Slammed London Stadium owners receive summons to reveal finances

PUBLISHED: 17:55 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 23 November 2017

London Stadium is the home of West Ham United. Picture: PA images

London Stadium is the home of West Ham United. Picture: PA images

PA Wire/PA Images

The London Assembly has taken legal action to view the finances of London Stadium’s landlords over concerns about its huge debts.

Today, its budget and performance committee took the “rare decision” - the second time in its history - of issuing a summons notice for E20 Stadium LLP’s annual accounts after saying information was not forthcoming.

E20 Stadium LLP, a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the Newham Council-owned Newham Legacy Investments (NLI), is in huge financial difficulty with a current valuation of zero.

The £752 million stadium incurred massive costs of being converted from an athletics-only venue for the 2012 Olympics to a football ground ahead of West Ham’s move.

Committee member Keith Prince told the Recorder: “We believe there are a number of questions around the running of this organisation that we want answers to and do not seem to be getting.

“It is very sad that we have been pushed into this situation that we have had to use a power we rarely use.”

Fed-up assembly members, whose job it is to hold London mayor Sadiq Khan to account, have demanded all the necessary paperwork to be provided to them no later than two weeks from the date of the summons notice.

In a statement, committee chairman Gareth Bacon said: “This company spends vast amounts of public money, and we know that it is in financial difficulty – but we have been prevented from seeing the accounts of E20 Stadium LLP. Why?

“The assembly needs this information immediately, so we can assess whether this Mayor (Mayor of London Sadiq Khan) is making the right decisions when it comes to the London Stadium and Olympic legacy.”

Last month, outgoing LLDC boss David Goldstone was quizzed by Mr Bacon and his committee over why the conversion costs rose by £51m from £272m to £323m in 2016.

It is believed that the price of retractable seating, used to accommodate football matches and music concerts, is one of the key factors behind the cost hike.

Moore Stephens, the accountancy firm tasked with investigating the rise, is expected to issue its findings at the end of this November after months of delays.

An LLDC spokeswoman said it and Newham Council were working closely with E20 “to address the long-standing financial challenges in the best interests of the residents of Newham and Londoners”.

She said a decision will be made by Sadiq Khan after the Moore Stephens review is published.

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