Can West Ham emulate the success of Manchester City?

Image for Can West Ham emulate the success of Manchester City?

West Ham1With West Ham United finally confirmed as the permanent tenants of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford from 2016, can the Hammers push onto the next level? Or the level above the next level? And for regular periods of time rather than the one every 20 odd seasons that they seem to yield? Considering that they sometimes fail to fill just over 35,000 seats at Upton Park, the first question may be ‘‘can they fill the ground’s 54,000 capacity?’’ But with the new stadium ready to attract new and old fans alike in the West Ham hotbed of east London – not to mention Stratford’s direct links to other hot spots such as Essex – they may just do that.

Many may laugh at the headline of this article, but those who clearly remember where Manchester City were in the years leading up to their move into the former Commonwealth (then City of Manchester, now Etihad) Stadium will likely nod in approval. Until seven years after City’s move into their current home they were one of the most average clubs in the top division in terms of their league and cup record.

The same applies to West Ham United now where they are either fighting off relegation or battling for an heroic finish in 10th place. The Falklands War had not yet been fought and Peter Sellers and John Lennon were still alive when West Ham last won a trophy. That was May 1980, but City went even longer without a major honour. The 1976 League Cup was their last until their FA Cup win in 2011.

They have also had a more chequered history than West Ham since the formation of the Premiership, which only adds to the thought that the Hammers have got just as much chance of attaining success as the Blues from Manchester had. Since the 1992-93 season City have been outside the top division for five of those seasons including one in the third tier compared to West Ham’s four, which were all in the second tier.

Up until City’s title win last season their respective records in the top-flight were remarkably similar. City’s final league positions in the Premier League since its inaugural season read 9th, 16th, 17th, 18th (next four seasons in lower divisions), 18th, (second tier), 9th, 16th, 8th, 15th, 14th, 9th, 10th, 5th, 3rd, 1st. West Ham’s meanwhile reads (second tier), 13th, 14th, 10th, 14th, 8th, 5th, 9th, 15th, 7th, 18th, (two seasons in second tier), 9th, 15th, 10th, 9th, 17th, 20th, (second tier). Pretty similar aren’t they? If Manchester City can achieve what they have done then why can’t a popular club such as West Ham?

Obviously, it was the money that the Abu Dhabi group put into City that helped transform them into the club they are today, but the billionaires could see the potential in them. Was it the new stadium coupled with the area? Why not bid for their more illustrious neighbours, United, for virtually guaranteed success? Maybe it was the challenge of usurping them. Or maybe Mansour bin Zayed Nahyan had always imagined he was 1981 FA Cup hero/villain, Tommy Hutchinson, when dribbling with a ball on the streets of the United Arab Emirates.

Click HERE to head to PAGE TWO

Share this article


  • Paulie Mack says:

    If you call paying over the odds for players and losing money every season success I’m ok thanks.

    • Ricky Murray says:

      Are you sure? City ain’t gonna go out of business or go down the leagues by going into administration (well, I doubt it, although I did wonder at the start of their ventures whether Chelsea or City could do a ‘Leeds’). Wouldn’t you rather do what they do and win trophies or be like Arsenal?

Comments are closed.