ST Update 05/07/2017.

More on ticket prices.

After we sent out our previous note on child STH prices from 2018 onwards we received a call from the club where they said that they had replied to our original email. We haven’t received a reply but they have promised to resend the original. In that conversation with a senior club executive… 

The club says …

The new pricing is part of the ‘strategy for the stadium’ which is designed to maximise revenue from the 57,000 supporters to enable West Ham to compete at the highest level.

The new pricing strategy will “help like-minded people be in the appropriate place”

They say the £99 tickets were abused last season and this is a way of rectifying this situation.

They also said as all other clubs get TV money as well the club wants to push home its advantage of having 57,000 seats  to maximise its revenues. The club does not want to lose out on signing top players with having low prices / not having appropriately priced tickets in premium areas.  

Bands 1-3 are the “premium areas” referred to.

On prices for 2018/19 and whether Child prices for founders could triple…

The club says it will always favour / protect its loyal founders and so prices are frozen for them for renewing for 2017-18. They went on to say do not take the new prices for the tickets made available to those on the waiting list as a blueprint for 2018-19 as this has not been discussed at all yet. 

All views / opinions on the price structure for 2018-19 will be sought & considered as the season progresses. 

What does It all mean?

For us that is a not denial that child tickets in what the club now calls the “Premium” bands could double or triple for next season  putting real pressure on stretched family budgets .

We say this since at the Boleyn, season tickets were normally sold in a way where the price for new STHs was a good indication for renewal prices for the following year.

We asked for an unequivocal statement that these prices won’t be applied for 2018-19 season but we didn’t get it. We will continue to feedback your views to the club.

It also means that there will be two tier pricing for next season which we believe is unfair. Considering the significant increase in TV money from this year this is something that should not have happened. For example two kids could be sitting next to each other in a band 1 area where one parent has paid £99 for their child’s ticket, the other £300. How fair is that?

WHUISA believe i would have been best for all STH to be paying the same prices year on year and there is still time for the club to do this. Treat us equally – we are all West Ham fans.

WHUISA is happy to engage with the club, in consulting with members and offer the opinions of loyal fans ahead of any major changes for supporters. 

Follow us on Twitter @WHUISA2017 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/WHUISA/

Always West Ham

WHUISA Interim Committee. 

Elections to the WHUISA committee.

Dear member,
The time has come to elect a new permanent committee for WHUISA. This is open to all paid up members of WHUISA  who are over 18 years of age only.
We are looking for nominations from a wide spread of our members including age 18-25, senior citizens and those with disabilities where we are least representative in our current form.
Format:
Please write just a few lines on why you wish to be a committee member and if you have a preference for a particular job on the committee. The positions open are chair, vice-chair, treasurer, secretary, membership secretary and webmaster as well as being a general committee member. We are looking to have 7 or 9 members on committee. There is the chance that a person may carry out 2 roles if necessary.
Ideally we would like you be send your nomination piece with a name of a nominator and seconder who are WHUISA members. If this is a problem please let us know.
Timetable:
29th June – 15th July Nominations to be sent in.
16th July – 21st July Nominations sifted by IC and election document drawn up.
22nd July – 4th August 1800hrs – Election document sent out & members to vote on nominated candidates.
5th August New WHUISA committee announced.
You will be able to vote by e-mail or you can send a postal vote. Details to follow in election document.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Always West Ham
WHUISA Interim Committee.

WHUISA write to West Ham over Season Ticket Price Rises.

Big Rises for Kids tickets next season?

Last week the club announced the prices for season tickets for on the waiting list. These including inflation busting rises for adult tickets compared to those renewing , however what really stood out was the doubling or even tripling of the price of child tickets in bands 1-3 compared to the prices being by renewing season ticket holders this season.

Given that at the Boleyn, the prices for new season ticket holders was an excellent guide to renewal prices for the following year, last week  WHUISA wrote to Tara Warren (Director of Marketing) and Nicola Keye (Head of Ticketing).

 We asked whether they could guarantee that “founder” child season ticket holders won’t face doubling or tripling of the price of their ticket next year.

We haven’t received a response or an acknowledgment (original letter printed below).  Read into that what you will.

Meanwhile, here’s a reminder of our joint chairmen’s quotes at the time the price freeze for 2017-18’s season tickets was announced.

https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2017/march/13-march/message-joint-chairmen

“When London Stadium became our new home last summer, we were adamant that the move should benefit our most loyal supporters.

“We promised to provide affordable Premier League football for our 52,000 founding Season Ticket Holders, and that promise is ongoing.

WHUISA awaits a reply to seeing whether that ongoing promise will be honoured for those with child tickets. 

The following is the letter sent to West Ham by WHUISA.

Dear Tara / Nicola,

I wonder if you could help with an issue that has arisen since you announced the 2017/2018 prices for new Season Ticket Holders.

We and a number of our members, note that the cost of a child season ticket in bands one to three will be double to triple the price being paid by existing customers.

What implications does this have for 2018/19 prices for children?

Are you able to guarantee that ‘founders’ in bands 1-3 will still be able to access affordable family football’ without having to downgrade to band 4/5 seats?

Specifically are you able to guarantee that this doubling or in some cases tripling of child season ticket prices won’t apply to existing season ticket holders looking to renew for 18/19.

Many people are in large groups or have particular requirements which mean that not only would a move from their existing seats be undesirable but it would also be unworkable.

There has been a sharp reaction for our members and from others to a possible substantial additional cost to family finances at a time when many of our supporters find the existing amounts they have to pay challenging.

At a time of record revenues for the club, can you

  1. Reassure the supporters that these new child prices won’t be charged to ‘founder’ Season ticket holders next year?
  2. That any child ST increase in bands 1-3 will be broadly in line with inflation?

A swift, unequivocal reply would be appreciated to allay loyal supporters’ concerns.

Regards

Paul Christmas,

Joint Chair for and on behalf of WHUISA Interim Committee.

Join the Hammers Supporters Club.

Here is a copy of the membership form to join the HSC.

Click on the link below in claret and print out / fill in and send to us by post to the address on the form. Don’t forget your remittance.

hsc-membership

Or paste this link into your browser.

http://www.whuisa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/HSC-Membership.pdf

You shall receive your membership card with commemorative Boleyn ground membership wallet by return post.

Paul

 

FSF Survey 2017

Dear member,
As an affiliate of the FSF WHUISA have been asked to distribute the
following. Please take a few minutes of your time to do the survey.
I shall be at the FSF summit on July 1st at st.Georges Park so anything you feel i can bring to the table please let me know by return.
Always West Ham
Paul Joint Chair WHUISA Interim Committee.
Subject: Football Supporters’ Federation’s National Supporters Survey 2017
Dear Member,
Every few years the FSF hold a national supporters survey to assess the state of the game and find out what you think as football supporters. With the domestic season over we think it’s a great time for fans to reflect on the game today.
We want to know how many matches you go to, if you’re part of any fan groups, whether you volunteer, the way you talk to and about your club through social media and if you watch matches across various digital platforms? We are also interested to see what hasn’t changed: do fans still back video technology, are they still against the idea of a winter break?
Chief executive Kevin Miles said: “When it comes to the health of the game there’s no-one whose opinion matters more than that of football supporters.
“Our National Supporters Survey is the largest of its kind, canvassing the views of supporters up and down the country. We want fans to tell us what really matters to them in 2017.”
Despite being a comprehensive survey covering a range of topics, it should only take the average user around eight to ten minutes to complete. The results of the survey will be published before the start of the 2017-18 season.
Take part now: in the 2017 National Supporters Survey…
We would be grateful if you could share this survey with your own members to reach as many supporters as possible.
The last of these censuses was carried out in 2012 with more than 4,000 supporters from 130 different clubs completing our survey, giving us a snapshot of supporters’ views up and down the game.
See here to read the results of the 2012 National Supporters Survey (P14).
Many thanks
The Football Supporters’ Federation
Are you are member of the FSF? It’s free to Join at www.fsf.org.uk/join
Football Supporters’ Federation
1 Ashmore Terrace, Stockton Road, Sunderland, SR2 7DE
Tel: 0330 44 000 44 |Web:  www.fsf.org.uk |Email: info@fsf.org.uk

Upcoming WHUISA involvement.

Over the close season WHUISA will be attending some high profile events on behalf of our members.

The first is the following to which we have been invited.

The Met Police are holding an end of season review with regard to policing football in the capital. In the words of Sgt Dave Hines of the of the Football Unit the aim of the meeting is so…

“…that we can debrief any issues/concerns that supporters may have experienced this season. This is not a ‘tick in the box’ event, it is a genuine attempt to listen to the views of supporters so that we can work through any issues before the start of next season…”

If you have anything you would like us to raise please contact us at enquiries@whuisa.org.

The second is the FSF football summit followed by the FSF AGM held over the weekend of 1/2 July at St. Georges Park in Burton.

If you have anything you would like us to raise please contact us at enquiries@whuisa.org.

WHUISA will continue to work for the fans best interests and now have direct contact with our famous football club. From acorns as they say….

WHUISA would also like to advertise an afternoon at the Hammers Supporters Club (yes it is still open – bit more of that later) this Saturday from 2pm – 6pm where over 600 inscribed bricks from the old ground have been recovered. If you spot your brick and are able to prove you own it // who your are you may take it away. A small donation is politely requested for the Bobby Moore Cancer research Fund run by Donna and Jonjo.

WHUISA Interim Committee.

Premier League / FSF update.

Dear WHUISA members,

George attended the FSF meeting at the Premier League HQ on 24th April. This was for all official Premier League affiliates if the FSF (of which WHUISA is the West Ham one). Apologies for the late report, have only just arrive, you can read them here.

http://www.whuisa.org/uncategorized/premier-league-fsf-meeting-25042107/

This is a bit of commentary on what George took away from the meeting that may be of most interest to WHUISA members and interesting debating points.

We met with various Premier League executives including Richard Scudamore and Bill Bush. We were warmly welcome by the other PL FSF reps. There was lots of valuable advice and support from PL FSF reps and the PL itself for WHUISA to keep pushing for a proper fan engagement programme.  In order to be an affiliate of the FSF you have to be a democratic, representative organisation. If you want know more the FSF you can find it here http://www.fsf.org.uk/about-us/

In terms of the future engagement between FSF affiliates and PL clubs the PL said this “The Premier League will consider issuing a guidance note after reviewing PL club practice from this season, plus the impact of the approach taken by EFL and its clubs.”

FIXTURES TV etc 

We had a presentation by Mark Annett, Head of Football Operations on Fixtures which basically said there was not much room for manoeuvre. UEFA taking extra weeks for champions League has stuffed everything so we will end up with some daft midweek/holiday fixtures.  BT/Sky have their say as do the clubs, police and “other stakeholders”. (ie Westfield)

One of the most interesting things was that the clubs Supporters Liaison Officers have a schedule of when TV matches are going to be announced and should share this with the fans so that we know when to book tickets etc. It means we can avoid the situation where hotels/planes/trains are booked before TV dates are announced. Many were left out of pocket by the move by the move of the Spurs & Liverpool fixtures.  We have asked Jake Heath, West Ham’s Head SLO about this but we are yet to receive a reply.  

AWAY TRAVEL

Several clubs provide subsidised travel for difficult away trips. Arsenal put on coaches at a tenner a go on for their Easter Monday night game at Boro. Steve Parrish did something similar for Palace at Everton on a Friday night. Chelsea & Spurs offer very cheap train tickets back to London if there not reasonable public transport back to London. £10 return Leicester was mentioned. I don’t think West Ham take part in anything like this? Is there a demand? Would you want us to ask about this?

In other news, Away fans will hopefully have at least one block pitchside at all away grounds next year. (Hello Newcastle!)

DISABILITY ACCESS

There’s a big debate about disability access at all grounds. The Premier League will send a report to Equalities and Human Rights Commission later in 2017. There was particular concern over how non wheelchair using disabled fans are treated. If you need to contact the West Ham disability access officer she’s called Julie Pigeon and she can be reached on accessibility@westhamunited.co.uk

SAFE STANDING/GROUND CAPACITY

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) are looking to push a small amount of safe standing through but the Premier League think the other side of that is that they will push much stricter enforcement of seating in other areas. There will be a PL report on safe standing next year. How this affects the London Stadium is unknown.

Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs) are getting a lot more aggressive when pushing the boundaries of what constitutes “safety” when it comes to imposing conditions on kick off times, alcohol bans etc. This will involve taking a view on language, abuse etc. It may have an impact on the capacity at the OS (and all grounds tbf).

BRIGHTON

Di Cunningham from “Pride in Football” spoke about concerns over Brighton’s promotion next year. They will be playing a lot of clubs for the first time next season and want to reduce the risk of any unfortunate incidents. WHUISA has contacted “Pride of Irons” and suggested we ask the club to get a message out there about homophobic bullying and engage with fans. We do it for anti-Semitism when we play Spurs. We should do it for homophobia when we play Brighton.  This is going to be a big deal next year, landscape has changed since we last played we should make sure we’re on the right side of this. We will approach the club about this after chatting to PoI.

These FSF/PL meetings are very useful, you can find out what other clubs are doing the current thinking on fans issues from the horse mouth at the Premier League.

We hope to be back there in October

Regards

WHUISA Interim Committee.

WHUISA meeting minutes 14/05/2017.

WHUISA MEETING

Held with permission at White Post, Hackney Wick

14/05/2017 at 11.30am 

Attending 4 committee members,12 members and 0 invited speakers. 

  1. INTRODUCTION & UPDATE from Interim Chair. With no objections received Paul accepted the notes from previous meeting held on 8th April 17 as fair and accurate. He went on to explain that: the PayPal account had been transferred to a new bank account and members would be advised at future meetings of balance and expenditure; following the recent SAB meeting it is anticipated that WHUISA will become increasing influential in representing the interests of the fans to the club; association meeting with club is planned for next Wednesday 24th May.
  2. CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES.  112 replies had been received on proposed changes to the constitution. The revised constitutional changes as circulated were ratified by a show of hands with no objections.
  3. WHUISA TWITTER/ PREMIER LEAGUE MEETING

      George Explained that the Twitter account had been changed for technical reasons.  It has 330 members and all new joiners welcome so please put the word around.  Premier League update: all prem clubs are expected to have a disability rep; we are the only  London prem club not currently helping fans with away fixtures involving tricky travel;  The committee will ask the club whether it has any plans to help with away travel from next season; club is given advance notice of fixtures affected by TV switching; (from the floor) it has been noted that facilities available for those catching coaches from the ground for away matches are poor; safe standing pilot is being discussed attendant to its intro is expectation  that stricter enforcement of no standing in other areas of the ground is probable;  Amanda Jacks (FSF – see previous notes) is looking into safety in grounds and issues arising will be reported back as these become available; the Brighton fixture will attract close scrutiny regarding homophobic chants – this is a sensitive issue and Pride of Iron fans Group will be involved in discussions with the club; body worn cameras with voice recorders carried by some of the supervisors in and around the ground. The committee is aware of       a specific issue resulting from use of this equipment and is considering the matter and its wider Implications.

  1. ELECTIONS TO WHUISA COMMITTEE

      We will be seeking a new committee with broader representation and more bodies.  It is expected that elections, possibly electronically delivered, will happen early next season. Re iob from previous meeting current memberships will be extended by 1 year.

  1. HAMMERS SUPPORTERS CLUB

      Paul attended the recent AGM and following this an emergency EGM. Money at the club would expire in next week. However a new committee has been formed and Paul is on it together with   several other fans which now makes majority on committee, season ticket holders. It is hoped that we will hold our Hammer of Year award at the club during pre-season. Watch this space. 

  1. AOBa. Q from floor: does the club make a profit from fees charged for travel on away coaches. Committee will ask Association pin badges. Procurement will be looked at again after the committee elections.Thanks given to Mike Gunn for all his help with the membership records At request from floor question will be asked as to whether a family enclosure/ area exists Floor asked what membership number is it hoped will improve leverage in influencing club and help get a better deal for the fans. Maybe 2000 for starters and recruitment drive is on.
  1. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.

           To be advised and will be held at HSC.  

 

Meeting Closes at 1215

 

COYI

WHUISA / SAB Meeting minutes 24/05/2017.

SAB MEETING 24/05/2017.

WHUISA attended the recent SAB meeting that was held at the London stadium, in attendance were various club employees from ticketing to media to marketing and also a member of LS185 the stadium controllers. The meeting was basically a review of the season performance and broken up into different Subjects. SAB moving forward. Disabled SAB Update, Stewarding, Stadium & IAAF Meeting

SAB MOVING FORWARD.

The format will change next season in that instead of fans representing specific age groups and areas they sit in the stadium they want it to be broader fan representative groups, I.E Supporter groups like WHUISA, Pride of Irons, Social media site runners including website and those with large Facebook pages, and other supporter groups that can represent a body of West Ham fans, Corporate rep and possibly a family group representative. The main body of the SAB will meet a minimum of 3 times per season, and there may be separate smaller meetings that concentrate on dedicated subjects, for example Disability, LGBT. The club will announce the new format on their website and then look to take nominations, WHUISA will be asked to participate, so we look forward to continuing to work with the club in representing fans views in this forum.

DISABILITY SAB UPDATE

15 members met in the first DSAB, they highlighted difficulties in getting from Stratford Station to the stadium, Jake the West Ham supporter liaison officer recently accompanied one person with difficulty in walking the route, and it took 40 minutes. The club with the other land stakeholders have managed to put in further rest points on that route to allow those that need to, seats to rest on. A request was put in to Westfield to perhaps allow those with difficulty walking to go the shorter route through their property but we await their response. The club are recruiting 2 further DLO’s (Disability liaison officers) to expand the current department. In discussions after the meeting with one of the DSAB representative’s attending who said the club were improving their service to them. Hopefully that will continue. Shuttle bus will run from Pudding Mill lane station to the ground, can be picked up from car park opposite the station. The club have 18 shuttle buses now running from the pick-up point below the club shop. They will look at running to Stratford International as well. Generally the road to allow the buses to leave is now open no more than 20 minutes after final whistle. A ticket system for the buses operates to enable those using the buses to not have to stand in line outside if they don’t want to.

STEWARDING/STADIUM.

All Stewards should have an identifying number which if you feel you need to complain about an individual steward, just make note of their number so they can easily be identified. There now should be a steward at each exit gate when they are opened to allow exiting of the stadium. Apparently they are trialling a “different way of stewarding” over the summer events so hopefully the success or failure will be apparent come September when we start our home games. Some of those banned through the season have had their bans ended and will be allowed to renew their season tickets, No person has been banned for swearing alone, the club understand that at times language can be choice, those banned have been caught consistently and with other factors taken in. The do issue Acceptable Behaviour Contracts now known as ABC’s, which can stop any ban from happening as long as the offender agrees to the contents and signs it. Everyone will receive new Season ticket cards for the coming season, they should specify which turnstile to use and will only work on that turnstile, this hopefully will reduce pressure on some of the more congested turnstiles. Exit routes from stadium are designated by the stadium safety officer, and he can change routes on a game by game basis taking in consideration high profile opposition. These are highlighted in the Match day guide that is emailed to fans and on the website before every home game. The club are still in the process of installing shelving but have to abide by Health & Safety rules in conjunction with etc stadium operators, they have a say in whether the shelving being proposed is not dangerous such as  can children hit their head on the shelving. More SLO’s for match days will be hired; apparently these have been welcomed by fans that have used them. Flags will still be able to be sited next to the big screens, due to the stadium sponsor difficulties, but around the middle tier ledge this will not be possible as it will obstruct the LED display that will be in place. Sky sports news or even the game on TV screens around the concourse is under consideration but no promise. This is because the want fans to watch the game live rather than drinking in the concourse. Though the seating does not retract in the way the club expected to do, all seats are in exactly the correct position they were designed to be in. The fact the seats don’t retract as was hoped that is a problem for the stadium managers not for WHUFC. One club senior staff member claimed the seating in the stadium was excellent for football, i pointed out that is their personal opinion and many wouldn’t agree, and perhaps the club should of pointed this out to the fans better than they did.

TICKETING.

60,000 is still a hope for next season, but no application has been made yet for the extra seating. Relocations will take place between 1/6 to 16/6, all requests subject to availability, also club confident of hitting 80% renewal rate which is industry level, 20% though would be 10,000 fans not renewing, would be good to know how many of those that don’t renew were long time Season ticket holders from the Boleyn. Age bands may be looked at, currently U16, 16-21 then adult. Another member of SAB pointed out that his son is 21 so has to pay more this season but is still at Uni for another year. club acknowledged this could be looked at. I then pointed out that if they did this then they need to change the U16 to U 18 as you have to stay on at school until you are 18 now. In the T&Cs now is anyone attending 7 games or less faces the possibility of losing their season ticket. This will not though be done without the club speaking to the affected ticket holder for their reasons, they expect this to be minimal. Confirmed no game at home until probably after the September international break, but should be this year only. No Boxing day game this season, the club are adamant this is not permanent and they can request a home Boxing day game, final decision is with the Premier league.

Due to time constraints it wasn’t really a Q&A meeting but more advisory, time was taken to highlight some of the info gained from the Survey and on the stewarding where it was pointed out that many comments were critical of the stewarding but agreed that it had improved from the start of the season and ticketing with a brief overview of comments.

Nigel Kahn – WHUISA Interim Committee. 

We are the independent democratic voice of West Ham supporters