Football League club captains to give me a signed captains armband.
I then organised a tag event where fans from each club took their club
captain's armband to the next club in the tag. The armbands were attached to
sashes with GPS trackers attached. On the first day of my 2013 challenge I
waited at the gates of Upton Park to wait for the armbands to arrive on foot
and to tag me. It was amazing, from all around the country they came and
within half an hour I had every armband. I carried them to Wembley to get
the England captain's armband for Bobby and bring it back to Upton Park. My
walk took me 6 days and I walked 66 miles. All of the armbands are being
auctioned for the charity.

I have seen many West Ham greats and other famous people support your work,
have you any special memories from any dealings with them?

I was invited to meet David Cameron at Downing Street. That was pretty
special. He is an Aston Villa supporter and I told him he supported the
wrong claret and blue and he thought it was funny. Speaking at events at the
House of Lords was great too.

I have met Billy Bonds a lot and last time he was telling me off for not
eating properly. I am a really bad eater and he was trying to get me to eat
chicken with him. He made me promise and to train properly for my challenge.
All of The Boys of 86 are kind to me and is the first team squad, the owners
and staff at West Ham too. A lot of celebrity fans follow me on Twitter and
they are kind too and Stephanie Moore is very proud of me. I have had a
great time meeting people.

You are due to start another event this Tuesday, could you tell me more
about it?

I am starting a 50 mile 5 day football dribble from the centre circle of
Southend United to the centre circle of West Ham United before kick off
against Southampton. I start the day after my nanny's anniversary and I
finish the day before Bobby's anniversary. I have two footballs and I am
inviting people to come and dribble with me. Lots of people are joining in
and I am trying to raise £50,000 for The Bobby Moore Fund.

How can readers support you and contribute to the cause?

They can support me by visiting my Website and buying my charity badges and
wristbands or by donating on JustGiving or by coming and joining in. I am
trying to get fans to walk the last mile with me – One Moore Mile. They can
meet me at the junction of Romford Road and Green Street on 22nd February
2014 at 1:30pm. There is a lot of information about my challenge on my
website and I will be wearing a GPS tracker so people can watch my progress
or find me to join in. There are maps on my website too.

If fans cannot walk with me they can meet me at the Barking Road statue at
2pm on 22nd February for my memorial service. There is a lot of people
coming and it's going to be really special this year. They can also follow
me on Facebook and Twitter. I like reading the messages on there because it
encourages me.

What are your future ambitions?

I want to be a chef and I want to keep fundraising and help find a cure one
day. I am walking in Ireland in April and I have been asked to walk to The
Vatican, and to walk in New York but I don't know how or when because of my
school work.

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers out there?

I want to say a big thank you to West Ham fans and the club for helping me.
I have raised £150,000 so far and the charity estimates that I have
generated over £1m in awareness too and I couldn't do it without lots of
help. Thank you for helping me Make Bobby Proud

I would really like to thank Jonjo for taking the time to answer these
questions for me, the day before such a big event. I am sure, like me, you
find his work inspirational and would encourage you all to support Jonjo and
help him reach his fundraising targets. Good luck Jonjo from the West Ham

By Sean Whetstone 17 Feb 2014 at 08:46
West Ham Till I Die

When the recent West Ham company accounts were published it showed an
outstanding bank debt of £44m in 2013. The re-financing of that debt on 1st
July last year appears to have reduced the current bank debt from £44m to
£32m not including the £5m short term season pay day loan from Vibrac. The
new refinancing deal was secured as a mortgage against the Boleyn Ground and
the other freehold land held by the club. The terms of the new loans are the
bank debts need to be paid off or refinanced by the end of 2016.
Interestingly the new bankers are named as CB Holding ehf and David Sullivan
replacing the previous syndicate of five banks from the Icelandic days.

I can exclusive reveal the terms of the re-financing deal for the first

In May/June 2013 David Sullivan bought a further 25% of the shares in the
club from CB holdings on condition they used the money David paid them to
loan back to the club to replace the main bank debt for 3 years by paying
off the existing bankers. David Sullivan paid £25.5m for these shares which
ultimately ended back in the club to refinance the bank debt. However, there
remained a 15% hole of £3.8m in cash needed to pay off the syndicate of five
banks, so David Sullivan personally took 15% of the main bank debt so that
it could be paid off. It was the only way it could be done as no other banks
were prepared to loan us the money. Effectively, David Sullivan become one
of our bankers and is named as such in the 2013 financial accounts. It means
he invested another £25.5m last year on top of the £10.5m Gold and himself
loaned the club last season as shareholder loans. CB Holdings have also
loaned West ham £6.7m to take the total bank debt to £32.2m.

With the sale of the Boleyn ground announced last week the chairmen have a
plan to be almost debt free by May 2016 when we move to the Olympic Stadium.
The current plan is to pay off £5m per year off the bank debt over the next
two remaining years at the Boleyn. This reduces the bank debt to £22m by
which time we will need to move out and pay off the loans secured against
the Boleyn ground. The proceeds of the sale of the Boleyn ground to Galliard
Homes will pay the £15m we owe to the LLDC towards Olympic Stadium
transformation costs and the surplus of the sale will be used to pay off the
remaining bank debt.

I understand Galliard homes were not the highest bidder in the tender
process by some distance but considered by the directors as the best fit to
preserve the history of the area. Hopes that there would be a surplus from
the sale to invest in redeveloping Rush Green or investing in new players
now appear to be unfounded. This debt reduction plan relies on West Ham
remaining in Premier League until 2016. If we get relegated in the next 3
years all bets and plans to be debt free are off!

Is Ravel Morrison really the problem?
James Jones
February 17, 2014

Ravel Morrison's high profile loan switch to QPR has uncovered a number of
'conspiracies' behind his rise and fall at West Ham this season.

When things started going pear shaped and we began seeing less and less of
Morrison in the starting line-up, and then the match day squad, the
automatic feeling was that the player himself had been causing trouble
behind the scenes.

His reputation of being a bad boy automatically meant that he was the one
orchestrating the trouble in the dressing room, apparently pushing for a
move to Fulham and frequently missing training.

Such accusations, along with the Fulham debacle, sparked fans giving
Morrison abuse on Twitter and Instagram, some of which was quite disgusting
and uncalled for.

Of course, a lot of the bad comments people made towards him were out of
frustration more than anything. Hearing that your club's most promising
youngster has been pushing for a move and causing trouble in the dressing
room is obviously going to frustrate and upset the fans who had enjoyed
watching him play earlier in the season, and had also given him hero-like
status for his goal in the 3-0 win over Spurs at White Hart Lane.

But after all of that and all of the accusations towards Ravel, stories have
emerged this week that suggest it's actually Sam Allardyce who has played a
big part in Ravel being sent out on loan and potentially going AWOL.

On the back of Allardyce's claims that Morrison is refusing to play with a
groin injury that he has 100% recovered from, Morrison's agent Nick Rubery
went public to claim Morrison had fallen out with the manager due to
attempts to get him to switch agents.

According to Rubery, Allardyce asked Morrison to ditch him for his own agent
Mark Curtis. The trouble is, Morrison sees Rubery as a very close friend and
is unwilling to ditch him under the orders of Allardyce. And why should he?
To help line the pockets of Allardyce? Perhaps Big Sam is looking for one
last pay day before the owners tell him to pack his bags in the summer?
Maybe we'll never know.

But this is, in a nutshell, the reason behind the fall-out. We may never
find out the truth behind what has happened over the last couple of months,
but what I think is vital to all of this is that we shouldn't be publicly
attacking Morrison for his apparent trouble making when, in fact, he may not
have actually done anything wrong at all.

Yes, he has a history and a reputation but, given how successful and grown
up he had become early on this season, it does seem a bit strange that
suddenly it's all been ruined and he's off to QPR. Surely something must
have sparked the current situation? Why would he have thrown away what was
promising to be a successful and popular West Ham career for a loan move to
a Championship side?

Underneath one of Morrison's recent Instagram posts he reacted to an angry
comment towards by saying something like 'You wait until the truth comes
out.' To me, that suggests there was behind this than just him being the bad
boy he is always being made out to be.

So with all of that in mind, perhaps it's time to stop hounding the player
and wait to see if the actual truth does come out. Let Morrison go to QPR
and continue his development as a player – he'll certainly do that under
Harry Redknapp – and then assess the situation once he returns in the

If we are going to hold on to Ravel by offering him a new contract and him
agreeing to pen-to-paper, he is going to need to feel wanted not just by the
club, but by the fans.

So until we learn all the ins and outs about this, we should support
Morrison and wish him all the best at Loftus Road.



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