A couple of weeks ago, I heard an advert on the radio for West Ham’s upcoming matches. As I am not a West Ham fan, I paid little attention to this. That was until I heard the price of an adult ticket. The cheapest adult tickets were £42. FOURTY TWO POUNDS! Barely 2 weeks previously West Ham had lost 5-0 to Nottingham Forest and 6-0 against Manchester City, and the club had the nerve to charge that much for their next home games after those humiliations.
Somehow, over 33,000 tickets were sold for the Newcastle game,, which resulted in another dismal defeat, and only 14,000 turned up for the dead rubber League Cup semi-final against Manchester City. After their first leg embarrassment, I’m sure the Hammers fans that did turn up were overjoyed at only losing 3-0. As a Southampton fan, I’m used to going to matches expecting disappointment, but fortunately with prices ranging between £20 – £35, depending on the quality of the opposition, the disappointment doesn’t burn a hole in my wallet. At the moment, I’m happy to pay that, as I get to watch entertaining football and three of the brightest English players in the league; Luke Shaw, James Ward-Prowse and Adam Lallana.
But what do West Ham fans have to look forward to? For almost double the price, Hammers fans get to watch a team who are 18th in the league, looking certain to be relegated and playing a style of football that could rival Craig Levein’s striker-less Scotland. To say the summer signings of Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing are a waste of money is being kind, fan’s favourite Joe Cole has been played out of position and benched, and Big Sam’s management of Ravel Morrison looks to have forced the midfielder out of the club. It doesn’t sound like the ‘West Ham way’ to me.
Charging supporters who have stuck with their club through their relegation to the Championship in 2011 £42 to witness the destruction of their club is a scandal. It’s just another example of clubs taking as much money as possible from the fans, despite the fact that match day revenue is one of the lowest areas of income for a Premier League club.
I feel sorry for the West Ham fans. One caller to Talksport said that he couldn’t even give his League Cup semi-final ticket away for free. This should have been one of West Ham’s biggest games in recent times, but the anti-football being played and the ‘life-long fans’ in charge have destroyed the club’s soul, by sticking with Sam Alladyce and trying to move away from Upton Park. If Gold, Sullivan and Alladyce continue, the Olympic Stadium will host Championship matches, with nobody watching.