Cheltenham V WHU – Letter to the club.

This letter was sent today to West Ham United. We await their response.

Dear Tara,

               The West Ham United Independent Supporters Association (WHUISA) wishes to express its disappointment in the club and the apparent lack of goodwill shown towards the fans who travel to away games to support the team.

       West Ham were drawn to play Cheltenham Town at home in the Caraboa Cup but this was rearranged as an away game at West Ham’s request making it the fourth consecutive away fixture in the space of two weeks.

       This fixture could attract extra time and penalties but without leaving the game early during normal time, it is not possible for away fans to take the last train back to London which departs at 22.01 so a lengthy road journey or overnight stay is the only practical solution.

       It is therefore disappointing that no gesture of goodwill has been made by the club for this game at a time when the income it receives from Sky TV and Season Ticket sales is higher than it has ever been.

       We believe a solution to this would be a gesture towards all fans whether travelling near or far to the match in funding the cost of the match ticket. If every one of the 1050 allocation were sold at the full adult price it would cost the club a little over £22,000 to pay for them.  This is a televised game and the positive publicity a gesture like that would attract is a small price to pay to reward some of the most loyal and dedicated West Ham fans.

       We are certain West Ham United will want to make a strong positive gesture to its loyal fans in this quite unique situation.

WHUISA Committee

Paul Christmas, Mark Walker, George Mann, Nigel Kahn, James Rutherford, Nila Patel, John Ratomski, Kim Perryman, Mark Gower, Bill Edwards, Sue Watson, Paul Turner, Dan Coker.

AGENDA AGM 12/08/2017

AGENGA FOR AGM OF WHUISA AT HAMMERS SUPPORTERS’ CLUB 12/08/17 at 12pm.

  1. WEST HAM UNITED INDEPENDENT SUPPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION – WHUISA.

Apologies, Acknowledgement of minutes of last meeting, Annual Report, Financial statement.  

Speaker : Paul Christmas WHUISA Interim Joint chair.

Invitation to floor.

  1. ELECTION of POSITIONS TO NEW FULL WHUISA COMMITTEE

Positions – Chair, Vice Chair Secretary, Treasurer, membership secretary, Webmaster.

  1. WHUISA POLICY FOR NEXT 12 MONTHS.

Open discussion among new committee on policy. 

  1. HAMMERS SUPPORTERS CLUB & EAST HAM WORKING MANS’ CLUB

Update

Negotiating committee, premises in Stratford, EHWMC

Speakers :  Paul Christmas   

Invitation to floor.

  1. NEXT MEETING

Speaker : Chair

Invitation to floor as to date.

  1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes White Post 14/05/2017

WHUISA MEETING

Held with permission at White Post, Hackney Wick

14/05/2017 at 11.30am

Attending 4 committee members and 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 17th 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. A flat the club owns will be sold and this will help club continue until at least the end of this calendar year.  Treasurer from previous committee has resigned and accounts returned to auditors for errors to be corrected. It is hoped that we will hold our Hammer of Year award at the club during pre-season. Watch this space. 

  1. AOB
  2. Q from floor: does the club make a profit from fees charged for travel on away coaches.

          Committee will ask

  1. Association pin badges. Procurement will be looked at again after the committee elections.
  2. Thanks given to Mike Gunn for all his help with the membership records
  3. At request from floor question will be asked as to whether a family enclosure/ area exists
  4. 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

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.

We are the independent democratic voice of West Ham supporters