West Ham United’s move to the London Stadium has been less than smooth sailing, and now the club has been found to be exaggerating their average attendances by over 12,000 fans, according to the BBC.
The broadcaster sent out Freedom of Information requests to the police forces of the 20 Premier League teams, with figures for seven club’s attendances eventually provided.
Of those seven, it has been revealed that the Hammers were the most egregious offenders when it comes to overstating their own attendance figures with a shocking discrepancy.
Newham council told the BBC that the actual average attendance at the London Stadium for the 12 games they attended last season was 42,779, some 12,530 fans fewer than the club’s official figure of 55,309.
West Ham have no reason to lie about the attendance figures other than to make themselves look better than they are, so perhaps the club was simply attempting to generate some goodwill amongst supporters.
The East London outfit are not the only offenders here, of course. Manchester City, Southampton, Tottenham, Chelsea and Watford were all revealed to have overstated their attendance figures to varying degrees.
However, none of the clubs have been experiencing an embarrassing amount of issues with their stadium landlords. Vice chairman Karren Brady recently labelled the stadium’s landlords LLDC as ‘incompetent’, the latest in a number of disputes between the two parties.
The Hammers are also involved in a dispute with LLDC over the colour of the material surrounding the pitch at the London Stadium.
These issues are starting to look laughable, and no resolution appears to be in sight. You don’t hear about these problems coming from Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium or Manchester United at Old Trafford, and it needs to be sorted.
When things aren’t going well on the pitch the last thing supporters want is a number of off-the-field issues making things worse. This attendance revelation is merely the latest such issue, and it’s simply not a good look for West Ham.