Karren Brady, vice Chairman of West Ham Football Club, announced on Wednesday that West Ham will slash season ticket prices in their 54,000 seat Olympic Stadium as a result of the record Premier League television deal.
And the decision has made waves across the country, especially with fans, as they are the first club to make this decision.
HSpeaking about the big decision, Brady said:
I am sure other Premier League clubs will follow, I go to all the Premier League meetings and ticket pricing and making it affordable is always the highest topic on the agenda.
It’s a statement which has not sat well with the other clubs in the Premier League. Especially after the Football Supporters’ Federation urged other Premier League clubs to follow suit.
The viewpoint taken inside boardrooms across the country is that West Ham are in an extremely lucky position. Having been gifted a stadium, they do not have to pay for – and now have the added burden to find a way of getting bums on an extra 19,000 seats.
West Ham are only paying £2.5 million a year to rent their new ground. To put that into context, at an average ticket price of £23.15, West Ham would only need 2 full houses to pay off their annual rent.
That’s in sharp contrast to their London rivals Arsenal, who according to Wikipedia, paid £390m for their stadium after securing a sponsorship deal with the Emirates Airline to relieve them of some of the financial burden. West Ham could be renting their stadium for the next 100 years and still wouldn’t have forked out that much.
Arsenal fans will tell you the cost of the stadium wasn’t limited to just £390m though, and some will say they are still paying the price now. The requirement to balance the books has led to Arsenal selling off some of their best players over the years, without buying big money replacements – arguably costing them trophies.