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Unread 25-03-2010, 12:10 PM
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Default Sullivan apologises to Hammers fans in emotional open letter

Joint chairman hits out at 'appalling' performances
Supporters encouraged to back team against Stoke

David Sullivan, the joint-chairman of West Ham United, has posted an emotional open letter to the fans on the club's website. The letter, written after Tuesday night's 3-1 home defeat to Wolves, and looking ahead to another home fixture against Stoke on Saturday, calls on the club's fans to get behind the team, who have lost their last five games. The letter is reproduced in full below:

I am writing this on Wednesday morning. I had no sleep last night, having watched the shambolic performance by the team against Wolves.

I was as angry and upset as every supporter in the stadium at the disorganised way we played, allowing Wolves too much space so that they looked more like Manchester United. This was the culmination of five defeats in a row, including an appalling performance against Bolton.

We have a few very talented players in our team, but it is a very unbalanced squad. Individually we have some very good players, but this is not being converted into a good team performance. Nobody at the club should delude themselves that we are a good team. The table at this stage of the season does not lie.

However, with some of the outstanding players we have, we can and must do better as a team. I apologise to every supporter for the pathetic showing on Tuesday night but I fully expect a dramatic improvement as we have so much individual talent.

I accept that the club is in deep relegation trouble. However, we are a long way from being relegated. With your help we can get out of this and regroup in the summer.

This is a difficult time. It has been a week to regret but Saturday's result can change that. We need a win, we need you to support us, to forgive us the result against Wolves and to remember what this great club is about.

The history and tradition of West Ham United, the heritage and the prestige demands we are a Premier League club. But we have no right to that. We have to earn it. The Academy of Football? Now we have to show that. The manager knows, I know, the players know.

When I first started supporting West Ham, we had a tradition for playing the game "the right way". I will settle for any way right now, as long as it is the winning way!

We all have our favourite players, our heroes. Older fans can remember players like Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters the cornerstone of England's 1966 World Cup win. I know rival teams mock us West Ham fans for saying that, but one was the captain, another scored a hat-trick, the other scored the fourth. That sounds like a claret and blue contribution to me.

Younger supporters will probably look to strikers such as Frank McAvennie and Tony Cottee as well as Paolo Di Canio. They all brought something special to the club.

Then there was Sir Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds, Alan Taylor, Bryan "Pop" Robson, Phil Parkes, Alvin Martin and Ray Stewart. We didn't win much but there was always a quality and a style. Another hero to watch: a midfield playmaker, a little wizard on the wing, a goalscorer.

Now we need this team to show their quality.

Now we need this team to show us their talent, their desire, their passion, their dare.

Now we need new heroes.

Saturday may be tense, on Saturday you will feel anxious and, at times, unsettled. I ask that we try not to transmit that on to the field, that we get behind the team and provide them with a platform. The rest is up to them.

It's hard being an owner. I'm finding it's harder being an owner who is a supporter. I hope for happier times soon.
Thank you for sharing the same vision and dreams.

Come on West Ham.
David Sullivan

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