The Club offered supporters the opportunity to purchase bonds in three price bands - £500, £750 and £950, ownership of which would confer the right to buy a matchday or season ticket for a designated seat for 150 years. The initial take up, although way below target, was sufficient for the Club to secure the underwriting of the scheme.
It is fair to say that the scheme was something of a public relations disaster for the Club. Many longstanding supporters were affronted by the implication that unless they purchased a bond, they may lose the right to renew their season ticket.
In response to the initial hostility, and following negotiations with representatives from the new group of bondholders, the Club softened the lines of the scheme and improved the benefits - not least by introducing a ten year discount on season ticket prices for bondholders (expiring at the end of the 2001-02 season).
For the 808 supporters who took up the Club's offer, the investment has been rewarded not only by the discount but by way of priority for the purchase of away match tickets. In addition, the Executive Committee of the Hammers Bond Company meets the Board of Directors regularly to discuss issues that are of concern and interest to bondholders and to many other lifelong West Ham supporters.