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.’