Fans would agree with sanctions for non attendance


EmptysSeventy one percent of West Ham fans would back sanctions to West ham season ticket holders who don’t regularly used their seats during a season.  Thousands of season ticket holders are missing from each league game with real attendances for the Arsenal home around 6,000 lower than the stated figure and the Stoke City home match around 10,000 less than the official attendance figure.

The average non attendance of season ticket holders in the Premier League is around 10% so the Arsenal game falls with in that average while the Stoke game is way above.  The problem is thought to stem from the club’s plus two migration strategy which saw ten thousand Under 16’s season tickets purchased for just £99 each which just over a fiver per game.

Although all season ticket holders have the option of listing their seats on ticket exchange when a game is sold out it is painfully obvious that many are failing to do so especially in the case of U16 tickets when they receive just a few pounds back per game.

Last year Arsenal Supporters’ Trust wrote to the Arsenal board asking them to consider sanctions for those who continuously fail to attend games throughout the season. The Trust’s idea was they should lose their priority to renew their season ticket the following season if they failed to make good use of it. It is a use it or lose it policy. The Arsenal board have yet to implement such a scheme but a twitter poll of 616 West Ham supporters shows that 71% of those who voted who have sympathy with such a scheme should the Hammers board wish to implement it.

The amount of empty seats are highly visible in the ground and on world wide TV and it is possibly made worst with by the white seats which make the gaps stand out. The club has encouraged season ticket holders to make use the ticket exchange service if for no other reason then to allow other on the waiting the chance to watch games when season ticket holders can’t make the matches.

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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


  • Dave says:

    Sounds like a prison sentence, lol.
    My daughter couldn’t go yesterday but her junior ticket is in the middle of a group of 7 of us, and we didn’t want a stranger sitting with us, also I put it on the ticket exchange before and it wasn’t sold, so maybe stop this big mith that there are thousands wanting to buy tickets,
    I couldn’t give some away a couple of months ago despite sending about 30 texts.
    The club is to blame, I know loads of people who bought an extra kids ticket so they could have another ticket for the big games, can’t see why they couldn’t see this coming we all could.

    • I agree Dave, many bought those U16’s plus twos with no intention of using them all the time but it is time to say use them or lose them to season ticket holders.

  • kennycandb says:

    I would certainly support sanctions. I have 3 seats in Block 139, Row 31. Alongside me and 1 row back, there is a bank of about 14 seats, all with an individuals on the underside of the seat, and those seats are infrequently used. This detracts from my enjoymant of conversing with regular season ticket holders before and during the game. So yes, sanctions would definately get my vote..

  • Obviously the sanctions should only kick in at a high number of games to begin with. Possibly non attendance of 10 of 19 games to begin with. Any games you put on ticket exchange and don’t sell should not count against your non attendance total.

    If you are long term sick there should also be an option to put our seat on ticket exchange for a set period of time by default while you are away.

  • RJS79 says:

    I’m all in favour of this. I’d love to get my Dad, brother or gf along a few times a season. Frustratingly, the seats either side of me in Block 137 are rarely used. I’m guessing they don’t often get put on sale in the ticket exchange from how frequently they are empty. They cannot be u.16 seats either because Club 1966 seats didn’t qualify.

    On Saturday I did have a couple show up in some of the empty seats near me. They spent a lot if time taking photos, waving a selfie stick around and asking what the score was. Not exactly what I thought my OS experience would be.

    That said, at the last UP game, the prat who sat next to me sold his seats to 2 Man U fans. When they got sussed out they were nearly lynched.

  • Stratford E20 says:

    The club could solve some of these problems quite easily. Give a full refund when a child’s season ticket is put on ticket exchange. The club will still make a lot of money if the seat is sold to an adult. A full refund instead of a couple of quid will make it worthwhile.

  • Upton Park Mark says:

    Due to engineering work, there are no trains on the Liverpool Street line on Saturdays at the moment; so this will have an affect on attendance. The work is ongoing until May, so it’s difficult to judge at the moment as I am guessing a lot of people won’t bother going due to the extra hassle caused.
    I put me and my son’s tickets up for sale last week for yesterday’s game, and they didn’t sell.

  • JammerHammer says:

    Funnily enough my mate and I were having this very discussion yesterday. My son and I have season tickets in BM upper, and I’ve had to miss 2 games as I travel a lot. One game I put on ticket exchange which sold, and the other I sold to my mates mate. We travel from Grantham for each game, so always a long and expensive day. Not complaining, that’s my choice. So I really don’t understand why anyone with a season ticket would need to miss more than a handful of games each season. We suggested ditching those who miss more than half the games. To be honest, assuming the 50,000 waiting list is the myth we all think it is, I’d rather have less season ticket holders and make it easier for those members/fans who maybe can’t afford or justify a season ticket to have the opportunity to get to more games by making it easier to get tickets

  • John says:

    Totally agree with this. Take the ST away from these selfish buggers. The fans who bought the £99 tickets with the intention to upgrade with their mates for 6 matches a year and the foreign fans who bought the £289 ST just to attend 6 matches during the season. Selfish the lot of them. Agree with Jammers above if need be sell less ST and put more on general sale. I see them doing away with the cheap tickets due to this abuse.

  • Legin says:

    I know this country has taken a sharp turn to the right; but why don’t we take a sharp swing to the left (because “The Gestapo” is such an unsavioury name) and introduce a WHUFC Stasi to whom we can all dob in our absent neighbour?

  • KingMonkey says:

    I am 41, been going to West Ham since I was 13 (Lou Macari’s clam’ blue army, Bradford, 2-0). I am, though, a bit of a part time attendee and only go to a game or two each season. I tend to bring a few non-Hammer mates with me and buy their tickets for them when we go so being a member really doesn’t work. It hasn’t been possible to go this season because of this. I am right behind making sure that seats are available. For those that don’t want a stranger sitting in the middle. . . budge up and sit together, let the stranger sit on the end for goodness’ sake, it’s not hard. A few seconds organising saves you a few quid and gives someone else a good day out. . . and the stadium a much better atmosphere.

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