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Top journo nails the LS fiasco


Top journo Martin Samuel – and a Hammer to boot – has been following the issues at the club very closely of late.

And in his latest piece for the Mail he has made it clear that those who want to blame the Hammers for so many issues may need to go a little deeper into their thought processing.

Samuel researches and writes as well and often better than any journalist in the country  and his piece in today’s paper is certainly worth a read.

He says: “Drip by drip, the truth is emerging about the London Stadium, the incompetence, the cost and the reality of Britain’s Olympic legacy. The London Assembly budget monitoring committee heard this week that mistakes were made around the installation of the retractable seats.

‘There is no suggestion we were negligent, but clearly we did get it wrong,’ said David Edmonds, former chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation. The cost of this not at all negligent mistake? Roughly £8million annually, when the seats need to be taken out for athletics and put back for the new football season.

Neale Coleman, the LLDC’s former vice-chairman, said that in retrospect the model used in Manchester after the Commonwealth Games – when the stadium was passed to Manchester City and converted for football purposes – would have been better.”

And he adds: Thank the brains trust of Tessa Jowell, Ken Livingstone and Lord Coe for that – they were the ones who insisted on an Olympic legacy and would not entertain the idea of a solely football-driven takeover.

“Yet football is the only sport that could consistently fill the stadium and make it viable – and even that future is threatened with stadium operator E20 making the place so inhospitable for West Ham and its fans.

“And now to the final point. Edmonds admitted that the reason West Ham got such a good financial deal on the stadium was that they were the only game in town by the time it came to negotiations.

“Tottenham’s proposal had been rejected; Leyton Orient’s interest was a myth. It was West Ham, or nothing. West Ham, or empty.

“The whole process has been an utter shambles and unless E20 start to make the place feel more like home for its anchor tenants, what tiny legacy remains could be lost. The politics needs to stop and the constructive solutions need to start. This is a national scandal and the size and scale of it is only just emerging.”

Spot on

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

6 comments on “Top journo nails the LS fiasco

  1. This guy is brilliant. I don’t read the Mail but I remember him writing in another paper about the Tevez affair. He was the only one I read who explained it all & didn’t just cut & paste the ‘scandal of West Ham’ s ineligible player’ (which Tevez wasn’t). He agreed we deserved to be punished for minor errors on the admin (typical West Ham) but pointed out the blunders of the PL & the farce of the Sheffield U court case with a geriatric judge asking for ‘expert opinion’ on how many points Tevez was worth to us. Ridiculous.

  2. Sadly that was The Sun. In terms of Mail or Sun little difference but he writes superbly

  3. its a shame more fans dont understand the difficulties the board has in dealing with the lldc, e20, sadiq khan etc, all out for their own interests and not necessarily what west ham want. a lot of the boards initial planning was based around us buying the stadium and running it unhindered. things changed since we could only be tenants and the board get the blame for everything, as scapegoats even though its beyond their control. brady wanted to run the whole shebang and should have been allowed to without her hands being tied by the mayors office. kick E20 out i say and let west ham run the stadium the way it should be.

  4. Yeah that’s right Hugh. Don’t read the Sun either. I think he was writing for the Times in those days. Always struck a good balance. He is a supporter but is still able to be objective when writing about the club. He nailed the issues in the Tevez saga and seems to have done the same in the LS fiasco.

  5. The whole saga has been a shambles & an embarressment from start to finsh & still not fit for purpose. Coe should be stripped of his title, it’s been one big ego trip for him & a way to line his own pockets. Amazing that companies he is linked with won contracts worth £m’s for consultancy work & he sold his image rights company for £12m by Oct 2012.
    At least someone is happy with the legacy of London 2012

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