West Ham United are making a habit of putting their foot in it this season.
The Hammers have enjoyed a more comfortable campaign under Manuel Pellegrini following a £100million spend.
A major disappointment for fans this term was West Ham’s embarrassing exit from the most wide open FA Cup in recent memory.
The Hammers were beaten 4-2 at League Two bound AFC Wimbledon.
If that wasn’t bad enough it meant Manuel Pellegrini’s side missed out on a fifth round tie against bitter rivals Millwall.
Adding insult to injury
What followed that game just added insult to injury.
Clearly expecting to make it past AFC Wimbledon – and rightly so – West Ham posted an announcement that wantaway striker Marko Arnautovic had signed an improved contract.
The poorly timed announcement was savaged by fans and media alike (The Express).
It also backfired on Arnautovic who was criticised by supporters who feel he engineered the China situation to get more money out of the Hammers.
West Ham have somehow managed to eclipse that faux pas, though.
Hammers announcement backfires spectacularly
On Tuesday, in the wake of a dismal 2-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Cardiff City, the Hammers delivered the news that season ticket prices are being hiked up.
Not only that but fans now have less time to renew with the deadline (previously May 31st) now set to May 17th.
Had West Ham made the announcement a week earlier, following the win over Newcastle, it may have been better received.
But Pellegrini’s side barely registered a shot in a dreadful defeat to a team that has conceded nearly 60 goals this season.
Just as the London Stadium was starting to feel a bit more like home the club has risked major fan unrest a year on from protests to drive the owners out.
West Ham posted the announcement on Twitter telling fans: “We’re building something special, but we can’t do it without you. Season ticket renewals are now OPEN.”
And they were universally lambasted by angry supporters.
Many fans directed their fury directly at co-owner David Gold and vice-chairman Karren Brady saying they felt ‘shafted’.
Here are a selection of responses.
Misjudged this one massively West Ham. We were promised cheaper tickets and to compete for trophies…we have neither.
— Antony Harris (@antony_harris) March 12, 2019
Don’t you mean “we can’t do it without you and the price increases”?
— AllSportsView (@AllSportsView) March 12, 2019
Can’t do it without you so we slap a price increase in there and you have to pay it within 2 months and less than a week after the season ends 🤔
— will earle (@willearle_) March 12, 2019
Really? I didn’t see anything very special on Saturday. Or away to Burnley. Or AFC Wimbledon. Or at home to Bournemouth or Wolves. And you want me to pay 9.4% more to fund a pitiful £25m transfer budget?
— Steve (@HammerForLife) March 12, 2019
Founder members paying same price as new st holders is shocking no loyalty , no clue
— Kevin Marks (@kevstermarks) March 12, 2019
Not long to go until the fake news high profile players we are going to sign starts. #Seasonticketsales
— 🔲⚒ROB⚒🔲 (@robshrl) March 12, 2019
‘You’ve gone and ruined it all’
@davidgold you did so well last summer, got the fans back on your side and now you’ve gone and ruined it all. Back to the old ways we go.
— Conor Watts (@Conorwatts15) March 12, 2019
Why are the renewal deadlines before this season ends. Takes the mick that
— ⚒ Tez ⚒ (@TezzyWHU) March 12, 2019
— 🌍Travelling Hammer⚒ (@JimBwick) March 12, 2019
@davidgold – you should be ashamed of these price rises. Just as many fans were beginning to give you the benefit of the doubt this is how you reward them. With the money the club gets from TV rights there really wasn’t any need to shaft the loyal fans. Disgraceful.
— MAV the Hammer (@VaughanieCOYI) March 12, 2019
this where the 25million pound budget is coming from 👀
— Matthew Lynch (@MrMML1) March 12, 2019
Absolute joke. In times of concern financially for so many, a business, operating in an industry where money is thrown around like confetti, passing on huge inflation busting price increases to loyal fans is a disgrace. 33 years and out for me I think.
— Jim (@metcow) March 12, 2019
Out of interest who thinks a 8-10% increase for adult “founders” and a 90% (yes ninety) for kids in Band 1 is building something special? Someone has seriously misjudged price sensitivity here. Time for the fans’ groups to get together again @davidgold @hammers_chat
— Simon Clement (@SiClement) March 12, 2019