Charlton Trust seeks OS rental review

olympic-stadium-and-west-ham-badge-pic-pa-391417952Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust (CAST) want a review of the terms of West Ham’s rental agreement at the Olympic Stadium in response to the West Ham’s decision to drastically cut season ticket prices when they move in 2016.

CAST say that lower league clubs in London,  such as Charlton, Millwall and Leyton Orient will be affected by the price cuts which they claim are only made possible by the ‘prejudicially favourable’ terms the club has in its £2m rental of the stadium.

“We believe the current agreement  is prejudicially favourable to West Ham,”  A CAST statement said

“This should be a matter of concern for all taxpayers; we are involved because of the specific commercial impact it will have on Charlton Athletic FC. CAST is not opposed to West Ham playing at the Olympic Stadium, and acknowledges the need for a viable legacy for the stadium.”

“We believe that the terms of the agreement put far too much financial burden on the taxpayer; and that as a result West Ham will feel able to offer heavily discounted tickets south of the river in Charlton’s catchment area, which is now well connected to the Olympic stadium thanks to the transport links built for the games.”

“This presents a severe commercial threat to our club, whose long term future it is our mission to care for and seek to preserve. A re-negotiation of the contract which requires West Ham to pay more will oblige West Ham to focus more on filling the stadium with core West Ham support paying prices similar to those at other FAPL clubs in London.”

“Regrettably the London Legacy Development Corporation have resisted all attempts by CAST to inspect the rental contract, even under Freedom of Information law. CAST has a complaint lodged with the Information Commissioner (since last October). The length of time this is taking indicates that the LLDC are determined to conceal from the public the extent of the support from public funds West Ham are getting. CAST feels that through the terms that West Ham have they will be able to ‘flood’ parts of London with cheap tickets which will ultimately effect clubs close by.”

“The most important advantage though is that West Ham are allowed to keep 100% of “corporate” match-day revenue. The Olympic Stadium has a huge capacity for this type of customer. We believe that if West Ham sell this capacity, and achieve attendances of around 35,000, their revenue will be such that they can treat the 19,000 spare capacity as “promotional”.

“They can afford to offer these seats at a discount in order to build their support in new areas, particularly in South-East London. This is the scenario that concerns CAST. Put simply, the taxpayer should pay far less of the capital costs than is currently planned, and West Ham should pay back far more in rent to the taxpayer. If this re-balancing were to take place, West Ham will still have excellent commercial prospects, but they will not be able to threaten the commercial health of other clubs (particularly Charlton) using taxpayers’ money.”



About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

7 comments on “Charlton Trust seeks OS rental review

  1. I am still confused about those state aid claims.
    So is the issue that West Ham should pay more rent and more money upfront towards conversion to a degree that there is no financial benefit for West Ham and basically the financial status quo remains in terms of West Ham’s income in relation to the other clubs’ income ?

    If that were the case there would obviously be no point for ANY club to make that move if there is no financial benefit/advantage involved.
    So are those fine people of that Charlton Athletic Fans Trust and their friends in the media telling us that basically no Olympic Stadium that was built with taxpayers money can be used by a professional football club ever ?

    That it cannot be bought, but it also cannot be rented for 25 dates a year if it means that that particular club benefits from the move ?

    It’s a 99 year lease, the bloody rent is index linked and as thins stand the taxpayers in the end will have doubled their money just from West Ham being in there. Or shall West Ham not only pay the LLDC but all the other clubs as well for the privilege of playing in the OS ?

  2. Presumably these supporters were also complaining when Charlton were supplying free coaches to the Medway Towns (Gillingham’s catchment area) for their home games.

  3. PT, they claim on their board that those coaches were specifically introduced to pick up diehard Charlton fans who had moved further out and were otherwise having a hard time getting to home games.
    Moreover they claim that even if they were nicking fans from clubs like Gillingham they were doing so by paying for it themselves, whereas West Ham are being gifted a stadium so they can destroy all smaller clubs within a radiums of 50 miles immediately.

  4. Soon we will have clubs in Scotland wanting to get compensation off of us for taking their fans away from them,lol,it could become a never ending saga.Hibernian will say that with cheap flights from scotland to london we have stolen their fans & so they should be given compensation.Then it wil be teams in Northern France,maybe Calais can ask as well 😉

  5. No one yet has answered though how much money West Ham should pay for 25 days of usage a year (over the period of the 99 year lease) to not qualify as state aid anymore.
    How many times over shall we pay back the building and conversion costs over those 99 year period ? Apparently it is tice the amount already and it is even index linked.
    We weren’t allow to buy, now people appear to expect West Ham to pay close to a buying price for the privilege of renting it.
    Let ’em wallow in their self pity and jealousy. Yes, we were lucky that the OS landed on our doorstep and not south of the river or in North London.
    So, what is a fair total amount per season including rent and sharing of naming rights and catering ? 5 million ? 10 ? 20 ?

  6. I thought I read that the reason for lower prices were the extra money from TV,
    And if the likes of Charlton were to improve and get promotion they might just get a bit more money,( just a thought ) we have just the man for you to get you promoted and just the captain to lead you,we could give you a good rental rate,on the second but you can have the first for fxxk all,
    Get a life the other side of the water

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