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].
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.
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’d 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
Anyone who would like to purchase a bond should read the following information before contacting [email protected] to be added to the waiting list. Any Bondholder wishing to sell their bond can also contact the committee to help facilitate the sale.
1) At the end of the 2021/22 season, there were 236 people on the waiting list, plus 48 who up to now have proven uncontactable due to out of date contact details. These 48 people would be reinstated when the correct contact details are advised to the Bondholder Committee.
2) During the 2021/22 season, 12 bonds were transferred to new owners.
3) Bond resale prices are set by the seller or the seller’s representative (e.g. an executor of an estate). Bond prices fluctuate and should the person at the top of the list decline to or makes an offer that is deemed unacceptable to the seller, the opportunity to purchase the Bond passes to the next person on the waiting list.
4) It should be noted that Bonds cannot be sold to any individual sanctioned by the club and comprehensive ID checks are undertaken on both seller and buyer.
To enable the process of purchasing or transferring a bond, it is essential that in addition to full contact details, all parties should include Client reference number(s) and season ticket seat location(s).
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 2022 AGM MINUTES
The 2022 AGM was held at 6pm on Tuesday 15 November at the London Stadium Store and was attended by over 50 Bondholders.
Martin Jessop opened the meeting in the absence of Martine Dodwell-Bennett who was unable to attend on the night. Martin welcomed all Bondholders and guests. Martin updated the meeting on the activity of the committee over the last year; the ongoing work in simplifying the bond transfer form to facilitate the sales process, continuing to work with the club on issues relating to the bondholder database, and liaising with the club on European ticketing issues on behalf of bondholders.
There are 268 on the waiting list to buy a bond.
Tony Barritt presented the company accounts showing a cash balance of £1,942.51 and these were formally approved by the meeting. Tony is working to set up a new bank account for Hammers Bond Company which meet requirements without incurring future bank charges.
Steve Applebee updated the meeting on the background and workings of the ISC and his role representing the Bondholders who can contact Steve by email [email protected]
The attendees voted to accept a motion to elect the eight members of the previous Committee who stood for re-election together with two new Committee members, to represent Bondholders for the next 12 months. The committee members elected were Barbara Adams, Stephen Applebee, Tony Barritt, Brendan Burke, Martine Dodwell-Bennett, Lloyd Howard, Martin Jessop, Keith Knight, Mike Lee and Joe O'Sullivan. Details of each individual's rationale for standing were printed on the nomination form.
Nicola Keye, Director of Ticketing
Steve Applebee 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
Martin Jessop 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 financial impact of European Competition, the summer Transfer Window, Financial Fair Play, and the Stadium.
Following the more formal business of the evening Martin Jessop introduced Martin Allen. Martin shared a number of stories and experiences from his time as both a player and a manager. Martin answered a variety of pre-submitted questions, together with those from the floor during an entertaining and extended Q and A session.
Martin, on behalf of the Bondholders and the Executive Committee thanked the Club for hosting the event, together with Club representatives and Martin Allen for an entertaining and informative evening. Martin Allen then drew out two raffle tickets for lucky winners of a signed Men's Shirt and signed Women's Shirt donated by the Club.