Soccer Magazine

Taking the Piss Again

By Stuartnoel @theballisround

I’m pissed off.  Four or five beers and being annoyed about something is not normally a good combination for then turning on the PC and writing.  But tonight I am going to.  Tomorrow I will probably regret it.  I am seriously pissed off with West Ham.  The team I have supported since I was 4 years old.

I’d had a nice night out and was on my way home.  I picked up the Evening Standard and flicked through the sports pages.  And there it was.  In full colour.  A WHOLE page advert for tickets for the game tomorrow versus Nottingham Forest.  But hang on a minute?  They were offering a whopping £10 off all tickets.  Essentially 30% off adult tickets and over 50% off Childrens.  And that has made my blood boil.

I have no issue with clubs offering special pricing and promotions for fans.  I agree it is necessary to try and get new fans through the door.  But when it is at the expense of the loyal supporters then that is another thing.  Tickets for this game went on sale to members back in December, priced from £32 for Adults and £19 for Children.  In fact you could actually get a free kids ticket if they were members of the “Academy” – the junior Hammers for want of a better word.  So these members, who pay £40+ for the scheme, of which is the priority to buy tickets over non members would have paid a minimum of £32 for their ticket, yet any Tom Dick or Harry who reads the Evening Standard can get in for £10 less.  Fair?  I do not think so.

Earlier this afternoon I got an email from Kevin Nolan, addressed to me personally.  I came swift on the heals of one from Sam Allardyce yesterday, urging me to “get down to Upton Park on Saturday”.  Kevin’s email ended with the sentence “We will be doing all we can on the pitch to reward your support and we hope that you are there in your thousands on Saturday to help us achieve that – get behind us and we will be working hard to send you home happy.”

No mention of a discount there, nor on the website that was also urging me to buy my ticket in advance.

Not that being a member actually means anything.  This season the club has stopped the discount it used to give for members.  The only real advantage is that you get to buy tickets for away games.  Thanks for that.

Can I suggest someone at the club reads about Yield management or engages Pricing Consultants such as SKP to advise on ticket pricing?

Another nail in the coffin of supporting a “big club”.

It appears that West Ham have also been trying to drum up support in other areas too.  £10 off vouchers delivered with pizza in Dartford and flyers through the doors of residents in Greenwich and Crystal Palace in recent weeks.  All the while members pay full price.

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