West Ham season ticket holders are “brilliant and dedicated” but are holding the club back in terms of what they can earn on matchdays.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively with West Ham in the top four with just six matches remaining.
The impact of David Moyes’ overachieving side is reflected in the ticketing office.
West Ham announced on 7 April that supporters renewed their season tickets in record numbers.
But Maguire explains that having a high volume of season ticket holders means the club is unable to maximise matchday income.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “One of the things that we have to acknowledge about West Ham is that they have a brilliant and dedicated working class fanbase.
“West Ham have over 55,000 season tickets from next year. So you’ve only got 3000 or 4000 match tickets being sold when you factor in away fans too.
“If you take a look at Chelsea, they’ve got 30,000 season ticket holders. Liverpool have only got 27,000.
“If you sell the tickets on a match-by-match basis, you can get a far bigger price for them.
“Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs etc have a more casual fanbase who are really keen to see the club. But due to geographic restrictions, they can’t get season tickets.
“So they turn up and pay £50 or £60 for a match ticket and they go to the megastore, and because they are only there once or twice a season, they pay loads there as well.
“That’s why these clubs are making lots of money per fan, per season. West Ham’s fanbase is different. It’s a different demographic to the other clubs.
“You aren’t going to sell 30,000 matchday tickets to people from Korea, Norway, Ireland etc.”
A 3-2 defeat to Newcastle on Saturday put a dent in West Ham’s European hopes.
Chelsea can overtake them into 4th spot with a result over Brighton on Tuesday.