A bus commemorating West Ham’s Europa Conference League triumph has been spotted BEFORE the final has taken place.
The Hammers have a chance to win their first piece of European silverware in 58 years when they take on Fiorentina in the final tonight in Prague, live on talkSPORT.
It’s understood over 25,000 West Ham fans have flown over to the Czech capital, including talkSPORT’s Ian Abrahams, who has travelled 800 miles by car, despite only 5,500 tickets being up for sale.
And the club have clearly prepared for the best ahead of the final and already have a bus ready to go with the parade.
The bus is coloured in the club’s claret and blue colours and has the word ‘WINNERS’ adorned on the front above a slogan that reads ‘2022/23 UEFA Europa Conference League’.
On the bottom, a bubble-like decal is sprayed onto it while the bus has been parked and hidden away, only to be spotted by eagle-eyed fans.
Some might believe that West Ham are opening themselves up to ridicule. And indeed, rival fans will no doubt latch on to it if they go on to lose to Fiorentina in the final.
But it is often common practice for clubs to have a bus primed ahead of the final of a major competition.
With time constraints and potential planning pitfalls, it is often a better idea to prepare for all eventualities.
And that includes winning the tournament, which would see the fanbase take to the streets of London to celebrate the victory.
A parade would no doubt draw out thousands of Hammers in what would be a brilliant European campaign for the club.
The last time that they lifted silverware in Europe was in 1965 when they won the Cup Winners’ Cup against 1860 Munich at Wembley.
Nevertheless, some fans might believe that West Ham are tempting fate – especially considering that the final is no way a sure bet.
Fiorentina have not had their best season in Serie A but have had a significantly better domestic campaign than the Hammers.
They finished eighth in Serie A – just six points behind Juventus and a European spot.
West Ham, meanwhile, battled relegation for most of the Premier League campaign.
David Moyes managed to steer them away from trouble in recent weeks, ending the season in 14th in the Premier League.
On route to the final, West Ham beat AZ Alkmaar, Gent and AEK Larnaca while Fiorentina faced Basel, Lech Poznan, Sivasspor and Braga.