Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Second only to Manchester United, West Ham fans continue to destroy irksome small club myth

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

It may have gone unnoticed in the wider footballing world but a statement released by West Ham United this week has gone some way to destroying an irksome myth.

West Ham have been making the headlines this summer, first by appointing Manuel Pellegrini and then by backing him to the tune of nearly £100 million spent on seven signings so far.

But the Hammers are making waves in the stands too.

It was announced on the club’s official website this week that West Ham have sold out their 52,000 season tickets at the London Stadium for a third consecutive year since leaving Upton Park.

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

That means West Ham have the second most season ticket holders in the Premier League behind only the mighty Manchester United (55,000).

More than champions Manchester City, more than fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur, more than Liverpool, more than Newcastle, Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal and all the rest. It’s quite something given how the Hammers are often belittled by rival fans and pundits.

West Ham fans have always known they are a hugely supported cult club but other clubs’ supporters find it hard to accept.

‘You’ll never fill it’ was the kind of condescending jibe thrown at Hammers fans before they moved to the former Olympic Stadium.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Despite the stadium’s many imperfections and supporter grievances over the move, fans have put their money where their mouths are again.

West Ham will go to court in November to obtain full use of the stadium’s 66,000 capacity and that would give the Hammers the sixth biggest football ground in Europe.

The figures make a mockery of ill-informed predictions from pundits and rival fans that the Hammers would struggle to fill their new home and destroys the ‘small club’ myth that annoys West Ham supporters.

(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Indeed it gets under the skin of former players and managers too as Harry Redknapp proved in an interview with  talkSPORT recently.

“West Ham is a big club, 60-odd thousand people every week,” Redknapp told talkSPORT.

“I hate it when people keep saying West Ham’s not a big club. It is, of course it’s a big club when you get that type of support.

“They fill that stadium every week and I think it’s a great move (for players).”

The season ticket figures make a mockery of ill-informed predictions from pundits and rival fans that the Hammers would struggle to fill their new home.

Now they just need to fill it with good, winning football to be taken seriously on the pitch.

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