A hard road ahead for West Ham fans?

With the club's relocation to the Olympic Stadium on the (not so near) horizon, West Ham United's ambitious owners could well be twitching over their team's recent form.

Having obtained just ten points from their opening eleven games, and with two of the league's newcomers sitting above them in the table, The Hammers are giving their supporters enough reason to be concerned about this season's outcome.

As West Ham prepare for the biggest move in the club's history an air of anxiety surrounds the Boleyn Ground. The Olympic stadium has become a significant and international cultural icon, which raises the concern; could anything less than Premiership football be justified in occupying it on a weekly basis?

Fans who vehemently opposed the move would be dealt a double blow if they were to see the new digs serve as a platform for second tier football.

But given Sam Allardyce's perpetually safe approach to football management - at the expense of the more crowd-pleasing, ambitious stance we see from the likes of Southampton and Swansea - it might be fair to suggest that David Sullivan is a little cosier under his Ushanka than we would expect.

By the time the 2016/17 Premier League season kicks off, the two Davids could be sitting on a potential goldmine if their 'beloved' West Ham are one of those taking part. Three or four seasons of stagnant mid-table mediocrity may just be a necessary evil for the chairmen to deal with if they are to get where they want to be.

Whatever is on the agenda, the long term goal has to be security. And who better to provide them with that than the future Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager, Sam Allardyce?

Relegation this season would not necessarily determine West Ham's position in 2016, but we mustn't overlook the possibility that a return to the Premier League wouldn't be a guarantee.

So, with potential slip-ups averted, what might any potential buyer be inheriting in 2016?

A London-based club, rooted in tradition, who ply their trade at a 60,000 seater world class stadium and boast an extremely passionate fan-base. Not to mention about 10,000 former Leyton Orient supporters to boot.

Be it for the betterment of the club or the weight of their wallets, Mr Gold and Mr Sullivan's plan for this club's future may well already be set in stone.

There's no denying that the next three and a half years may not be pretty, but are West Ham fans willing to play the long game?

image: © Tom Cuppens

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