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Turfing West Ham out of Stadium would cost billions

Andrew-BoffLondon Legacy Development Corporation CEO David Goldstone admitted yesterday it could cost billions to buy West Ham out of their 99-year-old contracts and he was not considering it as an option. He also rejected the idea of a fresh European state aid challenge should Newham council give up part ownership of the stadium and write off their £40m loan.

Answering a question from Andrew Boff  at the London Assembly Plenary about the possibility of buying out West Ham from the ‘onerous contract’ Goldstone said: “That is not one of the things we are looking at because we have a 99 year agreement and the potential benefit of having Premier League football in the area is a big part of the benefits”

DGHe added “I think it is important that we recognise the value of the stadium with West Ham which brings enormous value to the area”

Pushed by Member Boff on the estimate of buying West Ham out Goldstone said “Such an analysis of the direct financial cost to buy out a Premier League club who have committed for 99 years and the economic value that the stadium contributes to the wider regeneration could be in the billions! I don’t think that is an amount that the London Assembly would consider losing”

Boff also questioned Goldstone whether there was a fresh case for a complaint to the European Commission for state aid if the £40m from Newham was effectively a gift. Goldstone shook his head suggesting he didn’t think so but said that he couldn’t answer investment decisions on behalf of Newham council.

Claret and Hugh note: Considering West Ham are only tenants of the London Stadium from the outside it is difficult to understand on what basis a fresh claim of state aid could be made against the Hammers.

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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

4 comments on “Turfing West Ham out of Stadium would cost billions

  1. When will people just understand that West Ham have nothing to do with the shambles that was the the Olympic Stadium…… before it was built, West Ham apparently offered to purchase it. With the plan to convert it to a football stadium following the Olympics, in a similar way to the Stadium that Manchester City inherited!……. The Continued cost to the tax payers (that’s West Ham fans too) whould have been avoided……the question should be, why has a private company been given control of the Stadium that is being paid for by the tax payers!

  2. Considering the fact that they are scared of buying out the contract with us because it would cost the government billions, should they not be persuaded to allow West Ham to buy them out meaning they would lose only millions?
    It would also cost us millions to buy them out but it would have to be affordable to do it.

  3. I think Lord Coe’s objections were the main reason against selling the stadium as they wanted an athletics legacy to exist in London and particularly at the QE Park. It having cost so many millions already to the tax payer, he didn’t want to lose face and it also helped his bid to be president of the IAAF. See below a paragraph from The Independant:

    “He is one Sebastian Coe, who was talking in a very loud way about ‘legacy’ in 2005, when insisting that a 20,000-seat unroofed athletics stadium must form the centrepiece of 2012 London’s Olympic Bid. They told him at the time that he should bring a football club in from the start for the Olympic Stadium, because you count on the fingers of one hand the number of days athletics needs 20,000 seats.
    Coe was not having it. I mean, he really was not having it. It takes a hell of a lot to fluster this man but one of those occasions arrived when, under questioning by the Greater London Authority, it was put to him that Tottenham Hotspur may be the stadium’s future occupants. “I didn’t make a promise to Tottenham Hotspur season ticket holders,” he fulminated. Football would not be in the 2012 Bid document, diluting London’s appeal with to IOC. Safe to say it also helped Coe’s bid for the presidency of athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, to make a “permanent home for athletics” one of the Bid’s articles of faith.”

    What a tool he must feel now!!

  4. Good post doc, and how is Coe’s presidency of the IAAF working out for him? Exactly. Our lease cannot be bought out, and the right option would be to allow us to purchase the stadium. But we would have to repay the £40m loan too, on top of that, and quite right too. Then there would be the costs of turning the shyte hole into a fit and proper football stadium, the costs of playing in another stadium for 2 years whilst said building works are completed, the players getting used to playing “away” every game again, no money leftbto buy players or replacevthe manager, and on it goes. and when we return, the same travel and Westfield issues will remain. But on the bright side, at least we will be close enough to see the opposition goals go in!

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