Search

West Ham supporters club battling for new members

PUBLISHED: 18:30 10 August 2018

John John Ratomski  and Lew Ozarow from WHUISA

John John Ratomski and Lew Ozarow from WHUISA

Archant

New chairman at WHUISA says he is the 'critical friend' of West Ham

West Ham independent supporters association logoWest Ham independent supporters association logo

As the Hammers look to rub shoulders with the cream of the Premier League this season, the West Ham United Independent Supporters Association are looking to do the same.

West Ham were the only professional club in Englad not to have an affiliated supporters club, but the times they are a changing.

WHUISA, as it is known, have a new chairman in John Ratomski and lofty ambitions to increase their membership and serve the West Ham fans in anyway they can.

“We started from zero,” said John. “There had been three different versions of WHUISA which did not get off the ground for whatever reason.

“But starting from scratch and going into the first season, the issue was growing an identity, getting the name out there and getting the fans onboard.”

They have certainy managed that. Membership has grown from a thousand to over 4,000 in the last year and this year they are looking to break into the big league in terms of members.

“For WHUISA the plan is to grow the name, offer more of a service to members and potential members and to grow the membership,” explained John.

“We already have the direct dialogue with David Sullivan which began in April as well as through the Supporters Advisory Board with Karren Brady, so we have two lines of contact with them.

“The contact with David Sullivan came by default really following the Burnley incidents. He was willing to talk to us and we took along a number of questions which he answered for us.

“He spoke openly and these were questioned provided by WHUISA members.

“It is important to say we are pro-supporter, not ant-board.”

So what can WHUISA do for you the supporter? Well, it seems they are have already made their presence felt, as Ratomski explained.

“We had an approach about the priority points system for away games and queries over the correct number being carried over, so we are looking to get involved with that,” he said.

“Last season we helped to overturn some bans from after the Burnley game. The club had written to one fan to say we have spotted you and he said I don’t even think I moved from my seat.

“In the end we liaised with the football supporters federation Amanda Jacks who has been helpful to us and had that overturned with an apology and his police record expunged.

“I am sure there will be more issues that will come up.”

Ratomski actually lives in the north west of England, but with fellow committee member Lew Ozarow acting as his southern representative, he thinks things will run smoothly.

“Home games are a 13-hour round trip for me and I am committed to that,” insisted John, who has been supporting the Hammers since the 1960s from Chester.

“It is payback time for me because I couldn’t do this five years ago because I had other commitments.

“I grew up in Chester and I was a steward there,” he continued. “I ysed to run Ian Rush’s bath and I walked past my hero Bobby Moore in a corridor there when he was manager of Southend.

“I wasn’t brave enough to speak to him, but he did acknowledge me and that was good enough for me.”

John and WHUISA are looking to build on their membership in the new season in the same way the club are looking to in the Premier League.

And they seem to be doing a decent job already having increased membership four fold in the last year.

“We are really holding the club to account,” said John. “We are their critical friend. We are completely independent and transparent and democratic and that is why people support us.”

It seems like joining WHUISA is a sensible step to make for every fan.

Latest East London Sports News

16:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton has revealed striker Lee Angol would have taken the penalty against Crewe Alexandra had he not come off injured in the 2-1 defeat.

12:00

Leyton Orient winger Louis Dennis praised loanee midfielder George Marsh for his impact in their 2-2 draw with Exeter City at the weekend as well as in their 2-1 defeat to Crewe Alexandra.

Yesterday, 19:39

Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate admitted it felt good to be back at the top of the County Championship table after their innings & 40-run win over Surrey.

Yesterday, 18:21

Simon Harmer spun Essex to the brink of the Specsavers County Championship title with seven wickets as reigning champions Surrey were despatched by an innings at Chelmsford.

Yesterday, 16:00

Leyton Orient goalkeeper Dean Brill insists they must find a way to put it right after falling to a late defeat against Crewe Alexandra.

Yesterday, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton says the time has come for everyone to stop feeling sorry for his side after suffering yet another late goal against Crewe Alexandra.

League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Crewe Alexandra 2

Tue, 19:01

Dan Lawrence crafted his first Specsavers County Championship century of the season to put Essex in a strong position as the race for the title heads for its dramatic denouement.

PROMOTED CONTENT

It's now just under a month since All Points East took over Victoria Park with two weekends of world-class music and a programme of free community events.

Curated by AEG Presents, All Points East is bringing an impressive line-up of multi-flavoured music to Victoria Park from May 24-26 and May 31-June 2.

Victoria Park - or 'Vicky Park' as the locals know it - has been the setting for many important events over the years.​ Here, we take a look at its unique cultural history.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists