Talking Point

The truth about the West Ham Community Discount Ticket Offer

There has been much coverage of the discounted local community tickets at the West ham v Man City match last.It has also brought some unwelcome press in the Daily Express, Star and Mail.

I understand there is much mis-information on this subject.

The first thing to explain is this discounting of tickets for the local community is nothing new for West Ham. The discounted community trust offer started at Wigan home match last season and was featured on BBC Match of the Day. I understand around 400 tickets were discounted during that first match.

There was another community discount ticket offer at the Stoke home match for another 80 people from one particular community project.

There have been allegations that between 2,000 and 2,500 discounted tickets were sold. I understand the true number to be around 1,500.

West Ham say they have nothing to hide and are proud of their close links the Community. The West Ham United Community Sports Trust website clearly states that affordable match day tickets are available for pupils in Schools in East London and Essex are priced at £5, Tickets for Junior Football clubs with accompanying parents are available for £5 for the child with the adult going free of charge and Tickets for Troops can bought tickets for £10

Possibly the biggest difference for this match was it was category A match and every previous community related match had been category B.

I understand the community partners can request discounted tickets for any match. It just so happens there were tickets left for the Man City match and the decision was made to extend this offer to the Man City category A game as the match was unlikely to sell out. This fact appears to have been confirmed by Jack Sullivan when he tweeted “The 5 pound ticket were [Sic] a one off to the local community to fill empty seats for a TV game”

Stories that locals were given free tickets or that 2,500 tickets were given to Newham council to distribute are wide of the mark.

The main community partners for this match were: Premier League Kicks, Premier League 4 Sport and the Tower Hamlets’ Stifford Centre

West Ham confirmed on Monday in a article that “As per the terms of the contracts with said partners, the tickets were offered at a discounted rate, but absolutely no tickets were provided free of charge and fans from all locations, background, race and religion were included”

Although the media have highlighted a facebook video of a small number of members of the local community praying just before half time I understand no complaints of racism or harassment was made to the club by these local community members. The media seem to going for sensational headlines without any real substance.

I am sure the club has learnt from this experience and need to be much more transparent and up front about these community offers to dispel any ill feeling from season ticket holders/supporters and negative headlines.

There were also reports that members of the local community celebrated Man City goals. I was sitting in the Sir Trevor Brooking lower close to where these tickets were situated and didn’t see that happening. I also know no-one else who did. Many of the local community who came to West ham for the first time were wearing West Ham tops so that accusation doesn’t hold much water for me.

Many of us live and/or work in one of most of the diverse City’s in the world and we are one West Ham Family.

Talking Point

No Pryro No Party No Prison No Ban

Despite being prohibited by both law and ground regulations, there is a rise in the use of flares and smoke bombs at matches. Many fans don’t appreciate the possible danger they pose.

During West Ham’s recent three nil win over Spurs together the recent losses against Man City and Everton at home we all have seen blue smoke flares set off by away fans.

Back in February a young teenager died after being hit in the face by a smoke flare in Bolivia which had been thrown by fans into the away support. A 17-year-old Corinthians fan later confessed that he set off a flare that killed a 14-year-old Bolivian boy in the Copa Libertadores match.

I don’t want to be a kill joy but is this smoke flare craze worth killing or injuring someone, a criminal record, a prison sentence or a lengthy football banning order?

On Saturday visiting Man City fans let off two Smoke flares in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower concourse. Releasing these smoke flares in enclosed spaces creates health concerns for asthmatics. I am told two women were physically sick from the effects of the smoke on Saturday before kick off.

I tweeted out about these smoke flares with a hash tag of #BanThem and was met with a torrent of abuse from Man City fans who called me a C word, a soft git, a clean shirt and a melt (whatever that is?) This was before the Spurs incident with the linesman on Sunday,

Everton fans did the same a few weeks before with smoke drifting across the Sir Trevor Brooking lower.

Some Spurs fans have been quick to point out no action was taken against the three smoke flares which were let off when we beat Spurs 3-0 a few weeks ago. Spurs fans claim the smoke drifted into the disabled area in front of the away fans and several disabled children were evacuated from the area when the flares were let off. Some even claimed the flares were thrown into the disabled area. I was too far away to know whether there is any truth in these claims but others who were close to the front at White Hart Lane might be able to testify better.

Sunday’s incident involving a Spurs fan throwing a smoke flare which hit a linesman will surely bring new focus on this new problem and I can see the FA coming down hard on clubs who fail to control their away fans.

In February this year two Chelsea supporters were been sent to prison for one month after being arrested for possessing smoke bombs at an away match against Swansea in the Capital One Cup.They were banned from attending football games for six years, while a third supporter involved was also banned for the same length of time. Chelsea have barred the trio from Stamford Bridge for a ten years each.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Holt, the national lead on football policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers, revealed that it is a growing problem.

Last year we saw an increase in the use of flares and pyrotechnic devices by nearly 140 per cent compared to the previous season, arrests for the possession of a firework or a flare were up over 150 per cent so it is certainly something we are seeing becoming more prevalent in today’s game and it’s a real worry for us. It is in no way appropriate to let off either smoke flares or fireworks inside a stadium. Those that argue that it gives a European flavour to the occasion are plain wrong.’

Earlier this year the government warned these smoke flares could burn as hot as 1,600 degrees Celsius for as long as an hour.

Hopefully West Ham away fans will stop copying this new craze and the club will have zero tolerance for away fans letting them off at the Boleyn Ground too.

On Monday I interviewed Amanda Jacks, Football Supporters Federation Case Worker about Smoke Flares for the West Ham Podcast Moore Than Just A Podcast.

You can find the full interview and our review of the Man City v West Ham match below or at


Champions League Football for West Ham

This is the last in a series of financial articles which explain the financial rewards of the League Cup, FA Cup, Europa league and the Premier league.

This last article will explore the lofty ambitions of the financial rewards that await us in the UEFA Champions league.

Since 2007 successive owners of West Ham have set the ambition for Champions League football for West Ham.

“Champions League? No question about that. Give me at least five years and from then on. No question,” Eggert Magnusson,Chairman of West Ham United, March 29th, 2007.

“We have a seven-year plan to get them into the Champions League” David Sullivan Joint Chairman, West Ham United January 2010

“We hope to close that gap. Our aim is to finish third or fourth. In five or six years, once we get the revenues from the stadium, we will be a force to reckon with.” David Sullivan Joint Chairman, West Ham United March 2013

Champions League Money

UEFA’s revenue for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup comes from TV rights and commercial contracts worth of around £1.135bn.

75% of the total revenue from media rights and commercial contracts concluded by UEFA, up to a maximum of the first £449m, will go to the clubs, while the remaining 25% will be reserved for European football, and will remain with UEFA to cover organisational and administrative costs as well as solidarity payments to associations, clubs and leagues.

A total of 82% of any revenue received from the same stream in excess of £449m will go to the clubs, with the other 18% allotted to European football and remaining with UEFA for the purposes listed above.

£46.6m is assigned to the Champions League play-offs, as was the case in the 2012/13 season. Each of the 20 teams taking part in the play-offs will receive a fixed amount of £1.77m. After the deduction of the allocation for the clubs involved in the play-offs, the gross amount available for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup totals £1.088bn

The net amount available to the participating sides is divided into two – £424.3m in fixed payments (group stage allocations, performance and qualification bonuses) and £347.1.6m in variable amounts (market pool). The market pool amount will be distributed according to the proportional value of each television market represented by the clubs playing in the UEFA Champions League (group stage onwards), and will be split among those teams competing from a given association.

The 32 clubs featuring in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage can anticipate a minimum £7.2m. The side that eventually wins the UEFA Champions League title this term could collect £31.7m, not counting the market pool share.

Each of the 32 teams involved in the group stage will collect a base fee of £7.3m. Performance bonuses will also see £847,457 paid for a win and £423728 for a draw in the group phase. The sides competing in the round of 16 can also expect to receive £2.9m each, the eight quarter-finalists £3.3m and the four semi-finalists £4.1m. The UEFA Champions League winners will pick up £8.9m and the runners-up £5.5m.

Despite a Premier League club failing to make the last eight for the first time in 17 years last season. Manchester United came out on top of the Premier League clubs by collecting £30.5m, while Manchester City received £24.7m, Chelsea made £26.3m and Arsenal got £26.8m. UEFA says Bayern got £47.3m in prize money and bonuses, edging beaten finalist Borussia Dortmund who received £46.4m.

So there you have it! All we have to do now is qualify for Champions league football.


The riches that await West Ham from the new TV deal

Last year the Premier League concluded a new TV rights deal worth £5.459 billion over 3 years

Overseas TV rights were sold for £2.233 billion over 3 years

Domestic TV rights were sold to Sky & BT Sport for another £3.018 billion over 3 years for 154 Live games each season

BBC Match of the Day Highlights added another £178m over 3 years and Internet Replay/Mobile rights were sold to News International for a reported £30m

This new deal equates to a massive £1.809 Billion per season but before it can be distributed to the 20 Premier League member Clubs various deductions need to be made such as parachute payments, solidarity payments to other leagues and the administration costs of the league itself plus donations to various football bodies. The total of these deductions total is around £234.6m for this coming season leaving around £1.585 Billion to be split between the 20 Premier League clubs.

Parachute Payments

A total of £159m Parachute Payments will be paid to former Premier league clubs this season. Last year relegated clubs benefit from a new £59m deal over 4 years. Last season’s relegated clubs get £23m in their first season £18m for the second season and £9m for seasons 3 & 4. Other Clubs relegated in the past 4 years all benefit from the new deal also.

This is what each relegated club will receive this season:
QPR £23m, Wigan £23m, Reading £23m, Bolton £18m, Wolverhampton £18m, Blackburn £18m, Portsmouth £9m, Burnley £9m, Blackpool £9m, and Birmingham £9m

Championship Solidarity payments

Each of the remaining 16 Championship clubs gets a £2.3m solidarity payment which is worth more than their own TV rights deal. This totals £36.8m

League One Solidarity payments

23 League One club get a £360,000 solidarity payment (up £22,000 from last season) (Wolverhampton are excluded because of their parachute payment) This totals £8.28m

League Two Solidarity payments

23 League Two club get a £240,000 solidarity payment up £12,000 from last season) (Portsmouth are excluded because of their parachute payment) This totals £5.52m.

Other deductions

The premier league also retains additional pot of approximately £25m to cover the Premier League’s running costs and other money from this pot is given to a variety of other bodies including the PFA, the LMA, the Conference, the Football Foundation, the Football League, the referees’ body and various football charities.

The remaining £1585m is be distributed using rules laid down in the Premier League handbook.

The overseas rights less half the deductions above total £627m. These are equally split between the 20 Premier League Clubs at just over £31m each.

The BBC Match of the Day Highlights TV rights of £59m are also split equally between the 20 clubs at just under £3m each.

The Internet goals/clips for Internet and mobile phones was sold to News International for £10m per season so £500,000 per club.

For the lucrative UK domestic rights less half the deductions (£888m) 50% of it is split equally (£444m divided by 20 clubs gives each club around £22m), 25% of the pot (£222m) goes to merit payments of just over £1m per league place where last place gets roughly £1m and the Premier League winners get around £21m!. Finally the remaining 25% (£222m) gets split by live TV games on Sky and BT Sport as facility fee. This is split by the 154 Live games which equate to 308 payments as two clubs are involved in each match. The facility fee figure per match is around £721,000 and each club is guaranteed a minimum of 10 LIVE games meaning every club gets a minimum of just over £7 million. The top clubs are shown on TV a lot more so the Manchester clubs are shown around 25 times netting them around £18m each.

There still remain a few variables, we won’t know the exact deduction running the Premier League, £25m is my estimate based on last year but it should be quite close and is modest compared to amounts we are talking about. The number of TV lives shown per league position is also an estimate as Sky/BT have yet to decide but it is safe to say the top clubs in the top half of the table will get the lion share of live games and the bottom 10 clubs will just get their 10 games. There are some exceptions to this Newcastle seem to get a lot of LIVE TV games being shown 16 times last season despite finishing in 16th place. Swansea & West Brom finished 8th and 9th but only got 10 Live games each.

West Ham finished 10th in the Premier League table last year earning us £48,746,943 from TV rights after featuring in 14 live games.

A full breakdown and list of money received in the 2012/2013 Premier League season can be found here

The same 10th position and number of live games this season would bring in over £78m and our owners target of 7th place this season could net us £85.7m!

This season every TV live game and every league position will mean so much more financially than ever before. If we keep beating the likes of Spurs and Ravel keeps on scoring the goals than I expect Sky and BT to pick us for more games.

Below is my spreadsheet table showing what this season’s money rewards could look like at the end of the season.


Ravel Morrison’s Complicated Contract

Back in January 2012 Matt Lawton published a story in the Daily Mail saying Ravel Morrison, then age 18 demanded £30,000 per week despite making only 3 first team appearances at the time. The story went on to say Sir Fergie described his demands as ‘unrealistic’ and were said to have counter offered at £12,000 a week.
In response Morrison tweeted “I have never 1s [sic] turned down a contract off united”

A story in the Guardian by Jamie Jackson on the January transfer deadline day of 2012 suggested the Deal to bring Ravel Morrison to West Ham was an initial feel £650,000 with up to £2m of add-ons. It was also claimed there is no buy-back option for Manchester United and claimed agents involved in the transfer were demanding a fee of around £1m.

The story said his wages would start in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 a week, potentially rising to £65,000 depending on a certain number of Premier League starts.

Last week in the Sun it was suggested Ravel Morrison had a £19 million buy out clause into his contract. They allege he insisted on the buy out clause himself when he signed his West Ham contract.

This was followed up by Darren Lewis in the Mirror suggesting West ham will offer Ravel Morrison a new deal in January and attempt to remove the £19 million buy out clause.

Yesterday fresh claims were made by David Kent in the Daily Mail. The story believes there is a complicated release clause in Morrison’s current contract which amounts to more than £20 million. The big new claim is that West ham have to make a £25,000 payment every time Ravel Morrison makes a first team appearance for us. At eight appearances so far that adds up to £200,000 with many more to come in the very near future.There is speculation that the deal was structured this way rather than pay Manchester United’s original asking price of £3m.

David Gold seems to have rubbished the existence of a buy out clause for Morrison on twitter. When asked ‘Does Ravel Morrision have a buy out clause like Diame?’ Gold answered No he doesn’t dg’

However David Gold seems to have confirmed the existence of the £25K per game fee on twitter. When someone commented it was until we reach £1m David replied. “i think your’e right. I will check tomorrow. dg”

This is what Sam Allardyce told the press recently: “I don’t know if there is a buy-back clause and what that figure might be if it even exists, but my real big worry is that Manchester United will come back to buy him. Look at what happened when Chris Smalling played a handful of games for Fulham – United jumped in with £10 million. Then there was Phil Jones when I was at Blackburn – that’s what you are up against.”

An article in today claimed a source close to club said talks on a new contract would not be held until the end of the season, The source was quoted as saying:

“We won’t be holding talks on a new contract until near or the end of this season, Were we to go to him now, it’s unlikely he would want to talk. Like us, he wants to see where he is at the end of the season. We will then know how many goals he’s scored, where he stands as a player, the impact he’s had on things, the number of assists he’s provided and everything else.At that point we can put exactly the right contract before him which includes the necessary provisions for his future potential.”

With his recent wonder goal against Spurs and his England Under 21 call up I am sure he is going to fill a lot of column inches in the papers for the foreseeable future.

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