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The “other” big game on Saturday: West Ham prevails

Soccer - npower Football League Championship - Play Off - Final - Blackpool v West Ham United - Wembley Stadium

West Ham United’s Kevin Nolan, lifts the trophy, with Robert Green, obscured behind left, and Mark Noble, right, as they celebrate with the Championship Play-Off Trophy after the English Football League Championship Final at Wembley Stadium in London, Saturday May 19, 2012. (AP Photo / Nick Potts, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES


Lost in the West London-based hysteria over Chelsea’s win was a big happening in what the locals call East, East, East London.

That’s where West Ham United FC is based. The Hammers can’t match clubs like Chelsea or Arsenal in current star appeal, and can’t get close to clubs like Liverpool or Manchester United in fable and trophies.

But West Ham is a big club in terms of fan following, and there have been some notable names tumble out of the Hammers’ developmental channels. In all, West Ham is probably alongside clubs like Newcastle or Aston Villa in terms of broader supporter backing and general “been there, done that.”

So, it’s massive news around the East London grounds, not far from where so much of this summer’s Olympic action will be based, that West Ham is back, baby! Back in the Premier League, that is.

A 2-1 win Saturday over Blackpool at famed Wembley Stadium was for more than just supporter pride, too. The match is frequently billed as a contest with perhaps more at stake financially than any other in the world. West Ham’s win means about $140 million in revenue coming into the club thanks to the Premiership’s lucrative TV deals.