West Ham's Karren Brady refuses to accept criticism over London Stadium rent
PUBLISHED: 09:59 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 18 October 2018
Andy Paradise T/AS 'Paradise Photo'
The vice-chairman of West Ham has said she "refuses" to take criticism over the rent the club pays on the London Stadium.
At a London Assembly committee yesterday (Wednesday), Baroness Karren Brady said it was the high cost of running the stadium on match days, not West Ham’s rent, which causes cost issues.
Ms Brady claimed that the £250,000 quoted by the London Legacy Development Corporation, the operators of the stadium, referring to how much the taxpayer foots to cover the cost of match days, was false.
“One of the things that’s really concerned me is the way West Ham is portrayed as a burden on the taxpayer,” she said.
“I refuse to accept any criticism that our rent is too low because that’s simply not true.
“It’s not West Ham’s rent is too low, it’s about costs being too high.”
West Ham pays around £3 million a year for the London Stadium. The venue generates money through rent, catering, and commercial routes, including naming rights.
Ms Brady said rent is paid, catering is delivered, and although she has tried to help with finding a naming rights sponsor, offers have been refused.
“I have offered my services about 15 times,” she said.
“But I can only offer, I can’t force them to take it.”
West Ham agreed their tenancy agreement with the LLDC in 2013. Former Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales invested £40m under the belief it would bring in £3m a year for the council. But after injecting a further £12.2m, the council walked away without a penny, after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced he was taking control of the stadium following a report revealed it was losing £20m a year.
An LLDC spokeswoman said: “Our focus is making the stadium work as hard as possible for London, building on its excellence as a multi-use venue.
“Concerts, athletics and other major events are all part of that along with West Ham.
“We will continue to work with all our partners to deliver these events but also drive the best value in terms of reducing costs, maximising commercial income and securing payments for extras which sit outside of any existing contract.”