Rapid Vienna demand compensation as West Ham game to be played without fans
Rapid Vienna are demanding compensation after losing £841,909 in sales for Thursday’s Europa League clash with West Ham, according to Der Standard.
The Austrian news outlet claims the country’s capital club is more than £25million in debt and recent events will hit them hard.
Austria returned to a national lockdown this week, despite protests [BBC], and that means one of Rapid’s most lucrative home games this year, against West Ham on Thursday, will be played without spectators.
It’s bad news for Rapid and their supporters, but looking at it through claret and blue-tinted glasses, it’s good news for West Ham.
UEFA recently ruled that the Premier League outfit cannot take away fans to Austria for this week’s Europa League clash, due to issues in their last European trip to Genk.
The Irons were handed a fine and one-game ban, and it would have given an even greater advantage to the home side with no Hammers to will the team on.
But, as it is, there will be no fans at all in Vienna on Thursday, and UEFA have inadvertently done supporters a favour by banning them from going before Austria did it as a country.
Whether West Ham players will actually be thrilled remains to be seen – many footballers complained about the lack of spectators in the stadium’s last season – but the element of hostility inside the ground will be removed and they should be confident of claiming all three points to confirm themselves as group winners.