The West Ham Supporters Club also known as the Hammers Social Club in Castle Street will hold a crucial Annual General Meeting (AGM) this Sunday to decide the club’s future.
Claret and Hugh understand the social club is losing around £7,000 per month and has been doing so since West Ham moved out of the Boleyn Ground last summer. Their remaining bank balance is rumoured to have dwindled and they are not sure how long they can carry on. A previous motion to close down the Castle street club was defeated by the fifty members present at an EGM meeting earlier this year.
An insider previously told ClaretandHugh that the committee is split whether they should move to Stratford or not. Chairperson Doreen Hoadley is understood to have met a West Ham United director and Newham in February to see what they can do to help but some of the committee say they were in the dark with regards what was discussed.
Newham is said to have offered a barge and another property close to Stratford as possible options which allow the club to move.
The West Ham Supporters Club are understood to own some flats nearby in East Ham which also produces income. If the social club does decide to close the remaining assets would be sold off and split amongst its members. Current members from the 2015/2016 season have been extended free of charge.
In a 99 year lease signed on 25th March 1993 seen by Claret and Hugh the social club pays a peppercorn rent of just 5 pence per year to Newham council with 75 years of the long lease remaining. They paid £30,000 up front in 1993 as part of that deal. The supporters club is thought to have moved into their current Castle street building in 1955 but it was in existence before that.
It was the supporters club which founded the Hammer of the year award at the beginning of the 1957/58 season when members wanted to recognise the outstanding player with an official award. The first recipient was defender Andy Malcolm, whose form helped Ted Fenton’s side to win the Division Two title on the final day of a memorable campaign.
Good story this Sean but I’m quite confused by it all and I wonder how much we don’t know. The supporters club seems to be run and owned by predominantly old supporters of at least 50 plus so does it follow that it would be in their interest for the club to close as they’ll all get a windfall? You mention funds in the bank and buy to let’s, they don’t seem to be hard up do they? Someone will benefit from those assets if the club closes. The long lease at zero rent must also have a value for development now UP is being developed.
Surely if the supporters club wants to continue and thrive the offer of a barge or other premises makes that achievable. As I say I think there is more to it. Would love to hear from a member. I’ve been in it a few times, it’s was basic but noisy on match days and bloody cheap!!
You are right to be confused John, the going on’s of the Social club is all a bit of a mystery
No website, no email, no social media. Very old school!
The AGM for members only was only advertised on a notice board at the club.
The financial accounts are also only available for inspection at the club house and not electronically.
You are right to question whether it might in some members interest to liquidate the assets but without access to their accounts and more transparency, it is difficult to say.
Interesting stuff Sean. I expect the truth will come out after the vote as whatever the outcome it won’t please all. Didn’t the WHUISA offer to help the supporters club? Nigel? At the time I thought they don’t want help!