Is this campaign an anti-West Ham one?
No. This is a campaign about the deal that the London Legacy Development Corporation signed with West Ham United FC. Our first aim is for the financial terms of the deal to be published, then a proper assessment can be made. However all the reports and investigations so far indicate that the deal is overly favourable to the club, and if this is true, we believe that it should be renegotiated.
Are you opposed to West Ham using the Olympic Stadium?
Not at all.
Weren’t WHU the only bidder for the stadium that matched the criteria set down for future usage?
No. There were several bidders, some of whom met the criteria, some who had other plans. Whilst WHU met the conditions laid down by the authorities running the bidding process, this still meant that the deal had to be properly negotiated and stand up to scrutiny as the Stadium is a public asset.
Will this campaign stop West Ham being able to use the Olympic Stadium?
This campaign has nothing to do with West Ham United playing at the Olympic Stadium. It is entirely to do with the manner in which the LLDC (London Legacy Development Corporation) negotiated the terms of the deal, and, what we have been led to believe the terms contain.
What’s this got to do with other football fans?
If the financial terms of the deal are as favourable as reported by the BBC, The Guardian and others, then we believe that the deal will provide in effect a public subsidy for West Ham United that no other club receives. This affects the money that West Ham has to spend, and therefore directly affects what is known as ‘competitive balance’. Put simply, it affects competition in football, because more money means more chance to compete.
Why do you need to see the financial terms of the deal?
The reason we need to see these terms is that at the moment, we don’t have the full facts of the financial terms of the deal (rent, other costs, etc). We think it’s wrong that a rental deal for a huge public asset like the Olympic Stadium is not properly scrutinised, and a matter of public record. Some people claim that it’s unfair on West Ham United, and would be breaching their right as a private business, but the Olympic Stadium is not a private business. It is a public asset, paid for by the UK taxpayer. West Ham United are simply renting it.
You say you want ‘the financial terms of the deal’ published; what do you mean by that?
We mean the annual rental costs, commercial revenue streams from the stadium itself, any costs to maintain the stadium, and any costs spent to convert it into a stadium that’s suitable for football.
What are the campaigns overall aims?
At the current time we simply seek transparency regarding the financial terms of the contract. Our aims might change accordingly as the process continues but at the moment what we’re seeking is transparency.
You claim to have wider support, but who apart from other fans is backing this?
Already there is plenty of cross-party support from GLA (London Assembly) members to opening up the deal to scrutiny. MPs including former Culture minister, David Lammy and ex-shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Bryant, have called for a full Public Enquiry on the matter. Groups such as the ‘Taxpayers Alliance’ also back our calls for transparency. Even Mayor of London Boris Johnson claims to be ‘relaxed’ about publication.
If you want to express your support for the campaign, or ask us a question, you can email us on email@example.com