Filed: Thursday, 18th October 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel
West Ham United have been criticised by supporters for excessive pricing.
The club have recently announced a number of one-off events aimed at supporters. However the excessive prices have ruled out many from being able to take part - a policy that has led to severe criticism from some long-standing fans.
Last year Eggert Magnusson, in an interview with KUMB.com, claimed that a survey had shown that the average salary of a regular attendee at the Boleyn Ground was around £60,000.
And it would appear that the new initiatives have been aimed at supporters in that demographic, rather than the many thousands of regular supporters who earn nowhere near that amount.
The club announced their Christmas stadium tours yesterday, aimed specifically at families.
However a family of four - containing two adults and two children - would have to fork out a whopping £111 to take the tour, for just a couple of hours entertainment.
Recently the club announced via whufc.com that supporters would be able to play at the Chadwell Heath training ground - the blurb on the club's website stating that 'Club legend Tony Cottee is offering you the chance to join him for a day of footballing action'.
Yet the club have priced the event at an incredible £8,000, or around £365 per person. This is in stark contrast to past club policy in which supporters were often allowed to play at Chadwell Heath for free, or in charity events.
One (unnamed) season ticket holder said:
"Football in England? Expensive, catering for corporate types. It is about time we as supporters reclaimed the game.
"Don't moan, do something about it."
Ticket prices at the Boleyn are already at a record high, with thousands of long-standing fans already priced out of attending games.
And as the club looks to build a new 60,000 stadium, the links between West Ham United and its traditional supporter-base appear to be eroding further each day.
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by Tony Oliver
07:01PM 21st Oct 2007
''I have gone from season ticket holder to club member to giving up my membership as the club changed the rules. I have taken my son once, to the pre-season against Roma. I do not mind paying out but the club has become too expensive. The problem is West Ham will always sell 34,000 tickets in the Premiership in London.
I attended a Charlton game recently with my boy, which hurts me. But at the end of the day it's about going out with family mates etc, having a couple of beers and watching a game of football.
You may say 'I could never do that' - well I said the same! I hope a 70k capacity stadium comes soon at realistic prices - maybe I will be back?''
by Frankie Vaughan
10:22AM 20th Oct 2007
''Totally agree with the earlier comments. I live in Plymouth as I'm in the Armed Forces and I took the wife to the Villa game last season. Stayed in Becton travel lodge, the whole weekend must have cost me £300+. Yes, there are cheaper ways but the price of tickets are shocking. I earn a good wage but even if i lived in the area I would only go occasionally as a treat!
Summary: If it wasn't for the core base of fans these clubs couldn't operate. Chairman - start giving something back to your supporters.''
by Lol Green
10:25PM 19th Oct 2007
''disgusting, blatant profiteering, these tours should be free, the club earns enough from hotels etc. And as for £8k to play at Chadwell Heath? They can stick that where the sun refuses to shine on a wet Wednesday in February ...''
by Robin Q
06:44PM 19th Oct 2007
''I remember the days when you could stand on the North Bank for £5 and a season ticket a ton! Far too expensive to take two kids as well now ...''
by Jamie Penfold
02:08PM 19th Oct 2007
''I'm just thankful I support West Ham and not my home team, Newcastle United. I think the ever increasing prices at WHUFC is disgusting but nothing compares to what the Mags have had to endure through the Fat Freddy years and it doesn't seem to be getting any better under the new ownership. I think we have to face reality here and realise that WHUFC are no longer a family club and have had to inflate prices to try to move us to the next level. Just wish the players would give us the commitment we have given them over the years ...''
by g northerniron
12:53PM 19th Oct 2007
''I agree it isn't a working class man's game anymore, but you can't have it both ways. If you want to see the best players competing at the highest levels then market forces suggest that this costs money. I'm sure people would complain if ticket prices were reduced and they were subjected to some of the dross we have been subjected too in the past.''
by keith cockayne
09:03AM 19th Oct 2007
''I went to see the game at Villa park. Best seats in the ground cost £33! If you price out the loyal supporters(who have endured endless agonies on West Ham's behalf) you will end up with NOTHING.''
07:33AM 19th Oct 2007
''£60,000 a year? If the wife and I earned that combined we might actually make a couple of games a season. As it is seeing the Hammers is now relegated to an occasional treat ...''
by Josh Graver
04:54PM 18th Oct 2007
''I am probably one of many thinking of not supporting the Hammers as it is getting too expensive. Don't accuse me of being disloyal as I have been a fan for over 20 years. I just don't feel part of their future plans ...''
by Joy Baker
01:30PM 18th Oct 2007
''Is Eggy the Grinch who stole Christmas? Kids won't want a Christmas lunch, all they'll want is to look behind the scenes. This is the same nonsense where away game beambacks (once just £5, with pies and beer on sale) are now only sold for £40+ with a three course meal. You might as well change the words to "I'm forever blowing wads of cash ..."''
11:26AM 18th Oct 2007
''The players and agents drive the cost of their salaries up, to be paid by clubs who need both the gate receipts and TV money to pay the players and this gets passed on to the fans who pay excessive ticket prices and rising tv package costs. Most season ticket holders will have Sky or a similar package, so in effect they pay twice for their loyalty and passion. The problem is, everyone is wanting their cake and eat it. Everyone wants more for their money, including the fans, but the crunch has come and those on the national average wage of £24k who have families etc have to treat football either as an occassional luxurious treat or have had to simply wave bye bye to it.''
11:20AM 18th Oct 2007
''None of this is good. It's important though that fans don't look at the new owners and think it's something new. Under the Brown regime we had low crowds due to overpricing, until a fans protest and of course the Bond Scheme when Brown was a board member. ''
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