West Ham to Stay Put at the Boleyn?

BBC Sports Editor Mihir Bose reports that West Ham are ditching plans to move to the Parcelforce site or buy the Olympic Stadium and are now more likely to redevelop the East Stand and fill in the two remaining corners. He says that will bring capacity up to 50,000. I am not sure that is right. My understanding is that 42,000 would be the maximum capacity. Many will welcome these plans, if they turn out to be true, and in the present financial climate it would be a brave board indeed who made a commitment to move elsewhere. It was indicative that there were only 32,000 in the ground last Saturday for a fixture than in previous years was a sellout. Whether this is a reflection on the team’s current fortunes or a sign of the coming economic recession is difficult to say, although my betting is on the latter.

And a quick word of congratulations to Scott Parker for his England callup.


33 Responses to West Ham to Stay Put at the Boleyn?

  1. jon.london colney says:

    well done scott,just hope it goes well for him,hes been massive for us so far and deserves it.hope its not just a one off.

  2. Biffo the bear says:

    I thought 42,000 was the limit of potential capacity at the Boleyn too. Also not sure about what was said about changing the use of the Olympic site costing 400 mill. That was the original cost if we had to put retractable seating in to cover a running track but the most recent noises coming from the mayors office and an IOC member was that the legacy of athletics was not a deal breaker at the Stratford site as they didn’t want it sitting empty after the games.

    I can’t see how the roads and tubes/buses could deal with 42,000 let alone 50,000 at Upton Park. I can’t really see much that’s new in this article, just another speculative ‘well the credit crunch could mean that this will happen’ kind of piece.

    It would be nice if the owner would be a bit more forthcoming about the future plans for the club. Difficult I know when one day you own a bank and the next you don’t.

    We do need something to happen though, Spurs are building for the future, we don’t seem to be doing anything.

  3. chris says:

    hope they dont get injured

  4. This is in a way logical since there is obviously not much money to spend in the Club at the moment, but that is also the problem with this logic.
    Who, in our current organisation, would spend that money in these more than uncertain times.
    I doubt BG wants to find himself in yet another bubble.
    Could we even get a loan?

    I can’t see Boleyn changeing in the forseable future, at least not with this owner.

  5. Swiss Hammer says:

    Hi Iain,
    I always enjoy reading your blog, but you may also notice that mr Bose did not really add anything to the conversation with his blog. All of this information has been out there for a while. To be honest i dont think the board has any idea what to do under the current climate. why agree to build or move when the economy in Britain is heading into recession and possible deflation. This topic i feel is going to sit on the back burner for at least 2009. As another point can you imagine the disruption during redevelopment? i remember the headache from last time!

  6. Name (required) says:

    A ridiculous decision to stay at the Boleyn. It’s one of the most congested parts of London!

    It can’t cope now with the traffic & transport situation – just imagine when there’s 50,000 turning up to watch us play Man Utd, Sperz, etc!!

    I don’t wanna have to spend over an hour just getting out of Newham every week.

    Sometimes wonder who makes these idiotic choices…

  7. jon.london colney says:

    the mirror have been so original today reporting rob green a target for the spudlies in january.Gomez has been the typical flop at the muppet show and now greeny will be tapped up.yes tapped up,this story comes straight from the production line of how to get a player and maybe even west ham have started this? we are no different and im sure the odd leak from a club is all part of the process.He has started moaning about wages and this maybe the result from the club…shut up and we will get you a move out of here.

  8. Ho Jo says:

    I think it’s good news to expand UP – it’s much better than moving to a new ground

  9. LiamT says:

    As Swiss Hammer says I don’t think there’s much fact in Bose’s blog, other than what we know already.

    He fails to explain how the club intend to get around the big sticking point, the road to access the bus garage. There’s also the ongoing problem of the East Stand blocking out daylight and tv/radio signals should it be heightened.
    He doesn’t offer any insight also into how the club would overcome the extra traffic problems and already overcrowded Upton Park station either.
    Any thing is no mention of possibly renting the Olympic Stadium for a while, like Man City did with the Commonwealth Games venue.

    He comes across as some kind of expert but I don’t think he’s been spot on with anything re; the Tevez saga, so I don’t make him right about any of this either.

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  11. Scott Megabucksbury says:

    With the second highest ticket prices in the country and a squad not worth the ticket price to watch, when would West Ham ever fill a 50,000 stadium? maybe three times a season? if lucky. 42,000 seems more likely, seeing as they could squeeze in roughly that amount for the big games back in the days before all seaters. Just expect West Ham to leapfrog to the highest ticket prices in the league as soon as work starts though.
    As for Green. If you expect the likes of Green to still be at Upton Park come January then you are seriously naive. No point in having a fire sale if you’re only going to sell your duds. Green is, and has always been top of the list for those on their way out in January, just ask Curbs. Plus the chairman won’t care whether the money comes from Spurs or whoever. He needs the pocket change after all. Not too sure Green wants to stay anyhow, Don’t underestimate the players in all this transfer talk. Spurs must have pretty reliable knowledge from somewhere that Green would be happy to join them, otherwise why are they the only team constantly linked with him no matter who they’ve had in charge. Either he’s let it be known, or he has close friendships with certain players there, who have let it be known to Levy. When the inevitable happens expect a story of how Green was a diehard Spurs fan as a kid. Roll on January, in a perverse way i can’t wait to see the proverbial hit the fan amongst West Ham fans when they see who’s leaving.

  12. chris says:

    Jon ,Green is Englands no1 keeper by far I dont care what anyone else thinks, shame to lose him but If anyone offers 15m plus for green we should take it to buy a striker,and I mean a striker!!! one very good finisher, not lets buy 3 players for 5m coz normally you end up with not much more than what you’ve already got.

  13. Andy says:

    How would the roads and station cope?

  14. irontc says:

    It would be great to see and hear 50,000 sing bubbles at the Boleyn. Maybe they can run shuttle buses to and from Liverpool Street, do something with the overground rail platforms at UP station?

    I dont think there is anything in Bose’s story except maybe the board trying to keep the club in the spotlight for any potential (highly unlikely) buyer.

    PS. what happened to the sponsor we were going to sign before the Hull game?

    As for Robert Green- he is an incredible shot stopper – but he is dreadfully lacking in set ball play and defending crosses/corners. (he has improved in the last couple of seasons) BUT I dont know if he has it in him to totally boss his area? So if anyone offered 15mill – we should bite their hand off!

  15. D&G says:

    Get the tube, buses and roads sorted before even thinking about increasing capacity!

  16. Upton Spark says:

    Agree with expanding the ground. As for Green;here we go again!! How many more times are we going to be open to tapping up or anything else you want to call it. This absolutely get’son my nerves as we don’t know if it is true or not?? Every time the transfer window opens,West Ham are one of the first clubs mentioned to losing players.
    If it IS true about Green being unhappy re his wages,then let him go,as we do not want any players who don’t want to play for us unless they get the sort of money that any normal person could only dream about.
    I may be wrong here,but I think a lot of this again is only speculation and the press are having a bit of a go at us as we are easy targets at the moment with our head man in financial trouble.

  17. the headmaster says:

    The BBC blog entry is pure speculation in my view that, as iron tc and swiss have said, adds absolutetly nothing new to a non story

  18. E1 says:

    The redevelopment of the east stand as per the plans back in Harry and Peter Storey’s time was to bring us up to 42,000, this however did’nt include filling in the corners as this was to be done at a later stage, so that COULD, be were the other 8,000 comes from. 50,000 would be great apart from getting to and from the ground, the council will, I am sure , put a lot of stipulations in place if this is to proceed and the cost will go through the roof we will end up paying a large chunk of the queens market redevelopment no doubt.

  19. jon.london colney says:

    chris,i agree 15 mill is loads but didnt see that figure when i read it today.again,pure speculation and bull.surley if he is the best then keep him.he is having a bad streak yes but so has EVERY keeper in there career.look at james now!!!
    i 4 one want him to stay.as for the striker i agree,maybe we should have got bent?yuck,wash your mouth out,sorry…

  20. pjd says:

    as a traditionalist i would prefer to stay where we are.many memories in the last 40 years,some bad but mostly good.as for the size of the ground i think 50,000 is plenty big enough,i would not like to see a stadium not filled.we sometimes dont fill it now.as for zola lets all be patient,i agree the results have been poor as late but it will take time to change fron curbishleys bore them to death tactics to zolas attractive football.i think the fact that we cant keep a clean sheet is noticable,we have to score at least 2 goals to win.lastly does anyone else think that etheringtons bench warming as late has anything to do with him being caught at the bookies again after the club bailing him out.ps i am not boa mortes biggest fan but those who booed him against everton for one mistake do you really think that will make him play better,anyway keep the faith,lets show the spurs scum what real support is about………

  21. Marleeeen depreciation society says:

    Hi Iain, i think the reason for the poor numbers is mostly down to the increase in ticket prices and people having had enough of it.
    with regards to improving upton park station to cope as it can barely cope now, the c2c line has had part of it’s very old platform reduced in width on the eastbound side(towards southend) so as to expand the width of the westbound districtline platform. this means that the c2c line trains would never be able to stop there again as the width of the platform is not adequate at present without major development which would include removing the barriers between the 2 platforms and putting in 2 new footbridges leeding to queens road AND getting the c2c to stop there. this would be both unfavourable to london underground and c2c with the latter not getting any gain in revenue from the change. the move to west ham parcelforce site was seen as a good solution to solve the infrastructure problem with so many links by bus and train from there. maybe getting boris onside might help make something happen. i’m sure if he saw what could be done by looking at fulham broadway station and it’s improvements then seeing how poor the problem at upton park is, he might push for something to be done. stranger things have happened.

  22. Rifleman Chris says:

    The article was complete nonsense! I have nver read so much speculation (and contradiction) in all my life. I think it is quite obvious that the only option open to the Board at present is to redevelop the current East Stand, as even if we are able to mov einto the Olympic Stadium, will the Club actually be bale to get a reasonable price for the land on which the Boleyn sits in the current financial climate.

  23. Goatygav says:

    Congrats to Scotty Parker – well deserved.

    I’m pleased to hear that it’s likely we’re going to complete the project started some time ago to redevelop UP. I’ve always felt that West Ham Utd lost some home advantage because of the distance from touchlines to each of the stands (particularly the Chicken Run). I’ve always felt that 45-50K at the Boleyn, with the stands close to the action, would be ideal. Getting in and out of the ground and the associated public transport issues will worsen but I, for one, would be happy to put up with that to hear the atmosphere we’d generate. We all know it’s what the club has needed for decades. I remember my dad talking about the fact he didn’t understand why the club didn’t move to bigger premises after the war.

    So I presume now that the pitch will move towards the Dr Martens and the East Stand will be built inwards.

  24. Goatygav says:

    On the Rob Green Speculation, he’s has been – and is – worth at least 10 points a season. We won’t get a better keeper than him. He may not be perfect in some departments (controlling his area, bossing the defence and giving others the benefit of what he can see) but his work ethic is strong and I’m sure he’s making the effort to improve these weaknesses. It will be bad news, indeed, if we lose him.

  25. colin says:

    Regarding the credit crunch!!!!! l don’t really think that this has had much bearing on the empty seats at Boleyn on saturday gone!! I looked up at the Dr Martins stand, and it was the top corner seats that were mostly empty, ( & who wants to sit that high up unless you have to ) and also the same in the Bobby Moore stand,

    A far cry from when we played the Gunners 3 weeks ago at the Boleyn, it was a sell out!! the two main reasons for this are,

    No 1, that Portsmouth are not as attractive as a lot of other teams, West Ham haven’t been playing too well, and have let a few goals in, and who wants to watch a team with ex westham players in it, beat us!!!!! especially Defoe, l don’t know about any one else, but my heart was in my mouth towards the end, thinking that he was going to score in the last few minutes!! Corals predicted a 1-2 win to Portsmouth. so 0-0 was ok by me.

    No 2, l have been in buisness a lot of years, and it’s always the same, and the middle of the month is a quiet time, but having said, l live close to Lake Side shoping centre, and yesterday, the car parks were heaving!!!! and has been for quite a few weeks, and at weeks it’s a no go area for us!!!! I think that all this credit crunch is more media than anything else!! it could be coming, but it’s not here yet!!!!

  26. David says:

    Iain, great blog, I love your work!

    Have you seen the breaking news on sky sports about the owners? What are your thoughts on this?

  27. Bjorgy says:

    Credit crunch has crunched me up large time. I own soccer business in east side of london and we recently had change of management because last man didnt let me sell assets i own. Now we have a little smiling italian man doing fantastic job, he will let me sell assets after xmas. I am losing money everywhere so dont tell me credit crunch is big myth.

  28. Stephen says:

    I would be happy with a redeveloped East Stand and up to 50,000 at Upton Park. Then Zola to be given a half decent transfer fund. Im fed up with doing everything on a lower budget then everyone else. Forget United, Liverpool, Chelsea or City I would be happy to compete with the finances of Spurs and Villa!

    Give Zola a chance he has made us play some attractive stuff so far, hopefully Clarke can instill a better resolve as a team to defend.

    I would hope if the stadium is redeveloped then the club tries to somehow do something about the dying atmosphere.

  29. jon.london colney says:


    oh benny benny benny.why didnt you stay?

  30. Goatygav says:

    Oh Dear


    It seems we’re edging closer and closer towards administration. Let’s hope we can avoid any points deductions.

  31. StainesWestHam says:

    Cmon Iain – why no entry from you about todays massive news regarding Hansa on your blog???? Opinion?

  32. me says:

    BG is using us as his personal piggy bank, Never trust a man with various fraud convictions i say.

  33. Martin of Surbiton says:

    Well anyway, congratulations to Bellers and Upson on their goals for their respective countries. More of the same on Sunday would be good….then Liverpool, Spudz, Chelski, Villains… arggh!

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