News

OS Season Ticket Pricing confirmed

West Ham have finally announced their pricing strategy for the Olympic Stadium 2016/2017 season revealing some surprising large season ticket discounts and a new lower band 5 at just £289 which they claim is the cheapest in the Premier League at just £15.20 per match.

All Under 16 Season Tickets will be reduced to £99 which works out £5.21 per match. A reduction of between 51% and 61% across the current pricing for next season.

Band 1 Season Ticket holders will see a modest 3% reduction to £899 for an adult (£47.31 per match) and £450 for the over 65’s, Under 21’s and the disabled (£23.68 per match)

Band 2 Season Ticket holders will see a 7% reduction to £799 for an adult (£42.05 per match) £399 for the over 65’s, Under 21’s and the disabled (£21 per match).

Band 3 Season Ticket holders will see a massive 25% reduction to £599 for an adult (£31.52 per match) and £299 for the over 65’s, Under 21’s and the disabled (£15.73 per match).

Band 4 season ticket holders will see an impressive 23% reduction to £499 for an adult (£26.26 per match) and £250 for the over 65’s, Under 21’s and the disabled (£13.15 per match).

West Ham have also announced a new VIP area on the half way line called 1966 seats, the season ticket holders for this new area will get a padded seat with their own
name inscribed on it for £1,100 per season.

In 2013 West Ham Chairman David Gold said “It will have a facility for 54,000 which will give us the opportunity to have more affordable seating and more affordable football.”

It appears the Hammers board have gone a long way to make football more affordable with this announcement and thrown down the gauntlet to other Premier League clubs.

What are your views on the Olympic Stadium pricing strategy?

FAQ from WHUFC.com can be found HERE


The Brian Williams Column

HOW WAS THIS FIASCO ALLOWED TO HAPPEN?

It’s a strange feeling being on a train from Brighton, headed to Upton Park in the certain knowledge that West Ham aren’t going to give away a heartbreaking last-minute goal, nor be the innocent victim of diabolical refereeing decisions.

I should have been a happy Hammer knowing that nothing could go wrong on the pitch for once. But I was far from pleased as I was transported from the south coast to this nation’s glorious capital city. In fact, I had the right hump.

The reason? I wasn’t going to London E13 to watch West Ham play. This was on Saturday and, as you will all be aware, we had no game that day. I was making the trip because of the shambles that surrounded the club’s botched attempts to finalise the season ticket allocation for 2015/16.

I wanted to swap seats because I sit next to an aisle, which is choc-a-bloc with late arrivals trying to find their designated places for 10 minutes after kick-off, and equally packed with eager beavers looking to get a flyer 10 minutes before the final whistle (is it just me, or these generally the same people?). Five minutes either side of half-time isn’t funny either.

Not being blessed with X-ray vision, any action to my right-hand side remains a mystery to me unless I stand up – which only adds to the problem for the people around me. And as I sit in line with the edge of the penalty box in the south-east corner of the ground, a good deal of the action takes place to my right.

Why the club doesn’t marshal supporters properly has baffled me ever since we were all made to sit down by Lord Justice Taylor. Go to a cricket match and try taking your seat whenever you feel like it – you’ll be bang out of luck. There was a time when the convention was simply that spectators didn’t move behind the bowler’s arm; now, at well-attending matches, there are stewards preventing you disturbing those around you during play in all parts of the stadium. Quite right too. Yet at Upton Park people are regularly allowed to loiter in the gangways no matter what is happening on the pitch. And don’t tell me football doesn’t have the same breaks in play that you get at cricket. As someone who has watched an array of damaged claret and blue manhood being helped from the pitch after sustaining major injuries each requiring several minutes’ treatment this season, I would beg to differ.

Like everyone else who wanted to relocate or buy a ticket on behalf of another loyal supporter keen to play their part in our final fling at the Boleyn Ground, I wasn’t able to do so when I renewed my season ticket – we all had to wait for Friday’s renewal deadline to pass and then take part in a giant bunfight held over the weekend. And you could only participate in person or over the phone. No online or postal applications were possible at this stage.

The phone lines opened at 9am on Saturday morning. At 9.01, having listened to the preliminaries and selected Option Three as instructed, I was informed I was number 144 in the queue. That didn’t surprise me. What did was the added titbit of information that the estimated waiting time was one minute. An hour later I was comfortably down to double figures in the queue, but the repeated assertion that the waiting time would be a minute, or possibly two, which punctuated the strangled version of Bubbles that you get when you ring the ticket office would have been laughable if it hadn’t been so annoying.

Then things got exciting. Suddenly I was up to No 8. Then I went back to 50-something. Then I was in the teens. Then I went to No 37. And there I stayed as the waiting time went up to three minutes, four minutes … seven minutes … ten minutes. As it turned out, my overall waiting time was 93 minutes – each minute costing me 10p and an increasing imbalance in the systolic and diastolic readings that make up my blood pressure.

But, finally, I was head of the queue. The recorded messages were over and I was on the verge of talking to a real person and sorting out my relocation. Apple Mac users describe the spinning coloured icon that appears when their computer has crashed as the Beachball of Death. What I got next was the telephonic equivalent: the continuous Bassnote of Despair that means you’ve been cut off.

It’s not the first time it’s happened to me, although that didn’t make me any less gutted. I tried to call the ticket office again, and learned that if I wanted to hang on I would be No 133 in the queue (with a waiting time of one minute). This time I ended the call, and emailed the ticket office explaining what had happened – only to receive an automated reply explaining that everyone was busy dealing with season ticket requests and no one would have time to look at emails until Monday morning. The cat knows the look on my face that resulted from me reading that message does not bode well for him, and he wisely scarpered.

It was now 10.50. The next train to London from Brighton was the 11.08. And I was on it. I got to the ground shortly after 1pm, and walked straight up to a vacant window in the West Stand ticket office where the extremely helpful Leah found me three highly desirable seats in the East Stand Upper in a matter of moments.

Equally helpful were the stewards who were prepared to take me round to inspect my new seats, thus giving me the unmissable chance to effectively have the stadium to myself. I even had my picture taken sitting in Sam Allardyce’s seat (could we, for today at least, park the debate about who should be sat there next season?).

Move over Big Sam

The people at the ground on Saturday were a credit to the club (there wasn’t a managerial suit in sight, of course). But as an exercise it was chaos. The 10p-a-minute ticket phone line is a money-grubbing swindle at the best of times, and this was the worst of times. The whole thing was badly planned and badly executed – almost certainly by highly paid executives who failed to anticipate a demand that should have been foreseen. As it turned out, a process that was supposed to be completed over the weekend had to be extended into a third day. How did they get it so badly wrong?

A steward told me I was one of several people he’d spoken to that day who had experienced the problems I had encountered. This was confirmed when I later checked WHTID and read of the difficulties some of you had endured. Other sites told a similar story – one unfortunate supporter reported hanging on the phone for more than three hours before being cut off. Others were put through to an outside agency which was unable to sell them the tickets they required.

I was lucky in that I was able to jump on a train and sort out my problems. For one thing, I have an annual rail season ticket so the journey didn’t cost me anything other than precious time. I also have an understanding wife, who recognises the importance of these things, and grown-up children who no longer expect a Saturday morning kickabout in the park or a lift to their weekend karate class. Many other people will not be in this happy position and now face an uncertain future in what is set to be one of the most memorable seasons in West Ham’s history.

I think the club owes them an unreserved apology – and a refund for all those wasted 10p-a-minutes.

PS: If, like Sam’s weary warriors at Manchester Citeh on Sunday, you have chosen to go on holiday early this year why not take a copy of my book with you? It’s called Nearly Reach The Sky – A Farewell To Upton Park, and can be ordered from publishers Biteback here
You can also find it on Amazon, complete with some very generous reader reviews – for which I am eternally grateful.


Guest Post

West Ham UNITED?

Guest Post by Anonymous

With West Ham right now, one thing is apparent – while the sword of Damocles looms ominously above our manager – there can be no peace, no brotherhood and sisterhood among us, the fans. Everywhere you turn, people are unhappy. Some object to the manager continuing to lead our team in to the final year at the Boleyn. Others are simply tired of hearing the matter being brought up once more and are more than happy to berate those who have had enough of Big Sam.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of a managerial change, to me this discontent points to a deeper truth that we have yet to face – we are not really West Ham United right now. Shame on us. Maybe it’s the rose tinted specs that have come back out again, but I remember times when being West Ham felt like family. Of course it still is in lots of ways, but now it’s feels like a family with fairly major schism. The elephant in the room, if you like, which now both sides are increasingly reluctant to bring up, is of course the managerial situation. It is a situation that needs resolving, urgently.

It is important that the club appreciate the true nature of the schism at the heart of our club – not, as you might suspect, the issue of does Allardyce stay or go, but, more importantly, why has the fan base become so divided?

In my view, the chairmen first need to acknowledge the need to heal the split that has occurred among us fans. Maybe we need to ask ourselves once more what it means to support our great club?

What exactly are we signed up to when we are, for the most part, born into this great tradition? A lifetime of nearlys, what-ifs and maybes? Promotions, relegations, and dead season ends? A team that tries hard but produces little of real, lasting substance? Are we really content with the short-termism that has prevailed at first team level for so long? Are we really so scared of losing premiership status that we can’t try to implement a policy of expansive football in the tradition of our great club?

Whether we accept these as the trials and tribulations of a West Ham fan or not, what I cannot accept is the deep division among us fans. We simply have to find a way to heal these wounds and reunite.

Our fabled tradition – the West Ham Way – whether historical reality or not, could and, in the view of many, perhaps should become a firm philosophical identity enshrined within our club. I personally can clearly see the value of such a unifying philosophy – something that connects us fans to the passion for good football. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel that a clear commitment to such a style of football would be very well received by the majority of fans. It may not get a 100% approval rating, but it would definitely be an improvement on the internal wrangling and divisive discussions that our present footballing philosophy has brought.

Another value that many would like to see enshrined within our great club is a firm commitment to youth development and progression. A coherent commitment to a certain attractive way of playing, from the earliest levels within our club to the first team would certainly help prepare youth squad players for life a the pinnacle of our great club.

Certainly having youth players used to playing the same style of football as the first team would help the manager – whoever it is – not to undermine our whole youth system.
Ultimately, whether our chairmen decide to stick or twist is not the issue here, it seems to me that, if we choose to take it, there is an opportunity here to unite the fans behind a way of playing that goes beyond the ongoing discussion over the manager’s future. If the manager can be told in what seem like extremely loose terms to ‘play more attractive football’, why can this not be expressed more clearly as a detailed commitment to a style of football that many feel is appropriate for our great club? The time has come for us to start being West Ham United once more, and I for one would welcome any actions that can help us achieve this.


David Hautzig's Match Report

Manchester City 2, West Ham 0. We lost, son. We lost.

As I waited with my first cup of coffee for the Twitter release of the starting lineups, I came to an unpleasant conclusion. Much like West Ham, I started the season full of adrenaline and hope. I looked forward to every match, and had genuine belief we could get a result. Even after a loss I was able to find the positives. But now, much like Sam Allardyce has reverted to type, so have I. Instead of optimism and excitement, I am back to relying on the two feelings that have dominated my West Ham experience for over 20 years.

Fear and relief.

Yeah, it’s a bit dramatic. Sorry. But we all have our own internal wiring when it comes to our club and that’s mine. I’m just running out the string. I’m on the beach. I’m actually looking forward to the silly season, where I can create any West Ham reality in my head. After watching today’s game, can you really blame me? Since I don’t want to re-live every detail of today’s game anymore than you want to read them, I’m changing formats today.

FIRST HALF SYNOPSIS.

We were awful. Passes were sprayed all over the pitch, rarely to anyone in particular. On the few occasions the ball did travel from one West Ham player to another, the player on the receiving end did nothing with it other than hand it back over to Manchester City. Enner Valencia is far better playing in the middle as a striker, so Sam played him out wide. Downing is far better playing at the tip of the midfield diamond, so Sam played him out wide as well. While Carlton Cole is a very strong man, he is not stronger than two or three Manchester City defenders combined. So Sam played him up top on his own. Based on those three little factoids, our front line was….uhhhhh…ineffective.

FIRST HALF DETAILS OF SIGNFICANCE.

In the 18th minute, a dreadful goal kick by Adrian went straight to Navas, who fought off Cresswell to win the ball. He ran down the right side and sent a looping pass intended for Aguero. Instead, it fell to James Collins whose attempted clearance went in the wrong direction, over Adrian, and into net.

Manchester City 1, West Ham 0.

It could have been 2-0 in the 27th minute when Fernando found Navas on the right side of the penalty area. Navas sent the ball back across the box to Silva, who made one quick touch before unleashing a shot that would have found the back of the net if Collins hadn’t gotten in front of it.

In the 35th minute, West Ham did a super job of turning an attack into a goal for the opposition. Navas picked up a yellow card for a tackle on Song from behind. The ensuing free kick went into the Manchester City penalty area and was flicked on by Cole to Downing. But instead of perhaps another cross, or maybe a cut across the top of the box to set up a shot on his favorite left foot, Downing attempted a pass to nobody in particular and gave the ball away. Off went Manchester City on the counter, led by Aguero and Navas. A simple, but effective give and go by that pair led to Aguero calmly putting the ball past Adrian.

Manchester City 2, West Ham 0.

SECOND HALF SYNOPSIS.

I don’t know what the final stats said about second half possession, but around the 60th minute the announcers here said Manchester City had enjoyed 81% of the ball in the second half. That number probably shrank a bit because West Ham looked a bit like a real football team for a few minutes. But overall, Manchester City should probably feel as bad for not scoring again as we do for losing. They had a bloodbath handed to them on a silver platter.

SECOND HALF DETAILS OF (LIMITED) SIGNFICANCE.

Carl Jenkinson has said on more than one occasion he has learned more about defending from Sam in one year than he had from Wenger in the whole of his time at Arsenal. He showed that in the 49th minute after Toure and Aguero played a one-two before Aguero broke down the left side of the West Ham penalty area. He looked set to shoot from point blank range before Jenkinson slid in with a well timed tackle to clear the ball from danger. Thank heavens for small favors.

If and when someone works with Valencia on his ball handling skills, we could have one dangerous player on our hands. But until then, we will have to live through what we saw in the 65th minute. Valencia picked up the ball in midfield and started to run at the heart of Manchester City defense. With Cole and Downing on either side of him, Valencia chose to keep running instead of sending the ball wide. He lost possession after yet another awful touch, and the semi chance was over before it started.

For the second consecutive game, at almost the same point on the clock, Sam made two substitutions that left virtually everyone shocked. Out came Cole and Song, who again looked less than pleased, and on came Jarvis and Nolan. Nene and Amalfitano, two players that might have surprised City, were left on their rather comfortable looking seats on the sidelines. I’m not knocking the two players brought on, but I do question who came off. For a moment, I wondered if Sam actually did things to intentionally provoke the supporters and his critics, who are often one and the same.

The game was delayed in the 68th minute when David Silva’s head met Kouyate’s elbow. The elbow won easily, and the game was delayed for 9 minutes while Silva underwent emergency surgery on the pitch and West Ham supporters checked their phones for the latest Sam out Tweets.

As bad as West Ham looked for most of the game, the final ten minutes plus stoppage time could have seen West Ham steal a point they didn’t deserve. In the 80th minute, Jarvis ran to the byline and sent a low cross to Downing. But Downing couldn’t control the pass right away, and that brief pause allowed Mangala to get in the way of the Downing’s shot. Minutes later, Valencia made a great run on the left wing and into the Manchester City penalty area. I don’t know if it was a shot off the outside of his foot or a pass attempt to Nolan, but whatever it was it went wide. Finally, in the last minute of the 90, an awful pass by Navas was picked up by Nolan. Captain Kev ran into the box, but Joe Hart came out to meet him and cut down any angle to make the save.

Final Score. Manchester City 2, West Ham 0.

Perhaps the most telling thing about today is how I bet most of us feel. Nothing much at all. I expected to lose, and we lost. I expected a lineup and formation built to protect a professional loss, and that’s what I got. I have no idea if we will win another game this year, and from what we all have seen the past few months I’m hardly surprised I feel that way.

Maybe that says it all.

You thought I was done, didn’t you? I’d like to ask everyone to click on the link below. Before the game, West Ham legend Jonjo Heuerman sent out a Tweet asking for donations from any corporate follower to help him get a new laptop. The one he uses for all of his charity work is dying a slow death. I replied, telling him to set up a GoFundMe page asking for help. “You don’t need a company” I told him. “You’ve got us”. Within minutes, he heeded my advice. This 13 year old lad has more conviction and sense of purpose than most adults. His goal of £800 should be a breeze. The link is below.

http://www.gofundme.com/scfpw8

Click here to view the leaderboard

Match Thread

Match Thread: Manchester City v West Ham

MANCHESTER CITY v WEST HAM
The Etihad
K.O 1.30pm
Referee: Anthony Taylor
TV: Sky Sports 1
Radio: BBC Radio 5 Live


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