Fan coalition backs Information Commissioner’s demand to publish full terms of Olympic Stadium deal

Press release: Tuesday 15th September 2015

Fan coalition backs Information Commissioner’s demand to publish full terms of Olympic Stadium deal

Supporters’ trusts’ campaign results in successful Freedom of Information request

The coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts seeking clarity on the Olympic Stadium deal with West Ham United FC today called on London Mayor Boris Johnson and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to ensure the full publication of the commercial terms of the contract after a positive response from the Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner has responded to a complaint lodged by the group under the Freedom of Information Act, ordering full publication of the commercial terms of the agreement, as requested by the coalition, within 35 days from the decision notice date of September 3rd.

The LLDC has 28 days in which to lodge an appeal but the coalition of groups has called on Boris Johnson, as head of the LLDC to waive that right, saying:

“The Information Commissioner’s decision could not have been clearer, and it is equally clear to us that publication must follow. This campaign is publicly backed by 25,000 individuals, football supporters’ trusts from around the country, and the public interest in the issue is there for all to see.

“We call on the mayor not to use the appeal system to delay publication of this document further. If he does it will open him up to the suspicion that he has something to hide”.

“This is an issue about the use of public money to, apparently, subsidise a commercial football business. It seems the taxpayer will be paying the cost of a series of overheads which every other club, rightly, has to pay for themselves. It is important that the taxpayer is allowed to know exactly what has gone on here, and to judge whether it is a responsible and fair use of public money.”

Mayor’s Question Time will commence tomorrow at 10:00 am City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA, where questions have been tabled on the matter by Andrew Dismore, Labour & Cooperative London Assembly member.

Members of the coalition will also be present, and available afterwards at City Hall in Conference Room 2 (lower ground floor) from around 12:00 to discuss the issues further. Murad Qureshi will also be present and happy to answer questions.

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We are a coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts and groups. We are groups representing tens of thousands of football supporters from across the country, and across the leagues. We also have the support of over 25,000 signatories to a petition calling for a public enquiry.

  • We are seeking the full publication of the financial terms of the contract agreed between Boris Johnson and the LLDC (London Legacy Development Corporation) and West Ham United FC
  • This is about whether information about the financial agreement to use a publicly owned stadium by a privately owned football club should be a matter of public interest.
  • This is about ensuring public money is used well, and that it is not used as a subsidy to give one football a financial advantage over others
    We hope the deal will be published. If the LLDC appeals, the suspicion of a cover up will grow.
  • This campaign has thousands of supporters, more than a dozen supporters’ trusts from across English football, politicians from the GLA and Parliament and campaign groups supporting it.

Faced with a refusal by the LLDC to explain how public money was being spent on the Olympic Stadium deal between West Ham United and the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Olympic Stadium Coalition launched a petition calling for a public enquiry to expose the truth. This was backed by Chris Bryant MP, then Shadow Secretary of State and David Lammy, former Culture minister. The petition gained 25,000 signatures within days: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106355