West Ham United’s approach to supporter consultation

The Official Supporters’ Board, established ahead of the 2018/19 season is made up of a collective of West Ham United supporters representatives and official and independent supporters’ groups.

It includes big independent supporter groups and official groups such as Any Old Irons, Pride of Irons, BAME Hammers, the Official Supporters’ Club and Bondholders. Additionally, the Disabled Supporters’ Board and Junior Supporters’ Board sit on the OSB, with representatives from the newly formed Womens’ Supporters’ Board due to join soon. Match-attending supporters and Season Ticket Holders in all areas of London Stadium are represented by supporters who are currently proposed and put forward by five of their fellow supporters in their dedicated area of the stadium. Including subgroups, there are 16 meetings per season, giving the opportunity for supporter representatives to meet members of the Board in a constructive and meaningful way.

Its purpose is to provide a platform for the club and supporters to meet regularly and engage directly with as many supporters as possible, with fans from different groups and offering various points of view, in a forum where ideas and opinions can be debated and discussed, with clear and accountable actions that are taken forward. We fully respect and appreciate all of the many passionate West Ham supporters’ groups in existence and, as a Club, we value the opinion of every single one of our supporters equally. Every single West Ham United supporter – be that one of our 54,000 Season Ticket holders, thousands more Club members and millions registered around the world - is treated equally, no matter which group they represent.

Since its inception the OSB has been responsible for numerous new initiatives:

  • enhancements to the Accessible Shuttle Bus service, increasing to 18 shuttles on matchday
  • free sanitary products in all women’s and accessible toilets
  • free coach travel to selected away fixtures
  • more murals around the stadium celebrating the Club’s history
  • the 125th year anniversary kit design
  • consultation with family members on the future of the Boleyn Ground Memorial Garden
  • improvements to our matchday entertainment programme
  • a growing and enhanced consultation process with the West Ham Women Supporters’ Board being the first of its kind in the WSL
  • a new official and independent supporters group the BAME Hammers focused on the experience for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic fans
  • the design of the new Champions Statue to be placed at the stadium
  • the configuration of the Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking stands
  • working together with Pride of Irons celebrating LGBT equality and inclusion within the professional game including hosting Call it Out 2019 and being the first Club to have a mascot and double-decker bus in Pride in London

At the most recent OSB meeting on 8 October 2019, representatives put forward a request to evolve the model for structured supporter dialogue and provide a more democratic election process. Vice-Chairman Karren Brady agreed with the request and confirmed that the Club would work alongside representatives to action and deliver this.

The OSB and the Club have been working together since October to achieve this and, in consultation with the Premier League, have agreed a new election process to be presented to the supporter representatives and groups for ratification at the next OSB meeting on 12 February 2020.

The meeting has a packed agenda, including increased supporter benefits, presentation of proposed enhancements to London Stadium bringing seats in the lower tier of the Sir Trevor Brooking and Bobby Moore stands closer to the pitch , plans to honour and celebrate our heritage around the Club’s 125th anniversary in the summer, as well as  many other ongoing and new initiatives tabled for discussion, all with the sole aim of putting all our supporters at the heart of everything we do. If you would like to suggest agenda items for the meeting, please contact the OSB by clicking here.

Furthermore, any West Ham United supporter is welcome to apply to join the OSB to represent one or more specific groups or areas of the fanbase, providing they are not currently serving a football banning order. Click here for more information.

We would also like to clarify the Club’s position in relation to claims made by two independent supporter groups – both of which have been asked to join the OSB - earlier today.

Following meetings with the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer, a series of further offers to meet with Club representatives and representatives from the Official Supporters’ Board (OSB) was extended to two independent supporter groups, Hammers United and WHUISA, without response.

On 27 January, a further offer was made by the Club, on behalf of the Joint-Chairman David Sullivan, for a collective supporter group meeting with two members of the Board in attendance, to be held prior to the Liverpool game [tonight]. For the purposes of clarity, this was one meeting and the offer was rejected.

The Board of Directors are and have always been open to meaningful dialogue with supporters. The Club’s Official Supporters’ Board was established to create an open, transparent and ongoing dialogue between the Club and as many supporters as possible, and ensures that the views of the fanbase are heard at the highest level of the Club.

Our duty is to all West Ham United supporters and the Board is unwavering in its commitment to represent all areas of the fanbase.