The Bond Scheme
Background and History
What is the Bondholder scheme?
In the wake of the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989, the Lord Justice Taylor Report paved the way to all-seater stadia in the top division. With the aim of funding the necessary ground redevelopment, starting with what came to be the Bobby Moore Stand, the Club launched the Bond Scheme in November 1991. 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.
How the scheme has evolved
Following the formation of the Bondholders Committee and working with the Club, the scheme has been developed and enhanced over time, seeing a number of new benefits introduced - 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 Club’s management regularly to discuss issues that are of concern and interest to Bondholders and to many other lifelong West Ham supporters. The Bond scheme itself closed in 1997 - since when no new Bonds have been issued and the number of Bonds held will henceforth remain fixed at 808.
Bondholders at London Stadium
In 2014 Bondholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of changes to the conditions under which their Bonds were originally issued, in order to transfer them to the London Stadium come 2016. As introduced in 1991, the original bond did not foresee the Club moving grounds and so this was omitted from the draft. The Club has therefore been working alongside the Executive Committee to ensure the straightforward transfer of those bonds to the new Stadium, with initial discussions held at the Boleyn Ground on both 2 and 9 September 2014.
Sixteen amendments to the Bond conditions were subsequently put to vote, with Bondholders able to vote by proxy or in person at the General Meeting held on Monday 24 November 2014.
The successfully passed resolution guaranteed that Bondholders can continue to enjoy priority status when purchasing Season Tickets and General Admission tickets at London Stadium. Looking to the future, one of the many roles of the Bondholders Executive Committee is to assist supporters in the buying, selling and transferring of Bonds where appropriate, ensuring for many generations to come supporters can enjoy the unique benefits of being a West Ham United Bondholder.
Useful Contact Details
The Committee can be reached by email [email protected].
Alternatively, bondholders can contact by phone on 0333 030 2663.
The Ticketing Office has an email address for Bondholders Only. To contact the Ticket Office in respect of ticketing applications for specific games email [email protected] (generic issues should continue to be addressed through the normal email address above).
All Bondholders must ensure any tickets purchased are not sold to any third party. The Club regularly investigates to identify malpractice regarding ticketing.
The committee welcomes any comments and suggestions from all Bondholders.
We are actively seeking new members to join the committee. Why not join one of our meetings as a guest to find out more with no obligation? We would love to hear from you.
Email [email protected].
Posted on behalf of the Bondholder Committee
1) The bond entitles the holder to purchase a specific seat at London Stadium on a match-by-match basis up to 16 days before the game.
2) Priority on all seat relocations at the end of each season after Season Ticket Renewals have been completed.
3) Priority to purchase a ticket for away games and cup games, prior to away Season Ticket Holders and regular Season Ticket Holders.
4) Priority to purchase a ticket for any European competitions the Club may qualify for.
5) The right to buy any unsold Bond seats on the 15th day before the match which are held specifically for this purpose for 24 hours prior to being offered for General Sale.
6) Attendance at any Bondholder events at the club (these are sporadic and not guaranteed).
7) Bonds are valid for up to 150 years from date of issue.
Purchasing or Selling a Bond
If you wish to apply to join the waiting list there is a non-refundable joining fee of £20 which should be sent to:
The Hammers Bond Company
Sort code: 60-20-12
Account Number: 10258744
Reference: YOUR NAME
Once payment has been made, please send full contact details (name, email, phone number and client reference), and the date your payment was made. You will then be sent confirmation that you have been added to the waiting list.
Please note, a bond will not be sold to anyone who has a prior history of ticket misuse or a banning order in effect.
Bondholder Executive Committee and Officers
Chairman – Martine Bennett
Deputy Chairman – Martin Jessop
Treasurer – Tony Barritt
Representative on ISC – Steve Applebee
Secretary – Barbara Adams
West Ham United Independent Supporters' Committee
The Committee is represented on the ISC by Steve Applebee and if you have an issue you want to be put to the Club's Board please send in your item to [email protected]
BONDHOLDERS 2023 AGM MINUTES
The 2023 AGM was held at 6.15pm on Thursday 12 October at the London Stadium Store and was attended by over 60 Bondholders.
Martine Dodwell-Bennett opened the meeting and welcomed Bondholders and guests. Martine updated the meeting on the activity of the committee over the last year; it had been a busy year, working on confirming and updating the Bondholder database with the aim of contacting all Bondholders. This work is ongoing and there are still a number of Bondholders yet to be traced. If anyone knows any Bondholder who has not yet confirmed their details, please ask them to contact [email protected].
The database activity has led to a number of Bonds being sold. Prices have risen driven by the Club's success in Europe and this combined with the database activity has resulted in 20 Bonds being sold or transferred in the accounting year, with over 30 already sold in the first six months of this current year.
A change in the sales process is being considered, moving from a waiting list to an auction format or a combination of the two. This is being considered after feedback from the floor.
Lastly, the improved quality of the database has enabled the committee to improve communication with the Bondholder, i.e. through surveys and we the committee will continue to explore thoughts and ideas.
Tony Barritt presented the company accounts. There had been little activity on the account due to the pandemic and it has been challenging to recover the money in the dormant account held by Barclays. The balance at year end was £2,117.51.
Tony updated the meeting with the news that since the year end Barclays have paid £200 as compensation for the delay in resolving the issue as well as a balance above the £2,117.51 due. The new account is now in operation.
Steve Applebee updated the meeting of his involvement with the ISC and the introduction of the Premier League's Fan Engagement Standard (FES). As part of the FES the ISC will become the Fan Advisory Board (FAB), with the current ten representatives being joined by International, Women's SB and Junior representatives. Discussions are ongoing and anticipated to be concluded during November 2023.
Sadly, Brendan Burke, a dedicated and valued committee member for some years, passed away earlier this year.
The attendees voted to accept a motion to elect the nine members of the previous Committee who stood for re-election together with one new Committee member, to represent Bondholders for the next 12 months. The committee members elected were Barbara Adams, Stephen Applebee, Tony Barritt, Martine Dodwell-Bennett, Lloyd Howard, Martin Jessop, Keith Knight, Michael Evans, Mike Lee and Joe O'Sullivan.
Nicola Keye, Director of Ticketing
Martine Dodwell-Bennett introduced Nicola who gave an overview of the experiences of ticketing for European matches over the last year, an insight to future ticketing technology and the challenges of meeting UEFA Finals ticketing regulations whilst maintaining Bondholder rights. Nicola answered a variety of pre-submitted questions and questions from the floor on Bondholder ticketing issues.
Andy Mollett, WHU CFO
Martine Dodwell-Bennett introduced Andy Mollett, the club’s Chief Financial Officer. In answering pre-submitted questions together with those from the audience, Andy covered a wide range of topics including the financial impact of European competition, the forthcoming January Transfer Window, Financial Fair Play, and the process for signing new players.
Following the more formal business of the evening Joe O'Sullivan introduced Steve Potts. Steve shared a number of stories and experiences from his long playing career and his current role as U21s Coach. Steve answered a variety of pre-submitted questions, together with those from the floor during an entertaining and enlightening Q and A session.
Martine, on behalf of the Bondholders and the Executive Committee thanked the Club for hosting the event, together with Club representatives and Steve Potts for an entertaining and informative evening. Steve Potts then drew out two raffle tickets for lucky winners of a signed Men's Shirt and signed Women's Shirt donated by the Club. This was followed by photo opportunities including with the UEFA Europa Conference League Trophy, on display for the evening.