West Ham yet to contribute towards £2.3m London Stadium business rates bill
PUBLISHED: 08:53 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:14 10 October 2017
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West Ham United has not paid any business rates at the London Stadium, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.
The body responsible for setting rates has yet to decide if the premier league club will ever have to stump up the £2.3 million a year bill, Press Association reported.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is determining how rates will be “apportioned” between West Ham and landlord E20 Stadium, 16 months after West Ham’s arrival at the Stratford venue.
E20 Stadium is a joint venture between publicly-funded London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and Newham Council.
Newham Council recently denied writing off a £40 million loan issued to E20 Stadium from its subsidiary company, Newham Legacy Investments Ltd, after the local authority’s accounts showed it as “impaired” or damaged.
Criticism has also been rife of West Ham’s London Stadium deal, which sees it paying an annual usage fee of £2.5m only.
The football club occupies the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venue on 25 match days a year and is liable for rates on its offices, shop and warehouse.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance said it would be a “slap in the face to taxpayers if this deal means West Ham are exempt from paying anything at all”.
The group’s chief executive John O’Connell said: “Taxpayers will find it hard to believe that they are still being short-changed from West Ham.
“We have previously called this arrangement the ‘deal of the century’ for West Ham but that is starting to sound like an understatement.”
Responding to the latest revelations, an LLDC spokesman said: “We understand that the VOA is still assessing whether some parts of the London Stadium occupied by West Ham United are separately rateable.
“If they conclude that is the case, then we understand that the assessment will be backdated to the start of occupation from June 2016.”
A representative for West Ham United declined to comment.