No sign of resolution in West Ham’s dispute with landlords
PUBLISHED: 16:30 06 September 2018
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West Ham and E20 remain in dispute over design of new pitch-surround to cover running track and removal of honours board
West Ham United’s rental agreement to use the London Stadium has been described as “the elephant in the room” behind the venue’s cash problems.
The claim, made by London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive Lyn Garner, came on same the day West Ham reiterated a threat of legal action against their landlords.
The club remain in dispute with E20, the company set up to run the former Olympic Stadium, over the design of a new pitch-surround to cover the running track and an honours board which has been taken down and not replaced.
E20 responded to West Ham’s complaint about the honours board by claiming there are unpaid bills which need to be settled.
The club deny that is the case and, in a statement given to Press Association Sport on Thursday, said: “West Ham are disappointed that a public body should try to mislead taxpayers. There are no unpaid bills.
“E20 have, on a number of occasions, sought payments from West Ham United that are not part of our tenancy agreement.
“We have taken successful legal action against E20 on a number of similar disputes and will do so again if necessary.”
Meanwhile, Garner, addressing the London Assembly, revealed West Ham’s rent does not even cover the cost of staging a match.
West Ham secured the stadium for a rental fee of £2.5million a year in 2013 and moved in at the start of the 2016/17 season.
E20 recorded operating losses of around £22million for the last financial year and faces the possibility of being dissolved.
Garner, who became chief executive of the LLDC in February, said: “What is really driving the problems here are the low rents paid by the concessionaires, particularly West Ham.
“I’ve got to say the elephant in the room is the fee that they pay us in the usage cost does not cover the event-day costs and that’s before we go anywhere near a commercial advantage.
“It simply does not cover the costs of running the events on a day-to-day basis.”