BBC Sport Editor Dan Roan has just posted the news that Newham are pulling out of the co-ownership of the Olympic Stadium (below.)
After several years of hard work by the OS Campaign, we have achieved disclosure of information we were told could not be published, and achieved an inquiry appointed by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that we were told would never happen, and which has reported this morning, detailing the ‘mismanagement of London [Olympic] Stadium finances by the previous Mayor’ (Boris Johnson): https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/mayor-london/our-publications/independent-review-olympic-stadium
Huge credit must go to the 14 organisations that have made up this campaign, and continued to work on it whilst the story disappeared from the headlines.
This doesn’t mark the end of the campaign, but it does finally place in the public domain, the recognition of one of our central arguments.
After several months of patient waiting, the Olympic Stadium Coalition has finally been asked to give evidence to the independent inquiry established by Sadiq Khan, which is being undertaken by ‘Global risk investigations and dispute advisory’ specialists, Moore Stephens
Richard Hunt from the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust, will be representing the campaign, and speaking to them at a mutually agreed date very soon.
More as we have it.
If you’re interested in our campaign, you might want to watch the London edition of the BBC’s Inside Out programme tonight, as ‘Mark Jordan investigates why the West Ham stadium deal continues to be a burden on taxpayers.’
You can watch it via the regional options on Virgin and Sky, or via iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08bn38x
Olympic Stadium Coalition
Press release: 15/12/2016
For immediate release
OS Coalition meeting at City Hall
As part of its continued campaign on the costs of the Olympic (‘London’) Stadium, the Olympic Stadium Coalition has met with Liberal Democrat, Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, to discuss London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s promise of an investigation into the finances of the cost of the development.
They issued the following statement
‘As a campaign we have put a great deal of work into uncovering the facts of the case, and ensuring that it’s in the hands of the people with the power to effect change and influence. We’ve worked hard to ensure support from across the political spectrum, and we’re immensely grateful to Caroline Pidgeon, Conservative AM Andrew Boff, and former Labour AM Murad Qureshi, who have put a considerable amount of work into this issue for some time.
‘We hope to meet with Sadiq Khan, and we will be writing to him to disclose the significant information we’ve gathered about the operational costs of the stadium and its cost to the UK taxpayer. Ultimately, we’re seeking to ensure that it does the least damage possible to Premier League and EFL clubs not just in London, but across the country.’
Olympic Stadium Coalition
Press release: 02/11/2016
For immediate release
Statement in response to announcement of Mayoral enquiry into spiralling stadium costs
The Olympic Stadium Coalition has welcomed the news of the London Mayor’s Sadiq Khan’s investigation into the finances of the Olympic (‘London’) Stadium with the following statement:
‘This is a breakthrough in our long campaign to highlight the intolerable burden on taxpayers of the rebuilding of the Olympic Stadium to the specification of a well off Premier League football club.
‘We have never objected to the idea of West Ham playing at the stadium; the question is simply one of how much the club should pay, and how much the taxpayer should be expected to fund.
‘Our attempts to seek transparency have been blocked at every turn by the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council. It took two years for us to obtain release of the full rental contract under Freedom of Information law. We believe that all taxpayers deserve to be made fully aware of just how much we are all paying, and how much West Ham United are paying towards both capital and operating costs.
Only this week, we have learnt that the naming rights deal for the stadium has fallen through. As a result we believe this means the stadium will operate at a loss for the foreseeable future, especially if the police seek to recharge the costs of their increased presence at the stadium due to crowd control issues. The entire deal, and not just the rebuild costs, should be examined in detail, by the Mayor and the taxpayer.”
We hope to be able to meet the Mayor to present him with the significant information that we have gathered about the operational costs of the stadium.
‘Supporters trusts from across the country and across the divisions formed the Olympic Stadium Coalition, and have worked continuously to uncover the details of the deal. The Mayor’s investigation is good news, a good starting point, but it is only a start.’
It’s been quite a while since we posted an update on this website. Obviously since April when the judgment was found in favour of our campaign for publication, the Olympic Stadium and many of the problems associated with it have been in the news a great deal. We have been busy ourselves, and as this is an entirely volunteer-led and run campaign, sometimes things don’t move as quickly as we’d like.
This is some of what we’ve been doing:
1. Investigating the contract
The contract is itself a complex document that required a great deal of investigation. Specifically, it raises a whole series of other questions and issues that themselves needed investigation, and in some case further enquiries made.
2. Speaking with our friends and supporters
We’ve also been speaking with some of those who have supported our campaign about what the next steps should be. There is a lot of support to continue to ensure that the current deal is fairer to the taxpayer and to football.
We’re nearly ready to move ahead with our next steps, so keep an ear out for more news.
Check back soon for more on the campaign…