West Ham are willing to pay up to £380,000 to change the pitch surround at London Stadium to claret.
The BBC website has this morning picked up the story CandH originated earlier in the week and has neatly summed up the issues at stake.
So for those playing catch up on the irritating activities or lack of them by owners E20 here they are in a nutshell as reported by the BBC.
The Irons are in dispute over the issue with landlords, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), and have taken legal action.
The London Legacy Development Corporation has been ordered to pay to change the covers, although the Hammers would consider taking on that cost – if changed to their main club colour of claret.
It is understood the corporation would prefer not to use claret and is interested in the “sponsorship potential” of the carpeted area.
While a West Ham source has indicated they would pay £380,000, other estimates have suggested the work could be carried out for closer to half that amount.
West Ham, famous for their claret and blue colours, insist their plan would save taxpayers’ money at the venue.
Currently we pay £2.5m a year to use the stadium as part of a 99-year lease (but it needs to be remembered we only use it for 25 days and it’s the owners job to make it profitable over the other 340!)
The club and the corporation were in dispute over who should pay to make the stadium more supporter friendly, and a mutually agreed legal expert has ruled in West Ham’s favour.
This means the LLDC must pay for:
- Work to replace the material around the pitch perimeter
- The installation of pumps to allow the sale of draught beer at all bars
- Hospitality staff who work in the corporate boxes at the stadium
- Ensuring all televisions at the ground are allowed to show live sport – West Ham paid for the licence but the London Stadium had adverts on some screens
The expert said the perimeter material was of poor quality and the green colour should be changed because of the difficulty in seeing where the playing surface ends and the pitch surround starts.
An LLDC spokesperson said: “We are complying with all of the decisions made through the expert determination process, including supplying a pitch surround in contrasting colour, and continue to discuss the solutions with West Ham United.
“We have begun the procurement process for the new pitch surround, which will be in place within the next few weeks.
“We are not going to comment on private negotiations. However, we wish to protect our commercial rights, which involve securing the best deal for all our assets such as the sponsorship potential of the pitch surround.”