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 match day 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 new 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 the new 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.
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