The bitter taste of regret as West Ham fans see the folly of their misplaced Red Bull relief

David Sullivan, West Ham owner and David Gold, West Ham chairman look on during the Premier League match between Burnley and West Ham United at Turf Moor on May 21, 2017 in Burnley,...

West Ham United are a club in crisis as recent events have brutally and publicly laid bare.

Ashley Barnes of Burnley confronts a pitch Invader who stole the corner flag during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Burnley at London Stadium on March 10, 2018 in...

If anyone was in any doubt over the strength of feeling from West Ham's fans towards co-owners David Sullivan, David Gold and vice-chairman Karren Brady then Saturday's events during the 3-0 defeat to Burnley at the London Stadium provided perfect clarity.

If you are one for social media a simple search of the hashtag WestHamRIP sums up the sheer weight of feeling that the club has not only lost its soul following Sullivan and Gold to Stratford but has died.

However, Saturday's controversy proved unequivocally that supporters will not allow that to happen without a fight.

The whole sorry saga is lathered with regret. And not just over the ill-fated move to the former Olympic Stadium but the very ownership of the club.

Because when reports emerged in December 2016 that West Ham turned down a £650 million takeover from Red Bull, there was misplaced relief from Hammers fans.

General view outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on December 13, 2017 in London, England.

To a degree it was understandable, after all people don't like change, it's a common human trait.

But the reaction to reports that the Austrian drinks giant wanted to buy the East London club were extreme to say the least.

Irrational fears were spouted on social media after The Telegraph reported  Hammers co-owners Sullivan and Gold had turned down the huge bid.

Supporters were worried the marketing machine would come in and rename the club, change the badge, the kit colours and all but erase Bobby Moore from the history books.

Now West Ham fans are fiercely loyal and extremely knowledgeable about their football, but the reaction smacked of rank ignorance of the world outside the Premier League bubble.

In reality none of those things would have happened, because if there is one thing Red Bull isn't... it's stupid.

Red Bull Racing logo is seen on transporter during practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on July 6, 2012 in Northampton, England.

The company, worth over $8billion, has wide ranging sporting interests across the globe and is famous for spending big and wisely to make a success of its ventures.

In Germany, the club Red Bill Leipzig - which was originally fifth division side SSV Markranstädt before being purchased and rebranded - is widely reviled.

But that is chiefly because the owners have done everything in their power to invest as much as possible to make the team a success.

And they have done just that with the side rocketing up the leagues and now fighting it out in the Bundesliga and Europe.

Red Bull would not have renamed the Hammers, they are too savvy to make such a gloriously stupid error. If anything they would market and push the club's history - perhaps its most cherished and valuable remaining asset - better than ever before.

David Sullivan, West Ham owner and David Gold, West Ham chairman look on during the Premier League match between Burnley and West Ham United at Turf Moor on May 21, 2017 in Burnley,...

But guess what Sullivan and Gold had the word 'London' cynically and rather crassly added to the club's badge, which is a big grievance for fans.

It is a badge which looks like it has been knocked up on Microsoft Paint and it is a badge the majority of supporters hate, would Red Bull really have done any worse?

But badges and the amount of club colours and livery on display around the soulless bowl of twisted metal that is the London Stadium are mere sideshows in the grand scheme of things.

The two big problems the Hammers have are 1) A lack of the kind of investment promised - and needed - to challenge in the Premier League and 2) The design of the stadium - critically the distance the stands are away from the pitch and the impact that has on atmosphere.

The oval bowl is not conducive to generating the kind of intimidating atmosphere which made Upton Park famous.

A general view inside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at London Stadium on January 2, 2018 in London, England.

Investment in players under Red Bull would have been on another level to anything West Ham fans have ever seen without being 'too Man City or Chelsea' - think Everton with the added carrot of London.

Had the company taken over it would have surprised nobody had they bought the financially ailing stadium outright and redeveloped it into a proper football stadium befitting West Ham United.

A precedent has already been set by Spurs - with Chelsea set to follow suit too - in renting Wembley.

Gut the ill-conceived stadium innards and redesign to get the seats close to the pitch and Red Bull would have been on to a winner.

In terms of the key 'ings' Red Bull would have been the ideal people to take West Ham to the next level by investing, branding and most importantly understanding what is needed to bring success.

West Ham United fasn hold up protests signs and banners during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Burnley at London Stadium on March 10, 2018 in London, England.

If January reports are to be believed, Sullivan and Gold's plan to achieve that was taking out a loan for a different type of 'ings' - namely Danny Ings, the injury-prone Liverpool striker who has not scored a goal since 2015, when West Ham were still playing at their beloved Boleyn.

As an established, Premier League outfit with a huge stadium, in all likelihood Red Bull would have looked to rename the ground The Red Bull Stadium.

Is that any worse than the London Stadium - a fittingly sterile name for an arena which has struggled to find a realistic naming partner offering anything more than Premier League pocket change for it to bear its name?

Fans feared the club would be selling out or selling it's soul had Red Bull taken over. In truth that has already happened without any of the success to go with it and now only bitter regret, resentment and a very realistic possibility of relegation remain.

But in football there is always hope and who knows perhaps recent events might just spark renewed interest in the club if the situation for the owners becomes untenable.

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