We are going down. At least one club is going to be very unlucky to drop out of the Premiership this season but that club won't be West Ham; because we deserve to drop.
We deserve to drop because we dared to dream. We dared to believe that our bubbles really would fly, that just for once our dreams wouldn't fade and die. What fools!
We are what we are, and all those backing the move to the Olympic Stadium should remember that. Manchester United are Manchester United and Bolton are, with all due respect, Bolton. Know who you are, know what you can achieve, know your limitations, know that there is a class system in football and that you can cock a snook at the aristocrats of the game every now and then but most of the time you must touch your forelock and stand to one side to let them pass, and you will be alright.
But get ideas above your station? Start thinking you can win the Champions League? Look at Leeds!
We can argue the toss about which manager is to blame - and I will continue to do so - but the real trouble started when we angered the footballing gods by trying to destabilise the natural order. Chelsea had the buffer of Abromovitch's billions, but the storm clouds are gathering over Stamford Bridge this season, and one day, the Plastic dream will bubble and burn away. Unreal City are fuelled by oil but the Arabs will bore of the toy sooner or later, close down the pipeline, and then God help them! But Manchester United will always be there. And so will Arsenal. And Liverpool may go through some lean years but will climb again to the summit of the British game. And Tottenham will win cups and finish in the top five, and may even win the odd title.
But West Ham? We are everybody's favourite team because everybody enjoys watching us play beautiful football and lose. We are the cockney wide boys, the lovable Del Trotters, dreaming of being milyonaires one day but secretly terrified by the prospect. We belong in the Prem, but only just. Our natural position is between eighth and seventeenth, and in a good year we might push for a place in the Europa League whilst in a bad one, we will go down. It aint exciting as a "business plan" but we know where we belong in our hearts. That's why we adopted "Bubbles" as our song, glorifying failure and accepting our place amongst the dreaming also rans, amongst the fancy dressed marathon runners limping home hours after the elite athletes.
And for the best part of 100 years that was fine. We have gone down before and come up again. Relegation has hurt but returning to the top division has felt like winning a trophy. Promotion is the iced cake treat that clubs like West Ham enjoy every decade. Without it, we have to live year on year on the crumbs of our Mother's Pride Premiership pre packed, pre processed, pre ordained lunch. To have the highs, you have to have the lows if you are a club like West Ham. Ask the Baggies fans! Ask the Geordies!
However, this time may be different. This time we have angered the footballing gods. This time the very existence of our club is at stake. The debt is huge but not unmanageable, providing we bounce back up again within three years. The danger is that we sell the family home but not the family silver.
We don't need the Olympic Stadium, we didn't even fill medium sized Upton Park yesterday for a crucial game against the billionaires from Manchester. Why move to a 60,000 capacity stadium when your paying fan base tops out at 40,000, especially in a world where Internet streaming will increasingly put downward pressure on gates and gate receipts? If we were Tottenham Hotspurs or Chelsea or Aston Villa or Newcastle, a move to a 60,000 stadium might make sense - although even Arsenal's success on the pitch has been restricted by the move to the Emirates! Look at Coventry, Leicester, Middlesborough and Derby, look what moving to a sparkling new stadium has done for them! Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like playing Scunthorpe in December in the Olympic Stadium, with 28,000 hardy Hammers fans trying to create a sense of atmosphere in a 50% empty soulless bowl. Bubbles would literally echo around the ground!
No, we don't need a new stadium, but we do need a new team. But we don't need to strengthen, we need to accept the inevitable and start cutting our cloth according to our means. Parker aint going to save us from the drop so why pay him £80,000 a week in a lost cause for the rest of the season? Upson isn't going to save us either. Let's save on his £60,000 per week. Cole's £50,000 a week is also a waste of money. And so is Behrami's £45,000 weekly salary. Sadly, we are stuck with Dyer because nobody is going to buy him, and he won't accept a free transfer either. Why would he when he stands to pocket another £2.2m in wages for playing the odd 70 mins every now and then? The same is true of McBenni, but we will be paying him for another two years, albeit a clause was hopefully added to his contract reducing his wages in the event of relegation.
The worst thing Sullivan and Gold could now do is to try to buy their way out of trouble. It will be too late in January. It is too late now. We have the basis of a team to bounce back, without Parker, Upson, Behrami and Cole. We offload Faubert. We let Dyer and Boa go at the end of the season. Noble should be made captain tomorrow. The team should be told of the master plan. We accept relegation and build for the future. We tell Stech, Da Costa, Barrera, Noble, Hines, Obinna, Tomkins, Collison, Reid, Brown, Sears and Stanislas that they are the future of the team. Daprela should have been in that list! We retain Spector, Jacobsen, Hitzlespurger, Piquionne, Kovac, Ilunga and Gabbidon; they will be good enough in the Championship. We source another four or five players to pad out the squad, players hungry to prove themselves who can be held for a year and sold at a profit or at break even when the object of promotion is achieved.
Then we gather together and say a prayer. We apologise to the gods for angering them. We accept who we are and accept our place in the natural order and we ask for forgiveness. The gods are kind, they are even showing mercy to Leeds United. There is a future. It may not be bright, but it is a future.
But if we do not accept the inevitable...well the gods will exact their vengeance!