The amount of taxpayers’s money the owners of London Stadium spent on legal fights with West Ham is revealed
PUBLISHED: 15:42 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:50 27 September 2018
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The amoung of taxpayer’s money the owners of the London Stadium have spent in legal disputes against West Ham over the last three years has been revealed today.
The figure of £4million came to light today as new London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive Lyn Garner faced the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee.
West Ham have been embroiled in various wrangles with their landlords since they moved into the former Olympic Stadium in 2016, involving issues ranging from capacity and stewarding to the sale of draught beer and the colour of the carpet which surrounds the pitch.
Gerry Murphy, the LLDC’s executive director of financial, commercial and corporate services, also reiterated that West Ham’s rent does not even cover the cost of staging their own matches, claiming the taxpayer stumps up around £250,000 per match.
However, West Ham’s rent has actually risen from the £2.59million quoted by Murphy to £3million per year, and the club have long since maintained the match-day cost figure does not take into account that increase as well as catering revenue and commercial opportunities.
Nevertheless the stadium’s “dire financial performance”, according to the London Assembly, remains under scrutiny.
West Ham agreed the tenancy agreement with the LLDC in 2013 under previous London mayor Boris Johnson’s administration.
Former mayor Sir Robin Wales invested £40m into the deal which promised would rake in £3 million a year in profits for the council.
The council went on to injecting a further £12.2 million in working capital between February 2015 and June 2017, in return for free event tickets and 10 community days a year.
However the council walked away from the deal without a penny last year after current mayor Sadiq Khan announced he was taking control of the stadium following a report which established it was losing about £20million a year
After the meeting Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon tweeted: “The more I hear about the Olympic Stadium contract with West Ham the more frustrated I get.
“Boris’ team signed this off and currently we are told each match day costs the taxpayer around £250k in subsidy...... unbelievable.”