RiddleThe Sun Newspaper ran a story this morning headed  ‘Hammers Cash Riddle.’

The ‘story’ claimed that the Hammers had borrowed all of next season’s TV money and handed over their Premier League payments to the Vibrac Corporation.

It added that documents at Companies House had been blacked out and asked the question “Surely fans should be told how much is involved?”

Claret and Hugh however, can exclusively reveal the Sun ‘story’ contains multiple inaccuracies and  we are more than happy to solve the so called riddle for our red top colleagues.

We can categorically state that West Ham United has not borrowed against next season’s TV money 2015/2016.

Vibrac Corporation insist a club needs to mathematically safe from relegation before it can borrow against next season’s TV income.

With our grand total of three  points we are some way off mathematical safety. 

Secondly, the Sun claim papers have been filed at companies house with monetary details blacked  off, again not true.

West Ham companies listed at Companies House have not filed any documents recently and any referring to Vibrac are over a year old and refer to loans we made in 2012/13 which have since been repaid.

The article seems to indicate we have borrowed all our TV income which would be  between £60m and £80m depending on where we finish.

Yet in the two years we have used Vibrac we borrowed £12.8m in 2012 repaid in 2013 and £15m in 2013 repaid in 2014.

Sources close to the club have revealed to ClaretandHugh that the Vibrac facility has been renewed but for a much smaller proportion of this season’s TV income.

That is guaranteed to be at least £60m even if we are relegated. The sum is likely to be closer to the £15m we borrowed in 2013.

There is no mystery or controversy to Vibrac Corporation loans and many clubs including Everton, Southampton and Fulham also use their facilities.

Up until 2012 West Ham had a revolving credit facility of £12m which was effectively a bank overdraft.

Following the financial crash of 2008, major banks decided that football clubs were a credit  risk and  started withdrawing loans and overdrafts when they expired. This was a common theme for all football clubs and not just West Ham.

The Vibrac Corporation deal is basically a pay day loan to replace the overdraft previously used the club to help with cash flow.

No mystery, no riddle just normal business practise in football in these modern times.



About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called A Blogger on a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter