Talking Point

The Season So Far: 4/6/0 and 4 from 9

The 4/6/0 formation that Big Sam has brought in for the last 3 Premier League games has had some positive effect at least. Whilst it is not ideal, as surely we would prefer at least one main striker up front, it has seen the Hammers play a passing game using this set up. Sure, we still knock the ball into the opponents box from free kicks at every opportunity rather than start to build again, but to be honest I prefer to see that. Put it this way, when our opponents take a free kick 40 yards out and they pass it two yards to each other I am quite happy. The worst thing they could do for my blood pressure is put the ball straight into our box from the free kick! Don’t get me wrong, I like to see the passing game but I think there is a time and a place for both tactics.

The other factor to our new “Barca” style is the re-emergence of James Tomkins. His ability to play football from the back has negated the hoof ball that James Collins often relies on. The jury is still out as to who is the better defender, Tomkins or Collins, but certainly Tomkins style is suited to building from the back. So, four points from the last nine available and who would have thought that just a few weeks ago? Before the Spurs and Swansea away and City at home fixtures perhaps some fans might have thought four points highly unlikely? Certainly winning 3-0 at Spurs will be hard to beat as our best result for the entire season.

The formation using the fit players we have at present, looks the goods when playing away. However, it does invite the opposition to come at you so I doubt Sam will use it at home again except perhaps when playing the big boys. The new system has certainly brought out the best of Mark Noble, who’s form has been excellent since the adoption of the six man midfield. It has also allowed Ravel a free role and his speed and guile with the ball brings something different for the opposition to worry about. The 4-6-0 seems to have shored up our defence even further when playing away. The big negative of the whole system however, is because we have so many bodies behind the ball, we give up a large share of possession. Because of this our attempts on goal seem to be restricted to set plays or on the break, although we still created more chances than Swansea on the weekend.

When Andy Carroll returns from injury it will allow Sam the choice of playing several varied styles and systems. The squad we have at present has good depth and good spirit. Some of the crosses that have been put into the box in recent games have just had “Andy Carroll” written all over them and one wonders how many points we would have now if we had a decent striker to nod home. It will be interesting to see how West Ham line up this weekend against Villa and the question itself means we are in a good place. If we don’t know I am sure our opposition don’t know either? Another positive is that perhaps we will look back later in the season and see Andy’s injury as the pivotal step towards us shaking off our one dimensional tag?

Player Performance Results

Results: Player Performances v Burnley


West Ham Olympic Stadium Pricing Models

In this new series of financial related articles I will cover aspects of our planned move to the Olympic Stadium.

Today’s article is about the future West ham Olympic Stadium ticketing revenue and what it could mean for us.

One of the primary goals of us moving to Olympic Stadium was to increase our capacity from 35,000 to 54,000 and ultimately using that extra ticket revenue to complete with the top six clubs.

Although West Ham have not formally published their ticketing strategy for the Olympic Stadium yet they have made various statements on the Olympic Stadium micro site

They say “As a Board we have always been committed to offering affordable family football and the increased capacity opens up many new opportunities to support this initiative. There will be more affordable seats and more entry-level pricing but we will also be able to offer the more premium products that our current stadium cannot offer at present.The move will ensure the Club is more accessible to our existing supporters, plus it will be more attractive to key groups – families and female supporters in particular – to name a few. We are offering up to 100,000 free tickets per season that will ensure some of the most deprived children in the country will gain access to elite sport and drive an increase in sports participation”

In the past two financial years 2010/2011 & 2011/2012 West Ham have revealed that match day ticket income has totaled £18,808,000 in 2010/2011 (Premier League) and £13,596,000 in 2011/2012 (Championship). Figures for 2012/2013 have yet to be published in February next year.

As a crude calculation if you divide the £18.8m of tickets we sold in the 2010/2011 season by the 35,016 seats at the Boleyn ground you get average revenue of £537.12 per seat. If you then multiple this by the 54,000 seats at the Olympic Stadium you get just an estimated £29m per season in ticket sales.

Although I am sure the extra £10m would be welcome I struggle to see how it will help us compete with the top six clubs on its own.

As a comparison:

Arsenal earns £95m per season from match day receipts valuing each one of their 60,362 seats at the Emirates at £1,573. If we could achieve the same pricing model as Arsenal we would bring in nearly £85m in ticket sales. Spurs got £43.3m last season in match day tickets valuing their 36,240 seats at White Hart Lane at just under £1195 per seat on average. They plan to move in to their 56,000 seat new Stadium around the same time as our move so could earn around £67m at that valuation per seat.
Both of these clubs earn ticketing revenue from home European games

Looking at the other end both Newcastle and Sunderland have big Stadia. St James Park with it’s 52,405 seats brings in Newcastle £24m per season while the Stadium of Light with 48,707 seats brings in just £14m for Sunderland.

This means the average value per seat for Newcastle is £458 and Sunderland is just £287 per seat. With the Sunderland pricing model we would earn less then we earn already at the Boleyn Ground bringing in £15.5m compared to £19m in 2011.

When it is finally published the West Ham ticketing strategy for the Olympic Stadium will be a fine balancing act between affordable family football, our commitment to the local community and big ambition for European football even Champions league one day.

Player Performance - Vote

Vote: Player Performances v Burnley

Click HERE to rate the performances of the West Ham players who played at Burnley.

Adrian, Chambers, Tomkins ©, Ruddock, O’Brien, Potts, Diame, Taylor, J.Cole, C.Cole, Maiga
Subs: Spiegel, Collison, Morrison, Downing, Nolan, Tombides, Fanimo

Match Thread

Match Thread: Burnley v West Ham

Please use this thread to comment on the game as it progresses.

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