“Build it and they will come” How often have we heard that line in films. The concept that you can create demand for something by artificially creating supply. This is certainly the mantra that has worked for the likes of Qatar in their dream of hosting the FIFA World Cup Finals (that and a pot of cash like no one has ever seen). Alas in English football it has also been the rhyme of fools more too often. Take Darlington FC. Currently in administration, playing next season at the lowest level in their history and in a stadium that is 10 times bigger than they actually need. Or Coventry City who moved to the Ricoh Arena a few years ago with the hopes of sell out games against Manchester United and Liverpool whereas next season they will be hosting Crawley Town and Brentford in front of a few thousand.
But sometimes things can go spectacularly wrong. We have covered the sad story of New Brighton Tower FC before and playing in the biggest stadium in England for a few seasons before. However, their brief history pales into insignificance when compared to Thames FC.
Back in 1928 a consortium of businessmen heralded the opening of the West Ham Stadium in East London. Built with a capacity of 120,000 it was the biggest stadium in England at the time and was earmarked to compete directly against Wembley Stadium as a venue for all sports. Initially the stadium was used for Greyhound and Speedway racing although the owners soon saw that football was the way forward. Continue reading