In a unexpected move, the management of West Ham United have announced they have taken advantage of this summer's transfer window to sell up to 12,000 of their fans to rival clubs. Management hope this will bring some financial stability for the forthcoming season.
A statement from owners David Gold and David Sullivan stated that "only fans who have not purchased season tickets would be affected..." and went on to explain "for fans watching the match on television, it makes very little difference which team they support. It's not that big of a deal.". The fans are being sold to a number of different Premier League clubs after a private auction.
Many fans received the information about their change of allegiance yesterday morning by text message. Sheryl Cooper, from Hackney, was one of the many complaining about the process "My husband and I were life-long West Ham fans. I got a text this morning saying I'm now a Manchester City fan, and my husband has been told he now supports Aston Villa. I don't see why they couldn't have sold us both to the same club.". Clive Hontin from Purley was equally unimpressed, "I just bought the new West Ham shirt last Saturday, and now I'm told I support Tottenham. They won't take the shirt back, maybe I'll have to try bleaching it."