This Week has been a mixed bag on the pitch with the outstanding away win at Bournemouth and then the harsh defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday, not forgetting the historic night at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday with the club’s 4th youth cup trophy being won by the current crop of youngsters.
Off the field, the club finally announced its season ticket prices for next season, perhaps spurred on by the Bournemouth win, which has gone a long way to keeping us in the Premier League.
No one likes a price rise, but it is harsh this time when the country is in a cost-of-living crisis.
Did the club actually need to raise prices, how much extra does the increase raise for the club anyway, and could the money have come from elsewhere?
The first part is determining how much extra revenue will be raised by the price rises.
West Ham is now said to have 50000 Season Ticket Holders it isn’t easy to know how many seats are in each band, but using the map, I have estimated the following 1966 West 500, 1966 Billy Bonds 1000, Band 1 9000, Band 2 5500, Band 3 13500, Band 4 17000, Band 5 3000, Band 6 500.
If every seat were an adult, the price rise would raise 2.7 million, but we know that is not the case. You have concessions and kids’ tickets thrown in.
In the 1st season at the London Stadium, West Ham claimed to have 10,000 kids seats alone, without the OAP and U23s. The Total amount of Concessions could be as high as 150000.
By using my estimate of amount f seats in a band and multiplying those by just the price rise figure from the chart below i reckon the the figure raised, is around the 1.75 to 2 million mark.
That does not buy you anything of note on the playing side, and it possibly may play the players one Week’s wages, it may run the marketing/media department for the season, both areas of the club where we seem to pay out far more than we get back in value for money.
So in the scheme of it, when you look at the clubs’ income, the money raised is minimal compared to its income.
Our last accounts (2021/22) show a 12 million pound profit out of a total income of 252 million.
The owners have taken far more out of the club in loan repayments in the last couple of years than the money being raised. If we are so short, they could have covered the money themselves from the payback.
The price rise wasn’t the only distasteful part. Raising the Pensioner’s age from 65 to 66 was sneaky, and while this may be in line with the Government’s raising the pension age upwards, the club could have chosen to keep their age limit at 65. The small amount of money raised, estimated to be around £250000, from this move is negligible compared to the bad taste in the mouth of fans. No good PR can come from this, and it shames a club that once boasted of being Moore than a Football Club. Just another business that is rinsing its customers.
There is one more thing the raise has highlighted and how the club have handled it.
The club has a responsibility to liaise with the fan groups that represent us on the ISC. The independent supporters’ committee.
It seems this was done as a fait accompli, with the ISC only hearing about this the night before.
The fact that no discussion or negotiation occurred before the decision was made highlights the club’s contempt for this forum, which is supposed to represent you and me.
The ISC comprises Hammers United, The supporter’s Trust, BAME Hammers, Pride of Irons, Disability representatives, Bond Holder representatives and the Supporters Club. Away season ticket holders and Any old Irons make uo the groups supposedly representing the whole fan base
The fan groups should now walk away from this constraint and tell the club we are not playing your games any more.
The problem is, Some of those groups are almost embedded in the club.
Whenever black history month is on (October generally), Bame hammers will be used by the club to help promote whatever they plan.
Same with pride week and Pride of Irons, which the club regularly uses to promote football within the LGBTQ community.
The disability group have regular meetings with the club separately to discuss the disability needs of fans.
Any old Irons are supported by the club as well, how much will those groups be prepared to rock the boat as much as Hammers United are.
Would these groups be prepared to walk away from that exposure and go against the club? If not, how can the ISC claim to be independent when these groups are involved?
We have been sold short on the face of it by the club, not for the first time under this ownership and, more importantly, the management by Brady of the club.
Brady in 21/22 was the fourth highest-paid club administrator in the premier league. We could save the fans the expense of the price rise in one failed swoop.
Sack Brady and save the club her wages. The club and the fans will be better off for it, that’s for sure.