West Ham are not able to charge premium prices at the London Stadium and so will never rival top sides in terms of their matchday income.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after manager David Moyes used an interview with the club’s official website to urge fans to return in their droves when restrictions are lifted.
The 57-year-old said: “We need them back. Come back and get behind the players.”
It has now been well over a year since fans watched a match at the London Stadium, with their last game a 3-1 win over Southampton on 29 February 2020.
Maguire has previously told Football Insider that the club is set to lose around £27million in matchday income over the course of the season.
He uses the example of Manchester City to illustrate how big the gap in matchday income between established Premier League giants and West Ham really is.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “Man City ticket sale revenues are still substantially less than Liverpool, Manchester United.
“They have some similarities with West Ham in that they have a working-class fanbase and they can’t set the prices too high.
“That makes it more challenging. They’ve got a 55,000-seater stadium but their ticket sale revenue is still half of what the other big clubs earn.
“The constraint for West Ham is that they’re a tenant rather than an owner of the ground.
“The good things the owners have done is to keep ticket prices at reasonable levels, but those levels are still substantially lower than their big six rivals.”
The London Stadium was first built as the chief venue for the 2012 Olympics, undergoing a makeover before West Ham moved in 2016.
Though fans have been absent, West Ham’s home record is second only to table-toppers Manchester City this season.