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Are West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold the Robin Hoods of the Premier League?

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The legend says Robin Hood famously took from the rich to give to the poor and West Ham United’s owners may have followed his lead.

West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold have been the subject of much criticism over the years.

And not just from their own fans.

The pair have often been derided for the origins of their wealth.

WAYNE ROONEY TO EVERTON IS A JOKE.

Birmingham and West Ham fans have taken issue with their ownership for a variety of reasons.

At West Ham that came to a head back in March when supporters staged angry protests which spilled onto the pitch during a 3-0 home defeat to Burnley.

West Ham fans had a multitude of grievances, most notably broken promises over the move to the former Olympic Stadium and transfer spending.

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Sullivan and Gold rebuilding battered reputation

Sullivan and Gold have slowly but surely been repairing their damaged reputation since.

The ambitious appointment of title-winning manager Manuel Pellegrini was followed by an unprecedented £100 million splurge in the transfer market.

But have they also been doing right by fans of their Premier League rivals too?

When West Ham moved to the London Stadium the owners trumpeted affordable football for all.

In an interview with BBC Sport back in 2013 West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady talked passionately about pricing in the modern game, and bringing affordability back to the younger generation.

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‘Committed to offering affordable football’

“It is not a simple case of introducing an attractive pricing strategy, that is key, but it must be supported by the product and work in tandem with the need to retain and reward seasonal supporters.

“Since we became involved in football, David Sullivan, David Gold and I have been committed to offering affordable football to all.

“At Birmingham City, we pioneered the popular ‘kids for a quid’ promotion. We feel passionately that people from all walks of life should have access to elite sport to enjoy, to inspire them and to encourage sports participation.

“While the visits of some of the world’s most recognised teams will continue to merit a premium price, there are always opportunities to make Premier League football more accessible.”

The owners wanted to be pioneers of driving down the price of attending Premier League matches.

And new data from the Premier League suggests it might be working.

The average price of a Premier League ticket has fallen to just £31, while the majority of fans pay less than £30 for their seat, Sky Sports reports.

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Report suggests West Ham have helped drive down prices

In addition, only three per cent of supporters pay more than £60 for their ticket. More than a quarter of away tickets are purchased at £26 or less.

The average cost of an away ticket is £28, although some are available for as little as £5.

The figures have been collated by the Premier League after a “comprehensive study into club ticket prices”.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore told Sky Sports: “Clubs have a range of ticket prices and there is some excellent value on offer.

“We hope this study will help inform people of the range of prices available, provide some facts on what the majority of Premier League club fans are paying, and encourage new fans to consider attending a game for the first time.”

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Credit where it is due?

West Ham have been the only big stadium movers in recent years which will have impacted the study considerably.

Of course diehard fans would never change their club just because it is cheaper at a rival.

But when trying to attract new supporters – particularly after a stadium move – offering more affordable prices can’t hurt.

Sullivan and Gold have justifiably taken a lot of flack.

It will be interesting to see how West Ham’s average ticket price compares to their Premier League rivals when the club moves up to 60,000 and then 66,000 in the new year.

If the prices compare favourably then credit where it is due to Sullivan and Gold.


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