The West Ham Supporters Club also known as the Hammers Social Club in Castle Street held an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) last week called by its members to decide whether to close their doors or not.
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 to around £30,000 and they are not sure how long they can carry on. The motion to close down the Castle street club was defeated by the fifty members present at the meeting and the social club will remain open for now with the full Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for the 9th April.
A suggested additional motion of no confidence in the current committee by some members was rejected by the chairman and was not added to the agenda so it seems the committee will live on to fight another day.
An insider at the meeting told ClaretandHugh that the committee is split whether they should move to Stratford or not and said in their personal view the current committee were dysfunctional. 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 were in the dark with regards what was discussed.
Newham are 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 produce income. If the social club do 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.
The social club is understood to pay a peppercorn rent of just 5 pence per year to Newham council with 75 years of the long lease reamining. 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.
Well I’m no accountant but if they have £30K left in the bank and they’re losing £7K a week then I can’t see them making the AGM!! It’s a shame but it’s in the hands of the members isn’t it? They either support the SC or they don’t. I’ve been in there once but have no interest in going again. Tell you what tho that 99 year lease at 5p per year must be worth money. They don’t want to be giving that back to Newham as that’ll be developed to high end flats quicker than you can “gwad blimey”
And what about the draw for the FA cup? Despite predictable moaning from the pamper factory and cries of fixed (something about different shaped balls lmao) that’s a tasty draw. Am I allowed to want Millwall to win? On and off the pitch 😂😂
Chelsea v Manchester United
Middlesbrough v Huddersfield/Manchester City
Tottenham v Millwall
Sutton/Arsenal v Lincoln
I don’t see how it’s possible to lose $7k a month if the rent, typically one of the bigger expenses of any business, is 5p a year. That they are in that position is stunning.
It is quite a large site, they still need to pay business rates, heating, electricity, water, cleaning etc. They remain open six days a week. They have a permanent Bar steward and then part time bar staff. I think they are keen to remain part of the community but can take as little as £21 i am told. It would be interesting to know where the £7,000 goes though I agree.
i,m sure that if an approach was made to newham council and the board of west ham that they could come up with something closer to the ground between them. times move on and if the Social club are at a point where they could close then in the best interest of the Social Club and its members also future members surely it would be better to move. the council would have the land to use (rebuild) and the social club would have a chance to survive and grow
£7000pm loss in this day and age even if you dont pay rent for a large building is nothing especially in london if you have not got people coming through the door your going to lose no matter what. just wondering if anyone in the know could put it to them to at leased talk to newham and west ham both at the same time. i,m sure closer to the ground is the answer also member base would get a lot higher even if its just match days.
i went there many years ago and tbh it needed help then
I understand they have been offered a barge and another building closer to the London stadium. West Ham and Newham and trying to help them but there appears to be disagreement among the committee. I would love to get hold of their financial accounts but I am not a member.
Agree Ray. That lease they hold is worth money because of the 5p rent tied in for 99 years. That site is worth a few bob because of the development next door. If the committee can’t come up with something they’re failing their members big time. Maybe they just want out and a few bob in their pockets if that’s the case they’re selfish buggers.
I like the sound of Sean’s idea that would be good.
The value of a Long Lease with 78 years unexpired and peppercorn ground rent is the present value of the benefit of receipt of an escalating MARKET RENT for that 78 years unexpired. So if current ” market rent ” for this building was ( say ) £25-30k pa , a rough and ready valuation would be that the surrender of the Lease is c £600,000 – £700,000 . Surely that , plus sale of the flats and ( some assistance from WHU board ) would set up a West Ham Supporters Club and excellent premises close to London Stadium. The membership would go up , revenue increase and with that value of ” the business ” – it would give those supporters that perhaps cannot afford hospitality / season ticket combination to have a fresh , modern clubhouse near / next to the ground . I’m a supporter of 50+ years and a Chartered Surveyor and from where I’m standing this ” committee ” appear to be missing a trick !! COYI