WHUISA Commitee announcements.

Dear WHUISA member,

Acting Chair for WHUISA

After launching and guiding WHUISA through its first year, our chair Paul Christmas has asked to step down so he can concentrate on other projects such as his great work with the Hammers Supporters’ Club. He remains a committee member. 

As a result, vice-chair, Mark Walker, will become acting chair until the next committee meeting.

Three people, Kim Perryman, Bill Edwards and Nigel Kahn have decided they wish to leave the committee. Bill remains available to the committee for advice on policing matters.   

We thank all of them for their hard work in trying to get a better deal for West Ham fans.

We will be looking to bring three new committee members on-board in due course.

Joint Statement WHUISA & THST

The inability to confirm the time and date of the Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United Premier League fixture in late December is both unacceptable to fans and symptomatic of a deeper problem in the relationship between football and television. 
 A commitment was made to fans to confirm all fixture changes for TV a minimum of six weeks ahead. It’s now just over four weeks until the original fixture date of 30 December. Fans are unable to make travel plans at a complex and expensive time of year, and there is the added complication of the game currently being scheduled – but not confirmed – for New Year’s Eve.

We welcome the statement from THFC and the Premier League apologising for the delay and acknowledging the problems this causes for fans. And we know that both Clubs wanted this situation to be resolved weeks ago. But the fact remains that the game is still not confirmed.

As is too often the case, it has proved difficult to establish the facts. This is especially frustrating as fan representatives have been in regular discussion with the Premier League and the TV companies for the last year in order to resolve the issues around fixture scheduling. That constructive relationship enabled us to avoid a situation where fans had to travel to and from games late on Christmas Eve, a time when the entire UK transport network is shutting down. And there has been some initial progress on mitigating the effects of fixture changes on supporters.

But the conversation over this proposed New Year’s Eve game has proved less productive. The statement from THFC and the Premier League made reference to the “many elements” that need to be put in place to enable fans to “enjoy the game safely”. That would seem to indicate that staging a London derby on New Year’s Eve provides serious challenges for those who must decide whether the event can go ahead safely. And this raises serious questions.

If safety is the issue, the last word should rest with the authorities responsible for safety. If they are expressing doubts, and we must assume in this case they are, then those considerations must come before the commercial interests of private organisations.

We accept that the broadcasters have paid a large sum of money to the Premier League to cover football, and so that will mean the broadcasters want to maximise audience opportunity. We believe we have shown we recognise that in our contributions to discussion throughout this year.

Sky’s decision to publish the date of the game as 31 December, but with a proviso that it was not confirmed, in our opinion goes against the spirit of the agreement to confirm fixture changes at least six weeks ahead. And it put both Clubs and their fans in a difficult position.

If Sky is insisting the game goes ahead at a time when safety authorities have expressed doubts, we must express serious concern as representatives of the fans potentially put at risk. And ask if it is time to reassess the relationship between football and TV.

For now, we are calling for the immediate resolution of this issue. The date must be confirmed without further delay. After that, we call for the immediate resumption of genuine consultation between all parties concerned to avoid issues such as this arising in future.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust
West Ham United Independent Supporters Association

Champions Place stones, SAB and next meeting.

Dear member
Please find attached a document on the Champions Place stones. Please open, read and respond as soon as you can if it applies to you.
The SAB meeting has now been scheduled for Wednesday 15th November due to the change of our manager. I have a number of responses from members. It is not too late to put forward your point of view on anything you wish me to raise on your behalf at the meeting.
Please send any details by return.
There will be an open committee meeting at the White Post Cafe in Schwartz Wharf (Building 4), 92 White Post Lane, London E95EN on Friday 24th November starting at 5.30pm sharp.
ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND.
Let’s hope David Moyes lifts the club and helps put a smile back on our faces  
Always West Ham
Paul for an on behalf of the WHUISA committee.

WHU V BHA 20/10/2017.

WHUISA – A welcome to all Brighton fans’

 

WHUISA are proud of the diverse nature of our team, our supporters and our wider community and we want everyone to feel respected and welcomed when they visit our club. 
WHUISA believes that any form of discriminatory behaviour is harmful and counter-productive. Regardless of disability, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, race or sexual orientation, we will be extending this respect and welcome to Brighton & Hove Albion supporters and staff this Friday on their first visit to the London Stadium.

 

WHUISA would like to thank you for making West Ham United a welcoming place for all supporters.

WHUISA & SAB Meeting 17/10/2017

Dear member
WHUISA will be present at the SAB meeting at LS on 17/10/2017. I shall be attending on your behalf. I would be grateful to hear if you have any issues you wish me to raise or comment on.
I politely ask that you respond so that i have as much evidence of your thoughts as possible. WHUISA is the only democratic organisation on the SAB.
Here are a few pointers….please feel free to make your own issues /
comments known.
———————————————————-
How are you finding the stewarding at LS ? Is it better / worse /  same?
How do you feel the club treats you as an away fan? Any suggestions for improvements?
What are your thoughts on the new security checks on the bridges at LS?
What improvements if any would you make to the area inside / outside LS?
Your thoughts on quality & pricing of food and drink in / outside LS?
What do you think about the ticket prices / exchange system? Do you expect prices to be frozen or rise next year for STH?
Are you happy if you relocated your seat during the close season?
Do you have any issues with people standing around you? Please include your block number.
What do you feel the club can do to make the new stadium better?
If you approach the club direct how do you find you are dealt with?
How happy are you with move to the new stadium ? Have pledges / promises been kept?
Should the club help relocate the Hammers Supporters Club near to LS?
——————————————————————
Please respond by the end of the weekend (15/10) so i can collate the
responses.
Always West Ham
Paul
For and on behalf of WHUISA committee.

New security Measures at London Stadium.

In light of new security measures being announced the following has been sent to LS185, West Ham and the Met. Police.
Good afternoon.
I note your announcement on the new security search process mooted at the meeting on 30/08/2017.
On taking a closer look a number of points have come up since the announcement. 
Firstly were any fans (groups) who actually have used the stadium over the last year involved in the planning of this scheme ? 
As you are aware a significant majority of fans approach the stadium from Stratford along bridges 1 and 5. 
There does not seem to be a turnstile I at the LS as marked on bridge 1. Do you mean J ? For those people coming from Stratford according to your statement have to make an extensive detour to bridge 2 to get to their entrance. 
How will people know this and at what point on the route to the stadium ?
The same can be said for people entering at turnstiles A, B and C. Previously they would have moved across bridge 1 and 5 and walked around the ground. If they have to avoid those bridges they now have to make a further detour around the park to reach their dedicated bridge. This is too much of an ask for a number of people who are elderly or indeed the very young. The walk to the stadium is already long enough as it is.  
The request for people to be there 1 hour before is all well and good but unfortunately may fall on deaf ears. 
Fixtures on weekday evenings maybe fraught with delays on public transport, people leaving work late or indeed families coming post after school activities. 
As winter approaches the sun is due to set at 7.29pm this Monday a full 30 minutes before kick off so it will be dusk / getting dark. 
The surrounding area of the LS is known for poor lighting so has any provision on lighting been made or improved on since last season?
Has the the idea of piloting this scheme on an evening with an unknown number of people arriving without prior knowledge of this new entrance process been thought out carefully? What evidence have you used ? 
Football is a winter sport and cannot be compared to summer athletics meetings and rock band concerts. These are usually one off events where people will arrive over a period of time to see their event. There are support bands for the main act while finals of athletics events are scheduled later in the event day to allow the stadium to fill up on a gradual basis. Such events also generally run late. Sky TV are involved on Monday and expect an 8pm KO. 
At the Olympics there was an unprecedented amount of security and volunteers to allow the event to run smoothly. Like wise at the World Athletics Championships large numbers of people were employed to search people who came to the stadium at varying times.
A football crowd does not migrate to a match like an athletics or rock band crowd. It moves en masse and traditions of arrival times have been built up over a distinct period of time. Many will come from pubs around the ground and arrive anything from 5-15 minutes before KO and expect to get in. 
Large crowds do not get messages easily and anticipation at missing KO can cause anxiety and lead to overcrowding. This has to be avoided at all costs. The nuance of a football crowd as opposed to any other is an important distinction and must be carefully considered. 
A football match lasts for 90 minutes and begins at a specified time. The vast majority of fans will approach from Stratford along bridges 1 and 5. This has the potential to cause a bottleneck. 
From past experience of attending West Ham matches over 30 years people (initially) will not arrive 60 minutes before kick off. 
Particularly at this stadium. 
There is no significant pre match entertainment. Food and drink are expensive and there are few places to enjoy refreshment in what is an open stadium.  This may be a significant problem. 
If there are thousands of people at the bridges at KO time will the match be delayed so people can get in ?
The idea of searching people at the bridges is in principle a good one. It allows free movement around the concourse area and allows for a traditional hassle free method of entry to the turnstiles.  
LS185 have had a good experience at athletics and rock concerts in the summer months but the points above mean that when using this at West Ham matches you may come across events you have not yet experienced.
What contingency plans do you have if the scheme is not working?
It would have at least been better to have had a longer period of time for this to be announced and get the word around. 
I look forward to your response. 
Kind regards
Paul
Chair for and on behalf of WHUISA. 

Report on Met Police Meeting 30/08/2017

Meeting with MPS (Met Police) prior to Match V Tottenham Hotspur 30/08/2017 at Lambeth HQ.

 

In attendance was Seargent Dave Hine along with 3 DFO’s  PC’s Andy Sheldon and Pc Rob Glozier for West Ham and PC Noel Deady for Spurs (MPS Football Unit), Jake Heath (West Ham SLO), David Sadler (Head of Safety & Security LS185), his deputy Graham Harris, Katrina Law (Spurs Supporters Trust), Kevin Fitzgerald (Spurs Supporters Trust), Paul Christmas (WHUISA), Mark Gower (WHUISA) and Bill Edwards (WHUISA).

 

Discussions lasted just over 2 hours and were conducted openly and frankly.

 

WHUISA asked a number of questions put forward by our members. The salient points from the meeting are as follows.

 

TERRORISM.

A number of our members asked what measures the Police are taking. I asked Sargent Hine directly this question. He responded:

  1. MPS take the threat of terrorism with the utmost seriousness.
  2. An immense amount of work goes into policing major sporting events in London and West Ham home matches are no exception.
  3. Pre-match investigation / intelligence gathering is ongoing.
  4. MPS work very closely with the Stadium operators
  5. Advice is given by MPS to all stakeholders involved in the London Stadium
  6. All PC’s will explain what why & they intend to do if you are stopped
  7. All PC’s are Counter Terrorism Aware.
  8. CCTV will be in operation in / outside the stadium
  9. Stadium security has the ability to monitor outside beyond the ground
  10. Officers will be in Full Protective Kit
  11. Police dogs will be present
  12. Vehicles will subject to checks and will be prohibited to move along walkways where people are.
  13. City of London police will be assisting their colleagues from the MPS.
  14. MPS will tweet any issues / concerns on the day before and on the morning of the match. Please follow @MPSFootballUnit 

 

 

For the Spurs match;

  1. This is a Category C match
  2. Police will be present in full protective kit and the majority will have body cams.
  3. Gates at the stadium open at 11am
  4. Alcohol will be served in the ground to home fans.
  5. No pubs in the surrounding areas have been asked by MPS to close – it is up to individual licensees.
  6. There will be controlled drinking area in the streets around the pubs in Stratford.
  7. Westfield will be fully open pre match, the gates will close from around 1hr 15 mins before kick off. The closure is carried out dynamically on the day and could be nearer to kick off time.
  8. The gates will be closed at Westfield post-match
  9. West Ham will be operating up to 18 disability buses from Stratford and Stratford International pre and post-match.
  10. MPS will tweet any issues / concerns on the day before and on the morning of the match. Please follow @MPSFootballUnit
  11. People are advised to get to the ground as early as they can with a provisional estimate that a 45 minute arrival prior to KO should see you into the ground in good time.
  12. Fans are advised to NOT bring bags unless essential as this slows down the search process.
  13. Spurs fans will NOT be held back post-match as this is a very rare occurrence. This will only change if there is a desperate escalation of circumstances outside / in the ground. The MPS do not expect this to occur.
  14. Post-match West Ham fans will disperse through Bridge 1 and 5 as usual to Stratford Station. Spurs fans will leave along the Loop Road to the station. Sufficient Police Officers will be in position if / when opposing fans eventually come together.
  15. Ticket checking will go on in the stadium at any given place but more so in the lower and upper tier blocks nearest the away fans. If you are in these sections please expect to produce your season card / ticket on more than one occasion.
  16. Tailgating at the turnstiles is high on the agenda – Please do not have 2 people go in on one ticket.
  17. With body cams in operation please be polite to Police / Stewards as you can expect to be filmed. (MPS wouldn’t expect the body cams to be used unless the circumstances dictate i.e. Disorder or officers dealing with issues, whereby the officer will activate them)

 

 

 

 

 

Over the 1st 12 month the stadium has been operating with West Ham as tenant the working relationships between all parties has grown and strengthened.

 

Seargent Hine was happy to state that he had full confidence in LS185.

 

Changes which the Stadium management will be implemented this season:

  1. One gate shall remain open at each turnstile to allow late comers to enter their usual turnstile without having to go on a route march around the ground as was the case last season.
  2. The searching process has been refined and people are encouraged to NOT bring bags to the match as this slows down entry procedure.
  3. Further changes to searching are being planned and may be announced shortly.
  4. Stewarding has undergone a massive change and this is expected to be seen from the first match.
  5. Ticket checking and tailgating are in operation / being monitored.
  6. The management of the Stadium has evolved and stadium sectorised with each sector having its own manager.
  7. Exit doors will be constantly monitored & controlled from the Event Control Room in the stadium to monitor crowd activity. Additionally, stewarding staff will man the gates. They have the ability to open gates when directed to by appropriate management.

WHUISA would like to thank MPS for their excellent and committed work at keeping us safe. We also thank them for their kind hospitality which included tea, biscuits and cake !

It was also a pleasure to meet our counterparts from Tottenham who represented their club in a very professional fashion. Thanks to Jake for his input and assistance during and after the meeting.

We all look forward to a great match, a Hammers victory and a safe trip home.

 

WHUISA Committee.

We are the independent democratic voice of West Ham supporters