West Ham FC Apology to Aston Villa Away Supporters

West Ham FC Apology to Aston Villa Supporters

Last week, MOMS contacted West Ham FC on behalf of the Aston Villa away supporters at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 18th August 2012, who sitting in direct sunshine on a very hot day, had no access to soft drinks or water, after they ran out early on in the match. The problem was added to by the fact there was only one kiosk (with five staff) servicing almost 3,000 Villa fans.

As several West Ham fans have also pointed out to MOMS, there are problems with access to refreshments and queues in the rest of the ground, and this is typical with most grounds in the Premiership. You only have to make one trip to Twickenham to see a comparison of  how catering should be done in a civil manner to cater for large crowds.

Across the board, Premier League club fans have long been treated with a low-level of due care, considering the amount of money we pay for tickets. Consumers would never be treated like this in other industries.

Many thanks to West Ham FC for not ducking the issue. Their reply and recognition of the problem is  below, which I informed them, I’d pass on to Villa fans.

west ham apologise
Villa fans in the burning summer sun

From West Ham FC:

I would like to apologise for the delay in responding to your email, however rest assured I have spoken to the Manager of our outsourced catering service here at West Ham United, and therefore please see below his response.

 The Aston Villa match was played on what was the hottest day of the year. Unfortunately we sold out of water and soft drinks in some area’s due to the high demand for these products. All kiosks were fully stocked to the maximum with all products but unfortunately the demand exceeded the provisions that were made.

 We have looked at all area’s with the team and have put in place systems to ensure that this does not happen again.

 This is the first time this has happened to us at the Boleyn ground and we were not the only sporting venue that this happened to on this day due to the weather.

 Our sincere apologies to all supporters on the day and please be assured we have taken all actions necessary to ensure this does not happen again.


Doug McClean

General Manager

Customer Services
West Ham United Football Club Limited
Boleyn Ground
Green Street
Upton Park
London, E13 9AZ

Follow MOMS on Twitter & Facebook


  1. In my opinion this is a sorry excuse for an apology from my club, they seem to be under the premise that all football clubs act this way so why should we be different…No this is not the case, we should be market leaders and not sheep following the dreadful service offered around the country to fans deserving so much more. As my Dad always says ‘Two wrongs do not make a right’ Therefore WH be a market leader and be a club that treats all supporters with more respect.

    • Kavmeister You’re absolutely right regarding this attitude. For example, when Villa fans proposed a minute applause tribute for Fabrice Muamba at Villa Park (in the tradition of our Petrov one) on the 6th minute, since the Villa vs Bolton game had been rearranged because of his condition, the club didn’t want to assist get the word out to fans, because no other club had done anything like it…so why should they? They completely missed the point that: a) it was a Villa tradition ala Petrov, b) we were the hosts, c) it was a decent supporter gesture and d) Petrov had said Fabrice had been an inspiration in his own fight. I was told such a tribute should come from Bolton! Such short-sightedness was incredible. In the end, I had to enlist the help of Bolton, who were great, and helped get an announcement in the Bolton press. Only when they saw they had a PR disaster on their hands, did Villa then offer to put an announcement out over the PA before the game.

  2. Interesting comment about Twickenham. As a Villa supporter who lives in the south I also visit my nearest club Reading. But, I also go to the same ground to watch London Irish and what is amazing is that the service, availability of product and general well-being is always better when it’s London Irish compared to Reading. For example I can wander outside with my beer at half-time when it’s rugby whereas for football I would be pounced upon by a copper or steward if I tried the same. There’s always a better beer choice for Rugby and the food is always better. Even on Rugby sell-out days like the St Patrick’s day fixture the facilities are always better than comparable football games. I won’t mention the fact that I can take 4-pints back to my seat at a Rugby game – oh, I guess I did.I suspect the bottom-line is – why should football clubs care about supporters when most of their money comes from Sky. One of these days we will wake-up and let Sky show empty grounds until the lot of the real fans is improved.

    • PaulF I was amazed by Twickenham’s catering. It was better than most high streets for choice – Pizza Express, Gourmet Burger, Indian etc. You could even get a pint of Guiness. While at football grounds,  if you treat people like animals, they’ll behave like animals.

    • PaulF Completely agree… the sad truth is football fans are not trusted or respected in the same fashion Rugby fans are, i.e. football fans are seen as ‘hooligans’ ‘trouble-makers’ etc etc which the stewards/police/clubs believe is only aggravated further when fuelled with alcohol… we can’t even be trusted with bottle tops at the majority of grounds, bit too dangerous for us football folk. Whereas on the other hand I’ve attended Rugby games, domestic and international, and its completely different, in terms of trust mostly, fans are trusted to carry large quantities of alcohol back to their seats, we aren’t ushered out as quickly, fans from opposing teams sit amongst each other and vast amounts of stewards don’t crowd the touchlines for the last 15 mins of the game. The second issue is revenue, sponsorship, and coverage rights, pales in insignificance when compared to Football, most Rugby clubs get by from the money they take on match days, hence fans are treated better… Can’t see it changing any time soon either… 

  3. Any mention of an apology for the filthy, dirty, guano covered seats in certain sections of the ground that we found on arriving for the first game of the season?

Comments are closed.