A session was hosted for the committee members of all ISC groups by Ashley Brown of the Football Supporters Association to discuss the implications of the proposed Shadow Board as outlined in the Fan-led Review.
A mandated Shadow Board is recommended by the review with the following conditions:
Written Terms of Reference based on a standard IREF template allowing local flexibility
Consist of 5-12 members appointed under a democratic process.
Appoint a chair from its members on a seasonal basis.
Have reserved seats for representatives from key supporter groups including representatives of the body holding the Golden Share, equality, diversity and inclusion representatives, youth supporters and international supporters.
Members should be subject to retirement by rotation – ensuring turnover and experience on the Shadow Board.
Hold at least quarterly meetings with club executives, with guaranteed attendance from the club CEO or equivalent twice per year.
Issues for the Shadow Board:
The club’s strategic vision and objectives.
Short, medium and long-term business plans.
Operational matchday issues of concern to supporters.
Any proposals relating to club heritage items.
Marketing, merchandising, and sponsorship plans and performance – strategy not specific contracts
Stadium issues and plans.
The club’s plans for broader supporter engagement.
In addition, Shadow Boards should:
Receive suitably redacted club board papers ahead of meetings.
Be seen as a minimum level of consultation.
Be solely focused on business (not playing) matters.
ISC Chairs News (March 2022)
The Independent Supporters Committee (ISC) has been busy working on behalf of all supporters of our great club. As the ISC we continue to build an effective working relationship with the Club and those that work for WHUFC. This has allowed us to make the progress we have so far, whilst continually seeking improvements to the matchday experience for all that follow West Ham United.
In January we welcomed the elected Claret Members Representative – Robina Ahmed, and the elected Away Season Ticket Representative - Sara Page, to the ISC. They have both hit the ground running bringing their views, opinions and ideas to the ISC. Sara has joined the ISC ticketing sub-committee and Robina the Stadium and Atmosphere sub-committee.
The ISC is currently working on several key issues that matter to all supporters
Safe Standing – Safety Advisory Subcommittee working with Newham SAG and Club around implementation.
Fan Led Review- discussions around the Shadow Board as detailed in the Tracey Crouch report. This will strengthen how we can hold the Club to account, whilst continuing to work to improve and develop the matchday experiences for all.
Season ticket pricing strategy for 2022-2023 season - the Ticketing subcommittee continues to work with the Club. This subcommittee has also addressed ongoing ticketing issues with the Head of Ticketing, including the introduction and development of digital ticketing.
Re-development of the West Stand- the Stadium and Atmosphere subcommittee is working with the Club to understand all the implications from the planned development.
History and heritage- the Stadium and Atmosphere subcommittee is working with the Club so the rich history of our club is seen in and around the London Stadium.
Catering- the ISC, relevant stakeholders, Delaware North and the Club will be meetings to discuss how to enable further catering options for match going supporters.
Club finances- on publication of the Club accounts, those on the ISC with a financial background questioned senior club personnel on aspects of the published accounts.
ISC website- the Communications subcommittee are looking forward to being able to publish the new ISC website with all the information needed. Anything you would like to see on the website- let us know.
I would like to thank the ISC representatives for all the hard work they are doing on behalf of the best supporters there are – West Ham United FC supporters – COYI
Interim Chair ISC
22/23 Season Ticket Price Increase -
ISC Statement (13th April 2022)
The ISC clearly stated our position on season ticket pricing for next season 22/23. We first conveyed our position at a meeting with the Club in January, culminating in the following extract from a written communication to the Club on March 13th as follows
“…. there are many supporters who will be anxious about the immediate future, particularly from a personal and family financial perspective. For many West Ham fans the uncertainty regarding next season’s ticket pricing will sadly be a contributing factor. This season’s success in Europe and domestic cups has resulted in fans attending more games than normal and incurring the associated additional costs. And of course we all hope that this season’s success will continue into the next season. The ISC has made very clear our position on any potential ticket price increase. It’s clearly a very difficult time for many fans and not knowing the Club’s intentions is adding to their concerns. The financial stresses supporters are under given the 'cost of living' situation, with rapidly rising costs and the financial impact of Covid19 underpins the ISC view that a rise in ticket costs will lead to more supporters feeling they have no choice but to give up their season ticket. “
On March 29th the ISC Ticketing Subcommittee met with the Club and the agenda included season ticket pricing for the forthcoming season? The ISC reiterated its position is that any price increase would be unacceptable in view of the current financial climate.
The Club acknowledged the ISC’s position communicated at the previous meeting in January, but confirmed that although there would be a price increase for the 2022/23 season, as yet to be finalized, that following discussions with the ISC the Club would be:-
Increasing the age for concessionary pricing from under 16 to under 18
Creating a new affordable entry-level pricing at £299 per adult
Freezing junior pricing at £99
Continuing the easy payment plan option
The meeting minutes record the Club’s response that the 22/23 season ticket pricing strategy, specifically the proposed increase across all bands, is being finalised but pricing will be focused on the continuation of providing affordable family football.
Albeit the ISC welcomed the initiatives above it remains extremely disappointed by the extent of the other increases that were subsequently announced. On reflection, the ISC feels that this season’s Europa League campaign, next season’s predicted match day attendance increase (which will include a significant number of premium priced seats) would generate sufficient additional revenue to offset the requirement for a general price increase to season tickets.
The ISC on behalf of all season ticket holders has formally requested the Club reconsider its position in respect of the ticket price increase announced on Wednesday April 6th.
23/24 Season Ticket Price Increase (12th May 2023)
The ISC has surveyed our respective fan groups and unsurprisingly the feedback has been extremely negative. The 8% increase applied to the 1966 and Bands 1 through 4 is considered both excessive and unjustifiable, while the Club enjoys a second consecutive season of European success with fans attending more games and incurring the associated costs. Based on an estimated incremental revenue of £3M, the vast majority of season ticket holders will be faced with an 8% increase to generate an approximate 1.2% revenue increase for the Club’s bank account. The Club marketing department continues to focus on the lower pricing of Bands 5 and 6, however the issue of affordability extends to all season ticket holders, regardless of price band and also applies to Claret Members and non season ticket holders.
The Club announced an increase to the senior concession age qualification from 65 to 66 years of age. While the current government state pension age is 66, this was introduced October 2020 following legislation passed in 2011. There is no legislative requirement for the Club policy to reflect or track the government state pension age and it’s solely the prerogative of the Club to determine senior concession eligibility. But to inform hundreds of loyal 65 year old season ticket holders just 24 hours before the renewal window opened that they would not qualify for the anticipated senior concession season ticket is both insensitive and inexcusable.
The ISC asks the Club Board to revisit these decisions and respond back to their loyal Hammers supporters, specifically
Why is an 8% increase justified?
Why was it necessary to change the qualifying age for a senior concession?
Why implement the over 66 change with only 24 hours notice?
Matchday Experience -
Street Vendor Statement (7th July 2022)
Following a formal request and subsequent discussions between the ISC and Club representatives, a meeting with representatives of the ISC, West Ham United Football Club and relevant stakeholders of London Legacy Development Corporation, Delaware North and LS185; has taken place.
The meeting was focussed on planning for the provision of street vendors, from the West Ham United and local community, on approaches to London Stadium, along with further opportunities to create atmosphere.
Views of supporters were clearly expressed to those at the meeting. The ISC and the Club are very much in agreement in our desire to see West Ham United ‘branding’ and local vendors on the approach to London Stadium. We’re pleased to report that stakeholders were receptive of the ISC and Club’s proposals. Next steps in moving this forward were agreed, including the ISC working with the Club to establish a set criterion for vendors and more entertainment on approach to London Stadium on matchdays.
The Independent Supporters Committee is pleased to be able to report all stakeholders are keen to work with supporters and the Club to actively enhance atmosphere, recognise the heritage and culture of West Ham United and celebrate our great club.
We will continue to work on developing the agreed actions from this meeting that will positively build atmosphere, will further identify the area as West Ham United, will add to the supporter experience.
We will update supporters when we have further news.