The truth about West Ham’s attendances


london1West Ham publish the official attendance and tickets sold after every game but the number is different to how many supporters actually turn up and go through turnstiles for matches.

There have been visible gaps around the London Stadium all season which have had many asking  caused many to ask where the missing thousands are and why are they not turning up to Premier League matches.

The club and directors have claimed on social  media  it is because of 9,000 seats not being used in the 66,000 seater stadium but supporters don’t buy this as the majority of those seats are screened off.

Through a freedom of information request to Newham council for minutes of the Safety Advisory Group, Claretand Hugh has uncovered the true attendance  of the early matches which is often many thousands less than the official sellout figures released.

West Ham v Juventus Friendly Official published attendance: 53,966 real attendance: 52,224. (1,742 did not turn up)

West Ham v Astra in Europa League  Official published attendance: 56,932 real attendance: 51,817  (5,097 did not turn up)

West Ham v Domzale in Europa League Official published attendance: 53,914  real attendance: 51,000 (2,914 did not turn up)

West Ham v Bournemouth Official published attendance: 56,977 real attendance: 52,192 (4,785 did not turn up)

West Ham v Southampton Official published attendance:56,864 Real attendance reported as: 47,000 (9,864 did not turn up)

West Ham v Middlesbrough Official published attendance:56,945 Real attendance reported as : 47,000 (9,945 did not turn up)

In another Freedom of information inquiry Newham revealed how many free tickets have been given away to local residents.

West Ham v Domzale in Europa League.  1,739 tickets given away

West Ham v Bournemouth 50 tickets given away

West Ham v Astra in Europa League 1,502 tickets given away

saintsThe thousands missing each game is a spectator problem and questions  need to be asked why so many of the season ticket holders bought seats which have no intention of using.

There should surely be a focus on around the ten thousand U16’s at £99 per season and the 8,000 band 5 at  just £289.

The games listed above did not have the option of Ticket Exchange but similar gaps have been spotted at more recent Premier League games indicating it remains a problem.

The question is whether season ticket holders have a moral obligation to put their unused tickets on sale on the club’s Ticket exchange to allow others on the reported 52,000 waiting a chance of watching West Ham. Some will say it is my seat, I bought it, I can do what I want with it but that is a selfish view in my personal opinion.

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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


  • dicollio says:

    Posted a comment on another post looking for tickets for next saturday …coming over from ireland….will it be possible to get them at the ground on the day ? judging by this post im hoping it will….looks like the stadium isnt as full as people are letting on ….if anyone has any info on possible tickets being available (4 of us in total travelling) it would be much appreciated.

  • Colin Irons says:

    Its the same as Arsenal & The Emirates.I expect at a few other clubs as well.It seems the way its going these days.Hey ho it is what it is.

  • sparrow says:

    “The question is whether season ticket holders have a moral obligation to put their unused tickets on sale on the club’s Ticket exchange to allow others on the reported 52,000 waiting a chance of watching West Ham. Some will say it is my seat, I bought it, I can do what I want with it but that is a selfish view in my personal opinion.”

    It’s not really selfish. Too often the the fee that fans receive after putting their tickets up for resale is so small that it is simply not worth the effort. This reflects the fact that the club are trying to make the ticket sale twice and keep the money for themselves. If fans are putting a seat up for sale after buying a season ticket, they should keep the lions share of the price and would be incentivised to do so.

    • richardb says:

      Absolutely spot on. If the club don’t want the spaces appearing, they must make it worth while for re-sale.

    • Hang on, the effort? it takes less than 3 minutes to list your ticket for sale and you get back 90% of what you paid for it.

      Sure in the case of an under 16 ticket that can often be £1.92 but you only paid peanuts for the season ticket in the first place. Remember the club still makes a loss most years and the year it makes a profit it goes straight back to the club in buying players etc.

      • Stratford E20 says:

        I think thats the problem Sean. £1.92 just isn’t worth the effort. There are two blokes a couple of rows behind me that have 10 – 12 kids tickets – I am not exaggerating. The seats are either empty, which is most games, or have adults in them. I suspect the two blokes sell the seats privately for a nice profit.

  • master says:

    Surely the club can work out how many times a ticket went thru the turnstiles over a season. Anything less than 30% and it’s not possible to renew.

    • richardb says:

      As well as making it worthwhile for STHs to sell their ticket, they should have to use the ticket (themselves or resold) on at least 80% of matches (never mind 30%!!). That would allow them to miss 3 games a season. This would give STHs who don’t use their tickets an additional incentive to put their ticket up for re-sale. I suspect it is the same culprits each week to be honest (and they will be the ones who treat football as theatre rather than passion). Hopefully, there is the possibility that some JCLs will not renew … (as well as many disgruntled long-term supporters)

      what is critical and so important is to have a full and vibrant stadium – you won’t find the same situation at Anfield I can promise you …

    • I understand there are several hundred season tickets where no-one has been all season. The club planned to write to these people to ask whether they still wanted to retain them.

    • They can and they do but what can they do about it when you legally bought a seat for a season. Legally you have the right to leave it empty although they have the right in their terms and conditions to cancel your season ticket and give you the remaining refund.

      • richardb says:

        To a certain extent, I can understand how the problem has come about, and the club have been caught out. Because some of the tickets are much cheaper, the return after the club’s cut is often considered by those STHs not worth bothering to resell (particularly with the kids £99 tickets). Therefore nothing they can do this season, but next season they can put a clause in that if you miss four games or don’t put up for resale, you forfeit the season ticket. Is that too harsh really?

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Agree with Sparrow, The CP game looks like the first I may not be able to get a ticket too, I have been on ticket trader a lot to see if any become available but none are. The return of the Messiah as some call him probably explains it, the other is fans complaining about the admittedly small amount of money available for the ticket exchange, imho 20 – 30 quid is 20 – 30 quid if you are not turning up its better than a kick in the backside for a seat you are not using. I am of the mind that ST holders should have a moral obligation to view most games, if they do not that ST should be available to others who do wish to attend most games. On the subject of the Stadium and the fortress Upton Park as we remember it, this article on the official site from Martin Samuel dispells what some people think in terms of the results

  • ARH says:

    Sparrow’s response is exactly the point I was making in another post. What incentive is there when the club who have already sold the ticket once cream off as much as they can again by giving season ticket holders no incentive at all. In fact it’s more like a poke in the eye for being loyal and buying a season ticket in the first place, particularly when you consider the crap that they’ve had to sit through this year! Despite their response the Board are likely to have a rude awakening when they find all but the very cheapest seats are pretty empty next year. There may be thousands on the waiting list but few of them will be willing to purchase anything above the cheapest seats to watch cheapskate football and dare I say with the Spuds moving in to a ‘real football ground’ the year after the floating supporters of which we all know there are currently thousands of them at the LS will soon be leaving us!

  • GW says:

    I’m guessing that Daphnes Daily forum are orchestrating a mass protest and are no longer providing free minibuses to and from the stadium after Saturday morning bingo 🙂

    • Radai Lama..Out of contract & available says:

      Lol GW.Yeah they are probably going to call them some kind of a brand of fan no doubt 😁😁

      • GW says:

        Heard a whisper that the minibuses are back in operation this week Rads due to a prearranged photo shoot with the messiah 🙂

        • Long Fella says:

          I took in your comment from earlier Rad Lama & im sorry but i have been travelling home & away supporting this club for more than thirty years.I very very rarely miss a match so yes im going to get the hump when all i do is see the same big mouths moaning about the same tired subjects.If they want to moan go through the right channnels.I most certainly dont need some big mouth imbecile trying to brand me or anyone else who chooses not to shoot our mouths off about the club because they are incapable of keeping their big traps shut for more than an hour on sites.
          They are attention seekers its a simple as that.So he can stick his brand of fan up his arse.

          • GW says:

            Long Fella there’s plenty who like to flap there gums from far off places who haven’t even set foot in the ground! I’m like you pal ain’t missed a game home or away in 10 + years but got to a stage now where the best thing to do is to take the **** out of the drama queens and wannabe managers not get wound up by them 🙂

  • HamburgHammer says:

    Serious question: If you get the hump with WHTID/Daphne’s Daily forum/Wetpants and the comments and people writing or posting on there, why do you continue reading it in the first place? Surely the natural reaction would be to stay clear, avoid and simply ignore it, right?

    • Long Fella says:

      Hamburg Hammer i havnt a bloody clue who you are & you are probably a damn fine fellow but i will read & comment on what i want & if i want to comment about some budgie sat on his perch chirping away about what a brand of fan is if they dont run their tongue everyday like him then i will bloody well make a comment.Whether i read it on there,here,KUMB or C&B.
      Sometimes some of your mob need to pull their necks in & stop acting like the all conquering billy big ******** of west ham fans.
      I have no arguement with you but im totally ****ed off with some of your self indulging big mouths & saying dont read it if you dont like it is a total cope out because amongst these big mouths are some excellent contributors & like to read what they think..

      • HamburgHammer says:

        Well, most blogs and forums are similar insofar as they attract loads of different characters, like everywhere else really. In that respect you can’t be friends with everyone, despite rooting for the same football team.
        I agree there are some characters on WHTID, same as on here.
        Some of the articles and comments may give the impression of knowing it all and knowing how things should be done.
        I can only speak for myself, I am a normal lad and football fan and my views are not better or more important than yours.
        I just love talking about West Ham and enjoy the debate, that’s it.

        • Long Fella says:

          Hamburg Hammer i have no axe to grind with you buddy.As i said im sure you are a good man by all accounts.Lets leave it there ok.You aint the issue.Imbeciles who want to start branding fans as sucking it up because we choose not to go large about issues or dare to mention we are bored rigid with the same big mouths are.
          If the same big mouth had said it on KUMB i would have said the same thing.For me the site involved is totally immaterial.
          Be good.Im done with this subject 👍

    • GW says:

      HH I’ve always liked your write ups mate and there’s some damn good articles over there in general with some damn good posters! But come on pal you coming over here spouting about not reading the articles if you don’t like them when some of the WHTID mob love reading the headlines on C+H then pulling apart Sean and Hugh on a constant basis on posts is just as hypocritical 🙂

    • Radai Lama..Out of contract & available says:

      Come on H you know i cant read your site.Have you forgotten im illiterate 😁😁
      Yeah GW what was it the other day.Moan up about Sean & Hugh lifting other peoples stories lol.Like that doesnt happen across the media in general 😁

      • GW says:

        Yeah and a chorus by the masses accusing both Sean and Hugh of just having a click bait site! So HH if it bothers you so much what’s put on here why do you bother reading 🙂

        • Radai Lama..Out of contract & available says:

          Im all about love & peace where H is concerned.To be honest i only mention Wetpants these day because i know there is one bloke on there who just cannot,cannot,cannot help but mention ‘Wetpants’ if you me or someone else does.Its just a game,like the sign that says ‘DONT TOUCH THE WET PAINT’ but you know they just have to 😁😁

  • The real problem is the salesmen at the Stratford reservation centre encouraged supporters to buy a couple of extras saying, you can keep them for mates and upgrade them when you like. Those sales people earned their bonuses and are long gone now and we are stuck with the problem. I was one of those punters who decided to buy two season tickets for my kids even though they don’t come every game.

    However, I always make sure the tickets are used when they don’t come. Either by adults upgrading them or by putting them on ticket exchange for £1.92 each.

    I understand the club are considering restricting upgrading kids tickets to six times per season from next season but that doesn’t solve the problem as they could end up empty all but six games. As was shown by the recent game against Manchester City in the FA Cup there were less gaps when it is not a league game included on season tickets.

    • Radai Lama..Out of contract & available says:

      Yeah i should have guessed you were one of the +2 brigade Sean.I saw you sitting with two Spuds mates in their shirts at the Manure game.You are a ticker whore lol 😂😂

  • Wembley1980 says:

    Plus 2 was an awful idea and a poke in the eye to West Ham fans, I was band 3 at Upton Park so god knows how many plus 2s were sold before I could choose?! Now I’m stuck up in the gods with no atmosphere ( even if there is elsewhere I don’t get it ) every week there are 10 to 20 empty seats around me I have 2 adult £800 each and 1 kids ticket sold to me on the bases that everyone is getting one you can’t go wrong at £99 ( Don’t tell me Sullivan and Brady didn’t know that was going on ) sometimes I use it but don’t decide until match day but usually I give it away to a friends boy, as for upgrading it ….£65 for a decent opposition!! none of it ideal but given the choice I would rather have bought just 2 in a better place before all the plus 2s. I don’t think you’ll have a problem getting a ticket next year!!

    • Stratford E20 says:

      I can fully understand why the board did it. Loads of sites were saying that we wouldn’t fill the stadium and 10,000 tickets per game would be giveaways to locals etc. The emphasis was to sell as many seats as possible. I didn’t think we would get 52,000 season ticket sales. I’m in exactly the same situation as you. I’m paying £200 more than the BMU and I’m further away. Its the first season – things will sort themselves out over time. I’m more concerned with one of the worst committed West Ham teams that I’ve ever seen.

  • Wembley1980 says:

    Yeah to be honest Stratford if I saw some real effort I wouldn’t be moaning I’d just accept It and look forward to reseating next year, but absolutely everything has been a dissapointment so far!

  • Melbourne Hammer says:

    The incentive to relist spare tickets for sale should not be how much can the owner get back but can they renew it next season! If that seat is not filled for 90% of sold out matches then you should lose that ticket next season. Not a good look when prime lower East Stand seats are empty each week on TV.

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