Financial

West Ham financial update

West Ham’s newly announced financial accounts show a record turnover and record profit but mostly due to the new TV deal which came in last season. The accounts published at companies house today show figures for last season up to 31st May 2017.

The main areas show:

O Turnover increase of 28.9% (£41.2m) from £142.1m to £183.3m

O TV income grew by 7% (£32.6m) from £86.7m to £119.3m

This is in line with many other Premier League clubs when the new Sky/BT deal came into effect last season. Most clubs have increased their turnover by a similar amount.

O  Ticket income grew by 6.3% from £26.9m to £28.6m

The modest increase might be a surprise to some but with 10,000 Under 16 season tickets for £99 and 8,000 Band 5 season tickets for £289 and prizes frozen the only way to increase revenue in this area is to increase ticket pricing which would not go down well with fans.

O Commercial and sponsorship including corporate hospitality sales were up by 35.7% from £19m to £25.8m

This area includes the corporate hospitality called Club London which increased to 3,200 members and better sponsorship deals in the new stadium.

O Retail and shop sales grew by 2% from £9.3m to £9.6m

Again a rather small increase but there are some mitigating factors. The last year in the Boleyn Ground saw record revenue from retail from dedicated merchandise the club shop currently lacks a car park and has limited footfall or passing trade outside of match days.

O The club published a gross profit of £64.4m but this reduced to a net profit of £43m after playing trading, taxation and interest.

While the profit is impressive the club remains relatively cash poor as many transactions are paid for upfront but accounted for (depreciated) over many years in the accounts. These include the £15m for the stadium (depreciated over 99 years, the club shop, office and Westhamification of the London Stadium (depreciated over 10 years) and many players 50% up front but depreciated over the length of the player’s contract.

O The accounts confirm the Boleyn Ground was sold for £38m.

West Ham had already received £10m up front in previous years so the balance of £28m was paid in July 2016 by the developers. This was used mostly pay off bank loans of £14.7m and London Stadium upfront fee of £15m.

O Wages increased by £10.4m from £84.6m to £95m which means wages account for 51.8% of turnover.

The highest paid director wages (believed to be West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady) reduced her salary from £907,000 to £868,000.  In comparison, Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis was paid £2.65m plus a £1m bonus in 2016 despite not winning anything as a club so it could be argued her salary remains below the market rate. David Gold and David Sullivan did not draw a wage or claim any expenses.

O An update on West Ham loans:

External bank loans totalling £14.7m to shareholders CB Holding ehf (Icelandics) and (GC Co 102 Limited) David Sullivan were repaid on 15th July 2016 to make West Ham externally debt free of long-term non-share holder loans. Interest was charged at under 5%.

The club re-paid their £30m short-term loan to Media Rights and Funding secured against TV money on 14th July 2017. In August 2017 they took out two new short-term loans with Media Rights and Funding totalling £25m secured against the training grounds and Stadium lease to help with cash flow. These loans are due for repayment in July 2018.

The Share Holder loan balance has reduced from £49.2m to £45m in August 2016 after David Gold and David Sullivan were repaid £4.2m of their loans plus £2.2m in interest.

Interest on shareholder loans totalled £12.7m in May 2017 but £10m of this was later paid back to David Gold and David Sullivan on 18th August 2017. The interest on the remaining balance has reduced from 7% to 4% from 1st April 2017 with the shareholder loan balance due for repayment on 1st January 2020.

Shareholder Tripp Smith paid a £9.5m interest-free loan to West Ham in September 2017 after buying 10% of the shares from the Icelandic’s.

A full copy of the accounts can be found at:  
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05993863/filing-history

The club have published their own summary at https://www.whufc.com/news/club-accounts-published-for-2016-17


Talking Point

West Ham Association membership for a pound

The West Ham United Independent Supporters Association – WHUISA has reduced the cost of membership to just £1!

The association says their aim is to provide a democratic, fully independent and self-funding structure through which all West Ham fans can voice their opinions without censure on matters that are important to us as well as express their support of our Club.

WHUISA says they are a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation run by the fans for fans. They believe that by coming together under a single banner the myriad of opinion / views from all our fan base especially at this crucial time in our history they can move forward together as a strong group with a real mandate from the fans to have a pivotal influence through frank and open channels of communication, based on mutual respect and accountability, with our Club, its owners, the board and Stadium / 3rd party operators.

At the beginning of February WHUISA announced their support of action groups, a statement read:

“The committee of the West Ham United Independent Supporters Association (WHUISA) would like to formally announce its intent to support the efforts of the Real West Ham Fans Action Group (RWHFAG) & West Ham Groups United (WHGU) for the proposed protest march that is currently planned for 10th March 2018.

WHUISA has sought dialogue with West Ham United in the past and continues to do so to give representation for the fans, to the current ownership of our football club on a wide range of issues. It is disappointing that to date, there has been a lack of willingness from West Ham United to engage proactively and any communication with WHUISA only seems to be reactive to issues and situations that have arisen.

Protesting by away fans at the Watford FC away game on Sunday 19th November is one example where the club then reached out to WHUISA to attend a meeting to discuss concerns, whilst other attempts to meet had been rebuffed. Preferred media outlets and individuals are considered more important for engaging with, rather than a democratically run, fully constituted, Football Supporters Federation affiliated independent supporters association.

WHUISA has been in contact with RWHFAG & WHGU a number of times in the past month and are happy to formally support the efforts being made to arrange a family friendly, peaceful demonstration where the strength of feeling and emotion regarding the current situation at West Ham United is to be made plain for all to hear and see.

The protest march is currently being discussed between representatives of the Metropolitan Police and RWHFAG/WHGU in terms of duration, location and timings and more details will be announced once those discussions have been completed. All WHUISA members are encouraged to attend the planned protest on 10th March 2018

WHUISA Chairman Mark Walker speaking about the reduction in membership to a quid said: “We’re delighted to reduce the membership to a pound for the rest of the season and it’s something we keep under review going forward. We want as many people as possible to get involved in WHUISA. We take our affiliation to the FSF seriously and want as many people as possible to be involved, regardless of what other West Ham groups and forums they are members of.”

You can join WHUISA for a quid at https://whuisa.org/join/


Talking Point

Millwall fans rally to West Ham cause

Millwall fans have raised over £4,500 for West Ham fan Isla Caton to demonstrate that football has no colours when it comes to cancer.

Millwall fan Tony Munday is planning to run a half marathon in a full West Ham kit to raise up to £3,500 for little Isla Caton.

Tony writes on his Justgiving Page:

‘Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a Millwall supporter to the core and that West Ham are the team I love to hate.But when it comes to children and cancer, rivalries and colours become insignificant and we all pull together as one. I’m running the Brentwood Half marathon on March 18th to help raise money towards this brave little girls target that she needs to reach.I’ve put the target at 500.00, but if it reaches 1000.00 I will run wearing a West Ham shirt. I expect this to pull in plenty of extra money as it’s the only way I’d ever do it. If it reaches £2,000 I will wear the full kit’

At the time of writing, Tony has raised £2,711 and has upped his target again saying “I’m raising the target again to £3,500 where I will do the Hammers sign on completion of the race in the West Ham kit”

Tony was asked how much it would take for him to have a permanent West Ham tattoo to which he replied £200,000

Tony’s page is at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tony-munday3

Another Millwall fan called Nick Hart who is a member of the Millwall AMS supporters’ group plans to walk to raise money for Isla. He has raised £1,248 so far

Nick writes:

“Like all Millwall fans, we were very touched to read of young Isla Caton’s appeal for funds to visit the USA for vital cancer treatment, not available on the NHS. So to lend my support, I am joining the #teamIsla walk from the West Ham United training ground, to the London Stadium in Stratford on April 14th 2018. Which as a lifelong Millwall supporter, is an unusual thing to do to say the least …Cancer knows no colours though and some things go way beyond any football rivalry. I am proud to lend my support to this cause on behalf of all Millwall fans.”

Nick’s page is at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/achtungmillwallforisla

Finally, another Millwall fan called Jay Pearce has raised £557 so far after being inspired by others

Nick writes:

‘Following the inspiration of a fellow Millwall fan, I’m going to do the same! I’m running the big half in March, which goes through south London! The Brighton Marathon and the Victoria Park half too. If I can raise £500 I’ll Wear a WHU shirt in the big half, £1k I’ll wear it in Brighton too, any more and I’ll wear it in the Viccy Park! All of which I planned to run in my Millwall shirt! Come on Guys, CANCER HAS NO COLOURS!’

Among others, Claret and Hugh recently held an online auction of items kindly donated by West Ham legend Billy Bonds which has raised £2,150 so far at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/billybondsauction

The overall fighting fund for Isla stands at £205,436 at the time of writing with a revised target of £400,000


Talking Point

Hammers Wembley trip at risk

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West Ham’s away trip to Wembley on New Year’s Eve to face Spurs is at risk!

We have learned today that London Underground want the game postponed because of the unavailability of drivers.

And we understand that TFL would like a permanent ban on all future Premier League matches in the capital on New Year’s Eve.

Tickets have yet to go on sale and the fixture remains in limbo awaiting final approval from Wembley’s Safety Advisory Board.

We understand London Underground are refusing to budge from current position despite the fixture having Premier League and police approval.

However, they have a history of brinkmanship on these issues but generally reach a compromise at the eleventh hour. Meeting are continuing in a bid to solve the problem.

A source close to West Ham indicated any issues would be dealt by the Spurs end rather than ours saying:

“The game has been confirmed by the Premier League although there were intense discussions with various parties before it was confirmed. However, The police have also confirmed. Spurs would have to sort out any issues if they are subsequently raised.”


The Sean Whetstone Column

Enough is enough!

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I have just returned home from watching the West Ham Under 23’s take on Chelsea at Aldershot’s stadium. Although it was a goalless draw the young team played with more passion, determination and grit than any of the first team showed on Friday night. I sat just behind Terry Westley and greeted him and wished him good luck before kick off. It was good to see him and his methods up close. He is another very passionate manager who frequently banged the clear plastic glass of the dugout when the game wasn’t going his way. It was also great to see Declan Rice up close and personal, he truly is a wonderful prospect who clearly models himself on the late great Bobby Moore.

This afternoon was a pleasant distraction from the embarrassment that happened on Friday night. West Ham fans hopes were quickly extinguished after Brighton’s first goal on 10 minutes. As the second killer goal went in just before halftime West Ham fans turned on West Ham fans inside the stadium. I personally witnessed a couple of incidents in my block 113 in the West stand of arguing, pushing and shoving and at halftime police rushed into the back of block 114 for another incident where one West Ham fan was arrested and hauled off. It seemed a return to old days of last season.

As the third goal went in on 75 minutes there was further trouble at Club London next to the director’s box as some kind of altercation broke out in the corporate hospitality area. By then embarrassed by a 3-0 defeat at home by Brighton the London Stadium largely emptied and West Ham fans made their long way home in disbelief what they had just witnessed on the pitch. It is on nights like last night that the London Stadium doesn’t feel like our new home.

A poll of over 3,100 supporters on Claret and Hugh on Saturday says the majority now want Slaven Bilic gone, over 77% want him gone immediately, over 10% want to give him until the Palace game, 4% say give him until January while 5% say the end of the season and a mere 3% want him to get a new contract.

There are rumours that he offered to resign after the Newcastle loss and again after Brighton. While it might have some element of truth I am told he has never offered to resign to the board at any time and the offer was made directly to the players instead which is meaningless.

I understand the board are currently unwilling to sack Slaven Bilic without a replacement with proven Premier League experience and they say there is simply no-one of the right calibre available at this time. They don’t want to be in the same situation as Leicester City. They also believe there is no natural successor to become caretaker manager at West Ham and while they love Terry Westley to bits they don’t think he has the right skill set to take over the Hammers as caretaker boss with demands of the Premier League.

Despite widespread reports, West Ham have NOT held any emergency board meetings over the weekend to decide whether Slaven Bilic should be sacked!

Speculation has been swirling around since Friday night’s shock result that Bilic could be out of work by the weekend as a result of such a meeting. David Gold is currently away on a winter break in the Caribbean and no board meeting would be held without him.

However, West Ham are drawing up a list of candidates to take over from Slaven Bilic should the decision be made in the future and the club knows it has a serious problem and is quickly speaking to agents and intermediaries. One of the possibilities being considered is an approach to veteran coach Guus Hiddink on a short-term contract whilst the club look for their ideal long-term candidate but there is concern over his age.

Another surprise option being considered by the club is former manager Sam Allardyce, he is said to be interested in the USA International manager job and it remains to be seen if he would tell the board where to stick it he got a call to get them out of trouble short term. Another Claret and Hugh poll of over 2,000 supporters shows that nearly 54% of supporters would accept Big Sam back as a short-term fix while 46% would stick with Slaven Bilic for the remainder of the season even if he meant relegation given the choice.

Meanwhile, bookmakers have predictably made Slaven Bilic a massive the odds-on favourite as the next Premier League manager to be sacked this season. Slav’s chance of the sack has been slashed to 1/3 making odds-on on favourite with Sky Bet to go with his closest rival Ronald Koeman at Everton on 11/4. Paddypower have Bilic 4/9 for the push while it’s 2/5 with Bet Victor.

Sky Bet have Manuel Pellegrini as the 100/30 favourite to replace the Croatian with Carlo Ancelotti second favourite at 11/2, Rafa Benitez is third at 6/1 with Sean Dyche, Roberto Mancini and Slavisa Jokanovic all at 8/1.

Manuel Pellegrini is the manager of Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune since August 2016. He is thought to be on a lucrative contract in China worth £30m over three years. He is the bookies Odds on favourite to join Leicester City. Difficult to match his current package.

Carlo Ancelotti says he will take at least a 10-month break after the Bayern Munich axe. Was paid £12.6m per year on a three-year contract at Bayern. Even if we could afford him after his sabbatical he is unlikely to consider West Ham as a realistic option as he won’t be short on offers.

Rafa Benitez says he is committed to Newcastle until the end of the season. He signed a new three-year contract in May this year worth £4.2m per year so West Ham could end up paying a compensation of around £10m should they tempt Rafa to leave the North East. With Newcastle up for sale, he is said to be keen to wait and find out what a new owner could bring to the Magpies in terms of backing in the transfer market.

Sean Dyche signed a contract extension at Burnley in 2016 and is one of lowest paid managers in the Premier League on £420,000 per year. He joined the Clarets in 2012 and in his five-year tenure has led them twice to Premier League promotion. Whether Dyche would leave Burnley and whether he would be an improvement on Slaven Bilic are all unanswered questions.

Roberto Mancini took over as Zenit St Petersburg manager this summer on a three-year contract thought to be worth €4.5m a year. He has the option of a two-year extension. Whether Mancini has a clause to leave if a Premier League club came in for him is unknown but there is likely to be a large compensation to persuade Zenit to part with him.

Slavisa Jokanovic took over at Championship side Fulham in 2015 and signed a two-year contract extension to stay in West London earlier this year. He has no Premier League experience despite previously getting Watford promoted to the Premier League. His lack of experience makes him somewhat of a gamble and would cost £5m in compensation to Fulham which makes him an unlikely candidate.

Personally, I think Bilic has already lost the dressing room and things will only get worse as the season goes on. Angelo Ogbonna says his baby daughter liked a ‘Bilic Out’ message on social media and it wasn’t him (honest guv) but rumours suggest the dressing room is already divided.

The board need to act and act fast, enough is enough, this is the time they need to stand up and be counted. Will the next West Ham manager please come forward.

Thanks for all you have done as a player and manager Slav and good luck for the future!

Sean COYI

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