Talking Point

2020 London Stadium Survey results

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The results from the London Stadium survey 2020 are in with 11,672 match going supporters filling it out – we are able to publish today a true reflection of West Ham fan’s updated perception of the London Stadium, one year on from the last survey and 44 months after moving in. On the whole, perceptions have decreased in the majority of categories over the last 12 months.

The supporter survey was promoted by several West Ham websites, blogs and social media channels.

After nearly four years in the London Stadium do you believe that the move was a good idea?

Yes 15%
No 67%
Not sure 18%

A swing of 40% on last year when 27% said it was not a good idea.

When will the London stadium feel like our proper home?

It does already 7%
4-5 seasons 12%
6-10 seasons 12%
+10 seasons 12%
It never will 57%

Another swing of 36% on last year saying the London Stadium will never fill like home.

If you are a season ticket holder do you plan to renew for next season?

Already have/Multiyear deal 1%
Yes 26%
No 12%
Not sure 24%
Not a season ticket holder 34%
On the waiting list 3%

With season ticket renewals yet to be announced it hard to compare these results against last year’s.

If you are a season ticket holder have you ever used ticket exchange functionality for matches you can’t make?

I never miss a game 15%
Yes sometimes 20%
Yes, every time I can’t go 8%
I prefer to sell it myself or forward to a friend or family 27%
Not worth it financially 21%
I prefer to leave my seat empty 9%

Broadly similar to last year although the amount who prefer to leave their seat empty when not in use has risen from threefold from 3%

What is your view on the general matchday atmosphere at the London Stadium in terms of volume and support for the team?

Excellent 4%
Good 18%
Average 42%
Poor 36%

A swing of 22% to poor on last year not impressed with the London Stadium atmosphere.

What is your view on the quality of stewarding and security taking into account the last game you attended at the London Stadium?

Excellent 2%
Good 18%
Average 38%
Poor 42%

A swing of 11% to poor for the quality of stewarding at the Stadium

What is your view on the quality, choice and price of food and drink within the London Stadium?

Excellent 1%
Good 10%
Average 35%
Poor 54%

A swing of 13% to poor on this section compared to last year

What is your experience of the London Stadium sightlines and views of the pitch from your seat?

Excellent 9%
Good 29%
Average 31%
Poor 31%

What is your experience of travelling to and from the London Stadium taking into account walking, public transport or car?

Excellent 8%
Good 27%
Average 30%
Poor 35%

A 10% swing to poor compared to last year

How do you rate your general matchday experience at the London Stadium?

Excellent 3%
Good 21%
Average 41%
Poor 35%

A 21% swing to poor compared to last year

West Ham has been criticised by some for not paying enough in the contribution to the running costs. Do you think West Ham should pay more?

Yes 33%
No 39%
Don’t know 28%.

A swing of 11%  who believe West Ham should pay more for the London Stadium compared to last year

Do you think West Ham will become a regular top-six club within the next five years as a result of the move to the London Stadium?

Yes 3%
No 88%
Not sure 9%

A swing of 16% on No compared to last year

Do you think West Ham will kick on to the next level and become a top-four team within ten years as a result of the move to the London Stadium?

Yes 3%
No 87%
Not sure 10%

A swing of 17% on No compared to last year

Do you think the West Ham board are doing a good job?

Excellent 1%
Good 4%
Average 22%
Poor 73%

The biggest swing of the survey with a 57% swing to poor for the West Ham board.

Last year 2019 figures were Excellent 3% Good 36% Average 45% and Poor 16%

How well does West Ham value you as a supporter and listen to fans concerns?

Excellent 1%
Good 4%
Average 24%
Poor 71%

The second biggest swing of the survey with a 40% swing to poor on valuing and listening to supporters.

Last year 2019 figures were Excellent 2% Good 20% Average 47% and Poor 31%

These results together with 4,950 additional comments were sent to David Sullivan, David Gold,  Karren Brady, Tara Warren and Andy Mollet on Saturday morning.

A copy of the full 2020 survey data including all comments can be downloaded from HERE  

Previous years London Stadium Survey results

2019  2018  2017 


Poll

London Stadium Survey 2020

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Just over three years ago West Ham Till I Die with others ran the first London Stadium survey in March 2017.

Supported by a number of different West Ham websites, blogs and social media accounts, the survey was completed by over 10,000 match-going supporters in previous years.

The 2019 survey results were published last year at:

www.westhamtillidie.com/posts/2019/03/26/london-stadium-survey-results-published

The 2020 survey takes around three minutes to fill out and is designed only for those who have visited the London Stadium in-person to sample one or more West Ham games this season. Please base your answers on your most recent visit to the London stadium to recognise areas which may have improved or deteriorated.

We would like to encourage as many season ticket holders, claret members and general admission ticket supporters to answer this questionnaire as possible so please spread the word far and wide on forums and social media. This is designed to be an independent survey of supporters and not affiliated one particular West Ham site, blog or social media channel.

A copy of the results of this survey including all comments will be shared with the West Ham board of directors after the closing date.

Fill in the 2020 London Stadium Survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RRZNRGF


Financial

West Ham financial accounts revealed

West Ham’s newly announced financial accounts for the 2018/2019 season have been released at 9 am this morning which show a record turnover of £190.7m, however the club posted a big loss of £28.2m when player trading was factored in.

The main areas show:

O Turnover increased by £15.4m from £175.3m to £190.7m

O TV income grew by £8.9m from to £118.5m to £127.4m

O  Ticket income grew by £2.9m from £24.5m to £27.4m

O Commercial and sponsorship including corporate hospitality sales grew by £3.4m from £24m to £27.4m

O Retail and shop sales grew by £500,000 from £8.2m to £8.7m

O The club published a gross profit of £20.6m but this reduced to a net loss of £28.2m after net spend of player trading was factored in

O Wages increased by £29.2m from £106.6m to £135.8m which means wages account for 71,2% of turnover.

The highest-paid director wages (believed to be West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady) increased her salary from £898,000 to £1.13m.

O  Net spend on player transfers was listed at £89.4m for last season 2018/2019 with £6.8m of potential add-ons.  Post balance notes reveal a net spend on transfers of £35.8m last summer (2019) with £3.4m of potential add-ons.

In the last four years the club say they have spent £214.4m net on new players and has invested £22m on infrastructure, including complete refurbishment of facilities at Rush Green, including a new gym and new training pitches; the Academy at Chadwell Heath was totally rebuilt; and almost £2m has been invested in the Women’s team.

O An update on West Ham loans:

The club re-paid a £39m short-term loan to Media Rights and Funding between May and July 2019. A new short term loan of £39m with Media Rights and Funding was secured against the training grounds and Stadium lease to help with cash flow. This loan is due for repayment in July 202o.

The Share Holder loan balance £45m has been deferred from payback in January 2020 to a date yet to be defined. Two payments totalling £2.9m were paid to David Sullivan and David Gold in respect of interest accrued on Share Holder loans.  Interest was charged ar 4.25%.  An additional £1m payment was made to a company controlled by David Gold as a partial payment of loan capital.


Talking Point

Ten-point Pledge Ten years on

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As we approach the ten-year anniversary of the West Ham ownership of David Sullivan and David Gold I have given my own personal review the ten-point pledge they made back in 2010 to see how they have done.

The pledge and how they have fared is subjective but I have attempted to give a balanced review.

1. Appoint the right manager

Our efforts are focused on recruiting a high-calibre manager with the necessary experience to deliver good football and, most importantly, results. A shortlist of candidates has been identified and the appointment will be made with enough time to prepare for pre-season.

Verdict: They got off to bad start with Avram Grant but Sam Allardyce while unpopular did was what needed at the time and did the job that was asked of him. Slaven Bilic was a popular choice and they also showed ambition with Manuel Pellegrini despite it ultimately ending infailure. Th e jury is still out on David Moyes but we hope he comes good and proves a lot of people wrong. On balance they scrape a PASS on this pledge.

2. Sign new players
For too long, the focus has been on players leaving rather than arriving. We will strengthen in the right areas to ensure an exciting and balanced squad that is well placed to cope with the rigours of a Premier League season. Our main aim will be to bring in players hungry to do well who share our ambitions and aspirations.

Verdict: In the last 10 years, they have invested £285m net spend on the playing squad. Since the move to London Stadium, there has been a net spend of £210.4m demonstrating how the move has allowed the Board to accelerate its investment in the squad. I am sure many people will argue that many of these players have failed to produce but when you accept the pledge was to sign new players I think he has to be a PASS.

3. More investment in the Academy
Tony Carr remains at the heart of the club and his work in developing future first-team players remains essential for the long-term success of this club. We will make sure homegrown talent nurtured in the West Ham way will always be given the chance to complement established players brought in from elsewhere.

Verdict: There has been an investment of over £10m investment across training facilities, £4m of which is on Chadwell Heath. The Board say they are absolutely committed to ensuring the Academy goes from strength to strength and that the Club continues to recruit and develop the best young players. Last season saw Declan Rice make his senior England debut and four Academy graduates made their first team debuts. Many will argue that West Ham don’t spend enough and remain behind the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs but we don’t have their financial power so have to life within our means. As the pledge as more investment in the Academy and didn’t promise to compete with the top six it has to be a PASS too.

4. Continue to clear the debt
We have a responsibility to ensure this club is never again placed in a perilous position. Great strides have been taken to get us on a sound financial footing but there is still a way to go. Difficult decisions have had to be made – and that will continue to be the case – but our bottom line on the bottom line is to ensure the club survives.

Verdict: In 2010, the Club was £110m in debt and heading towards administration and in an awful financial state in hands of the Icelandic’s. Today, the Club is financial stable and
sustainable, bank debt is paid down and they have attracted further investment to help make it sustainable. The only remaining debt is owed to share holders which is deferred. £45m owed to Sullivan and Gold while £9.5m owed to Tripp Smith. Has to be a PASS

5. Freeze season ticket prices for renewals
We are delighted we have been able to freeze season ticket prices, save for the VAT increase, but we will not stop there. We are looking at more ways of rewarding those fans who make such a long-term commitment and have excellent offers for younger supporters, who are the lifeblood of this club. Member benefits will also improve.

Verdict: I am not sure this was ever supposed to be a commitment to freeze season ticket prices forever. They were frozen for many years and the price rises have been well below inflation when factored over the ten years. West Ham say they are extremely proud to be the home of affordable family football in London and the Premier League.

West Ham welcomes around 10,000 children and young adults to London Stadium every week for just £5.21 per game on average with their £99 under 16s season ticket. 
The Club also comes out very favourably in terms of the average season ticket prices for under 21s and over 65s, with those supporters able to enjoy each match at London Stadium from as little as £8.42 as part of a season ticket – almost one-and-a-half times less than the average Premier League price of £21 per match.

An adult-supporting Hammer can watch their team for just under half the average price across the league, which works out at just £16.84 per match if they purchase a £320 season ticket, which is the cheapest available season ticket in the Premier League. Another PASS

6. Build the status and image of the club
Our standing at home and abroad is rightly built on our proud history and our commitment to young talent. The values of the Academy of Football developed since the days of Bobby Moore define what we are all about. With the world's spotlight set to shine on this part of London, the time is right to spread the word further.

Verdict: This one is highly subjective but there is no doubt the West Ham brand has become more well-known worldwide in the last ten years although much of this could be said to be the proliferation and popularity of the Premier League. There is no arguing that 60,000 tickets are sold out each week for every League game with plans to raise this to 62,500. There are 54,000 season tickets. West Ham have the 7 th highest total attendance in Europe. The Hammers have the 2 nd highest attendance in the Premier League

The club have grown a digital audience of over 7.7m over the past ten years. In 2010, the Club has no place in top-ranking football clubs but today West Ham have been ranked by Forbes as the 14 th Most Valuable Football Team In The World – $754m

By Deloitte West Ham are ranked as the Top 17th Football Club in the world

By Brand Finance West Ham are ranked the fastest growing brand in world football with a brand value of $274m.

There have been some gaffes and own goals in the last ten years which have led to headlines in the British press which have tarnished our image as club but overall I would still rate this pledge as a PASS

7. Make it enjoyable to come and watch

We want to bring the fun back. It is a serious business but we know you work hard all week and want to kick back at the weekend and enjoy yourselves. We want you to be excited on a matchday, and not just about the style of football. We are looking at ways to improve our pre-match and half-time entertainment and will welcome suggestions.

Verdict: There can be no doubts we have witnessed some enjoyable games and historic wins over the past ten years particularly under Slaven Bilic and Manuel Pellegrini but there have been awful times under Avram Grant and Sam Allardyce too. The change of the stadium takes some getting used to. This is still a work in progress we are going in the right direction. The Club have taken on board suggestions from supporters and have been introducing improvements to improve the matchday experience at the London Stadium the entertainment has to start on the pitch with the players.
JURY STILL OUT

8. Get closer to the community
This club does excellent work in the local area already but we want to move even closer to schools and businesses on our doorstep. We can extend our commitment to multi-sports, education and healthy living and show there is more to this club than just first-team football. We take our social responsibility very seriously.

Verdict: An area hopefully no supporter can disagree with. West Ham have invested £18m in in the local community since the London Stadium move was confirmed and launched the Players’ Project regarded as one of the most ambitious and well thought out community project within the Premier League. The club have also committed to invest a further £15m over three years to community projects.
A big PASS on this pledge!

9. Go for the Olympic Stadium
Leaving the Boleyn Ground will be a wrench but the Olympic Stadium is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a financial and football sense. Our potential partnership with Newham Council promises to take this club to a new level, while protecting our history and traditions. To move forward, we have to move – but always with an eye on the past.

Verdict: We accept not everyone likes the London Stadium, but it is hard to argue they didn’t ‘Go for the Olympic Stadium’ and won the tender process not once but twice. While some will argue it is not a traditional football stadium it was an opportunity too good to turn down and the fact that the stadium is sold out to 60,000 each week with 54,000 season ticket holders and a waiting list suggests they were right to go for it! West Ham have the 7th highest attendance in Europe and 2 nd highest in the Premier League so it has it be marked a PASS

10. Listen to supporters

Arguably the most important of all is our commitment to listen to what you have to say. We know we are just the custodians of this club. You who follow us every week, whether near or far, are the true owners. Whether talking to you online or in print, or face to face at fan forums, we will be open, transparent and available.

Verdict: This is probably one of the more contentious issues when it comes to the pledge, many will argue they don’t engage with supporters enough or don’t engage in the right way or don’t engage with the right groups but it is all highly subjective.

The Official West Ham United Supporters’ Board was established in place of the old Supporters Advisory Board to create an open, transparent and ongoing dialogue between the Club and supporters and ensures that the views of the fanbase are heard at the highest level of the Club but it has had its critics.

The members were chosen by an independent selection process. The club say they strongly believe that they have created a meaningful model for engagement, consultation, and structured dialogue. The Club now has five members in the Supporter Services team, a 50 strong team of Matchday Supporter Liaison Officers, nine information points on matchday.

West Ham have been ranked third in the Premier League for fan engagement a new study has revealed. Only Leicester City and Everton score higher. Overall the Hammers were ranked 28th from all 92 clubs in all four divisions.

There is no doubt there is still room for improvement for supporter engagement but as the old the saying goes you can never please all of the people all of the time.

Still room for improvement so marked as the JURY IS STILL OUT

Fellow WHTID Author Nigel Kahn together with fellow presenter John Bucci discusses the Ten-point pledge on Moore Than Just A Podcast last night which can be listened or downloaded from www.moorethanjustapodcast.co.uk


Talking Point

Worst and Best of the decade

When Iain asked all of his authors to give him their best team of the decade, I asked if I could do something different by posting my worst as well as my best team of the decade.

So let us start with the worst

In goal is Roberto by a country mile relegating Joe Hart to the bench.

Left-back has to be Razavn ‘Roland’ Rat with Roger the relegator Johnson and Jose Fonte as center-backs and Avarvo Arbeloa at right back

Carlos Sanchez has done enough or should that be hasn’t done enough to earn himself a place alongside Nigel Quashie

Left-wing it is the bizarre Savio with Gokhan Tore on the right-wing

I have gone for two upfront such as useless as each other with Benni Mccarthy and Mido

On the bench is Jordon Hugill, Joe Hart, Patrice Evra, Andy Carroll, Sam Byram and Jack Wilshere

The manager of course is Avram Grant

Now for the best which I believe many of our current fill as the quality hasn’t been that great in the last ten years.

Fabianksi in goal beating Adrian to the bench

Left-back I would put Aaron Cresswell with Issa Diop and an in-form Winston Reid with Ryan Fredericks as right back.

In front of the back four, I would have Declan Rice paired with Scott Parker

On the left-wing, I would have Dimi Payet with Michail Antonio on the right-wing

Upfront I would have Demba Ba paired with Marko Arnautovic

On the bench: Adrian, Mark Noble, James Collins, Manuel Lanzini, Seb Haller, Diafra Sakho and Felipe Anderson 7

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Happy New Year to one and all West Ham family


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